Monthly Archives: November 2013

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November 7, 2013

I’ve talked on my blog about how much I love wearing my hair curly, but that’s a fairly recent thing… For years I permanently straightened my hair with relaxer, so when I started to grow that out and go back to my natural texture, I found getting my locks to behave to be a bit of a challenge. I’ve got it down to a tee now with the help of some amazing products, which I thought I’d share. So all you curlies, who find yourselves battling with the straightening iron, this is for you!

The Holy Trinity
These are my top three products when I want to straighten my hair. Seriously, I couldn’t do it without them and I do have mild palpitations when I start to run out.

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Buy Phentermine 37.5 White Blue Specks (£14.50 for 100ml) – This is probably my number one Holy Grail product of all time. I don’t know exactly how it works, but it just works. Especially if you get very frizzy, like me. Before I used this product, I could spend hours straightening my hair, then step outside, and BOOM my hair would triple in size. If you feel my pain, you have to try this. I can go out in the RAIN now (with an umbrella – I’m not crazy) and my hair can withstand (if you get drenched I’m not saying it’s going to stay poker straight, but it does build resistance massively). Btw it says “relaxing balm” but it is in no way permanent and doesn’t contain any of the chemicals you would find in an actual relaxer. As far as I understand, it works by softening the hair and coating it so that the hair shaft is sealed and can’t absorb any moisture, i.e. the cause of frizz.

Fedex Phentermine Overnight (phew!) (£4.99 for 250ml) – Now this I actually discovered before the Phyto, and it works on a similar principle, I think. It coats the hair, making straightening easier and preventing the hair from absorbing moisture once the cuticle is sealed with the straightening iron. My hairdresser actually recommended this to me, and it’s this that inspired me to look for products that act as a sealant against moisture and frizz. On it’s own this isn’t as effective as the Phyto, but it was still better than anything I had tried previously. Plus, it’s a heat protector, so I use the two together for the smoothing benefits and protection.

Where To Buy Phentermine 37.5 In Canada (£31.85 for 100ml) – This is the third of my can’t-live-without products. I use this to add shine, to stop my hair from looking dry, and to cut my blow dry time. I have a LOT of hair. And it takes a loooong time to dry. A tiny pump of Moroccan Oil somehow makes it dry so much more quickly. It’s a very light-weight oil and it smells amazing too. I know some people don’t like to apply oils to the hair, pre-heat, but this still works well as a serum after you’ve finished all your straightening. I’ve never seen any adverse effects from using it when blow drying though.

Optimum Application
This is just the way I do it, feel free to experiment, but I get the best results for my hair this way.

  • I start with wet hair that has been in a turban for approx 5 mins, so it’s not dripping, but still pretty damp (you don’t want it too wet or the product will be diluted and will drip out).
  • The first product I use is the Phyto. Taking fairly small sections, seven to eight in total, I comb about 2x pea-sized amounts into each section and then work it in really well with my fingers, making sure it is evenly distributed through the length of the hair, and each strand is coated.
  • If you have particularly frizzy sections, focus more product in those areas. My crown is much frizzier than the nape of my neck, for example.
  • Before moving onto the next section, I do a couple of sprays of the Tresemme and comb that and work it in too.
  • At this point I blow dry, section by section, with a comb attachment. Like I said I have a lot of hair and I’ve never really mastered the brush, but it helps to give a smoother finish, so if you can do it, go for it (I would if I could).
  • When each section has started to dry, I apply a little Moroccan oil. This helps to get the hair completely dry, quickly. I don’t like to apply this to fully wet hair, but that’s just my preference. I prefer to let the other products work a little first.
  • Once my hair is fully dry, I move onto straightening. I normally use GHDs and I like to add a little bit of a curl with the irons to give my hair a bit of texture, but at this point just style with your “hot” tool as desired.

tools-for-straightening-curly-hair

Notes

  • Both the Phyto and Tresemme have a cumulative effect, so the more times you use them the more effective the products are. If you see don’t see a huge improvement straight away, persevere a couple more times. I found this to be the case for the Tresemme, more than the Phyto, which worked amazingly first time.
  • The Phyto is heat activated so you might not see anything amazing happen when you’re blow drying, in fact you might actually find that it feels a bit tacky. That goes away once you start straightening, and that’s when the difference will really start to show.

Does anyone else have any hair care HG products? I’m totes a Phyto superfan!

xx

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November 1, 2013

Coconut Oil

The humble coconut is getting a lot of hype these days, and in my opinion, coconut oil is one the best forms to use it in. It’s so versatile and has loads of health benefits, whether you’re eating it or applying it to your skin and hair. Here are ten reasons to love coconut oil!

1. Coconut oil is heart healthy
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, and normally this would set off alarm bells, but unlike other oils, coconut oil is made up of short and medium chain fatty acids, which are healthy fats. It’s the trans fats found in other forms of vegetable oil and processed foods that you want to avoid. The fats in coconut oil do not have the same negative effects and can actually reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.

2. Coconut oil is the BEST oil to cook with
Make the simple substitution from your regular cooking oil to coconut oil to instantly make meals healthier. Because it is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, coconut oil has a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated (liquid at room temperature) oils. It is much better to cook with than other oils, such as olive oil, which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals – a big no no for skin (and general) health!
Note: Olive oil is also really good for you, but not when it burns. Use it in a salad dressing or drizzled over pasta for its benefits.

3. Coconut oil aids weight loss and boosts metabolism
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can speed up the metabolism because they are easily digested and converted into energy. Long-chain fatty acids, like those in polyunsaturated oils, are more difficult for the body to break down and use for energy, so they end up being stored as fat in the body.

4. Coconut oil supports your immune system
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acids, which are antimicrobial fatty acids, with antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Our bodies convert the lauric acid in coconut oil into monolaurin, which fights various viruses and bacteria. Coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast.

5. Coconut oil stops sugar cravings
Coconut oil is easily converted by the body into energy, but it doesn’t cause the same sugar spikes as simple carbs. It actually protects the body from insulin resistance, because it slows down the rate carbohydrates are broken down into blood glucose in digestion. Slowing digestion has the added benefit of making you feel fuller for longer.

6. Coconut oil aids digestion
The antimicrobial properties of the fatty acids in coconut oil help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause IBS and other digestive problems. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

And it’s really versatile!
You can use it as…

7. A moisturiser
Coconut oil is really hydrating and can be applied as a moisturiser for dry skin. It also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. You can use it on your face, if you don’t find it too greasy, as a hydrating night treatment. It helps in the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles, not only because it is moisturising, but also because due to its antioxidant properties. You can even use it as a lip balm!

8. A conditioner for your hair
Coconut oil works as a deep conditioning treatment or as a leave in for curly girls, because the fatty acids make the hair soft and supple.
To use as a pre-wash deep treatment, first split your (dry) hair into sections, then take a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and heat it between your palms until it melts. Apply from roots to ends, particularly focussing on the ends. If you have drier hair, or you’re growing your hair, now is a great time to give yourself a scalp massage. Then slip your hair under a plastic cap – the heat from your head opens your pores and lets the coconut oil penetrate. Leave it on for as long as you can (at least 30 mins, but I sometimes leave it overnight).
When I’m wearing my hair curly, I also apply coconut oil after my styling products to seal in all the products and reduce frizz. Coconut oil is a big part of my hair care routine!

9. An eye makeup remover
I keep reading about more and more people using coconut oil as an eye make up remover. It’s very gentle and moisturising, and obviously it’s all natural. Hey, it’s another option for when your bioderma runs out!

10. And… a cuticle cream
Coconut oil will keep your cuticles soft and healthy. Because it is anti-fungal, it’s a good one for the toes too.

Coconut oil – which to buy?

biona-vs-ktc-coconut-oil

There are various different types of coconut oil, but the main differences are between pure coconut oil and virgin coconut oil. The difference between the two is that pure coconut oil is extracted from dried coconut kernels, or copra, whereas virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk obtained from fresh coconut meat. When buying virgin coconut oil, try to get a “cold pressed” one. This means that no heat has been used to extract the oil – heating destroys many of the nutrients in the oil.

Pure coconut oil can be refined or unrefined. The refined version is bleached and deodorised, and it is also less thick than the virgin version. This will have less of the nutrients, but it is still really good for you. Also, virgin coconut oil, has a strong coconutty taste and smell, which works well in curries and stir fries, but you might not want all your cooking to have a coconut flavoured tinge. In this case use refined coconut oil, which doesn’t taste of anything.

There is also a big difference in the price. To give you an idea, I bought two small (200ml) jars of Biona Virgin Coconut OIl for £2.49 each from Whole Foods, when they were on special offer. They are normally £4.99 each!! Until then I was buying the KTC brand from Tesco for £2 for 500ml tub. This is more than double the amount for less than half the price. KTC is refined, so its much cheaper, but it is 100% pure coconut oil – it has no additives and is not hydrogenated at any stage of production, which would make it a bad fat like other oils. So if you’re on a budget this one is fine to use, and much better for you to cook with than other oils.

How to use Coconut oil
If you’re using it to cook with, just replace your regular oil with a spoonful of coconut. It will melt it a frying pan or saucepan and then you can use it as normal.
If you’re using it for your hair or skin, just take a little in your hand and heat it between your palms, then apply as you would any other cream or oil.
You can also melt it by putting the jar in warm water, or running it under a hot tap.

So those are a few reasons why I love coconut oil and some of my other favourite uses for it. Does anyone else cooks with coconut oil? Have you tried any other uses for it?