Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Have You Got This Embarrassing Hair Habit?

Many women with longer hair have this embarrassing habit. Do you?

This habit could be undermining you
at work. Do you do this?
Hiya! It's Libby here.

I'm the Senior Style Consultant at Stone Bridge Hair Accessories.

I've got my very first styling video for you today which I made because I had an interesting chat with a senior professional woman who discovered she had an embarrassing habit that surfaced just when she was in "full flow," like when giving a presentation or just whenever she was really focussed on her work.

Since that conversation, I've noticed A LOT of women doing this, completely unconsciously.

This behaviour can undo all the hard work you've put in getting your hair looking good for the day.

But I've got a super-easy style that will kick this nervous habit to the kerb, ensuring that you look pulled together and groomed when you need it most.

Hope you like my first video!

(And share your feedback in the comments, please ... Thanks!)

Barrettes Perfect For This Style

Papillon Large Barrette
Rectangle Large Barrette
Orleans French Large Barrette

Browse All Stone Bridge Barrettes


More posts you'll enjoy:

Are You A Hair Claw Addict? This Video Is For You (tutorial video)
Grow Your Hair Longer, Faster? Well, Don't Buy This ... (product review)
How To Use Small French Hair Pins (tutorial video)

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK for more luxury hair clips made in France

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Are You A Hair Claw Addict? This Video Is For You

Barrettes For A French Pleat Style: Which Clasp Is Right For Your Hair?

Try Barrettes For Easy, Elegant Hair
Over the past several years, we've noticed a little pattern amongst our customers over time.

They come to Stone Bridge first for our super nice hair claws.

But eventually, they come round to trying our truly luxurious barrettes.

And then they are really hooked.

Why Barrettes Are Awesome

Barrettes, if you've not used one yourself, are much more useful than hair claws for creating a huge variety of simple, elegant styles.

They lie flatter against your head, making them more comfortable than claws.

If you have fine hair you'll enjoy barrettes because they weigh less (often by half), so cause less damage to your hair.

The lighter weight also means less strain on "that spot" at the back of your head, causing less pain and discomfort which fine-haired women sometimes find.

If you have thick hair, we've got a range of sizes for you to play with.

This means you will definitely get a clip that will hold all your hair securely all day while sitting nice and close to the curve of your head. This distributes the weight of heavier hair more evenly, giving your neck and even your back a break!

Never Tried One? Watch This Video For Easy Styles To Try

Barrettes are much more common in Europe, Australia and North America than they are here in the UK, so if you aren't too sure how to use them, you aren't alone.

If you've ever wondered how barrettes work in a French pleat style, this video tutorial is just for you.

Here I go through the three basic barrette styles to help you identify which style of clasp might be most suitable for your hair.


Barrettes For A French Pleat Style

Barrettes Shown In This Video

Marcotte Layered Large Barrette (Sold Out!) See our Rectangle Large Barrette
Double Scroll Large Barrette (Sold Out!) See our Oriente Large Barrette
Classic Long Barrette
Classic Wide Barrette (Sold Out!) See our Classic French Oval Barrette 

Browse all Stone Bridge barrettes


Some more posts you'll enjoy:

New Hair Forks in Summer Bright Colours You'll Love (tutorial video)
Can Swimming Damage Your Hair?
Playing With Our Hair, So You Don't Have To (recommendations for longer hair)

Or, just mosey on over to Stone Bridge to see what goodies have arrived in stock today!

Monday, 8 April 2013

8 Celebrity Styles for The Over-40 Woman

Like Mother, Like Daughter? Not When It Comes To Your Hair Style

Like mother, like daughter? Not necessarily...
Once a woman crests the age of 40 (or 50 or 60), anxiety can set in about whether her hair style is working as well as it could be.

Is it too trendy? Or are you stuck in a rut?

This slide show from Daily Makeover profiles 8 different celebrity styles and why they work so well.

An important theme to take away from all these examples is the current trend for "messed up" or "uncontrived" hair.

What works for the young celebrity, however, can make us older women look like we're homeless.

Not a good look.

Translating this trend properly for the over-40 woman can mean, depending on the individual, leaving tendrils to frame your face, an ample fringe to cover forehead lines and layers for movement to convey energy.

Hair clips fit into this trend perfectly, allowing you to create and easy half-back style with small barrettes or mini clamps.

Also useful are our Classic Bobbie Pins in beautiful neutrals. These are perfect for quiffing your fringe, or taking your hair up simply to one side.

Click to have a look at Daily Makeover's image gallery and see if any of these ideas might work for you...

Great Celebrity Hair Styles for Women Over 40


Want to read on? More posts you'll enjoy:

Shampoo Bars: Are They Any Good? (product review)

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

Using a Hair Fork For A French Pleat Style (video tutorial)

All done? Visit Stone Bridge to see our latest and greatest hair clips for your hair.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Shampoo Bars: Are They Any Good?

What's in them and are they worth the switch?

Shampoo bars: are they any good?
Hi Melissa!
Please tell us what you know about shampoo bars! I got one as a gift but I don't know much about them. I've heard some good things and some alarming things about them. 
My long-ish rather curly hair tends to split if I look at it funny, so I feel a bit nervous about trying something that seems radically different from the liquid shampoo/conditioner I've been happily using. But if they're great, I don't want to miss out!

Dear Joyce,

Thanks for your great question. There are two parts we need to look at:

1. What is a shampoo bar and how do they compare to traditional shampoos?
2. Are there hair types, like curly hair, that should stay away from this type of product?

What is a shampoo bar?

Formulation nerd that I am, I did a very superficial survey of a handful of bars to see how they were made.

They fall into two clear camps:

  • Superfatted soap (er, so like soap)
  • Solid Sodium Laurel Sulfate (um, like shampoo)

How you tell the difference is in the first ingredient listed on the package.

Soaps are either a saponified oil, generally one of or a combination of palm, coconut or olive oil. These form a nice hard bar and make a soap that is found to be the most pleasing to use when lathered up in the hands.

A soap that is "superfatted" means extra fat was added above what was needed for saponification, the chemical process of turning fat into soap, and remains as fat blended into the soap mixture.

This provides a certain level of moisturising, most usually to your skin, during use.

Shampoos generally use primarily Sodium Laurel Sulfate. This detergent works very well in hair in particular because it is very water soluble, so rinses out easily and also distributes through the hair nicely in the typical shower-hair wash scenario.

From my brief survey of the few bars I could find, anything that comes after the main "working" ingredient, tends to be either added oils, scents, or preservatives of some type.

Benefits of Shampoo Bars

Theoretically, I love shampoo bars.

From an ecological perspective, everyone ought to use them as liquid shampoos are 60-80% water.

And to have so many containerloads of overpriced, branded water (with a bit of added scent and detergent) being shipped around the world unnecessarily wastes labour, fuel and money.

I've written in the past about how much better it would be if Health & Safety allowed us to buy concentrated shampoo and conditioners.

It would at least halve the amount of packaging and transport involved in the worldwide annual consumption of 14.5 billion bottles of product.

Considering the world population is approaching 7 billion, I find that number rather shocking, personally.

If we all switched to shampoo bars, and remembered to store them between washes to allow them to dry completely so as to minimise waste, there would be a profoundly positive impact on the environment worldwide.

However, I am a stickler for performance.

Why buy something (aside from moral principles, which is a great reason to do anything and if you are this type of person I wish more power to you) if it doesn't do the job?

Limitations of Shampoo Bars

So let's look at where the bars can fall short.

Most bars I've found are soap based. Soap is no good for hair, if you have any of any length.

Soap lather binds with minerals in the water, forming soap scum. This, if you've ever had to clean it off your bath, is profoundly insoluable and likes to stick to everything.

Including your hair.

Not only does it dull your hair, it dries it out and certainly makes it more unmanageable.

If you're a man with a typical "man" short-all-over hair style, soap on your hair is not a big deal.

But, to put it briefly, you do not want to use soap on your hair unless it is a total emergency like you just fell over in an oilslick and you have to give the keynote speech to a room full of important dignitaries in an hour.

One soapy hair wash in dire circumstances is not going to hurt you one bit.

I have found an SLS (traditional shampoo-detergent) based bar from a company which I found surprisingly difficult to prise any information out of their PR department, so I will hold back from openly recommending their product.

This product is fundamentally SLS and a bunch of scent oils.

The reason for this is probably to ensure the bar stays nice and hard and dries satisfactorily between washes.

The downside of this formula is that it will have no real conditioning benefit, which if you have fine, curly or hair with any potential damage (coloured, permed or relaxed) this product might contribute towards a degradation of the health of the cuticle during washing.

It also lacks chelating ingredients which allows minerals present in the rinse water to wash cleanly away from your hair.

So using this product regularly could contribute to drier and more brittle hair compared to using a normal main-brand shampoo.

How I Recommend You Use A Shampoo Bar

All the above being said, shampoo bars are a great solution for travelling.

You avoid the "liquids limitation" for your aeroplane carry-on bag, and you could cut just a little chip off the bar to last for your trip, taking up less space.

Genius, really.

So, if you want to give bars a go for the convenience or for their eco benefits, it is a very worthy experiment.

I don't have a lot of direct experience with shampoo bars, but if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know shampoo is strictly rationed in my household. And my hair is the healthiest it's ever been.

Given the lack of advice from the Personal Care Company I contacted a few times to no avail last month, this is my personal advice on how to use a shampoo bar to make sure you don't "overdose" yourself unnecessarily.

1. Make sure your hair is really wet. I mean really wet. When you think your hair is completely wet through, stand under the shower for an additional 20 seconds for good measure.

2. Get your hands really wet.

3. Wet your shampoo bar and turn it in your hands for 3 complete rotations.

4. Rub your hands together to build a lather.

5. Wash one hand off.

6. Use the now-reduced lather only where you feel your hair needs it most.

7. Rinse. DO NOT repeat.

8. Condition well.

Use this method and your shampoo bar should last for a jolly long time.

Want to learn more about caring for your hair to keep it healthy? I've written a 5-article series which starts on the topic of shampoo.

Click here to read the first article ...

Having fun? Here are some more posts you might like:

I Know It's Snowing, But Spring's Come Early (pretty hair clips!)

Breaking The Mould (interview)

Curly Hair Styling Tip 1: Easy Damage Prevention Technique (video tutorial)


Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK