Hair Talk: the Last Stretch. What Has Worked for My Hair this Year

Four years ago when I was about to move to Belgium, I predicted my hairdresser would be one of the people I miss the most. Just to make things clear, I think this goes past the typical tricky Asian hair problem. It is more about the fact that he has never disappointed me during the 6 years and a half years I’ve known him. I am a minimalist when it comes to hair. I want a good cut that I can easily blow dry to make it look presentable. I use next to no styling products (I do need a curling mousse now after the perm), and after I successfully reduced the frequency of shampooing in the beginning of the year, it seems like I’m on the right track.

Even though at this moment there’s nothing else I want to do besides going straight to my hairdresser’s from the airport next Wednesday (it’s not a joke. The appointment has been booked!), I am here to share some products that have helped me through the year!

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*CLOSED* L’Oreal Professionnel London Addixion Bouncy Wax Giveaway!!!

Hey everyone!

Happy Monday! I have an exciting giveaway for you!

L’Oreal Professionnel launched a line called London Addixion recently. This line contains Bubble Soufflé, Bouncy Wax, and Sprax Delight.

Thanks to L’Oreal Professionnel, now FIVE readers have a chance of winning one Bouncy Wax each!

According to L’Oreal, the Bouncy Wax is supposed to help deliver the most transformed and long-lasting looks. Perfect for a repositionable effect and lightweight, flexible definition. It can be used on both dry and damp hair, though you are going to get better results with damp hair.

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Review: Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream Has Won itself a Trip to Côte d’Azur with Me!

Hello March, spring is finally in the air! Even with the usually gloomy weather in Belgium, we have enjoyed several amazingly warm and sunny days. Besides grasping the moment, I have also found myself dreaming about the trip to Côte d’Azur that is being planned for summer. The sun, the swimming pool, and the beach… just what someone who has not seen too much daylight for months needs, but highly possibly the worst nightmare for my manes…

To be honest, I never treat my hair any differently in summer. I don’t go to the swimming pool regularly, and it has been YEARS since I last went on beach holiday. This year however, things are going to be a little different. Not only will I get to spend some time on the French Riviera, it will also be the first time I ever go on holiday with chemically-treated hair that cannot be fixed by my beloved hairdresser at the drop of a hat. In other words, if I mess with my hair, it will probably have to stay damaged for a long time, and this is not something I’m looking forward to. If you are also planning a beach holiday that is safe for your hair however, fear not, because I have found just the thing to tackle this problem!

Frederic Fekkai, also known as F Fekkai or just Fekkai, is a professional salon hair care brand. The brain behind the brand, Mr. Fekkai, is a French celebrity hair stylist. One of his relatively new products, Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream, will find its way onto the Belgian market soon, just in time for the upcoming holiday season!

Since the instructions say that it should be applied to damp hair before styling, I use this to replace my regular leave-in conditioner. I then proceed to put some mousse in my hair and then blow dry with a diffuser as usual. The minute I am done, I notice the first differences: my hair is much curlier, and the ends feel a lot more moisturized. It doesn’t weigh my hair down at all, and my hair doesn’t feel crunchy or stiff. Over the next days, my hair stays curly even if I don’t mousse it up again, which is amazing considering I got this perm almost 8 months ago. With my regular hair routine, nowadays I have to wet the ends and put mousse every day for my hair to stay as curly. With Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream however, my hair keeps the curls till I had to shampoo it next. Of course the curls becomes looser with time, but still! It’s impressive!

Besides the fact that it helps style my hair, the ends of my hair do also feel a lot more moisturized with this cream. Normally my hair is decently moisturized after shampooing and conditioning, but over the days it becomes dry and frizzy. With this cream, even the very tips stay hydrated till I shampoo again. In other words, there is significant improvement!

Texture-wise it is like most cream you would see, but it is not heavy or “oily” at all. Oh, and did I mention the smell? It smells like coconut! Deeelicious! It is not overpowering, but it does stay in my hair for maybe half a day. Since I am a big fan of coconut, I am surely not going to complain! Like all professional hair care products, a little goes a long way, so I estimate the 5oz (142 grams) tube will last all summer and then some!

All in all, the Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream has swept me off my feet! I don’t think it’s just for summer, because it is the best leave-in conditioner I have ever tried and I will use it all-year-round. However, my hairdresser has taught me a trick that I think Smooth Sailing will be the perfect candidate for. Before going in water, besides rinsing your hair, rub some leave-in conditioner in. That way, the sea/pool water will rob as little moisture of your hair as possible.

Hair-wise I’m all set for summer with Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream, now can we please have some more of that nice weather?

Bottom line: If you have long hair, chemically-treated hair, dry ends, or hair that is heat-styled regularly, I highly recommend you check Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream out!

Have you heard about/tried anything from Fekkai? Do you have any recommendations? How do you prepare your hair for summer, or the swimming pool in general?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream will be exclusively available at ICI PARIS XL in May (mark your calendar so that you can keep an eye out for this babe). The recommended retail price is 23 euros, though with a membership card you will get a discount.

Disclosure policy: The product(s) mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

Two Counter-intuitive Ways of Dealing with Oily Scalp (with Added Benefits for Your Hair too!)

Aargh oily scalp and the problems that come with it… I suffered from such problems until very recently, and I know they are not pleasant! If you are struggling with oily scalp, I am proposing two counter-intuitive ways of dealing with it. The bad news? There is no instant fix. The good news? They cost next to nothing, and if you have a little patience, you will see improvement. Even better news? Your hair will also benefit from these tips!

(Since I can’t really show you in pictures how less greasy my scalp is nowadays, I decided to show you how much shine it got from the new regimen in the picture above!)

First of all, pick a good shampoo, preferably silicone-free (my current favorites are Vichy Oil Control Treatment Shampoo), and REDUCE YOUR SHAMPOOING FREQUENCY. I had short hair as a teenager, and being the hygiene freak that I am, I used to shampoo my hair on a daily basis. I started growing my hair out at university, but still I would shampoo every other day. With the perm I had 7 months ago, I’ve had to dry my hair with a diffuser every time, which means the ends have it the hardest. At some point, my hair basically couldn’t take the every-other-day shampooing anymore. I had to reduce the frequency. I wouldn’t lie to you, the process was tough. For someone who used to shampoo every other day, not doing so felt pretty wrong and gross. My scalp would look so very greasy and hair limp and lifeless, but I knew I had to hang in there. I can’t tell you exactly how long this process takes, because I believe it’s different for different people, and the change happens slowly. However, I guarantee that one day you will suddenly realize your hair looks quite OK even when you’re not shampooing so often. Nowadays, I shampoo twice a week, and my scalp no longer greases up like crazy after a day or two. The thing is, the more frequently you shampoo your scalp, the more it feels the need to produce sebum. If you go all zen and laissez-faire however, gradually your scalp will also relax and stop producing sebum at top speed. Give it at least 2 weeks. You will start seeing the difference. If I may say so, it’s a good time to start now. The temperature is lower, so the sebum production is likely to be less active than it is in summer. Also, you sweat less, which substantially reduces the need to shampoo your hair.

The second counter-intuitive way of dealing with oily scalp? Olive oil. I know you are probably thinking about turning away from this crazy blog forever, but listen to my story! I once asked an Indian friend what was the secret of her beautiful, luscious hair. She eyed me up and said:” promise you won’t think I’m gross.” After I solemnly swore I wouldn’t, she said:” oil.” Apparently, there are some hair oils one can purchase in India (some people use coconut oil too). If you put the oil in your hair and then shampoo it off, it does amazing things to it. She explained olive oil would do in the case of lack of access to these commercially available oils, so I gave it a try. The result was pretty impressive on my manes! However, I didn’t use it on my scalp because I thought it was already too greasy. The next time I saw her, I reported my experience, and an Italian friend overheard. “Oh yeah, girls back home use olive oil like that. But why don’t you try it on your scalp? It works pretty well!” I thought it was insane, but since it sounded like a well-kept Mediterranean beauty secret, my curiosity got the better of me. I rubbed some olive oil on my scalp when I did the olive oil treatment next time and guess what? MY SCALP HAD NEVER FELT SO CLEAN BEFORE! Apparently olive oil benefits scalp by nourishing it and taking away the build-up at the same time. Now this is what I do: I pour some olive oil out in a bowl, start by massaging it into the ends of my hair and then moving up. At the end, I use just the tiniest amount (think one teaspoon or even less), rub it between my palms, and smooth it over my scalp (note: don’t go too crazy, because there is a point at which it can’t be effectively shampooed off in one go). I would recommend a minimum of half an hour with this treatment, but you can leave it in for as long as you want. If you are enjoying an idle Sunday morning at home, why not give this a go? I personally still need a conditioner/treatment after shampooing the oil off, but it contributes significantly to scalp/hair health! My scalp always feels very “light” after this treatment. It might sound a bit abstract, so you just have to try!

As I said, it might take a little while for that sebum production to calm down, but in the meantime you’ll probably already notice improvement in your hair. It’s killing two birds with one stone!

Now tell me, if you have oily scalp, would you consider dealing with it in these counter-intuitive ways?

Sunny xx

PS: TGIF! What are your plans for the weekend? The MAC spring collections have finally made their way to Belgium. I know I want Added Goodness and check some other pieces out, so it looks like I’ll be in Brussels tomorrow! On Sunday I’ll work on backup posts for the blog, because next week looks like a busy one!

Hair Care Review: Macadamia Natural Oil Get Hooked Pack Got Me (Partially) Hooked!

Despite the fact that I have pretty much found my holy grail hair mask (Kerastase Masquintense for Thick Hair), I felt compelled to give Macadamia Natural Oil a try. Natural oil in hair care products has been all the rage for a couple of years now, and naturally I am pretty curious. I got a perm last July. It’s holding up pretty well, but with the length of my hair sometimes it is drier than what I’d like to see. Since I want to try not to go to a hairdresser in Belgium (I am very attached to mine back home), my hair really could do with some extra help before I go home in summer.

The Macadamia Natural Oil Get Hooked Pack contains 30 milliliters of their Healing Oil Treatment and 30 milliliters of Deep Repair Masque. The Healing Oil Treatment is described by Beautybay (I’m taking the descriptions from Beautybay because the Macadamia Natural Oil website doesn’t say much) to be “a therapeutic oil perfect for all hair types and is especially beneficial to dry, damaged hair; instantly absorbed and infuses the hair with moisture and nutrients for silky smooth, healthy looking hair whilst providing natural UV protection from sun damage.” The Deep Repair Masque is said to be “a revitalizing hair reconstructor for dry, damaged hair. A combination of Macadamia Oil and Argan Oil along with Tea Tree and Chamomile Oils. Extracts of Aloe and Algae rejuvenate and rebuild the hair, leaving it deeply nourished for improved elasticity and shine with long-lasting conditioning benefits.” However, since it is very intense, it should not be used for no more than twice a week. I’m guessing if you use it for more than that, it could weigh your hair down.

I was expecting both products to have a nutty smell, kind of like coca butter or something along that line, but the smells are pretty surprisingly un-nutty. The Deep Repair Masque smells very fruity while the Healing Oil Treatment smells like sandalwood. I don’t dislike any of them, but I personally prefer nutty smells and wish they would smell like that. The consistency of the Deep Repair Mask is very thick, and it feels “drier” than a lot of deep conditioning masks I have tried before. The Healing Oil Treatment has a runny gel-like consistency. I was worried about getting too much out each time, but it actually flows out slowly enough for a bit of control.

Since there are two products and I want to review both of them as fairly as possible, I tried them out like this:
1. Deep Repair Masque + my usual leave-in conditioner (Mucota Veil for Straight)
2. Mixing the Healing Oil Treatment with a less nourishing conditioner + my usual leave-in conditioner
3. Kerastase Masquintense + Healing Oil Treatment
4. Deep Repair Masque + Healing Oil Treatment

The Deep Repair Masque on its own gives excellent results! It is highly concentrated, so I only needed a tiny little, and my hair was easily detangled. Once rinsed off, I could tell my hair is a lot softer. It doesn’t weigh my hair down at all either. After blowing my hair dry, it stayed soft and bouncy for 2-3 days until I shampooed it again. Normally the ends would start feeling dry and brittle before I shampoo my hair again (I normally do it every other day, but with my hair growing longer and longer I’m trying to reduce the frequency), but it didn’t happen with this treatment!

The second time I mixed the Healing Oil Treatment with a less nourishing conditioner (L’Occitane Repairing Mask for Dry and Damaged Hair). It used to work very well for me when my hair was straight, but now that it has been chemically treated it is simply not effective enough anymore). My hair wasn’t as easily detangled than when I used the Deep Repair Masque, and the ends were also a little drier. But still my hair was soft and bouncy, and it really was only the very ends of my hair that was not completely soft and smooth. A day later however, I could see the results weren’t so amazing. My hair was already getting rough and dry!

The third time I used my Kerastase Masquintense, followed by the Healing Oil Treatment. The treatment already did a good job nourishing and detangling my hair, but since I blow-dry every time, I need a leave-in conditioner. The Macadamia Natural Oil website promises the treatment can reduce drying time by “an amazing 40-50%.” I don’t know if it really halves the drying time, but it did shorten it to a certain extent. However, the Healing Oil Treatment didn’t work that well as a leave-in conditioner either. Compared with my usual leave-in conditioner Mucota Veil for Straight, the ends of my hair didn’t feel as smooth afterwards, and they dried out before I next shampooed my hair.

The fourth time I used the Deep Repair Masque and Healing Oil Treatment. The Deep Repair Masque still detangled my hair amazingly, but the Healing Oil Treatment still didn’t work as well. I feel that I get better results using the Deep Repair Masque paired with my usual leave-in conditioner.

Bottom line: Did Macadamia Natural Oil Get Hooked Pack get me hooked? Well, partially yes. I do like the Deep Repair Masque, and I plan to purchase a tub when my Kerastase Masquintense runs out. However, I am not convinced about the Healing Oil Treatment. I will keep experimenting with it, but as far as I can see it is not the best leave-in conditioner I have ever tried.

How about you? What is your favorite hair treatment and leave-in conditioner? Have you tried anything from Macadamia Natural Oil? Are you tempted?

Sunny xx