Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for Hair

Winter 2013

Given a stressful couple of months, lack of sleep, not eating well, I thought it prudent to take some multivitamins to help boost my immune system particularly at this time of year. I’m a fan of the Solgar brand, there are many favourable reviews on amazon of their VM-75 multivitamin and mineral formula with anti-oxidants, and one of the doctors at Biolab recommends it, so I’m now on my second bottle. They are potent (high RDA levels) but I would say I feel less tired, my nails are growing quickly and my pee is neon yellow (caused by high-levels of B2). The high levels of B-Vitamins in this formula should not be a cause for alarm, they are water-soluble, and therefore any excess (not used by the body) are simply excreted in the urine. I only intend on taking them a few months of the year. You’ll see in the picture, that they are large tablets (also available in capsule form), but as my doctor told me as a little girl, if you can swallow food, you can swallow tablets, some people fear the size, but it’s fine. I take mine after lunch with water, any fat in your meal helps with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins.

Solgar VM-75

Solgar VM-75

Hair often becomes drier  and unruly this time of the year, what with the central heating indoors, cold air and rain out, I always recommend Aveda products they do make a real difference. The below are my pick of favourites, the damage remedy set was an Xmas present from my sister-in-law, this line helps to strengthen hair. The smooth infusion style-prep is used before blow-drying as a heat protectant and given the name a hair-smoother, and finally the brilliant shine spray is great for controlling frizz on dry hair. They are expensive but you don’t need a lot of product per application, so it does last a while. I also love the Dry Remedy range (not shown in the picture) really adds moisture to hair, it’s quite thick and can weigh down someone with fine hair, so really recommend it best for people with thick hair. I do use cheaper products like Herbal Essences, but Aveda products are a great pick-me-up for hair.

Favourite Aveda Products: Smooth Infustion Style-Prep, Damage Remedy Gift Set, Brilliant Spray-On Shine

Favourite Aveda Products: Smooth Infustion Style-Prep, Damage Remedy Gift Set, Brilliant Spray-On Shine


The ghd air™hairdryer – Katy Perry

Katy Perry GHD Air Hairdryer

Glancing in one of the glossy fashion magazines the other day, I came across an advert featuring Katy Perry and the The ghd air ™ hairdryer. Well the advertising worked with their slogan ‘a good hair day, everyday’, it prompted me to the ghd website for some more info.

They list the features as:

  • Professional strength 2,100 Watt AC motor at 240v
  • Advanced ionic technology
  • Variable power & temperature controls, including cool shot
  • Ergonomic design for right & left handed users
  • 3m power cable

The cost? £99 on the ghd website, now that is a lot for a hairdryer. The most important bit, what were the reviews like? I came across a website called www.strawberryblondebeauty.com, and the blogger posted a glowing review with an impressive before and after picture. Ok, I’m sold but the price seemed pretty steep and I didn’t really need a new hairdryer, but www.lookfantastic.com are selling it for £79 and there were 28 reviews of the hairdryer with a 97% customer rating. At the moment I’m spending money on laser hair removal treatments (will be posting a review in the not too distant future), but will definitely treat myself to one of these hairdryers for Xmas 🙂

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment

I’ve been looking for a really good hair mask to apply once a week, and have now found my favourite. Although my hair isn’t damaged, I wanted to help strengthen and keep my long locks healthy.

Aveda Damage Remedy

Described by Aveda:

Our intensive weekly treatment deeply penetrates to help repair, seal and smooth even the most damaged hair. Using the power of pure plant oils and quinoa protein, it restores health, silkiness and shine.

part of a three-step restructuring system
helps strengthen hair weakened by chemical processes, heat styling and environmental exposure
quinoa protein penetrates the hair shaft, working from inside to help strengthen and repair
phellodendron and barley seal in moisture
castor, jojoba and meadowfoam seed oils smooth hair’s surface

You can use this mask in one of two ways. If you want to get the maximum benefit from the treatment then have your shower/bath as normal but just wash your hair. Towel-dry and then comb through the Damage Remedy treatment from roots to ends, pop on a shower cap and watch a bit of tv/surf the internet for about 30 mins and wash off. Alternatively, if you don’t have time for all that, then you can apply whilst in the shower, placing a shower cap for about 5-10 mins, but I find that the longer I leave it in, the better the result…

Smells delicious and leaves my hair soft, smooth and strong…

Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo & Conditioner

Aveda Dry Remedy

After a trip to my favourite Gina Conway Aveda salon, I bought this shampoo along with the conditioner. Aveda products are a luxury as they are far more expensive than my normal shampoo & conditioners, but I wanted to treat my hair to some hydration after the long winter months.

Aveda describe their Dry Remedy Shampoo as ‘drenches even the driest, most brittle hair with moisture, leaving it soft, supple, touchable’ – so does it live up to its description…

Both the shampoo & conditioner have a thick yellow-like creamy consistency, it takes a bit of practice to get used to how much to use – ideally make sure your hair is really wet then rub into your palms and massage in. The smell is lovely, my hair is soft and manageable after just one wash. I’ve been using this for the past two weeks, and I’ve noticed a good difference in my hair.

After I’ve finished the bottles, I’ll probably buy again but only use twice a week. It’s expensive, but it has been a real treat for my hair…


Beauty Products Worth Buying

1. Happy Hair Days blueberry & pair shampoo & conditioner

As of a couple of weeks ago, I had faithfully been using Clairol’s range of Herbal Essences shampoo’s & conditioner’s for years. However I strayed when I spotted a new brand called Happy Hair Days whilst doing my weekly shop. They have a few different varieties to choose from, but I went for the smoothing blueberry & pear. The shampoo and conditioner bottles are simply packaged and I liked reading that their formulations are gentle and contain no parabens or sulphates. After being tempted by the wording on their bottles ‘Try me, I smell gorgeous!’, I took a sneaky sniff, and boy did it smell divine. I’ve been using both the shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks now and am hooked, my hair is smooth & smells gorgeous and the bathroom equally so. I even bought some so I could take away with me on holiday. The cost is £3.60 for 300ml each for the shampoo and conditioner. It seems as if you can only purchase at Sainsburys.

2. Tangle Teezer

I hadn’t heard of the Tangle Teezer until my hairdresser at Aveda recommended that I buy one. For someone with long hair, I can sometimes find that it gets tangled after washing. Normally brushing tangles out can take time and be a little painful, however the tangle teezer is amazing. I bought the new compact version from Boots and have found that it tackles tangled hair quickly and painlessly. The compact version also makes it easier to pack when going away.

Compact Tangle Teezer, £11.99 at Boots

I was soo pleased with my purchase that I bought a colleagues daughter the tangle teezer magic flowerpot as an Xmas present. I remember when I was little being filled with dread when my mum would come and brush my ridiculously tangled hair. Looking at the feedback, it seems that lots of mothers have bought one especially for their daughters hair. 

Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot, Boots £12.99

 Buy both the compact tangle teezer & childrens tangle teezer magic flowerpot online from Boots.

3. Aveeno Hand Cream

Living in London with ‘hard’ water coupled with washing hands frequently, and indoor heating means that I find my hands can get dry. I’ve tried Dove’s intensive hand cream previously but wasn’t impressed, however I came across this in Sainsburys and it helps soothe my hands. This doesn’t irritate my skin, has a pleasant but slight oatmeal scent, doesn’t break the bank at £4.99, and most importantly moisturises my skin.

Aveeno Hand Cream, Boots or Sainsburys £4.99

4. Kiehl’s Nurturing Baby Cream for Face & Body

Although there are many beauty products on the market, few combine catering for sensitive skin and smelling divine. I occassionally pop into the Kiehl’s shop on Kings Road, and although this cream is supposed to be for babies, adults can also use this too 🙂 Gentle formulation that has been sensitivity tested and contains a blend of apricot kernal oil, glycerin, honey and infused with a blend of vanilla, apples, pears, and sweet berries – yummy!  

Kiehls Nurturing Baby Cream, £15.50 for 200ml

Buy from Kiehl’s website.

5. Estee Lauder Pleasures Body Powder

Months ago, for my birthday I got a lovely gift set of my favourite Estee Lauder perfume Pleasures, included was their body powder. I love dusting this powder on my neck and wrists before I get dressed, the blend of lilies, peonies, jasmine and exotic baie rose smells wonderful. It lasts for ages, but after recently running out found it difficult to locate until I found that John Lewis sells it online.

Estee Lauder Pleasures Dusting Powder, £18

Mason Pearson – Pink Handy Bristle & Nylon Brush

I had been dithering for ages deciding upon whether to spend this much money on a hairbrush. However, after investing sometime reading reviews of this brush, and seeing Mason Pearson brushes recommended in numerous magazines and top stylists describing them as the ‘Bentley of hairbrushes’, I decided to purchase. When it arrived it came packaged in a beautiful box, the pastel pink coloured hairbrush looked rather retro and pretty. The brush is lightweight, ample enough to handle my long waist-length hair, and a portable size to fit into my handbag. I love brushing, it feels soo gentle, words can’t describe it. I purchased my Mason Pearson Pink Handy Bristle & Nylon Brush off the HQhair.com website for £39 – yes, I know, I would never normally spend that much, but now I’m lusting after a larger version to keep on my dressing table… I want a bigger version now 🙂

Clairol Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences
I remember the first time I came across Herbal Essences shampoos/conditioners. I was 16 and on  a school history trip to New York, and one of my friends left her bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo in the bathroom that we were sharing in the hotel. A chance sniff and I was sold, not bought any other shampoo brand since…

Over a year ago, Herbal Essences changed their shampoos and conditioners and introduced a new range. There are quite a few varieties, and the 2 that I use are the seductively straight (pink bottle) and dazzling shine (green bottle) shampoos & conditioners.

Seductively Straight (pink) – with their silk & pear extracts; both the shampoo & conditioner make my hair smooth, shiny and you can smell the pear scent even after drying. Although this is my favourite, I do find that when used on a regular basis my hair can feel weighed down (due to its consistency), so I alternate with the lighter dazzling shine shampoo/conditioner (green) with its berry, tea & orange flower extracts makes my hair incredibly shiny and I love the citrus smell…

Mmmmmmmm, I fancy jumping into the shower now…