Monday, 20 December 2010

Are You Suddenly Getting Frizzier Hair?

This weather is crazy, isn't it? If you've got any texture in your hair, whether a wave or a curl, then I'm sure you've experienced how changeable weather can lead to changeable hair! One minute your hair is doing what you want it to do, and the next it's either frizzing or falling flat.

Now, for this time of year, you might be seeing another kind of frizz, though. And this has to do, interestingly, with an annual cycle of shedding that humans go through.

Why am I losing so much hair?

Some research indicates that humans experience shedding periods in spring and autumn, when we lose more hair on average. You might notice more hair coming out on your hair brush, or generally more hair falling out in the shower when you shampoo during this period.

For some women, the shed is so noticeable you can see your hair thinning at spots, which can be quite upsetting.

Female pattern baldness does occur and it is linked to your hormone levels and unfortunately there isn't a lot you can do about it. However, often this thinning is often temporary.

Typical Early Stage Hair Growth

When a hair falls out of its follicle, normally is has actually been pushed out by a new hair growing up underneath. This new hair often starts fairly fine, like the baby hairs many women see along their hairline. But most of the time you may not even notice this new growth until the hair is about two to three months old and has a stiff enough structure to unfortunately stand up from your head.

Now, if you experienced a big shed in September or October, then your new growth will be coming in strong now. And if you've got any natural texture to your hair then you've got, yup, frizz making a little halo around the crown of your head.

How To Handle The Frizz

The best way to smooth these hairs down, particularly during the day if you are fixing your hair, is to wet your fingers and then lightly dampen your hair. Then use a very little bit of mousse, styling cream or leave in conditioner to help "stick" your new growth down.

If the hair has a very kinky texture, this might be due to the age of the follicle. Follicles collapse and rebuild themselves for every new growth cycle and older follicles can take longer to get their hair-growing act together as they reform. This can result in new hair with a slightly harder structure and uneven texture. Usually the follicle is functioning normally after about 12 weeks or so and any unusual kinkiness will have grown out.

If this bothers you, just trim the kinky end away with a good sharp pair of scissors. Don't make yourself neurotic about trimming your ends, though. You could spend all day and accidentally give yourself a terrible layered haircut!

Scarf style headbands are, of course, a good alternative to obsessing about frizz and they will help the hair around the top of your head to lie down smoothly.

Or you can disguise the increased texture at the top of your head by adding volume with either a quiff or bouf type hair style, smoothing with a light misting of hair spray.

As these young hairs lengthen, they will blend in and lie down nicely of their own accord. You just need to be patient.

Warm Stone Bridge Headbands To Handle Winter Frizz
Couture Velvet Scarf headband. Beautiful plush silk velvet with a crocodile texture.
Crushed Silk Velvet headband. A rich dark red subtly shot with gold threads.
Parlour Wool and Silk Scarf headband. Perfect whether you're out in the snow or curled by the fire.
Classic Silk Velvet skinny headband. Lightweight and comfortable. A classic.

Browse all Stone Bridge headbands

Saturday, 11 December 2010

How to Do a Messy Side Bun

An Easy Long Hair Style for Christmas or New Year's Parties

This week I kept seeing a messy side bun style sported by a number of teenaged girls. While I'm always interested in new trends that can be cleaned up and tweaked for full grown women, I thought for sure this was look that would be too young for me.

Messy Side Bun Hairstyle
But intrepid explorer of all things hairstyle related, I had to give it a go. And I was very surprised to get a good result.

This messy side bun is exceptionally easy to create and as an updo it is suitable for any semi-formal to formal event you might have in your diary.

To make this style even dressier, in the centre of the bun you can tuck a small crystal hair clip. A delicate crystal side comb at the edge of your bun can also look very nice.

I understand there is a little-known holiday called Christmas coming up. Maybe you've heard of it? So if you've got a party to attend, the messy side bun could be a fun new way to wear your hair.

As with all new styles, you must be willing to experiment and practice a bit as you will very likely have to adapt the method to suit your hair weight and texture.

Here's your video showing you how to make a very basic messy side bun style for long hair.

How to Make a Messy Side Bun

Stone Bridge Hair Clips Perfect for Tucking Into Your Messy Side Bun

Portofino Crystal Small Barrette
Grand Emperor Butterfly Slide
Éclaircissement Crystal Slide
Debut Knot Small Barrette

Visit Stone Bridge to see this week's new hair accessories

Friday, 10 December 2010

Winter Static

How Hair Clips Can Help When You've Got Static In Your Hair

Surpised by static? Sort it here...
In winter when the air is dry, static in your hair can become a bit of a nuisance. What is static and how can you get rid of it?

Static electricity is created when two different materials with odd numbers of electrons come into such close contact that the unpaired electrons temporarily escape.

So a wool hat or scarf that has been on your hair is pulled back (or that balloon you’ve been rubbing on your hair is held slightly away – something we do all the time, I know).

Your hair picks up the escaped electrons, temporarily giving the individual hair strands the same electrical charge, and they repel each other.

To reverse this, you simply need to earth the rogue electrons with a conducting material, the most conductive being steel, copper or water.

So the next time you walk into a shop or work and your hair is standing on end, you just need to run your keys or a few pennies through your hair to get rid of the static. 

Alternatively, go wet your hands and then run your damp fingers through your hair. That’s it.

If static is a real recurring problem for you, there are chemicals that diffuse static electricity which are commonly found in tumble dryer softening sheets.

These products also contain chemicals that you find in normal hair conditioners.

You can lightly run one of these sheets over your dry hair after you finish styling it in the morning in the places where static tends to be a problem, such as the ends and along your hairline.

If that is too weird or the softening sheets make you smell like a laundrette, experiment with using a leave-in conditioner just at your usual trouble spots.

Many of these main brand products contain an anti-static agent in them.

Good quality hair clips can help too, of course.

All our French barrettes and hair claws use steel mechanisms, placing an earthing material very close to your hair.

Also, the simple act of putting your hair up so that the ends are protected will preserve moisture around your head and minimise static.

Stone Bridge Hair Accessories to Add Metal to Your Hair

Portofino Crystal Barrette. All our barrettes use high quality French steel clasp, so will do the job earthing your hair for you. But you could be quite sparkly in the process, right? Made in Italy and completely covered in Swarovski crystals. A small barrette couldn't be more impressive.

Grand Emperor Butterfly Slide Dazzlingly beautiful, our Grand Emperor butterfly slide is hard to resist. Like it's elusive namesake, this design is all the more beautiful for its rarity.

Handmade for Stone Bridge in Germany, the 35 swarovski-cut crystals have been individually set by hand, into a durable metal base. The clasp itself is made from a high-grade steel, lined with a small row of teeth, to provide a secure hold you can count on. 


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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Snow Versus Stone Bridge Hair Accessories

The Ultimate Showdown Between Mother Nature and Hair Clips

Stone Bridge is fundamentally a mail order business. You phone us up or visit online, ask for some hair clips, pays your money and expect to see in short order a pretty tissue-lined box chock full of lovely silk bags carrying ... hair clips.

Most of the time that is exactly what happens.

But occasionally Siberia plays a mean trick on the Southeast of England and sends a dumping of snow that keeps us from seeing the postman for a few days.

Last week was one of those occasions. Where we process our orders actually received over a foot of snow. The surrounding roads were so dangerous the local post office did not even open its doors for three days.

I personally did my heroic best, carrying huge shopping bags under both arms, walking two miles up to the post office (and then back again, still laden) in the hopes of getting your hair clips to you for three days running.

On Friday we had a bit of a breakthrough. Claire knows someone who works in a Royal Mail sorting office who said she could get our parcels into the system for us.

So, Claire struggled into the office Friday morning, filled shopping bags and rucksacks with boxes, walked the two miles back to the main road to be collected by a friend. She then had help carrying all the orders on foot for nearly a mile to get your hair clips into process with the Royal Mail.

Hair Clips - 1
Mother Nature - 0

You can have victory over the winter weather too, if postal deliveries are at all a worry for you. I recommend virtual gift certificates, which we can send any day you like, to as many people as you like, anywhere in the world.

You don't have to pay shipping. The recipient doesn't have to go to the post office and wait in an angry queue for 45 minutes to collect their parcel. Your gift, which is fully insured by us, arrives on time, every time. Plus, they can choose exactly the item they like best.

Know someone who loves her hair? Click here to order them a Stone Bridge gift certificate!

Or, choose some nice hair clips yourself and have us do all the sending business.

Click here to start shopping

How to Learn the Best Care Routine Specifically for Your Hair

How Does Your Hair Want To Be Treated and How Do You Find Out?

Hair comes in a lot of variety. When you consider the five defining characteristics of your hair - weight, density, texture, porosity and strength - there are something like 32 different profiles that specifically your hair could fall into.

At Stone Bridge, we sit around thinking about all these different variables all day long. Plus we mull over about other qualities that might apply to you and your hair, like how long is your hair or how long would you like it to be; do you work in a serious and conservative environment or not; do you do a lot of sport and what sort of sport is it; do you colour your hair or are you natural ...

And then throw in questions about your personal style and face shape - hang on, the back of my envelope isn't big enough to multiply all these variables together!

Working out your care and styling routine that is best for your hair is not straightforward. Plus most women only have the guidance of their mother's experience (which may not apply at all to your hair, only hers, and might be imperfectly informed anyway), the promises found on the labels of hair care products, and the 10 minutes spent a few times each year with a stylist who has an interest in selling you a couple bottles of their salon shampoo.

Throw in a sprinkling of poorly researched articles from fashion magazines and daytime talk shows and what sort of library of information do you really have?

There is only one real way to find out how you can get the best out of specifically your hair. And that is to learn a few basic facts about hair generally, and then to experiment.

What a Billionaire Can Teach You About Your Hair

I came across a story recently told by John Counsel, a marketing consultant, that was really about business, but I thought it was also very appropriate if you are in the process of trying to learn properly about your hair.

A young journalist was on a flight and had been lucky enough to be upgraded to First Class. When he got to his seat he was quite excited to see he was across the aisle from a famous multi-billionaire, who was quite intent on getting some shut-eye.

The journalist felt he couldn't let this opportunity pass by, and finally worked up the courage to speak to him.

"Excuse me Mr _______, pardon me for disturbing you but would you mind if I just asked the secret of your great success?"

Without opening his eyes, the man replied, "Correct decisions."

The young journalist thought about this, but felt there must be more to it.

"Excuse me again, but how do you know which are the correct decisions?"

Again, the billionaire barely stirred. "Experience," he said.

The young man couldn't resist, and asked "But how do you get the experience to know which decisions are correct?"

The older man replied before turning over, "Wrong decisions."

Applying Experience To Your Hair Care Routine

Once you have enough knowledge about what hair care products are really supposed to do to and for your hair, as well as information about styling that is appropriate to your real hair texture (not the texture you wish you had), only then you can start experimenting.

Even though we talk to hundreds of women directly about their hair, our advice is based on some general rules and then adjusted slightly to take account of your lifestyle and personal style. Even then we often ask for feedback a few weeks on to see how our suggestions are working (or not).

The only way you can land on "correct decisions" that are exactly right for your hair is to experience a few "wrong decisions" along the way. That means if you truly want to learn what is best for your hair, you must expect a few bad hair days in the process.

In this way you can work out the things that do not work for your hair. Make a clear mental note of these things and do not be seduced by marketing or 300 word articles in glossy magazines promising you hair that you are not capable of growing out of your own head.

The oak tree does not wish and struggle to be a weeping willow, spending an hour every morning straightening its branches. That's just silly.

Be proud of your hair the way it is. Have fun with it. Learn which qualities of your hair are envied by other women (or admired by men!) and play those up.

If you want to learn more about how to have healthy, more manageable hair with techniques that cost almost nothing, sign up for my free series of Hair Care Advice articles. You can always unsubscribe, so what have you got to lose?

Sign up and start taking better care of your hair today!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Do Hair Bands Give You An "Ouch" Behind Your Ears?

Stone Bridge Has Designed the Perfect Hair Bands for You

A designer we work with a fair amount is Tanya Igic, who is a jewellery designer normally and she's quite famous around the world for her work with leather.

It's this expertise in leather that made us choose her to help us develop our Lambskin Leather bandeau.

We wanted to develop this product because normally the bandeaus you find on the high street can be:
  •  the wrong size
  •  too tight
  •  too slippery
  •  don't stay where you want them on your head
  •  generally annoying
But if you have a sensitive head and find that traditional alice bands press on that bone you have behind your ears, the bandeau seems an obvious solution.

Now, Stone Bridge does carry our very soft Super Comfy collection of Classic Headbands. These are very comfortable, but it is because the material we use in these is not as rigid as injection moulded plastic (like the inexpensive headbands you find at the supermarket and other places).

This makes our Super Comfy headbands more comfortable, and they are excellent if you have fine to medium weight hair.

But if you have thick or very curly hair, the Super Comfy headbands are not going to have the hold you need. The band will just flex out under the force of your hair and be basically useless to you.

So we developed the Lambskin Leather bandeau because the leather gives the hold that you need, and with our soft leather ties, you can make this bandeau exactly the right size for your head.

It lies very flat behind your ears, so if you wear glasses, it won't bump up against them.

And best of all, no more "Ouch!"

Here's a video I made so you can see how we designed it.