Product Watch: Making a statement with your hair

Spring's hair launches will have you looking like a princess and attempting Rapunzel-like length, says Rachel Marie Walsh. 

Crystals and Pearls

Dressing your hair as do storybook princesses is currently validated by Simone Rocha, Dolce Gabbana and every other designer who wants us crowned in pearls and crystals this season.

This look isn’t about accessorising Debs-style twists and applying half a can of Elnette, as Redken Creative Director Guido Palau explained at Dolce, “The embellishment should be the statement, not the hair. You don’t want the two to vie for attention.”

So combs and clips on natural roots it is.

Simone’s own Silver-tone faux pearl hair slide, €85 at net-a-porter.com, is lovely but there are showers of less expensive options. Smaller crystals are better buys — in clusters or tennis bracelet-style lines — as large cubic zirconia is more obviously glass and thus less

precious-looking.

Costume jewellers Butler&Wilson, whose affordable pieces have attracted Madonna and the Duchess of Cambridge, offer vintage-inspired pearl headbands via their online store. No.1 Jenny Packham, the designer’s accessories line at Debenhams, does large crystal combs that are pretty for evening or occasion-wear.

This trend seems too engaging to be temporary and may even be a little too subtle. Is it really so irrational to feel all women deserve to wear tiaras every day?

I don’t think so, palaces are built in all shapes and sizes. And places.

“Don’t sleep on a wet head” is an early healthcare instruction that does not leave you but

overnight conditioning-masks, which require damp hair, are nice.

What to do? Bumble and bumble has a new bedtime treatment you can apply to dry ends. The formula has lots of Evening Primrose Oil, so its high in Vitamin E, and is also high in camellia oil.

Camellia is having a long moment because of the ongoing, international Korean beauty trend (increasingly compounded by Japanese or ‘J-beauty’ competition) and it is a genuinely beneficial one, Coco Chanel didn’t just love this flower for its simple elegance.

Reparative and hydrating, it can also be used as gentle makeup remover for those who do not tolerate olive-oil cleansers, so is easy to rinse clean from all hair types.

Pairing this mask with silk pillowcases ensures minimal product loss and helps prevent

breakage while you sleep.

Joico Beach Shake Texturising Finisher, €21.85

I’ll likely never be able to leave seawater in my hair as happily as when I toddled around Owenahincha again but beach waves are still very cute.

Beach Shake is a texturising spray with conditioning agents.

I know there are lots of cult versions of this product type but this one is special because oico swaps salts and sugars (employed to rough up hair’s cuticle) for beeswax. This

natural thickener is protective and shampoo-soluble, giving you a beach-y look without the build-up. It is rich, however, and this spray best suits medium-to-thick hair.

‘Shake’ is what you do with an aerosol

instinctively but in this case also refers to the sweet mix of plant oils — including

shine-enhancing coconut and sunflower seed — and a peptide complex the brand says will “seek out” damaged areas and repair hair from the inside. Considering this complex is keratins meant for application to dry hair the claim seems dubious but protein does add even more temporary volume.

IGK Hair Rich Kid Coconut Oil Air-Dry Styler, €29.50 at SpaceNK

Californians must be enjoying the ‘wellness’ trend most, it so validates the whole vegan/all-green/free-from lifestyle internationally associated with their state.

Last year there was a celebration of California’s contribution to the world since 1960 at

London’s Design Museum that exhibited issues of The Whole Earth Catalogue, a now-defunct counter-cultural product guide that Steve Jobs once dubbed “Google in paperback” for its showcase of “neat tools and great notions”.

The editorial definition of “tools” was broad, ranging from courses to building equipment to personal-care products. IGK Hair might make a 2018 issue.

Founded by four industry vets (including Jared Leto’s stylist) united in their love of hair, tattoos and fitness, IGK offers ways to re-style as often as a frenetic follower-seeker without inflicting long-term damage. Products are vegan, colour-safe and UV-protective, as well as cruelty and paraben-free. Their Holographic Foam Hair Colour, €22.50, which imparts colour and shine without chemical damage, gets much buzz for its shimmery unicorn look.

If you care for neither pink nor blue hair I recommend Rich Kid, a coconut oil-gel that makes hair dry in silky waves. The water base means fine-haired ladies can benefit from

coconut extract without losing body.

There is no crunchy-dry feel as the texture is more lotion than gel but its staying power is close to that of a gel formula.

L’Oreal Dream Lengths No-Cut Cream, €11.50

Sometimes its hard to let go of old ends. Salon wisdom is that trimming lengths every 6-8 weeks is healthy but wouldn’t it be?

Given hairdressers act in loco best friend/free counsellor so often it is most surely sound advice but Elvive’s new split-end cream does keep hair in check if you resist a chop.

The ingredient list is impressive, nutrition-wise, with as much niacinamide as an anti-ageing moisturiser and lots of softening castor-seed oil. Silicones and water-binding proteins keep strands smooth and make hair manageable and shiny.

The cream is lightly perfumed, colour-protective and a lovely leave-in treatment for damaged lengths.

It won’t even the tips out but makes a practical hold-over until your next appointment.


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