Monday, 19 December 2011

Business, Politics, Sex and Science: 5 Fresh Ideas For Your Hair

I thought you might be cruising towards a few days of leisure time ... maybe.

So if you've got some time to chill out in your jimmy jams and surf the internet, here are 5 articles to get your creative juices flowing in the hair department.

Shoot, you may decide to toss your iPad aside and go experiment with some new styles. It's a great time of year for it.

Happy reading!

Corporette has a really great blog for you overachieving type businesswomen, giving fashion tips and career/lifestyle advice that is *actually* useful. In this post she opens a discussion about stylish professional women who have inspired you in your life.

Total Beauty posted this slide show of celebrities working the red carpet with hair accessories in a way that is acheivable and simple. Great ideas here for your New Year's Eve out (or in, heck!)

The Beauty Brains has been a long-time favourite online read for me. Want to know the real scoop on pretty much any beauty product? Check here first for a no-BS look at all things cosmetic. In this post she answers the question "Why is soap bad for hair?"

Sexy hair secrets. Find out what men really love about women's hair, from The Daily Mail Online.

Hillary Clinton And The Claw. The most controversial post of 2011 from the Stone Bridge blog. And my follow-up with How To Do The Hillary Style ... The *Right* Way.

Visit Stone Bridge for some pretty nifty-looking hair clips

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

7 Secrets To Better Looking Hair

The classic cartoon image of a woman losing it always shows her hair going madly awry. Indeed, I once came across some guidance for (male) medical consultants on how to spot post-natal depression, with messy hair topping the list.

Hair, for women, is an important part of our self-identity. It cannot be denied that how we feel about our hair on a day-to-day basis can set the tone for the entire day ahead.

Whether you're scrubbing up for the commute or morning school run, knowing that your hair looks great provides a bedrock of confidence that will pull you through a stressful day.

Knowledge of a few simple tricks and techniques can help you wrest control back over your hair, and your self esteem.

1. Work With Your Texture

A leading cause of damage, not to mention frustration, is styling your hair against it's natural texture. If you have straight hair, accept its straightness and opt for daily styling that works best for this type. If you have curly or wavy hair, make sure you have a cut that compliments your hair's natural tendencies.

Forcing your hair into a style which is opposite it's nature requires heat, strong styling products as well as time and effort. This is all very well for special occasions, when going to town with a style is part of the fun of dressing up. But for a daily routine, your hair will be better behaved for you if you appreciate what your natural texture brings to the table.

2. Choose Hair Accessories That Aren't Just Pretty

Most high street hair clips are designed only with fashion in mind. The reality is hair clips, like your shoes, have to actually work hard and stand up to more wear and tear than a belt or piece of jewellery.

Hair clips and headbands which can handle your hair, whether it is very fine or very thick, won't have to be frequently readjusted during your busy day. Ideally you should be able to do your hair so that you won't need to fix it again at least until lunchtime, if not until cabernet o'clock.

3. Know Your Face Shape

Hair styles, like dresses, flatter different shapes. Knowing what looks best for your face and profile will easily make you look younger and more groomed than having the wrong style.

Longer hair simply worn down can be aging, so playing with updos, half-back styles and different ways of parting your fringe are very worth the time. Ask friends and your stylist for advice, as it is easier for them to see you from all angles.

4. Exercise Damage Control

Most damage to hair is caused by salon treatments, such as colouring and permanents, followed next by mishandling your hair when it is wet, such as using a brush or straightening irons on wet hair.

Your hair can generally tolerate one form of abuse, but not both. If you colour your hair, go easy on heat styling. If you are addicted to your straighteners, you should avoid any chemical processes to your hair.

If you can manage to give up both, your hair will reward you with less (or even eliminating) breakage as well as becoming increasingly easy to style as the internal structure of the hair will be stronger and more resilient.

5. Listen To Your Stylist

Stylists are usually at the mercy of the demands of clients, faithfully delivering whatever you ask them to do.

They are really untapped resources of information about current styling trends. A good stylist will keep up to date with cutting techniques and be able to help you evolve your look so you stay on trend. At least once a year, talk to your stylist for some ideas that might work for you. They'll be so glad you asked!

6. Use Your Mirror

Mirrors should be your second best friend (after your diamonds, natch). Invest in a great hand-held mirror. The best is about the size of a normal A4 size of paper as it will give you a good view of the back of your head, but not be too heavy to hold.

Check your hair before leaving the house: front, back and sides. Don't rely on how you look just face on. The rest of the world doesn't see you only from the front.

7. Broaden Your Repertoire

You don't have just one outfit in your cupboard. Why only put your hair up in the same old style all the time?

Knowing a variety of ways to wear your hair up or back means you will have more fun with your hair, but you will also have more tools in your arsenal to deal with a bad hair day quickly and easily.

At Stone Bridge, we have a whole library of videos and "how to" articles on our blog.

If you want a personalised crash course, it is well worth investing in our full-service personal consultation. We will come to you and work out a whole range of styles that not only look good specifically on your, we will take the time to make sure you can create these styles yourself easily.

Exercising these seven secrets will transform your relationship with your hair. Have you got any tips for better looking hair? Share them in the comments so we can all look and feel better!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Disappointing Headband

A Call From A Disappointed Customer Who Wanted To *Keep* Her Stone Bridge Headband

Classic Tortoiseshell Headbands
I had a phone call from a new customer who received one of our Super Comfy Skinny Headbands this week.

She wanted to tell me about how it actually didn't work for her.

First, this is great stuff. We love, of course, hearing about how successful our products are for you.

We also really value hearing about "when hair clips go bad."

This helps us make better recommendations for all the rest of our customers, so we truly like to know how you and your Stone Bridge hair accessories are getting along, if indeed you are getting along.

The Disappointing Headband

This customer has a graduated bob style hair cut. This means it is layered and short behind her neck and longer towards her chin. She also has fine hair.

When she first came to us, she explained that she loves headbands but they always hurt behind her ears.

Ouch! I hate that feeling. Don't you?

Melissa Recommends ...

I explained for our fine haired customers, generally we recommend the try the Super Comfy Skinny Headband. The material is very flexible and it will gradually conform to the shape of your head as it warms up from your own body heat.

This quality is no good at all for you if you have thick hair because your headband will lose the oomph it needs to work at holding the weight of your hair back from your face. The headband will become too loose on your head and slip forward.

So annoying!

However, if you have fine hair, as you already know your hair has very little weight to push out against the band. So in general we find this design suits fine hair very well.

But, you will recall my customer commented that all other headbands hurt those bones behind her ears.

While our headbands are very soft, or our metal headbands can be easily reshaped for comfort, some people are very sensitive in this spot and the sad truth is if you have this problem you will struggle to find a traditional headband that will work for you without hurting.

The Headband Test

My lady did decide to try the Super Comfy Skinny Headband and I assured her that if it didn't work out, she could of course return it for a full refund. No problem.

Today she rang and shared the sad news that even our headband caused her pain.


Send it back, I told her.

But no, she wanted to persevere with it. How long would she need to wear it, she asked, before it reshaped itself? Perhaps that would solve the problem?

Well, I'm a big believer in hard work and perseverance, but physical pain is kind of my limit.

I don't think people should suffer for a headband.

(Shoes, on the other hand, that's another scenario entirely ...)

Get The Dern Headband To Fit

So I shared with her how we reshape headbands here at Stone Bridge if and when we need to.

Cellulose, the material which is used to make our French handmade hair accessories, is easily softened by heat.

So you can reshape pretty much any of our products by warming them slightly, like near - never directly on - a radiator. You want to put the piece in the desired shape, so for flexing headbands out you can use a rolled up towel or sofa cushion.

To tighten a headband back up, lay it flat on a soft surface with a ribbon tied round to just gently pull in the sides.

For flattening a French pleat comb or U pin which may have gotten twisted in the hair, we use a heavy magazine, such as the September edition of Vogue.

Check your headband, or whatever you're reshaping, twice a day.

Again, don't put your hair clips and accessories directly on a heat source as you can melt them. We know from sad experience!

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Or, check out some of our independent customer reviews ... (and write your own!)