Min's Beauty Equipment: June 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

How to Turn Greasy, Flat and Fine Hair into a Voluminous Fab Hairdo? (by Davina Shah)

In this blog post Davina is sharing her experience in how to turn greasy, flat and fine hair into a fab voluminous hairdo.

6 month trial of Babyliss Root Boost 2123U. Say goodbye to flat hair and hello to volume and oomph!

Do you have fine, flat or limp hair? Is your hair greasy and do you have to wash your hair daily? Does your scalp show around the crown or partings?

I have found a solution, and with perseverance and dedication, you too can break the cycle of constantly washing your hair and avoiding spot lights in restaurants! I know people with thin hair will relate to that last comment.

Over the years I have suffered from dandruff, itchy scalp and greasy hair…all at the same time believe it or not.  I was advised by my GP to wash my hair daily, as this would be good for the greasy hair and I tried every lotion and potion available.

Eventually, the itchy scalp and and dandruff ceased but I have been left with thin and greasy hair.

This year I made it a point to break the vicious cycle of washing my hair daily, or sometimes twice if I had a rough day at work and had to go out in the evening (I work outdoors).

I am pleased to say I have beaten the grease and reduced the appearance of thin hair.  Sadly, my hair is still thin, but I enjoy that my hair looks considerably thick-ish using some simple tricks, products and techniques.

How to turn flat fine greasy hair into a gorgeous hairdo?
Things you will need
You will need:

  • Babyliss Root Booster 2123U
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Volumising mousse
  • Volumising hairspray
  • Round hairbrush
  • Comb or special back combing brush
  • A clip to hold up sections of hair for crimping

What is the Babyliss Root Boost 2123U?

It is a small device with a long lead that is plugged into the mains.  It is smaller than a hair straightener and the plates are thin and jagged. Anyone that crimped their hair in the 1980s or 1990s will recognise the plates are similar, just on a much smaller scale. There are three heat settings and an on and off function. It does not come on automatically like some straighteners.

How did I add volume to my hair?

I made my 2014 resolution...to stop my hair from getting greasy and to add volume.  Its all thanks to wonderful mother who bought me the Babyliss Root Boost 2123U for Christmas last year.  She constantly buys thickening tonics and products for me, but I have to say that this thing actually works!

Step 1

Wash your hair with shampoo and use conditioner on ends (only if you suffer with dry looking hair) don't add anything that may flatten your hair unless it is absolutely necessary!  Rinse with luke warm water.
Try varying your shampoos, I find cheap ones make hair appear thicker, but also try to use nourishing ones about once a week as cheap shampoos can take their toll.
*I only use conditioner about once a week when ends start to look dry*

Step 2

Add a light volumising mousse to the roots of the hair, preferably one with heat protecting qualities.

Step 3

Blow dry your hair upside down once it has been towelled dried and had a little time to dry naturally.
*I find drying completely wet hair makes it more limp and flat*

Blow dry upside down
Blow dry upside down

Step 4

Use a round brush, turning the brush along the crown and sides of the head to add volume.

use a round brush to add volume
Use a round brush

Step 5

Style as usual - this may include curling or straightening the hair.

straighten your hair in a usual way
Straightening the hair

Step 6

Grab a clip, a comb for back combing and the Babyliss Root Boost 2123U. I use setting 170, but thicker hair may require a higher setting.

Start with the sides and part a strip of hair away from your usual parting and clip up.  Keeping the device as close to your scalp as you can stand, crimp all the way along the roots of the first parting.
*You MUST leave enough hair on top to cover the crimped hair, otherwise it will show through your style.

Give volume to your hair
Part a strip of your hair away

Step 7

Clip up the crimped section of hair and crimp the next layer below all the way along. Keep repeating until you reach the bottom layer.

Crimp your hair to get extra volume
Crimp your hair by layers

Step 8

Repeat on the other side and then on the back of the head.
*I can now crimp my hair in less than 10 minutes with no mirror or help. I have much thinner hair than the average person but practice makes perfect*

Step 9

Roughly lift the hair revealing crimped sections and back comb those sections to add volume.

Step 10

Lift hair again and spray a volumising hairspray to the crimped sections.

Spray hair to get extra volume
Spray hair with a volumising hairspray

Step 11

Pat down any unruly sections of hair and use volumising hairspray to finish and set the style.  Keep some distance from your hair to create a fine spray, so as not to weigh the hair down.

How to prevent hair from getting too greasy during the night?

At first it was horrible, my hair was doing it's usual 'greasy by evening' routine. This is when dry shampoo became my best friend.

Step 1

Before going to bed, brush your hair upside down to remove knots from the day and to add volume.

Step 2

You do not need to clip the hair up as when crimping, but roughly lift the hair from the roots and use your comb to back comb the roots again.

Backcomb for extra volume
Backcomb your hair

Step 3

Use dry shampoo on the roots before bed.

How to avoid washing hair on the second day?

On the second day use a hand held mirror to check how greasy the back of your hair looks.  You may find gaps where you would have been lying on your pillow. Do not be tempted to wash your hair, otherwise you will never break the cycle!

Step 1

Brush your hair upside down.

Step 2

To start with you may need to reboost using the Babyliss Root Boost.  If so, spray roots with dry shampoo before using the Babyliss Root Boost.

Step 3

Back comb and finish with volumising hairspray under roots and over whole style to set.
Six months into this routine and I no longer need to reboost roots using the Babyliss device on day two.  I simply spray with dry shampoo, back comb roots and spray with volumising hairspray.
I am hoping by the end of the year, I can leave my hair two days before washing.  My hair quality has improved tremendously and I am confident that using the Root Boost must be better than washing, drying and styling everyday.

I also add coconut oil to the hair and scalp every few weeks to keep it nourished.  Some people do this more regularly.

Before and after pictures

Picture before and after the volume giving hair routine
Before the volumising hair routine

After volumising hair routine
After the volumising hair routine


If you don't have greasy, flat or fine hair, imagine what the Babyliss Root Boost 212U could do for you! Great for special nights out or a 1980's up-do!

I am also practicing oil pulling to see if it can help with quality, thickness and texture of my hair.  Click here to read that post.

I would love to know if this blog has helped anyone with similar hair complaints.  Keep me posted!
Wishing you all a big hair day x

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Davina Shah is a massage therapist, charity worker and writer. Her autobiographical short story 'The truth is out there' for anthology Rites of Passage; Rights of Womanhood is due for publication in July 2014.
Proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Hope for Justice charity.
You can also find Davina on Twitter @MorisyenRose.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Oil Pulling (by Davina Shah)

Oil pulling - to swish or not to swish that is the question!

Oil pulling
Oil pulling
If you type 'oil pulling' into any search engine, you will find vast amounts of information relating to the subject. Some people claim to know the exact science behind oil pulling, however there is insufficient scientific data and evidence to make this claim.

As a massage therapist and sceptic, I am always weary about using the words heal and cure… so now I have those two words out of the way, let's continue with the blog!

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling or Kavala Graha is the ancient Ayurvedic practice of placing oil into your mouth and swishing it around before spitting it out. Pulling refers to the toxins or bacteria being pulled away from inside of your mouth.

Benefits of oil pulling

Family and friends practicing oil pulling have noted the following results:

  • whiter teeth
  • loss of morning breath 
  • lustrous or shiny hair
  • softer lips

Other benefits include improved asthma, diabetes, migraines, sinuses, TMJ, menstrual cycles, PMS, hangovers, aches and pains, insomnia and general sleep, allergies, acne, wrinkles, energy levels, health of gums and teeth and gingivitis.

There have been recent claims that swishing water in your mouth can produce similar results, and it is in fact the swishing motion that provides the benefits. Due to a lack of controlled trials, the only way to find out is to try it out for yourself.

Precautions with oils

Whilst studying at Middlesex School of Complementary Medicine, I learnt about many oils and their properties. It was suggested we take care with coconut oil if dealing with hypersensitive skin. Although rarely reported, skin rashes could occur. In the same way, you would not use almond oil on a person with a known nut allergy.

So before you reach for the oils, you may wish to perform a 24 hour skin test in the crease of your elbow for your own peace of mind.

Which oil should you choose?

You can use any vegetable-based oil, and results may vary from oil to oil.

DO ensure the oil is COLD PRESSED and ORGANIC.

Coconut, sesame and olive oil appear to be the most widely used. All claim to have similar results, so feel free to experiment with an oil that suits you.

I chose coconut oil. It starts off as a butter-like consistency and melts once it warms up with a pleasant taste in the mouth. I have fond memories of oiling my grandmother's hair with coconut oil, it has a distinct and exotic aroma.

Things you will need

  • oil 
  • table spoon 
  • container to spit into 
  • tongue scrapper or dental floss will do the trick
  • toothbrush and toothpaste

When do you perform oil pulling?

First thing in the morning on an empty stomach, before eating, drinking and brushing your teeth.

DONT'S when oil pulling

  • DON'T Swallow - this is a terrible idea, all that bad stuff in your mouth is better off in the bin!
  • DON'T Gargle. Here me out, I know common sense should prevail, but a few articles have taken translations from Sanskrit texts literally and mention gargling (Gandusha).
  • DON'T Swish or swirl too hard, you have 20 minutes so take your time ensuring you move the oil around at a nice steady rhythm.
  • DON'T Spit into the sink or toilet, it may clog pipes.
  • DON'T Swish for more than 20 minutes or more than once a day. It is not a good idea to have all that bad stuff swishing around for too long!

Step-by-step guide to oil pulling

  1. Place one table spoon of chosen oil into your mouth and slowly swish the oil around your mouth. The optimum time is 20 minutes. You may need to build up to this time so don't be disheartened. Find what works best for you, and use a smaller amount to start with if that helps. I usually read to occupy the time. This will help fit the practice into your routine.
  2. After 20 minutes spit into a container. Some people spit directly into the bin, but I prefer to spit first and scrape into the bin later.
  3. Scrape your tongue to ensure all the bad stuff is off and away.
  4. Rinse with warm water.
  5. Brush your teeth as normal, thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush afterwards.
Keep it up for at least 4 weeks and try to do it every morning.

I have been swishing for one week now and it has become part of my daily routine. I will be reporting back in 6 weeks to share any changes with you all.

Why have I decided to try oil pulling?

I suffered from acne as a teenager. It eventually stopped and I had lovely clear skin throughout my 20s.  At 30 I was taken back to yesteryear when acne returned and three years on, it is yet to clear up.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a swish! I would love to hear about your results.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Davina Shah is a massage therapist, charity worker and writer. Her autobiographical short story 'The truth is out there' for anthology Rites of Passage; Rights of Womanhood is due for publication in July 2014.
Proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Hope for Justice charity