I Used It All Up: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore

I finally used up the last of this lil’ beaut: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore. It’s the first low shampoo I ever tried, and liking it so much I hoarded it for-basically-ever. It’s got hyaluronic acid in, as well as echinacea stem cells, and vitamins B, C and E, and triples as a cleanse, treat and condition formula.

Everything about it is neutral in the best sense: zero fragrance, no lather, and yet its effect is shiny, healthy, bouncy hair.

I wondered: exactly how many years has this been perched on the lip of the tub, waiting for an outing? How long had I kept in reserves for those days when I wanted a guaranteed Good Hair Day™ or I was simply not arsed to do the whole shampoo/shampoo/condition thang?

I thought about doing a search on my hard drive and went: Nah. Cannot be arsed to do that, either.

I did want to find more of it, so I googled it, and lo and behold. It is alive! My past self was there all this time, hidden in The Herald website, which deigned not to give me credit, but does at least still keep a record of my tried and tested days.

Upshot: I hoarded this stuff for three years. Is that nothing or is that mad? I am not that impressed, tbqh. Maybe next time I’ll do better.

(Just fell down the Julien Farel rabbit-hole: a haircut with the man himself is $1000. FYI.) (Buying this internationally may be a ‘no’; I think I’ll pick some up in NYC at Christmas.)


As regards the rest of that link: I quickly fell out of love with the Dermalogica‘s Ultimate Buffing Cloth. The length got on my nerves. I fondly recall both the Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser and Garnier‘s BB Cream + Blur — might be time for a run to the chemists…


I Used It All Up: Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes

Even as I was taking the photo, I thought, “Maybe I can get one more go out of this?”


What I loved about this was the keratin mentioned on the label, and the keratin-esque effect it did in fact have on my hair. Now, there’s nothing like a proper keratin hair treatment, like the ones I’ve enjoyed from Queen Salon in Dublin, but this is pretty darned close. My hair felt silkier and stronger when I used this — especially when I used this because I had a non-sulfate shampoo whose conditioner was complete pants. Which is another post in the making: why is non-sulfate conditioner either non-existent or totally rubbish?

It felt like a waste to just use it a straightforward conditioner rather than as an intensive mask, but I never regretted it — who would ever regret a great hair day? {And, naturally, it is super fantastic when used for deep conditioning. I am really going to miss this one.}

Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes, €19.39
Brunettes: your revenge is imminent. I’ve got a review on deck of a superb shampoo & conditioner combo that is not nice to blondes…

FOTYesterday + The Hair

FOTD 09 03Highlights — not just on The Hair — include:

> essence Long-lasting Lipstick {€2.89} in Come Naturally: really emollient, loving the dark nude, feels like a balm.

> Foundation via Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin {€38}, which has not let me down in the month or so that I’ve been trialing it. It’s matte, but not so matte that you look like you should be displayed in Madame Tussaud’s — a lovely, natural glow is allowed to illuminate your skin without your face ever looking greasy.

> Sadly a function of the iPhone, the No7 eyeshadow is not showing up as well as it ought. This Mini Palette {€14.25} is fabbbbbbilis, the shadows are light in weight, but deep in pigment. It felt so light, even on the brush, that I loaded it up too much the first time out, and have since pulled back a little.

> Gave The Hair a little treat before shampooing: BC Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil {€27} from Schwarzkopf Professional. Soaked it into the lengths and ends and left it for… well over an hour I’m sure, since I was hard at work doing keyboardy stuff. Washed it out with the matching Fig Oil & Keratin Restorative Shampoo. Silky!


Can This Actually Possibly Work?!? Marc Anthony Instant Highlights

INSTANT HIGHLIGHTSThe actual dream hair product, as far as I’m concerned, is some class of root-touch-up biz. Like a mascara wand that dispenses blondey goodness. There is already a product that I have called Color Wow Root Touch Up, about which I will write someday, but the brush applicator — like a small blush brush — makes it tedious, if worthwhile work.

Googling in America yields better results than at home, and there were in fact many options when it came to stretching out the time between colouring: there’s a brush that dispenses what looks like dry shampoo, a brush that looks like onea dem yokes that doles out under-eye concealer, an aerosol spray can… Darn it, have to go to Sephora!

Failing the roots, pumping up the highlights seems like a good way to distract from the quickly encroaching gray, so I didn’t even think twice when I snapped up Marc Anthony’s Instant Highlights. Why did his name ring a bell…?

Not the ex of Jennifer Lopez. This memory has the frisson of high school, a chilly vibe that isn’t entirely pleasant. God knows, The Hair has some crazy, perm-y times in that era, and the minute I read that brand name I shivered and cringed simultaneously.*

Nevertheless! Instant highlights! I ask you! I do not even know how many of my dollars were required to purchase this, I grabbed it and intend to go ahead and use it.



Well, this picture will have to suffice, 10 JANUARYeven though it is much after the fact. And small with it, because it didn’t really work. I cop to being crap at applying the product, because fiddly + impatience = imprecision, but it’s not all bad.

So: you spray it on your dry hair, and then straighten the lock with a flat iron. There is a terrifying/satisfying sizzle when the doused hair meets the hot plate. I very clearly made the locks of hair too big, and I basically baked a sort of overall colour into my hair.

Not the intention of the product! But: hard to do by yourself, maybe? If nothing else, it got me over the Christmas holidays, and perked up the last round of highlights, which I had found dull.

I did eventually find a root-touch-up-aerosol thingie, but that’s a story for another day…


Googling resulted in this and this, neither of which I could find in an actual Sephora outlet.


*Anyone? Is it a Jerz thang?


Evolution Intense Revival System: An IRS You’ll Adore

Every time I looked at the press info for this stuff, my stomach did an unpleasant little flip. Clearly, Evolution’s Intense Renewal System does not originate from the States, because that acronym has only one meaning, and it’s got nothing to do with making you feel sleek and sexy.

This stuff, IRS Boxhowever, certainly does. Four weeks and a bit ago, I was asked along to Queen Salon in Aungier Street, Dublin 2, to take the IRS’s treatment for a spin. It’s along the lines of the class of keratin twelve week blowdry, only this is far less chemically, and lasts for four weeks {or does it? We shall see…}

I never went in for one of those twelve week yokes. My hair is too fine, and colour treated, and frankly, I was afraid. I was even a little worried about this, but Queen’s Salon Director, John Maher, calmed my fears. ‘This is suitable for almost everyone, as it enriches the hair with Keratin and reduces frizz without taking out the natural movement,’ he explained. “It is a really easy in-salon treatment taking less than 15 minutes, on top of your usual blow dry.’

What about my highlights? I was instilled with a fear of double-processing from when I was a wee un. ‘When we refer to double processing as hairdressers, we mean that overdoing it with chemicals is to be avoided,’ he said. ‘The good news is there are no harmful chemicals in the IRS treatment: only keratin, the natural protein of which the hair is constructed.’

Okay! Let’s go for it!

Here’s my hair after it had been drenched from root to end with the product. There was a brand advisor present, and she told my stylist that the recommended dosage was 15mls. 15 mls for The Hair! Ha!

Er, it did actually amount to that, in fairness. At this stage, I was already impressed by its apparent magical qualities.

In a smart move, the stylists who had gathered round my chair decided to just blast The Hair dry, in the same exact way I do it every day, except in this case, I didn’t flip my head over. With two of them at it, it took no time at all to dry. John points out that ‘the IRS is a conditioning treatment that will add strength and shine to the hair, making it easier to blow dry and manage.’ Saw the proof of that immediately!

Let’s everybody straighten it! I felt like the Cowardly Lion, in the best possible sense.

Don’t know why I got my bitchface on, because off-camera, I was warbling with delight. My hair was sleek, shiny, and poker-straight without feeling flat and lifeless. Oh! I really hope this does last!

So… did it?!?

As seen the next day, after horseriding. The Hair never looks like this after a lesson, ever. It was sweaty at the roots, sure, but the ends fell back into place like nothing had ever happened.

Three weeks and bit later! Now, I have to say that I do believe the Canadian water had something to do with its extra smooth smoothness, but still looking shiny and drying super fast.

Home again, and drying time is starting to creep back to normal levels, and I’m using a bit more styling product than I had been. But still! We are coming up to five weeks.

Second day hair! I ask you.

THE VERDICT is that I would deffo do this again, and really recommend it. If you’re going on holiday, and don’t want to be bothered with a bunch of styling products, then I can’t imagine a better way to deal with yer barnet.

And you don’t have to do your hair straight-straight: you still keep your volume, and yet any frizz goes buh-bye.

Also! This process takes only 15 minutes in addition to your regular blow dry.

Never thought I’d say this, but: gonna miss you, IRS.


Currently available exclusively at Queen Salon, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
€55 including blow dry


The Hair Goes to Canada, Likes It Lots

{Happy New Year’s Eve!}

So! There I was in the YMCA of Saint Catharines {an A, no apostrophe} having availed of their truly excellent leisure facilities; after having used the product on offer in the showers {er…}, I reckoned I could cover all impending ills using one of my stash of Nuture Anti-Ageing Conditioning Hair Treatment. Even before I lashed it on, I noticed that The Hair looked especially wavy, in a good way. In the way that looked like nice, loose waviness, rather than the usual indecisive half-assery.

Okay. I applied the serum and dried it, and it felt like silk. Full-of-volume silkiness.

I overheard someone in the dressing area talking about the softness of the water in these parts. Ah! This is a thing that is always on my mind at this time of year, what with all the travelling. I have to say that Ontarian water may be the best I’ve come across anywhere!


This looks like a frame from a music video:
Clearly about to begin an impassioned ode to the Ontario Water Works Association.


Uh, yah, eh?


Fudge Urban: Smelling Like Coconut is a Young Woman’s Game.

Methinks. Or rather: Meknows. Fudge Urban Iced coconut Cocktail Mega Hold Hairspray €7.99


I remember — oh, let’s do this right. Once upon a time, back in The History of The Hair, there was a spray, a spray used by all the fairest in the land, which made no sense to me, because it smelled really, really bad. It was called Aqua Net, and it stank like dirty socks. It was, in a word, awful.

But there was nothing else. Nothing else that was suited to the limited financial resources of a high school girl. Or else, it was the hairspray that the cool girls used, so in the desire to be cool, we the uncool used it to. Or it was an elaborate conspiracy on the part of the cool girls to lure we the uncool into using it so that our heads smelled like the locker room at the end of a full day of PE.


Anyway, that’s what one used. And eventually one grew up {hmmm, questionable!} and lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan, and began to use a concoction by Aveda, called Firmata, that was like… it was like shellacing your hair so that it would not move for a week. Which was spectac if you were at a roof party, or a river party, but not so great if you’d scored at one of those parties and maybe wanted the dude to touch your hair without drawing blood. It smelled so pretty that it drew them in, oh yes it did, but then proceeded to cut their fingers to ribbons.


And then … one has not used much spray of the hair lately, until this dropped in for review: Fudge Urban Iced Coconut Cocktail Hair Spray. It claims 48hr Texture Hold, which: maybe, but I put so much stuff in The Hair, I’d have to have nothing in it to prove that this actually works.

What does work is its hold-without-the-frozen-beyond-movement effect, and its scent is incredibly appealing… but also a bit sweet and youthful. I’ll cop to the latter. The former? Em, no. Plus: serious clash with one’s chosen fragrance-of-the-day.

The thing is, I have so much coconutty product on tap — The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist is sitting at my right hand, wistfully waiting to be applied — that I could conceivably layer myself like a piña coloda. If it didn’t feel age inappropriate.

FUDGE hairspray

Oh, herllooo 46A bus, it has been an age since we snapped a selfie from the back of the bus. That is a full-day’s-work, on-deadline head of hair. That held over the course of about ten hours, door-to-door, including two brushings.

Hmmm. There’s an Iced Raspberry and Vanilla flavour — would smelling like a smoothie be less morto?


€7.99; available in selected pharmacies nationwide.


The Hair + Mane Salon = Swisssshhhhhhy! {Frontways}

The back view is on Twitter, and Facebook, too.THE HAIR FRONTWAYS

‘Frontways’ is not a word, I know, I know, don’t get yer knicks in a twist. I guess I am feeling a bit giddy from the fresh Illumina colour via Wella Professionals and Andrew Dunne of Mane Salon. Beautiful blowdry via Aideen.

Another day of boldfacey-ness! Must be the sunshine!


Mane Salon is located in The Grooming Rooms building, 16 South William Street {next to Grogans.}


Mark Hill Salon Professional and The Hair: Long May it Wave

I wasn’t sure, going to bed on Wednesday night, if I was going to wash my hair Thursday morning.

Thursday afternoon was going to be packed, which would usually call for squeaky clean locks, but according to my iPhone, the weather looked to be squally, so why waste the energy, if The Hair was only going to get rained on?

I decided that in the a.m., I would blast the roots with some class of dry shampoo, and iron it out. It would be fine.

I twisted it up into a knot on the top of my head and slept the sleep of the decisive.

When I unravelled it the next day, it looked… really big and wavy and kind of good? This is, I believe, a direct result of having used Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream on Wednesday. I love this stuff so much I want to marry it; I’m going to be writing yet another paean of lurve to it in a few weeks, so for now will just direct you here.

I felt inspired by this wavy largeness to make it even wavier and larger, and so I cracked open the Mark Hill Salon Professional Bad Girl Glam Wicked Waver from Boots{€69}.

00 MARK HILL WAVERWicked, indeed. As are the crazy gloves supplied: sensible to have one for each hand, odd that they are only for the thumb and first two fingers — I felt like a doe, or something.

Odd, because they look odd, but also I am odd because I am not very good at these implements, and need my whole hand to make it work.

Or so I thought. Continue reading