Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Relaxed Hair Update | July 2014

I relaxed my hair after 5 long months, which seemed to be crawling by until it finally got to relaxer day on Monday. In typical fashion I didn't really feel like relaxing my hair by this point but I went ahead as I've had some time off work and I knew I wouldn't have this much time on my hands again for a while. I feel like the relaxer process went well but I've lost the ability to apply and smooth the relaxer as fast as I used to. I guess leaving so much time between relaxers has left me a little rusty.

I did the half half method as usual using ORS Olive Oil Lye Relaxer in normal (my relaxer process is detailed here). I relaxed the back half first and then repeated the same process separately on the top half. I spent about 4-5 minutes applying the relaxer and left it on for 9 minutes on the back sections and for 12 minutes on the front sections in total. For the first time I coated my hair from root to tip in oil (I usually just put it on the previously relaxed parts). I also put vaseline on my ends, the line of demarcation and my edges as well as basing my scalp with it.

I really didn't want overprocessing (if you didn't already guess) and overall the results were near perfect. I have actual curls throughout my hair which I'm really excited about. You can see how textured it looks post-wash in the picture above. I used my Root2Tip Protein Balance Masque to restore protein levels and my hair is so soft and bouncy.

My transition to texlaxed (info here) has taken me so long to get right and I feel like I can finally visualise how my hair will look when it's fully texlaxed. I still have a very long way to go though and I've avoided taking accurate length check pictures in months to not discourage myself from transitioning. It's quite daunting basically starting over after spending years growing out my hair and I've (reluctantly) given up on the idea of maintaining mid-back length hair during my transition. My hair is about mid-back length now but I plan to cut off about an inch or so soon.

I also plan to document my transition more in the following months as I have no idea how long it's taken me to get to this point or realistically how far I've got to go.

What have you been doing to your hair recently?

Lesley x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Dying My Hair Extensions

I've been wearing my Regal Relaxed Extensions* (reviewed here) on and off lately.  When I first got them I used henna on the smaller wefts so they matched my hair and though it worked perfectly in depositing a beautiful red colour the extensions are slightly darker than my hair. The colour difference wasn't hugely noticeable but the perfectionist in me wanted the extensions to match exactly. As a result I've been experimenting with using chemical dyes on my extensions as henna can not lighten hair.

I was hoping that a generic red/brown box dye would work as the result I wanted was only slightly lighter but I was so wrong! After shelling out for several boxes of different types of dye over a period of weeks the result was only a slight red tint which gradually disappears down the drain with every wash. I tried both semi-permanent and permanent dyes which only seemed to make the extensions darker, weirdly. I decided to persevere and eventually came to the conclusion that the only way to alter the colour would be by using bleach. I first tested the bleach on shed pieces from the extensions to get an idea of timings and gradually progressed to applying it to the smaller wefts of hair.

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color | Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL | Superdrug Creme Sensations | Jerome Russell B Blonde (from left to right)

Eventually I got the kind of result I was looking for and you can see the comparison below between the box dyed extensions (which got darker after dying them) and the result after I used bleach. It's a little more red than I was hoping for but for now at least I'm happy with the shade. 

You can see how the bleached extensions mix with my hair in the picture above. It's not perfect but definitely a closer match. 

*pr sample. You can read my disclaimer here

Have you ever used hair dye before?

Lesley x

Saturday, 19 July 2014

NOTD: Topshop Matte Nails in Easy Peasy

I picked up this Topshop Matte Nail Polish in Easy Peasy (£6) the other week from their Oxford Street store and I love how it looks on. I've never really been a fan of matte nails and it was hard to resist putting my usual shiny topcoat on these but I've really warmed to the flat finish.

If you've ever been to the Topshop store in Oxford Street London, you'll know there's huge selection of nail colours. I'm not sure what made me pick up this dusty grey amongst the shelves of glittery, bright and metallic shades but I was just drawn to it. I've mentioned a few times on my blog that I prefer more muted tones, though I am trying to be a little more adventurous in general with my style. That doesn't mean I'll stop wearing what I love most though and this nail polish suits me to a tee.

What have you been wearing on your nails recently?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Skincare: Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Removal

This post has been in the pipeline for some time but I've been reluctant to post this as the look of my skin has been a sensitive issue for me. During my teenage years I struggled with terrible bouts of acne and this really knocked my confidence as a person. My spots have calmed down dramatically in the last few years but it's taken me some time to be happy with the look of my skin. Apart from monthly breakouts my main skin concern is the Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN) on my face and neck. You may have noticed it in some of my pictures - DPN is the appearance of round brown, almost black, spots which look a little like moles or skin tags. As I've got older the number of them have increased and I eventually decided to get them removed.

Unfortunately there isn't a huge amount of information on DPN online and less so on where to get it removed in the UK, which is mostly what prompted me to post this. You can get it removed at Absolute Aesthetics so I met with Vicki Smith, Aesthetic Practitioner, at their London clinic in the beginning of March this year. She confirmed that I had DPN which could be removed with Advanced Electrolysis.

I had my treatment on Friday 21 March and opted for one 30 minute session (£130). You can vary the length of the treatment from 15 to 45 minutes. Most of my DPN was treated apart from the smaller ones above my eyes and around my temples. My cheeks were numbed with anaesthetic and here there was no pain but other parts of my face felt uncomfortable during the process, especially my jaw line and under eye area.

Straight after the treatment my face was very red, scabby and puffy. I looked horrible. After the treatment it was suggested to avoid makeup and stay out of the sun. It took about 3 days for the redness to subside and the small scabs gradually fell off over the next week. I was left with no scarring, and most of my DPN had been removed with the exception of the bigger ones which reduced in size and faded in colour.

It's been several months since I had the treatment and overall it worked really well. Initially I thought I wouldn't get this treatment done again because I rarely have a few days of down time to allow my skin to heal. However, seeing how much clearer my skin looks has had me toying with the idea of going back to Absolute Aesthetics to remove the remaining DPN. It wasn't until I compiled all the pictures together that I realised how successful the treatment was! I'm feeling a lot more positive about my skin finally and I'm at least wearing less makeup, though I haven't abandoned it completely...yet.

Have you had any skin treatments before? 

Lesley x
© Fresh Lengths.Maira Gall.