First step, shower. Whether you’re prepping in the morning before work to change quickly after and head right to the venue or are lucky enough to have the time to nip home, great shower products that feel as good as they smell are essential. There’s nothing better than that fresh-out-the-shower feeling with skin just as soft and silky as you dreamed of.
After treating yourself to a luxurious bath and body product or two, if you’re after that first-day squeaky clean hair ready to be dried and styled later on, here are some incredible products for different hair types that will soon become must-haves when you get a taste for how fabulous they are.
Is tanning on your to-do list for your Christmas party prep this year? If so, feast your eyes on these stunning products to give you that summer glow all through the winter. Yes, we could embrace the natural colour, but a subtle golden kiss wouldn’t hurt anyone now would it? If you’ll be wearing a Christmas party dress showing a fair amount of skin too, why not go for that gorgeous golden glow?
A classic mistake we tend to make if getting our nails
done too far in advance, now that’s perfectly fine if you’ll be treating
yourself to a salon trip but if it’s a DIY job then it’s worth planning it out.
The last thing you want to do the night before your Christmas party is your
nails and then scuff them from all the buffing and tanning the next day. So,
after the shower, hair washing and glow up, now would be the best time to do them.
When it comes to Christmas party makeup, it’s usually safe
to say that we’re all after that extra special glow. Whether it’s with a touch
of shimmer or a vibrant lipstick, it’s nice to have that one guaranteed occasion
every year when you know you can go all out and live your best glamourous life
for the evening.
If you’re a fragrance fanatic it’s likely that you know
just how important different scents are when it comes to making memories.
Some say Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and many agree. It’s
a festive fun-filled season of indulging, treating your loved ones and celebrating
together. Christmas parties are always some of the most memorable events with
legendary stories that will live on forever especially in the workplace. So,
why not mark the occasion and treat yourself to a new fragrance?
By now we’re all trying
to reduce our footprint and live a life that’s a little eco-friendlier. Whether
you’ve gone full vegan and plastic-free (we salute you) or you’re
focusing on smaller changes to do your bit, there’s an eco-friendly beauty
product out there that’s screaming to be added to your rotation.
Wave goodbye to
unsustainable beauty creams, makeup, and hairstyling. There’s a whole host of
lovely eco-friendly products out there that will work just as well – maybe
better – than your old favourites. Rethink your beauty collection with some of
the best eco-friendly makeup and sustainable beauty switches.
Plastic-free shampoo bars
Switch out your usual shampoo, which probably comes in a plastic container,
for an eco-friendlier shampoo bar. Shampoo bars help cut back on waste
packaging and can be much friendlier on your purse strings. Win-win!
Plastic-free soaps over shower gels
If you enjoy a lathering of
shower gel as part of your daily routine, you might want to consider switching
to a bar of soap if you’re concerned with the environment. Like
liquid shampoos, shower gels come in plastic packaging like bottles, tubes, and
While a lot of this
packaging is recyclable, you can’t always be sure of its fate when you drop it
into your blue bin. It’s best not to go for plastic packaging at all to help reduce
production of the single-use stuff we hate. Switch to a bar of soap and scrub
up with peace of mind. Here are some of our favourite plastic-free soap bars:
We’re sorry to say that
face wipes are bad for the planet. Bad. They contribute over 90 per cent
to the UK’s drain blockage, and they feature plastic binding that makes them
super-robust and difficult to get rid of.
Try face wipes by Yes To if you’re looking to reduce your single-use
plastic consumption. They’re made without plastic so they’re biodegradable,
which means you can enjoy clean skin and a cleaner conscience. We love their cucumber wipes for ultra-freshness.
Choose reusable packaging!
Most makeup products come
in plastic packaging (sigh) which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
Fight the single-use pileup by choosing makeup in re-usable packagings, like
glass jars or metal containers.
We also recommend you use
pencil makeup wherever possible. For example, pencil eyeliner is made from wood
and will decompose, while liquid eyeliners often come in plastic tubes.
Looking for more beauty and lifestyle inspiration? Keep exploring the Fragrance Direct blog and discover our favourite products and step-by-step guides to creating new looks you’ll love!
Whether it’s an occasional annoyance or a regular problem, dandruff can be frustrating. Though it’s not usually anything to worry about, most of us would prefer to keep our scalp and shoulders flake-free.
There are several possible causes of dandruff, and while some are easier to manage than others, it’s usually possible to treat yourself at home without any need for a doctor or dermatologist’s intervention.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the possible causes of dandruff, as well as ways to treat the problem and restore your hair to its beautiful, flake-free self.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a skin condition that causes white flakes of dry skin to appear on the scalp and in the hair. The condition is common and isn’t contagious or harmful, though many sufferers want to treat the problem as quickly as possible because they find it unpleasant.
In some cases, if the scalp is particularly itchy, red, or inflamed, medical intervention might be required. This is usually because of a skin condition causing dandruff.
What causes dandruff?
There are several possible causes of dandruff, including:
• Irritated skin
Irritated, oily skin can be the consequence of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. The condition is one of the most common causes of dandruff. The skin might appear red and greasy when affected by seborrheic dermatitis. The condition is one which is usually seen on the scalp but can also be present on the eyebrows and nose and in other oil gland-rich areas, such as the underarms and groin.
• Unclean hair
If you don’t wash your hair regularly with shampoo, oils and dead skin cells can build up causing dandruff.
• Dry skin
If dry skin is causing your dandruff, you’ll probably find the flakes are quite small and not oily. You might also have dry skin on other parts of your body.
• Sensitivity to products
Sensitivity to certain ingredients in hair products, including shampoos and hair dyes, can irritate the scalp and cause dandruff.
Eczema is a common skin condition which causes the skin to become dry, red, flaky, and itchy. If you suffer from eczema, you’re more likely to notice dandruff as a consequence.
Like eczema, psoriasis is a skin condition which causes the skin to become dry, red, flaky, and itchy. Psoriasis can cause dandruff.
Visiting your GP with dandruff
If you’re suffering from dandruff, you won’t usually need to see your GP and can, in most cases, treat yourself at home. It can be a good idea to book an appointment if you’ve been trying anti-dandruff shampoos for over a month with no improvement, or if your dandruff is very severe and your scalp is very itchy, red, or swollen.
You should also visit your GP if you have dandruff and you know that your immune system is weakened, for example, if you’re taking medication that suppresses your immune system.
Your GP can examine your scalp and identify the cause of your dandruff – you might have a skin condition that you don’t know about which will require a stronger treatment. Even if the answer is a higher-strength anti-dandruff shampoo, a little expert advice can be reassuring.
Remember, dandruff is common and nothing to be embarrassed about!
How long does dandruff last?
Dandruff can come and go quickly or can last for a long time, depending on the cause and the treatment you’ve chosen.
Dandruff from dry skin which is not inflamed or itchy can usually be treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo, some of which can reduce the appearance of dandruff after just one wash! However, if your dandruff is the result of a skin condition and you’re treating it with a mild shampoo, it might persist.
Getting rid of dandruff
The most effective way to treat dandruff is with a specially formulated anti-dandruff shampoo. These are often mild and can be used to take care of your scalp every time you wash your hair.
Even if you’re just worried that dandruff might become a problem in future, there’s no reason you can’t use an anti-dandruff shampoo when you wash your hair. We’ll cover some of our favourite anti-dandruff products later.
There are several natural ways to treat dandruff at home, including:
• Coconut oil
• Tea tree oil
• Argan oil
• Aloe vera
Before you decide to treat dandruff with coconut oil, consider the cause of the problem. If your dandruff is severe or is caused by a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, coconut oil might not be the best way to treat it.
If you’re suffering from dry skin dandruff – the kind that produces small flakes – you can use coconut oil to reduce dryness. The best way to use coconut oil for dandruff is to use it as a conditioner.
1. Wash your hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo
2. Apply coconut oil to your scalp and comb it through the rest of your hair
3. Leave on for a few minutes
4. Rinse away thoroughly
Tea tree oil for dandruff
Tea tree oil can help treat dandruff, and many people choose it because it’s a natural alternative to some chemical-based anti-dandruff treatments. To treat your scalp with tea tree oil:
1. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil
2. Massage the mixture into your scalp
3. Let the mix work for ten minutes
4. Wash out thoroughly with an anti-dandruff shampoo
Alternatively, you can mix a couple of drops with some water and spritz the diluted tea tree over your scalp half an hour before showering.
Argan oil for dandruff
Argan oil is highly moisturising and nourishing. If you’re looking for a natural anti-dandruff-aid, you might want to try using argan oil as a treatment. Because it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants, argan oil can help nourish and repair the scalp, reducing dandruff and improving the condition of your hair overall.
If your dandruff is not severe, you can try mixing a few drops of argan oil with coconut oil and applying the solution to your scalp after shampooing. Leave it on for several minutes to work, then rinse away thoroughly.
Many anti-dandruff shampoos are now infused with argan oil. If you’re interested in the benefits of argan oil but don’t feel comfortable using the product in its raw form, you might want to try one of these specially-formulated shampoos.
Aloe vera for dandruff
Aloe vera is favoured in beauty and skincare because it’s a rich source of vitamins and nutrients and because it has natural soothing and moisturising properties. This means aloe vera can help heal and moisturise dry skin on the scalp and can soothe any itchiness too.
When you’re using aloe vera for dandruff, you can either use the gel in its raw form, mix a little gel with some oil or another carrier, or choose a specially formulated anti-dandruff shampoo with aloe vera.
The best hair products for treating dandruff
The easiest way to treat dandruff at home is to swap your regular shampoo and conditioner for an anti-dandruff formula. Here are some of our favourite anti-dandruff shampoos:
After one or a couple of uses, you should start to see a reduction in dandruff and feel that other symptoms, like itchiness, inflammation, or tightness, are also soothed. If dandruff persists for longer than one month, visit your GP for advice.
We’re starting to hear more and more about sulphates in our shampoos and body care products, and we don’t know how to feel. These days, thanks to an increased interest in ‘natural’ beauty and demand for chemical-free products, the shelves are lined with more options than ever boasting ‘free-from’ ingredients. Surely, natural is better?
Here’s where the confusion comes in. There are pros and cons to choosing shampoos which contain sulphates. Pro, sulphates help clean your hair thoroughly and can help make it feel fresh. Con, sulphates can strip your hair of their natural oils, encouraging frizz and weakening colour. It can be difficult to make a decision, particularly when you consider how many of your favourite shampoos contain sulphates.
First things first, let’s understand what sulphates are and what all the fuss is about.
What are sulphates?
Sulphates are chemicals that are commonly used in cleaning products, washing detergents, and, you guessed it, shampoos. While it might seem strange for household cleaning products and shampoos to share any of the same ingredients, sulphates help create the lathering effect we love.
In soaps, sulphates help leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed. In shampoos, sulphates remove oil, dirt, and product build-up while they foam, for hair that feels light and fresh.
If your shampoo lathers up when you wash your hair, there’s a chance that it contains sulphates. If you use a sulphate-free shampoo which still lathers, the formula is simply made using a different type of lathering agent.
So, if sulphate shampoos create the pile of bubbles that we love and make us feel super-clean when we come out of the bath or shower, why would we give them up?
Why can sulphates be bad?
Sulphates have deep cleaning effects, which might seem like a great thing. After all, we wash our hair to get it clean, so why wouldn’t we want to use ingredients that do a good job?
The use of sulphates in shampoo is controversial because frequent exposure can be too effective at washing hair, also stripping away those all-important natural oils. We need some natural oils on our hair and skin to keep them in a healthy condition, and washing with sulphate shampoos can cause damage by removing too much oil.
Many of us use shampoo every day. It’s thought that applying sulphates to your hair and scalp this regularly can cause skin irritation and even allergies by drying out the areas.
Sulphates can also cause problems if they’re used on the wrong type of hair. If your hair is naturally fine or dry, or colour-treated, you might find that sulphate shampoos are too harsh, stripping away the natural oils you need and leaving your hair feeling unhealthy and a little frizzy.
Who should avoid using sulphate shampoo?
Whether you’re trying to cut out chemicals from your beauty regime, looking to prolong the life of your hair colour, or aiming to combat a more specific problem, switching to sulphate-free shampoo might be a good idea. You should consider making the swap if:
1. You have any skin conditions
2. You have dry or fine hair
3. You have colour-treated hair
1. If you have any skin conditions
You might not respond well to sulphate shampoo if you have sensitive skin or any skin conditions. The ingredients, which lather up and remove dirt, can be too much for delicate skin, so you should look for an alternative if you’re worried about having a reaction.
If you have rosacea, eczema, contact dermatitis, or sensitive skin, you might want to avoid using sulphate shampoo. The ingredients can irritate the skin on your scalp as well as on your face, shoulders, and back – anywhere the shampoo touches.
Some people are allergic to sulphates. If this is you, you might notice the following symptoms after using your sulphate shampoo:
2. If you have dry or fine hair
As we’ve already mentioned, if you have dry or fine hair, you might find that the lathery effects of sulphate shampoo strip away too much natural oil from your locks. If you feel like your hair needs a little more moisture, consider switching to a sulphate-free shampoo and see if it makes a difference.
Sulphates are also often blamed for causing frizz. When the ingredients hit your hair, they create a negative electrical charge which can cause frizz. You can take a step towards frizz-free hair by choosing a sulphate shampoo with frizz-reducing ingredients or switching from sulphate shampoo altogether.
3. If you have colour-treated hair
If you have colour-treated hair, we know you’ll do everything you can to maintain your chosen tone. Unfortunately, sulphates in your shampoo might be stripping the colour away from your strands early!
Not only can sulphate-free shampoos help keep your colour strong, but they’re often more moisturising, so can help repair any damage that’s been caused by bleaching or dying.
The best sulphate-free shampoos
If you’ve decided that sulphate-free is for you, choose one of these sulphate-free shampoos and see how much of a difference the switch makes.
Osmo Colour Save Shampoo is sulphate and salt-free and has been formulated specifically for colour-treated hair. Maintain your beautiful colour and shine with this gentle moisturising formula, which contains essential grapefruit and mango oils.
This gentle shampoo has been formulated specifically for colour-treated hair, to increase the staying power of colour and improve vibrancy. It’s sulphate-free, so helps to protect colour by cleaning hair more gently without chemical cleansers.
This sulphate-free shampoo boasts a colour-preserving formula, which cleans hair gently and repairs damage caused by chemicals and environmental impurities. Royal Moroccan Moisturising Shampoo helps banish frizz and protect against humidity, thanks to its argan oil and vitamin E ingredients.
Perfect for curly hair, this sulphate-free shampoo moisturises and nourishes to create stronger, bouncier curls. The product’s blend of natural oils and lack of sulphates mean hair that looks and feels healthier.
If you’re worried about the condition of your hair, or you’re looking to preserve your colour for longer, try switching to a sulphate-free shampoo. With so many great options out there, going sulphate-free doesn’t mean compromising on the effectiveness of your shampoo.
Looking for more beauty tips and tricks? Keep exploring the Fragrance Direct Blog and discover the best skin, hair, and makeup hacks. From our festival survival checklist to our anti-pollution beauty edit, there’s a whole new world of beauty advice waiting for you.
You know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your Halloween makeup when it takes three days to fully remove every last trace of black liner, fake blood and that sprinkling of glitter you thought would “zhush” it up a bit. Becoming someone or something else for Halloween is all part of the fun, but what’s not so fun is the transformation back to reality. Today we’re delivering you some of the best tips around to banish all that makeup so you can jump into bed after your party or night out pronto!
First up is the preparations. Put an old towel down in the bathroom to stand on near the sink to catch any splashes of paint or gooey glue. Lots of heavier products like paint, fake blood and liquid latex are made to come off with good old soap and water so starting with this is always a good option. If you go straight in with wipes, you’ll get yourself in a hot and sticky mess before you’ve even started. FD Recommends: Himalaya Herbals Cucumber Refreshing Soap
After you’ve removed the messier stuff, a few dashes of makeup remover will dig just that little bit deeper to start pulling up traces of makeup, oil and dirt out of your pores. If you’ve got makeup wipes to hand, they will work too but if you’re prone to spots, using a liquid formula with a muslin cloth or cotton pad is a little more hygienic. FD Recommends: Elemis White Flowers Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
If you’ve still got a tacky feeling on your face from glue or thicker gel-like products you’ve used, an oil will solve everything. Run the hot water tap until it starts to get steamy then fully drench a muslin cloth in it. Just before you do that, grab an oil whether it’s another makeup remover in oil form or good old coconut oil, and massage it into your face. Then take the cloth and gently massage in circular motions, rinse, then start wiping away excess makeup. This is a similar process to what’s called a hot cloth cleanse! FD Recommends: Jarrow Formulas Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
In regards to that left-over makeup in your hair, it’s going to have to be a regular shampoo and condition job especially if you’ve used sprays and glitters or anything like that as these products are just going to have to be washed out. It’s worth having a good quality shampoo and conditioner lying around anyway to use day to day to keep your locks in the healthiest condition too. FD Recommends: Love Beauty And Planet Happy & Hydrated Shampoo & Conditioner
Finally, to remove stains from your skin, shaving cream is a miracle-worker. It’s great for large areas as it won’t irritate your skin as much as using toothpaste or nail polish remover which are also other popular products that are used to do a similar thing. When it comes to removing any stains from your clothes, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water will do just the trick. All you have to do is mix it into a paste and rub into your clothing before putting in the washing machine!
Which of these Halloween makeup removal tricks will you be using this year?
Whether you’re a root-to-tip blonde or a mid-tone balayage, if you have bleached hair, you’re probably familiar with those unfortunate yellow, red, or orange tones. We call them ‘brassy tones’ for obvious reasons, and they can be infuriating and difficult to manage if you aren’t sure how to treat your newly coloured hair.
If you’re new to the world of bleach and brassiness, there are some things that you should know about which can help maintain the beautiful shade of your dreams.
Why is your hair going ‘brassy’ a few weeks after bleaching?
Brassiness is most common in naturally dark hair which has been dyed blonde. It can also appear in highlighted hair or dark hair which has been lightened to a lighter shade of brown.
The brassy tones which many of us dread have always been there, dispersed among natural hair pigments, but they only become visible when ammonia and peroxide bleach oxidises darker pigments. When darker pigments are lifted the mid-brassy tones that were once covered up are allowed to appear.
Getting rid of brassy hair at the hairdressers
Even the most talented hairdresser can’t prevent brassiness from creeping through a few weeks after your appointment, which is why many bleachers choose to revisit the salon for frequent toners.
Toner is a deposit of hair colour which stays in place for a few weeks. It’s a great way to test a colour without the commitment of a permanent dye, and it’s also the perfect way to banish brassiness!
Toners are fantastic because they allow you to switch up your hair colour every time. Try a super ashy blonde, a deeper honey shade, or even a warm chocolatey brown – the toner will wash away after a few weeks!
We understand that it’s not always convenient (or affordable!) to head back to the salon for a toning treatment every couple of weeks, but thankfully there are more ways to restore your hair colour.
How does purple shampoo work?
Hair dyes contain red, yellow, and blue colour molecules in different quantities. When brassy tones come through it’s because the blue pigments in your hair dye have faded away more quickly than the warmer tones
Purple shampoo works by neutralising unwanted brassy tones. It’s applied just like a regular shampoo, so you can work to fix your hair at home without the expensive salon appointment.
TIP: Don’t use your purple shampoo more than once a week. Over-depositing the pigments can turn your hair blue or purple.
Wave goodbye to brassy yellow and say hello to super-ashy silver tones with this product by Osmo. Perfect for extremely lightened, grey, or bleached hair, Super Silver No Yellow shampoo has been developed to reduce yellow tones.
Developed to help banish unwanted brassy and yellow tones in bleached hair, this shampoo by forever-favourite Fudge is deeply cleansing. It’s formulated with guarana and a unique Hydrating Hair Drink complex, so it’ll leave your locks looking healthier and more vibrant after every use.
Get more with this new product by Fudge. Combining the benefits of the brands bestselling Clean Blonde and their new Damage Rewind shampoos, this product strengthens while it tackles unwanted yellows – win-win!
One for the brunettes, this blue shampoo is perfect for naturally dark hair that’s suffering from red and orange tones. The unique blue pigment helps lift dark hair more effectively than a purple alternative.
Budget-friendly and great for removing brassy and yellow tones from bleached hair, PRO:VOKE’s Touch of Silver gently cleanses and helps to protect against environmental pollution to keep colour locked in.
Top tips for avoiding brassy tones
While it’s not always possible to completely avoid brassy tones, there are a few things you can do to keep your colour cooler for longer.
1. Use a shampoo for colour-treated hair
When you’re not using your purple or silver shampoo, make sure you choose a product which has been designed specifically for bleached or colour-treated hair. Colour-protecting shampoos are often gentler than regular products and can help maintain your hair colour for a longer period.
2. Keep your hair out of the sun
It’s hard to say no to a little sunshine, particularly if you’re on holiday, but if you want to keep the brassy tones at bay, it’s best to keep your hair in the shade.
Sun exposure can encourage hair colour to fade more quickly, which is likely to make your brassy tones more visible. You can avoid this and keep your hair healthy by covering up with a hat or headscarf or investing in a hair sunscreen.
3. Avoid chlorine
Chlorine is notoriously damaging to hair. By stripping away natural oils, the chemical can leave strands dry and damaged. When your hair is damaged, your hair colour is likely to fade away faster, making those underlying brassy tones more visible.
4. Attach a filter to your shower head
Do you know what’s in your water? When you wash your hair, you might be rinsing with water that contains mineral deposits, including chlorine and iron, which can be drying and can encourage your hair colour to fade.
Using a shower filter can help reduce the minerals which come through with the water, so you can hang onto your cool tones for longer.
TIP: Use our Water Hardness Calculator to see what’s in the water where you live. We’ll even recommend the best products for you based on your hair type and local water hardness!
If you’re thinking about plunging into the world of bleach, make sure you’re prepared for a little brassiness. Don’t worry – it’s super-easy to manage when you’re armed with the right information and products. Stock up on silver shampoo and be prepared to head to the hairdressers a little more regularly and enjoy your new lighter life!