If I could describe the relationship with my hair in one word it would be complicated. Ever since I was 3 years old I remember mornings before school ensuing with tantrums and tears over how I was going to wear my hair that day. My hair has always been my Achilles’ heel, even now if my hair isn’t right I revert back to that little girl feeling so self-conscious and wanting to cry. The summer brings frizz, well anytime it rains so basically all year here in the UK. The winter equals dryness, hat hair and again the age-old enemy- frizz.
I like to take good care of my hair in order to combat the blow-drying, colouring and constant straightening. I do copious amounts of hair masks, I use oils, leave-in conditioners, I try all the latest technology that promises to reduce dryness and breakage, basically you name it I have tried it.
In January, when I decided it was time for a trim, I went in with very specific instructions ‘I only want a trim, I know the ends are dry so you can take an inch at most but please don’t cut anymore than that.’ The stylist showed me the exact amount she would cut and feeling confident I had expressed myself in perfect detail I sat back and relaxed in the chair. The only recent photo of my hair before having it cut is above.
Now, when she worked her way round to the front of my face I could finally see the amount that was being cut off and to my absolute horror instead of the maximum 1 inch we had agreed on I saw 5-6 inches of my hair falling in front of my very eyes. I did at this point say ‘wow, that’s much shorter then we agreed’ but you know how hairdressers can be and how very British the whole situation was. Anyway, what I ended up with can only resemble curtains at the front and a blunt bob at the back, think Rachel from Friends circa 1998.
Side note: I suffer from Lupus which means my face can get very swollen and a huge rash appears. My hair therefore was always my shield as I could try cover some of the worst parts of the rash with the front of my hair which would leave me a little less self-conscious. (Photo below is the day after I had my hair cut and as you can see I am having a very swollen day)
In my despair and with my self-confidence having hit rock bottom I decided I was going to try some of the hair growth products on the market and report back on the ones that worked for me.
Fox and Vamp
I will let you in on a little secret, day 5 of the new cut I had a total meltdown and decided to get a full head of extensions put in. I know what you are thinking, extensions are seriously damaging to the hair shaft and once they are taken out your hair will be thin, broken and beyond repair. Enter Fox and Vamp salon in Chelsea, in my opinion one of the finest salons in London. I have on occasion added a few tape extensions to the front of my hair when I am having a bad lupus flareup and the only place I trust is Fox and Vamp.
Talitha who owns the salon and knows my hair well took one look at me, hugged me and reassured me that should would fix the situation. 3 hours later with over 100 keratin bond extensions in my hair I remerged a new woman, all my confidence had returned plus a bucket load extra thanks to the amazing job Talitha and her stylists performed. I have thick hair but it is always thin at the ends so with these extensions I had hair out of the pages of a fashion magazine. Due to lockdown, I decided this was the moment to take the extensions out (after 2.5 months) and give my hair a rest from everything, after all no one was around to see me.
Now, I am not a professional so it was not advised I take my own extensions out but because Fox and Vamp had done a fab job with the application, during my less than professional removal I lost no hair at all. Even when my hair grows back I will still be getting a few extensions put in as it makes a massive difference.
If you are a fan of their number 1 selling eyelash conditioner then you need no persuasion to try their new hair range. If you are not familiar with this brand, keep reading. Their eyelash serum is my holy grail of beauty products. I often get asked where I have my eyelash extensions done and I simply smile and tell them about RevitaLash.
Even if you don’t want fuller, thicker, longer hair (I hate you) this conditioner is not only all it says on the bottle including thickening, scalp therapy formula and environmental protector, it also packs some serious moisture into your hair. Like I stated earlier I love a hair mask but when I am pushed for time and simply use conditioner I never feel like my hair has received enough nutrients. This product has almost stopped me from using masks completely.
Sugar Bear Hair
These little guys are not only delicious but I promise, take them religiously and you will see not only major hair growth but also more manageable, stronger, shinier looking hair. These gummies contain 14 active, effective ingredients including Biotin, Folic Acid and numerous vitamins. Sugar Bear Hair started in the USA and has been endorsed by the Kardashians, whatever your personal opinion is of this family what you can’t disagree with is that they always have shiny, sleek hair.
I have been using Viviscal on and off for years, I usually revert back to using it after a terrible haircut hence it was the first product I reached for in February. Yes, you do have to take this religiously for 3 months before you see results but if you stick to it the results can be pretty amazing. What Viviscal contains which no other growth stimulant does is AminoMar C which is a marine protein complex that helps the acceleration of growth and repair to hair. Not only will your hair grow quicker than you thought was possible but I have also experienced stronger, longer nails. Side Note: I know this product is working as parts of my laser hair removal have begun growing back, an annoyance I am willing to live with for longer thicker hair.
SILKUP is a 100% 22 Momme Mulberry silk hair wrap which should be worn at night to reduce breakage and greasiness. It also reduces frizz which I can attest to. I began to see results from this product in less than a week, my hair in the morning was more manageable and held a blow dry for days. Using the SILKUP I went from washing my hair every other day to every 3-4 days. The condition of my hair improved exponentially, I don’t have to use any heat on the non-wash days and still manage to look like I have just stepped out of the salon with a bouncy blow-dry. This product may not be one that will make your hair grow in spades but what it will do is nourish and protect your hair better than any mask.
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In addition to filing my body with all sorts of pills and potions I have also been focusing on keeping my hair in as good condition as possible so I don’t need to rush back to the hairdresser. My holy grail products are here:
Christophe Robin – Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Oil
Nothing makes my hair feel as strong as soft as this mask does. The mask restructures and reinforces hair from the inside; repairs hair deep down; protects and revives pigments in coloured and natural hair. Apply a SMALL amount to towel dried hair, leave for 20 minutes and you will feel like you have been to the salon for a cut and blow-dry.
I have always been a fan of Moroccan oil. I use it in two way, firstly as an oil on towel dried hair and secondly the night before a hair wash, I apply a few pumps from the mid to end lengths of my hair, plait it and then wash out the next day. My hair feels soft and less frizzy.
Oribe Star Glow Wax
As I have been growing out the hair my go to hairstyle has been a high or low ballet bun, the problem is I have loads of baby hairs at the front of my hair that like to stand on end, thus ruining the sleek idea of a ballet bun. Oribe’s Star Glow Styling Wax slicks these troublesome flyaway’s to my head and lasts all day.
So, it’s been 3 months since the disastrous haircut, I have been using all the products above and can say with full confidence they have all made a difference. The photos above and below show my hair now and the difference has been really pleasing.
By Bella Benson
Featured image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash.