5 February 2012

Hair Week: Percy and Reed

Ever since I dyed my hair last month, it's become a focus in my beauty regime.  I've never lavished a lot of time or attention on my locks, partly through laziness and partly because I always thought it was fine as it was.  My routine was made up of shampoo, conditioner, a mask once every three months (or whenever I stumbled across a hair mask in the depths of my cupboard) and Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum through it before it was dried.  It did me well, that compact list of products and practices, but I knew my hair had more potential.

When I dyed it, it spurred me on to take better care of my hair; as I now blitz the life out of it with two boxes of dye every three weeks (apparently red is quite the bitch to maintain - GREAT), I need to balance that out with extra care and attention so this post is the first of a week of hair-related musings.  Today's spotlight is being trained on Percy & Reed, a brand I knew of for the salon and its roster of sleb clients, but wasn't so familiar with their own range of haircare products.  Anyway, I was asked if I'd like to try one or two products from the range and I said yes and they hooked me up.  They hooked me up GOOD*.  As such, I've spent the last couple of weeks tinkering and trying and slathering and smoothing and generally get right stuck in to all their products.  I have a few favourites which I'm going to write about now, and the other items will be cropping up over the course of the week (I know, try to contain the excitement).
First things first, the shampoo and conditioner.  The cornerstone of haircare (could I sound more dramatic?), it's important to cleanse and moisturise your hair well so that any styling tools and products you go on to use are being used on a good base plus, of course, it's important to just keep your hair clean and soft and sweet-smelling.  We've talked about this.  The Really Rather Radiant Colour & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner arrived at the perfect time for me, being newly dyed and all.  The packaging is beautiful; a matte white with pretty illustrations and font, they certainly make for prettier bathroom viewing than anything Herbal Essences or Aussie might come out with.  Big bottles too, which I appreciate.  

The scent is lightly floral; if you're familiar with the James Brown range of products (the white ones) I think they smell pretty similar.  As you can see from the info on the bottles, both items are formulated with raspberry oil which made me expect the scent to be fruity but it's not.  The shampoo lathers nicely with just the smallest amount and rinses easily.  I usually do two rounds with the shampoo, once to remove product and dirt and once more to thoroughly clean.  I then follow with the conditioner, about a 10p-sized amount.  It's creamy and rich and very nourishing, but I find I need to rinse really, really well to stop my hair feeling weighed down (my hair is fine but I do have a lot of it).
After washing, I comb through with my Tangle Teezer and wrap up in a towel whilst I trowel my face on and retrieve a hopefully acceptable outfit from my walk-in wardrobe**, and then it's time to select a styling product.  My mantra as far as hair is concerned is "there's no such thing as too much volume".  I love big hair, I live for big hair; I basically want to be Diana Ross.  As such, I'm always drawn to products that promise to volumise.  The item that I zoned in on immediately from the Percy & Reed range was this, the Volumising No Oil Oil.  To my tiny mind, I didn't see how you could have a product that injected volume as well as fulfilling all the smoothing and nourishing elements that an oil usually deals with, so I started using this right away to see what it was like.
The consistency is that of a serum, very much like Frizz-Ease.  I use just over half a pump - any more and my hair is left feeling greasy and yuck - and run it through my towel-dried hair before drying.  Lemme just say this...I am in love.  Actual love.  No messing.  This product is fantastic.  It adds a lovely fullness to my hair without weighing it down, smooths and nourishes it and just generally makes blow-drying it a simpler task than it used to be.  I'm obsessed with this.  I don't really like using anything else now because I'd just rather use this and be done with it.  LOVE.  If you didn't get that already.
Lastly, a bit of extra special attention in the form of the Totally TLC Hydrating Mask.  I sattisfyingly thick, creamy texture, it's lovely to slap on my hair once a week and cover with the sweet little shower cap that comes with it, although it does make me look like Ena Sharples on a tea break.  Exhibit A.
The instructions suggest leaving on for a minimum of 10 minutes but I still don't think that's really long enough, so I usually keep it on for around 20-25 minutes before rinsing out.  Hello shiny, baby soft hair.  It's so good.  SO good.  As I said I've got fine hair so I don't need tons and tons of product, but this would work equally well I think on thicker hairs.  It's incredibly rich and will give your hair that top up of moisture and shine that frankly, we all need sometimes.

So that's it for now; some absolute gems in the Percy & Reed range which I highly recommend you check out.  And here's my hair freshly pampered and preened.  Not bad for someone that is about as far removed from being a hairdresser as Kate Moss is from fronting a campaign for KFC.

*All products mentioned are PR samples
** My room is about the same size as a small walk-in wardrobe so in many ways, this statement is true.


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