Natural Colour Works hair dye and salon review

When my local Aveda salon closed in October I was forced to find a new hairdressers to keep my not-a-natural-redhead secret. I had read a piece by Imelda Burke (founder of natural store Content Beauty) in the Telegraph of the best natural … Continue reading

Love + Salt = new natural perfume obsession

Love+Salt Amongst The Waves natural perfume

Another intro from A Beautiful World’s spring/summer sampler box, Love + Salt Amongst the Waves by Olivine Atelier was a chance discovery that I’m never letting go of. Billed as a beach hair and body mist, many swear by its … Continue reading

My natural hair care routine

After years of trying to tame my wild curls I finally have my hair routine nailed. So here’s a walkthrough of the products that are giving me happy hair days, with some tips I’ve picked up along the way. Hair … Continue reading

Not so Lush shampoos and conditioners

I don’t normally post bad reviews – I usually just relegate the fails to the bathroom bin and move on. But the Lush shampoos and conditioners are so bad that I feel compelled to get word out there. About a … Continue reading

Moroccan retreat in SW1

If there was one thing I badly needed last week it was a bit of pampering. And fortunately for me I live just around the corner from The Spa at Dolphin Square, a Moroccan inspired haven with a traditional hammam and rhassoul, and a range of treatments.

Once we had changed into the dressing gowns and slippers provided we took part in the traditional Moroccan hand washing ceremony before chilling in the relaxation room with mint tea, dates and almonds.

I had booked in for the Argan Facial, which uses La Sultane de Saba products. La Sultane de Saba take their inspiration from beauty secrets from far-flung places. As a result they smell AMAZING! (The Spa told me the brand uses only natural ingredients but I haven’t been able to check myself. They are paraben-free, according to the website.)

For the next 55 minutes I was treated to a supremely relaxing facial. As my face was ‘steamed’ Monica, my therapist, massaged my feet and during the face mask I was given a head massage. A facial, reflexology session and an Indian head massage in one treatment! At the end Monica left me to rest for a bit before taking me back to the relaxation room. Bliss. There was no hard sell on the products afterwards either. Just a friendly recommendation to use lavender oil on any spots to clear them up quickly and safely.

I’ve had a few treatments at The Spa and none have disappointed; the therapists are highly knowledgeable and very friendly to boot. What I particularly love is the way you feel like you’ve been transported to a genuine Moroccan retreat when you go in. Everything from the lighting to the decor lets you slip away from the hectic pace outside. Well worth a visit.

Argan Facial, £75 for 55 minutes, The Spa at Dolphin Square.

Tease those tangles out!

It’s a bit outside the remit of what I’d normally review but this is such a great product that I’m making an exception.
The Tangle Teezer has been around for a while but since I only tackle my mop when I wash it the craze sort of passed me by. But now Tangle Teezer has released Aqua Splash, designed for the shower. I’ve never used a brush like it; it (mostly) glided through my knots in a fraction of the time a standard comb or brush would take. Use it with your conditioner and you’ll feel like you’ve had a treatment. It could be a coincidence, but I also lost less hair than usual.

Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash: from £10.25-£13.99

Available from: The cheapest one I found was on Amazon (search for Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash) but Boots, Tangle Teezer and Feel Unique are all stockists.

Luscious locks with almond oil

A few weeks ago I was extolling the virtues of almond oil as a bathroom must have in my review of budget body moisturisers. And now I’ve discovered its stellar hair styling capabilities!

I’d run out of my expensive hair oil and I thought, “why not give the almond oil a go?” The results were fabulous (see shameless selfie below). I used a 50 pence sized dollop and ran it through my hair with my fingers, staying clear of the roots to avoid greasiness. Same sort of principle as applying a frizz serum…almond-hair

Imagine the packing space I will save on holiday with a moisturiser, make-up remover and hair oil all in one product! Not to mention the pennies. Try it!

Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil: £6.99 for 200ml

Natural credentials: Pure almond oil with added vitamin E.

Available from: Holland & Barrett, both in-store and online.

Colour me beautiful…

OK, so I’m just going to come straight out with it. The other night I cheated. On my hairdresser…

I’ve been using L’Oreal’s INOA hair dyes for years, brazenly masquerading as a red-head when I am, in fact, a mousey brunette. I thought that INOA’s ammonia-free colour was about as gentle as permanent salon colour could get. But after my last colour treatment I had a really bad reaction. I’ve always suffered discomfort both during and after hair colouring, but this was even more intense than usual and I spent most of the night rubbing oil into my scalp desperately trying to calm it down. My titian days were numbered.

Or so I thought…I remembered a friend who had raved about Aveda so I did a bit of research and discovered that Aveda’s permanent hair colour uses plant-based dyes and is 97% natural. I can live with a measly 3% ‘unnatural’ if it keeps my roots at bay so I trotted along to my local Gina Conway Aveda salon on the King’s Road. Obligatory patch test successfully completed and sold on the Aveda hair colour philosophy I waited for my appointment to come around.

The colouring session started with a relaxing massage and a cup of Aveda’s own ayurvedic tea. So far, so good. As the colour went on I smelt the overpowering whiff of ammonia. Technically, ammonia is a natural ingredient, but I still felt a bit duped. And a familiar tingle spread across my scalp…

BUT after a moment the discomfort passed (apparently this is normal) and the rest of the session was tingle-free! And the colour was fantastic.

Shiny happy hair!

That night my scalp and I slept happily. I didn’t even feel like I’d had colour put on. Never had my head felt so comfortable after salon colouring.  All these years I thought ammonia was the enemy but it was the other chemical nasties. Hoorah!

My best friend, Inma, followed my lead and had her colour done at Gina Conway in Westbourne Grove. She too was thrilled with the results, “It’s soooo shiny!”

Thanks to all the uber friendly staff at Gina Conway Aveda salon on the King’s Road for the fabulous treatment.

Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve used quite a few Dr. Organic products (available at Holland & Barrett) over the years with varying results. In general, I’m not a big fan of their shampoos…

Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Unfortunately, their Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo is no exception. It’s very difficult to work through the hair and lather, despite the fact it’s got sodium lauroyl sarcosinate in it (so not that natural). My (dry and curly) hair felt really “stripped” after I rinsed it, which isn’t what I expected from a product with ‘oil’ in its title. Maybe this would suit very greasy hair types.

The smell was another bugbear; I felt like I’d been transported back to one of those hippy shops from the 90s where you buy incense sticks and suns and moons to hang on your walls. Woof.

But I had a total Jekyll and Hyde moment when I used the conditioner! Pow! It smelt divine: spicy, (that’ll be the clove oil), exotic and good enough to eat! Its detangling properties were also fantastic – I used less than I normally would and it was knots out and smooth hair in. No mean feat when you consider my curly and coarse mop of locks.

There’s lots of hype about argan oil and I wouldn’t like to say whether this was the magic ingredient or not. But I would certainly rate this conditioner. On a recent trip to Morocco we picked up gallons of argan oil and I’ll be putting it to the (not terribly scientific) test soon. More in coming weeks.

Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner: £5.99 each

Natural credentials: Lots of natural and organic ingredients and free from parabens but contains sodium lauroyl sarcosinate to get the shampoo foaming, which didn’t even work. Think of these as naturally inspired and striving to be as nasties-free as possible without compromising on performance, rather than 100% bona fide chemical-free.

Available from: Holland & Barrett