Natural Haircare for healthy hair after summer + giveaway

After a summer of sunshine, swimming in the sea or pool, and in general spending a lot of time outdoors, my hair has definitely had the worst of it and was left dry and with my signature red color turned orange. A bit of a tragedy if I must say. As soon as I came back from my greek holiday I decide to change up my hair care routine to include natural products free of sulfates in the hope to bring some life and shine back to my mane.

Sulfates are soaps commonly used in shampoos and have been in a negative spotlight for a few years now, appointed as responsible for many problems such as hair dryness and damage, itchy and flaky scalps and especially fading in color treated hair. From what I read every signal told me to stay away from them as much as possible with my dry sun and color damaged hair.

The first product I gravitated towards was my trusted coconut oil, of which I praised the qualities here already, so I won’t go to much in detail about it. I leave it on overnight or while I sport and when I wash it out my hair feels so lush and healthy. This is honestly the best and at the same time cheapest hair mask I’ve tried, if you haven’t you definitely should!

I decided to take a step further and try to substitute my drugstore shampoo and conditioner for natural and sulfate free products. I had tried to do this before trying the EverPure line from L’OrĂ©al but didn’t feel like it wasn’t cleaning my hair properly so I abandoned the idea for a while. This time I was lucky enough to be contacted by Maple Holistics to try a few of their products and I was blown away! I was sent the Argan Shampoo and the Silk 18 Conditioner and after the first time I tried them, I loved them and never went back. The final result was clean, shiny, silky hair as I hadn’t had in a while and I honestly couldn’t stop touching it all day. But let’s take a closer look at them.

The Argan shampoo is a “special formula shampoo” which is based on a gentle foaming base to which nourishing and therapeutic ingredients are added to give you and your hair the best shampooing experience. And it really is the case in my opinion. It contains argan, jojoba, almond, camelia seed and avocado oil to provide the hair of nutrients, vitamin E and moisture that give it shine and a healthy look, together with botanical keratin and natural vanilla and honey fragrance. The directions for use suggest you to shampoo twice, leaving the product to rest in your hair for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to penetrate the hair before rinsing. Now I was a bit skeptical about this at first and followed the directions exactly, but have later found that the shampoo works perfectly even when washing (and letting rest) only once, which makes it much easier when I’m at the gym and don’t have much time. Just be warned that in the shower you will have the feeling that your hair is still greasy, but that is just a feeling and this shampoo does a great job at cleaning the scalp.

Immediately afterwards I apply the Silk18 Conditioner on all my hair, not only the lengths. This is advised by Maple Holistics to make sure all your hair, including the roots take advantage of the eighteen silk amino acids present in the formula together with the botanical keratin. In this product we see again the presence of argan and jojoba oils together with other conditioning ingredients and the final result is incredibly soft and silky hair that is not weighed down and smells amazingly of vanilla. I adore it!

I am therefore enthusiastic that Maple Holistics, in collaboration with Edumuch, is putting forward one of each shampoo and conditioner to give away to one of you lovely readers as part of their #summerofgiveaways campaign, All you have to do is enter the giveaway via the widget below and follow this blog and the brand on social media.

Left: after the first time, right: after 2 weeks of using the Maple Holistics Argan shampoo and Silk18 conditioner

I genuinely recommend going sulfate-free and natural with your haircare if you have trouble keeping your hair healthy and shiny, these three marvelous products did wonders for my hair!
What are your tricks to keep your hair healthy?

Maple Holistics Haircare Duo Giveaway #summerofgiveaways

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My red hair story PART 2: maintaining red hair (affordably)

After all the fuss (and expenses) to get my beautiful red hair (read my story here), I jumped into the shower and it all started to bleed out! I was devastated! Now after many months of “redness” I found the routine that works best for me in keeping my hair red and not orange-looking.

A few disclaimers first: red will fade no matter what you do every time you wash your hair, so I try to wash it 2 times a week and get through the in between days with dry shampoo. Also I have quite an oily scalp and need a good cleansing shampoo. So here’s what I do:

I start with washing my hair with the Syoss Color Protect Shampoo (5 euro) and it really does the job of cleaning my hair without striping it of all the color. I had tried other shampoos which were mild and would leave my hair feeling as greasy as before washing (what’s the point right?!). This really does the job.

Then I use my holy-grail for red hair: the Revlon Professionals Nutri Color Creme in 500 Purple Red (12 euro). It claims to be a 3 minute conditioning and color depositing treatment. 

And it works amazingly!!! Leaves my hair feeling silky and adds color to contrast the color fading. I chose the purple red version over the fire red version because the purple undertone will neutralize the orange tones that come out in my bleached ombre ends. So overall I am obsessed with this product and use it every time I wash my hair at home.
Sometimes I do sport right after work and can’t really use the Revlon colored treatment, so I will go for the L’Oreal Elvive Colour Protect 60 Second Saviour Mask (5 euro). This is a very good fast conditioning treatment and leaves the hair looking amazing and shiny! Just put it on and do the rest you have to do, then rinse it off and you’re done! It’s really great!
Then once a week I take a home spa day and treat my hair as well with a repair or colour protecting mask. The ones i am using now and like are: Wella Care Brilliance Mask for thick hair (13 euro) and Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner (6 euro).
After i get out of the shower I towel dry my hair (even better if you use and old t-shirt as it will damage your hair less) and apply 1 pump of John Frieda Full Repair Serum Deep Infusion (expensive!) to my very ends to prevent splitting, followed by a spritz of Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-wheat Leave in conditioner that I got in a Waatbox some time ago.

And of course no heat styling but letting my hair air-dry in a braid or small buns to achieve nice waves.

So bottom line: you need to take good care of your red hair and it’s a lot of work!

Wash it as little as possible, better if with cold water, and use a color depositing shampoo or conditioner to contrast the fading. 
I hope this helped!
A big hug to you all!
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My red hair story PART 1: From Henna to True red and ombre

“I saw a girl with big red hair and I knew it was you!” This is what I hear often from my friends, and I LOVE IT. Standing out from the crowd, making a lasting first impression and being remembered is important to me and a big part of that is achieved thanks to my “big red hair”.
And it’s been a journey to get here.

My henna-ed hair

After I came back from my Erasmus exchange experience in the Netherlands in summer 2010 I decided it was time for a change, but didn’t want to ruin my really long and thick hair with cheap chemical dyes from the drugstore so I did some research and opted for Henna and started my adventure!
Henna (Lawsonia Inermis) is a natural dye used since ancient times for body decoration and hair coloring. The molecule responsible for the color is the Lawsone and it has to be released from the henna leaves before you can dye anything (this is important!). This can be achieved using an acidic liquid of any form.
Having read this and many tips from those who had already tried it on their own hair, I went looking for the product. I visited my local herbal shop and asked for henna. There are a few different powders you can get: neutral henna (which is not really henna but Cassia obovata), black henna (which is actually Indigo), red henna (Lawsonia Inermis) or any mixture of the above to get the desired color. Since I was going for red, I chose to buy 100% Lawsonia.
Next step was to pick a “recipe” for the mixture. Since I started out with medium-brown hair and wanted to go towards an auburn-red color, I decided to mix the following: 100gr Lawsonia Inermis, 125gr white yogurt (acidic for dye release and moisturizing for the hair), warm red wine (enough to reach a yogurt-like consistency of the mixture) and a few drops of lavender essential oil (to cover the smell of hay that stick to your hair).
I prepared the mixture in the evening and let it develop overnight in a warm place like close to a heater. The morning after I would apply the mixture from the roots to the tips of my hair, let it sit 3-5 hours (yes THAT long) and then rinse off.

My crazy idea

The final result after my first application was amazing! I had achieved a very natural-looking auburn color with bronzy reflections. I was very happy and continued dying my hair this way every 2 months for about 2 years. It was not necessary to dye it more often because the re-growth was not very noticeable. However, after all this time, my hair color was getting darker and darker and it wasn’t as red as I liked.

Dark red

So one day I went to a hairdresser and, together with my crazy choice to shave off a side of my head, I asked her to dye my hair bright red! I literally went to her with the picture here on the right. She told me that unfortunately it was too risky to lift the hair color so much having henna on and that I had to wait to outgrow it. So I went only for the hair cut and came back another day to get a dark shade of red that didn’t need any bleaching. And I loved it!
Since then I have kept my hair red and only added ombre toward lighter red on the ends. This last choice I regret a bit because since they had to bleach my ends, they have become dry and brittle and it takes a lot of work to keep them healthy.

The most important thing to remember about red hair: it bleeds! A LOT! So you will need to maintain it, but I’ll tell you about it in another post 🙂

My hair now: Red Ombre

So to all you girls who want to stand out I would say: go for it! All the way! Chemical dyes are the easiest way to reach the bright reds and the quality of the dyes you can find at the salons are high and don’t damage the hair too much. Always bare in mind that if you go to lighter shades, there will be some bleaching involved and you will need to take care of your hair to keep it shiny and healthy and maintain your red vibrant.

I hope this post will help some of you in your choices.
Keep rocking!

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