Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review: Intelligent Nutrients

Source: refinery29 via Pinterest

I am not as green as I ought to be. There are lots, and lots, of things I could do but I don't. For instance, I could definitely start collecting the water I'm currently wasting waiting for the shower to become hot enough not to yelp when I get into it. I could also opt to fill a pitcher with water and place it in the fridge to get cold water, saving there too. Truth be told, though, the idea of doing these things is a fine one but in practice? In practice, the buckets that could be used in the shower are nowhere to be found since they have a thousand and one other uses in my household and the pitcher of water never seems to be cold when I want a cold glass of water. Facts of life, I'm afraid, and terrible, bad excuses.

Anyhow, this post wasn't going to be about things I could do to be more green, but rather about one particular thing we can all do to be more green that doesn't cost us any extra effort, or force us to plan that much ahead really, namely go and buy a set of Intelligent Nutrients everything. Well, perhaps not everything. You could start with say the shampoo once you are almost running out of your old one and if you don't have special scalp/hair needs and take it from there. It is natural, it is cruelty free, it smells of spearmint and it actually works once you get the hang of it.

I think the shampoo is the product I'm most pleased with, now when I know how to use it properly. It took a while, despite the directions on the bottle. The Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo is really an 2-in-1 kind of product. It has the texture of a light conditioner, and unless you know what to do, it can be really hard to lather up just like you would except from a conditioner. In fact, the first time I washed with it I had to check the bottle to make sure I had the shampoo and not the conditioner That's how much like a conditioner it felt. The trick to getting it to be a shampoo is to first really soak your hair, and rub just the tiniest amount of shampoo between your palms to get a lather going. Apply this to your scalp. Rinse. Now, repeat with a bit more shampoo. Rinse. Now, you can apply the product as usual, and it will lather up beautifully and leave your hair clean, soft, moisturised, bouncy and everything else you really want after shampooing. The only thing it does not do is help with detangling, for that you do still need a conditioner if you have long, tangle prone hair like me.

You really do want to lather up thrice, the last time properly. If you lather up just once, and have oily hair--like I tend to have once I decide to wash--you will end up wanting to wash your hair at once again with your ordinary shampoo. If you lather up twice, you will step out of the shower with second day hair. Okay, but definitely not the result you want after washing. Lathering up thrice, however, suddenly you have that magical hair. So please don't follow instructions on the bottle.

Once you've fallen in love with the shampoo, which I am sure you will unless you find the slight tingling from the mint uncomfortable, you might want to consider buying the hair spray.

 Hair spray is one of these kind of products that I personally tend to use rarely, so I willingly admit that I am not the best judge when it comes to this kind of product. To me it seems as if the Intelligent Nutrients one give a light hold, just enough to smooth flyways, give pin curls that little bit of extra boost they might need to not fall out of long, heavy hair. Of course, there are lots of products that achieve these things for a fraction of the cost of the Intelligent Nutrients one, but do they come in a mister bottle rather than an aerosol pump that is completely recyclable? And do they smell not like hairspray, but like a delicious grape drink of some sort? And can you honestly say that right after spraying it on your breathe normally? I think it is worth trying this hair spray if all you really want from a hair spray is a little bit of control of unruly tresses, a little bit of help keeping things smooth. Don't except miracles of hold, but except a smile when you smell it knowing you are doing your bit for our planet opting for a better product.

Finally, once you have gotten so far as your shampoo and your hair spray, why not try the conditioner--that's what I plan to do next...once my Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque runs out--or why not replace your leave-in conditioner or detangler?

Overall, I am very pleased with the Intelligent Nutrients products that I've tried so far. They are natural, they work, they are nicely packaged, a thing one shouldn't discard. I'm a sucker for nice packaging. The only true negative about the range is the price which is quite frankly ridiculous and that I have to order online.

Until next time,

Monday, 8 April 2013

Long Hair is Simple

Some days are truly good days. Like today, with the sun shining, the first crocuses boldly opening their buttery faces for all the world to see and a not so healthy serving of pie possibly being in the future. My suggestion, if pie is in yours, is this wonderful rhubarb, lemon and almond pie from mydarlinglemonthyme.

Anyhow, other reasons for a day being good is when your hair finally behaves. I don't know about you, but that definitely always makes my day that much brighter. With tail-bone long, fine but thick, naturally wavy, all virgin hair good hair days are plentiful. I think it is the fact that healthy hair generally is well behaved hair that keeps me away from such hair sins as heat styling, or for that matter using lots of styling products. That, and me being lazy.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of people who believe it takes time and lots of effort to grow long, healthy, beautiful hair while the truth is quite the opposite. While the average woman probably spends at least half an hour if not more on her hair everyday, in order to wash and style it, I spend perhaps half that. Mostly, to brush it through before braiding it or putting it up. If I'm doing a fancy braided style, I might spend a bit more, but really long hair is surprisingly easy to take care of. All you really need is a shampoo that agrees with your hair style, a conditioner that achieves the texture you want - we don't all want silky smooth hair, I personally prefer my hair feeling like cashmere - a smooth towel, for example one made of linen, and a good detangling brush. Oh, and a sharp pair of professional hair cutting scissors to have someone cut your ends every now and again.

I don't know why people imagine that long hair is harder to take care off than short hair, or harder to wash, condition, brush and style. It isn't, if you use the right tools and the right techniques. Fortunately, the right techniques are really only common sense.

First of all, stretch your washes. Really, there is no need to wash hair daily unless you are unfortunate enough to really need it. Most of us can stretch washes at least one or two days. For every day you can stretch your washes, you give your hair a chance to recover from being stripped from moisture and oils. A chance to so to speak, take a deep breath so it can withstand the next wash better. While you are at it, you might want to look for a gentler shampoo than the one you are using. Chances are, you are using something that really leaves your hair screaming for some kind of conditioner afterwards. If you are, you really should look into a shampoo that leaves you feeling as if you could skip the conditioner if you had to. I've only come across two such shampoos on my journey to good hair: Korres Aloe and Soapwort Shampoo which is sadly discontinued and the Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo.

Secondly, talking about conditioning this is something you really want to do even if you use a gentle shampoo. Especially if you plan to grow long hair. All shampoos strip the hair of oils and moisture. A good conditioner puts some of this back in your hair, a bad conditioner pretends to by coating your hair in silicones. With this said, I personally prefer silicone heavy conditioners because of the silky feeling they give my hair. The natural conditioned feeling of lambswool is not for me, and sadly that's how my natural hair feels. How you apply it is up to you, but I like using my tangle teezer to distribute it through my lengths evenly, making sure all the hair is coated.

Thirdly, you want to be washing your scalp with shampoo and your lengths with conditioner and you will want to make sure not to tangle your hair while washing. It might sound gross not washing your lengths, but really, they only need conditioner.

And that's it for caring for your hair, really. Step out of the shower, gently squeeze the water out. Do not wring, since wet hair is fragile. You might want to wrap it in a smooth towel or t-shirt to soak up extra moisture. Anything with loops makes hair more frizzy. Let it air dry, to about 75% dry, and there you go. Run a boar bristle brush through it if you brush, and your hair will be shiny and well behaved.

p.s. If you don't have time to let it air dry in the morning, start washing when you come home in the afternoon/evening. That way it will be ready to be braided for the night when you go to bed and in the morning it will be dry and ready to be brushed and put up in your favourite style.