Monday, July 27, 2009

Hair Crimes

Want to change your colour? Don't know what shampoo to use? Can't get control over your curls?

Well, you're not alone!

Recently I was asked to do a guest blog over at and I got some great questions from readers so I thought I'd share them with you guys here. If you want to buy some great bags, accessories or gifts check out

There might be something in here that helps you or someone you know...

Q: I seem to grow a lot of hair between cuts, it gets very thick and full and the volume becomes annoying - even tho my stylist texturises and thins it out. Is there anything else I can do to keep the volume down? Should my stylist really clear it out each time? Like a forest! Thanks.

A: Wow! Sounds like you have a lot of hair! And, it sounds like your stylist is on the right track. Have you tried a razor cut? That might help to reduce the density a bit. Generally thick and full hair tends to have a rather coarse texture. The best way to keep that under control is with an intense moisturising haircare regime. Try shampooing and conditioning with something like Redken Smoothdown and perhaps try using a leave in moisturiser daily to soften your hair. If your hair feels softer and more pliable then it will possibly not be as voluminous. Do you use a hair straightener? Try my new Generation V iron to smooth out your hair, add shine and reduce volume.

Q: Hi, I have been blonde all my life, and fancy a change. I'm thinking brown highlights, but I'm just not sure what colour I should go for. Can you help??

A: Oooh exciting! A change can be as good as a holiday sometimes. Going dark is always a big step if you’ve been blonde your whole life. Sometimes just going a couple of shades darker can feel like you’ve gone black! Depending on how blonde you’ve been, you may want to stay with some blonde highlights and make your base colour darker. That way you’ll have the overall effect of being darker, but you’ll still maintain some sense of blonde with the highlights. Or maybe a light chocolate brown with some soft caramel tones to add a bit of texture. Or if you’re feeling particularly brave, you might choose to go copper rather than brown. Some things to keep in mind would be: What colour are your eyes? Do you suit warmer or cooler colours? Your new colour is likely to fade quicker because of the lack of natural pigment in the blonde base so choose a good quality professional colour care shampoo and conditioner. Pureology is a new brand on the market which gives a money back guarantee that your colour will last longer.

Q: I have a lot of fine, soft, straight hair. It's short and textured. If I am invest in one styling product - aside from shampoo and conditioner - to keep my hair styled all day, what would you recommend?

A: Just one product? When your hairdresser styles you hair, I imagine they would usually use three styling products minimum. One preheat or foundation product to give strength and control before blowdrying, one texture product to create the type of texture they want, and then something to hold it place like a hairspray. So when you want one product to do all those jobs, it’s a bit tricky to make a comprehensive recommendation. Because you have fine hair, you want something reasonably light and not too ‘pasty’ or ‘waxy’ and you want something that will give hold without making your hair look thinner. You could try using a non aerosol hairspray like Redken Headplay 12, but use it in a different way. Instead of squirting it directly onto your hair, try spraying it into your hands and working it through damp hair before blowdrying. Then do thing again once your hair is blowdried to create texture and hold… that way you can control the amount of product your applying and layer it up to get the right texture for you. Hope that helps?

Q: I have really curly hair. I am totally lost as to what of the latest longer length styles can be adapted to tightly ringleted hair, I’m so not keen on an afro! What could you suggest?

A: I love curls! In fact, I’m mad about them!!! Have you tried using a curling tong to soften out the curl? Have you got Afro or Polynesian hair? Afro hair is much softer and more fragile, Polynesian hair (or Polynesian type hair sometimes found on greek or Hispanic girls) is thicker and stronger so can withstand a lot more heat styling and working. Find a stylist that can cut your hair freehand. That way they can sculpt a shape to suit your hair, face and body type and really personalise it to you, taking weight from where its too heavy and leaving length where you need it… whatever you do, make sure your hair is thoroughly hydrated curls go frizzy when they need moisture so use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner to keep the ringlets defined. One of my fav tricks for curls is to use a styling paste in damp towel dried hair. Wash and condition your hair, put about 15ml – 20ml of styling paste (I like Redken Rough Paste 12) into damp hair and either let it dry naturally or diffuse dry to give an amazing ‘been at the beach for three days’ texture.

Q: Hi, I have naturally curly hair and I have been thinking about getting it chemically straightened. Can you please tell me a) how often I would need to get this redone to ensure I don't have half straight, half curly hair, and b) will my curls grow back the same as what they are now? Thanks

A: Hiya! It seems we all want the opposite of what we’ve got, eh? I'm in the same camp as you and I have my hair chemically straightened even though I own a company that makes hair straighteners. Ironic?! First of all, the best chemical straightening is the Japanese system. It leaves your hair soft and shiny and really silky. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anyone in NZ doing it… depending on how long your hair is, you’d need to get it re-done approximately every 3 to 6 months and yes, your curls will grow back the same as they are now. The shape and texture of your hair is formed below the surface of the scalp and the follicle is the only place where the hair is actually alive. What this means is that once your appears above the scalp, it is technically dead and whatever you do to it will only affect that hair. Any new hair that grows from the scalp will be just the same as it was before (in theory).

Q: I have heavily high lighted hair, but have been toying with the idea of going back to my natural colour (brown), would the best way be to get darker streaks put through my hair, or should I just get a permanent colour put over my highlights. I only ask because I’ve had a “green” hair experience when doing the exact same thing many years ago!

A: Oh no! there's nothing worse than the green hair monster!!! (that is unless you want green hair) I always think it’s better to go back dark with an overall colour because you’ll get a whole lot of highlight looking variation because of the lighter base. Most important is to precolour or prepigment the hair first. When hair has been lightened all the natural pigment gets removed from it. Through the lightening process first the red part of the pigment disappears and then the orange part and lastly the yellow. You need to put these colours back into the hair to create a base for the darker colour to hold and also to avoid the colour going green. Your colourist should apply colour that makes you a redhead first and then they’ll put the target shade over the top. Maybe you could use a demi-permanent colour rather than permanent to be a bit shinier and gentler.

Q: I have very fine straight hair, cut into a chin length layered “bob”. My hairdresser texturises it when he cuts it to give it some volume, but I find that three weeks into my cut, it’s starting to lay quite flat. I can’t really afford to get my hair cut more than every six weeks, can you suggest a way to overcome this problem.

A: My granddad always used to say ‘a well-dressed gentleman gets his haircut every two weeks. That way, he never looks like he just had a haircut and he never looks like he needs on.’ My guess is he was only paying a few bucks for his haircuts or he was rich! Texture, as it pertains to hair, means variations of length to create volume or the illusion of unevenness. When you’ve got fine hair, many of the textrurising techniques tend to thin your hair out or make it feel like there’s less hair, which can mean that fairly quickly (as soon as it grows a little bit) it feels heavy again. See if your hairdresser has some techniques for creating texture (variation in lengths) especially for fine hair. If they haven’t, tell them to come to one of my workshops and I’ll show them (just kidding). Failing that, try using a product like Redken Rootful. It’s a new product that is totally weightless, and non sticky that adds amazing volume and strength to any hairtype.

Q: I have really fine hair, and during the winter it gets quite static. I don’t really like to use conditioner daily as I find it weighs my hair down, please can you suggest a really light product that would help with the static?

A: That’s easy! Redken Workforce 09. My absolute must have super light hold humidity resistant spray. Works great for flyaways and brushes out without residue. Quite simply YUMMY!

Q: I’m a harried Mum, I’ve fallen into the very bad habit of just scraping my hair back into a ponytail every day, because I don’t have time to do more with it. My hair is shoulder length and very straight with a fringe, I’d like to get it cut into a style that would be low maintenance, please can you suggest something that I wouldn’t need to spend heaps of time on in the morning, when I’m trying to get everyone organised & rushed out the door?

A: Oh my goodness, I know the feeling! I have little ones myself (which might explain why I'm so bloody scruffy all the time!) a fringe is great because it adds a point of focus to your haircut. Depending on your face shape, a chin length choppy bob with a heavy fringe always looks both sophisticated and fresh and grows out easily too. And if your hair’s naturally straight, you’ll have no work to do to get it looking hot… Think Linda Evangelista.

Q: In recent years I’ve switched to an organic diet and I’d like to start to use natural/ organic skin & hair care, as a professional which “natural” range of hair care products would you recommend?

A: Oh, that’s a tricky one! The problem with most ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ haircare systems is that they are either not very good, or they are not exactly what they say they are and contain a number of harsh ingredients along with their natural ingredients and they just don’t mention it in their marketing. In the US in particular, you only need to include one natural ingredient (like an essential oil for fragrance) and you can claim ‘all natural’ in your marketing. There are a lot of great DIY recipes on the net using cider vinegar and avacado for haircare. Or Pureology, a new range of 100% vegan haircare products has an amazing haircare range.

Q: My hair is thinning! What do I do to fix it?

A: Three things. Massage, massage, massage. There are a number of different causes of hairloss or thinning and they fall under the general term of alopecia. It could be hormonal, diet related, genetic, hereditary or tension related. Stimulating blood supply to the scalp is a great way to help prevent hairloss. Talk to your haircare professional as well as they may have a specialist haircare range to help cleanse the follicle to free up the way for the growing hairs…

Hi Richard,

Thanks so much for listening to my crimes! Easiest if I list perhaps?

1) Hair is oily at the scalp and dry at the ends so I wash every day

2) Hair goes super fluffy because of washing every day so use serum thing to smooth it out -make it behave

3) Serum thing leaves ends sticky so have to wash hair again anyway - even if I am trying to do the every second day thing

4) Use towel to dry like you pointed out on show this morning i.e. the wrong way so hair is probably split and damaged

5) Using a redken shampoo and conditioner in a red/pink bottle that stylist said is good for freak hair. Have been using about eight times the amount you said to use on show, my hair is just past shoulders.

6) Most concerning is that hair is thinning slightly at the top and have permanent baby hairs at side near ears. This hair often breaks if it gets longer than about 4cms. This is totally baffling as I didn't think baby hairs had the ability to break?? Some of the broken hairs have never grown past a few mm's

7) Coloured my hair black at Christmas. It suited my tanned face, which now in winter makes me look dead, so haven't recoloured black for about eight weeks so far and have fab mousy brown stripe with silvery bits (eeek greys!!) in the top. LOOKS HIDEOUS!!! Thinking of doing the lightening trick, but don't think my hair will cope with the bleach.

8) And, when I was younger I bleached my hair platinum blonde, and over the years my hair has been no less than fifteen different colours including orange, green, blue, pink, black, blue black, weird shades of brown and plum colours. The parrot colours will have grown out and been chopped by now but perhaps roots damaged? I don't know! Please help!

9) Oh and I blowdry and use a straightener every other day too - try to give it a break from heat when I have time for a natural dry.

Any tips? Thanks in advance!

Alright it looks as though you have some serious hair issues here (hair here). I'll go through and pick them off one by one and try and come up with a comprehensive and simple plan of attack to sort it all out once and for all.

1, You're not alone here! A lot of people have this issue and it can cause your hair to be limp and dull and hard to work with. first things first, use a shampoo for oily scalp. Try Redken Scalp relief, Oil Detox Shampoo to help sooth and control the sebaceous glands and when you condition, make sure you only us a small amount of conditioner and apply it only to the ends of your hair. It will work its way up the hairshaft towards the midlengths.

2&3, OK, i'm going to address 2 and 3 together. you have oily hair. DONT USE A SERUM! in order to control the fluffiness, use a light blowdry lotion before you dry. Try Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blowdry Lotion. It will provide heat protection and help to tame those fluffies.

4, hmmm... you will be punished in hair hell for this crime. Actually, you probably shouldnt feel bad, nearly everyone does it and it's mothers that are to blame! Rubbing your hair vigorously between a towel can damage the cuticle layer of the hair, making it prone to tangling, look dull and can cause breakage in the worst instances. Instead, Gently squeeze your hair in a towel to get the excess moisture out.

5, Its amazing how much shampoo people use. When I asked four different girls from the crew on thismorning's show to show me how much shampoo they used when the wash their hair the results were astounding! one girl used about 30ml to 40 ml each time she washed her hair! When you shampoo, make sure your hair is really saturated with water and use about 5ml of shampoo. It's the water that will cause it to lather, so the wetter the hair the bigger the lather. Now, It sounds like you are using either colour extend or Real Control. One of these might well be the right conditioner for you, but choose a shampoo suited to your scalp and a conditioner that's suited to your hair.

6, Ok, this is a little more of a tricology issue rather than a haircare issue. Many women are affected by some form of breakage or hair loss (known as alopecia) and it can be quite distressing. The causes are many and varied and it can be hormonal, diet related, environmental, or it can be caused by excessive tension on the hair when styling. Try using a hair treatment for thinning hair like Redken Vivagen. this can help to purify and cleanse the scalp, nourishing the cuticle and creating a healthy environment for the hair to grow. It may even help with the oily scalp, and, if not, you can always alternate with Oil Detox. And, to add strength to your hair and help prevent it snapping you could try conditioning with a protein based conditioner such as Redken Extreme.

7, I'm not sure it would cope with the long and arduous process of cleansing the dark colour out and lightening to blonde. Try letting the dark ends fade naturally and match up the regrowth with a gentle demi permanent colour with a bit of extra warmth in it like a dark chocolate brown. at least the colour will look complete even if it's not a perfect match for your skin and you'll feel better having no regrowth...

8, The great thing about hair is that once it leaves the scalp it is technically dead (kinda gross eh?) so it doesn't matter what you do to it. In theory, unless youve damaged the scalp or cutilce, it should just grow right back the way it was.

9, I reckon it's OK to use hot tools so long as you're using the best quality products with the latest technology. Technological advances in heating technology and plate composition mean that you can safely iron or curl your hair while protecting it with a burst of protective ions. At Kavanagh, we infuse crushed tourmaline into the plates of our tools so that they emit maximum cuticle protecting ions. You could also add an extra layer of protection by lightly misting your dry hair hair with Redken Fabricate 03 before ironing and then give it a light brush afterwards. This will also help control the fluffies without adding anything oily.

So, in summary:

Shampoo with Vivagen to help with the thinning and fragile hair

Alternate with Oil Detox to manage the oily scalp

Use 5 ml of shampoo, two shampoos once a day (or every second day)

condition only the ends with Extreme Conditioner (or if your hair is very thick or coarse, use real control)

Have your stylist give you an Extreme Protein Shot at the basin every time you visit the salon.

Gently squeeze the water out of your hair after shampooing rather than rubbing it vigorously with a towel (treat it like your delicate smalls)

Apply a small amount of Satinwear to damp towel dried hair before blowdrying

Use a professional dryer, preferably ionic

Spray a small amount of Fabricate onto hair before ironing for extra heat protection and control

Use a Kavanagh iron (D'uh)

If you have any fluffy bits or flyaways control the with Redken Workforce 09. It's the hairspray you have when you're not having a hairspray.

My pleasure. Hope it helps!


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