How To Survive Growing Your Hair Out.

So nearly a year ago I cut my hip-length hair off, right up to my shoulders. I had that new thing everyone was on about: a Lob. (Long bob- but I’m sure you already knew that) I actually really enjoyed the Lob; it had its own little air of glam when it was curled and looked cutesy with my dungarees and glasses or half up in a scrunchie. It was surprisingly pretty low maintenance. However, recently I’ve decided I miss my Princess Jasmine hair and have tested some of the tricks of the trade people swear by to make it grow out faster.

First up came the one with the biggest promises- Inversion Therapy. This basically involves tipping you head upside down and massaging your scalp for exactly five minutes, every day for a week, once a month. The idea is that the blood flow to your head and massaging the scalp stimulates and encourages hair growth. Online, people had claimed they’d seen up to 4 inches of hair growth in a week so naturally, I was pretty excited to try this out. So there I was, lay with my head tipped upside down over the edge of my bed, massaging away for five minutes each night for a whole week. The claims were obviously too good to be true, but I did notice maybe an inch of growth in total. Not bad, but not the miracle I was hoping for.

Next was the all natural, protein hair mask. I didn’t fancy the typical egg white on hair thing so I opted for a simpler one. I mixed olive oil (moisturising), almond milk (for protein- hair needs proteins to grow), and honey (gotta keep that hair moist) in a cup. Now, here is my biggest problem with this: Everybody wants to recommend an all natural hair mask… no one tells you how to apply the damn thing! This was too runny to just scoop up in my hands without getting a sticky, oily mess all over my room. I couldn’t just pour the cup over my head because again, mess- more of it was going on the floor than my hair. I tried spooning it on to my hair but that was taking five-ever. I tried dipping my hair into the cup, which covered the ends well but then they were really soggy and my scalp was dry. Basically, you need a combination of all of the above to get these things on your head. Anyway, once you somehow figure out how to get the goopiness on your hair (gotta be from the roots right to the ends), you want to comb it through with your fingers then leave it on for about 15 minutes. If you google this procedure, people will tell you to “relax” while it’s penetrating through your hair and working its magic. Spoiler: You can’t. It’s too goopy to relax. Maybe that’s just me but I couldn’t settle with that sticking to the back of my neck, so I did a full body shave instead, killing two birds with one stone. Anyway, after whatever you do for those 15 minutes you can shampoo your hair and (I personally) liked to leave it to dry naturally, ready to be straightened the next day. (Pro (not really) tip: do this the night before a big event just in case it doesn’t work well with your hair or you over do it and you need to wash it out again for some reason. i.e it’s too oily for your hair.) The verdict? I got a lot of compliments about my hair looking shiny and healthy. Someone asked if I’d just had it cut because the ends were so neat. Overall, I’d say this is better for hair repair than growth, but still worth doing if you can deal with the goopiness.

Finally comes the magical unicorn of hair growth techniques. A shampoo that claims to make your hair grow. I bought it from Lush, and basically it contains cinnamon to stimulate the scalp and clear out anything that would be stopping the hair from growing. Sounds like a miracle right? Well it kind of is. It’s all natural, and comes as a little pink soap bar that looks like a macaron and promises 80 washes. My hair has definitely grown significantly since using it, and it is so shiny. It’s a super cleansing shampoo, so I wouldn’t use it every day- let your hair get a little dirty/oily first so you don’t strip your hair of its natural oils. The only downside to this shampoo bar is its storage. You have to leave it to dry out after use, preferably not in your steamy bathroom but somewhere dry but not on a radiator.  I keep mine in a little Tupperware dish and I think Lush sell shampoo bar tins (as always, the Lush staff are super friendly so I’m sure they’d have suggestions for any storage or use issues). So overall, this has been my favourite method.

A healthy combination of all of the above techniques and tools would probably give you the healthiest, flowing locks in the land. I’ll be posting a picture of the shampoo bar on my Instagram story here today, but if you miss that, you can always have a look on Lush’s website or pop in store.

I also have a pretty exciting new project coming up soon, so I’ll keep you all posted on that!

Speak soon,

Laura x

 

How to Survive When You’re Rubbish at Make Up.

The meme is correct; I spend more time stalking hot girls on Instagram than hot guys. Honestly, I could spend all day scrolling through the Kardashian/Jenners, various beauty bloggers’ and a few random Instagram models’ accounts, like “How?!” Seriously though, some of those girls look like the Angel Gabriel himself chiselled their cheekbones for them. To be fair, most of them are naturally blessed, but still, there has to be some sort of miracle technique going on somewhere.

I’m terrible at make-up. I’m getting better, but I find the tutorials too intimidating, don’t actually own half the products they insist on using, nor do I have the time to sit at home practising. No matter how long I spend blending and piling on the products, I somehow always manage to look like my usual, bare-faced self, with some sort of smudged eye, and wonky, stained lips. Bare-faced is fine, but when everyone else is dolled up to the nines, looking like they’ve had Charlotte Tilbury herself pandering to them for three hours prior to pre-drinks, it’s a little disheartening.

I swear, I spend 90% of my “getting ready time” just poking myself in the eye with random brushes coated in some sort of bronze dust, or doing some wobbly winged eyeliner that legitimately looks like I let my pet dog have a try. So, I had a little look around, had a Google and scroll through Pinterest and came to a few conclusions.

Firstly, a few good products is better than loads of crappy ones. That sounds obvious, but when I think about how many rubbish foundations I’ve bought out of trial and error, that I’d end up mixing and blending myself into a tangerine with, I might as well have just gone to a make-up counter, had them colour match me and splash a little bit extra on something that’s not going to sink into my pores and make me look like a block of flaky Swiss cheese.

I’ve also come to realise that picking one or two features to enhance is better than just piling on a load of products onto every part of my face. For example, when I’m hungover/tired (usually both), grooming my eyebrows always seems to lift my face more, and look better than just layering mismatched concealer under my eyes and trying to work last night’s eyeliner into a smoky-eye. (Okay, sometimes I still do that if I’m running late to my lectures…)

Now, I know I said tutorials are intimidating, but that’s not true for all of them. Cue, Lisa Potter-Dixon. Her YouTube tutorials are the only reason I have any sense of direction in my make-up bag now. Charli and I once sat in my room and spent ages copying her eye-make up tutorials and went out in matching make-up. We were the coolest kids in Manchester that night.

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The result of the Lisa Potter-Dixon binge.

But seriously, her tutorials are so easy to follow, use mostly Benefit make-up products which are easy to find, and you can even pick a look whilst getting ready for your night out, a glass of wine down, and still be able to follow it (mostly, anyway) a la Jenna Marbles’ drunk make-up tutorial, but nicer. Lisa also has an excellent How To Hide Your Hangover tutorial, which is pretty much an essential.

 

Finally, I forget where I read it, but in an interview with a French model (who’s name escapes me. I’m going to get better at this research stuff I promise) she said something along the lines of French women concentrate on making their hair naturally great, skin naturally great and a good fashion sense, so they can just get up and go and everything else falls into place. I liked this advice the most. That, and, if you messed up your eyeshadow, just add another layer and make it a smoky-eye. Smoky-eye solves everything.

Speak soon,

Laura x