Six Hacks to Painlessly Break In Your New Shoes

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image via Instagram/asterbells_clothes_closet

Here’s some tricks of the trade that actually work when you need to break in your new shoes.

1. LITTLE AND OFTEN

It’s a good idea to buy shoes well in advance of the event they’re for. That way you can break them in gradually. Try slipping them on when you’re at home in the evenings or pop them on for your lunch time stroll.

2. SANDPAPER YOUR SOLES

New shoes can be very slippy – especially heels – and trying to keep yourself from going flying on their debut outing can mean your feet are doing a lot more work than they need to. To avoid getting blisters from ever-scrunched toes, buff some sandpaper on the sole of your shoes to give them a bit more grip.

3. CRANK UP THE HEAT

Using heat on new shoes is a great way to soften and stretch the material. Put on some thick socks, slip on your shoes and gently add heat with a hairdryer. Make sure the heat is evenly distributed by moving the shoe around to avoid melting the material and then walk around in the shoes. The heat will loosen the fabric, while the socks will stretch it out.

4. ICE, ICE BABY

If heat doesn’t work, try the other end of the temperature scale. Fill freezer bags with water (remove all air from them before sealing) and stuff them into your shoes. Stick them in the freezer and leave them for approx. 4-8 hours. Water expands as it freezes, stretching your shoes at the same time.

5. SOAK IT UP

If your new shoes are leather, spray some rubbing alcohol on the inside of your shoes, put them on and walk around in them for at least 20 minutes. The alcohol will soften the leather and help the shoes mould to the size and shape of your feet.

6. TAPE YOUR TOES

If all else fails, tape your third and fourth toe together. Sounds weird, but it works. There’s a nerve split between the two toes which hurts when pressure is put on it. By taping the two together you’re perfectly aligning your muscles to avoid pressure on that nerve.

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Four ways to reuse your beauty packaging

According to research conducted for the recent Zero Waste week, the cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging per year. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be up to 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfill generated by the beauty industry alone.

The good news is it’s easy to research products before you buy. Plenty of beauty brands – including our very own KEVIN.MURPHY and ELEVEN hair care ranges – are taking big steps towards sustainability. And sustainably-sourced doesn’t just mean minimal impact on the environment, it also means high-quality ingredients.

Here are a few simple ways to take an environmentally responsible approach to your own beauty habits.

Reuse your candle glasses
Candles are perfect for reuse – from the charming labels, to textured finishes. Wash the finished candle glass by adding boiling water – this will soften the remaining wax and raise it into an easily removable disk – then wash as you would any other glass. Candle glasses also double up as perfectly sized tumblers.
Use old make-up compacts and product containers for storage

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Clear out any remaining powder from your finished compacts. Wash and dry thoroughly and use as a secure storage container for small fiddly items like paper clips, safety pins, buttons and hair ties.

Be a smart shopper
Seek out brands with viable, environmentally-friendly initiatives. For instance, at MAC you get a complimentary lipstick for six empties. Dior has dropped all cellophane and excessive paper from its packaging, while KEVIN.MURPHY makes every effort to use packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable.

Turn perfume bottles into diffusers

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Beautiful perfume bottles are hard to part with – and there’s no need to when you can reuse them as room diffusers. Just place reeds into the bottle and the scent will fill the room for weeks to come.

We Care: Our salon’s journey towards zero waste

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Here at Reds we believe it’s important to minimise our impact on the planet. To create a sustainable future for our business we have committed to practices that will support and sustain our environment and we’re proud to have won a number of awards for our work. Here’s the ways we follow the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to address our practices in the areas of waste, water and energy.

 

Reduce

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The first and most effective component of the three R’s is reducing the waste created. Here’s some of the ways we have changed our practices to use fewer resources and create less waste:

  • With a combination of monitoring and incentives we have achieved a 5% decrease in our annual rate of product wastage while retaining the same colour service level at around 50%. We are proud to have achieved an average wastage of less than 1 gm per client.
  • We use energy efficient hairdryers – our New Parlux 3800 is the latest eco-friendly ionic and ceramic hairdryer. This energy saving, ozone-friendly dryer is also made from recyclable materials
  • To reduce chemical use we only stock Kevin Murphy and Eleven hair care products which are paraben and sulphate free. These products are also certified by PETA as cruelty free and only contain ingredients that are ethically sourced.
  • Our Kevin Murphy ‘Colour.Me’ range of hair colour is PPD and ammonia free.
  • We ensure taps are turned off between shampoos and have low flow hose attachments.
  • We use ‘Rockfoil’ when colouring – made from recycled environmental waste that is photo degradable.
  • All our cleaning products are eco-friendly.
  • Our LED lighting is energy efficient and eco-friendly.
  • We save residual power by always turning off switches.
  • To reduce both excessive use of water and power, due to continuous washing and drying of towels, we have introduced disposable, compostable towels. All other washing is dried on the line outside.

 

Reuse

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We have devised a number of ways to ensure much of our waste can immediately be reused to minimise the strain on the environment:

  • Our new client and pre-quote form is laminated and reusable.
  • Tea towels, cleaning cloths, and capes are washed and reused.

 

Recycle

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When waste is eventually discarded, separating items for recycling from other waste is important. We have created an efficient recycling system to radically reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill.

  • We recycle all paper, cardboard, foil, tint tubes and plastic.
  • We use our Reds worm farm to compost hair, coffee grounds, tea bags, compostable towels and kitchen waste. We donate our vermicast to fertilise a local community garden.
  • The packaging of our entire hair care and colour range is 100% recyclable.
  • Our retail bags are recyclable and biodegradable and made with recycled paper.

 

These small adjustments have helped the Reds salon become an environmentally responsible business. We have seen the benefits and continue to actively seek more sustainable options and practices. We believe that by practicing the three R’s we are helping to make a positive difference to our planet.

Four Proven Tips for Beautiful Hair

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image via Instagram/lovekevinmurphy

A Haircut

A haircut is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your hair. If you’re dealing with split or damaged ends – often a result of excessive heat damage – book in for a cut and then adhere to trims every 8 weeks thereafter. Styling-wise, you’ll notice the difference instantly.

In-salon treatment

We’re proud to offer the fabulous Kevin Murphy TREAT.ME in-salon treatments. Containing ‘Super Proteins’, amino and alpha hydroxy acids from vegetables and plants, they strengthen the hair shaft and repair damage created by heat styling and chemical services. TREAT.ME can be tailored to suit each of your individual hair needs and will make the surface of your hair more smooth, supple, and elastic. TREAT.ME is colour safe and like all Kevin Murphy products is sulphate-free.

Colour

Our hair colour line COLOR.ME uses gentle and naturally derived ingredients to naturally moisturise and rejuvenate your hair, creating natural looking results with incredible shine. From rosy golds to icy blondes and velvety toffees to ruby reds, give your hair a beauty boost with our range of luxury colours.

First comes health, then comes texture

If Alexa Chung, Chrissy Teigen, or Blake Lively are your hair muses, chances are you favour the look of a rough-and-tumble texture. But that’s not to be mistaken for unhealthy hair. Firstly, towel-dry your hair for 15 minutes before flipping your head upside down and blow-drying until it’s eighty percent dry. Finish by smoothing the ends – The last three inches are key, so move your brush and dryer right down to the very ends of the hair, before applying a texturising spray and scrunching up to the mid-lengths.

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.

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.