Last week I went away on holiday and managed to forget not only sun cream and after sun, but somehow also left my curl creme behind. Good one. Cue panic in the airport and a quick trip to a Spanish supermarket. This resulted in these products:

 

I’ve now bought a full size Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly, which you can buy at Boots for just under £5…I would link but for some reason the Boots website is having a hissy fit. The mousse (for ‘lively curls’) was from the illustrious Eroski supermarket and was about 2 euros.

I don’t usually like to use a mousse as part of a styling routine when I wash my hair; it’s more a pick me up if my hair, when dry, needs a bit of definition or when a bit of frizz takes hold. I feel it can generally be a bit sticky and actually makes my hands go really dry. The jelly was great, hence why I bought a full size tube! It had just the right hold between a serum and a gel, but once completely dry your hair does need a hearty scrunch to avoid that dreaded crispy look.

So, for Umberto’s Scrunching Jelly, I would give it 8 curls out of 10!

Pros: Good hold, nice scent and hair was frizz-free without the wet-look gel effect

Cons: Not a massive amount for the price you’re paying, and I tend to use quite a bit

Now, I’m not going to bother with scoring the mousse- I doubt anyone will be going out of their way to get themselves some….

Holidays tend to agree with my hair; salt water makes it soft and ringlet-y, the heat makes it have a little growth spurt and the relaxation makes it happy and shiny and healthy. This means I’m off for a cut next week. Let’s see how straight hair at work goes down- if my own father didn’t recognise me last time I had it done, I may be escorted out of the building for being an imposter.

‘Til next time.

PS this week I passed a landmark 1000 blog views. Hi!

So last week I went to buy some of my standard, everyday Boots curl creme and got a nasty shock. It appears, after closer investigation, that my magical favourite product is being discontinued (although there are some hopeful reports; I’ve emailed Boots, so fingers crossed!). I sincerely hope this isn’t the case but I have started trying other products to see if anything compare in the tragic event that it does disappear.

The two I’ve recently been trialling have both been Samy, so this is a sort of continuation post from last week. On the strength of Samy’s LOVELY video I thought I’d try their styling products, seeing as I like their shampoo and conditioner so much. The first of these is the Get Curls Curl Reactivator, which is a sort of liquid gel (hence why it was basically impossible to photograph ha!) and feels a bit like a super lightweight, diluted serum.

The second is Samy’s Big Curls curl creme. Sounds promising, right? This one is more creamy, but the same sort of liquid-y consistency.

Now, I’m going to be honest- these both seem to do exactly the same thing. When I braved it and used both instead of my Boots curl creme, I used the clear Get Curls gel/serum first and followed with the Big Curls creme. My hair was curly enough but the products just didn’t have that ‘hold’ that the Boots creme has- it defines curls and leaves them soft and shiny, but holds them just enough to avoid frizz but without going crunchy. If anything, the Samy products made my hair a bit too soft and floppy. Big disappointment. I’ve taken to sort of diluting the Boots creme with either/both of the Samy products to make the Boots creme last longer, but I only have 2 and a half pots left and need to start looking elsewhere. *sob*.

As both seem to do the same for my hair, I’m going to treat them as the same product and give them both a 6 curls out 10.

Pros: leaves curls shiny and soft. Smells good!

Cons: hair almost too soft and prone to flatness and frizz later in the day.

So now begins the quest for a new product. I had to do it when they discontinued Sunsilk Curls and Waves (which was a dream!) so I know it’s out there somewhere. Here are some possibilities I’m going to try over the next few weeks:

Naked Gorgeous Curls Curl Taming Cream

John Frieda Curl Controller gel

Twisted Sista Curl Activator cream

If anyone has any suggestions of anything freely available on the high street, under £10 and good at defining and holding curls (this is why I’m going to try the John Frieda gel) let me know. I’m not really a fan of leave in conditioners as styling methods as they tend to leave my hair limp and overly soft as I make sure to keep it well conditioned in general. Tweet me @sausoodle with any ideas!

Next time I’ll let you know how these trials are going and do some curly hairstyle ideas (although if I have a bad hair week thanks to these bloody styling creams then this will have to wait haha)

:)

This week I’m going to do another product review. I recently went to the Bullring in Birmingham and popped into Superdrug to get some new curly goodies to try out and I found a brand called Samy which I’d never heard of before (strange for me, believe me..). And, better yet, it’s currently on 2 for 1 so I assumed it was fate ha. I got a shampoo and conditioner, and really wish I’d invested in more! After a quick google it seems impossible to find so I’m going to have to use it sparingly…Click here to see the range available on Superdrug online.

On the current offer it’s just £4.59 for both (that’s if you can find it haha). I really recommend searching it out though- I LOVE this shampoo and conditioner! It smells absolutely divine (citrus and fresh, really rare!), the bottles are a great size and, most importantly, it actually works. I’ve used it only twice and have noticed a difference in how soft yet shiny and defined my curls are. Trust me to fall in love with a range that’s practically impossible to find…They also do a few styling products like a mousse and a creme. The actual Samy of Samy products has a range of videos on youtube and there’s one in which he demonstrates how to use the creme. It’s pretty special so I thought I’d share it here…enjoy :

What a great, normal seeming human haha.

Anyway I digress. I can’t stress how much I love this combo. It’s also been great in all this horrid damp weather, it seems to have fought off the frizz and kept the curls in check, which is great as apparently the rain is here to stay for approximately forever, maybe even longer….

So, to summarise:

Pros: does exactly what it says on the bottle. Makes curls manageable, soft, shiny and defined. Wonderful citrusy smell.

Cons: possibly only stocked in really big Superdrug stores. Drat.

Overall I would give Samy from Miami and his glorious shampoo and conditioner a resounding 9 curls out of 10. Because no-one’s perfect.

Now, on a side note- I also got a couple of new Model’s Own nail varnishes and they are the best thing ever! I indulged my inner magpie and went for the glitteriest ones I could find- the Hed Kandi inspired ‘Ibiza Mix’ and ‘Juicy Jules’. And they look a little like this:

   

Aren’t they awesome?! My mum hates them, naturally, so I’ve of course been wearing it all the time. It brightens up the work day, watching glittery fingers skittering over the keyboard :) Shout out to my good friend Hope who introduced me to the range. You can check out her beauty blog here.

That’s it for now, til next time!

I got a new job recently so I’m afraid the blog has been a little neglected. But, fear not, curlfriends- I’m back.

Today I’m going to write about hair cuts, hair styles and hair dressers. For curly girls everywhere, this can be a sore topic. I have all too often walked into a salon for a new hairdresser to stare at me with fear in their eyes. A year at Kidderminster College did not prepare them for this. The problem with curly hair is getting inspiration- no celebrities really seem to let their curls free bar a meagre few, and when you google curly hair you get curled hair rather than curly hair. Take Lea Michele, Mischa Barton and Taylor Swift:

Three lovely hairstyles but none natural. The only celebs I can think of who embrace their curls are Thandie Newton, Annalyne McCord, Debra Messing and most recently, Halle Berry:

Even in just 4 photos, you can see how much variations in curls there can be. This means, I’m afraid, that you have to work with your hair and take the time to try some different styles until you find what works for you. Sometimes you just have to be brave and try something new, which I did the last time I got my hair cut.

I usually go to Umberto Giannini (Kidderminster), but as I was desperate for a cut and my usual hairdresser happened to be away I thought I’d try Lisa Shepherd (Kidderminster) instead. Turns out she’s actually the hair colouring expert on Channel 4’s ’10 Years Younger’ programme (although obviously I didn’t see actual Lisa Shepherd ha). The salon is actually really nice, and they have a super cool (no pun intended) well stocked fridge and relaxing area with magazines etc.

Now, I usually get my hair cut when it’s wet, which I prefer because you can see more how it springs up and reacts to the cut. Also, I had a DISASTROUS cut once where it was straightened first and then BUTCHERED (I had to wear it straight for a year as it was too sad to curl). So when the hairdresser suggested straightening it first in order to get a better idea of layers etc I was skeptical to say the least. But, turns out she was right to do so- my previous hairdresser had been cutting the layers too low and the ends of my hair were really quite sparse and thin. This means that I could get the rest of the layers trimmed and chopped while leaving the lower layers a chance to grow back a little (which apparently won’t take long…a year (!!!?)). I’m really happy with the result and am actually going to make an appointment to go back soon and get another trim as my mane is growing like crazy.

Now here are some hair cut tips I’ve garnered from past experience:

1. Never underestimate the power of a good hair cut. Trust your hairdresser and sometimes it’s worth paying that little bit more to know you’re getting just what your hair needs!

2. Layer, layer, layer. Not to death obviously (as you can tell from above, this can be bad too…) but a good few layers around the crown and the face add movement to your hair and also give it a good shape. I know when I need a cut when my hair sits in the ‘triangular poodle’ shape (flat on top and bushy at the ends..hot.)

3. Be firm with your hairdresser. Be clear with what you want and if it looks like he or she is doing something you don’t want, either ask them to explain or just tell them why they need to put the scissors down and sit on the naughty step.

4. If you find a good hairdresser that understands your hair, hold on to him or her for dear life! I always tend to ask when making the appointment if there are any curly haired stylists/curly hair experienced stylists.

5. British Curlies does a great forum with specialised hair salons and hairdressers all over the UK so you can find a curly genius nearby. I’m itching to try the Birmingham options!

6. Don’t wear earrings. Ouch.

I usually get my hair styled straight when I get it cut, mostly to check it’s not wonky but also because I don’t have the strength in my arms to spend an hour straightening it myself….so this is how it looked when it was done:

Apologies a) for the bad quality photo, b) my messy room and c) my weird posture (surprisingly impossible, I think I pulled a muscle.) But you can clearly see all the layers etc. I must say, every time I get my hair straightened I like it less and less. It gets in my face incessantly and is long enough to double as a scarf. But doing comedy moustaches with it is never ending fun. I took a picture earlier after being styled etc to show the shape when it’s curly (this time, apologies for my dotty pyjamas haha):

You can see here how it’s still sparser at the ends but quite a lot of body at the roots. I’m overall really happy with the shape and the movement of the hair, and the curls responded really well to their new cut. I’ll do an update each time I get a new trim- I bet you can’t wait already…

Next time I think I’ll be doing another product review, this time of Tigi Bedhead Foxy Curls. I spotted some in TK Maxx and am determined to try it out.

So, the other day I woke up (stick with me, this story is going somewhere, I promise) and was filled with fear as I realised I couldn’t move my arm or hand.

Panic not.

Turns out one of the bracelets I was wearing got stuck in my hair. My curls can sometimes be perilously dangerous; when I used to work at Debenhams I always used to get the hangers caught in my hair. I also can never again use one of those indian head massager things, or, just in general, a comb.

But I digress. The whole point of this post is to do a few product reviews that I should’ve done ages ago. A good product can make the difference between knotted, dangerous hair where things can be trapped forever, or lovely silky manageable, obedient hair. (Although I’m certain mine has, and always will have, a mind of its own…)

Let’s make a start.

You can buy Curly Wurly here, for £9.50 https://www.lush.co.uk/product/106/Curly-Wurly-Conditioning-Shampoo

So, first up is Lush’s ‘Curly Wurly’ shampoo, of which my lovely friend Holly got me a free sample.  Lush are great for giving out little trial samples that aren’t stingy, so you can get a good few uses out of them- especially the skin care ones. However, seeing as I have a huge amount of unruly hair, I used all the sample amount in the little pot. The Lush website says it is ‘crammed full of real coconut, then topped this off with cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, avocado butter and olive oil – all to add a deep condition to the hair and a definition to the curl.  We have then included linseed infusion and egg for softness, fresh papaya and freshly squeezed lemon juice to give shine.’

So let me tell you about my frustration with this product. Admittedly, it does everything it says on the tin- my hair felt lovely and moisturised and the curls were shiny and defined. And I smelt like sun cream for a good week, even after washing with other products 2 or 3 times. I hate the smell of coconut, which was my primary issue with the shampoo, but I thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt. However, what the description doesn’t say, is that it’s filled with little coconut bits which are meant to help exfoliate the scalp (I think). Not only did the shampoo take a good 10 minutes to lather, but then a good 10-15 minutes to try and get all the little coconut bits out of my hair. Not ideal.

I’d give this one 7 curls out of 10. If it wasn’t for the coconut scent, I would have used this say, once a week, as a kind of hair treat, as it takes too long to lather/wash out to be an everyday product.

pros– leaves hair soft and manageable with shiny, defined curls

cons– smells horrific. need a good half an hour in the shower just to lather and wash out….and those bloody coconut pieces. Oh and it’s not cheap either…

Next- Organix Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

I got these during the 3 for 2 offer at Boots but they’re usually £6.99 each at Boots http://www.boots.com/en/Organix-Morocon-Oil-Shampoo-385ml_1222268/

I had wanted to try out this Argan oil fad for a while, as well as testing some of the sulphate free products. So when I noticed not only was this shampoo/conditioner Argan oil based, but also sulphate free, I treated myself and used it for the first time yesterday. The shampoo has a really strange texture, more like a gel than a liquid, and smells a bit weird- actually both the shampoo and conditioner smell odd, which is a shame as I like my hair products to smell great (Aussie is especially good for glorious smells). It lathered fine though; for some reason I assumed that because these products were more natural that they’d be difficult to lather, much like the Lush product.

I have to say that my hair doesn’t feel that much different…but I sense that this is the kind of product that needs to be used a few times to see a difference in the hair’s condition. The conditioner was nice and thick and really felt nourishing, and my hair is now really soft. If anything, I think one thing I noticed is that this morning my hair still looks pretty fresh, whereas usually (especially if I’ve had an odd dream and thrash about in the night) I wake up looking a bit mental. I was a little disappointed, but in retrospect I don’t know what I was expecting- miracles?! I think if I were to invest again I’d just buy the conditioner though. I took a photo to show you what my curls looked like when they were all styled etc (apologies for the harsh flash- without it you couldn’t really see the curls that well) –

 So overall I’d give this 6.5 curls out of 10. I may revise this at a later date after I’ve used it more. I think the conditioner especially will be a great hair mask.

Pros: Conditioner was lovely, and both products left my hair feeling really clean and soft.

Cons: Shampoo was an odd texture, colour and smell. Didn’t do anything extraordinary…but it may have a cumulative effect (like a good moisturiser!)

That’s enough now I think. Next time: a trip to the hairdresser’s. Maybe.

I decided to ruin my street cred ( yeah I have loads, actually?) and do a post about how my hair and its curls have changed over the years. I made some terrible choices including- brushing when dry (hello giant afro), getting a perm (whyyyyy), sporting a straight fringe for about a year (awful awful awful), and going to a rubbish hairdresser that butchered my hair (cut it when straight) and thinned it out so much that my poor hair refused to curl and I had to straighten it for a year while it grew out. This is the worst thing that can happen to you if you are about 15/16…so let’s have a chuckle at my expense:

ho ho ho. Just take a minute to pull yourself together now.

So as you can see it’s only recently that I’ve started to understand my hair and what looks good and what looks HIDEOUS. See massive straight fringe photo…or weird pouffey bun photo…or frizztastic brushed out blowout photo. When I was born I had jet black straight hair (my grandmother was worried that I was some sort of gypsy child) which all kind of fell out and came back a lighter brown with a hint of a curl. Things went belly up when my mum decided to give me a bob which sprung out in crazy curls- whenever people see photos of me at this age they go ‘oh…I didn’t realise you had a brother!’…’no no…that’s me. yup.’

At school from a young age until about 9 I would wash my hair and my mum would dry it, combing it through as she dried……hence the mass of frizz like a sort of halo around my face that I sported until I thought hey- enough is enough. Lets mousse this shit down like there’s no tomorrow. Couldn’t find a good photo but i used to scrape it back and wear it in a tight bun, like every day was dance recital day. I stopped this when my grandma told me she was scared I would get a receding hairline. This was when I got the perm. Dude. Huge mistake. All I needed was a good haircut with the right kind of layers to coax out the curls. Once this happened it was like an epiphany! And then I decided to get the straight fringe. What’s wrong with me. This is also when, I assume, I was in my rebellious phase, as I dyed my hair blue (it went dark grey) green (??!! it went a lighter grey) and red and pinks. The most successful is pictured here…the teachers at school told me to wash it out ASAP. I loved it.

I only ever tend to wear my hair straight if it’s been done at the salon, as it’d probs take me about an hour and my arms are too weak hahaha. The photo from prom is when I’d just had it cut, ready to coax it into being curly again after the disastrous chop from the year before. It was a slow process but it eventually paid off :) The rest of the photos sort of show the different ways I style the front, fringey part (headbands, straight and tucked behind the ear, loose and curly, loose and straight, clipped back, quiffed etc) and I try now to wear it as natural as possible. One thing I love about my hair now is its length- I hated it shorter as you can see it in the couple of photos pictured….it needs a cut but I’m loath to lose the length!

So to summarise:

– don’t brush your hair once it’s dry. I only ever comb it when it’s been freshly washed and I’ve put my leave in conditioner on.

– for the love of god don’t get a perm. Just get a good hair dresser. Also don’t cut your own hair unless you know what you’re doing. (especially don;t do this right after your mum has just paid for your haircut that you maim within half an hour of being home…)

– don’t get a straight fringe unless your hair is more wavy….looking back I just cringe because it looked SO silly.

– be patient and try new things!

:)

This week I will be trying the no-poo method (teehee) http://www.wikihow.com/Follow-the-Curly-Girl-Method-for-Curly-Hair

And soon I’ll be doing a review of Lush ‘Curly Wurly’. I also just got some Moroccan Argan oil sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to try and review.

x

ps much love to all the people who read last week’s blog and left such lovely comments and even followed me! Much appreciated. x

pps sorry that my phone case is visible in most of the photos haha…

So, the other day I was doing some work experience and someone in the office said ‘ooh! pretty hair! cue ‘oh thanks ha yeah thanks’ and then there was an awkward silence in which she stared at my hair and then said ‘i’d kill for hair like that.’ This post goes out to you, crazy office lady. Please read this instead of killing me and shaving my head and wearing my hair as a wig. Cheers.

Ok so I just got a shiny new iphone which has helped me take photos of my routine. I’m going to try and keep it to the point but I could waffle about this for about a hundred years…maybe more.

1. Shampoo- this changes every time I wash because I like to try whatever’s on the shelf in the bathroom, but my favourite is Frizz Ease Dream Curls. Often, in winter especially, I’ll use my dad’s head and shoulders around my hairline as I have dry skin and all the hairdrying and radiators in winter makes my scalp sad. So shampoo all over, wash out thoroughly and then condition after squeezing most of the water out, avoiding the roots. Again today I used Dream Curls conditioner. I tend to leave this in as long as I can, depends how late I’m running that day…Then, after that’s all washed out nicely, I towel dry, spray on some Aussie leave in conditioner and comb through my hair with a wide tooth comb.

        

2. Ok so then I do the serum and curl creme step. My magical curl creme is Boots’ own brand and costs about £1.30. I would be lost without it! I sorely miss Sunsilk curls and waves curl creme though. Currently using a Naked serum which is good, bit difficult to coax it out though. Another good serum is the Aussie one which smells, of course, incredible. I use about a 10p sized blob of serum and mix it with some curl creme to dilute it a bit and evenly distribute it in my hair- avoiding the roots especially round the hairline. Make sure you get it all over, don’t ignore the ends! The last little bit, I flip my hair upside down and run my fingers through just once, so it gives the hair some more volume but doesn’t dry in too strange a position ha. Now we’re going to be stuck upside down for a while so best get used to it….

3. Now the product is all done, I put my hair into a towel and let it sit in there for about 10 minutes while I do my makeup. This picture is sexual. Enjoy.

4. Ok so makeup all done etc and hair has had a chance to chill before it gets dried. (On a side note I always try to super moisturise just to ensure that when I’m drying my hair my face doesn’t also shrivel up…) So yeah release the hair from a towel, give it a little scrunch, and then back to the upside down position to dry. Whack out the diffuser and let’s do this. I tend to put it on mid heat but most powerful um…power? Not sure how to word that ha. Too hot makes it dry out and go frizzy. Gather the hair in the diffuser and concentrate on a bit of hair for about 10 seconds then do another. I tend to move the hairdryer around too for some reason..? Keep drying until the roots are all dry and the majority is dry-ish. It’s not to dry it completely because it tends to go frizzy and….dry, strangely enough.

     

5. At this stage I sometimes attack with a bit of mousse if the drying has accidentally frizzed up a few bits. I just use bog standard Boots mousse because I’m a cheapo but I tend to think mousse is all pretty similar, like hairspray.

what number are we on? scroll scroll scroll

6. WE’RE ALMOST THERE GUYS. Now, scrunchhhhh! break all the product up to make the hair look all soft and awesome. Flip your hair back up to normal (beware, I always get a headrush at this point and sometimes stagger into my chest of drawers. Take care.) Hair will always look mental at this point but for some reason I didn’t take a photo, my bad. So let your hair settle a little and run your fingers through the roots to see where it’s deciding to settle. If it looks cool on its own then that’s excellent but because I’m obsessive I need it to look PERFECT so I take the bit of hair at the front, the sort of fringey bit i suppose, and hold it as if I were to make a quiff. I then straighten this ever so slightly, straight up to give it more volume. (This was SO hard to take a photo of, so it looks so weird- I had to use my nose to press the button to take the photo…)

7. Now, this is the last step. Hurrah. Once that bit is straightened I sort of shake it out and let it sit where it wishes. I then fashion a parting of sorts on which ever side it seems to favour on that day. Then I tease it over and spray a bit of hairspray to pat down flyaways and make it stay perfect for longer….also when it’s humid the hairspray helps combat the damp poodle effect. Et, voila.

I’m going to go ahead and answer some questions that I seem to get on an almost daily basis. If you are also of the curly persuasion, I’m sure you’ve heard at least one or two of these.

1. ‘Oh my god!! is that natural??1!’ Yes. Are you being serious? I do not have time to curl all of this hair.

2. ‘I bet you wish it was straight!?!1?’ Um…no. Why does everyone always ask this? I love my hair. It’s nice to be different. (plus it’s super fun to play with)

3. ‘Is that a perm?!?’ Bitch please. This isn’t the 80s. (however….I did once get a perm, in my naive youth. All I needed was a good hair cut. I do not recommend perms, they smell so so bad. Also it didn’t work. (…perhaps because my hair was already curly. I was clearly a dick.))

4. ‘Can I touch it?!!1?’ OR WORSE *touching hair* ‘oh you don’t mind if I touch it do you?’ STEP AWAY FROM THE CURLS. I will destroy you.

There’s probably more but right now I can’t think of them. I often get asked these at supermarket checkouts for some reason. And by mums of any age.

It took me a long time to get to grips with the right products, styles, techniques, cuts and maintenance for my hair. So I hope in this blog I can inspire more people to surrender to their curls and celebrate being a bit different. As much as I joke about the inane questions (there’s only so many times I can go ‘yeah…..thanks….your hair is also…..quite nice.’) I actually really love it when people comment on it. I put a lot of effort and pride into these curls!

Anyway. Til next time. Toodles!

Curly headed citizens rejoice; you are no longer under represented. I pledge to celebrate curls, share styling tips and techniques, product reviews and just general musings from my curly head.

Soon to come: my step by step curl styling routine (how exciting, right!), Lush ‘Curly Wurly’  shampoo review, Naked ‘Bounce’ range reviews, and just some general frivolity.

Once I work out how to actually use this blog I’ll post some interesting shit.