Friday, 13 December 2013

Six Hair Saviours

I'm currently in the midst of one HUGE bad hair day. Actually, it's not even a day, it's more like two months of consistently crap hair; I'm talking static, greasy roots, dry ends and awful mousey roots (I'm sort of rocking my very own and unintentional ombre). To top it all off, its falling out too. In a big way. I sort of expected this as first time round, after baby number one, the same thing happened but I'm convinced it wasn't falling out to this extent. Every time I glance at my Tangle Teezer post-brushing, my heart sinks a little at the amount of hair hugging it. And ponytails look, well, puny.

Anyway, apparently it's all quite normal. The proper term for it is postpartum hair loss; you lose on average 100 hairs a day but, when you're pregnant, your boosted levels of oestrogen (pregnancy hormones) prolong the growing stage, stopping them falling out. However, after you give birth, your oestrogen levels tumble - together with that hair. It's not permanent - experts say by the time your baby is one, your hair will be back to how was it before - but it can be pretty scary when you're losing a handful or so every time you brush and your hairline starts to recede (!)

So what to do? To be honest, there isn't tons you can do bar sit and wait it out. However, I'm using these six things to hide the hair loss and keep my hair in as good condition as it can be.

Tangle Teezer, £10.99 (
I've used this for ages and ages and it's simply brilliant. The cleverly placed teeth on the brush tease out tangles without pulling and leave hair super smooth. There's one just for brushing wet hair too.
Batiste Dry Shampoo Original, £2.99 (
I heart this so much and though I've seen tons of fancier versions, this surpasses them all. I spritz into my roots, massage in a little and then comb through to soak up grease and add much needed texture.

Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection AgeDefy Shampoo, £5.99 (
This  combines Pro-Vitamin B5 and caffeine to thicken and boost the hair. I've been using it about a week and my hair does seem less greasy and definitely a little thicker. Lovely to use too.

Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep, £19.50 ( 
I love, love, love Aveda but this is my all-time favourite hair product. I spray it into damp hair after shampooing and it not only makes brushing easier, it adds a little lift at the roots once my hair is dry.

Weleda Revitalising Hair Tonic, £9.95 (
This natural hair tonic contains rosemary, which apparently stimulates circulation at the scalp to boost growth. I massage in before bed as I'm not too keen on the scent and it feels really refreshing.

Viviscal Maximum Strength Hair Growth Supplements, £49.95 (
I haven't actually tried these protein-packed supplements yet (and actually, I've just read you shouldn't whilst breast feeding) but I really want to - I've heard top stylists absolutely rave about them. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Stretchmarks. Part two.

When you're pregnant, you anticipate and in some cases welcome the changes in your body. Watching as your stomach slowly swells to make room for your growing baby, for instance, is an amazing thing and probably the only time you'll ever love having a proper belly. You're making a baby. You can deal with it later.

Stretchmarks however, are a different kettle of fish. For me, this time round, going full term stretched my stomach to the max and not surprisingly, I've got the stretchmarks to show for it. In all honesty, it doesn't bother me that much and like a little tattoo, they represent an amazing experience. Yet I'd like a little less of them and it's something I'm asked about. A LOT. So here's the real deal.

'Certain lasers can be used to improve the redness associated with fresh stretchmarks,' says top Cosmetic Dermatologist (and my favourite, go-to skincare expert) Dr Sam Bunting. 'And medical needling treatments can help 'fill in' the dips you see with older stretchmarks,' adds Dr Bunting. 'However, multiple treatments are often required and perfection isn't a realistic expectation.'

And creams? 'Stretchmarks basically represent torn elastin fibres in the dermis,' adds Dr Bunting. 'Creams cannot repair this. Topical retinoids can improve the appearance of stretchmarks - but they need to be used for three to six months to make any impact. And of course, retinoids shouldn't be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.' 

So there you have it. Of course, keeping your skin as moisturised as possible during your pregnancy is still worth doing and I swear that applying a little oil post-shower (see my post on stretchmark oils) is worth doing. But they're not miracle workers. So don't become too reliant on them or too despondent when your stretchmarks aren't shifting.

Follow Dr Sam Bunting's skincare blog at