Review: Bumble & bumble Creme De Coco Conditioner

Well hello lovelies! Welcome to another Friday review. This week I’m reviewing Bumble & bumble’s Creme De Coco Conditioner. Years ago I used the masque in the line and loved it, so I decided to give the conditioner a go, seeing as it doesn’t contain any silicones or mineral oils.
This is a very thick rinse-out conditioner. I’d like to say that a little goes a long way (especially as it’s so pricey), but because it’s so thick, you actually need a bit more in order for it to spread across the hair and to penetrate enough to assist detangling.
Like all of the Bumble & bumble products that I’ve tried, the smell is mild – a little more sweet than fresh like most of their other products – and not unpleasant.
The weirdest thing about this product is the texture. It feels like it coats my hair rather than sinks in, and it doesn’t make it feel as soft as I’d expect given the product claims. I find this strange because there are no silicones in the ingredients list, and it is packed full of plant based ingredients. Products with ingredients lists similar to this normally work really well for my hair – maybe because B&b is not known for its ‘natural’ products, the ingredients are further processed? I’m no chemist, so I can’t say any more than that.

    The Breakdown

Where can you get it? Mecca Cosmetica/Maxima

How much is it? $$$$

Eco-friendly? 4/10

Animal testing? I believe so.

CG friendly? 3/3

Colour safe? Yes.

Available internationally? Yes.

I hope you find this review helpful; let me know in the comments if there are any products you would like me to review in the future – or just say hi 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend!

Love and waves,
Astrid

Review: L’Oreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Masque

When I decided to go overhaul my routine by weeding out the silicones and sulfates, I realised that none of the deep treatment conditioners in my stash were silicone free. So off I went in search of a new deep treatment. My first stop was Mecca Maxima (mainly because I’ll take any excuse to enter that store), but they did not have any silicone free treatments in stock that day.
Next up was Priceline – the place I’m sure many Australian women would not be able to live without when it comes to budget beauty and personal products. While there, I glanced at some of the more natural brands, but many of the so-called ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ brands often contain silicones (this is why it’s so important to become educated in ingredient labels, that’s where the truth of a product lies), or they have intense smells that that give me nausea.
Moving on to the more synthetic brands, I stumbled upon the L’Oreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Masque. If you decide to give this product  go, make sure it’s the one with the red label – the other masques contain silicones.
I’ve been using this masque one to two times a week for the past couple of weeks and so far I quite like it. It has a bit of protein which is perfect for my colour treated hair. In actual fact, the first time I used it, I noticed that my hair had more body, shine, curl and less frizz. I went out dancing that night and enjoyed my big hair – I love big hair!
It’s not the thickest treatment I’ve ever used; it’s more like a thick conditioner. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not one for spending hours on deep treating my hair. The only difference between my regular routine and this one is that I’ll scrunch out as much water as possible before applying the treatment to two sections of hair. I really coat the hair with the product then finger detangle before going through thoroughly with my Denman brush. It provides a lot of slip for a product that’s marketed as a ‘masque’.
My only bone to pick with the treatment, is the synthetic floral fragrance – not my favourite. But it doesn’t linger, so it’s not a deal breaker.

The Breakdown:

Where can you get it? I picked mine up from Priceline, but it’s also available at Coles, Woollies and a few chemists.

How much is it? $$ (currently on sale for less 😉

Eco-friendly? 4/10

Animal testing? Yes; no indication otherwise.

CG friendly? 2/3 – it does have one water-soluble silicone right at the bottom of the list.

Colour safe? It makes no claims to be, but since it’s a treatment which is meant to strengthen structurally damaged hair, I’m going to say yes.

Available internationally? Yes.

Let me know if you give this treatment a go. I’d also like to know if there are any products (preferably silicone and sulfate free) you’d like me to try and review, and I’m happy to answer any and all questions!

Love and waves,
Astrid

Aussie Spotlight: Juuce

Hi lovely things! I’m back after the whole month of November away from the blogosphere. I completed NaNoWriMo last night (yay!), had the last month of school before the summer holidays and there may have been a small flare up of anxiety (nothing to worry about, I’ve got a handle on it now). So how was your month? If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope you’re keeping warm, and if you’re down under like me, stay cool!

Earlier in the month, I tried a selection of products from Juuce by Hair Jamm. Originally I had wanted to try their Pure range, but I had difficulty finding it stocked anywhere, and it seems like the website does not ship or provide information on stockists.

This is the first salon range that I’ve tried for the Aussie Spotlight series, so I was able to try more than just a shampoo and conditioner. I also picked up a leave in conditioner and a curling cream as well as a treatment.

Let’s go!

Colour Vamp Colour Protection Shampoo
Juuce.shampoo
This shampoo… to be honest, I ended up not being such a fan of this shampoo. It has sulfates in it, and it reminded me why I’m such a stickler for low sulfate shampoos. Every day that I washed my hair, it would be soft, but by the second day, it was a fuzzy mess.

Colour Vamp Colour Protection Conditioner
Juuce.conditioner
This conditioner is sooo slippery. It was perfect for detangling knots and the comb would slip right through my hair. Granted, one reason it has such great slip, is that it contains silicones. I’m not sure if they also played a part in my fuzzy hair – but they most likely did not help.

Shock Treatment Intensive Repair Treatment
juuce.treatment
On the days that I used this, my hair definitely behaved better – because it is a treatment as opposed to a daily conditioner, the ratio of synthetic to natural was a bit more balanced. And despite it being thicker, it also was great for detangling the knots in the more damaged sections of my hair.

Solar Enz Leave In Sun Protection
juuce.solarenz
This product appealed to me because of the sun protection claim, but I mainly purchased it because it was a leave in conditioner. This is a great softening leave in conditioner, and for those with fine hair that is easily weighed down, I would stay away from this because it will make your hair fluffy and without definition. But if you have coloured, especially lightened, hair, I believe this is a good product to layer under any defining products. However, it does contain silicones as well, so be careful if you want to avoid them.

Kinky Curl Enhancer This product was suggested by Laras 🙂
juuce.kinkycurl
This product I have actually used before. It was a go-to curl enhancer for me in the first few years of using the CG method. It does not contain silicones, so is safe if you’re a strict CG, and provides a nice, soft hold. And it smells like flowers – for some people it might be a bit too strong, but quite often I would get compliments on the smell. The consistency of the product is somewhere between a cream and a gel, and it dries into a cast like a light hold gel, that is easy to scrunch out.
Of all the Juuce products, this is the one I am most likely to repurchase.

Where can you get Juuce? I got it from salonshoponline.com.au. I had trouble finding it anywhere else. I used to be able to find it at Price Attack and Hairhouse Warehouse, but this time around I had no luck, even online.

How much is it? $$$

Eco-friendly? 4/10

Animal testing? Yes (couldn’t find an indication otherwise 😦 )

Curly Girl friendly? No; 1/3

Colour safe? Yes

What do you think, readers? Will you try or have you tried Juuce? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Love and waves,
Astrid

Images come from salonshoponline.com.au
All products were purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

First Aussie Spotlight: Sukin

Hello chickens! How are you today? What’s the weather like in your part of the world? Here in Sydney it’s the first day of Spring, and the blue skies really showed off for it.

Now that the chit-chat is out of the way, let me introduce my first product for my Aussie spotlight series: Sukin! For this review I bought the Moisture Restoring Shampoo and Conditioner and the Protein Hair Treatment.

Moisture Restoring Shampoo
sukinshampoo
On first use I found this shampoo to be quite drying – straight after applying it, my hair felt stripped and squeaky. This happened less and less as I used it and by the last time I used it (last week) I felt like my hair was getting moisturised. Whether this was due to me using the combination of their other products, or I was getting used to it, or maybe it was actually doing its job over repeated uses, I’m not sure. Either way, if you prefer a more luxurious texture to your shampoo, you might want to stay away from this one.

Moisture Restoring Conditioner
sukinconditioner
I loved this! Out of the three products I tried, I noticed the most immediate results from the conditioner – and it’s the one I’ll probably repurchase. After the way the shampoo felt like it was stripping my hair, the conditioner just melted into the strands and they felt softer straight away. The first day testing these products I kept touching my hair because it felt so silky.

Protein Hair Treatment
sukintreatment
This treatment comes in sachets and to me, one sachet didn’t feel like enough even though my hair is short. I know that protein treatments aren’t supposed to feel as moisturising as, well, moisture treatments, but because it didn’t spread very well I felt like I needed more than the single use sachet. I think I noticed the least difference from this product. However, I did not leave it on for the full fifteen minutes (I really don’t like getting my head wet twice on a wash day), so that probably affected my results.

Where can you get Sukin? From their online store, Priceline, other chemists and online retailers. They don’t ship internationally from their website, however some of the other online retailers they list are international sites.

How much is it? $*

Eco-friendly: 8/10 I couldn’t find anything saying that their packaging was recycled although it is recyclable and they are a carbon neutral business.

Animal testing? No

Curly Girl friendly? 3/3 No sulfates, silicones or drying alcohol.

Colour safe? No. I couldn’t find any mention of whether these products help with colour-fade and damage.

I hope you found this review helpful! Do you have any suggestions for what Australian brand I should try next? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

Love and waves,
Astrid

*$: under $10
$$: under $20
$$$: under $30
$$$$: under $40
$$$$$: over $40

All pictures are from the Sukin website.

Power to Ya: a Review

The Power Base by O&M (OriginalMineral) is a protein based deep treatment that I’ve been using since I dyed my hair copper about three months ago. O&M is an Australian brand that uses mostly plant based ingredients and contains no strong sulfates or parabens.

The best part about this is how soft my hair feels the day I use it – so soft. And the smell – kind of sweet and creamy (all the O&M products smell great btw). I’m also kind of lazy with applying my treatments – I just slap them on at the beginning of my shower – but the steam and those few minutes are all this treatment needs to penetrate into my hair.

One thing to note, is that during application, if you’re used to conditioners and deep treatments coating your hair and making it feel slippery – this won’t do that unless you really pile it on. It is supposed to be a protein treatment after all – wheat protein is the third ingredient after water and cetearyl alcohol. But if you’re after a protein treatment that also contains a good amount of moisture, this is the one for you – the amount of extracts, oils and butters just goes on and on. And two of those ingredients are nettle extract and shea butter – which from previous experience I know make my hair happy.

Another thing I’d like to add is that The Power Base does contain amodimethicone, if you like to avoid silicones in your hair care.

To finish, I’d really like to try more of this product line – especially as I’m planning a series of posts reviewing Australian product lines.

Love and waves,
Astrid

What the Heck is Co-washing?

Good afternoon readers. What’s the weather like in your corner of the world? Today is a lovely winter day in Sydney – dry and sunny. My finger tips are still cold, so I’m not being fooled into thinking it’s spring just yet. Which brings me to the point of this post: co-washing or conditioner washing. I tend to utilise this method of cleansing the hair more often in winter, especially when I have coloured hair.
Co-washing is a way of washing the hair using only conditioner. It was first mentioned by Lorraine Massey in her book Curly Girl: the Handbook. Then it was made even more popular by NaturallyCurly.com; many of the users of the site swear by co-washing. It’s where I first heard of it six years ago. At the time I had awful blonde foils throughout my hair (not to say that blonde foils are all bad – but I didn’t know what to ask for and the hairdresser did not do a consultation with me beforehand), and I was still using strong sulfate shampoos. I had never had any advice on curly hair beyond ‘no brushing’, so I was eager to try anything.
From day one, my hair was so much better. Suddenly I was getting compliments on my hair, and it wasn’t even straightened. For about six months – over the cooler half of the year – it worked. Then the weather started to warm up and my hair got a little bit oily – but by then I knew about sulfates and knew to avoid shampoos with the strong stuff. Over the years I’ve switched back and forth between co-washing and using low-sulfate/sulfate free shampoos. And my hair definitely thanks me for it.

So how do you do it? The usual way is to use a light conditioner – or cleansing conditioner – to scrub at your scalp. The friction is really important to the cleansing – just make sure to use the pads of your fingers and not your nails. Rinse well and follow with more conditioner on you mid-lengths and ends – most curlies like to use a heavier conditioner for this step.

Why does it work? Well, I’m not a scientist, but I’ve done a lot of reading and the small amount of hairdressing training I’ve had has also informed my hypothesis as to why it works. The hair shaft has a cuticle that either lays flat – healthy and low-porosity hair – or stands up to varying degrees – damaged and high-porosity hair. Things that open the cuticles of the hair are heat, physical manipulation, shampoo, colouring and perming/relaxing formulas; and water. So curly hair – which is usually dry as it is – will have the cuticle opened just by the water, so the conditioner will soothe the cuticle, while attracting oil and dirt and removing them.

What else should you know? This shampoo free method is very gentle, so there are some ingredients that you’ll need to avoid. These are insoluble silicones (ingredients ending in ‘-cone’ and ‘-xane’), polyquaterniums and mineral oil. These ingredients tend to build up on the hair when you don’t use a shampoo to remove the build-up regularly.

My favourite co-wash conditioner is Moogoo Cream Conditioner:
conditioner_web
It’s light enough to clean my scalp, but rich enough to moisturise the rest of my hair as a rinse-out conditioner. I also like to use it as a leave in.

Some further reading:
NaturallyCurly.com article on the No Poo Method
Waterlily716’s video on conditioner washing
Jillipoo’s post on silicones, polyquats and soap in hair products – while you’re there look around, she has some excellent curly hair thoughts and advice.

I hope this post was helpful to you guys. Have you ever tried this method/would you be open to trying it? Let me know in the comments.

Love and waves,
Astrid

First Colour!

‘She’s a thinker,’ said P to the workshop leader, H, as I slid the tail of my colour brush under a section of hair and began applying another swab of colour to the roots.
‘Sometimes I think too much,’ I said, not taking my eyes off my task. H chuckled, watched for a bit longer, then moved on to observe another student.
P, H and I were at a colour workshop today, where I was applying my first colour to P’s hair. P is a friend of my Grandma’s who agreed to be my model for the day. Around us were the other students, who were practicing applying colour to mannequin heads. We’d been asked last week to try and arrange models. I had a bit of anxiety about not finding a colour model in time and P was the third person I’d asked. I was relieved when she agreed. It turned out that I was the only one with a model.
This morning, before P arrived to have her hair done, we had basic theory of colour application. I knew a little bit from my brief position as an apprentice at another salon, however at this college I haven’t officially done colour theory yet. But I took a lot of notes – you know from my about page and previous posts that I have a writing background, so writing is an effective way of processing information for me – and that helped me to assess P’s hair and provide her with a colour touch-up that would be close to what she wanted, but also suit her lifestyle and (because this was my first colour) be appropriate for my skill level. So with H’s help, we decided on a permanent colour on her roots to match her existing colour, and a semi-permanent to refresh and blend what was already there. This, we were told, is a very popular method for hair that has previous stress from chemicals and the environment – and in Australia, almost everyone has more stressed hair than almost anywhere else in the world (sun, salt, chlorine and hard water aside from the usual heat styling and chemical processes).
Once all the colour had been rinsed off, we applied a colour-locking treatment combined with a volumising treatment to give some extra oomph to P’s hair – something she said she was after, as well as a refreshed colour.
As I blow dried P’s hair, I began to see a golden glow on the hair shaft. I felt satisfaction when I saw that shine. This is what it’s like to do something for someone that should make them feel good, but also makes me feel good seeing the result I imagined. And seeing the smile on someone’s face when they feel good is a great reward.
The end result isn’t perfect. I’d be getting ahead of myself if I said that because: a) this is my very first colour job; and b) I don’t think I’ll ever think something of mine is perfect – where’s the progress once perfection is obtained? The most I’ll ever hope for is almost perfect.

Speaking of perfect/imperfect, my internet is being annoying and for some reason I can’t upload the picture 😦 but you can check it out on my Instagram.

Let me know about any exciting firsts you’ve had in the comments 🙂

Love and waves,
Astrid