Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Your Hair Colour And Choosing The Right Hair Clips For You

Cool Tones, Warm Tones - Where Do You Fall On The Spectrum

French Arpege Cuffed Elastic from
Stone Bridge Hair Accessories
Getting the right colour hair clip can either make your hair look vibrant or, well, not so much.

Today, Melissa and Claire popped on a selection of colours from the Arpege Cuffed Ponytail Elastic so you can get an idea of how they work - or not - depending on your hair tone.

Melissa's hair, going really very silver these days, falls into the cool zone.

Claire, with her strong red tones, is currently very warm.

Let's look first at Silver Shell:


This colour is most complimentary to Melissa's hair, because both share very similar hues.

While the silver shell looks striking as a contrast in Claire's reddish hair, it has a few threads of amber and russet running through it, helping to tie it in visually. However, it does dull down the silver of the band, so while interesting, it doesn't give Claire the richest effect.

Now take a look at French Vanilla:


French Vanilla has cream base, so is quite warm. In Melissa's hair you can see it turning towards yellow, which is not a flattering counterpoint to her silver highlights. It makes her hair look more dull and calls attention to the brown in her hair.

Likewise, in Claire's hair French Vanilla is simply too stark. There are no shared hues, so the band, again is not shown off to advantage.

French Vanilla is best suited to blonde hair, from very fair to a mid- or golden brown, as you can see in the third picture here of our Allegro Fork.

Finally, have a look at the classic Tortoiseshell colour.


Here you can see the yellow/orange/brown of tortoiseshell brings out some unattractive tones in Melissa's hair and her silver is not enhanced at all.

Meanwhile, this colour suits Claire's hair perfectly. The variety of tones in the band harmonises brilliantly with Claire's hair tones.

If you have hair in the blonde - brown spectrum, tortoiseshell works best for dark or honey blonde and all brown hair.

Remember! If you ever want to discuss whether a colour might suit your hair, we are here for you. Ring us during regular office hours on 01732 883820 or pop us an email. We love love love talking about hair, so please don't feel shy.

Hair Accessories Used in This Post

Arpege Cuffed Elastic
Allegro Hair Fork

View more French Cuffed Elastics
View more French Hair Forks

[A blooper for you from this shoot. Is Melissa terrified of the wallpaper or singing "Tragedy"?]

Friday, 4 March 2016

What I think now of the TRESemme Split Remedy Conditioner

Find Out Why My Daughter's Going Back To Normal Conditioner Now

TRESemme Split Remedy: Cure or Curse?

A while back, with much excitement, I reviewed the TRESemme Split Remedy conditioner.

You might recall I had worked myself up into a nerdy state of agitation over new developments in the world of hair care formulations back in 2011.

With huge anticipation, I invested in Split Remedy conditioner, handed it to my oldest daughter (with mid-back length hair who suffers from split ends) and held my breath until I could see this guy in action.

You can read the full review here, if you like.

Or, to make a long story short, the stuff works.


So why, you are asking yourself, does Daughter decide to give this elixir up for some old-school conditioner?

What happened is my greatest fear came true.

The way the product works is through magnetic fields, the two sides of your split end are drawn together as your hair dries.

The risk is that the product can't tell the difference between two sides of a single split, and different strands of hair generally, even though the field is pretty weak.

The fact is the effect is strong enough for longer hair to get snarled during the day.

Daughter noted that her hair became troublesome to brush even a few hours after her hair dried. By teatime, her hair was making her mental.

I am a big believer in not letting your hair dominate your mental health.

Want to read more articles about hair? It's your lucky day!

Check some of these out:

Do Hair Bands Give You An *Ouch* Behind Your Ears?
Matching Hair Clips To Your Hair Colour
Have You Got This Embarrassing Hair Habit?

(*This article was first published in 2012)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

#IsItStoneBridge Rules of Play

Every episode of ITV's Mr Selfridge, we are giving away hair clips. Here's how to play!

Click to learn how to make this Gibson Roll so you look the part.
1. Watch Mr Selfridge on Friday nights, 9pm on ITV. (Or record it and watch before Monday)

2. Keep your phone/camera handy to snap great pictures of hair accessories.
(Sneaky tip, don't forget to look in the backgrounds. Selfridge's also had a hair accessories department!)

3. Post your image tagged #IsItStoneBridge and #StoneBridgeHair to your social media channel of choice so we can find it.

4. OR, email your image to hello@stone-bridge.co.uk and we will share your image on one of the Stone Bridge social media accounts. (Your identity will be kept private.)

5. Tune in each episode for a fresh chance to get your own bit of Stone Bridge!

Ten entries per episode will be chosen at random on the following Monday. So if you want to record the show and catch up over the weekend, you can still play.

We will be monitoring Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but if you want to use another online channel such as a private blog, do drop us a line on where we can see your post. If you've won, we will notify you through the posting platform you have used.

*Please note, prizes can only be sent to a UK or ROI address.

Any questions, drop us a line at hello@stone-bridge.co.uk!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Dear All Women At Christmas Time, From Melissa's Husband

Do You Know What You REALLY Want This Christmas? Your Husband Would Like To Know Too

Look out guys. It's Christmas time again.
Visit Stone Bridge for great gifts your wife will love!
(Originally published in 2012. Perennially relevant.)

Generally, men who need to "surprise" their wives or girlfriends on Christmas day with something delightful regard the run up to the Big Day with something approaching terror.

Some men love buying presents for the women in their lives. Most do not.

Melissa interviewed her husband and received some advice he wanted to share with our Stone Bridge friends like you on how to help your gift-buying man make great choices.

SB: Do you look forward to Christmas?

Husband: No. I enjoy the family part, but not the present buying. I find that stressful.

SB: Have you always found it stressful? Or only since adulthood?

Husband: It has always been stressful. Buying for my mother, my sister ... it doesn't matter.

Organising things that people will like is just impossible. You don't know until it's too late whether people will like what you've chosen and they make such a big deal about it.

I'm much more relaxed when people tell me what they'd like. Or if I'm buying for someone who I know truly doesn't care what they get. But there aren't many people like that, unfortunately.

SB: How do you view budgeting when someone tells you what they'd like to receive?

Husband: If I know they're going to like something, budget doesn't matter. Within reason, of course. But if it's affordable and it will make them happy, the price isn't important for me.

SB: Do you think a lot of men find Christmas stressful?

Husband: Yes, definitely. Everyone is different, of course, and people like the fun parts like the cooking and putting up the tree. It's just when expectations are high and the risk of disappointment is up there that it gets tense.

SB: If someone has told you what they want, how much leeway do you like in making decisions about specifics of the gift, like choosing the colour for example?

Husband: Unless I see something that I think is perfect for that person, I prefer to know the exact thing they'd like.

Just tell me exactly what you want.

Buying something and then not quite hitting the mark is just senseless.

SB: So the opportunity to "participate" in the selection process of buying the gift isn't important to you?

Husband: Again, people are different in what they like. But for me, it doesn't do anything for me. Making these choices is still stressful as even these little details can end up a total disaster.

SB: What should women do who've maybe not received the best gifts from their partners in the past?

Husband: Having a wish list that you can give to a man, ideally in November sometime, with a list of specific items you want is the best place to start. If you can mark things off in a catalog, like a choice of 6 things you'd like. Then he knows who to call and what to ask for.

If you just say, "get me something from Stone Bridge," I mean we're talking about all sorts of hair clips. Goodness knows what you'll end up with!

Tell your partner to ring Claire on 01732 883820 for faultless guidance on choosing a beautiful gift you'll be thrilled to receive. Or just send him a few links from Stone-Bridge.co.uk. We'll do the rest!

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Monday, 14 September 2015

Want Your Own £500 Hamper of Stone Bridge Hair Clips? Join Our Challenge!

100 Pleats in 100 Days, and the Goodies Are Yours

Fiori Swarovski Crystal Large Barrette
Want to get good at putting your hair up? Want a luxury shed-load of hair accessories for free as a reward? Then you are going to love joining us in our latest project!

The past several months, here in the office Claire and I have been doing creative challenges just for fun. Claire has made a whole lot of cakes, sewn a whole lot of clothes and also managed to learn how to ride a bike so well that she now cycles to work every day.

I, on the other hand, have taken over 1000 photographs, started drawing so much I now have a table dedicated only to sketching, and managed to also illustrate and design a book which is at the publishers at this very moment.

We've had so much fun, we thought we'd try our very own hair clip version and, to make it more like a community, invite nice people like yourself to join in.

The Challenge: 100 Pleats, 100 Days

The challenge is to put your hair up in a French pleat every day, for 100 days. Take a picture of your work, post it to the social media channel of your choice (Don't worry - we can help you with that part!), and at the end of 100 Days we will send you a luxury hamper of Stone Bridge hair accessories worth over £500.

It costs nothing to take part, and I guarantee your hair-putting-up skills will improve enormously.

Which will be great, because you will want to make the most of the lovely Stone Bridge treats you will have most certainly have earned.

** Register Now! **

Why Take Part?

Getting good at a skill, or improving a skill takes practice. If you can practice a little bit every day, after a while you are going to be pretty awesome.

We get a lot, and I mean A LOT, of calls from people who want to try a different style of clip but aren't sure if they'll be able to master switching from a claw to a barrette, or even to a u pin or hair stick.

This is understandable. Changing your normal routine is hard, and because I can't come over to your house and coach you, it is tricky figuring out how to make a technique work for your hair all on your own.

This is where the 100 Pleats, 100 Days can help you.

Every day, all you have to do is get your hair up for the few seconds you need to take a picture. Your hair doesn't need to look wonderful, we just want to encourage you to practice and try.

Every time you try, you will learn something new about your hair. The better you get at working with your own hair, the more confidence you'll have to play with your style and try all kinds of new things.

Small changes, every day, will add up to big changes over time.

Claire and I will be doing the 100 Pleats, 100 Days Challenge as well so we can share our experiences as a group. By taking part and taking pictures, we will be able to see the difficulties you might be having and provide advice and encouragement.

You don't have to use our hair accessories, you don't even have to use normal accessories. If you want to be creative and use pencils, wooden spoons and  greenery from the garden, go for it! It's all in the name of fun with hair. We applaud creativity!

Best of all, once you complete the 100 Days we will send you a completely free £500 Stone Bridge hamper. No competition, who has the best hair, none of that. We are just so glad you're taking part and having fun with your hair.

So, to summarise, the benefits of registering are:

  • Daily practice will improve your skills enormously
  • Join in with others to form a, yes, rather eccentric mini community
  • Receive feedback, advice and encouraging pats on the back from Stone Bridge
  • Grow in self-confidence
  • Get a £500 Luxury Hair Accessories hamper completely for Free

And, remember, it costs absolutely nothing to take part.

What Do I Have To Do To Participate?

Participating is super easy. To be part of the 100 Pleats, 100 Days Challenge all you need to do is:

  1. Register your name and contact details* by clicking Here
  2. On official Day 1, 22 September, put your hair in a French Pleat and take a picture of your hair.
  3. Post your daily French Pleat to your favourite social media channel.
  4. Or, send your photo to us, and we'll create your channel for you - your privacy will be protected!
  5. Tag your posts with #stonebridgehair and #100pleats so we can find them.
  6. Do this every day until Day 100, which is 31 December - New Year's Eve!

Don't Worry!

  • We won't use your information to spam you and send you annoying stuff.
  • We won't reveal your identity or any of your information.
  • We won't steal your pictures and put them on a billboard or anything sleazy.
  • We're not doing this to be sneaky or underhand. It's just good fun.
  • If we upset you in any way, you can ring my mother and complain and I will get a proper earful, don't worry. She is on your side!
  • It's not a contest, so there are no losers. Hooray!
  • You don't have to use any Stone Bridge products to participate.
  • And if you'd like to have a little French Pleat kit, we've got a great bundle offer for you priced at just £99, up to 30% off our regular retail price, an amazing opportunity to start building your Stone Bridge collection.

How Do I Sign Up?

Sign up* is simple. Click this link to let us know you're taking part.

We'll be in touch with more information about how to tag your pictures and how you can reach us if you have any difficulties or questions.

I Want A £99 French Pleat Kit!

We've got a kit for every hair type. Click now to order your kit today:

100 Pleats, 100 Days - Fine Hair
100 Pleats, 100 Days - Medium Hair
100 Pleats, 100 Days - Thick Hair

Not sure which kit will work for you? Email us at Hello@Stone-Bridge.co.uk and we will make sure you've got all the right stuff.

*Hamper offer open to UK residents only.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Five Star Hair Clips Only For Thick Hair

Have you got thick hair? Check out this list for clips that will actually hold your hair...

Shop all hair accessories for thick hair…
One thing we're really good at here at Stone Bridge is designing hair clips that really work for different hair types. And if you've got thick hair, finding a great clip you can rely on every day that can actually hold all your hair securely without breaking is not as easy as it ought to be.

We know. We speak to hundreds of women every week going through the same thing you're going through. We understand thick hair.

It's always helpful to find out what your fellow thick-haired sisters are using and loving so we've done a little trawling through the reviews and shopping baskets of this past season to see which clips have been coming out as the sure-fire winners of the summer.

After going on a corporate retreat where we built our teamwork skills going down zip wires and other such thrilling activities (no, not really) we got down to brass tacks to find out which products were the most popular and most loved by our thick-haired customers this season.

We are very proud to present: The Winners Your Thick Hair Needs.

★ 5 Star Barrette For Thick Hair: Orleans French Large Barrette 

The elegant scrolled cutwork design worn over a twist-up style has received a lot of love this summer.

This is what one fan had to say: Very excited! I can add this to my collection of Round Edge Combs and Large Barrettes. Honestly, Stone Bridge is it. There is no other hair clip company.

★ 5 Star Claw For Thick Hair: Liberty Rectangle Large Hair Claw

Our best-selling large hair claw style in this beautiful, true-blue Liberty print. If you've never had anyone compliment your hair accessories before when you're out and about, get ready to be stopped on the street. You'll want to wear this baby every day.

You sent in your comments: I bought my first claw from you in 2009, and it's still going. So when I saw it in this pattern, I just had to have it.

Shop more Hair Claws for Thick Hair...

★ 5 Star Headband For Fine Hair: Glacier French Double Headband

Our Double Headbands give the elegance of a skinny headband with the holding power of a wide one. Plus, our Super Comfy range of styles give you that hold while still being unbelievably comfortable.

You said: The colours are beautiful and the headband, frankly, just flippin' works for my thick hair.

Shop more Headbands for Thick Hair


Want to share your own favourites? Click to write your review now.

Visit Stone Bridge for a vast range of cheerful hair clips and headbands

Monday, 17 August 2015

Want longer hair, faster? Well, don't buy this...

Style Over Substance Triumphs Again

What would you pay for hair like his?
Kashmir Goat, Great Ormes Head, Llandudno, N. Wales
**Originally published May 2012**

Picture this.

Beautiful, hot sunny day. I've just finished eating a delicious summery sandwich of tomato, fresh mozzerella and plenty of ground pepper.

Before starting my next project of the weekend, I sit down and **foolishly** start surfing the internet.

On my favourite topic, of course:


And what do I find that completely ruins my day?


"This unique complex of naturally derived cashmere proteins in a blend of select conditioning agents penetrates deep into the hair shaft; repairing broken bonds and helping to protect the hair from further disintegration. The natural cashmere proteins and amino acids closely match the molecular structure of human hair so fit better in the gaps and hold longer. A stitch in time saves nine. After shampooing, 3"' More Inches Conditioner then provides a further protective seal on the surface.

Following the 3"' More Inches System slows down the ageing process so your hair stays healthier and grows longer before it dries out. It will be easier to manage, more vibrant looking, and hold its colour for longer, giving you more inches of youthful, silky, supple, sexy healthy hair."

My myth-busting instincts go into overdrive as my forehead smacks the desk in despair.

3''' More Inches by Michael Van Clarke is a silly new way you can throw your money away in pursuit of a common desire to grow your hair longer, faster.

A cup full of shampoo will set you back £17.00, but hey the shipping is free.

It ought to be at that price.

And what's in this incredible elixir?

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, PEG- 7, Glycerin Cocoate, Panthenol, Cocamide MEA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PG- Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Methylchloriosothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

So, what we've got here is fundamentally a bog standard shampoo.

This is supplemented with glycerin, which is a superficial (but perfectly good) conditioner that adds the feeling of "moisture" to the touch.

It's there to make your fingers feel good, basically.

What else?

Let's crack on to the "unique" cashmere proteins, shall we?

This shows up in the hydrolyzed keratin. Basically, they've taken a bowl full of cashmere which is the hair from a goat.

The really nice cashmere that you and I both love in our jumpers comes only from the neck of the cashmere goat. 

So what is your goatherder to do with the rest of the fibres?

Heck, lets liquidise it and put it into personal care products because everybody knows cashmere is soft. And if you word it right, people might think it will make human hair as soft as cashmere wool!

Natural cashmere proteins and amino acids (which are the same thing, right?) resemble human hair, because cashmere IS hair.


Once cashmere (or silk or any other fibre these companies like to include in their products) is hydrolysed (which usually means dropped into acid and pressurised into a liquid), the amino acids cannot "penetrate" the hair shaft. The molecules are too big.

What they do, at least in the past, is sit on the surface of your hair and have some infinitesimally small conditioning effect.

Indeed you'll notice the panthenol and hydrolysed wheat protein, which actually can do some conditioning, are higher up the ingredients list.

Welcome to the Future

Now, one ingredient that does leap out (to me) is PG-Propyl Silanetriol, which I think is the true the star in this formula.

This is one of a small group of ingredients that are making their way into quite a lot of hair care products.

It is basically made from silicone, but when combined with a protein has the interesting property of "cross linking" as it dries, forming a hard, shiny protective network over the surface of the hair.

This has the benefit of providing a bit of thermal protection during heat styling, and also helping to repair a damaged and  ruffled cuticle.

It truly can help extend the life of damaged hair.

However, this ingredient is in a number of shampoos and conditioners making their way onto store shelves these days, so it isn't enormously novel when considering the £17 price tag.

I am also left with a vague curiosity about whether the PG-Propyl Silanstriol has been combined with the wheat protein (which is more common) or with the fabled cashmere fibres, or perhaps with a unique blend of both?

In either case, the effect will be the same and I suspect the use of cashmere is merely style over substance at the end of the day.

For a similar effect, at a substantially lower price point, you could go for TRESemme's Split Remedy (which I picked up from Boots during a 3 for 2 offer), a range I've been eagerly waiting to try out since last year.

If you are actually interested in why I'm so excited by PG-Propyl Silanetriol and other siloxanes that are popping up all over the place, there's a brief explanation here.

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK