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Shopping Online Shopping The Styling Room.co.nz

Thursday, 30 June 2011

TheStyling Room.co.nz offers customers the convenience of purchasing complete seasonal wardrobes from one website - with the added benefit of styling notes on each individual product. The Styling Room prides itself on superb customer service, easy to use website and no quibble return policy. If you have ever wanted to overcome your fear of online shopping this is the place to start.

This season you will find all the leading spring/summer trends on The Styling Room website, browse through the inspirational collections from New Zealand label Ketz-ke, Viktoria and Woods and Melbourne leading label Skin and Threads. Popular Australian label Ellis & Dewey returns with their sumptuous silk tops and tunics as well as their cotton summer essentials.
New to The Styling Room this season is the New Zealand label Augustine from Kelly Coe, this gorgeous range of separates promises to bring you both feminine styling and a burst of summer colour, from party pieces to relaxed summer pants. For a relaxed yet stylish look discover the Designline Collection of Lennox Tees from New Zealander Lisani Lennox, these stunning tees are exclusively available online at The Styling Room.

Founder of The Styling Room, Alicia Readman enjoys getting to know her clients and encourages customers to call if they wish to find out more about her online products or for one on one service you can visit The Styling Room boutique at 16 Turua Street, St Heliers.

TheStylingRoom.co.nz is proud to stock Bellabwear, Joveeba, , Ketz-ke, Skin and Threads, Ellis & Dewey, Park Vogel, Augustine, Designline Tees and Viktoria and Woods.

Gal of Style: Toni Marie Hood

WOMEN is an exciting designer label delivering high quality, innovative and wearable contemporary fashion, offering everything from street wear to special occasion wear.
Toni Marie Hood is the designer and Managing Director of WOMEN, and she has been involved in all aspects of the fashion industry for more than 20 years.

After the birth of her daughter, Toni Marie’s passion for fashion led to a desire to create her own label. Drawing on her experience as the team leader and head designer of a successful New Zealand label, and the knowledge from the extensive international travel she has done, Toni created WOMEN.

WOMEN’s flagship store is located in the heart of Mt Maunganui, and, this Thursday, 11th November, WOMEN will open their second store, located in Newmarket, Auckland. We caught up with Toni to talk all things fashion!
Tell us a little bit about WOMEN:
Our summer ranges are always about feminine fabrics, gorgeous dresses and an outstanding fit. We want women to look and feel confident in our garments. WOMEN as a label is ever-changing. It's an exciting designer label delivering high quality, innovative and wearable contemporary fashion. WOMEN presents edgy silhouettes and clever detail – ranging from street wear to occasion wear.

Describe your personal style:
I have a real thing for 'rock chick' glam mixed with something feminine. I like clashing styles.

Who is your favourite NZ designer?
I would have to say Trelise Cooper. She has beautiful fabrics and is very different from what I do- but she is a clever businesswoman and I respect that.

What is your favourite current item of clothing?
A bright pink new season WOMEN 'Shout' coat that I wear over black or with jeans.

What is your favourite fashion purchase of all time?
A gorgeous coat by a Japanese designer that I bought while road tripping through Europe.

What has been your biggest fashion mistake?
I think a purple oversized jumper over yellow tights when I was 16 is pretty up there!

Where in NZ do you think is the most fashionable?
Auckland. They are unafraid and are consumed by beautiful designers and stores. They have a real sense of style.

Theresa Brady

Theresa Brady must be one of the hardest working women in the fashion business. Theresa is the designer behind no less than three labels: Doosh, Sable & Minx, and now, new label Brady. We chat to Theresa about all things fashion.

You’re a multitalented woman, being the designer behind three fashion labels, Sable & Minx, Doosh and new label Brady. Can you tell our readers a little about each label?
Doosh started 15 years ago as a clubbing and street wear label, it has evolved to be a leading urban street label for both men and women and it has a fun, irreverent and urban vibe to it. I started designing it 4 years ago. Sable and Minx is more classic and very feminine lots of beautiful and girly dresses in silks and modals it is very elegant and pretty. I began it in 2007. Brady is more edgy and constructed, with interesting silhouettes and colour combinations. It has been fantastic to collaborate with another designer too, Rebecca Batley – Alder joined with me to create it.
You just finished a showing at New Zealand Fashion Week for both Sable & Minx and Brady. How was that experience?
I am lucky to work with a great team of talented creatives from my stylist Dayra Bing to Rebecca and of course our workroom team made the show so easy to work on. It is like running a marathon backstage and behind the scenes trying to get everything out looking right – it is really hard to do two shows at once!
What do you enjoy most about being a designer?
I love that every day is different and I get to work on so many cool projects. I travel and research before design so I see a lot of amazing places for inspiration, I love developing my silk prints the most and spend about three weeks at fabric markets at different times during the year looking at thousands of prints and fabrics for all the labels, I just love it all! Also I get to work on all aspects of design from the garment through to logos, ads, lookbooks and websites so there is always something new and exciting to do especially because we have three labels.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my reactions to places, nature, culture, art, and music, so it is what strikes me and gets me thinking that I will build a story around. I am looking forward to my next trip to Buenos Aires, Rio and Madrid. I think I will have some great Latin inspiration for next summer!
Describe your personal style.
I am probably a “Brady Girl” most out of all my labels, I like things to be a little unusual and have cool details and colours put together. But I am also a chameleon always evolving, the only thing I don’t have in my wardrobe is any old tracksuits or tee shirts, I never wear anything too sloppy, that is not my style.
What is your all-time favourite fashion purchase?
A beautiful vintage black silk and lace floor length negligee that I got at an opshop in New York, If only I can only figure out where to wear it!
You would rather eat your own shirt than wear...Fur. There’s just no need, fake fur is more fun and friendly!

Jasmin Sparrow

Jasmin Sparrow is a collection created for lovers and dreamers to play dressups and dance in forever.The feathered collection has been lovingly created entirely by hand by Jasmin Sparrow herself. We chat to Jasmin about everything fashion.
How did your label Jasmin Sparrow come about?
By accident really! I’ve always loved feathers and during summer 2008 started braiding them into my hair and wearing them around my head. Friends started asking me to make jewellery pieces for them, Eventually I started selling them in a few boutiques and it all evolved from there!

What do you love about being a designer?
I love having the freedom to be able to work from home under my own rules. Being able to create all day everyday, and make a happy living doing what comes naturally and I love!
What inspires you?
I get inspired by so many things. Everyday life inspires me.
Books, magazines, old films, different cultures, nature, people.
I believe just by having an open mind you can be inspired by almost anything.
Describe your personal style.
I love wearing beautiful soft fabrics. My wardrobe consists mostly of garments I’ve made myself and op-shop finds, lots of vintage with a few staple designer pieces. I tend not to follow trends to closely, I get inspired by collections and what people are wearing but like having my own individual style.
Where do you shop?
Op-shops, garage sales, second hand stores, school fairs! In Wellington I like to shop at ziggurat, hunters and collectors, the service depot and zambesi.
Who is your fashion icon?
My Grandmother and her friends. They’re so classy, in their immaculate vintage clothing and jewels!

Who is your favourite New Zealand designer?
Oh no just one? At the moment I would have to say Juliette Hogan, there are so many pretty pieces I want from her summer collection.

What’s your must-have buy for this spring?
Ooh I really want Karen Walker ‘Rover’ sunglasses, and Juliette Hogan ‘Faith’ dress... please.
What is your all time favourite fashion purchase/garment/outfit?
A gold crucifix with a big ruby in the middle It has been passed down through our family and was given to me when I was born. It means a lot and looks amazing!
You would rather eat your own shirt than wear...
Fluro, slogan tees, and those ridiculous tights that are supposed to look like jeans!
Be sure to check out her collection at www.jasminsparrow.com - I seriously want every piece.

Katie-Maree Cole

Katie-Maree Cole is a New Zealand designer who uses natural fabrics in design. Her signature is a feminine and romantic look with a quirky edge playing on the fun of day to day dressing
After receiving numerous awards throughout her degree, including being chosen as a finalist in the Air New Zealand Inspiring New Zealanders competition by Karen Walker, Katie-Maree Cole has launched her first directional range, "Painted. me" after success of her basics merino range in 2009.

The FashioNZ team caught up with Katie-Maree to talk all things fashion!
Tell us about your new collection, ‘Painted. Me’
Spring/ summer 2010 is a playful capsule collection tinkering with the transformation clothes can bring. Influenced by the imaginative novel 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and the Japanese flirtation with individual style. I tried to capture the beautiful aesthetic of the movie in silk/ cotton and linen garments that are feminine and luxurious.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love how every season you get to learn something new about what you’re researching, your world is constantly getting bigger.
What inspires you?
The intricacies of life– but to narrow it down a wee bit – I get inspired by meeting and seeing other creative people who are passionate about what they do, whether it’s creating beautiful clothes, food, movies or music.
Describe your personal style.
My personal style is a bit of a mixed bag as I dress completely to my mood each day, but it is always made up of quality natural fabrics with a lot of colour and texture.
Where do you shop?
I usually do a bit of a mixture of op-shopping (the best trips are when I am on holiday in a new town I haven’t explored before) and then I try and pick up some of my favourite designer pieces for the season. The Department Store opened 5 minutes from where I live so most of my money is being spent there at the moment!
Who is your favourite New Zealand designer?
While studying I completed my work experience at Karen Walker and ever since then I have followed her label closely, I always love her prints and am so inspired by her international success.
What’s your must-have buy for this summer?
Well, despite the fact that I have my head in next winter’s wools and velvets I think a new summer dress is always a must – something that is colourful and easy to wear.
What is your all time favourite fashion purchase/garment/outfit?
It would have to be a toss-up between a Marc Jacobs polka dot playsuit I got last year from Workshop and a black and white check woollen blazer from a recycle boutique that was a bargain.
You would rather eat your own shirt than wear...
Without a doubt it would be fishnet stockings. I wore too many of those for dancing when I was growing up!

Painted. me will be available in Auckland and Wellington and from www.katiemareecole.com launching soon. Check out a few of our favourite picks from the collection below.

Mitchell Oakley Smith

I have been waiting for this book to hit stores and finally, this month, it has arrived. "FASHION, Australian and New Zealand Designers", by Mitchell Oakley Smith, is a 352 page collection of fashion imagery and commentary. Smith is Associate Editor of GQ Australia and has previously contributed to fashion publications such as BELLE, The Australian and Myer Emporium. We talk to Smith about all things fashion!
How did you first get into the fashion industry?
I first worked as a news journalist before moving over into fashion, which was what I always wanted. I studied writing at university with the aim of becoming a fashion journalist.
Why did you decide to compile this book?
I found that there was no tangible reference of this very moment or era of Australian and New Zealand fashion and, when I looked further, there hadn’t been one in Australia for nearly 3 decades.
What do you think are the difference between Australian and New Zealand Fashion?
I think that New Zealand has a much more identifiable aesthetic, which is perhaps a result of the isolation of the country. Australia on the other hand has a much broader aesthetic – of different styles as influenced by different cities, backgrounds, etc.
There’s often talk about where our ‘down under’ fashion fits into the world - given that our seasons are out of whack and our climate and lifestyle is so different to that of Europe and the US. What’s your take?
I think it should be recognised and appreciated on its own level, and not compared to international markets. This comparison is a result of many years (up until the new millennium) of large corporate fashion companies copying the styles of Europe or US, but there’s so many younger, niche designers today and so much more on offer.
You are also the associate editor of GQ magazine, if and how do you think that helped you in writing this book?
I also write for Belle, Box, The Australian and Vogue Australia. I think having established relationships with designers and PRs helped in getting interviews – as I interviewed each of the 70 designers featured. This access wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have a strong background in the industry.
Who is your fashion icon?
I can’t say that I have one, actually. I’m inspired by so many different people and places that it’s impossible to be influenced by just one.
Who are your favourite designers, Kiwi and Australian?
Young, niche designers such as Arnsdorf, Yeojin Bae and LIFEwithBIRD show such great promise and a real understanding of what luxury is today. Others, like Dion Lee and Romance Was Born, continue to inspire and excite. The stalwarts like Akira, Easton Pearson and Collette Dinnigan have remained true to their identity, which has worked in their favour, too. In New Zealand, I think the likes of Nom*D and Zambesi have a fantastic history that they continue to reference to great effect, and the younger guard like Jimmy D are promoting the country in innovative ways.
What has been your career highlight?
Seeing the great reaction to this book by designers, photographers, retailers, students, academics, booksellers and customers.
What are your plans/goals for the future?
I’m already hard at work on another fashion book, more on that to come… In the meantime, I’m getting back on top of my day job working in magazines.

golden globes fashion

Golden Globe Awards, you think of the red carpet when the next season, the Golden Globe Award wait for the fire department. 2011 Golden Globe Awards every year so many interesting elements – the joke was flooded with reports surprise, won the inaugural speech, interesting fun and playful beauty of the vibration can cause

Diesel Timeframes Jewelry Store

DIESEL had launched a new online store featuring their designer watches and jewelry. Get free overnight shipping on orders of $100

Try a New Hairstyle for Fall!

LOOKING FOR A HOT DO FOR COOL AUTUMN DAYS? CHECK OUT THESE AMAZING

LOOKING FOR A HOT DO FOR COOL AUTUMN DAYS? CHECK OUT THESE AMAZING (AND EASY-TO-PULL-OFF) STYLES!

A little volume on top makes your cheekbones pop!
How-to:
1. Protect your locks with leave-in conditioner.
2. Then curl two-inch sections with a large iron.
3. Tease the front, then brush back and secure it with bobby pins.
Try: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray, $7, drugstores

New York Fashion Show

New York Fashion Show,2011 New York Fashion Show
The New York Fashion Week kick started in September 2010, and produced designs from top designers, including Calvin Klein, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren, who all showed off their spring/summer 2011 collection. As usual, the show was packed full of celebrities eager to find out what will be hot in fashion for next year. Models displayed many vintage and gladiator styles, as well as bright colours, which seemed to be a favourite for many of the fashion designers in attendance. Other designers went for the crisp white look with a lot of their styles, while others opted for the trendy camel colours.
Sensual femininity seemed to be at the centre of many of the latest trends, with creativity certainly not being in short supply.
The Milan Fashion week showcased an abundance of popular designers, which included, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Prada and Versace. The exciting event gave homage to the spring/summer collections of these Italian designers we know and love. The collection from many of the featured designers, included extremely bright colours, and a love of anything feminine and flirty. The theme for many of the designs was strong, confident and extremely sexy. It’s no doubt we will see many of these styles on the high street over the coming months, although some of the head wear worn by the models, may not be so quick to catch on!
Also taking place in September was the much loved, London Fashion Week, with a fabulous line up of designers which included Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Pringle, Paul Smith and Mulberry, all displaying their latest collections. Again, we seen bright and bold colours, with lace, floral and printed skirts and dresses being a must-have for the summer/spring season ahead. Fun and feminine style was in abundance from the fashion designers at the celebrity filled London event.
Last, but by no means least, is Paris Fashion Week. This cosmopolitan event hosted a wealth of popular designers, including Pierre Cardin, and Amaya Arzuaga. The design from the spring/summer collection of many of the French designers featured on the catwalk is somewhat wild and adventurous. The Portuguese designer, Fatima Lopes also displayed a collection to get the pulse racing, as she showcased her skimpy tops and short and sexy dresses and skirts. The same theme of many of the designs has carried on throughout the different cities, and it is clear that bright colours, floral dresses and print designs are going to be very much in style for the summer months to come

Men’s Fashion

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Italian Fashion Milan Spring Fashions

Continuing from the first part on Milan Fashion Week Sep 2009, Lifeinitaly brings you a look at a few more designers from the ramps of Milan.

Cavalli at Milan Fashion

Cavalli has a history of dressing women with overt, sexual glamour, usually attention seekers who like to heap on the bling. These divas catapulted him to international fame, all dolled up in tight, raunchy clothing and animal prints.
But over the last few seasons, Cavalli has softened that image, made his girls more feminine, approachable.
For Spring 2010, however, he seems to have overdone it a little, going for floral-printed sack dresses teamed with boxy pinstripe jackets and hipster trousers from which the waistbands of boxer shorts peeked through. Very reminiscent of Gautier and Marc Jacobs, hardly Cavalli blue-blood.
Roberto Cavalli labeled it a call to a simpler lifestyle, but given the profile of his clientele, one wonders who would buy his trompe l'oeil apron dresses with calico florals in front and sheer black chiffon at the back.
Nightlife-loving city girls would be happier with his evening gowns, with their fitted, assymetrical cuts and flared hems.
Not high octane sexy, but more Cavalli. It remains to be seen if Cavalli's move from diva to demure would work the cash registers at boutiques around the world.

Dsquared² at Milan Fashion

When you go to a Dsquared² fashion show, you expect a spectacle. Dean and Dan Caten, the designer twins behind the brand, did not disappoint this season either. Their ramp revealed a camping scene: tents, chandeliers, mirrors, trees, they had it all. Despite their Canadian origin, this duo has spent a lot of time working at Versace and Diesel, and it shows.
Models strutted down the catwalk in t-shirts, cut-offs, embellished jeans jackets, transparent poncho raincoats worn over bikinis and so on, in a literal interpretation of this brand's hallmark: outdoorsy chic.
But they quickly moved on from casual glam to witty, sexy clothes that actually populate the Dsquared² outlets: ball gowns made from picnic blankets, naughty prom dresses complete with glittery insect brooches, and a few scrumptious little black jackets and dresses.
The Catens have presented yet another Spring collection meant for young, hip, body-conscious types.
For D & G, Domenico and Stefano took the cowboy theme and interepreted it interms of their sexy staples: leggy pants, boyfriend jeans sprinkled with holes, skirts with scandalously short hemlines,tiered maxi skirts, lacey blouses, unbuttoned denim snap-front shirts and corset tops. Also some cropped, cuffed pants, suede, denim and a lot of eyelets in a nod to the general Spring 2010 Milan trends.
When it came to the really upmarket and grown-up Dolce e Gabbana, the designer duo went back to their starting heydays in the nineties.
With no runway and lots of light focused on the presentation, the Spring 2010 Dolce e Gabbana collection came into its own, the brand's signature mannish tailoring and lingerie inspirations firmly in the limelight. Lots of lace, chintzes, and macrame' completed the come-hither look that first made Dolce e Gabbana a celeb favorite.

Fendi at Milan Fashion

Karl Lagerfield took Fendi in a muted, understated direction this Spring in a collection mostly tinted beige, ecru, ivory, and other pastel shades. Parisian lingerie seemed to be a major inspiration, and the models walked down clad in silky romper suits, slips and knickers, all trimmed with an abundance of lace.
Fendi craftsmanship was the subtle yet definite winner. Devore appliques, needlepoint, and embroidery all came together in Lagerfield's work on fragile tulle and lace.
The look was saved from descending into the realm of cliche' because Fendi balanced out the decorative work with a few raw edges and unfinished hems, all done to give a modern, commercial edge to the collection.

Ferragamo at Milan Fashion

Spring 2010 was Cristina Oritz's last season with the house of Ferragamo, and she stuck to her theme of modern and architectural silhouettes that had been her signature in the past year.

BEN SHERMAN 4 POCKET JACKET*

Ben Sherman fire red four pocket jacket. 100% Cotton. Machine washable. * Please note this product can only be returned by post, returns to. store are not possible on this item.

Latest Fashion Style

Fashion changes every month, even every week. So it is really difficult to go by the perfect fashion. But, you can always follow the celebrities as whatever they wear is considered to be the Latest Fashion. Theydeserveit will further help you in finding the Latest Fashion Style.Green Fabrics is a concept of the future. When the issue of protecting environment and greenery of the planet has become a burning problem today, fashion
has no choice but to enter the fray with Green Fabrics. Brazil is doing a lot of research in this direction and the Brazilian Fashion Lovers support the cause from the bottom of their heart. The young generation in that country has proved that you can look trendy in clothes made of organic cotton or polyester fiber recycled from plastic bottles. This saves the rivers and oceans getting polluted by the plastic bottles. Organic cotton does not need pesticides to grow which means organic cotton can be produced in plenty even without posing threats to the lives of butterflies.

Fashion for men has undergone a sea change in recent days. The most remarkable piece of clothing for men this summer is the white shirts by Duckie Brown. The sleeves of these shirts are chopped off from the elbow. Sports wearare the latest in thing. Theydeserveit has good news for the cold weather sports enthusiasts. Gone are the days when winter sports meant only the bulky jackets and the snow pants that used to pull down your personality. You have sleeker collections for this season. The ski pants can also be worn on casual outings and hanging-outs.

The Latest Fashion Style for women is to some extent recurrence of the olden day trends. From the ultra feminine look, the designers have again turned to the old frills and pleats. The fashion look for this season is much somber. The new range is dramatically voluminous which makes the experts anxious about its future. There is an indiscriminate use of layers in this collection. The bubble skirts and the bubble shaped bottom halves of the knee length dresses took the world by storm. But the funny thing is that these dresses make women look like a potato-sack. These dresses do not highlight the body silhouette; instead they make the one who wears them bulky to look at. Almost all the actors in Hollywood were the part of this fashion disaster. The knee-length bubble-bottomed dresses just spoiled the grace in their persona.

Theydeserveit will help you in finding out the Latest Fashion Style and will save you from any kind of fashion disaster.

Man Fashion Style

minem or Ricky martin, Richard Gere or Leonardo de Caprio, Jude Law or Johnny Depp, every body has his individual style. People round the globe want to follow them and become the prince charming of beautiful ladies. Fashion is not an exclusive forte of ladies any more. Looking good is an art. So more and more people are now
concerned about brushing up their skill in this art. Gone are the days when individual actors or singers had their individual style. The present day actors change their style according to the character they play. Nowadays Harry Potter and Pirate of the Caribbean create fashion. Man Fashion Style consists of a lot of things. It is not enough to wear fashionable clothes to look fashionable. The right kind of accessories and the perfect style of the shoe will complement your dressing. Theydeserveit will help you to decide how to dress up and down this season.

Man Fashion Style consists of everything starting from sporty look to formal-executive look. Men have two options to choose from. They can run after fashion or make fashion run after them. In the case of formal outfits you hardly have any choice. But you are always at liberty to make minor variations in your formal outfit. As in case of suits, stripes are back. Neck-ties in dots and stripes go well with formal out-fits. There are a range of ties with weird prints of skulls and human faces. They are never advisable for an official meeting or interviews.
The style of casual look changes everyday. It is not very easy to be in the right mode of style in your casuals. But the messed-up look is in. So whatever you wear, try to look carefully careless. That is the latest trend. It is high time to take those torn jeans out of your closet. Spray your hair and shuffle it. Wrist bands are the evergreen choice for the party animals. You can coal your eyes if you wish to. The unshaven look will complete the look (again it is optional). The most unusual choice this season for men is skirt. Many people are expected to be irked by the fact. But believe it or not, this is the age of being unusual. Even a few years ago people used to look at men wearing skirts quite awkwardly, but things have changed in a big way. Skirts of different length are ruling the ramps worldwide. So what are you waiting for? Be a little innovative and go for the size that suits you the best.
Fashion changes very frequently. What is in today will be out tomorrow. Theydeserveit suggests you not to go by fashion. You have every right to look fashionable, but don’t throw the things out of your closet as and when you find them outdated. Wait for a few years, and see how fashion repeats itself. There is always scope for innovations with the individual pieces you have and you never know when you start being envied by your pals. Theydeserveit will help you in keeping a track with the latest fashion trends.

Do hair vitamins work?

If you're keen to grow your hair long and you want it that way as quickly as possible, there are several hair vitamin formulations available over the Internet. These include the two types that I've personally tried: Hairtopia and Hair Formula 37. Both are quite pricey as the shipping from the US to Australia costs a lot, and the vitamins themselves aren't cheap either. But do they work? Here's what my experiences have been.
I took the Hairtopia tablets for three months before I decided that they just didn't work. I was taking six tablets a day, and saw no extra growth from them. They also gave me a hot flush every time I took them, due to the high niacin content. Therefore, I can't recommend Hairtopia to anyone - for me, it was simply a waste of money.

As for Hair Formula 37, well, these vitamins definitely work - my hair's growth rate has almost doubled - but there are side effects involved that aren't mentioned advertisements. I found that the hair on my body, as well as my fingernails and toenails, grew much faster also, meaning that I have to shave my legs every other day. In addition I gained nearly ten kilos in weight, because I found that Step Two of the program - the amino acids component - made me really hungry. Being that I'm (now) only a 65kg woman, that is a lot of weight and I attribute it purely to the HF37 vitamins, as there were no other changes to my lifestyle during the six months I've been taking them.

But the growth! My hair's growth speed has really taken off since the first month of taking HF37. It may have something to do with the extra nutrients in my diet from all that extra food, but it's probably the hair vitamins themselves. The program is a 3-step process, incorporating essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and a herbal booster component. You can also buy Grow! Shampoo and Conditioner with the HF37 program, which contains a large amount of niacin to stimulate the scalp, but I doubt that this would cause a considerable difference in growth; it's just pleasant to massage into your scalp. Hair growth is a result of what happens inside the body, and topical treatments, in my opinion, wouldn't affect the hair's growth rate in any measurable way.
The major problem with these vitamins is, of course, the price - one month's supply of the program will cost you nearly AU$200, including shipping. It seems rather extravagant for something that is ultimately superficial, but if you're hair-obsessed like I am, you'll find it to be money well spent. The extra growth I've experienced has really boosted my confidence, as I know I personally look much better with long hair.

So have you tried any hair vitamins? What experiences have you had with them? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.

Tips for preventing split ends

If you're growing your hair long, the last thing you want is split ends, as they will eventually break off and can damage the rest of the hair shaft. Follow these tips to keep your hair in good condition and keep split ends to a minimum.
2) Take extra care when detangling your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb and gently detangle from the ends, up to the roots. Never yank a brush through the length of your hair, as this will damage it. Don't rush either - take your time and be as gentle as you can.

3) Use a weekly deep conditioner. This will keep your hair in optimum condition and will reduce the number of split ends you get.


4) Go on a search and destroy mission. Give your ends a close inspection, and cut off any splits or bends. Doing this will mean fewer trims, which is what you want if you're growing it.

5) Get a cut every six months. Some women can go longer between trims - it all depends on hair type - but most will need to see the hairdresser twice a year. This allows your hair to grow, while keeping the ends neat. Trimming more often isn't necessary, especially if you're doing the occasional search and destroy.

6) Use salon-quality shampoo and conditioner. Generally, when it comes to hair products, you get what you pay for. Investing in quality products will keep you away from the hairdresser for longer.

Three habits that ruin your hair

If you want to keep your hair looking its absolute best - and let's face it, who doesn't? - then it is of utmost importance that you avoid these three nasty habits. In order, they are:
 1) Smoking. Sure, you know that it can give you cancer, emphysema and a whole host of other (often fatal) diseases, but you just can't help this one little vice. Well guess what? Smoking is also bad for your hair. When you smoke, you are limiting your blood's oxygen supply to your hair follicles, which not only inhibits growth, it leads to much duller-looking strands. Your hair will only shine when your body is healthy, and if you are smoking, then your body is most definitely not healthy! Not only that, your hair will stink of old tobacco (not attractive to others, even if you can't smell it yourself) and if you do get cancer as a result, you'll need chemotherapy and will more than likely end up bald. Now if that's not a good enough reason to quit, then I don't know what is.
2) Spraying fragrance on your hair every day. Many perfumes have a high alcohol content (colognes even higher) and if you're spraying them on your hair on a daily basis then your locks will end up brittle and dry. Doing this occasionally won't hurt too much - after all, having a whiff of fragrance as your hair swings about can be quite lovely - but for everyday wear, keep it on your body. Several perfume makers are now listing the ingredients of their fragrances, but most still are not, so you really have no idea of how much damaging alcohol is in your favourite fragrance. Finding a shampoo and conditioner with a great scent is a much smarter option, and there are plenty of these on the market - sniff around and find the right one for you.
3) Playing with your hair too much. Twisting it, fidgeting with it and sucking or chewing on it will all take their toll on your tresses. A good rule of thumb is to treat your hair like a delicate piece of old lace - the longer your hair is, the more this applies, as long hair is old hair. Don't squeeze the ends of your hair to see if you can make them crunch, either, as by doing this you are literally creating breaks in the hair shaft. Aside from brushing and styling your hair, and doing regular scalp massages, you should handle your hair as infrequently as possible to avoid breakage.

If you aren't guilty of these habits, then good for you. If you are, then know that your hair can't possibly be looking its best, and that you should stop immediately. Taking care of your body is the most important factor in healthy-looking, shiny hair, and of course, learning all you can to keep it in top condition. Love your hair and it will be your crowning glory!

Hair... and the heart

Anyone who says that hair is nothing but strands of dead protein growing out of our scalps does not understand its importance, both to the woman it is a part of, and the society she inhabits. Hair not only conveys our sense of style to the world, it can be a manifestation of our inner emotional state. 
Dr David Castle, co-author of Living With Your Looks, says that "a woman's hair carries a strong emotional and cultural investment. It can express life, attractiveness, femininity, sexuality, health and personality, to name just some aspects."

When a woman goes through a period of emotional hardship - whether that be the death of a family member, the breakup of a relationship, or countless other life-changing scenarios - she can be tempted to drastically alter her appearance, and often does so by cutting or colouring her hair. "There is a very strong heritage in our society, in fact, many human societies, on the augmentation of appearance for people's mental state," says Castle.

In other words, altering our appearance, by getting a drastic haircut, for example, can be a symbolic way of healing our inner states. Think of when Britney Spears shaved her head - she had hit rock bottom, both in her career and her personal life. She was not serving some vain purpose by making a change in her image; she was externalising her inner pain and using the removal of her hair as a means of symbolic reinvention. 

Of course, any changes in appearance that are made will only give temporary relief to emotional pain: and sometimes, if we regret the change, can make it that much worse. By being aware that you may feel compelled to make large changes to your hair when emotional crises occur, you may be able to avoid a hair disaster before it happens. Any release that we feel as a result of hair alterations will only be temporary - it is the heart, and not our hair, that we must attend to first.

Foods for faster hair growth

We all know that eating a balanced diet is essential for healthy hair, but there are certain foods that will cause your hair to grow even faster than it would with your everyday balanced diet. Eating foods that are rich in protein, as well as foods that are rich in iron, will not only keep your hair shiny and full of life, but will also allow it to grow at its fastest possible rate.
As hair is essentially made up of protein, it makes sense that a diet that contains lots of protein would be necessary to achieve maximum growth. Protein-rich foods include chicken, fish, cheese and eggs, or if you're a vegan, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. As for foods rich in iron, these include red meat, green leafy vegetables (especially spinach), nuts, eggs, and soy products like tofu and soy milk. The beauty of many of these foods is that their iron and protein contents often overlap - that is, foods that are high in iron will be high in protein, and vice versa.
It's also important to actually EAT these foods, as opposed to merely supplementing them with vitamins. Nutrient absorption from food has been proven many times over to be far more effective than the nutrient absorption from vitamins, so if you don't actually eat the foods, you'll be doing yourself and your hair a disservice. Thankfully the foods that are high in protein and iron are quite diverse, so if you don't like the taste of one thing, you can always replace it with another.
  The food that I've personally had the most success with, when it comes to increasing my hair's growth rate, is sushi. Like many women I go through 'food phases' - that is, favouring one type of food heavily for a few weeks or months, before moving onto something else. Since a fabulous sushi restaurant opened up in my neighbourhood a few months ago, I've been eating the stuff practically every day, and the results have been quite extraordinary! Even my boyfriend commented on how long my hair had become, and he's not normally the type to notice such things. Of course, sushi is extremely high in protein - being largely made of rice, seaweed, and raw fish - so this is what would have caused the steep increase in my hair's growth rate.
Remember that the most important element of your diet is that it's a balanced one, but by incorporating a greater proportion of both protein-rich and iron-rich foods, you'll be allowing your tresses to grow as fast as they possibly can. And when it comes to reaching your hair growth goals, the faster you get there, the better!

Hairstyles through the decades

While many hairstylists claim that hair fashions change on a yearly basis, these changes are usually quite minimal. Unless you're in the hairdressing industry, it's unlikely that you'd be able to distinguish a 2009 layered 'do from, say, a 2007 one. But if you look at the changing hair fashions decade by decade, the evolution is really quite extraordinary! Like all fashions, the hairstyle changes are largely dependent on the pop culture of the time, as well as shifting societal values. Let's take a look at the hair fashions of the last sixty years, one decade at a time.Young women in the 1950s had no desire for the long, flowing hair that many girls lust after today. Hair was short, soft and neat, and almost always curled. Of course, there were no curling tongs back in those days: in order to achieve the neat curly hairdos, women would perm their hair, then use heated rollers on a daily basis, or pin the curls into place and spray liberally with hairspray. A huge amount of effort was put into styling their hair, as well as considerable discomfort - most women would actually keep their rollers in overnight while they slept! As feminism was yet to make a real impact in Western society, a woman's appearance was of huge importance, and so the effort was deemed worthwhile. Young women in the 1950s had no desire for the long, flowing hair that many girls lust after today. Hair was short, soft and neat, and almost always curled. Of course, there were no curling tongs back in those days: in order to achieve the neat curly hairdos, women would perm their hair, then use heated rollers on a daily basis, or pin the curls into place and spray liberally with hairspray. A huge amount of effort was put into styling their hair, as well as considerable discomfort - most women would actually keep their rollers in overnight while they slept! As feminism was yet to make a real impact in Western society, a woman's appearance was of huge importance, and so the effort was deemed worthwhile.Later in the 1950s, hair became big and bold: beehives became commonplace, as did the poodle perm (think Lucille Ball) and bouffant hair a la Brigitte Bardot. While these looks were far sexier than the overly neat styles of the early fifties, they still required a large amount of effort, not to mention can after can of hairspray.The bouffant styles remained extremely popular throughout the 1960s. The bob was by far the most popular style, and although fashion was becoming more modern, hair was still highly controlled, with lots of volume and lots of hairspray. The idea of hair being made to move was yet to come into vogue: in the sixties, the less it moved, the better. Some of these 'dos look like they would survive a tornado!If the ends of the hair weren't curled under, they were flipped out; a look achieved by using very large rollers. The roots and crown were backcombed and, once again, hit with the hairspray. 

Hair colour stereotypes

Whether you're a blonde, brunette, redhead or have black hair, then chances are you've had to deal with hair colour stereotyping before. If someone doesn't know you then the only thing they can judge you on is your appearance, and naturally, this includes your hair colour. It's an extremely superficial way of judging people - not to mention annoying, and frequently inaccurate - but it still happens all the time! So what does your hair colour say about you?
She's unpredictable, sexy and independent. Red is the colour of passion, and so of course, redheads are viewed as being passionate creatures. They're also stereotyped as being extra-confident as their unusual hair colour makes them stand out from the crowd (less than 3% of the world's population has naturally red hair). But they have a hot temper, so watch out!

Famous redheads include Isla Fisher, Gillian Anderson, Marcia Cross, Debra Messing, Amy Adams and Julianne Moore.

Blonde-haired women have to deal with the most irritating hair colour stereotype of all: the Dumb Blonde. In studies, men consistently rank blondes as appearing less intelligent than their darker-haired counterparts, though women rank them about the same... suggesting that the idea of the Dumb Blonde may, in fact, be a male creation.

Blondes are also stereotyped as being a lot of fun, as well as being friendly, bubbly and popular. Blonde hair also has correlations with youth: it makes sense, as babies and children often have blonde hair that darkens as they get older. Because of this - and because blonde hair hides greys - women will frequently choose to dye or highlight their strands with blonde when they reach middle age, in an attempt to preserve their youthful appearance.

Famous blondes include Marilyn Monroe, Paris Hilton, Kate Hudson, Jessica Simpson, Pamela Anderson, Hillary Clinton and Gwyneth Paltrow.


The Brunette

She's smart, stylish and classy, as well as being the Girl-Next-Door... who else could she be, but the brunette. She's less flighty than a blonde and more stable than a redhead, she's reliable and trustworthy, but can be a little bit boring. Having said this, she can still be extremely sexy: studies have shown that 51% of men claim to prefer women with brown hair, despite what Miss Monroe said about gentlemen preferring blondes.

Famous brunettes include Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Katie Holmes, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford and Penelope Cruz.


The Black Haired Beauty

She's the most mysterious of the four hair colours, as well as being industrious, competent and astute. She's either an academic, or a hard-working professional. If she dyed her hair black, then she's deep and emotional, possibly a poet or an artist, but definitely creative. If she's naturally black-haired then she's often shy, but can be a lot of fun once you get her to come out of her shell.

Famous black haired beauties include Rihanna, Lucy Liu, Dita Von Teese, Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell and Halle Berry.

These are the most common stereotypes that you'll come across, but of course there are others out there. What's annoying is that they only seem to refer to women's hair - can you ever recall hearing someone describe a man as being fiery because he had red hair? I think not!

The main problem with all stereotypes is that once they're in place, it takes many, many years to debunk them. Rather than getting irritated when people tell the same old, lame Dumb Blonde jokes, you just have to grin and bear it, before dazzling them with your intellect. If someone unjokingly hints that you may have a low IQ simply because you have a lightly coloured head of hair, then really, it says more about them than it does about you.

Ultimately, hair colour stereotypes are all about first impressions. Once a person has gotten to know the real you, their stereotypical, appearance-based judgements of you will fly right out the window - so forget about what strangers may think, and wear your hair colour with pride.

Is long hair dead?

In a word: no. Long hair is timeless; it's a style that will no doubt last forever. But more and more, we're seeing articles in beauty magazines and blogs that are declaring long hair 'dead and buried', the most recent one appearing in Harper's Bazaar. While they do make some good arguments for having short hair (a long mane is certainly not for everyone), they are largely trend-based, and therefore, prone to change. As such, you need to think very, very carefully before chopping off your long locks in the name of fashion.
By its very nature, long hair is not about being trendy. If it only took a couple of months to grow your hair from a pixie cut to your waist, then maybe it would be, but at the same time it would be far less valuable. Anything that takes time and patience to acquire automatically has a higher value, and if it's something as beautiful as a long, silky mane, then it is even more desirable. Growing your hair long is (pardon the pun) a long-term commitment, and as such, it's about creating your own signature style, not blindly following the fashions. In the words of Coco Chanel, "Fashion fades, only style remains the same."
And while the short crops of Agyness Deyn, Victoria Beckham and Halle Berry may be what's hot right now, when it comes to classically beautiful women, the long-haired ones far outnumber their short-haired comrades. Look at just about every Miss Universe or Victoria's Secret model: sure, they have the faces, the bodies and the attitudes to make them hot, but another thing they virtually all have in common? Luscious, flowing long hair. It's feminine, it's elegant, and it is undeniably timeless.
So if you're at risk of being swayed by the increasing number of 'long hair is dead' articles, just remember that classic style will always trump fashion, and that when it comes to your hair, yours is the only opinion that matters. Have a read around this site (we're very pro long hair here), and I also highly recommend a visit to The Long Hair Community, to remind yourself of just how fabulous having long hair really is.

Tips for styling naturally curly hair

Anyone who was born with naturally curly hair knows that it can be both a blessing and a curse. Because it essentially grows in a zigzag formation, it takes longer to attain a certain length than it would if it were straight. It is also prone to dryness, and on humid days it seems like there's nothing you can do to keep it under control! But on the plus side, it's a look that is highly sought-after and can be absolutely stunning if you know how to style it properly.
First of all, keep in mind that curly hair almost always looks best when it is long, as the length allows for the curls to be properly weighed down. All long hair is beautiful, but long curly hair is nothing short of captivating! The best styles are those cut with layers, because the layers allow your hair to sit correctly and avoid the dreaded 'pyramid head'. Remember that a hairstylist who has curly hair herself is going to be your best bet for getting the ideal cut, and if you see a woman with perfect curly hair, don't be afraid to ask her who cuts it! You'll make her day and possibly find the ideal hairstylist, and there are few things more valuable than that.

Secondly, don't shampoo it every day or you'll risk drying it out further. Curly hair is usually more brittle than straight or wavy hair, so keeping the natural oils in place is a must. When you do shampoo, use products designed for your hair type, plus a good quality conditioner (salon quality is best). Blot your hair gently with a towel, apply a serum and allow it to dry naturally. Serums that contain 'cones' - i.e. silicones like dimethicone - are usually the way to go, but your hairstylist will be able to help you find the right one for your hair's needs.

Perhaps the biggest curly hair styling no-no is the hairbrush - if you own one, then toss it out now! Brushing curly hair will cause nothing but frizz, which is the last thing a curly girl wants. Using a wide-toothed comb or 'afro' comb is by far the best option, as you want to separate your curls, not obliterate them. Another major no-no is using the hottest setting on your hairdryer. As mentioned earlier, natural air-drying is the best choice (this goes for all hair types, not just the curly ones) but if you absolutely must blow-dry, then use it on the coolest setting, apply a heat-protective product and attach the diffuser.

Every now and then you'll get the urge to straighten your hair. That's okay, provided that you're not doing it every day; if you are then it's time that you embraced the beauty of your curls. Curly hair should be straightened no more than once a week. Investing in the best ionic straightener you can afford is essential - I always recommend the GHD, as a cheap and nasty version will kill your hair in the long run.


When it comes to putting your hair up, naturally curly haired women really are blessed because the body and texture needed to make updos look their best is built in to your hair. Romantic updos with a few tendrils hanging down look gorgeous and take a matter of minutes to create. Whether you use hairpins, a clip or a hair elastic is up to you; play with your hair in your leisure time and see what looks you can come up with. A half-up, half-down style is also a beautiful do for those with curls, and even a simple ponytail will look great if your hair is cut with layers. Whatever you do, don't use a rubber band, and if you put something in your hair that brings more than three hairs with it when it's removed, then throw it out immediately.

While there will still be days when your hair feels uncontrollable, just remember that what looks like a chaotic mess to you will be a sensual, romantic cloud to someone else. Embracing the wild beauty of your hair is a far superior course of action than trying to turn it into something that it's not. And why would you want lank, boring hair anyway? Curly hair is nothing short of enviable, so if it comes naturally to you, then you're very lucky indeed.

If you need more inspiration, check out my curly haired celebrity gallery, and get invaluable tips from other curly girls on internet hair forums - there's an excellent one at naturallycurly.com Here's to loving your curly goddess hair!

How to get 'old Hollywood' hair

Old Hollywood glamour is a style that has been coveted for decades, and has seen a huge surge in popularity among young stars over the last couple of years. In particular, the neat, finger-wave hairstyle - made popular by big-screen glamazons of the 40s and 50s like Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake and Marilyn Monroe - is one that continues to pop up on red carpets today. It's the ideal complement to a 40s-style dress and though it does take a bit of practice to get it perfect, it's a style that you can quite easily create at home. 
Here's how you do it: Starting with second-day hair (that is, hair you washed yesterday) create a side part, the more dramatic the better. Spritz your hair lightly with hairspray, and using your medium-sized hot rollers, curl 1" - 2" sections over and under and pin in place (curling them over will create a flip - not the kind of retro you're going for!) Continue on both sides of the part until all the hair in front of your crown is in rollers, then use the large rollers to curl the rest of your hair. Leave the rollers to cool; this usually takes around 30 minutes which gives you time to dress and do your makeup.
Once your rollers have cooled, gently unroll them one by one. Using a narrow-toothed comb, slowly and carefully comb out each curled strand; you should only need to do this once or twice as any more will loosen the curl too much. It's best to enlist the help of a friend to comb out the sections at the back of your head. Spray liberally with hairspray, vow not to touch your hair for several hours, and you're done!
Depending on the thickness of your hair, this style should last most of the night. Make sure that you've attempted old Hollywood hair at least once before you wear it out (that's what girls' nights in are for!) and if it's a really big event that you're going to, like your school formal, then it's always best to get it done professionally. Print out the photo of the actress below whose old Hollywood hair most appeals to you, and a good hairstylist will be able to replicate it exactly. 

The romantic updo

There's nothing like a soft, tousled bun for those occasions when you want your hair to look its best, while at the same time not having it look too "done". This updo is romantic, feminine, carefree and quite timeless: it was hugely popular in the 1990s due to its ease of styling, and made a major comeback a few years ago when bohemian style slipped back into vogue. Celebrities have embraced it as a red carpet hairstyle, but it's ultimately one that you can wear any time of the day or night.
Provided that your hair is long enough to get into a ponytail, you won't have a problem creating a romantic updo. Girls with curly or wavy hair are really blessed here, as they already have the volume required to keep this updo looking soft, but if your hair's stick-straight then you'll need to do a bit of preparation in order to prevent the style from looking too flat. Former Australian hairdresser of the year, Oscar Cullinan, tells us how it's done.

"Apply a volumising product to freshly washed damp hair, then blow-dry with your head upside-down, using your fingers rather than a brush to maintain a natural texture," he advises. "Pull your hair back into a ponytail, again with your fingers for a messy, wispy look, then back-comb the ponytail with a wide-tooth comb to add more volume. To finish the look, wrap the ponytail onto itself, so it creates a bun, and secure the ends with bobby pins."

If Cullinan's technique sounds like too much effort, you can use my method which doesn't require blow-drying. Simply use a sea spray product (I like John Frieda's Beach Blonde, it has the most amazing summery fragrance) on unbrushed, second day hair, muss it up further with your hands, and fold it into itself, securing with a hair elastic. Make sure you have a hand mirror to check the back... and voila! It may not be perfect on your first try, so until you become well practised in creating this updo, you'll want to allow at least five minutes for re-tries.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you mustn't be too precious about it. This bun is meant to be unstructured and a bit messy, so if you're a hair perfectionist you may need to bite the bullet and accept that having every hair in place is really not an option here. Also, the way in which you wear it is entirely up to you: some girls prefer a low chignon, while others choose to wear their buns topknot-style. Check out the gorgeous messy updos on these celebs for inspiration, and get ready to embrace your inner romantic!

  

The good oils

If your hair is dry and prone to flyaways, and even the salon quality leave-in conditioners have little to no effect, then it might be time to go back to nature and try oiling your hair. Using hair oils is a beauty secret originating from India that has been steadily increasing in popularity in Western society. If you've ever seen an Indian woman with extra long and thick, yet incredibly shiny hair, now you know why: chances are, she oils it rather than using a chemical-laden, store bought conditioner. There are several different oils to choose from; the right one for you will depend on your hair's texture and overall condition.
For hair that is dry and fine, the best oils to use are those that are light, and will leave your hair shiny without weighing it down. I personally use jojoba oil, which is very similar in composition to the hair's natural oil (sebum). Other oils that work beautifully for fine hair include apricot kernel oil, coconut oil, and emu oil. Most of these will be available in health food stores, otherwise you can order them online.

If your hair is coarse, curly or chemically damaged, you'll find that heavier oils like olive oil or sweet almond oil will be most beneficial. Another option is cocoa butter in its melted form: it's rich in moisture, and will make your hair smell simply divine. There are also a variety of commercial oils available which have been specifically designed for girls with coarse hair, however you needn't go beyond the basic oils to find one that suits you perfectly.

When it comes to the application of the oil, technique really is everything! To begin, wash and towel-dry your hair, then take a dime-sized amount of your chosen oil and rub it between your hands. Then, starting from about ear level, gently smooth it down the length of your hair, then run your fingers through it to distribute it evenly. Comb it through with a wide-toothed comb, taking care not to get the oil near the roots of your hair, and repeat if you see no effect the first time.

An important caveat: don't try this for the first time just before you leave the house, because often you'll be too liberal in applying the oil - like many other beauty techniques, the correct application requires a skill that only comes with practice. You'll know, after a few tries, which amount is right for your hair, but be prepared to alter this amount depending on how moisturised your hair becomes in the coming weeks. Very dry hair will absorb much more oil than moisturised hair, and once hair oiling becomes a part of your beauty routine you'll probably find that you need less of it as time goes by.

Using oils as a leave-in conditioning treatment is ideal for long haired ladies but it's certainly not for everyone. If your hair is short, then it's likely that the oils will make your hair greasy, as they'll find their way to your scalp much faster than they would if your hair was long. This is not to say that you can't still benefit from oiling in other ways, however.

Some women use hair oils as an overnight deep conditioning treatment, while others - myself included - use them while having a relaxing, DIY scalp massage. Here, I typically mix a few drops of rosemary oil (which is renowned for its ability to stimulate hair growth) with a liberal amount of jojoba oil, and spent a few minutes massaging it into my scalp. I leave it in for a few hours, then shampoo it out, with the result being extra-shiny, conditioned hair that often still has a lingering scent of invigorating rosemary.

So if the products available in stores are no longer working for your hair, or if you simply want to embrace the natural way (and why wouldn't you?) then give hair oiling a go! It's time-tested, it won't break the bank, and you may just find that it beats every other conditioner you've tried by a mile.

The beauty of balayage

While I always emphasise how important it is to embrace your hair’s natural colour, there will be times when you just can’t live without a new hue. And that’s perfectly okay: as they say, a change can be as good as a holiday! When it comes to lightening up, one of the most natural-looking and modern colouring techniques available right now is balayage. Essentially, balayage involves painting sections of the hair freehand, rather than using foils or a streaking cap. The end result is a sexy “grown out” look that takes literally minutes to achieve, and requires less maintenance than traditional highlights. Sounds about right for you? Read on!
Balayage is already popular among celebs like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller because of its casual, rather bohemian style: the look is sun-kissed, outdoorsy and very natural-looking. Its popularity is set to increase even further in the near future, says Marie Cain, artistic director at Head Studio in Perth, and previous winner of the L’Oreal Professionel Colour Trophy. “It’s been creeping up for the past five years, but in 2010, the trend for balayage will be stronger than ever,” says Cain.
The reason for balayage’s increasing popularity? Society’s elite moving towards a more natural look in hair colour, and consequently stepping away from stripy, zebra-like highlights. Elite fashion models, socialites and Hollywood’s brightest stars have lately been embracing the natural look, and of course, where the stars lead, the people shall follow! “As fashion-conscious consumers, we are strongly influenced by celebrities and fashion icons,” says Cain. Think about it – when was the last time you saw like Emma Watson or Isabel Lucas with bold, unnatural highlights? 
Aside from its popularity among celebs, one of the greatest things about balayage as a colouring technique is its versatility. Because the colour is being painted on, you get to choose exactly which sections you want to be lightened, and by how many shades. Whether you want a barely noticeable colour shift or a dramatic change that will make your friends give a double take, balayage is likely to work in your favour. And best of all, you won’t be forced to visit the salon every month for touch-ups, as the very essence of balayage is in its “grown out” look. “You can leave it a little longer between colours – around six weeks – and then you’ll only need retouching and refreshing,” says Cain.
Balayage is an ideal colouring technique for any kind of lightening, whether you’re after a blonde boost or want to add some caramel tones to your naturally brown hair. Not all salons will have a balayage colour expert on hand just yet, so it’s definitely worth doing your research and calling a few salons to ask in advance. And whatever you do, don’t try it at home: it may look easy while you’re sitting in the chair, but it is definitely one for the professionals.

So if you’re sick of your current colour and feel the need to lighten up, then why not give balayage a try? Like many celebs and models before you, it might be exactly what you need to boost your hair’s beauty without looking fake and unnatural.

Four common hair problems... and how to fix them

Beautiful, lustrous hair is at the top of many women's wish lists, and if you've already got it, then good for you! Your hair is likely to be a source of envy for those around you, but more than that, having gorgeous hair is a confidence-booster like no other. If you're finding the road to great hair is a bit tough to navigate, however, then chances are you need to take a closer look at what may be preventing your hair from looking its best. Here are four of the most common hair problems, along with advice on how to fix them and get that fabulous hair you've been chasing. Oily hair is caused by the over-secretion of sebum (the hair's natural oil) from the sebaceous glands in the scalp, and while it's often a hereditary problem, that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. Minimising the fats in your diet, refraining from touching your hair too often, cutting back on styling products and using a non-silicone-based shampoo will go a long way towards getting rid of the oil slick.

Another thing to remember is to not wash your hair too frequently: while it may be tempting to shampoo every day, this will only worsen the problem, as your scalp will likely overcompensate for the removal of its natural oils by producing even more sebum. Put it up on the second day instead, cover it with a scarf, hat or hairline-covering headband, or try a dry shampoo which will soak up the excess moisture at the roots without drying out the lengths of your hair.
Ahhh, dandruff. Don't you just love it? (Um, not really, no.) If you've already tried a medicated shampoo and it hasn't worked for you, then it's possible that your diet is deficient in certain nutrients: specifically, zinc and/or Vitamin C. While you can easily take a supplement of these in tablet form, you're far better off eating foods that are rich in these nutrients instead, as they are absorbed more efficiently by the body than tablets are.

There are a number of topical treatments you can try as well - some women swear by lemon juice as a scalp massage treatment for dandruff, while others claim coconut oil works best for them. Making sure you use warm water rather than super-hot in the shower will also help, as will using sulfate-free products, but if the dandruff is still there after you've given it all you've got then it's time to get yourself to your GP who can prescribe something stronger than what you could get over-the-counter, and can (hopefully) discover the root cause of the problem.


Problem Three: Slow-growing hair.

Your hair's growth rate is largely hereditary, but it can still be given a boost by optimising your diet and lifestyle. Eating foods that are rich in iron and protein will help, as will taking a vitamin supplement such as biotin, zinc, or the more expensive (but, in my experience, very effective) Hair Formula 37. Doing a weekly scalp massage and getting plenty of exercise should also increase your hair's growth rate, as the boost in blood circulation will stimulate the hair follicles in your scalp, resulting in faster growth.

Keep in mind, however, that some medications can also negatively affect your hair's growth rate, as will illness and severe stress. Getting healthy is the ultimate fast track to good hair growth, so chances are you already know which part of your life needs attention - deal with that issue, and the growth rate of your hair will likely increase as an added bonus. 

Problem Four: Dull hair.

If high shine seems an impossible goal to you, then your hair care routine may be to blame. Too much heat styling, too much bleaching and dyeing, and too many products built one on top of the other will all result in lacklustre locks. It could also indicate deficiencies in your diet: minerals like zinc, iron and silica are all essential for shiny hair, so if you're not getting enough of these then your hair will suffer for it.

An improvement to your diet (the usual - more leafy greens and less processed foods) should see an improvement to your hair's shine factor, but if that doesn't work, then it's possible that you have an underactive thyroid gland - once again, something that can only be diagnosed and prescribed for by your doctor. You should never feel embarrassed about seeing a medical professional for something that you consider to be merely cosmetic, because often, the problems that relate to your hair are symptomatic of something more serious happening within your body.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, I hope that it's given you an insight into what may be causing your own hair dilemma! Hair is, and always has been, reflective of your inner health, so if something is lacking there then it will be taken out on your crowning glory. As with most health issues, you can treat the symptoms, but the best way of eliminating any hair-related problem is to transform yourself into the healthiest person you can be.

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