Hairpins: What they are and how to use them

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We all know about bobby pins, but what about their U-shaped cousin, the hairpin?

Hairpins

Like the bobby pin, the hairpin is double pronged, but its prongs are open, making a shape like the letter “U,” which is why it is often called a U-shaped pin. Both prongs of a hairpin have ribbing to help it stay in the hair and keep the style in place. If your hair is extra soft and fine, look for hairpins that have textured prongs instead of the traditional sleek metal prongs.

Hair Styles Using Hairpins

Hairpins are great for styling delicate updos because they are light and disappear into the hair better than bobby pins. Their open shape means they won’t flatten your bun like a bobby pin can, while still holding your style in place.

How To Create a Messy Bun with Hairpins

To create a modern, messy bun with hairpins, first gather hair into a pony tail anywhere on on your head. Keep in mind that your ponytail placement will determine where the centre of the bun will be.

Next, divide your ponytail into sections and lightly backcomb. The texture will help the hairpins stay in place.

Wrap your backcombed ponytail around the base and pin in place by holding the hairpin perpendicularly to your head and catching about two centimetres the hair that’s in the bun.

To secure, flip the pin flat against your scalp, and push in toward the centre of the bun.

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Three Easy Ways To Curl Your Hair

1. Classic Curl 

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image via Instagram/colorme.slave

This gorgeous curl is by far the easiest.

First, wrap your hair flat around the curling barrel. Make sure that there are no spaces between the wraps of hair around the barrel – it should resemble a ribbon.

Make sure that you hold the curl around the barrel for between 10-15 seconds so that it sets. Then, release the curl into your palm and let it set for a few seconds. As you will see, a very classic curl comes out – perfect for ball season, a nice dinner out or any other special occasion.

 

2. Twist Curl

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image via Instagram/sonderhairstudio

Grab a small section of hair and twist it away from your face.

As you twist it, curl it really tight around the barrel and leave for 10-15 seconds.

Release it into your palm and let it cool down in your hand. You will get an interestingly shaped curl that ends up looking like a nice beach wave.

 

3. Loose Wave

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via Instagram/jennailiouhairstylist

If you ever wonder how to get loose waves with a curling iron, this is it. This option is also great for when you are in a rush, since you will be working with bigger sections of hair.

Take a thick section and place it around the barrel.

As you curl your hair, don’t just hold it in place, instead, do a slight rolling motion (up and down). You should get a gorgeous loose wave as a result!

How To: Fix Brittle Nails

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image via Instagram/Opi

Dry cuticles and brittle, weak, or peeling nails can be frustrating to deal with, and can make your polish chip prematurely.  If this sounds like something you’re dealing with, here are the three major causes and their corresponding solutions.

 

Problem #1: Mineral Deficiencies
Zinc, Selenium, Iron, and B12 are common mineral deficiencies that can affect nail growth and health.

Solution: Take a daily multivitamin. You can also discuss your diet with your doctor and check your levels of many of these minerals with an easy blood test.

 

Problem #2: Too Many Manicures                                                                                       

That’s right, there is such a thing as one too many manicures.

Solution: If you can, let your nails breath for a couple of weeks, sans nail polish. Keep moisturiser on hand and routinely use cuticle oil.

 

Problem #3: Harsh Chemicals
Tidying up around the house and washing the dishes can truly affect your nails. Frequent hand washing or cleaning with harsh chemicals can cause your nails to weaken and even peel.

Solution: Slip on a pair of rubber gloves before you start your housework.

How To: Growing Out Your Colour

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image via Instagram/xoxotsumi

We love a good hair colour switch-up, whether we’re after that on-trend hue or just  some subtle highlights, nothing says new me more than a new do. Sometimes however, our clients want to give their hair a breather, and this step can be a tricky one. Whether you want a change in colour or just feel like your locks have had enough, we’ve lined up our best tips on how to make growing out your colour that much easier.

 

Get Planning

Going back to your natural colour can be a fairly long process that takes a decent amount of planning. We recommend working alongside your colourist to find out the best process, and be sure to let them know your entire hair history so they can know exactly what your hair has been through – that spontaneous moment when you bleached your hair really does matter! With a colourist you can plan the route, and while it may take a few salon visits, it’ll be worth that extra time to avoid damage to your hair and top notch results.

Ditching the Highlights

If you already have subtle babylights or opted for balayage, you don’t have to worry too much, but if your highlights go right to the scalp it will take a little more effort to keep things looking good as you grow your colour out.

The aim of the game is to create seamlessly grown out colour. The best way to do this is by using a mixture of highlights and lowlights, letting your natural colour blend seamlessly. This will darken your entire hair colour and over time create a natural ombre look.

A gloss or toner can also be used on the roots to create a middle colour between your natural locks and your highlights. This will soften the harshness between the roots and highlights and ease your natural hair colour back into the equation.

Reversing the Blonde

When going darker from blonde, we recommend starting with a natural caramel blonde shade, then at your next colour appointment go darker again. Repeat until you’ve got the colour you want. Alternatively, adding some lowlights will reduce the contrast of your roots for a softer and natural look.

From Dark to Light

While you can disguise dark roots and light hair as an intentional ombre, light roots and dark hair can be a more difficult challenge. To avoid damage it’s important to take things slowly and work with highlights to subtly blend your multi-tonal hair.

Ask your colorist to create a base that is lighter than the dye but darker than your natural hue, and then subtle highlights can be added to lighten your look. You may also want to consider balayage on the lengths of your hair to balance your roots and ends.

Saying Goodbye to Pastels

Whether you’ve gone electric blue or pastel pink, these striking shades take up a lot of time and upkeep.

Surprisingly, these colourful hues aren’t the hardest to ditch because dyes this bright are usually temporary. Faded pastels, however, can look dull and you may still end up with a slight tinge of colour.

Once your hair colour has faded, you may want to add in some highlights and lowlights to add back the depth to your locks. A gloss treatment will also restore shine and vibrancy to your hair.

 

Six Steps for a Quicker Blow-Dry

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image via Instagram/Hairhousethepines

As we head into winter, now is definitely the time to avoid venturing out with cold, wet hair. And for those who shampoo in the morning, that means sacrificing precious time to blow-dry.

In the interest of saving you time, here are the six steps to speed up your morning blow-dry routine.

1. Shake it off.

Shaking the water out of your hair as soon as you finish showering will cut down on dry time. Take a minute or so to gently shake your hair, then squeeze out any excess water. Then, to really remove all the excess water you can, repeat the whole process one more time.

2. Towel-dry with caution.

When towel-drying your hair, make sure to be gentle – this means no rough rubbing! Consider investing in a microfibre towel designed specifically for hair. These towels are more gentle than standard bath towels and help eliminate frizz and damage before you turn on the blow-dryer.

3. Use a heat protectant.

While it may seem like an extra, unnecessary step, skipping heat protectant is never a good idea — mainly because of the long-term damage you’ll be doing. Plus, the right formula can actually shave minutes off your blowout by decreasing drying time and protecting your hair from breakage. Apply it to damp hair before rough-drying, and it’ll do double duty in protecting and styling your strands.

4. Pre-dry for protection.

Before using a round brush, you should start by “pre-drying” your hair to get rid of any excess moisture. This is the part of the blow-drying process where you blast your entire head with heat to get about 80% of the moisture out of your hair. Apply your favourite heat protectant, then work the blow-dryer from your roots to your ends, moving your fingers in a fork shape to lift hair away from the scalp to speed up the process.

5. Flip it up.

It’s also important that you don’t concentrate the heat on one spot for too long. A good rule of thumb is to flip your head upside-down and dry that section first, before proceeding to the rest of your hair. This will give you some natural root lift and volume to your blow-wave.

 

6. Use the right tools.

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These steps work best when paired with a blow-dryer that’s designed to work as speedily as possible. We love the Wahl Supadryer for super fast drying results, available at Reds now.

Why Does Our Hair Go Grey?

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image via Instagram/milva.spina

For many people, grey hair is a fact of life. It’s a sign that we are getting older and that our bodies are going through change.

 

What creates our natural hair colour?

To understand why hair turns grey, we first need to understand why it has colour in the first place. The answer is a special type of cell known as a melanocyte. These produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes their distinctive colours.

Melanin comes in two forms, eumelanin (black or brown) and pheomelanin (reddish-yellow). Combinations of these two create the spectrum of eye, hair and skin colours found among humans.

One way to understand how melanocytes determine hair colour is to think of these cells as tiny printers, applying their ink to paper. The paper in this case is our hair strands, formed of keratin, the same protein that makes up our fingernails.

Just as a printer sprays ink onto a sheet of paper to produce an image, melanocytes produce pigments that are embedded into the growing hair strand, providing them with colour. The melanocytes live within the hair follicle, so each hair strand has its own colour-producing printer.

While some people’s melanocytes print a lighter ink combination, such as blonde or red, others have darker colour palletes and so have black or brown colourations.

 

Why we go grey

Now that we understand how hair gets its colour, we can understand why it goes grey.

In hair, grey is not a colouration like any other shade: it is the lack of colouring. The keratin of people with grey hair lacks pigment because their melanocytes have died, revealing the natural grey-white colour of the keratin protein.

Because each hair strand has its own melanocytes, some go grey before others. Exactly what decides which strands go grey first is still unknown. However, age, exposure to certain chemicals and even the climate can influence how early the melanocytes die.

The strongest influence, however, is written in our genes. The genetic influence on hair colour is so strong that if your parents have grey hair, yours is likely to grey at around the same time as theirs did.

Our Top 3 Tips for Dealing With Oily Hair

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image via Instagram/busterproducts

1. Choose your shampoo and conditioner carefully

First off, it’s essential to select your shampoo and conditioner carefully. Avoid any shampoos and conditioners designed for dry hair.  These products are often too heavy for oily-prone hair and may cause your hair to become dull and oily looking. Instead look for a product designed to add strength while not weighing your hair down. We love KEVIN.MURPHY’s Balancing Wash, an antioxidant rich shampoo for everyday washers that strengthens the hair and protects against colour fade. A fresh blend of botanicals makes this the perfect daily shampoo for hair strength and vitality.

 2. Add a purifying shampoo to your beauty arsenal

If you suffer from greasy hair, it’s likely to be because of oily buildup at the scalp. Consider using a purifying shampoo as this is a deep cleanser and will help remove any excess oil build-up. KEVIN.MURPHY’s Maxi Wash is a great detoxifying shampoo that breaks down fatty acids for a clean, clear scalp. The balancing essential oils penetrate the scalp to brighten hair and purify an oily or flaky scalp. It contains anti pollutant ingredients that remove build-up of unwanted products and chemicals. We recommend using a purifying shampoo on a weekly basis, followed with your usual shampoo and conditioner.

3. Don’t overdo it with the conditioner

When washing your hair, it is very important not to use too much conditioner as it can weigh down hair. Generally speaking, applying a 10 cent piece size amount of conditioner after two shampoos works best.

Pro Tip: Don’t use water that’s too hot when washing your hair as it will strip the natural oils off the cuticle and stimulate the scalp to replace it immediately, leaving hair greasy. Instead, use warm to tepid tepid water for your wash and cool water for the last rinse to add shine.

How To: Going Auburn

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image via Love Kevin Murphy

So what is ‘auburn’? We define it as a balance of red and brown hair tones. And the best thing about this colour is it can look great on just about every skin tone.

Light and dark auburn shades tend to look good on most skin tones, ranging from fair to deep olive. Auburn hair colour neutralises pink tones in fair skin making the skin look creamier, while light to medium auburn warms up olive skin making it look glowy.

Because auburn is a balance of red and brown, it’s easier to make the switch to auburn hair if you’re starting with darker hair. This is because when you lift dark hair, it automatically has red tones that shine through. The darker the hair, the more auburn you’ll see.

Transitioning from blonde to an auburn shade is easy, however, blondes have a harder time keeping the red and auburn tones vibrant. This is because the pigments have a tendency to fade quicker. Blondes who opt for an auburn shade should expect their hair to require more maintenance, meaning monthly glossing treatments to help keep the colour vibrant.

Not sure if you want to fully commit? If you’d rather dip your toe into the auburn tress trend, try out highlights for a gorgeous, multi-dimensional finish.

 

 

How To: Caring For Fine Jewellery

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image via Instagram/mejuri

As much as we adore trendy costume jewellery, there’s something extra special about fine jewellery. Perhaps you treasure a family heirloom, your engagement ring, a well-loved keepsake or any other piece of precious metal. Whatever it is, it’s important to take good care of your delicate and high-quality pieces. Not sure how? No problem… This guide has got you (and your favourite jewels) covered!

How to Store:
First things first; it’s important to have a safe place to store each piece of fine jewellery. As a general rule, each piece should be kept in an environment where the temperature is relatively constant – not too hot or cold – and away from humidity or damp. Within that environment, each piece should be kept separate and in a soft-lined container. Avoid allowing the pieces to touch each other, as they can scratch. A great option is to store rings and bracelets in soft, cushioned boxes in a clean and dry location. Hang necklaces individually to avoid scratching and tangling.

How to Clean:
To clean your nicest jewellery, it’s important to use gentle, quality soap. Invest in a jewellery cleaner from your favourite jeweller, or use an ingredient you probably already have in your home: gentle dish soap. After rubbing gently with your dish soap and cool water, rinse and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth (Avoid paper towels, as they can scratch your jewellery.). Then, lay your pieces to dry to avoid excess moisture transferring back into your jewellery storage unit. This method will work for simple cleaning of all your nice jewellery, but certain pieces require certain additional care.

Silver: To reduce tarnishing on silver pieces, go the homemade route by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water. Rinse with cool water, then rub or pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Gold and Jewels: To clean your favourite gold pieces and your most precious gems, mix mild dish soap with sparkling water, then rub gently (try lightly scrubbing with an unused toothbrush for really hard to move grime). Why use sparkling water? The bubbles help to loosen the tiny debris that cause your jewels to appear dirty or clogged.

Pearls: Pearls are incredibly porous, so it’s easy for them to lose their beauty. To fix this problem, clean them gently with shampoo or another mild soap-and-water solution. Be sure to lay them flat to dry, as pearl strands are often prone to unwanted expansion when wet.

Bonus tip: Want to keep your finest jewellery in good condition for longer? Take them off while washing hands, showering, moisturising, and while exercising. Instead, store them as mentioned above, then put them back on when you’re all clean and dry!

How do you care for your fine jewellery?

Share your best tips and tricks in the comments!

Fine Hair Doesn’t Have To Mean Thin Hair: How to Care for Fine Hair

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Instagram/annamilaofficial

Contrary to popular belief, fine hair does not always equal thin hair. Fine hair is generally defined as a head of hair in which the diameter of each hair is smaller than usual. This means that you can have fine-thick hair, fine-dense hair, fine-thin hair and everything in between. Because there is such a broad range of hair types even within the fine category, it can be difficult to definitively talk about how to care for them all. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, though, if you’ve got fine hair in any capacity, there are still a handful of general tips you can use to care for your mane.

Cleansing

Fine hair tends to get greasy easily. This is because the shaft of the hair tends to be smoother and less porous than coarser hair types, so the oils sit visibly on top of the hair. That does change depending on the level of texture; fine hair that’s also straight can look greasy hours after washing, while textured fine hair can last a few days between washes. But generally speaking, it can be washed a little more frequently that coarse hair types.

Regardless of how often you wash it, in terms of keeping it healthy, where you shampoo makes a big difference for fine hair. We recommend shampooing the top where it’s dirty and not on the bottom where it isn’t. If you’re looking for volume, don’t use too much conditioner, especially at the scalp – this will flatten your hair out and leave it looking limp. However, if your primary goal isn’t volume and you do like your hair to feel a little softer, it’s OK to use a bit more conditioner, but be prepared to wash more frequently to avoid looking oily.

Cutting

Since fine hair is sensitive to the way that it’s shaped you’ve got to be careful—all the details, good and bad, show up in fine hair when you get a trim. But that fact can also be your hair’s greatest strength if it’s done right. Soft, subtle layers will look good on most people with fine hair. This style will give movement and texture, while still keeping the volume.

Styling

Because all people are different, the best way to find out what works for you is by experimenting.

Generally people with fine hair should look for styling products, which provide hold and volume rather than oil-based products which can weigh your hair down and make your hair greasy. Look for products like sea salt spray, dry shampoo, mousse and texturising mists. These products coat the hair, which helps to expand it and create volume and texture.

That doesn’t mean you can never use oil-based products. Oils, creams and serums can be applied to the ends of fine hair to create shine and nourishment.

With a little bit of trial and error and some advice from your Reds stylist you can find a product combination that works for your fine hair.