After I whittled down my magazines into what inspired me, I categorised the articles into themes. There was some overlap but at the time I felt the groupings made sense. Now, I have written this blog post beginning with the body of text, rather than the title which I have never done before. I just wasn’t sure how to introduce this collection of cuttings.
In the June 2016 edition of Cosmopolitan there was a full feature on hair, or more specifically, “hairitage”. To my delight it focused on mixed-heritage hair which for the most part was curly. I could identify with the piece and also find it useful for product recommendations that I could use on my hair.
I don’t usually write about beauty boxes because they tend to contain a mixture of hair, skin and make-up products. This one, however, is all about hair. I am the editor for GlowwBox so I did think long and hard about telling you about this box. So long in fact, the last day to buy it is today (4th December)!
I decided that I will quickly share my thoughts with you as I really liked the products. An essential part of being the editor is to test all of the products.
The salon scent which is present in all of the products brought back happy teenage memories. I remember walking into a high street black hair shop and asking what I could use to protect my hair from the heat from my first pair of proper straighteners. I was directed to the KeraCare section. I was advised to pick up Silken Seal Liquid Sheen and Essential Oils for the Hair. At the time I thought it was expensive but now looking at what I spend on haircare, it’s quite reasonably priced.
The products come in gorgeous gold packaging with numbers so we know which stage to use them. There is also a little indicator of “W”, “D” or “D/W” which tells me if I should use the product on wet hair, dry hair or both. This is useful as sometimes it is a little hard to tell when and how to use products.
KeraCare is aimed at multi-textured hair. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s you! I know I have lots of curls and waves coming from my scalp so I know KeraCare will work for me. Here’s a little about each individual product otherwise you can read what I think in the magazine and on the GlowwBox blog
Hydrating Detangling Shampoo (full size)
This version is sulphate free. This is my first encounter of using a sulphate free shampoo and I really liked it. It was very cleansing but still felt gentle – it didn’t irritate my sensitive scalp at all. It also said what it said it would do- it detangled.
Humecto Crème Conditioner (full size)
This incredibly rich conditioner continues the detangling process, which is great for curly hair. It says to leave on for 15-20 minutes but for my fine, curly hair, I didn’t need to leave it on for that long to get good results. Five minutes was enough if I was in a rush. The full 15 minutes was fine also, leaving my hair soft, shiny and light.
We then get 4 styling products, the stage 3 products.
Crème Press (full size)
This is usually not something I would think about using but it really did help me get poker straight, smooth hair using my straighteners. I don’t usually know what to use in my hair when using straighteners but this will now be the product I go to. I only needed the absolute tiniest amount for my fine hair so it will last me a very long time. That, and it protects against damage from the heat of the straighteners.
Essential Oils for the Hair (sachet)
I still love this product. This is a blend of hair oils which sinks right into the hair so it doesn’t feel greasy. I love it as much now as I did when I was a teenager for its nourishing and protecting properties. I think this will always be a favourite.
High Sheen Glossifier (sachet)
I love glossfiers. They’re great for adding ultra-high shine and this delivers. It’s very rich so only the tiniest amount is needed. I found this worked great for me as a finishing touch after blow-drying to seal in and control the ends of the hair. I used the excess on my hands to smooth through the rest of my hair. I want all of it to shine!
Silken Seal (deluxe sample)
This is different to the Silken Seal Liquid Sheen I used as a teenager. The Liquid Sheen is a spray whereas this is a viscous liquid. This is a blow-drying complex which you can use on wet or dry hair to protect against heat styling. It’s also good for just nourishing and styling the hair in general. I love this multi-tasker and even though it is a deluxe sample size, I know it will last me ages as I only need to use it sparingly. This could be the star of the box.
Overall, when I was testing these products I felt good, my curls and scalp were happy and I received loads of compliments. There has to be something right about this box then! You can even enjoy the magazine where you can read my first ever editor’s note which was particular exciting for me. More than just a leaflet telling you what’s inside the box, there are also a couple of features and some special offers too.
If you want to try it, today is the last day you can order it. You can sign up to GlowwBox at www.glowwbox.com/join and get your first box for £5.95 including postage and packaging (in the UK, usually £18.95) using code “TASHA“. My discount makes it incredibly good value. If you do get it, I would love to know what you think.
*I am the editor for GlowwBox. The link to the website is not an affiliate link however if you do use my discount code, I will receive commission (this will be at no cost to you).Despite this, I have given my true, honest opinion. I genuinely believe that you, my readers, would like to know just how much I loved testing and using the products in the box.
I was going for a natural look using minimal products and tools but it felt too boring so I popped on some green eyeliner!
This is what I’m wearing:
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF12 in Golden 6 (no longer available) applied with a sponge
E.l.f. HD blush in Diva layered on using my Real Techniques buffing brush
No7 Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer in Sugar Mauve
L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Dark Brunette
Soap & Glory Smoulder Kohl eyeliner in Aquabat/Aquabelle
Grey hair used to be seen as a symptom of old age. When someone mentions grey hair, what do you honestly think? I have realised that grey hair almost knows no age. I won’t pretend to know the science behind it, I have simply observed that grey hair can appear at any time from the teenage years.
Grey hairs used to be embarrassing inconveniences which were plucked out with the warning “ten grey hairs will grow back as replacements” or they were covered with hair dye. My personal view is that if I ever get any grey hairs, I want to think of them as natural silver highlights and I like to think I will keep them. If I am luckier, I will wake up with a full head of silver hair and call it platinum blond. I love to see people who are all-over natural grey. There’s just something special about it, especially when it graduates from dark roots to light tips.
Bearing in mind my grey hair ambitions, it will come as no surprise that I’m loving the grey-hair trend for spring/summer. I think grey is a much better highlight for black hair than blond. I think it’s because grey is made from black so you can pretend it is natural!
Bellami has a range of silver-grey extensions inspired by Samantha Ravndahl (Batalash Beauty) so I could temporarily try the grey hair look before it becomes naturally permanent. Plus, I have never coloured my hair before so I think extensions or a wig are my best bet for such a dramatic colour change from my usual brown-black hue.
But, just when I thought I would be happy with a black-grey ombre Jourdan Dunn showed us that two shades of grey is simply not enough. For her Coachella 2015 hair, she wore an inspirational multi-tonal and multi-shade grey look. At first glance you’ll see a black-grey ombre with cool brown lower layers but on closer inspection you’ll see subtle hints of blue and pink merging into lilac. Her hair had me genuinely excited, even more so than her golden-brown and blond ombre lob.
All that being said, it was neither Jourdan, Rihanna nor Samantha that started this trend. I don’t know who did but I know I saw my favourite grey hair in 2006. It was on Halle Berry as Storm in X-Men: The Last Stand. It was way back then I decided that grey is gorgeous. Storm wore a small section of black roots with the dark shades nicely layered under the white-grey hair which had warm, mid-grey lowlights. Storm was nowhere near retirement age and looked amazing. Even though Storm is a superhero, her hair is attainable for us mere mortals!
If Storm was the blueprint in the 2000s, Jourdan (and Renda Attia) carried grey hair through to the younger generation in the 2010s. I’m so glad they did. Grey hair is no longer something to be plucked or covered. Wear it with pride!
Curly By Nature is a hair care brand specially formulated for curl care. All of the ingredients are naturally derived or organic and are free from sulphates, parabens, artificial fragrances and colours. I was sent samples of the Curly By Nature Moisture Shampoo, the Intensive Conditioning Mask and the Nourishing Gloss Balm. The Nourishing Gloss Balm is the latest addition to the collection. I was intrigued – I had never encountered a gloss balm before!
The first thing that struck me about the Curly By Nature Moisture Shampoo was what I can only call a “natural” scent. I haven’t smelled anything like it. It made me feel like what I was about to put in my hair was truly natural and completely without nasties. I could detect the scent of natural oils I have used separately before but my sense of smell is not great so I cannot name them! The scent reminded me of soap but overall it smelled like there was no added fragrance.
On checking the ingredients online, I probably could have tasted the shampoo to figure out what was in it – the first three ingredients listed are sugar, coconut and honey extract!
The texture is different to all other shampoos I have tried. Rather than being soapy, it felt silky and possibly even oily but it was not greasy.
The shampoo was quite gentle which was great as I have a sensitive scalp however it does not cater for sensitive scalp specifically. Both my scalp and my hair felt thoroughly cleansed after shampooing twice (I always shampoo and rise twice).
Intensive Conditioning Mask
The Curly By Nature Intensive Conditioning Mask is exactly the kind of conditioner I like to use. I prefer to use masks as conditioner rather than standard conditioners as they work better in my hair.
Again, the scent was natural but different to the shampoo. It smelled almost edible – it felt like I should have been using the product in my cooking! I therefore wasn’t surprised to learn that the first three ingredients listed on the website are avocado oil, grapeseed oil and pumpkin seed oil.
The Intensive Conditioning mask was lovely and creamy and sunk right into my hair rather than just sitting on top. I like that as other conditioners and masks will just sit on the outside of the hair shaft to give the impression that they are improving the hair when in fact, they are just coating the hair to simulate that effect. My hair felt nourished from within so it had a nice little treat! Also, as the conditioning mask penetrated my hair rather than sitting on top, my hair felt light rather than weighed down.
To use the Intensive Conditioning Mask, I towel dried my hair to get rid of excess moisture, applied the conditioning mask and left it for about five minutes to really get to work. I then rinsed it out.
The only thing I would have liked was for the conditioner to detangle and smooth my hair. I like my conditioners to do this to make styling easier but unfortunately this element was missing.
Nourishing Gloss Balm
The scent of the Curly By Nature Nourishing Gloss Balm reminded me of afro hair products…but better! It must be the jojoba wax. The scent is very light and again it is clear that no artificial fragrances had been used. This was yet another product that I wanted to eat and it’s no wonder, when the ingredients include avocado oil, pumpkin oil, carrot oil, coconut oil and olive oil. Yum!
The purpose of the Nourishing Gloss Balm is to nourish, condition, and soften the hair, seal in moisture, enhance natural curls, protect the hair and softly hold hair in place and finish hair styles. That’s a lot of work for one product.
My little tester pot was prone to separation, with an oil-like layer on the top and a thicker layer of product underneath. This was easily fixed with a little stir. The part I found impressive was that the product did not feel greasy at all, even though there was plenty of oil in it. Plus, a little goes a very long way.
This might be the first genuinely nourishing styling product I have used. If I thought my curls had been nourished before, I now have to think again! The Nourishing Gloss Balm defined my curls leaving them soft and shiny without making my hair look greasy. My curls were gently held in place without being weighed down or made stiff.
I love this product! It has so many benefits over traditional afro hair products which can leave hair greasy and weighed down, mousses which can be sticky and make hair stiff (and mousse does not nourish) and hairspray which definitely doesn’t nourish and can be sticky.
Overall, it felt really good to use a set of products which genuinely felt good for my hair. I can liken it to getting my “5-a-day” of fruit and vegetables. You know that eating fruit and veg has a positive impact on the body but you may not be able to pinpoint it. I get that same feeling with the Curly by Nature products and my hair.
I like that the products do not contain artificial fragrances and smell almost edible! My favourite product has to be the Nourishing Gloss Balm as it is unique. It’s good for the hair and great for styling.
I enjoyed using the range, and I know my hair was happy although I think my sensitive scalp needs specialist care. I think the shampoo and conditioner are better suited for thicker hair and tighter curls but I will be hanging on to the Nourishing Gloss Balm!
*Although not strictly a sponsored post, samples of these products were provided to me for my consideration and I have chosen to share my honest opinion on this blog. For further information click here.
The stage shows were almost non-stop at the Afro Hair and Beauty Live Show. It made for a party atmosphere which I loved! I did some periscope broadcasts of some of the shows and I managed to take photos of some others.
The first show I saw was “Runway Gone Wrong – Josh Hair and Beauty”. The red-haired presenter was hilarious but unfortunately I didn’t catch her name. You might have caught my live broadcast on Periscope. The show introduced models wearing wigs, the wigs accidentally-on-purpose fell off and then the models’ own hair was restyled. We saw braids, natural afro hair and relaxed hair getting a quick restyle live on stage.
The other show I managed to watch was the “Battle of the Barbers”. I couldn’t Periscope it because my battery died and my back-up broke!
Judging by the huge crowd, this was the main event. Or was it the pre-battle show by Diligence barbers which featured topless men showcasing their haircuts? As I mentioned in a previous post, my pictures of Battle of the Barbers are not that great as I moved to sit down then I couldn’t get back to a good vantage point. That, and I am definitely not an event photographer! Here are some pictures giving a flavour of the event:
There was so much going on at the show it’s difficult to get through it all in one day. There seminars and workshops that I didn’t even know about until I got home and read the show guide! I don’t think there were two-day tickets but that would be a good offer for next year. It would be worth it to see both the battle of the barbers and the avant-garde competitions!
This was my first visit to the Afro Hair and Beauty Show Live. I didn’t know what to expect except that I imagined that it was the place to go to pick up hair care at lower prices than in the shops. I was right!
There were many brands there – some of which I had never heard of before. That’s part of the fun though, discovering new brands and products.
I discovered a new brand called Beautiful Textures when I volunteered to have my hair styled into an updo live in front of a small crowd. Unfortunately as the day wore on, the Beautiful Textures Curl Definer Styling Custard dried out leaving the dreaded crispy white residue. I thought afro hair products and styling gel left that back in the 90s but I was wrong! Perhaps it’s because I already had product in my hair, or perhaps too much Styling Custard was used. Who knows. Maybe I’ll give it another try as I received a jar of Styling Custard as a thank you for sitting up on stage.
African Pride Shea Butter Miracle Buttery Crème and Bouncy Curls Pudding
Mega Growth Break Free Leave-in Daily Strengthener
There’s a food theme going on here! I think most of these products are for afro hair or for hair with tight curls but maybe I can still try some.
There was another American brand which I really wanted to try but when I tried to find out a little more about the products, I was abruptly asked what I wanted and given a price. I didn’t know what I wanted which is why I wanted to have a discussion! When a brand’s completion is literally two metres away, it really pays to treat potential customers with respect. For me, part of the point of going to a show is so that you can really interact with the brands and speak to the founders if they are present. It’s good to find out the motivation behind a product and get a feel for the company behind a product. Nice packaging and buzz words are not enough, especially as we have so much choice. Needless to say, I did not purchase anything from that brand.
I did purchase products from Palmer’s, the same people that make the cocoa butter for the skin. I wanted to try the Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner as I wanted to find out whether co-washing was for me. There was a 3 for 2 offer on – buy two products and get one free. It took me ages to decide what I wanted but the person who was dealing with me patiently answered my questions so I ended up buying a few products. Customer service is everything. I bought:
Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner
Olive Oil Formula Leave In Conditioner
Olive Oil Formula Dry Oil Mist
Shea Formula Moisture Curl Cream
I thought it was best to try the olive oil regime as a whole to get the full benefit. I bought the Shea Formula Curl Cream just in case the olive oil products were not quite right for me. It was nice to receive some samples too:
Olive Oil Formula Gro Therapy
Olive Oil Formula Smoothing Shampoo
Olive Oil Formula Replenishing Conditioner
Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
Shea Formula Curl Repair Moisture Shampoo
Shea Formula Curl Repair Moisture Conditioner
Shea Formula Curl Repair Whipped Cream
ORS had several stands. I used to use the ORS Olive Oil Moisturiser but over time, as my hair changed, it was no longer suitable. Curly hair and afro hair tends to dry so it needs moisturising, just like dry skin. One of the ORS stands had a vending machine powered by tweets. I first encountered one of these at BeautyCon London and I love them! I sent my tweet and out popped a little package containing:
Monoi Oil Anti-Breakage Edge Control Hair Gel
Curls Unleashed Take Command Curl Defining Crème
HAIRepair Vital Oils for Hair & Scalp
I don’t have baby hairs or broken hair around my hairline so I don’t need to use the Monoi Oil Anti-Breakage Edge Control Hair Gel. The HAIRepair Vital Oils for Hair & Scalp is to treat dry scalps. I do have a sensitive scalp but I’m not sure it is dry at the moment. This should be a good “just in case” product. I am looking forward to trying the Curls Unleased curl crème as I’m on a never ending mission to find a good curl cream.