Entries Tagged as 'hair'

October 24, 2014

beauty secrets | how to gracefully grow out a pixie cut

It’s no secret that I’m growing out my pixie cut (as evidenced by Instagram selfies and #tbt posts to longer hair days).

While I adored my pixie cut, it began to bore me just a bit. There’s less hair to fuss with (bonus!) but, also, there’s less hair to play with, and wearing headbands and clips just got a bit old to me.

In January 2014, I decided I would start the “painful” growing out process, but as documented below, you’ll see that it really wasn’t horrible at all.

Thanks to my talented stylist, who kept my hair shaped-up and mullet-free, there wasn’t a month that went by where my hair was awkward or unmanageable.

(Yes, you have to continue getting the back trimmed every four to six weeks while the front grows out! Listen to your stylist.)

Check out the timeline below, and then read on to learn what I did to encourage my pixie to grow into a pixie-bob and now, finally, a short bob.

(Hint: Patience is a big part of the prescription for gracefully growing out a pixie cut.)

how to grow out a pixie cut

First, let’s just be real here: There are no quick fixes, magic pills or herbal concoctions that will make your hair grow rapidly.

Yes, there are things you can do to keep your hair healthy and strong, but nothing is going to transform you into Rapunzel overnight.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I will say that I integrated a few natural approaches to encourage my hair to break less and stay strong.

Hair Growth Supplements

best hair supplements | growing out a pixie cut

In addition to my regular supply of daily supplements (more on that in a different post), I integrated various hair growth supplements into my routine to 1) make me feel like I was an active participant in this months-long journey and 2) see what worked for my lifestyle.

Here’s what I tried — and please remember, I’m not a medical professional. If you’re interested in supplementing your diet for whatever reason, remember to clue in your doctor. What works for me may not work for you, and may not even be safe for you, depending on your circumstances. Be smart!

*Indicates press sample

Pre-natal Vitamins (not pictured)

Almost every woman who’s gone through pregnancy raves about how her pre-natal vitamins made her hair and nails grow.

While these claims are unproven, as I took pre-natal gummies during this pixie-growing-out experience, I did notice that my nails grew faster and peeled less. As for my hair? Couldn’t really tell.

As far as my body goes (after speaking with my doc), I had no problem taking pre-natals to jumpstart this process in the beginning, but opted to discontinue taking them for social reasons (i.e. when a guy snoops through your medicine cabinet and sees pre-natal gummies, it tends to cause anxiety).

B Complex Gummies (red gummies)

B-complex vitamins are known for their ability to nourish hair follicle cells, prevent hair loss and keep the hair flexible.

I chose to experiment with this supplement next because it seemed that focusing on these healthy-hair vitamins could be key to strengthening my hair during the growing-out process (because with a pixie cut, you do tend to heat-style every day).

This was probably my favorite supplement because 1) it’s in gummy form, which makes it easier to take (yes, I am a child) and 2) it only required one gummy a day, which felt very manageable given the additional daily supplements I take.

*Glow Beauty Vitamin Bubbles (green bubbles)

Of all the gummy-like supplements I took, these tasted the best, and were just damn-fun to take.

Unlike their gummy counterparts, these vitamin “bubbles” were alive with citrus flavor that burst into your mouth as you bit into it. Think Gushers.

In addition to the hair-healthy B vitamins, these also contain beauty ingredients such as grape seed oil, collagen and evening primrose oil, which also contribute to skin health.

Though I loved these supplements, the catch is that you have to take three daily to get the full dosage, and quite frankly, they’re expensive. I’d recommend these if you’re just not good with taking supplements — even gummies.

Country Life High Potency Biotin (small white capsules)

If you’re eating a well-balanced diet and already taking a host of supplements (such as a multivitamin), adding just plain-old biotin to the supplement collection is probably the easiest thing to do to support hair growth.

This is what I’m currently taking, and the high-potency of this gives me some wiggle room in case I forget to take it one some days. Once I finish this bottle, I may go back to my B Complex gummies, but at one pill a day, it’s not too much of a hassle to get down.

*Hair Essentials Daily Supplement (larger beige capsules)

Though it’s loaded with all the right hair-growth herbs, vitamins and minerals, this supplement got moved to the back of the supplement collection because it required three capsules daily and the pill size was bigger than I liked.

If this is the only supplement you’re taking, then three capsules shouldn’t be a big deal. But when it came down to my daily pill cocktail, adding in these three put me at a total of 10 daily. I realistically just couldn’t keep up with this regimen.

Hair Oil Treatments

hair oils to grow out a pixie cut

Besides internal support for hair growth, I also looked to various nourishing hair oils to protect my hair during the growing-out process.

Before I ever went pixie, I regularly massaged my scalp and hair with plant oil to stimulate blood flow and promote relaxation.

Regular scalp massages with organic hair oils also provided my heat-styled hair some much-needed moisture and balancing effects, as I have naturally oily hair that’s over-heated and constantly overcompensating (read: greaseball).

These are a just few of the hair oils in my collection.

Keep in mind that you can use any organic plant oil to perform these massages — it’s all personal preference and addressing your hair’s needs (i.e. dry hair may need a thicker oil, like coconut oil, to deeply moisturize, while oily hair like mine can get away with light oils like sesame and jojoba).

*Indicates press sample

*Badger Argan Botanical Hair Oil

Though this one is marketed for dry and damaged hair, I found that it was just the perfect consistency and weight for my fine, oily hair.

Jojoba and argan are two of my favorite oils, and when they come together in one — with some baobab, sunflower and essential oils mixed in — it makes for a delightful hair treat that smells creamy, citrusy and floral all in one.

*Kumari Luxury Oil Therapy

A bit of a thicker oil thanks to its coconut oil base, Kumari Luxury Hair Oil incorporates time-tested ingredients such as turmeric, licorice, saffron and Indian sarsaparilla.

Needless to say, it has an exotic, warm scent that evoked memories of being pampered at an Ayurvedic spa. I reach for this one during cooler temperatures, as its beautiful spices offer just the right amount of stimulation to make me feel warmed from the outside in.

*Zweena Argan Rose Lustrous Hair Elixir

Leave it to Zweena to complete my rose wardrobe. This hair elixir is just gorgeous — who wouldn’t want hair that smells like roses ? — and harnesses the nourishing power of argan and avocado oils to protect and moisturize the hair and scalp.

Avocado oil is one of those underrated oils that is an absolute powerhouse for hair. It’s high in vitamin E and can prevent breakage with regular use. It’s not a light oil, though (you’ll notice it at the end of Zweena’s ingredients list, cut with lighter oils like argan and meadowfoam), but incorporating it into a blend like this allows your hair to get a healthy dose of moisture.

So, here we are, nine months after I decided to grow out my pixie cut.

It’s in a good spot — short bob that can mostly go up into a baby ponytail with some hair hanging down — yet I can’t really credit any one of these things to the nice growth I’ve seen.

That’s clearly not the answer you want to read, but it’s true. Patience, regular trims and some experimentation with B vitamins will make the time pass faster.

If you notice growth in your nails, it’s likely that your hair is also growing a bit faster, but the only way to really know is to take a picture every single day … and let’s just be real here, if you’re like me and can’t be bothered to take three hair vitamins a day, you probably aren’t going to set up a daily photo shoot, either.

Bottom line: Know your body. Know what’s normal and above average for you. Do some research. Trust your hair to a stellar stylist.

What have you done to help your hair or nails grow? Have you ever had a pixie cut? Share your hair growth tips and stories in the comments section!

 

September 11, 2014

natural beauty buff | anit hora, mullein & sparrow

When it came to natural beauty products, I never really thought of myself as a packaging person — it was always about how well something performed.

As I’ve gotten more involved in this industry, my thoughts have changed.

A product has to have it all — the packaging, the branding, the story and, of course, the ingredients and performance.

One brand that I’ve been admiring for all of these qualities above (and have been lucky to sample and review) is Mullein & Sparrow, an artisan line based in Brooklyn and founded by the beautiful Anit Hora.

anit hora founder of mullein & sparrow

With just one glance at the Mullein & Sparrow homepage, you’ll be transported to an old-fashioned apothecary, complete with minimal design elements on the labels and an overall clean aesthetic.

A few products, such as the Lavender Hydrosol and Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm, have a bit more styling to them, but in a whimsical, flirty way that totally fits the mood of this gorgeous line.

anit hora founder of mullein & sparrow

Anit’s goal of creating a line that celebrates time-tested skin care traditions, such as those based in Ayurveda, and simple yet effective remedies, comes to life in Mullein & Sparrow, and today she’s sharing a few of her favorite products both from her line and others’.

Enjoy.

what's inside mullein & sparrow founder anit hora's green beauty bag

(I’ve starred the items that I also use and love.)

UPDATED: Anit has so generously offered a 15% off code to my lovely readers, valid on any Mullein & Sparrow purchase. Use code “KIMLOC” at checkout!

*RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up

I really love the consistency of this natural cover-up. It is very light, but does a great job at maximizing coverage without feeling very heavy on the skin. Because it has so many great ingredients, you never have to feel bad about wearing it. Also, its small packaging is perfect to throw in your bag when you’re on the go and is great for any quick fix.

*RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

The wear of this product is amazing. It is so light and subtle, but even the littlest bit goes a very long way. It is great for adding a nice glow, but looks very natural. It’s the perfect product to spruce up your look, and you can put it virtually anywhere (i.e. eyes, lips, contour).

*Flawless Volumizing Mascara by BareMinerals and *Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

These two mascaras are the best in the more natural market. They work great and are free from many not-so-good ingredients that you find in most cosmetic products.

*Mullein and Sparrow Face Serum (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

Our face serum is packed with some of the best natural ingredients and essential oils out there. It is super nourishing and moisturizing. I use it in both the AM and PM and mix it with the Lavender Hydrosol.

Mullein and Sparrow Lavender Hydrosol (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

This product comes with me everywhere! I use it frequently throughout the day, sometimes as a toner in my skincare routine and other times as a quick pick-me-up when my skin is feeling dry or overheated. It has a wonderful scent and feels so great on the skin. It’s great for any time of the year, but is especially awesome in the summer. It even works as a natural bug repellent!

Mullein and Sparrow Dark Dry Shampoo (Get 15% off with code 15% off with code KIMLOC through 9/30/14!)

Our dark dry shampoo is a life saver! It helps me maintain healthy hair and also gives me great volume when my hair is feeling bit flat. Just a little bit of this product goes a long way and makes your locks look fresh and clean (even if you woke up with some serious bed head).

August 27, 2014

natural beauty buff | garcy fry, eco diva beauty

In addition to all the founders I feature in this “natural beauty buff” series, I’m thrilled to bring you fresh beauty tips from the dear stockists who curate beautiful online (and sometimes, in-real-life) stores for us to let loose.

Many of you know, love and shop Canadian and U.S. green beauty store Eco Diva Beauty, but how well do you know co-founder Garcy Fry and the story behind this luxurious online store?

garcy fry of eco diva beauty

I had the pleasure of meeting Garcy in person at 2013’s “A Night for Green Beauty” in New York City, and was thrilled to chat with her again at this year’s event in Los Angeles.

During our quick conversation, it was lovely to hear about Eco Diva’s birth — the brainchild of Garcy’s whip-smart mother, Charlene — and how Garcy, a professional makeup artist, was leading the site’s growth.

It’s women like this (and especially these mother-daughter teams!) that excite me about the green beauty industry. If you see something missing out there, go forth and create it!

And while you may think “oh, there are plenty of green beauty shopping sites,” each one has a unique personality and style.

Shopping on one may not be the same as shopping on others, and I’ve enjoyed the luxurious experience of shopping Eco Diva Beauty myself. You are taken care of!

And you can only be taken care of by someone who truly knows how to take care of herself.

Below, Garcy shares her natural beauty and health rituals that keep her looking and feeling her best.

Be inspired.

Be healthy.

Be an Eco Diva.

green beauty products that garcy fry of eco diva beauty keeps on her nightstand

On Garcy’s Nightstand

Tata Harper Aromatic Bedtime Treatment

This has become a bedtime ritual for both my husband and me. It almost immediately puts my mind at ease and helps me sleep better.

Vapour Organic Beauty Lux Lip Conditoner

The last thing I do before bed is put on lip balm — I’m an addict. And I’ve been addicted since Lip Smackers were introduced to the market. I don’t know if that damage is reversible, but at least I’m eating organic lip balm now.

Earplugs

Now these are an essential piece on my nightstand, not because I love them, but because I love my husband. If they are not in my ears at night, then the love for my husband decreases ever so quickly.

Good Book

I need to read before bed to help turn my mind off and go to sleep. I love anything written by Khaled Hosseini and stories about life in the middle east.

Liquid Calcium Magnesium (kept in the fridge, but part of the nightly ritual)

Just recently I’ve had some troubles sleeping. I toss and turn all night long, so my naturopath suggested magnesium to help sleep better.

favorite green beauty product picks from garcy fry of eco diva beauty

In Garcy’s Purse / Beach Bag

Consonant Skincare “The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30″

My sun-worshipping days are over, and this sunscreen helps block UVA and UVB rays without all the toxic chemicals. It’s ultra-smooth, grease-free and leaves absolutely NO white residue! And that’s why they call it perfect.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

This has been a staple for me for years now. I just love its creamy consistency, the fresh scent and how I can sweat my tush off and still smell dandy!

prtty peaushun lotion from eco diva beauty

PRTTY PEAUSHUN Skin Tight Body Lotion

I love to keep PRTTY PEAUSHUN in my bag and slather it on any parts of my body that are showing to give me a luminescent glow. It also helps soothe burns and is a natural bug repellant — how cool is that?!

La Bella Figura Tesoro Mediterranean Blend

In Garcy’s Bathroom

La Bella Figura Tesoro Mediterranean Blend

This summer I’ve used this oil more than anything else. I love how light it is and how well it hydrates without leaving my skin feeling greasy.

kahina giving beauty night creamKahina Giving Beauty Night Cream

This is what I call preventative medicine. Wrinkles can take a hike while I sleep, because I’m sleeping with collegan-boosting ingredients like resveratrol. This is by far the best night cream I’ve ever used. Its whipped texture is so lovely and the scent its magical, like all of Kahina’s products.

May 28, 2014

beauty secrets | best pixie hair styling products, part 2

It’s been nearly a year since I chopped all my hair off into a pixie cut.

In that time, I’ve tried several styling products — some clean, some conventional — and have finally arrived upon my favorite three products for keeping my short ‘do sassy and stylish.

View what I used in the beginning and see how the pixie cut has evolved.

best pixie hair styling products

1. Pre-heat Styling Aid

I like the idea of using a heat-resistant spray, but coupled with what I actually need — a pre-heat styling aid to get my hair a bit gritty before drying and styling — I have opted to only use Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment.

Nope, it’s not “natural,” but it is free of sulfates, silicones and oils.

The oil-free thing is necessary for someone like me with fine hair, so I don’t mind that bit of marketing (and you guys know that I love my hair oils — for overnight use only).

I happened upon Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment via a swag bag I received during Kansas City Fashion Week back in March and have been using my trial size daily since then. It’s a repurchase for me (unless some clean beauty brand tells me it has something amazing that mimics this stuff!).

2. Texturizing Agent

After navigating the wonderful world of creams, pomades, pastes, waxes and so forth, I finally landed on one that has the perfect strength, consistency and performance for my fine, oily strands that tend to fly away and bend in funny ones: Aveda Control Paste.

I’ve gone through two tubs of this stuff (purchased at my local Aveda salon, Xiphium, and as my favorite natural spa, Milagro Midwestern Spa & Collective, purged its Aveda inventory in favor of cleaner hair products).

While yes, Aveda is part of big beauty now and could be a lot cleaner, I find that this sticky putty keeps my fine hair under control without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

Side note: I was inspired to try Aveda Control Paste after seeing how well it held up a faux hawk on the young man behind the counter at Miette in San Francisco. Yes, I’m that girl who asks about all your beauty products when you’re just trying to sell me a sweet treat!

3. Hairspray

In my previous post about pixie cut styling picks, I mentioned Davines N°7 Crystal Fixative Lacquer.

I still like this hairspray, but have found that Aveda’s Control Force Hairspray has a better spray mechanism; it’s more evenly distributed in a fine, wide mist.

Aveda Control Force Hairspray also has a slightly better hold (they weren’t joking with that “Control Force” naming!). Anyone with a pixie cut knows that the final spray around the head is essential to locking in a style; to have a hairspray that does this without making your hair hard / crunchy / helmet-like is an instant winner!

Do any of my readers have pixie cuts? If so, tell me what you’re using and how it works for your hair type in the comments below!

 

May 14, 2014

beauty scoop | saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

One part of my apartment that isn’t overly cluttered with beauty products is the shampoo and conditioner area of my shower.

No, the stacks of hair masks don’t count.

With a pixie cut, I don’t require much natural shampoo or natural conditioner, so it takes me quite a while to get through a bottle of product.

After finishing up my previous bottles, I was excited to move on to the prettily packaged Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner.

saavy naturals moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

{Saavy Naturals sent me samples of its Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner to review. Each 8-ounce plastic bottle costs $15.}

As you can see on the labels, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner is formulated for (shocker) dry hair.

If you’ve been on the blog for a while, you know I’m the oiliest person in the world.

However, I feel that it’s important to drench your locks with a great hydrating wash and rinse if you heat dry a lot (every day for me), and because my scalp can get a bit dry, I like the extra attention a formulated-for-dry-hair duo can bring to my own mane.

Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner definitely delivers hydration and a gentle cleanse to my heat-shocked hair — and does so without the help of synthetics or sulfates.

In fact, the ingredients list for both the shampoo and conditioner is so nourishing that you’d want to eat it — which makes sense, as the founders of Saavy Naturals come from epic foodie backgrounds.

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo:

Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) Extract, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) Extract, Aqua/Purified Water, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Aspartic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caryodendron orinocense (Kahai) Nut Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Gluconolactone, Glycerol laurate, Glycine, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Quillaja saponaria Wood Extract, Quinoa Protein, Rhamnus frangula (Buckthorn) Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

Here’s what’s inside Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner:

Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil*, Aqua/Purified Water, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Protein, Brassica Alcohol, Brassicyl lsoleucinate (Cabbage) Esylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Coffea arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Dl-Panthenol, Glucono delta lactone, Glycerin (Kosher Vegetable)*, L-Arginine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) Seed Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Quinoa Protein, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract

As you can see, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner take advantage of luscious oils such as kukui seed, argan, moringa and coconut to drench your hair in a sea of moisture.

Neither the shampoo nor the conditioner, though, weigh your hair down, and the shampoo offers a nice, gentle lather and subtle scent of vanilla.

The creamy conditioner has a stronger vanilla scent that lingers a bit after rinsing, giving your head that come-hither scent (even if the only thing coming hither is your Siamese cat, whatever).

All joking aside, one thing I do want to point out in Saavy Naturals’ shampoo and conditioner is the fact that they do both use honeysuckle extract, a somewhat controversial ingredient in the green beauty community.

There’s several schools of thought out there, and I don’t have a fully formed opinion on it, but those who prefer to leave honeysuckle extract out of their clean beauty routines do so because honeysuckle extract acts as a paraben, though it is obviously a natural ingredient.

It contains para-hydroxy benzoic acid, which is readily found in nature yet is said to look structurally similar to synthetic parabens and is said to act in the same way — as an endocrine disruptor.

Those who don’t mind seeing honeysuckle extract on their ingredients lists note that it scores a “0” on the EWG Skin Deep Database and it may not produce the same health risks as synthetic preservatives.

So, you can see why there’s some back and forth on this ingredient. I’d like to learn more about it — and see what you think, too.

And for that reason, Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner are on my “maybe I will repurchase it” list.

When it comes to product performance, I loved the formulas — the scent, the moisture, the gentle cleansing and deep hydration.

When it comes to packaging, I appreciate the pretty designs and bold colors — though I was disappointed that the paper labels disintegrated in the shower.

When it comes to ingredients, we’ve got to figure out this honeysuckle thing.

Have you tried anything from Saavy Naturals? What are your thoughts on honeysuckle extract? Please do tell me in the comments section!

 



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