All of that changed recently when I had the chance to trial a few new products. It just so happened that they had all arrived in and around the same time and all seemed to offer round about the same promise: quick dry hair and a smoothing ability, with the additional promise of being a little more caring for my hair. I was doubtful initially, my hair chronicles are well documented in this house and my frustration has piqued many times over so would they actually deliver?
I started using the *Alfaparf Milano Precious Nature range of products, I used the shampoo, the hair masque and the leave in spray. Firstly, the Alfaparf range boasts 100% natural ingredients, this only added to my doubtfulness simply because any sulphate free products I've tried before just didn't work for me. They lacked luxuriousness in the lather (I know it's a small niggling point but I like a good lather!) and would tend to leave my hair feeling coarse, almost greasy feeling and most definitely limp. Altogether not a good look at all. Imagine my surprise when I started massaging the shampoo into my hair and the beginnings of a beautifully luxurious lather started to appear. Coupled with the almond & pistachio scent, I really felt as though this was a product worthy of salon status BUT I still had the masque and spray to use so I plodded on applying the masque. It took me a few weeks to get used to the fact I'd cut conditioner out of my routine but I was committed to giving this brand a proper trial and I'm so glad I did. The hair masque feels like a very rich conditioner, I'd recommend taking a couple of minutes to really massage it into the hair, right down to the tips, before rinsing.
I was impressed by the fact I could still catch a hint of the scent of these products after I'd finished in the shower. A unique selling point in my opinion considering so many shampoos, conditioners and masques tend to lose their scent almost immediately.
I was also blown away a little by the fact I could pull a brush through my hair without using de-tangling spray. This was a game changing moment.
Whilst trialing the Alfaparf range I have also been using my Aquis Hair Towel (I've reviewed this in full over on She Might Be), which I've found seriously reduces the amount of time spent blow drying my hair and I've noticed a huge difference in the feel of my hair after allowing it to dry in the Aquis towel for 15-20 minutes before attempting to style.
After the 15-20 minutes I'm left with damp hair which I spritz with the Alfaparf leave in spray and then the third player in the game comes in to play and what a difference it makes!
This hair brush might not look like much but trust me when I say it has made a substantial difference to my drying and styling times. I'll be honest, when I first took the *Smoothing Tool by Tangle Teezer out of the box I was reticent to believe it's claim that it would provide a quick, smooth and gentle blow dry. I mean... it's a brush, right? I had been using a Denman Head Hugger and much as though it didn't dry my hair any faster nor did it necessarily smooth my hair either, I was happy enough that it did the job grand.
They ain't lying! This little brush is a wonder product in my opinion and I really wasn't expecting to come back and say that at all. Not only has it cut down my drying time further, it does indeed leave the hair even smoother than my usual brushes. Mainly though? It's SO quick. Normally I'm looking at a good 30-45 minutes to blow dry my hair in a manner so that it doesn't end up mirroring Monica from Friends when the humidity hits. Coarse ginger hair is a major pain and has been since I was a kid. Well! Not any more! I'd use the Alfaparf products, wrap my hair up for 15 minutes or so, remove whilst gently squeezing the hair (don't rub a towel into your hair please!) and round off by using the Alfaparf Leave in Spray. Then (without even sectioning off my hair) I use the Tangle Teezer and my hair dryer and I'm done in... LESS THAN 7 MINUTES (yes, I timed it - 4 times!)
Granted, I rarely wear my hair straight, it's reached that awkward length where it gifts me with an unruly kink regardless of how much time I spend straightening it so I prefer to run a big barrel tong around it quickly. Up until now I found I had to use straighteners before the curling step because my hair was so coarse and frizzy. Now though? Now I am able to blow dry quickly using the Tangle Teezer which results in a sleek straight blow dry that is perfectly primed for curling. This also means I can skip the rollers step (for volume), because I'm not having to straighten my hair first, I'm losing no volume during steps!
I would even go as far to say that curling my hair has been easier and more effective using these products, less frizz, more tousled curl - rejoice!
The Alfaparf Milano range is available in selected salons across Northern Ireland and ROI, you can find them on Facebook here and I'd highly recommend making enquiries as to whether your local salon stocks this brand because it has improved the quality of my hair so much and (much as though I don't want to admit this) it has ensured my colour top up (yes, us natural red heads need root maintenance too!) hasn't faded where normal shampoos, even those geared towards protecting your colour, fail ever so spectacularly. It's a definite thumbs up from me and coupled with the Aquis hair towel and the revolutionary Smoothing Tool from Tangle Teezer, make up my current hair dream team.
*This post contains reviews of some products sent for consideration. These are clearly marked with * I am not under any obligation (paid or otherwise) to give glowing reviews and will always ensure I give you my full and frank opinion in these cases.