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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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.


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.


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.


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.

How To: The Meghan Markle Updo

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image via Instagram/meghan_markle

Each time Meghan Markle has made a public appearance with fiancé Prince Harry, she’s opted for a chic bun, complete with a few strands left out in a fuss-free way. It has quickly become her signature look and so we decided to let our readers know how to recreate her look at home.

  1. This style is best suited to dirty hair, so the good news is you don’t have to start with an ambitious washing and drying regime. If your strands are too clean and soft, give them a quick once over with a dry shampoo or dry texture spray like Eleven Sea Salt Texture Spray over the root area and massage the product through.
  2. Then, lightly brush the product through to distribute the product evenly from mid-lengths to ends.
  3. To create the bun, tilt your head back and scrape your hair from the hairline back to the nape of your neck, securing it just below your crown area.
  4. Tie this up into a twisted knot and secure with bobby pins.
  5. An important part of this look is the shorter pieces framing the face, so loosen a few strands to get the modern edge that is required for this look.
  6. Finish with a finishing spray like KEVIN.MURPHY Session Spray fora firm, weightless lasting hold with natural fragrance oils and a UV shield for colour protection.

Trending: Mini Fringes

Move over curtain fringes! From the catwalk to the red carpet, mini fringes are now trending.

Oozing cool girl confidence, we’ve spotted them popping up in two big ways: sharp and blunt and uneven and wispy.

Blunt versions give a more angular look and work best on a heart-shaped face. Softer versions are the easier way into the trend, since the result isn’t as drastic, and suits most other face shapes.

No matter which way you go, the looks below will give you all the inspo you need.

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How To Find Your Curl Type

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image via Instagram/nagel_styles_

We know that decoding your curl type can be confusing. Several different textures can exist on one head alone, which all have to somehow look cohesive when you style your hair.

Created by hairstylist Andre Walker and modified by the curly community, this curl-coding system can help you to identify your curl pattern (or patterns), so you know where to start when it comes to hair styling and care.

Where To Start

Your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of from your scalp. The flatter or more oval shaped the follicle, the curlier your hair; while the more circular the cross-section, the straighter your hair. Your curl pattern is also identified by the shape that the strands of hair make – whether they kink, curve, or wind around themselves into spirals.

Most curly girls have more than one type of pattern – kinky, coily, wavy and curly – on their head. For most people, identifying your dominant curl shape and pattern will give you a great starting point to how to style your hair and the best way to care for your curls.

In this system, 1s are straight, 2s are wavy, 3s are curly, and 4s are coily. The sub-classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil pattern. As have a wider pattern size, Bs medium, and Cs the smallest of the three.

The Classifications

Type 2 waves are bendable, can be fine to coarse, and have a definitive S pattern that lays closer to the head.

2As have a fine, barely-there tousled texture that’s very easy to straighten. People with this texture have to be wary of using heavy styling products that can easily weigh their hair down, rendering them limp and lifeless. The most common problem for 2A waves is a lack volume at the root. Using an airy, root-lifting mousse, like KEVIN.MURPHY Body Builder, will add a bit of oomph at the base and to make your hair look fuller.

2Bs are flatter at the crown with defined S-shaped waves starting from the mid-lengths. Strands are thicker in diameter than a 2A, and you’ll have to put in a bit of elbow grease into getting it straight. To enhance your natural surfer-babe waves, use KEVIN.MURPHY Hair Resort Spray for sexy texture that’s never crunchy or stiff.

2C waves are thick, coarse, and more susceptible to frizzing. The S-bends are well-defined and begin at the roots. Lorde is the perfect example of this hair type. Use a non-lathering, sulfate-free shampoo so as not to strip essential moisture from strands, like KEVIN.MURPHY Hydrate Me Wash & Rinse. After washing, applying a leave-in treatment like Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment will lock in your hair’s natural wave pattern while adding hydration.

Type 3

Type 3 curly hair can range from loose, buoyant loops to tight, springy corkscrews which have some sheen but are prone to frizz.

3A strands tend to be shiny with large, loose curls that are about the size of a piece of jumbo chalk. Scrunch KEVIN.MURPHY Killer Curls creme into towel dried hair to help emphasise the curl texture. But keep your hands (or brush or comb, for that matter) from touching your curls afterward, or you run the risk of frizz. To maintain those  springs, simply spritz your hair with a curl refresher, like Eleven’s Smooth and Shine Anti Frizz serum when it needs a boost.

3Bs have coarse, springy ringlets with a circumference similar to a Sharpie marker. This hair texture can get dry, so look for products that add moisture. A weekly in-home moisture masque, like KEVIN.MURPHY’s Hydrate Me masque will also help you get curl definition without the frizz.

3C curls are tight corkscrews that range in circumference from a straw to a pencil. Strands are densely packed together, giving way to lots of natural volume. Frizziness can be an issue with this type, so use a sulfate-free, moisturising products to avoid drying out your hair. Applying your styling product when your hair is sopping wet will also allow your curls to clump together and dry faster.

Coily hair, commonly referred to as Afro-textured or kinky hair, is naturally very dry and spongy in texture and can be soft and fine or coarse and wiry. Strands form very tight, small curls of zig-zags right from the scalp and are prone to major shrinkage.

4As have dense springy, S-patterned coils that are the circumference of a crochet needle. Styling should be done frequently to keep this coily texture looking beautiful, with soft, pliable strands. A curling cream with a leave-in moisturiser like KEVIN.MURPHY KIller Curls is a must for adding moisture and definition.

4B strands are densely packed and can bend in sharp angles like the letter Z. A serum, like Eleven’s Frizz Control Shaping cream will help to keep coils and kinks fresh and hydrated between washing, or as a style quick-pick-me-up during the day.

Teeth Whitening: What’s the best method?

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image via Instagram/everybody_skin

From whitening toothpastes, to over-the-counter whitening strips, to dental office procedures, all tooth-whitening measures contain hydrogen peroxide to lift away stains. The real difference is the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide used in each product and how it is applied to your teeth. And of course, cost is also a factor. Read on to learn more about the different methods available.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are the cheapest tooth whitening method and contain 1% to 1.5% concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Those concentrations are adequate to clean surface stains but won’t penetrate your tooth enamel. The enamel tends to hold the deepest, hardest-to-remove blemishes—that black coffee or red wine gradually accumulates on your smile and leads to tooth discolouration. So if your teeth are seriously stained, a whitening toothpaste alone won’t get the job done, no matter how hard you brush. (In fact, brushing forcefully can damage your gums and tooth enamel, so is never advisable.)

Gels and Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter gels and strips are the next level up on the hydrogen-peroxide and price spectrum. They usually contain 6% to 10% concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and at these concentrations can penetrate microscopic holes and fissures in your enamel to bubble away stains.

While over-the-counter options can be very effective, the key is to apply gels and strips evenly and keep them on as long as directed. If strips or gel are applied incorrectly, your teeth could look unevenly white and gum irritation is also possible.

But there is an important caveat: whitening agents do not work on caps, crowns or fillings. If you’ve had some dental work done, you should speak with your dentist before you whiten your teeth to be sure the results will look uniform.

Dentist-Supplied Tray & Gel Systems

Another step up in both cost and potency is dentist-supplied tray and gel systems, which contain hydrogen peroxide in the 10% to 15% range and can cost several hundred dollars. They require a trip to the dentist, where a custom fitting of your mouth is made with a mold.  With this mold your dentist creates a tray to use with a whitening gel for you to use at home. The custom tray ensures the gel is evenly applied, and it can produce some pretty impressive results, but requires leaving the trays and gel on for several hours at a time.

Dentist Whitening Treatments

The final and most expensive option is settling into your dentist’s chair for a series of 10 to 15 minute whitening treatments. With hydrogen peroxide concentrations as high as 35%, these treatments can quickly make your smile a dozen shades brighter. They can also run you more than $1,000.

So how white should you go?

That’s really a personal preference. While some people want their teeth as white as possible, “natural” looking teeth are often just as attractive as ultra-bright white smiles.


Want your New Year’s Resolutions to Stick? Phrase them differently

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The majority of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, but there’s a simple way to keep on track.

What are the most common New Year’s resolutions?

The most common New Year’s Resolutions are health-based, including giving up smoking or alcohol, and getting fit. Other common resolutions include getting organised, setting aside more ‘me time’ and learning a new skill.

How long does the average person keep their New Year’s resolution?

A 2007 study from the University of Bristol found that 88 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail, with 66% failing in a month or less.

How can I stick to my New Year’s resolutions?

While most people fail to keep their resolutions, don’t let this put you off! Instead of giving up on resolutions all together, just tweak how you phrase them.

For example, instead of “I will make a budget and stick to it,” say, “For an hour a week, I will sit with the frustration of learning how to budget.” Instead of “I will quit alcohol,” you could say “Instead of having a glass of wine, I will take the dog for a walk every night.” or “Three times a week I will go to the gym, even for just twenty minutes.”

This rephrasing has two immediate benefits: First, you don’t have to master your resolution in the first month, you just have to commit to dedicating some time to getting better. And second, it acknowledges that many resolutions are difficult to keep because they can feel bad – especially at the beginning. This means that you won’t feel bad about feeling bad, which can make keeping a resolution even harder.

You can also do a couple of other things to up your chances of success. The first is to take a cue from people who study exercise motivation, and enlist a partner to commit to your resolution with you. Second, link your resolution with a nice task, like listening to podcasts on the treadmill or audiobooks while you cook healthy meals. Doing these things make carrying out your resolution easier and can only increase your chances for success.