Battle of the Hair Oils: Cheap vs Pricey


Good day to you fabulous people

Today I am bringing all of you excellent humans a hair care review. I really love hair products, and while my hair looks monumentally rubbish pretty much all the time, there’s nothing I like more than trying out something new on my head. Hair oils are something I desperately need. As most of you Stylingo followers will know, I tend to change my hair colour quite a lot. While I really like doing this, my hair quality does not like it quite so much. Hence the hair oils and me desperately screaming at them to save my terrible hair.

I’ve been trailing a couple of new oils for the past month or two, at completely opposite ends of the price spectrum. As resident blogging tramps, Claire and I do love a bargain and we like to run around with joy and happiness when we find a good product for cheaper than an expensive alternative. So, I’ve been testing out the Lee Stafford Ubuntu Oils from Africa Repair Oil and the Macadamia Oil Extract Treatment. No prizes for guessing which was the pricier oil.

DSCN5774Lee Stafford’s Ubuntu Oils from Africa – Oil Treatment Review

Right, I didn’t actually buy this bad boy myself (we got it in the Company Blogger Awards goodie bag, huzzah), but if you wanted to do so it would cost you around £10.99. I don’t know about y’all, but I would not pay virtually £11 for a tiny bottle of hair oil. I am aware that its not really the most expensive thing in the world ever, but still DOES IT LOOK LIKE I AM MADE OF MONEY?! I struggle to have more that 20p left in my bank account at the end of the month and that’s just bills bills bills. So, I think that this might be a bit on the pricey side, but is it any good?

Well, yes. Like all Lee Stafford products, it smells amazing – that is, if you can still smell while wrinkling your nose at this HoRRiFic NonSeNse. I like popping it in my hair even when its not feeling particularly dry just because it smells so delishy. In terms of being an oil treatment for dry and damaged hair though, I haven’t really noticed a huge amount of difference. My hair feels a bit softer, but not really anything hugely dramatic. To be fair to Lee, this oil doesn’t claim to be a dry/damaged hair product – it’s meant to protect your hair from colour fade. But in all honesty, you buy an oil for making your hair softy and nice so that is what I will judge it on.


Macadamia Oil Extract Hair Treatment Review

I picked up this bad boy on a whim from Savers and it cost me a grand old 99p. Not even her Maj would shake her head at a 99p hair oil, lets all be honest about things. If you’re thinking ‘Lauren, you are a raging idiot, this will be like putting petrol on your hair’ you are wrong.

For the price, it’s a really good oil treatment and I like to pop a few drops in after I’ve washed my hair. It doesn’t smell anywhere as nice as the Lee Stafford oil, but I do notice that it makes my hair a lot softer and more manageable than the Ubuntu Oils ever really did.

My only beef with the Macadamia Oil product is that it is a lot weightier than the Lee Stafford – you REALLY don’t want to put too much in your hair, because you will look like Severus Snape and Voldy will kill you. You can be a bit more oil happy with the Lee Stafford because its not as heavy – which can be nice as there is less room for disaster.


Which one would I repurchase?

Well, to be honest, I would rebuy the Macadamia Oil Treatment because I can scrape together a pound (not yet that tragic). While I wouldn’t buy the Lee Stafford Ubuntu Oils oil treatment, I wouldn’t say no if someone decided to give it to me for free (greedy, I know). I do like it, it’s just that a 50ml bottle of oil isn’t worth £11 in my eyeballs. And that is what I have to say.

Have you used any hair oils? What do you recommend? 


Beauty Works 18″ Silver Hair Extensions | Review

Beauty Works Hair ExtensionsI’ve been getting loads of compliments on my hair lately (note: by loads I realistically mean about 5, but that’s better than the -8 I was getting with my little rat tails before) and I am delighted to reveal that the secret to my new healthy looking locks is… THESE HAIR EXTENSIONS! Well, it was never going to be laying off the bleach and heat appliances, was it?

Beauty Works recently contacted me about trying out their new range of silver hair extensions, and of course I jumped at the chance. 1, I’ve been dying to try a set of Beauty Works’ extensions for many moons as they’re some of the finest in the bizniz, and 2, finding grey/silver extensions has proven to be an extremely difficult task for me the past few months. I’ve only came across one other brand that does them so far, and that set was a mix of human and artificial hair so certainly not ideal. The Beauty Works silver range, though, is all 100% human hair. And my, what fine, fine hair it is.

Beauty Works Silver Hair Extensions
As soon as I got it out of the packet I wanted to have a little cry at what good quality it was (no, I am not dramatic). Unlike a lot of other brands that get very straggly towards the bottom, this weft was thick from the top right through to the ends. This means that although I got 18″ as I normally would, they look much longer than my other recent sets because they’re so much thicker. Fancy.

I had my extensions sewn in as normal (if anyone would like a post about the weave process then hollaaaaa) and left them about 2 weeks before reviewing, because I usually find that after this amount of time you can properly assess what hair’s like. And oh. OH. These are just a dream. Shedding has been minimal, and they still feel as soft and healthy as they did when I received them. I really couldn’t recommend these enough, so a HUGE thank you to Beauty Works for sending them my way.

Have any of you tried Beauty Works before? Which extensions brands do you love?

Bleach London Awkward Peach Hair Dye Review

Many of you will know that I have been on a bit of a ginger mission recently. From having virtually black hair, I decided that enough was enough, I will return to my ginger roots and may the consequences follow. For anyone who’s vaguely interested, I lightened my hair using a few rounds of bleach and Loreal Feria Mango Intense Copper. But what I really wanted was to go a peachy pastel shade because I had nothing better to do.

After a spontaneous (and dangerous) trip to Boots during our lunch hour, I invested in another box of bleach and a couple of bottles of Bleach London’s Awkward Beach semi-permanent dye. I’ve heard and read good things from other bloggers, and Claire’s a fan of Bleach London too, so I was MEGA keen to give them a whirl. It’s also 3-for-2 on all hair products in Boots at the moment – rude not to, right?

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 13.37.10

For those of you who don’t know a lot about Bleach London, it’s a brand that started out as a hair salon (you can still book yourself an appointment if you so wish) but they now offer lots and lots of exciting products too. They’re soooooper cool and specialise in pretty colours and bleachy stuff for us girls who enjoy looking like colourful idiots. You can shop their whole product range here – I’m mega keen to give their hair care products a whirl too, they look AWESOME.


Anywho, I chose the Awkward Peach colour because it looked perfect for my peachy needs. Because my hair was already pretty ginger, I lightened it a little bit more with Jerome Russel’s medium lift bleach so it was a more blondey-ginger in the hope the colour would take better.


DSCN5406 They recommend using rubber gloves to apply the Awkward Peach colour. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything besides a pair of Marigolds. So you know. I used them anyway, and only looked slightly like a raging fool.

While they also said to leave the colour on for 15 minutes, I decided to leave it only for half an hour because I find that the longer you leave these things on the better.

PicMonkey Collage

Before | After

DSCN5415And here was my result! From the pictures I’ve seen of other before and after pics, I’ve noticed that the colour can be a little pinky. I didn’t really want a pink tone, but thankfully that didn’t really happen to me. This was partly because I already had ginger tones in my hair, so it just added a bit more of a pastel orange colour. I’m really pleased with it – I feel like it brightens my colour up a lot more and helps me on my way to somewhat fierce. The colour is only meant to last 2-10 washes, so I’m not expecting it to be that long lasting. For £5 a bottle, these are a little pricey to be using couple of weeks but if I can’t find anything that gives the same colour, I’m definitely going to be popping this on my head regularly!

My only beef, that isn’t really beef at all, is that it’s a bit uneven. But that is not Bleach London’s fault, it is mine for being lazy when I bleached my hair.

What do you think? Have you used Bleach London’s Awkward Peach hair dye before? Share in the comments below!

Mellor & Russell Simply Bright Silver Hair Dye | Review

Mellor and Russell Silver Hair Dye ResultsAloha my charming little eggs! Now, today I have a very long overdue review post for you. The one thing I’m undoubtedly complimented on the most at the moment is my hair colour, having finally achieved the silver/grey blonde hair that I’ve been chasing for months. It’s certainly not to everyone’s taste – a lot of people look at me with a kind of sympathy as if I’ve obviously had some sort of hair dying mishap/incredibly shocking experience that has sent me grey at the age of 23 – but I’m really pleased with it and a few other people have asked me how I’ve finally  managed to get it.

The answer, o curious people of the North, is this little box of miracle below:

Mellor and Russel 1Before discovering Mellor and Russel’s Simply Bright hair dye in silver I’d tried numerous toners. You can read my La Riche White Toner review and my Bleach London White Toner review by clicking those there links, and I also tried out the La Riche Silver Toner, which was definitely the best of the 3 for what I was trying to achieve. However none of these were quite colouring all of my hair; there were still some stubborn yellow bits that were just refusing just tone.

The reason that Simply Bright is different is because it’s actually a permanent hair colour as opposed to a toner. This obviously means it’s a little more riskaaaay as it contains peroxide, but the fact is it gets the job done! This finally provided me with the all-over colouring I’d been looking for, and I don’t really think my hair feels any more damaged after using it.

As I dye my extensions too I need to use two boxes, and I tend to do this around every three weeks. On top of this I also use all of my products for silver hair (which you can read about here if you so wish) to keep things funky fresh.

Oh, and have I casually forgot to mention where you can buy this hair dye and for how much? Sure, you can try to track it down online on sites such as eBay or Amazon… or you could head to your local POUNDLAND. Yes, you heard right. They stock this in Poundland. Every time I go in I panic buy another 5 in case they suddenly stop stocking it. It is honestly my biggest nightmare in life.

Have any of you tried this dye? What are your tips for silver hair?

Dirty Looks Hair Extensions in 90s Blonde | Review

HK 1Have you ever got an email that’s made you so happy you want to rip off your own face? We have, and it was when we were recently asked if we would like to review some hair extensions from Dirty LooksI’d seen a couple of reviews of this brand floating around the blogosphere lately (from Liza and Latasha to name but two) and they looked so amazing there was no chance in HELL I was going to pass up an opportunity to try them out. 

HK 2Dirty Looks stock a range of hair extensions, with everything from full sets to ponytails, and even a clip-on fringe. We were asked to review the HK Full Head Hair Extensions, which contains 10 wefts of hair and the mighty Quad Weft which is also available separately.

After a chat with the super helpful Abigail from Dirty Looks, it was decided that I would be best off with the shade 90s Blonde, while Lauren was best suited to St Tropez. Lauren will review her set separately (I’m not her damn slave!), so for now here are my thoughts on the 90s Blonde hair extensions that I received.

HK 3HK 5The first thing to note is how amazingly packaged the hair extensions come. Dirty Looks are such a breath of fresh air after years of buying hair extensions in scabby plastic wallets from grumpy shop owners. The extensions come in a pretty little purple box (perfect for future storage) with spare clips and a really useful guide to using your new extensions.

An especially nice touch is the sample of hair which is provided; you take this out first to check the shade and length is right for you before opening the main packet – this means that if the colour doesn’t suit, then you can easily return and exchange them. 

HK 6The helpful little booklet breaks down exactly where you should place the hair extensions on your head. We’ve all witnessed those tragic sights of really badly blended hair extensions, so this eliminates the chances of us falling victim to it (hurrah!)

HK 7And now onto the hair itself. Oh. My. GAWD. It’s beautiful. I’ve used a lot of hair extensions in my time and can hand on heart say that these are the best quality I’ve had. If you’re completely new to the world of hair extensions and try these out, then you’re going to be impressed. If you’re used to them though, then you’re going to be amazed

Most wefts tend to get thinner towards the bottom, leading to that rat-tail look that is oh so popular with the Snog Marry Avoid birds of society. These, though, are perfectly thick from top to bottom. I opted for the 16-18 inches, which is 160 grams of hair. This in itself is an impressive weight, and you can certainly tell the quality difference if you’re used to buying cheaper hair extensions.

HK 8(Ah, is there a more beautiful sight than all that hair?)

In terms of colour, 90s Blonde is the lightest shade that they stock, and it would definitely be a good match for most bleach blondes. As I’m currently in the grey/platinum club, I was advised that these would be the best base colour for me to tone to match my current hair colour. I applied my usual colourant and I’m pleased to say that they took the colour wonderfully – with no damage afterwards either.

Dirty Looks CollageI’m completely in love with these hair extensions. With prices starting at £69.99 for 12-14″, they’re not the cheapest extensions out there – but this is absolutely a case of getting what you pay for. I already know that the life cycle of this set will be far longer than any cheaper clip-ins that I’ve bought in the past.

The Dirty Looks website is also really helpful in terms of hair advice, with their blog being a particularly good read if you’re into hair extensions. Overall they’re a great brand who are clearly passionate about what they do, which is really nice to see. A huge thumbs up from me.

Have any of you tried Dirty Looks hair extensions? Or would you try them now? 

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The Best Products for Silver/Platinum/White Blonde Hair

Provoke 4Regular readers of this crap our great blog will know that I’ve been on a mission to get my bleached hair silver/grey for quite a few months now. While toners and dyes are obviously the main way to achieve this, maintaining the colour is just as important as getting it in the first place.

A lot of blondes swear by silver shampoos – which are usually actually lilac or purple in colour – to eliminate the brassy yellow tones from their hair. This is because yellow and purple are opposite each other on the colour wheel, meaning that when put together they neutralise one another. So to get rid of yellow tones, you need to add some purple.

I’ve tried a fair few brands of silver shampoo in my time, ranging from the super-cheap Poundland favourite Bristow’s to the more mid-range Osmo from Sally’s. I can now safely say with confidence though that my favourite is the Touch of Silver range from Pro:voke.

Provoke 1

I got all of these from my local Bodycare for only a couple of quid each, so this whole range only cost around a tenner. Can I get a whoop whoop?! No, please don’t whoop whoop. Anyway, according to the Touch of Silver website there’s also an Intensive Treatment Conditioner and a Dry Conditioner so I’ll obviously be keeping my beady eyes open for those on my next trip.

Featured above are:

Ultra Firm Hairspray
This has all the perks of a normal hairspray – ie stops us looking like cavewomen when we get caught in a bracing wind – but also apparently has UV Absorber to help protect the colour of silver hair. It also allegedly has Silk Proteins (whatever they are).

Revitalising Dry Shampoo
Everybody knows I hate washing my hair so this is of course a god-send. Again this has UV Absorber to help minimise colour fade, and I also notice that after using this my colour looks  a bit more even – so I suspect it’s coloured a little bit differently to your usual dry shampoos too.

Daily Maintenance Shampoo
This is to be used as the regular daily (or every other day, depending on how often you wash your hair) shampoo. To add to the collection of pseudo-scientific ingredients that shampoos are always packed with, this also has Optical Brightener (ooh!) to ‘intensify the reflected light’ which basically just means it makes your hair dead shiny. This is actually really difficult to do with blonde hair so, mocking aside, the fact that it delivers on this promise is actually really good.

Daily Nourish Conditioner
To be used after the daily shampoo, this conditioner has all of the other junk but then also makes hair nice and soft. This is of course essential for us ladies who have abused the crap out of our hair to stop us looking like scarecrows.

Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo
And now we reach my favourite of the products. This shampoo is a much more intense violet than the daily one, hence why it’s only supposed to be used once or twice a week. After leaving this one on for a couple of minutes, it works its magic and actually tones your hair, banishing the yellow tones.

Provoke 5It’s important to remember that the amount of pigment used in this range – especially in the Twice A Week shampoo – actually makes it effectively a semi-permanent  dye. If you’re not used to using silver shampoos then I would recommend treading carefully the first couple of times and not leaving them on your hair for longer than it advises on the bottles, or else you might end up with lilac tones in your hair (which I don’t personally mind, but hey ho I just walk on the wild side of life). The website also advises not to use these products on your hair immediately after it’s been bleached, as the porousness of the freshly coloured hair could lead to patchiness.

Have any of you tried this range? What are your favourite silver shampoos? 

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Batiste Dry Conditioner | Review

Dry C 1I have a confession to make, dear readers: I rely on dry shampoo to an extent that is almost socially unacceptable. Due to a combination of hair extensions that do better without too much heat exposure, and a lazy personality that would rather watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathons than do anything as tedious as washing my hair, I turn to these little cans of trickery at least a couple of times a week. When I first heard about dry conditioner then, it’s no surprise that my big masssive ears pricked up in immediate anticipation.

I think that dry conditioners have only been around for a couple of months, and of course one of the leaders in the market is every lazy girl’s favourite brand, Batiste. Dry conditioners are supposed to be different from other conditioning sprays such as leave-in conditioners, which can still leave hair feeling heavy and wet. The aerosol dry conditioner means that you get all of the benefits of a proper conditioning treatment but without any of the wetness, stickiness or weight.

Dry c 2This sounded like something I badly needed in my life. Although my hair looks fine on dry shampoo days it can often feel dry, and so something that can make it feel soft without adding oiliness would basically be a kind of miracle in a can.

Batiste say that their product can be used either after shampooing and conditioning your hair normally, for added smoothness and to tame frizz and flyaways; or it can be used after dry shampoo for a complete hair refresh in between washes. All you do is hold the can 30 centimetres away from your hair and then spray on the lengths and ends of the hair, avoiding the roots so you don’t end up looking like a greaseball.

Dry c 3After using this for the first time yesterday, I was really impressed. It instantly gave a softness to my hair that wasn’t heavy or greasy feeling, plus it actually added some noticeable shine, which is  tricky to get on blonde hair at the best of times. I’ve woke up this morning and whereas my hair – particularly my ends – would normally be feeling dry, it still feels soft and manageable.

Overall I’m really pleased with the dry conditioner from Batiste, and I’m sure it’s going to be just as much of a success as their dry shampoos. I picked mine up for £3.99 from Boots and urge lazy girls and boys like me to do the same. Let’s make hair washing a thing of the past! (Okay, that might be a bit far, sorry…)

Have any of you tried dry conditioner yet? What do you think?

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How to Curl Your Hair Without Heat: Bendy Rollers

rollers 1_nFirst off: I know, I know – proper Art Attack skills there, right? How I only got a C in GCSE Art is simply a mystery that will never be solved.

And now secondly: I’m sure I speak for most girls with long hair when I say this: I LOVE having curly hair – but I do not love the damage that heat from curling tongs can cause. I have hair extensions and so have to be particularly careful to not over-expose them to heat if I want them to stay in good condition and avoid the ‘skanky rat’ look for as long as possible – so this means that regularly curling is a bit of a no-no. To create waves in my hair I’ll often plait it before going to bed, but my new favourite method for achieving a more dramatic curl, but still without the heat, is to use these babies:

rollers 2These bendy rollers were first recommended to me by the girl who fits my weave, and I’m amazed at how good they really are. Packs of these can be picked up in most pound shops, and are also sold in Primark for the mere price of one English pound. You usually get around 8-10 in a pack, but if you have particularly thick hair or want to create smaller curls – or want to use them to spell out words – then you might want to pick up two packs.

Using these rollers is ridiculously simple – and this from a girl who can barely do a neat ponytail (the cackhand strikes again, huzzah!) You section your hair and wrap the ends of each piece around the rollers. You can roll them as high as you want the curl to start. You then secure them by bending them.

rollers 4For maximum effect, I leave my bendy rollers in overnight. I personally find them really comfortable to sleep in as I usually have them secured below chin level so there’s nothing actually digging into my head – if you have them higher then they might feel less comfortable, but it all depends on how easy you find it to sleep with things in your hair I suppose.

When I unravel the curls in the morning, they’re extremely tight and I look a bit like Honey Boo Boo. However after brushing them through a bit, I’m left with something resembling this:

CurlsDepending on what look you’re going for, you can make the curls as groomed or as natural looking as you like. Separating all of your hair evenly will help you to produce matching ringlets, while putting the rollers in a bit more ad hoc (which I do, but mainly because I’m lazy) will leave you with a messier, somewhat more natural look. I’ve found that the curls stay in brilliantly all day; in fact, much better than they tend to when I use a curling wand.

As well as looking pretty good (if I do say so myself, trumpet blowing) and being ridiculously cheap, these curls also leave me safe in the knowledge that I’ve not damaged my hair ONE TEENY BIT. This means they get a thumbs up from me.

Have any of you used bendy rollers? How do you get curls without using heat?