Friday, 29 May 2015

Long, Healthy Hair - My Tips And Tricks

Some of the most frequent questions that I get asked are about my hair: if it's real, how do I keep it so long, and how it can grow while still being bleached (I have a hybrid ombré/balayage colouring.)  Yes, my hair is 100% real and though it is long and healthy now, that wasn't always the case.  Bleaching, hair weave - you name it, I've done it and my poor locks have suffered the consequences.  I've decided to resurrect one of my first blog posts detailing all of the tips and tricks that I discovered on how to grow long hair fast, all while keeping it healthy.

First off, a little bit of history: I used to be a blond.  Not just any blond but a platinum, bleached-to-the-max super blond, that was so far off of my natural colour that I would have to go for root touch-ups every three weeks.  While fun, the entire process left my hair completely fried - I couldn't even touch my hair without leaving a trail of hair breakage behind.  To make matters worse, because my hair was breaking so much at the ends, resulting in my hair getting shorter and shorter by the month - I also neglected regular hair cuts.  By the time I coloured my hair back to a more natural brunette, it was so damaged and short that it seemed almost impossible to grow out long.  However, once I started really taking care of my hair, and investing in quality products, it started to grow at lightening speed!  Here's what I did to nurture my hair back to health, and get it to finally start growing.

Trim Your Hair Regularly

I'll admit it, I was the biggest sceptic about the concept of cutting your hair to promote growth - I honestly thought that it was a ploy for hairstylists to keep a steady business.  That being said, once I went to a professional stylist and cut off all of my damaged ends, and returned back every 8 weeks for a minor trim, my hair really took off.  I couldn't believe that something as simple as trimming your hair regularly could promote the growth I was seeing, but looking back now it makes sense .  Think about your fingernails - when one chips or breaks, you cut off or file the damage to appear more polished and help the nail grow back (a damaged nail can catch and snag on objects to create more damage.)  The same principal goes for your hair.  

Trust A Professional For Hair Colour

Leaving colour to the professionals is a non-negotiable if you're going lighter in colour, but also necessary if you're going darker and want to maintain healthy hair.  I really fought this one for a long time, not seeing the point as I was maintaining a darker hair shade. My feelings changed as soon as I started getting my hair professionally coloured, and noticed an immediate difference in the softness and shine of my hair.   I really don't want to knock at-home hair colour, since it is definitely the cost-friendly option of the two, but if you're wanting to grow your hair or work on it's overall health then leave it to the professionals.

Invest in Quality Products

Investing in high quality hair products played a key role in achieving the long hair length that I have now.  Here are the products that worked wonders on me:

1. Terax Crema - Ultra Moisturising Daily Conditioner

This daily conditioner has been instrumental in keeping my hair moisturised and preventing any further damage.  Honestly, as soon as I started using this conditioner, I noticed instant results in my hair's texture and really started to notice hair growth.  The Terax Crema conditioner is extremely rich and creamy, so a little really goes a long way.  I use it every time that I wash my hair, making sure to squeeze as much water from my hair as I can before applying it and then leaving it in for about 5 minutes before rinsing out.  I also use this same conditioner as a hair mask about once a month, leaving it in for 15 minutes before rinsing out.  For someone who is really wanting to improve the overall health and condition of their hair, the Terax Crema daily conditioner is worth the investment.

2. Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment

With the cult following that this product has, it needs no introduction; I can tell you, though, that it definitely lives up to its hype. I apply a dime size amount of this nourishing hair oil to the ends of my damp hair every time it is washed.  Not only does it protect and moisturise your hair, it also drastically reduces your hair's drying time (a huge bonus for my long hair.)  I'll even use a tiny amount of the Moroccan Oil on the ends of my hair if I haven't washed it that day, to help prevent any breakage.  As with the Terax conditioner, a little of this miracle oil goes a long way, so this is a product that will last.

3. Milk Shake Leave in Conditioner 

This leave in conditioner is great for combing through stubborn tangles.  I apply a few spritzes on just washed hair, after my Moroccan Oil, to help a wide tooth comb glide through my hair with ease - helping to reduce any breakage as a result from tangles.  I also just really love the scent of this product, like a delicious vanilla milkshake - yum!

Trying to grow out your hair can be a frustrating experience.  These tips, tricks and products (and a little patience) really helped me to achieve the long, healthy hair I had always wanted.  Let me know what has worked for you!



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

OOTD - Comme Une Française

Is it only me, or does knowing that Paris is only a plane ride away provide a unspeakable amount of comfort. Wanderlust has gotten a firm hold on me, as it does after I get home from all of my trips, and lately I've been longing for the streets of Paris. I still remember only a couple of summers ago admiring the simplicity and elegance that the Parisienne women possessed in their effortless way of dress.  Stripes paired with solids, minimal accessories and no-fuss hair and makeup - take me back!  Although my outfit channels more of the fairy-tale Paris that I keep in my head, I still love the look of a striped crop top and black swing skirt. After all, what self-respecting Parisienne women would wear a chunky heel with a short skirt?  Mon dieu! 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

OOTD - Stripes And A Floral Skirt

Can anyone else barely contain their excitement about the sunshine and warm weather that Spring brings along?  Granted there are still a few chilly days, but it almost makes those warm moments that much sweeter.  I've embraced the midi skirt in a big way, and this floral beauty had stolen my heat from the moment that I saw it!  I've always found that florals on a black background are a little tricky to style with anything other than black, so imagine my delight when I paired the skirt with a striped crop top and it worked.  Is there ever a time w here stripes and florals mixed together don't work?  I honestly don't think so!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Blog Talk - How I Promote My Blog Posts

Last night I had a great time meeting fellow blogger, the lovely Eleni from Bijuleni over some lattes and blog talk.  One of the best things about being a blogger is getting to meet so many amazing people in the same community and talk about our different styles and techniques when it comes to blogging.  A topic that comes up consistently is the different ways bloggers promote their own blog posts.  Everyone has different strategies and platforms that they promote their blog posts to, and I always come away from these conversations having learned something new!  So let's pretend that we're sitting in a cute café with some tea or coffee - Here are the ways that I promote my blog posts after I push 'publish'.

1. Use Social Media Wisely.

Promoting your blog and it's contents on social media seems like a no-brainer, but I've learned that it's all about timing.  For example, my Twitter links generate the most traffic in the morning so I will tweet the link to my new post as soon as it's published - and always include a photo.  Facebook seems to have the most activity in the afternoon, so I'll hold back on posting the link on my page until about 2pm.  Pinterest is most active at night - especially on a Friday night - so I stay mindful of that when Pinning my own posts. Instagram is tricky since it does not allow for clickable links anywhere except your profile page.  If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll update the link in my profile to direct my following to a specific blog post instead of just my blog.  In all cases, don't forget to shorten your link - I alway use Bitly to make the links to specific blog posts short and clean.

2. Find a Forum of Similar Bloggers

If you're a lifestyle/fashion blogger, then there's a ton of great communities to post your blog's content to and get inspiration from other amazing bloggers!  Stylegawker is a great resource to share your fashion content to.  Reddit can have it's positives for sharing blog content as well - I like the subreddit 'Today I Wore.' Chictopia is another great website to post your outfit photos to and then link them back to your original blog posts - bonus points for easily being able to find fashionistas in your area!  There are so many platforms and resources out there to share your content with like-minded bloggers, and to get inspired along the way.

3. Comment On Other Blogs

Commenting on other blogs is a no-brainer, but definitely takes some discipline.  When I'm at my most organized, I'll carve out a solid hour and devote it to browsing similar blogs and leaving thoughtful comments that link back to my own blog, or a specific posts that I think they might enjoy.   I love reading personalized comments and always click on the link the blogger provided to check out their own site, and sometimes I'll even find myself browsing through the comment sections of my favourite bloggers and clicking on all of the links that people have left - it's a great way to discover other blogs!

Those are the methods that I use consistently to promote my own blog posts.  Do you find yourself using the same methods to promote?  What do you do after you hit 'publish' on a post?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

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