Monday, 30 June 2014

Our best clip for thick hair yet?

Libby takes you through our newest hair claw for thick hair: the Moana Large Claw

The Moana Large Claw looks small, but
it holds a heck of a lot of hair!
I had a boyfriend once in Southern California named Tom who was a skateboarding punk rocker.

His grandfather, however, was a member of the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Of the Oscar-deciding variety.

So, punk rock credentials aside, Tom got early recordings of all the potentially nominated films every year.

Tom also scrubbed up pretty good when he needed to, trained up by his father and grandfather.

You can see how I felt Tom was a boyfriend with a reasonable share of plus-points.

One of his favourite smart-dressing mantras was about choosing ties.

"Clash or contrast," he'd explain to me, shirts laid out on the bed, the tie collection duly variously layered over each.

"This one clashes, but this one contrasts. That's what you want. Clash or contrast, that's what it's about."

It was quite a time consuming exercise, but it always paid off in the end.

Plus, Tom never lectured me on my outfits, which is always a winning quality in a young man.

Anyway, Libby has whipped up her own version of a "clash or contrast" video about our newest hair claw, the Moana Large Claw, which we had designed specifically for you if you've got thick hair.

If you have fine hair, the Moana is categorically not for you. Please don't even look at it.

We've got plenty of terrific hair claws for fine hair here.

But if you've got thick hair, Libby wanted to go through precisely how we've designed the Moana Large Claw to be different.

From the shape of the teeth, to the curve of the sides, have a look at all the details we've put in to what we promise will be your new favourite darling.

Oh, you probably want to know how things went with Tom in the end.

He dumped me.

In a restaurant.

Clash or contrast, indeed.


What Makes For a Great Hair Claw For Thick Hair?

Hair Claws shown in this video

Moana Large Hair Claw
Arpege Medium Hair Claw

Other hair claws superb for thick hair

Fat Capitaine Large Clamp
Decoincé Large Hair Claw

More posts you might enjoy...

Herbal Treatments For Dandruff: Brilliant or Bogus?
Libby's Recommended Barrettes for Thick Hair  (tutorial video)
Chignon With Just 1 Pin? Libby Shows You How  (tutorial video)

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories for more ideas for your hair!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Herbal Treatments For Dandruff: Brilliant or Bogus?

Herbal treatments for dandruff:
can you go all natural?
Normally I want to talk to you about hair accessories, naturally. But I was stuck on a plane earlier this week and against my better judgement started reading a small article in a British broadsheet newspaper about how you could make a tincture to help with dandruff.

As usual, I was left smacking my forehead, wondering how these things get published in newspapers. I thought journalists had to do fact checking? I guess not.

The article outlining this recipe, to be fair, did not claim to cure dandruff (though the headline did).

What I think the recipe was really for was a sort of smelly moisturising balm that would pretty much lose any effectiveness as you had to wash it out TWICE after half an hour. Well, that was a waste of an afternoon, then.

What causes dandruff?

There are two broad types of "dandruff" conditions, where the skin is irritated, itchy and flaky: dermatitis and psoriasis.

Scientists generally believe dermatitis, or if your head is oily, seborrhoeic dermatitis, is caused by a type of yeast or fungus from the Malassezia family that feeds off the sebum in your scalp.

The fungus is pretty hardy and rubbing random herbs or other natural things found in your refrigerator with supposed antibacterial qualities on it in the hope of making it go away is no good at all.

The yeast feeds on fat, so using an oil-based natural, herbal tincture to try and battle your infection is pretty hopeless.

All main brand dandruff shampoos (such as Head and Shoulders or Nizoral) use tested antifungal ingredients which kill the fungus.

The two most common anitfungal agents used are pyrithione zinc (used in Head and Shoulders) and ketoconazole (used in Nizoral). These agents target different types of Malassezia yeast, so if one brand doesn't work for you, try using the other to see if you get a better result.

Tea Tree oil (melaleuca) has also shown some effectiveness in killing a range of types of yeast, however, there are to my knowlege no commercial shampoos with enough of the extract to really be effective. A lot of the references to tea tree oil I've seen to date on shampoo bottles are pure marketing fluff.

You can purchase pure tea tree essential oil, however it is poisonous and should not be swallowed. Using tea tree oil on your skin can cause severe skin irritation including rash and blistering. Harsh stuff for a natural cure. You have been warned.

This condition is less common and completely different from dermatitis. Usually there are well-defined, hard silvery patches or plaques. These can often be ring shaped and red at the edge. The flakes sometimes come away in large sheets.

Psoriasis isn't very well understood. Current thinking is that it is caused by an auto-immune disorder, and groups of skin cells just start rapidly reproducing.

There is no cure, but the two most favoured treatments are coal tar extract and UV (ultra violet light) treatment for more intractable cases.

Coal tar extract works by slowing down the production of skin cells. Shampoos such as T-Gel or lotions such as Exorex are available without a prescription at most chemists and can be effective for many people. If your condition doesn't respond to these treatments, you can be eligible for light, or phototherapy, treatment on the NHS.

There are considerable side effects to phototherapy as the UV exposure can rapidly damage and age your skin, so do give the shampoos and lotions a good chance first.

Again, given that the condition is related to your immune system being out of whack, rubbing some herbs in your hair is honestly not going to help one bit.  

Phew. I'm glad I got that all off my chest. At least until I come across another screwy cure for dandruff ...

Rush thyself to Stone Bridge where we've got some nice hair clips, but no cure for dandruff

Monday, 9 June 2014

Headbands and Face Shape: When It All Goes Wrong

Choosing a Headband That is Flattering

Headbands are perfect for when travelling or
on holiday
Hair bands can be the perfect hair accessories to keep your hair under control if you're having a bad hair day and are particularly useful when travelling or on holiday.

However, choosing the wrong style can make your look worse rather than better.

If you've read my article about figuring out your face shape, you should be pretty confident about whether you are round, square, oval, heart-shaped or oblong.

Now you can do something with this information.

US Weekly Magazine published this article, "Hollywood Head Trips" by Paris Hilton in 2005 giving examples of celebrity hair bands gone wrong.

When you look at their face shapes, this is where they let fashion lead them astray.

Rectangle and Square Face Shape

Paris is a devoted alice band wearer and if you can see her little picture up by the headline, she pulls off her pink scarf style headband very well. Why is that? Paris has a strong rectangular face shape. The full, wide hair band creates a more round illusion around the top of her head, while the sweeping side fringe further softens her hard-edged face shape around the hairline.

Heart-Shaped Faces

Now, for some less stellar examples let's look at Madonna, shown on the far right. Madonna has a long, heart-shaped face, with more width across her brow line and a narrowing jaw. The choice of headband here isn't helpful because wearing a wide, dark band forward over her forehead just emphasizes the width. She would have done better to just wear a large sparkly hair clip, like something she has on the band already, in her fringe or on a skinny headband.

This still draws the eye up so you can see her amazing eyes, but instead we're admiring her huge forehead.

Round Face Shape

The lady in the green top, upper left is Hilary Duff. Paris slates Hilary for choosing a sort of ethnic pattern, which is out of step with the rest of her outfit. However, how Hilary is wearing the hair band is spot on. Hilary has a round face. When she wears a hair band, I tend to see her going (rightly) for a classic one-inch width or slightly wider headband, set back from her face, usually with lots of fringe and whispy bits framing her face.

Oblong Face Shape

Next to Hilary is Jessica Simpson. The big mistake happening here is a fancy headband being worn with a detailed, high-neck dress. There is way too much detail in this combination and Jessica's face and hair cannot even be seen.

Jessica has an oblong face and should, by rights, be able to carry off an ornate headband like this. However, because she's scraped back all her hair away from her face, she just looks like an overdressed school marm. Not a normal look for Jessica! If you get rid of the dress, give a her bit of fringe and a parting, and let her show off all her thick wavy hair, this hair band would actually work.

Oval Face Shape

On the lower left you can see Jennifer Lopez, who has an oval face shape, but a high rounded hair line. Her hair is too severe in this picture and the wide band worn close to her hair line makes her look like she's about to just give her face a good scrub and get ready for bed. This style would have been much softer if some hair had been pulled forward or if she had worn a much more delicate, skinny hair band. Remember, round foreheads do not go with wide hair bands. They just show off how round you are.

To the right of Jennifer is Christina Aguilera, also with an oval face shape, but she has a more squared-off hair line. So what she's done here is actually okay (though Paris questions the choice of bright yellow, which I'd agree is a risk with bleached white hair - it can bring out an unattractive yellow in your hair and make it look unhealthy). The band is wide and sitting back from her face. The roundness introduced by the band offsets the squareness of her hairline.

A Tutorial About Scarf Style Headbands And How To Wear Them Effectively

Browse more Stone Bridge headbands