Categories
Hair Reviews

Mermaid Marissa: I Tried Three of Amika’s Hair Masks

“Try this,” read the note attached to my Amazon package. I would have been more baffled had this not become a routine. Tess, the QUILL Editor-in-Chief (and my best friend), is known to send random care packages… and beauty products for reviews to share with QUILL readers. I’m not complaining though — she knows exactly what I need when I need it. This is why I was thrilled to unbox Amika’s Soulfood, Flash, and The Kure hair masks, which would (hopefully) help my very sad strands. 

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Living on a sailboat can take a toll on your hair, from wind tangling it to the sun bleaching it. I love my life afloat, but my hair definitely needed a little extra love to keep it looking fab.

So, after I unboxed my goodies, I went straight to the shower to try out the biggest one: the Soulfood Nourishing Mask.

amika soulfood hair mask

SOULFOOD – $30

This ultra-luxurious hair mask is rich and creamy, yet doesn’t weigh hair down. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients to condition the hair making it soft, silky, and smoother than ever (thus its Soulfood name!) According to Amika’s website, Soulfood is “perfect for all hair types, especially those in need of deep hydration,” aka: me. Oh, and not only does it feel good but it smells good too! Keeping your locks smelling lovely all day long. Big win.

In addition to the Soulfood mask, Tess sent me the Flash Instant Shine Mask, which gives brilliant shine, softens, and hydrates hair in just 60 seconds… or so it says.

amika the flash instant shine hair mask

FLASH – $26

Honestly, I was more impressed with the Superfood, which definitely deeply hydrated my hair. The Flash mask was more liquid-like, and it worked better as a leave in product rather than a mask. I personally did not notice any extra “shine,” but I did appreciate another nice smelling product, especially when the wind ruffled my hair. 

I was 1 for 1 with one last mask to test: The Kure Intense Bond Repair Mask.

amika the kure bond repairing hair mask

THE KURE – $36

As mentioned, my hair dwells in a rough environment which unfortunately leads to a lot of dryness and breakage. I was really excited to give The Kure a shot, especially with Amika’s clinically proven promise to strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and prevent future damage. Made for people like me that have damaged hair due to everyday heat, environmental stressors, and chemical treatments, I was all about it!

On top of its clinically-proven benefits, it swears to be relatively fast acting. This rinse-out treatment doubles as a leave-in to strengthen your strands and repair damage in a mere 60 seconds. Multi-tasking has never been so easy, and I definitely recommend The Kure. 

My review’s bottom line: I was impressed with this product line and look forward to keeping Amika in my hair care routine, no matter where in the world I sail!

Marissa on boat with hair down


We hope my review of Amika’s hair masks with convince you to save your strands! Have you tried these masks? Did they help your hair? Sound off in the comments!


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Categories
Guests Hair

Guest Article: Can CBD Shampoos Help Your Hair?

Across the haircare industry, more consumers are trending toward products that rely on natural ingredients rather than conventional synthetic compounds in shampoos and conditioners — natural ingredients like cannabidiol, or CBD.

A major driving factor in this market shift is, according to new research, that numerous hair and scalp conditions can be aggravated or even caused by common shampoo ingredients like sulfates (which are added for lather) and parabens (which extend shelf life).

Excessive hair fall or hair loss is a common concern in hair care. Hair growth can slow or stop for a number of reasons, including environmental and hormonal changes, stress and shrinking hair follicles.

Shopping for a shampoo that can control hair loss usually involves a grueling amount of trial and error, but recent studies have shown that shampoos containing CBD may be an effective solution to many root (pun intended) causes of hair loss.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of CBD and how CBD shampoos may help mitigate hair loss — as well as some easy ways to maximize the beneficial effects of CBD shampoos.

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What is CBD?

CBD is a naturally-derived cannabinoid that can be found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. It’s currently available in a wide range of user-friendly formats like unflavored drops, creams, and roll-ons.

CBD’s medicinal and therapeutic potential comes from its influence on the endocannabinoid system (ECS); specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptor groups within the ECS. These receptors control and regulate essential bodily functions like sleeping, hormone production and immune response. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been shown to have a variety of therapeutic properties including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.


What Are The Benefits Of CBD Shampoos?

 
 
 
 
 
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CBD may be able to effectively minimize hair loss and thinning in two ways: by helping mitigate hair loss and encouraging regrowth. Below, we’ll go over some of the research into the mechanisms that make this possible.

Diminishing Hair Loss

A 2007 study done by the University of Debrecen in Hungary shows that “human scalp HF, intriguingly, are both targets and sources of endocannabinoid.” Their study strongly suggests that exploiting CB1 antagonists may work to counteract hair loss.

CBD has been found to be a potent CB1 antagonist in a study done by the Institute of Medical Sciences in Aberdeen, UK.

Controlling Inflammation

Multiple studies have shown CBD to be a beneficial anti-inflammatory agent. Scalp inflammation is a leading cause of conditions such as scalp folliculitis. The moderate to severe hair follicle irritation inflammation causes is what’s most responsible for the accompanying hair loss.

Inflammation-driven damage generally interferes with the scalp’s ability to nourish hair roots because of the itchiness, burning sensations, flaking, or sensitivity it causes. This irritation can disrupt normal hair growth, causing follicles to weaken and die prematurely.

Amplifying Hair Growth

Recent studies suggest that the ECS may play a key role in the growth of hair follicles. A case study published by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery found that topical application of CBD caused a “93.5% increase in nonvellus hair after 6 months of daily use.”


How to Maximize the Benefits of CBD Shampoo

The purpose of using shampoo isn’t simply to get rid of dirt and excess oils, but also to infuse its key ingredients into your hair and scalp for improved hair health. Let’s close out the article with a few key tips to help you get the most out of your CBD shampoo.

  • Use warm water for the initial rinse. This helps to open the cuticles and the pores in your scalp, which greatly improves CBD absorption.
  • Take your time gently massaging the shampoo into your scalp and hair. It’s important to avoid rushing, since it can cause you to use excessive pressure and greatly diminish the amount of exposure your scalp and hair get to beneficial ingredients like CBD in shampoos.
  • Only use your finger pads, not your fingertips, when massaging the scalp. This helps prevent unnecessary friction which could irritate sensitive hair follicles.
  • Use lukewarm or cool water for your final rinse. This causes both the hair cuticle and pores in your scalp to close, locking in moisture and resulting in fewer stray hairs.

Washing your hair correctly not only helps to strengthen your roots and eradicate germs and dirt from the scalp, but also allows you to reap the benefits of CBD shampoos.

If you’re unsure whether CBD products are right for you, consult your physician to avoid potential conflicts with your existing medication or supplementation regimen.

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Have you tried using CBD shampoos, and if so, did you see the benefits? Tell us about your experience in the comments!


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Categories
Hair

Depression Doesn’t Mean Matted Hair – Try These 3 Styles

I remember reading a story about a girl who had depression that was so bad, her hair was matted to the nth degree. She was hopeless, telling the salon to chop it all off because there was no way to save it.

They saved her hair instead. Did it take 13 hours? Yes it did. But the result was beautiful. Matted hair was no match against salon workers who were ready to fight the results of a teenager’s deep depression.

Matted hair is common when you’re depressed, because when you’re suffering from depression… well, why would you want to do anything? Hygiene becomes the least of any depressed person’s concerns. Who cares if it’s been weeks since they brushed my teeth? (My response to dark episodes.) Who cares if the shower hasn’t been touched in days? 

And that leads to the question: when you don’t even want to get out of bed, what’s the point in brushing your hair to perfection – especially when you’re just going to lie back on your pillow and mess it up again?

If this sounds like you – first, I feel it. Second of all, there are many haircuts and hairstyles to wear when you’re feeling depressed. These are my favs that I rock on the rougher days.

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Braids

Braids are a great depression style that stop matted hair in its tracks. They stay in place, legit look cute when there are flyaways, and generally hide the fact that you haven’t washed your scalp in… awhile. We recommend french braids, milkmaid braids, or (if you wouldn’t be appropriating, because that’s never okay!) boxer braids.

@qurlyqueues i’m taking all of y’all to the cornrowing promise lands with me 🫴🏾 #fyp#cornrowing#naturalhair#hairtutorial ♬ original sound – sped up songs<3
@bailey__reagan Replying to @catrinaashley tell me why i attempted this with wet hair🤦🏼‍♀️ but i hope this helps!!! follow for more hair tutorials and comment what i should teach next🤍 #hairtok #hairtutorial #frenchbraids #ReTokforNature ♬ original sound – bailey reagan
@gingersnark Reply to @shirelifewithchas Easiest milkmaid braids ever!! #fyp #hairtutorials #princesscore ♬ Lofi – Domknowz

Top Bun

Everyone loves a messy bun, and when your whole life is a lil messy, why not pair the two? It’s a match made in depression heaven. Messy buns are easy to style – you can make them as loose or as tight as you want, and little strands falling out look chic, not like sh*t. If you have shorter hair, you can pull your hair into a low bun instead. (Any bun looks cute, tbh.)

@giolormon Reply to @_santiago.alr_ ♬ Lovely Day – Bill Withers
@angelmirandafr How to do a perfect man bun 💇🏽‍♂️ works for girls too lol #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #manbun #howto ♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber

Buzzcut

If you don’t want to grow your hair out to wear these styles, your short hair is unmanageable, or you simply want to start fresh, consider a buzzcut! This does not mean you’re giving up on taking care of your hair – it simply means you know what you can handle, and matted hair from depression ain’t it.

Plus, buzzcuts show you’re willing to try new things, and that’s impressive when you’re experiencing a depressive episode. High five yourself for this!

@mozarellatits thanks dad <3 also the shaved sideburns to buzzcut pipeline is real #buzzcut #yassification #nonbinary #urge ♬ original sound – 𝔩𝔢𝔵𝔲𝔰
@yazminhow Shave your damn head #buzzcut #shavedhead #bleach ♬ original sound – UR NEW DAD

Long story short, you don’t have to settle for matted hair when going through depression. With a variety of hairstyles available to try out, you can avoid massive detangling (though we have a list of products that will help should it come to that) and painful brushing. You’ve got this – we believe in you 100%.


Have you ever struggled with matted hair while you were depressed? How did you deal? Tell us below.


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Does Adderall Cause Hair Loss? Here’s The Scoop
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Categories
Hair

Does Adderall Cause Hair Loss? Here’s The Scoop

Many types of medications can cause hair loss, but do stimulants – like Ritalin or Adderall – count as one of them?

As I did my digging for Mental Illness Awareness Week, looking for common questions those with mental illnesses have regarding beauty topics, one that kept popping up was whether or not Adderall causes hair loss.

 

I take Ritalin for my ADHD (yep, I have ADHD too, surprise!), and I have never noticed hair loss from the stimulant. However, many wonder whether Adderall is the reason they’re losing hair faster than they switch sentence topics in the same convo. 

Curious as ever, I’ve done the research to find the truth on Adderall and hair loss. Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Can Adderall Cause Hair Loss?

Long story short: it’s complicated. 

Yes, Adderall can, on occasion, cause hair loss in those who take it for ADHD and/or narcolepsy. There isn’t clinical research on the topic – just reports of it by those who take it. Some report that they stopped losing hair once they switched from Adderall to a different medication – indicating that, yep, hair loss is a real thing.

But it may not be the medication’s chemistry itself: it can also stem from the behaviors caused by the stimulant. For example, some people may start pulling out their hair – a disorder called trichotillomania – due to the side effects of Adderall. The med can lead to compulsive behaviors as coping mechanisms for side effects, like anxiety and even overstimulation from a high dose of Adderall.

Another cause for hair loss may be a lack of nutrients, caused by Adderall’s decrease in appetite. By lacking the nutrients necessary to continue growing luscious locks, like vitamins B and E, as well as biotin and zinc, hair may begin falling out.


Is Adderall Hair Loss Reversible?

Good news: if you go off Adderall – under your doctor’s supervision, ofc – you’ll most likely end up growing that hair back. Be it due to the side effects of the medication’s chemistry or the side effects it causes – like compulsive hair pulling – you have the chance of re-growing your strands after switching medications.

But like with acne and Lithium, it’s important to do a real check-in: is the medication working? Is it making life easier? Is the efficacy of Adderall worth the hair loss? Think this over, talk your thoughts through with a therapist, and then decide whether or not you’re ready to make a major switch. Plus, talking to a therapist when you’re compulsively pulling your hair out is beneficial as well!

@dr.morea Reply to @lottie..amber hair pulling? #trichotillomania #anxietytok #socialanxietycheck #therapistsontiktok #therapistoftictok #hairpulling #hairpulling101 ♬ Forever – Labrinth

If you do decide to stay on Adderall, there are products that can help strengthen hair that isn’t falling out (claims that there are products to regrow your hair are controversial and not scientifically-proven, yet). We love these!

Shampoos

Conditioners

Hair Masks

Hair Serums & Oils


Have you experienced hair loss with any medications, similar to Adderall? What hair products do you recommend to keep hair strong? Share advice in the comments!


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Categories
Hair

Here’s The 411 On Hair Slugging

When you hear the words “hair” and “slug,” there’s a good chance you wouldn’t assume that they’d go together, especially when talking about caring for your hair.  While flaunting a rather unglamorous name, this new 2022 trend called hair slugging seems to have some pretty glamorous effects when it comes to moisturizing your hair.  

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What Is Hair Slugging?

 
 
 
 
 
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Hair slugging is a deep hydration treatment for your hair, and it is meant to seal and lock in moisture to give it a silky, soft look to your hair.  This is especially helpful if your hair is damaged, dehydrated, or if your hair is just in need of some tender loving care. 


How Did Hair Slugging Become A Thing?

As with most trends these days, hair slugging became popular on social media, particularly from TikTok.  Users adapted the South Korean “slugging” skin care technique (where people would use various products to moisturize their face) into their hair care routines, and it became a way for everyone to try and achieve that perfect healthy hair.

Hair slugging is for everyone.  But, it is most helpful towards those with dry, fragile hair regain its texture, and to improve how your hair feels and looks.  The thicker your strands of hair are, you are going to want to slug your hair a few nights a week.  Those with finer strands of hair can leave the slugging to once or twice a week. 


Vaseline And Hair Slugging

Some hydrating products that can be used for this process are hair masks, oils, serums and leave-in conditioners — all great products designed to lock in that moisture for your hair.

But, the most popular hydrating product that’s been used for this trend is one that’s not typically associated with hair care: this product is none other than vaseline.  Yep, you can put vaseline in your hair!  Though this begs the question, is vaseline good for your hair

Vaseline is an occlusive.  An occlusive is a substance that forms a protective layer around your hair (and your skin) that seals in, and prevents loss of, the existing moisture in your hair.  While vaseline does not directly moisturize your hair, the barrier it forms to keep that moisture in is one you’ll definitely want to have.  So, you’ll need to experiment to get just the right amount of product in your hair to make sure you reap the positive effects of vaseline on hair.

Remember that there’s also such a thing as doing too much!  So, don’t slug your hair every night, as that negatively affects your hair’s natural production of oils in your hair and can actually make your hair even drier — something you definitely don’t want.  

While you’re mostly going to be applying the vaseline (or whatever product of your choosing) to your ends and not as much on your scalp, you want to be mindful of how much product gets on that head of yours.  Too much product that isn’t properly washed out can clog pores and hair follicles, leading to buildup of bacteria, breakouts, and other BS that you probably don’t wanna deal with.


What is the Process of Slugging Your Hair?

@moniquemrapier you will never go back 🥺 say goodbye to split ends 👏🏼 comment any questions!💗 #hair #hairtok #hairhacks #haircare #hairtips #hairdamage ♬ Eenie Meenie (Radio Version) – Sean Kingston & Justin Bieber

The process of hair slugging is fairly simple, so grab that jar of vaseline and let’s get started!  

  • Step 1: At nighttime, apply the vaseline, or product of your choice, on washed hair (make sure that it is completely dry or mostly dry before applying!), concentrating the product on the ends of your hair.
  • Step 2: Put your hair in a cap or sock (basically any protective wrapping that can work for your hair) and secure it so it’ll stay on as you are sleeping.
  • Step 3: Sleep.  You need it.
  • Step 4: When you wake up, rinse out the vaseline using a mixture of baking soda and water, or just your regular washing routine (the vaseline may last longer in your hair).  If you opted for a lighter product, your regular wash routine should be just fine.

Alternatives to Vaseline Hair Slugging

Vaseline can be good for getting a healthy shine to your hair, but maybe you don’t like how heavy it feels in your hair, the vaseline isn’t agreeing with you, or some other reason that pushes you away from lathering a chunk of vaseline in your strands.  Fear not, we’ve got some hair oil and mask alternatives that you could try to still get that slugged hair shine.

OUAI Hair Oil

ouai hair oil

This is a lightweight hair oil that is for all hair types.  Its baobab seed oil helps to hydrate your hair and give it that extra shine.  This hair oil is also made with borage oil and reduces any frizz you might have on your hair.

BUY NOW – $28


amika Soulfood Nourishing Hair Mask

amika soulfood nourishing hair mask

If you haven’t read Marissa’s amika article yet, be sure to check that out, as it goes in depth about different hair masks, which you could definitely incorporate into your slugging routine!  This hair mask in particular is great for all hair types, and is great for hydrating and softening your hair.  Its jojoba oil will do wonders for your hair as it is packed with antioxidants (fights unstable molecules that can damage your hair).

BUY NOW – $30


Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

bumble and bumble shampoo and conditioner

Or you know, maybe you wanna say “fuck it!” and not add that extra step in your hair routine and stick to regular shampoo and conditioner.  We got you, here’s a shampoo and conditioner set that’s great for medium to thicker hair that hydrates your hair and adds that shine.  Its combo of almond, grape seed, safflower, and coconut oils plus other fantastic ingredients will help deeply hydrate your hair, soften it, and will give shine that will make people think you’re a pro at hair slugging.

BUY NOW – $34 (shampoo) & $35 (conditioner)


Have you tried hair slugging? Do you want to, or do you think it’s kinda…. ew? Tell us in the comments!


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Categories
Hair

Can Crystal Hair Erasers Do What They Claim?

My irreshine Crystal Hair Eraser arrived in a beat-up Amazon box – the imperfect start to a hopefully-positive review.

Ew, I thought. Has this been used before?

 

As if the inside would bite me, I peeled open the poorly-sealed (yet still-sealed, for the record) box. Inside was an even smaller, even more beaten-up box, reading “Crystal Hair Removal.”

On the front is a drawing of one hairy leg labeled “before,” and one smooth leg labeled “after.” 

The rest of the box was… well, beaten up. Not torn, but… “Loved,” we’ll say. Accepting my fate, I opened the little bag, which came inside the box, which came inside the other box, which is very not-sustainable if you think about it, and pulled out the little crystal-infused hair hacker to begin.

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Take One Of Crystal Hair Removal

 
 
 
 
 
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Well, I kind of began. Because I’m me, I decided to do an experiment. 

The box says to soak in hot water first, so your skin and hair are softer to work with. I am a rebel, however, and said “nah.” I lifted my very hairy, very not-smoothed-over hair, and began rubbing in circles as directed.

To say I was disappointed by this “Magic” Crystal Hair Eraser is an understatement.

Then I grew up and put a little elbow grease in, because of course something without needles is going to take awhile to cut through my thick leg hairs… especially when the aforementioned cutting is done via “Nanocrystal Technology,” aka tech that clumps and breaks hair at the surface.

It worked a liiiiitle better, but not by much. So, I gave up and got in the shower, letting the hot water soften my legs and leg hair. It was tempting to just shave – I was already in the shower, wet, with my favorite razor and shaving cream right next to me.

But no, I practiced self control, exited the shower, dried off, and tried again.


Magic Crystal Hair Eraser: Take Two

I needed elbow grease yet again, but this time, my hair was shedding! After about two minutes of solid circles up and down one part of my leg, I was hairless. Plus, the Nanocrystal tech exfoliates away dead skin cells, so my leg also looked alive – but not irritated. The blood flow was there, yes, but the scratch marks were not.a

To do my lower legs, it took about 20 minutes. So, yeah, longer than if I’d shaved. But irreshine’s Crystal Hair Eraser promises to keep hair from growing back as quickly. We’ll see if this is true (I’m skeptical, because science), but if there IS somehow a win there, I’ll take those 20 minutes over repeated 10 minutes and occasional cuts.


In Summary: This Hair Eraser Might Be Magic

Many brands are selling Crystal Hair Erasers, and I simply chose mine because it had good reviews on Amazon. I’d be interested to see if the same Nanocrystal tech works the same on every other, and if not, why?

At the end of my session, I rinsed my Crystal Eraser back into its beat up box and stored it in my medicine cabinet. I know I’ll be getting more use – maybe five years, if it’s/I’m lucky – out of it in the semi-near future. After all, you can only use it every 2-3 weeks… so here’s hoping it actually lasts.

BUY NOW – $16.99


Did this review of irreshine’s Magic Crystal Hair Eraser help convince you to invest? Or are you skeptical like I was? Tell us in the comments!


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Hair

The Jellyfish Haircut Is Huge Thanks To TikTok

I’m never on top of hair trends. It’s just not in my DNA – I’m still in my TikTok-Teenage-Dirtbag-(sped-up)-phase. But even I can’t seem to avoid the latest TikTok hair craze: the jellyfish haircut.

My experiences with jellyfish are limited, aside from visits to the aquarium and that one weird time my parents let me swim in the ocean with them when I was, like, six. I digress. I have become EXTREMELY experienced in the jellyfish haircut, thanks to constant exposure as it continues to grow. 

Haven’t heard of it yet, somehow? Well, I hope that rock is comfy, and welcome to August/September 2022.

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How Did The Jellyfish Haircut Start?

Like all good things, and like I mentioned, the jellyfish haircut was born on TikTok. Surprise! (Not really.) It consists of bold layers that resemble that of a jellyfish. Surprise! (Not really, again.) 

@sillyyerba Reply to @bondjonescreations im starting a jellyfish club with jelly themed events for those interested! I’m setting up the Discord for it today! Stay tuned for an offical announcement soon! It’s going to be so cute. If you don’t have the haircut you can be a baby jellyfish. Theyre called ephyrae 🥹 excuse the mess! We are in the middle of rearranging right now!💓💓 if you read this ur a qt #jellyfishhaircut #sorryitsmari #hair360 #hairquestions #jellyfishhair #diyhair ♬ Jellyfish – Declan DP & Kodomoi

In more detail: the jellyfish haircut is similar to the hime haircut, which began trending on TikTok in May. Also known as the “princess cut,” which apparently was birthed during the Heian period in Japan, hime haircuts consist of short, choppy layers in the front, and long layers in the back.


What’s The Difference Between Hime and Jellyfish Haircuts?

@skystelle_ #hairstyle #himecut #haircut #hairstyletutorial ♬ original sound – 𝒔𝒌𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 – ⚜ 𝒔𝒌𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 ⚜

While both haircuts feature choppy layers, the jellyfish haircut has layers throughout – aka, those short, chunky pieces continue to the back of the head, too. 

Both haircuts are an update on the mullet, essentially – or, as HighSnobiety calls it, the “Weird Girl” aesthetic. I have a lot of feelings about this title – mainly that it’s stupid and judgemental, which, ew – but they do have a point: it is kinda weird. 

But you know what? The weirdness is what makes it so chic. Think about it: the mullet has been around for decades. People hate it, but it’s still here, regularly coming back around (like all trends do). So, it’s no surprise that the hime and jellyfish haircuts are blowing up right now; so much so, that Nicole Kidman sported the look on the cover of Perfect Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
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Are Jellyfish Haircuts Easy To Maintain?

Yes! Jellyfish haircuts are perfect for any curl pattern, any wash cycle, and any length. While you may require a little styling, the cut is generally wash, dry, and go. While the look is bold and requires guts to make the cuts, it’s a universal hairstyle and is flattering on any head.


How To Give Yourself A Jellyfish Haircut

While you should set the shears down and let a pro do this, the jellyfish haircut is one of the easier cuts to give yourself. Simply take a chunk of hair and chop it to jaw- or cheek-length – boom, you’ve started your jellyfish evolution. Just don’t go any higher than that cheekbone, because you risk becoming a mushroom head instead of a jellyfish head. Not cute, you know?


Jellyfish Hair Inspiration


What are your thoughts on the jellyfish and hime haircuts? Are you going to try them out? Tell us in the comments!


Read More Beauty Articles:

Here’s The 411 On Hair Slugging
Mermaid Marissa: I Tried Three of Amika’s Hair Masks
Categories
Hair Reviews

I Reviewed Shaving My Pubes For The Internet

No, I’m not going to tell you my pubic hair grooming habits. Let’s get that straight. But when the internet won’t stop mentioning the Venus Pubic Hair and Skin razor, you’ve gotta be brave and give a firsthand review.

So, mom, dad, I’m sorry for putting this on the internet: here’s how it went shaving my pubes with Venus’ trending razor.

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The Venus Pubic Hair and Skin Products

Not only did I buy the Pubic Hair Razor, I also bought three of its compadres: the 2-in-1 Cleanser + Shave Gel, the Daily Smoothing Serum, and the Hair and Skin Softening Oil.

The razor looks standard: it has two blades and an ergonomic handle. But look closely, and you’ll see the trimmer on the back for hard-to-reach areas – very convenient, imo. And then there’s the Patented Irritation Defense Bar, which puts space between the blades and skin to lessen irritation. Neat!

venus pubic hair and skin razor from gilette

The 2-in-1 Cleanser + Shave Gel is just that: a gel that doesn’t foam up, but gets kinda sudsy – think more like soap than foam. However, the formula is totally soap-free, and it’s dermatologist- and gynecologist-tested plus pH-balanced. Ingredients include ultra-nourishing olive, coconut, and jojoba oils, treating your skin as you slide a sharp piece of metal up and down it.

2-in-1 cleanser and shave gel from venu's pubic hair and skin collection

Venus’ Softening Oil reminds me of fur’s Fur Oil – they have the same point, to soften your fur and make it easier to cut through the madness. However, their ingredients lists are fairly different. While they both have grape seed and jojoba oils, that’s about where the similarities end. Venus uses more fatty components and emollients to help protect the skin, while fur uses less emollients and more antibacterials/antimicrobials.

Both use fragrance, which is odd to me, though the fragrance DOES come with benefits; for example, coconut oil nourishes in Venus’ option, while tea tree oil is soothing in fur’s.

venus' hair and skin softening oil

And finally, to ease the pain (slash razor burn and bumps), the Daily Soothing Serum works to calm skin by using ingredients like panthenol and allantoin to calm, olive oil to nourish, lactic acid to gently exfoliate away dead skin and stop clogged pores, and glycerin to hydrate.

venus pubic hair and skin daily soothing serum

Basically, they thought this shit through. But how does it actually go when you’re shaving your pubes? I was about to find out.


The Shaving Process

I’m gonna admit it now: I think I fucked up by not putting the Softening Oil on before, but I won’t fully say I did, because the ingredients didn’t specifically say to put it on before – instead, they said to apply it to towel-dried skin.

This doesn’t make sense, looking back. But I’m going to blame the bottle. I was following instructions, dammit!

So, instead, I exfoliated with fur’s little finger mitt. And then it was time to lather up with the Shave Gel and begin my journey.

Maybe it’s better for those who have some fine hair, or who shave the second they start feeling prickly, but my hair wasn’t having it. It took so. many. swipes. to get through one full line of hair. I appreciated the lack of burn and cuts, but, damn, there was bound to be irritation after attempting to shave the same line 12 times (I counted). And after the 12th time, I gave up on the stray hairs. It was time to leave the area and move on.

I will admit that the smaller razor head allowed for fitting into spots that other razors def struggle to reach, or spots that usually require serious contortion. And the Precision Trimmer was a godsend in those areas that needed more care – think more inner than outer thigh, if you catch my drift. 

Finally, after about half an hour, the job was done… er, “done enough.” It was imperfect. There were strays. But like I said: my back ached and I was tired and frustrated from going over the same spot multiple times, only to see nothing removed.

I WILL give it this, though – I experienced no irritation afterward when I used the Softening Oil and Soothing Serum. No razor bumps, no burn, no cuts, nothing. And it wasn’t even sensitive to the touch!

The final test: waking up the next few mornings with underwear on, going to bed after a day with pants, and seeing if that would make me itch and squirm each day.

Nope!

The serum worked! It was a miracle. I nearly cried from knowing I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable all day and only irritate my skin – my very-susceptible-to-bacteria-skin – with my nails when I inevitably scratched for relief. I applied the Soothing Serum that night, woke up the next day, and same thing: nothing.

However, “my” poor job was showing, with hairs sprouting up in random places already. Not cute. However, after rubbing in the Softening Oil, my hairs felt softer and less prickly. A win!


My Final Thoughts

venus pubic hair and skin razor daily soothing serum and 2-in-1 cleanser and shave gel

If you have fine hair or shave every other day, this razor is absolutely for you. But if you have coarse hair or give yourself weeks in between shaves, it’s worth it to skip out on the Pubic Hair and Skin razor and invest in a better, more aggressive one. There are plenty out there that do a damn good job – you just might need some TLC after.

As for the 2-in-1 Cleanser & Shave Gel, it’s just like any other shave gel. I personally loved it… but I also love my other shave gel that doesn’t cost this much, so I’ll be skipping out. Use it up on your pits and legs though – it’s not just for your bikini area!

I will be investing in the Daily Serum and the Softening Oil for sure. Not only are the ingredients luxe, the products work. The Daily Serum stopped irritation from my leggings, jeans, and underwear – things that would normally irritate the sh*t out of me if/when/should I shave. (Still not gonna tell you my shaving habits, sorry. Do I have coarse hair? Do I have fine hair and just wait to shave every six months? Do I shave at all? You’ll never know.) 

My overall thoughts on Venus’ Pubic Hair and Skin collection: skip the gel, buy the razor if you have fine hair/shave regularly, and invest in the Daily Serum and Softening Oil. Your pubes will thank you for getting rid of next-day discomfort.

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We hope this review gave you more insight on Venus’ Pubic Hair and Skin Razor kit! Have you tried it already? Tell us below!


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Categories
Hair Reviews Skin

Hims and Hers’ Biotin Gummies Let Me Down

I’m a sucker for a good supplement… okay, not really.

The truth is, I don’t take supplements. My mother and brother are queen and king of supplements, and I just didn’t pick up the habit – which is hilarious, considering all of my health complications. I digress.

Now that it’s clear that I don’t take care of myself, that’s why it was such a big deal when I challenged myself to 30 days of taking Hims and Hers Biotin gummies to write an honest review. I don’t do this! And a beauty supplement? Who am I?

But my hair and nails have been struggling, so… why not? And with that, I did 30 days of gummies. Here’s what happened.

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First of all, Hims & Hers nailed (pun intended) the taste of a biotin gummy, because when you hear “biotin,” you don’t think “delicious.” But delicious is what these gummies are. So delicious, in fact, that there were some days where I snuck extras. Gotta get that hair growing, ammirite? 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by hers (@hers)

 

But hold up, let’s take a minute to talk about biotin, yeah?

Biotin, aka vitamin B7, plays a big role in your hair, nail, and skin health. That’s why it’s so popular in beauty supplements: it covers a wide range of ailments. You can find it naturally in foods like eggs, milk, and bananas. Biotin deficiency can result in thinning hair, brittle nails, and rashes on the face, so get that B! 

Hims and Hers Biotin Gummies have biotin, duh, but also ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Ingested, these are supposed to reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and act against aging, respectively. And while these are all applied topically now, you can get these amazing ingredients in your everyday diet.

But, more importantly, my Hims and Hers Biotin Gummy Experience.

Here’s where it’s time to note: beauty supplements can’t be regulated by the FDA, and whether or not they actually work is kiiiind of complicated – and super divisive. As long as you’re not taking an obscene amount of biotin supplements, and instead are taking a gummy every day, it won’t hurt you. But will it help?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mirinda (@mirindacleanlivingconsultant)

For me, it didn’t. My hair, 30 days later, has grown at its normal rate, my nails are still breaking, and my acne is increasingly worse depending on where I’m at during my menstrual cycle. Plus, I’ve started taking more lithium for my depression, so the acne is extra bad. 

Hims and Hers, your biotin failed me, though your gummies did taste delicious and make me feel proud of myself each time I remembered to take them. Perhaps it’s my own body chemistry and shitty diet, perhaps it’s just that you don’t work. Regardless, I’ll finish your bottle… and then stick to my soap.

 

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Have you tried Hims and Hers’ Biotin gummies? Did this review help you decide on whether or not you’ll invest? Share with us below!


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Hair Reviews

I Went Suds-Less With Hairstory’s New Wash, And It Was Rough (At First)

If you had told me six weeks ago that I would love my hair without conditioner, leave-in, or any form of hydrator, I would have laughed. Same goes with the suds – the feeling of fluffy, clean strands was my favorite hair day… which is exactly why Hairstory’s New Wash scared the sh*t out of me.

So much so, in fact, that I almost gave up and wrote a review that simply said “I couldn’t do it.”

How’d I even end up here? It’s a simple story.

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I had done plenty of research on Hairstory before I reached out to the company. I loved that the brand was inclusive – hair is hair, here! I also adored the idea of using an affiliate link to connect hairdressers with clients in a COVID-19 world. 

When I pitched an idea of writing a story on the brand, their lovely contact, Hannah, came back with a question: how would I feel about speaking to Wes Sharpton, one of their hairstylists?

wes sharpton in b&w restin ghis face on his fist, small smile on his face as he stares at the camera

Unsure of what the profile would be like, but thrilled nevertheless, I prepared for my interview. The morning of, I ran to my mailbox, and there was a box filled with the Hairstory goods: their New Wash, Powder (dry shampoo), and Hair Balm (to add texture when air drying). 

I proudly showed the box off to Hannah and Wes on the call, both of whom smiled in reaction to the joy radiating from my side of the screen. I couldn’t wait to try it!

And then, for three weeks, I couldn’t wait to be done trying it. But trust me – the story changes quickly.


A “Cream Cleanser”

People are sick of the chemicals stripping their hair of natural oils (the feeling my oily scalped loved) and are becoming aware of what’s lurking in those plastic bottles. So, many methods, like no poo and co-washing, are growing exponentially in popularity.

Popular alternatives to chemical-filled shampoo include apple cider vinegar, mixes with olive oil and/or coconut milk, lemon juice, tea tree oil, clay, and water on its own. 

Another alternative: Hairstory’s New Wash. Though they claim it isn’t exactly a no poo, it ticks all of the requirements to be one. So, the cream cleansing New Wash revolution is blowing up.


Hairstory’s New Wash – The Full Story

Hairstory has a cult following thanks to their New Wash; in fact, it’s what truly put Hairstory on the map. 

New Wash cleans and conditions with essential oils and naturally-derived ingredients. Some of the essential oils include ylang-ylang and rose, while natural ingredients include aloe, lavender and matricaria flower extracts, and peppermint and jojoba seed oils. The combination results in a cleanser that doesn’t strip your locks or scalp of good oils, and it doesn’t deteriorate your scalp’s protective barrier. And we all know that a happy scalp = a healthy scalp!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hairstory Studio (@hairstorystudio)

The most enticing part of New Wash to me: Hairstory’s claim that you don’t need to condition afterward. My hair is beyond damaged from years of at-home bleaching and dyeing (sorry @ all hairstylists reading this), so I need the most intense conditioner for at least three minutes in every. single. shower session. It’s the only thing that keeps my hair from looking like I fed the ends through a woodchipper. 

So, skipping the step that took up the most time? I was excited. And good-for-you ingredients that wouldn’t strip or break? I was sold immediately.

Sustainability-wise, one 8-oz. pouch – not plastic bottle, but pouch – covers both your shampoo and conditioner, and you can go longer between washes. In total, New Wash reduces your plastic use by an astounding 91%. It’s also biodegradable and safe to use in open water sources. Just keep in mind that the use of keratin – aka a protein derived from sheep’s wool – means it is not vegan.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hairstory Studio (@hairstorystudio)

After my interview with Wes, which also happened to be day three without washing, I skipped to the shower and prepared to enter the cleanser cream lifestyle.

It was not what I expected.


My First Experience With Hairstory

First, Hairstory also includes a little scalp massager, so you can really work through the formula and then rinse it out thoroughly. I didn’t get it at first, until I opened up my bag and the cream came out thick. It wasn’t gel-like, like a mask or a face cream or shaving cream – it was hefty. But I’m as curious as a cat with a death wish (or nine), so I dutifully followed the instructions and worked it through my hair with the massager.

new wash from hairstory, tess is smiling behind it as she holds up the orange and white bag to the camera

No suds. Not even slight foaming. I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell that I had shampoo in my hair had I not put it in myself, because it rubbed into my strands so gloriously. When I was sure I’d scrubbed my scalp enough, I rinsed out with the massager, letting every drop of the shampoo wash out. I went to rub my scalp, expecting to feel your standard stripped hair.

Nope. None of that. My hair felt nice and… okay, kind of oily still.

I was baffled. Hadn’t I just washed it, and intensely at that? I knew there weren’t chemicals to strip the hair, but it was only then that I realized just how badly foaming shampoo strips your strands.

The best part, though? My hair was SOFT. It was MANAGEABLE. I didn’t have to use conditioner for my brush to go through my hair!!!! It was a goddamn miracle.

After drying out my hair to a damp level, I flipped my hair over, applied Hairstory’s Hair Balm for some texture, tousled my hair, and went about my day. I was feeling pretty good… until I caught a glimpse of my hair. It was oily, it was greasy, it was messy, it was not cute. I felt mortified, as my friend was mere minutes away. 

tess holding up the hair balm, a white and blue bottle

I quickly located Hairstory’s Powder. Instead of a spray, it came out as a puff of white powder. I massaged it into my roots… and it made it worse. I looked like a hot mess. (Thankfully, my friend knows and respects that I’m a beauty editor, so he did not find it off-putting when I answered the door and said “my hair is greasy as fuck” with a very greasy head.)

tess holding up the powder bottle, which is hairstory's dry shampoo

I assumed this was a fluke, and, if not, it probably would sort itself out in the next wash or two. 

I reported this to Tara, QUILL’s Content Writer. She texted back a link to an article and a follow-up text: “it takes six weeks.” 

Oh dear god. What did I get myself into?


Wes Taught Me To Be Honest, So…

I will spare you the details, but the first three weeks were miserable. And it was my own curiosity that landed me here.

As someone who sudsed up her entire life, switching to chemical-free shampoo was terrible. My hair constantly felt dirty, it never sat the right way, and the Powder just didn’t help. I cut out the Hair Balm, and though I lost texture, my hair at least felt a little less greasy – I guess it’s just my roots that get super oily, and if I don’t brush, I don’t have to worry about hydrating it as much.

Still, despite my discomfort, I liked my routine. The massage into and off of my head was nice, and I adored not having to take five minutes to stand around while my conditioner worked its magic. When was the last time I had used a shampoo that allowed me to skip conditioner? Not ever, that’s when.

It was week four when I appeared on Zoom with the QUILL team, yelling “look at my hair!” and shoving my roots into the camera for all to see. And what did they see?

A normal, non-oily, healthy scalp and roots. 

It was a frickin’ miracle.

I had outlasted the pain and was entering the other side of the anti-chemical lifestyle: the lifestyle in which you give up stripping your hair for that sense of cleanliness, and fall in love with keeping it healthy and hydrated with its natural oils instead.


My Final Thoughts On Hairstory’s Products

hairstory line up of products

So, here’s my Hairstory review: New Wash is the only shampoo I’ll be buying from now on, and I think I’ll be skipping the Hair Balm unless I desperately need texture. And the Powder? It’s great in a pinch, but it just didn’t help the build-up that accumulated on my head so quickly. This isn’t Hairstory’s fault, or a weakness in their product – it’s my own hair being finicky and adapting to a major change.

I have no doubt that my hair will continue to adapt as I enter the famous week six (Tara, I did it! I really did it!). I’m only halfway through my first 8-oz. bag, so while the price is somewhat steep for those used to drugstore prices, it’ll last you just as long – if not longer! – than your daily salon shampoo bottle. Aka, if you’re looking for cream cleanser that won’t kill your hair, Hairstory’s New Wash is about to become your long-term relationship.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hairstory Studio (@hairstorystudio)

I want to take a quick paragraph to thank a VIP, too: Hannah, thank you for gifting me these lovely products. I am so honored, and I hope you like the article on Wes! Please know: you made that happen. You made a cream cleanser gal out of me, and you helped me to produce one of my favorite articles. You’re a miracle worker.

While it’s tempting to use my regular shampoo just to compare after all this time away, I know I never want to go through those first three weeks again. So, to Hairstory’s New Wash I will stick, and never stray. Hold me to that.

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Did you like this review of Hairstory’s New Wash? Have you tried it before? Tell us below!


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