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Salon Review: MANEA, Hyderabad

My hair style has pretty much been the same forever – long, straight to wavy hair. I decided to go short, after an insane amount of prolonged coaxing from my beloved friends and family (Thank you for that!!!).  Now that my mind was made up, I needed to find the right place because my previous attempts at going short backfired. I decided to go to Manea, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, where I had my hair smoothened a couple of years ago and it was one of the best results I’ve ever gotten from a keratin/smoothening treatment.  The stylists are extremely skilled, well informed and have tonnes of experience to match it.

Following a hair wash, which certainly doubled up as a phenomenal head massage, I proceeded to have my hair transformed.  My stylist, Prasad, analysed my hair type and the look I desired – low maintenance hair with volume, bounce, lots of movement yet long enough to be tied up into a chic bun. A bunch of quick snips later, that is exactly what I got. It is the shortest I’ve ever gone but still long enough for my default hairstyles – a low braid or a bun. He showed me the most effective ways to style it with no heat and minimal number of products.

I was delighted to rediscover Manea and even more so, to know that the quality of service remains remarkable. It is going to be my go to salon for all my hair style needs as I’m certain that I will leave looking and feeling fabulous!!!

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ARGAN OIL: THE MULTI-TASKING MIRACLE OIL

Oils have formed an integral part of beauty regimen in many cultures for centuries. They may be extracted from seeds, nuts, fruits and flowers, are beneficial in skincare, hair care and general well-being, owing to their versatile healing, antiseptic, nourishing, protecting, skin renewing properties and mood lifting effects.

A staple in the lives of the Berbers (an indigenous tribe from Morocco), Argan oil has gained popularity worldwide owing to its extensive benefits to health, skin and hair and is often termed “Liquid gold”. The argan fruit is dried in the sun, cracked open using stones, yielding the argan nut, which is roasted, ground, pressed and filtered to make the oil. The argan growing region has been designated as a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO. This oil is extracted from the kernals, in a labour intensive manner by the Berber women, which makes it a rare and expensive oil. Due to this, it is often mixed with other carrier oils when used in skincare and haircare.

Argan oil is rich in unsaturated fats, carotenoids, Vitamin E (higher content than in olive oil) and anti-oxidants. It finds application in cooking, hair and skin care. It is known to have nourishing, moisturising, scar-removing, skin-renewing and anti-ageing properties which has made it a staple in the skin and hair regimes of the women of Morocco. Carotenoids, a form of Vitamin A help promote cell renewal, thereby evening out skin tone and preventing signs of ageing. In addition to assisting in fading marks, regulating oil production, enhancing skin tone and improving the texture of the skin, it functions as a multi-tasker in hair care as well. It conditions the hair, adds shine, detangles, smoothens the hair cuticle. It is light weight, easily absorbed by the skin and hair and is non-comedogenic.

Argan oil can be incorporated at any stage in a beauty routine:

  • a serum or a moisturiser for the face;
  • body oil;
  • hair oil or an after-wash hair serum;
  • nail & cuticle oil; and;
  • face cleansing oil.

Owing to its versatile benefits and diverse uses, many brands feature product lines containing argan oil. This miracle oil multi-tasker has paved its way into beauty regimen of women across the globe, and, is certain to find itself a permanent place.

Schwarzkopf Syoss Volume &Lift Shampoo and Conditioner

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Syoss Volume & Lift shampoo and conditioner duo are aimed at giving voluminous appearance to hair while being nourishing yet light. The shampoo cleanses without drying out the scalp/hair and is silicone free. The conditioner nourishes the hair without weighing it down. The combination is quite effective, with visible results right from the first wash. The only downside is the fragrance, which reminds one of cough syrup. Thankfully, it doesn’t linger on after the wash! A good product worth the price and quantity i.e INR 1400 for the duo of 500ml bottles.

Review: Philips Kerashine Air Styler

Having been an advocate of low maintenance hairstyles forever, I was forced resort to hair stylers with the onset of the monsoons, which turned my otherwise maintenance free straight shiny locks into a frizzy heap of straw. After exhausting all traditional methods like pinning up hair, buns, pony tails, braids etc., I decided to let go of my out-of-bed, no hair styling routine, and actually put in some effort to make my hair presentable. 

I use a blow dryer on the lowest setting to dry my hair since air drying causes intense headaches and frizzy looking hair. This worked for years, most of the time without the use of a hair brush. But the humidity and rising pollution levels caused my hair to look greasy and frizzy all at once. 

I decided this was the time to give hair Stylers a shot and ordered the Philips Kerashine Air Styler from Amazon. And this by far, has been my best hair styling purchase ever!!!! 

  
It is a blow dryer with a brush with two heat settings. The air is no warmer than a normal hair dryer and the brush doesn’t cause hair breakage. I use it on towel dried hair and my hair was back to its sleek shiny self within 10 mins. It took me 10 mins since I have hip length fine straightish hair. The time taken will vary based on your hair texture, length, thickness etc. 
I used no products other than a hair serum and my hair feels soft and shiny with absolutely no flyaways!!! I would definitely recommend this product- it’s reasonably priced( between INR 1200-2400, depending on where you source it from), cuts down hair styling time and is the perfect tool for anyone who wants tamed straight hair with a tad bit of bounce which flat irons do not offer!!

Schwarzkopf Gliss Million Gloss Shampoo

Attempts to induce gloss into my mane continue, and in this quest, my next encounter is the Schwarzkopf Gliss Million Gloss Shampoo with liquid keratin. This unmissable glitzy bottle caught my eye and since my hair was lacking the glitz factor, attributable to the schizophrenic weather I have been subject to lately, I decided to give it a shot.

    

The light consistency paired with the refreshing hit of aqua is possibly the antidote to the grimy, and polluted monsoons of this age. It is a very mild shampoo and if your hair is thick or if it has been oiled, you might need to use it more than once or twice to effectively cleanse the scalp and hair. That being said, it makes for the perfect daily shampoo. My hair isn’t very shiny after having used this shampoo but it isn’t too harsh on my hair either. 
I definitely expected a lot more from this product, but I’m giving it the benefit of doubt because of the schizo weather and I’m willing to offer it a second shot. Or may be I am being biased towards glitzzz…….

Organix Biotin and Collagen thickening shampoo

Despite being utterly oblivious to the influx of organic/sulphate free/paraben free products in the market, the sudden flurry of news articles about traces of heavy metals in our daily food items and cosmetics, have given me the necessary push to make a shift to safe cosmetics (to the extent possible). I decided to make  a start with shampoo. This choice was mainly because, over the years my hair had become the recipient of unwarranted chemical treatments, exposure to harsh pollutants and sunlight, which has surely done a number on it. Living in the most polluted city in the world showed its effects after only a few months when my naturally straight, soft hair became unruly, rebellious, dry and unmanageable. Since my hair was thin lately, I decided to try the Organix Biotin and Collagen thickening shampoo. 


  

I’m not entirely sure how effective biotin and collagen can be when applied externally for such a short duration of time, but the shampoo was mild, effective and definitely left my otherwise fine hair with a lot of bounce. It has a mild fragrance and is gentle enough to be used everyday yet manages to cleanse the oils/masks from the hair effectively. The packaging is adorable, especially since the shampoo is a fainter shade of the bottle colour itself.

The price (Rs. 725/- for a 385 ml bottle) is affordable for the quantity provided. It is a definite repurchase for me( I have already got my mom hooked on to it as well)

Organix Renewing Moroccan oil intensive treatmen

This intensive hair mask is loaded with argan oil and is relatively chemical free. It is creamy in texture but not very thick and as moisturising as I’d like it to be. However, when used as a pre-wash mask, it definitely moisturises much better. It has no distinct smell as such. This may work well for people with sensitive hair/scalp, but, I prefer scented hair products!

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I’m keen to try out the rest of the hair products by Organix and this one is definitely worth a try, especially since the Indian market currently provides only a selected range of argan oil products.