Monday, 28 May 2012

Grow Your Hair Longer 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
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 this year, there's a brief explanation here.

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How To Use Small French Hair Pins

Create A Chignon With Just 1 Petit Soldat Small Hair Pin

Petit Soldat French Hair Pins
Personally, I'm not a big fan of chignons for myself because I don't think they flatter my profile and because I feel like I look like an old granny.

That isn't to say they don't look absolutely wonderful on other women, though.

I made a brief video for you showing how you can create a secure chignon with just a single French hair pin, without even using a ponytail elastic.

If you have very long or heavy hair, however, you might need two pins, either side of your chignon.

Also, we recommend choosing a colour that blends in with your hair tone.

I'm demonstrating the method here in our French Vanilla colour so you can better see what I'm doing.


How To Use Small French Hair Pins For A Chignon Or Ballet Bun Style

Hair Accessories Used In This Video

Petit Soldat Short French Hair Pin (Sold Out!) Create the same look with our Sourire U Pins.

Browse more French Hair Pins

Or, visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Our Lady Of The Ugly Hair Clips

How Ruth Is Spending Her "Ill-Gotten Gains"

Spending her "ill-gotten gains" on hair clips!
Ruth is a long-time customer of Stone Bridge who is always good for a funny chat over the phone.

She also, over the time we've gotten to know each other, seems to have set a challenge to find the ugliest hair clip in creation.

A few times a year we'll receive a parcel containing a handwritten note declaring, "I've outdone myself this time!" or "You thought the last one was awful ..." along with a bargain basement treasure in hair clip form that she's discovered in her travels.

The last time Ruth rang, however, she had news of a different sort.

Here's her story, in her own words:

Hi Melissa & Claire, 
Some years ago I was hit on the hand with a hammer at my farm.  
The doctor at the A & E referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon 2 days later because he suspected it was broken. On the day, the surgeon came in, without taking his eyes off his notes, told me my finger was not broken and the X rays did not show any sign of fracture.  
I said I was in tremendous pain and he said he couldn't think why.  A week later I went to my own GP and said I was in pain.  
But he said it had been X rayed and there was nothing wrong, so no pain medication was needed. I told him I wanted referred to another surgeon and he asked, "What for? There is nothing wrong."  
I almost gave in, but said I think there has been a mistake and managed to get a referral for a second opinion. 
At a private hospital the new X ray revealed 28 breaks.  
The first surgeon had been looking at the wrong X ray.  
Time to see the lawyer.  
After a long time messing me about and hoping I would run out of money, a court date was set for early this year, with a robust defense promised. Logic prevailed at the last minute and we were able to agree a settlement out of court.  
Having now received my ill-gotten gains, I wanted to buy things I would normally consider too much of an extravagance.  
I love my Stone Bridge Rectangle claw clip and I have often wished all my claws were Stone Bridge. Now is the time to make that happen. 
I should have done it sooner. The others are not worth buying.  
And on that theme, I do believe I can say without fear of contradiction, I have sent you guys the worst hair clips in all creation.  
Best wishes, Ruth

Have you got a great Stone Bridge hair clip story to share?

Post it in the comments below, or email me! I'd love to hear it.

... and what did Ruth blow her money on?

(She said I could tell you!)

Ruth's treat: The Cadre Medium Claw
Our Cadre Medium Claw

For thick hair: Rectangle Large Claw
However, if you've got thick or quite long hair, I know you'll love our best-selling Rectangle Large Claw.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Scarf Headbands Right For Your Hair

Which Is The Best Headband For Your Hair Type?

We're moving into the season when scarf style headbands become very popular.

They keep your hair from blowing around on the beach or when you're poolside, while smarter styles make getting ready for evenings out dead simple.

In this video I review which styles are recommended for thick versus finer hair, to help you make the best choice for you.


How To Choose The Right Scarf Headband For Your Hair

Headbands Shown In This Video

Soft styles:
Paisley Silk Scarf Headband (Sold Out!) See our Anaconda Silk Scarf Headband
Dotty Scarf Headband
Poppies Scarf Headband (Sold Out!) See our Slim Silk Scarf Headband

Structured styles:
Linen Scarf Headband
Cherry Blossom Headband
Raw Silk Scarf Headband
Silk Twill Scarf Headband
Pacific Gala Headband

Browse more Stone Bridge headbands

Or, click to visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK