Archive for the ‘’ Category
How to Combat Product Build Up
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
I’m Natalie and I write the Defacto blogs. But, every now and then I like to take the blogs and make them a little more personal. So, today I thought I’d talk about something that has been affecting me. Product build up.
Not the sexiest of topics, sure, but something that happens all too frequently. Product build up is what it says on the tin. It’s a build up of product, specifically in the hair. It might not seem like a big deal but it can strike unexpectedly and honestly ruin someones day. More often than not, mine.
What is product build up?
It can be caused by a few things. Most common, however, is residual chemicals in the hair. Some of the gels, mousses, hairsprays, shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals that don’t dissolve in water. They leave tiny amounts of residue every time you use them. Over time, these residues accumulate, leaving a coating of gunk on your hair and scalp. So if you dry your hair and find yourself saying: “How the hell is it possible for my hair to be greasy, I just washed it!” You guessed it, product build up.
I have fairly long hair and it takes its sweet time to dry, even with a hair dryer. So I am guilty of washing it the night before and sleeping with it wet in a loose plait. I also get colds and sneeze a lot and they may be linked… So I can often wake up with a case of product build up and no time to fix it. It can make your hair; hard to style, greasy/dirty looking, dull and lifeless. It can also cause a situation that looks a lot like dandruff. It’s not! But the people around you wont know that…
How does it happen?
It could be that you’re not shampooing enough. If you’re a dry shampoo abuser and do your best to go as long as possible between hair washes then this could be an issue. Adding products on top of products without regularly washing them will inevitably result in that familiar residue on your scalp. This could also tie in with overuse and misuse of products, as well as not rinsing properly. If there is residual product, you’re going to end up with build up.
Like I mentioned earlier, the product build up could be caused by chemicals. Silicones and petroleum oils are added to shampoos to de-tangle and “moisturise” your hair and scalp. They give your hair that lovely soft sheen. The ironic thing is that they don’t moisturise at all. The simply coat the hair to make it seem softer
How to deal with it.
Obviously you’re going to want to get rid of it. The best way to do that is to identify what it is that’s making your hair a flaky, limp mess and eliminate it from your life. If you use cheaper shampoo brands opt for a clarifying shampoo like the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo. Or spend a little more on salon approved brands that will genuinely give you what you want without the build up.
Also be sure to brush your hair regularly, this helps to break through the gunk at the root, making it easier to get rid of.
My personal hair care items of choice are the Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, Neutrogena T-Gel Theraputic Shampoo (mainly for my psoriasis but it works well as a clarifying shampoo too) and Lush’s I Love Juicy!
I hope you manage to blast your way through that product build up! If you have any tips you’d like to share with me I’d love to hear them! Drop them in the comments section below.
How to Enhance Your Natural Curls
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Whether you love or loathe your natural curls, there’s no denying that they can be difficult to maintain.
AW17 catwalks were full of models with all manners of curls. From soft waves to corkscrew curls, the fashion world couldn’t get enough of curls. So we think it’s time for you to harness your natural curls and start strutting your stuff.
Like we said, this is about natural curls, not creating curls with heat stylers, so ditch your curling wands and straighteners. Not the hairdryer though, we’ll need that. it’s time to embrace your hairs natural movement and here’s 4 ways to do just that.
Use the right methods when hair drying.
We’re all guilty of drying our hair too rough after a shower. But, the rigorous motion can crush natural curls and encourage a lot more frizz than you’d like. It’s much better to gently twist and press your hair to soak up any excess water. You should also use a diffuser. We feel like this goes without saying, which woman with natural curls doesn’t know to use a diffuser. But, a diffuser is essential for evening out curl patterns. To give your curls some shape, all you have to do is to turn your hairdryer on to the ‘low’ setting and drop them into the diffuser.
Use your hands to push your hair around to make sure you define every strand.
Get the right haircut.
Ask your hairdresser to feather your hair when you have your next visit. When you curl a ribbon with scissors, you scrape them along the surface of the ribbon to make it curl. This is essentially what feathering is and it will encourage all over volume and you get a healthy trim too!
Treat your hair right.
Curly hair is more likely to be dry and frizzy, which could mean it needs a little more TLC. Avoid using your hairbrush too much. Pulling a hairbrush through you hair will cause breakage and iron out your natural curls. To untangle, run a wide-toothed comb through your hair while you condition in the shower. Unless it’s an urgent tangle, try and leave it alone after that.
Since your hair is a bit more brittle and dry, it’ll need a bit more moisture to keep it going. Treat your curls with a deep condition treatment. This could be anything from a hair mask to an oil. Do it once or twice a month and you should notice the shine!
Use the right products.
A lot of products that would suit other hair types, wont suit your natural curls. Shampoos, conditioners and serums that claim to get rid frizz and flyaways will only give weight to curls and drag them down. Opt instead for light mousses or curl crèmes. These will define your curls and strengthen them, without the weight. If you notice some drooping throughout the day, fix with a light hold hairspray (to avoid the dreaded crispy curl) or spritz some salt spray and scrunch your hair a bit. Adding more mousse is just adding more weight.
We’re sure as someone with curly hair, you’ll no how to take care of it and keep it looking amazing. However, if you didn’t, we hope this article would have been of some help to you!
Do you have any hints or tips for dealing with natural curls? We’d love to hear them!
How to Match Your Hair and Beard
Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
You may think the only option you have when styling your hair and beard together is whether or not to actually have a beard.
We don’t think this is the case…
Beards come in and out of style, however, what doesn’t change is the many ways to style them. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to be clean-shaven to suit your hair, it’s likely there’s a beard style for everyone! So how do you match your hair and beard?
You don’t have to focus on one before the other. If you’ve got a great head of hair, don’t let it go to waste because you’d like a beard. That goes both ways, if you have thinning hair, don’t feel like you can’t focus on a beard. You can choose facial hairstyle that will draw attention away from your hair, therefore tying in you hair and beard.
If you have brown hair and your beard starts growing in ginger, don’t panic! If you have grey hair and your beard grows in dark, you’re lucky! Some people spend thousands of pounds a year trying to replicate what you can do naturally. However, problems can arise if you’ve already dyed your hair, like dark roots emerging through bleaching, or a peroxide job looking mousy ginger. There are certain colour situations that won’t work too well. Avoid dying dark hair a lighter colour, and try to match your head hair to your beard hair, if you’re using artificial colouring, unless you’re making a statement of course.
When it comes to different styles, marching your hair and beard can follow stricter rules.
If you’re partial to a buzz cut, a bit of stubble or a very short beard is a good way to give a bit more something to the look, and to bring out the more rugged, military quality of the cut. Growing out a full beard could run the risk of making you look a little bit like an egghead.
Short, cropped hair is more suited to a business environment. Clean-shaven is the usual go to look for cropped hair; however, a little stubble shouldn’t be too offensive.
Medium length hair looks great with a lot of texture added in. You have more options with your facial hair. Anything can work here from a clean-shaven face to a long beard. But, try and match your hair and beard. If you have quite unruly hair, have a neat, well-groomed beard. This will make you look more put together and prevent you looking disheveled.
If you’re blessed enough in the hair department to have long flowing hair you’ll probably want a bit of facial hair. Unless you have a very chiseled jaw, we recommend at least a short beard. Otherwise, you could end up looking a bit more feminine.
If your barber offers a beard service, you may be able to ask them for advice. Or, you could use our listing website www.defactosalons.com and find the perfect place to sort out your barnet and your beard!
Why You Shouldn’t be Washing Your Hair at Night
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
It’s always so tempting. Washing your hair at night for that extra amount of time in bed. But, apparently you shouldn’t be washing your hair at night!
Well, you can wash your hair at night but you can’t go to bed with it wet. People have always speculated that sleeping on wet hair is a little wrong (but the lie in feels so right!). Turns out they’re right to think that.
Not only does sleeping on loose wet hair mean that you’ll be covering up some serious kinks the next morning, but it could also be damaging. Washing your hair at night and sleeping on the damp hair can cause breakage. Your movements throughout the night are likely to cause knotting and this can lead to long-term damage. This is because hair is prone to breakage when it is wet.
The main issue with washing your hair at night and going to bed with wet hair is that the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair is more raised when wet. Which is why often some women find their hair is impossibly knotty when wet but not so when dry. Sleeping with wet hair could cause it to tangle more particularly if you move a lot in your sleep. And come morning, it could be difficult to comb through. There is also the fact that as your hair dries in the night, kinks and shape will set into it as it dries. So, like we said, who knows what you may wake up looking like in the morning!
So, what if you’re not a morning person?
You can still wash your hair at night, but either dry it before getting in bed, or loosely braid it. This will prevent it knotting and becoming tangled as you sleep and when you take it out in the morning your hair will have soft waves. But, it’s probably best to dry it. You’ll find out why.
It’s not just the damage we have to worry about when washing your hair at night…
The second issue with going to bed with wet hair is fungus. It likes moist warm conditions to grow and consistently sleeping with wet hair could contribute to an overgrowth in fungus or scalp ‘yeast’. Potentially leading to scalp problems or dandruff. Spores could also develop in your pillow due to the same damp warm conditions, which could contribute to breathing issues, rhinitis and allergies.
So you can wash it at night if you like, but you’re better drying it before you settle down.
How to Hide Your Hangover
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
It’s the festive season. Christmas parties and New Years parties are going to take a toll on you. So how to you hide your hangover?
Christmas lunches and dinners that turn into nights out often happen mid week. So it’s likely that you’ll have to drag yourself into the office the next morning and suffer. If you’re party is on a Friday then lucky you! You might still find these tips useful though.
The usual hangover cure involves lots of water, lots of carbs and even more being horizontal. If you don’t have the option of ordering food in and lounging around feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll want to liven up your skin. It can be easy to pretend you’re feeling fine but you cannot prevent your hangover from showing on your skin. So here’s how to hide it.
The first step to being able to hide your hangover is moisturising. Your alcohol-ravaged skin needs hydration. If you remembered to remove your make up the night before, bravo. If not, take a clean flannel and soak it in warm water before placing on the face and slowly massaging. Do this a few times to get rid of all the grime. Remove eye make up with an oil-based remover to nourish the lashes. Then take some time to massage a generous blob of rich moisturiser into your skin.
After a good moisture-massage your face should be looking plumper and hydrated. It’s still going to need some help to look alive so a face primer is a must. It will smooth the skin making it ready for foundation application. You can’t hide your hangover without foundation after all.
Choose the right foundation.
Invest in a hydrating, youth-boosting foundation for skin that looks like it had 8 hours sleep. Pick a foundation that promises you a dewey glow. This will make the skin look healthy and hydrated. Obviously, it’s best to invest in this sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to add some blush as well!
Focus on the lips.
Your lips can look chapped and pale after a night of drinking. One of the best ways to hide your hangover is distract with your lips. Try a statement red lipstick. Choose a shade with cool blue undertones to help calm the skin. Another (and slightly grosser) sign is sour alcoholic breath. Yes, you scrubbed your teeth this morning but booze can make a very unwelcome return throughout the day. Go for a minty gloss for added freshness.
Before you do all of that, make sure you’ve woken yourself up with a big, cold glass of water and a shower. This will immediately make you feel more alert and a lot cleaner. Try some dry shampoo to give volume if you don’t have enough time to wash your hair.
We hope your festive party season is off to a good start, hangovers be damned! We’re sure we’ll need this list at some point ourselves. How do you hide your hangover? Let us know.
The Most Googled Beauty Questions 2016
Friday, December 16th, 2016
There have been a lot of beauty fads and hacks in 2016. So it’s no wonder there’s an actual list showing the most googled beauty questions of this year!
In no particular order we’ll tell you what beauty lovers were searching for the most this year. Hopefully we’ll be able to tell you how to do some of them too! Without further ado, here are the 10 most googled beauty questions 2016.
How to remove gel nails.
The best way to remove your gels or acrylics is by soaking them in a nail removal acetone. It takes a while, sure. But, at the end of the day you’re nails will be healthy. You can usually go back to wherever you had them done and have them removed there. Do not peel them off whatever you do!
How to curl hair.
We’re surprised that this is in the list of most googled beauty questions, but here we are. With such a wide range of tongs and non-heat methods on the market, you’re spoiled for choice. Curling with staightners is a bit like curling ribbon with scissors, but if you’re looking for tongs you have to identify what kinds of curls you want. Check out this list of tips from Total Beauty to help you on your way to the perfect curl.
How to make hair grow faster.
Thankfully we wrote an article on this! The quest for longer lengths can be slow, draining and irritating. Most of us focus on finding a miracle cure to our short hair. The thing is if you want longer, thicker, healthier hair, it takes commitment. Check out our article to find out how to get the hair of your dreams!
How to clean your make up brushes.
There are various tools and mits you can buy for this. We recommend the simple method of baby shampoo, warm water and scrubbing til their clean.
How to apply concealer.
As easy as this might sound, we’re not surprised it’s on the most Googled beauty questions list. While most people apply it only under the eye, you should apply it in a ‘V’ shape under the eye. Instead of just concealing, this also brightens the face.
How to shape eyebrows.
Call us biased but we do think you should be going to a salon or a professional for this one. However, if you’re looking to shape them with product then we can help you out. To get the perfect arch, try this blog from Elle. To get the right product, give one of our past blogs a shot.
How to do a fishtail braid.
Looks impressive but is actually pretty simple. Once you get the hang of this method, it can make a bad hair day, a great one. Check out this blog from Cosmo to get you on the right path.
How to fill in eyebrows.
The Instagram brow became a bigger deal than ever this year! Some love it and some hate it (we love it!). You can refer back to ‘How to shape eyebrows’ to find out what you need to know.
What is balayage?
At this point we’re surprised when someone says they haven’t had balayage at some point. Balayage is a style of hair dying. The hair will be dyed to give the impression that it is fading into a different colour (could be a lighter colour or a totally different colour like a blue or a grey). The official Google description is “A technique for highlighting hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.” Here are some of our favourites from our featured salons!
Did you Google any of these questions in 2016?
How to Grow Your Hair Quickly
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
While we think pixie cuts are just as beautiful as lengthy locks, there’s no denying that a lot of us still love having long hair.
The only problem is how long it takes to grow. Some people’s grows faster than others and that we can’t change. But, there may be some things that you could change or do more often now, for the future pay off…
Visit the salon regularly.
No, not because cutting it makes it grow faster. Unfortunately that’s a myth. But, when hair is freshly cut the ends will appear thicker without their damaged, tapered points. Plus by trimming it regularly and managing damage you’ll have to cut off less hair in the long run, so indirectly you’re speeding things up!
Deal with your diet.
Diet is very important for hair growth; you need to be eating sufficient levels of iron, B vitamins, zinc and protein. An idea would be to try spirulina in smoothies! As well as greens like kale and iron. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is high in iron (a very important mineral given that the deficiency condition, anemia, can be a major cause of hair loss). Taking supplements containing a combination of Vitamin B, Iron, Zinc and other minerals can also help to contribute to the maintenance of healthy locks if your diet isn’t well balanced.
Give your hair a break.
Washing, styling and chemical colouring, that is. Daily shampooing can compromise the scalp’s natural essential oils that stimulate growth, while excessive heat-styling, backcombing, brushing and chemically processing the hair can leave it brittle, appearing to shorten the length from the bottom-up when it breaks.
Don’t clog your follicles.
Dirt, oils and product build-up can clog your follicles, hindering healthy growth. To avoid this, try to give your locks a rest from overloading the root area with styling products – dry shampoo and volumising powders are common culprits.
Your scalp needs exfoliated too.
If your scalp is the gateway to healthy hair, it makes sense that exfoliating it helps promote growth. Use a detoxifying shampoo once a week to thoroughly cleanse and remove excess sebum from follicles – as well as the product build-up mentioned above.
Try some Caffeine.
Caffeine has been found to stimulate the hair shaft by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known to damage hair follicles. According to German scientists, it can speed up growth by 25 per cent. Unfortunately drinking it might not be the best way to getting growth. Instead try a caffeine shampoo. You may commonly know Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo as a method of hindering hair loss. Think similarly to that, but many brands stock caffeine shampoos.
Hopefully these tips help you on the way to the length you want. Do you have any tips for growing hair? If you do we’d love to hear them, let us know!
Winter Hair Care for Men
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
You’re all wrapped up. You’ve got your tacky Christmas jumpers out (we hope!) and you’re all set for the winter period. But, is your hair ready? It’s time for some tips on winter hair care for men!
While the cold does have a part to play in the state of your hair during the winter months, it’s not the main player. Your lifestyle mistakes and sins come to the surface when it’s cold. So if you’re finding your hair hard to manage during the most wonderful time of the year, it’s probably due to things well within your limits to change. So, if you’re ready to change your ways, here are our top tips on winter hair care for men.
Try not to stress.
It’s common knowledge that we’re more prone to feel stressed out during colder, darker months when you can’t even remember what sun on your skin feels like. But freak out about the freeze and you’ll trigger a whole host of hair-raising problems, including dandruff, scalp itchiness and greasiness. Try managing your stress levels with activities such as yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness or light exercise
Changes in temperature.
Tip on winter hair care for men number two is… calm down with the heat! Whether you’re a straightener, a blow-dryer or you enjoy a steamy shower, you need to do it within reason. Hair is more likely to frizz in the winter due to movement between different temperatures, like walking from heated buildings into the chilly outdoors. Avoid straightening your hair as this will only expose it to more frizz-causing extreme temperatures. Resist the temptation to stew yourself in the shower. Going from one extreme to the other is only going to dry out your hair and you want to lock in moisture.
Try to avoid hats.
We know your beanie looks cool and it keeps your head cosy but it’s a no no for winter hair. Wearing them too much can make your hair greasy and your scalp sweaty and itchy. If you insist on wearing one, you can spray a little dry shampoo through the roots to reinvigorate your hat hair.
We’re not going to sit here and pretend that we don’t indulge over the Christmas period. But, seasonal changes to diet can pose problems. During winter, you’re more likely to have worse eating habits than in the summer – if you’re anything like us, your winter diet is more carb-rich but light on fresh fruit and veg, you’re much more partial to a takeaway and, with party season in full swing, you find it hard to say no to a pint. Your hair could suffer if you are not getting nutrient-rich foods on a regular basis. Make sure you get as many of your five-a-day as possible. The selection box will still be there tomorrow.
We hope your barnet doesn’t suffer too much this winter. However, if things start getting a bit hairy, head back here and revise our tips on winter hair care for men!
How to Have the Perfect Hair Appointment
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
We’ve all been to a hair appointment and left unsatisfied.
Whether it’s a cut you didn’t like, a colour that didn’t suit or a hairdresser that was a little too scissor happy, it’s happened to us all. So, how do you have the perfect hair appointment? How do you leave that salon feeling like you’ve had a fulfilling experience?
Choose the right place.
What kind of style do you have? Be sure to pick a salon that has a similar style to you. If you like fun colours and undercuts, choose a salon that showcases that kind of work. One of the best places to look is Instagram, it’s so common now for salons to show off their latest cuts and colours on social media, so why not look there? Every good hairdresser should be able to adapt to your own preferences, it makes sense to pick someone known for styles like the one you’re looking for.
Read reviews and research the places you’re thinking of going, other customers and their experiences will tell you more about the salon than anything else ever could. Once you’re sure, book a hair appointment!
Take in pictures.
Everyone feels a little cringey taking in a picture of the hairstyle you want but why should you! A lot of stylists find it extremely helpful to see a visual of what you want, rather than going on the vague description you give them. If you’re stuck between a few looks, take pictures for them all. That way it’ll allow your stylist to inform you of what ones will suit you best. A good hair appointment is made when you both understand what the other wants and can give you.
Be prepared to make some changes.
If you know exactly what you want and don’t want to compromise it’s okay. It is your hair appointment after all. But be aware that your stylist may be able to provide insights that could actually build on your own vision and lead to even better results. You may have a different hair type to the person in the image you brought in. You may not be able to go blonde in the first whack at dying it. That’s okay too! Your hairdresser is an expert for a reason. Allow them to make suggestions that’ll suit you better or be better for the health of your hair. You’ll probably thank them in the long run.
Don’t sit and shrug because you’re too awkward to speak out or you just aren’t too sure. Whether it’s a hairdresser you’ve been seeing for a while or somebody new, being clear about what you’re looking for from your hair appointment is crucial. Make it clear precisely what you want, otherwise you’ll only have yourself to blame when you’re stuck with something you actually hate. Your hairdresser wants you to be clear about what you want, trust us.
Don’t be impolite, but if you don’t like it, say so. The minute you see something not going as planned, be honest about it. If you aren’t happy with the end result then most good hairdressers will fix the problem, but it saves a lot of time and awkwardness if you chip in as soon as you see the issue unfolding. You don’t have to offend someone, but you do have to be frank about something that you don’t like.
If you’re unhappy, move on.
We bet you’ve heard a relative or a friend complaining about how their hairdresser never gets it right and you think to yourself, ‘why don’t they just move on?’ Sometimes you need to tell yourself that. If every time you go for a hair appointment, you leave unhappy with what you’ve had done, are you going to the right place? Staying out of loyalty is a common crux for some. Fight the feeling of betrayal and find a salon that treats you right.
We hope you find the salon of your dreams! But, if you’re still looking, why not try our listing website. Defacto Salons will show you some of the best salons in the UK, look at some pictures and read some reviews! We think you’ll be spoiled for choice.
The Low-Down on Glue-In Hair Extensions
Thursday, November 24th, 2016
We all look at celebrities and immaculate manes and wonder how we could get hair like that.
Long story short it’s either extensions or wigs. A high quality wig may be a little out of a persons comfort zone and price range. However, good quality hair extensions are a more reachable goal.
If you are someone that loves to constantly change your look, then extensions can be a great alternative. There are many types of hair extensions and they give you the opportunity to experiment and if they are done right they shouldn’t damage your hair. Most people have the pre-conception that glue-in hair extensions thin out your natural hair, which can be true, but only to an extent. However, with the right extension brand and the right person applying them your natural hair shouldn’t really suffer.
So what should you look for when getting glue-in hair extensions?
Be sure the brand you are interested in has a reputable name in the industry. The best way to start is by looking at their website and looking up the salons that sell those extensions, and how long they have been applying them for. Be sure your salon is experienced at applying them. Though it may be tempting to go for a cheaper alternative, don’t. With glue-in hair extensions, you get what you pay for.
Before you have them applied you need to be aware of your own hair’s health. Your hair and scalp need to be in optimum health before any extensions are applied. When applied extensions should not be too close to the scalp as this can cause traction alopecia. This is a form of hair loss caused by a pulling force, a.k.a your hair extensions pulling at your roots.
Can you colour them once they are in?
Glue-in hair extensions can be coloured once they have been applied but we advise you not to bleach them as this can damage the hair. Bleach can dramatically change the texture of your extensions and even when colouring you have to be strict with your aftercare. Use good quality hair care suitable for coloured hair. Your hairdresser should be able to recommend a good brand for you to use.
How long should I keep them for?
The general rule is 3-6 months but definitely not longer and the extensions should always be professionally removed. After around 3 months you may notice some wear and tear and maybe some thinning. You don’t have to opt in for a whole new set of extensions if you don’t want to. You can ask for your stylist to add in some newer glue-in hair extensions to pad out what you have left for the rest of the six months. Get a trim to tidy them all up though!
Some tips we’ll leave you with if you’re thinking of getting glue-in hair extensions. Don’t condition the roots of your hair and don’t towel-dry vigorously. This can tangle the bonds. Also, always remember to brush through your hair twice a day from scalp to ends with an extension appropriate brush.
If you’re thinking of getting extensions, you can browse our salon listing website for high quality salons. You’ll be able to find the perfect salon experienced in applying hair extensions near you!
Have you ever had glue-in hair extensions? What brands do you recommend? We’d love to hear any hints or tips you have to offer!