In my recent post about my latest hair transformation at Rebel Rebel, I mentioned that part of Gemma’s job that day was to deal with the effects of the first time I ever allowed bleach to be used on my hair.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t go very well.
I’ve always had this dream of being one of those Girls Off Of The Internet with hair the colour of a fairytale, but my Mediterranean heritage and thick, dark mane puts me at an obvious disadvantage – to say nothing of the upkeep. “That’s why you can’t have hair like that,” says Gemma. “You won’t even blow-dry it.”
A couple of months ago, when my bleach-damaged ends were starting to become obvious, I was having a moan to Charlotte about the state of my hair. Charlotte had recently collaborated with Tangle Teezer, and had found herself with a couple of spares of the iconic brushes. Would I like to inherit her extra Aqua Splash brush, designed explicitly for those of us who choose an extra 20 minutes in bed over drying and styling our hair in the mornings? Why, yes. Yes I would.
But, as is so often the way of these things, I’d barely got my first Tangle Teezer home before I got an email from the company myself, asking if I’d like to pick out a couple more of their brushes and take them for a spin.
So what is a Tangle Teezer? I write this knowing full well that I am almost certainly preaching to the converted. Invented in 2007 by stylist Shaun Pulfrey, Tangle Teezer was designed as a professional-grade detangling hairbrush that anyone could buy. The Original brush uses two tiers of detangling “teeth” to get to work on even the thickest of manes (hiya) with the minimum of breakage or damage.
Pulfrey appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den in the early days of the company, but his offer of 15% of the brand for £80,000 was laughed out of the studio. No matter: the company website crashed due to demand when the programme aired and, almost a decade later, the company has expanded to offer a range of brushes to suit every hair type and need to customers all over the world, and through stockists such as Boots, John Lewis and Feelunique. Pulfrey himself has won bucketloads of awards for his invention, and last year became an ambassador for the UK government’s Business is GREAT initiative.
I chose The Ultimate dry styling brush* to add to my ever-growing Tangle Teezer collection, as well as one of the Compact Styling brushes* everybody always seems to rave about. These are the perfect size to pop in your handbag, meaning that you’ll never be without a decent brush when you’re out and about – and, as somebody whose desk is a graveyard for Pound Shop emergency brushes, let me tell you that’s a godsend. The Compact Styling brush is available in a range of colours and designs, including a recent collab with designer Lulu Guinness – but, as tempting as the Hello Kitty designs were, I went for something infinitely more sensible (and no longer available on the website) for the sole reason it looked like a Christmas present.
The Ultimate doesn’t take the prize for the ugliest brush I own – that award goes, with very little fanfare, to the otherwise excellent Aqua Splash – but my first impression was that style wasn’t half as important to this brush as to the Compact Stylers. That was until I started to use it, though: that ugly, chunky handle is a comfortable joy to hold, meaning it’s easy to let the innovative dual-teeth design get to work on your hair for the standard 100 strokes a night of the storybook princess. My hair might not be the colour of a fairytale, but it certainly looks like one (although getting those bleach-damaged ends chopped off probably has a lot to do with that, too).
I’ve also been apologising to my hair with a new shampoo: Kiehl’s Amino Acid shampoo*, which I picked up at a recent bloggers’ event at my favourite Glasgow store. It actually came as a surprise to most of us that Kiehl’s did hair products, although when you think about it it seems obvious – so it was great to take away a bottle of this bestselling shampoo to try.
Despite the slightly scary name this is a lovely, mild shampoo made from natural ingredients: the amino acids are derived from wheat proteins and the inclusion of coconut oil makes it lovely and moisturising. I don’t feel properly clean if I don’t wash my hair every day, which I know isn’t to everybody’s tastes, but after one week’s use I can report that this shampoo is mild enough for those purposes. While it’s too expensive to become a regular part of my haircare routine, my poor beleagured hair will certainly enjoy it while it lasts.
Do you have any lazy-girl hair hacks for bleach-damaged hair? I’d love to hear them!
This post contains PR samples, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.