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  • Writer's pictureEllie J

New Year New Hair

At the start of 2019, I had an epiphany to make this the best hair year of my life as I have never been particularly in love with it. It's either frizzy, flat, thin in patches, dry, with seemingly endless split ends or even worse, ALL of the above at once! I have had more than enough!

I have always been fairly enthusiastic but noncommittal with my hair routine and have gone through a lot of trial and error to find a handful of long term favourites, however it is certainly time for me to test out some new products to see if I could remedy a few of my hair nightmares.

My hair never makes it past that certain length, and by the time it gets there, the ends look raggedy and dead. I am definitely guilty of not going for a trim often enough, so the first item I looked for was some hairdressing scissors. I am in no way qualified to do any real hair dressing, however, with the help of Youtube, I am confident I could cut a half an inch off once in a while without too much drama. Of course, this is no substitute for a professional job, but will probably help in the meantime.

My next purchase was Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which I have been aware of for a few years but never got around to testing it. When applied to the scalp, over time, most people see a significant amount of new hairs growing in where there weren't any before. This is often paired with a few drops of Peppermint Oil which stimulates blood flow to the scalp, and in turn makes your hair grow. To add to this effect, I bought a scalp brush with silicone tips to use just before I wash my hair, and then again in the shower while shampooing. This is also great for those with dandruff or those who enjoy a head massage.

As for the shampoo itself, I have heard good things from The Fitzrovia Centre products and decided I would try their shampoo for fine and thinning hair. This claims to increase hair growth and density and decrease loss. The conditioner was a happy accident! I had run out of my regular product which I typically can only find online, so I looked up the best high street brand as a fill in. Charles Worthington conditioners had good reviews across the board, so I picked 'Grow Strong' for obvious reasons. I have used it a handful of times and so far it leaves my hair feeling glossy and not weighed down unlike most others I have tried.

The last bits were a few Primark essentials: bobby pins, open pins, mini hairbands and styling clips. These things never last more than a few days for me; I put them down in what I think is a sensible place, only to never see a single stray pin lurking around the house from that day forward. This may be due to having a very clumsy cat who knocks everything over as he goes, but I presume it can't be all his fault. Finally, I picked up a silk headwrap to wear when I just cannot face the oh-so often bad hair days, but mainly for when it hasn't seen shampoo for the best part of a week. Much to my disgust, the benefits of not washing your hair several times a week greatly outweigh my 'need' for it to be worn down and styled nicely, which I feel is nearly impossible for me when my hair isn't clean. I'm sure I can feel just as happy with a cute updo, it'll just take some practise.

Here is a list of the items i purchased and where to get them:


Open pins - £1.00

Bobby pins - £1.00

Mini hairbands - £1.00

Styling clips - £1.50

Silk scarf - £5.00


Charles Worthington ' Grow Strong' Protein Conditioner - £7.99

TK Maxx

Peppermint Oil - £2.99

The Fitzrovia Centre Shampoo for fine and thinning hair - £7.49

Ebay UK

Hairdressing scissors - £6.80

Jamaican Black Castor Oil - £6.99

Scalp brush - £2.59

Naturally, being a photographer, I cannot pass up an opportunity to get my camera out and really wanted to document all the pretty things I'd bought. In order to to get a mini backdrop, I headed over to Hobbycraft to find some big sheets of card. I knew exactly what colour I had in mind, and when I had all but given up I found a tub of paper rolls with exactly the shade of purple I needed.

Unbeknownst to me, I had the paparazzi eyeballing me while I was decision making

After my last product set, I really wanted to use a sturdier stand for my backdrop, as it wasn't the most reliable before. I have a frame that is mostly used for baby photography that helps to keep the blanket pulled tight which avoids creasing and subsequent work in Photoshop. I set up a portion of the frame with legs facing towards me and clipped the backdrop paper across the back. The paper roll was then clipped at the end so it couldn't unravel all the way. This gave a nice seamless backdrop and cost all of about £2.00.

After this, I began arranging the items so they looked the most eye pleasing. This is by far the hardest step, as sometimes you can see it doesn't look quite right but it isn't obvious which bit. This takes a lot of trial and error! I find that if you start with the biggest items in the middle, it makes the overall look more balanced. Then, once you have that as your base, you can move your other pieces around until they don't look awkwardly placed or at a strange angle.

For lighting, I had one softbox overhead on a boom, and a ring light right in front of the camera. I find this is mostly enough but I would have happily put a white or silver reflector on my left as the darkness from the window could have affected the overall look. After shooting, I selected just two images which had the composition I was happy with. I used Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to do a few alterations, including taking out creases in the paper, making certain colours pop and adding a slight vignette.

Here are the outcomes:

Please feel free to drop me a message if you had any questions about the products or to just chat about taking pictures!


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