Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Tribute to Squiggles

Hi Sparklers,

You might have noticed that I haven't posted with Mr. Squiggles in a long time.  This is because he has crossed over the rainbow bridge.  We took him to the vet and did everything we could, but it was his time to frolic with all the other piggies in piggy heaven.  I'm still pretty sad about his passing months later, even though we have 2 new piggies, there will always be a hole in my heart where I miss Squiggles.  The hole is getting smaller but will never be totally gone.  He was a pretty special piggie and he is very very missed in our household.  Soon I will introduce you to the new piggies that will be featured on this blog (they are very stylish).  But for now I'd like to dedicate this post to some of the highlights from all the great contributions that Squiggles has made to this blog over the years. RIP Squiggles.  We miss you.

P.S. Use the search box in the upper right of your screen to find any of these old posts you are interested in or click the the pictures below.  Also, there are many other posts and pictures of Squiggles throughout this blog, if you explore around, you can probably find them all!

Squiggles first photo appearance along side his very Tangle Teezer-like hand drawing.

Squiggles in a turban for the DIY facemask post.
Chef Squiggles

Oh-so-popular with you Sparklers CreaClip knock off review!

Flash Back to baby Squiggles!
Squiggles in a Sombrero
Squiggles was featured in a lot of recipe posts with his feelings about the food.
He never quite understood beauty, but he sure understood how to be adorable!
Captured Squiggles-Piggle-Pie mid yawn for his last post he was featured in before he passed.  

I hope you enjoyed my tribute post to Mr. Squiggles; aka "Squiggies"; aka "Squiggles-piggle-pie"; aka "piggles".  He will be missed dearly not only by those who knew him in person, but those who got glimpses into his life thought this blog.

As always,
Shine & Sparkle!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Platinum Blonde At Last! New Updated Hair Care Routine Post

Sorry to be gone so long everyone!

I see from our Facebook Page that we have a lot of new Sparklers out there!  A warm welcome to all and I do apologize for neglecting things.  Life has been crazy with wedding planning and life in general.  But I am back!  It has been requested that I do a post on my updated hair care routine since the last time I posted about my last hair lightening experience was all the way back in 2014!  If you follow me on Instagram you will probably have seen that I have finally made it to platinum!

As you can see in the picture below, I have a new amazing hair guru--her name is Iva and works in the Bay Area in Northern California.  Send me an email if you are serious about going to see her!  Hopefully I will have more internet details for you to get a hold of her soon.  I will provide that information as soon as possible. She uses advanced lightening techniques that use no heat and bond rebuilding products that mean I got this light in just 2 applications (in one sitting) with NO damage.  It is truly incredible work!  Mini Tip: If you want to go platinum quickly, make sure you have a stylist that uses Olaplex or B3 Bond Builder, these are the best bond repairing formulas on the market!  There is no reason why you should not be getting this hair-saving product in your color other than the stylist doesn't want to keep up with the most current technologies that are best for your hair.  Going platinum is tricky business and you want the best if you are going this light!  Also, I do not suggest going platinum yourself.  It is too hard to prevent overlapping of the bleach when you DIY this, which causes bands of damage that will cause major problems and breakage in the long run!  I had Iva used a balayage techniques to apply the bleach and  put a ash brown shadow root on my blonde hair because it think it makes it look more pretty and natural.  If you want a similar look, ask for that! 

You know where you can see my hair as it becomes blonder in all sorts of lighting contexts? twitter! You should follow me! We can be digital buddies, whoo!  Also, you can get sneak peeks into what reviews/reports are coming next.  You can even tweet me ideas for what to do next.  You can also follow me on other social media like facebook page; or an instagram; or a bloglovin; or a google+

Wash and Condition:
This is pretty much the same as my last post, I only wash my hair fully about 2-3 times a week. I've found that dry shampoo really seems to irritate my scalp these days so I'm washing a bit more often (or embracing braids and other styles that look good with oiler hair).  Side note, I do SHOWER every day still, I just don't worry about washing my hair every day--shower caps are my BFF.   I've gotten super sweaty at the gym but I'm not supposed to wash my hair, I still conditioner wash my hair (see my conditioner washing post).  The products I use have changed significantly with my new platinum look.
  • Joico: Color Endure Violet Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner- My NEW go-to shampoo and conditioner duo.  I use it pretty much every time I wash my hair now.  I try to leave the shampoo in for at least 2-3 minutes and the conditioner in 3-4.  I love how moisturizing both products are and it really is formulated perfectly and gently for us bottle blondes.  I do still shampoo twice, but the first time I only use a tiny bit of shampoo.  I fully lather and wait on the second wash.  I condition once.
  • Paul Mitchell: Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner-  Still use this once a week to clarify my hair of silicones and product build up.  It also really helps treat any scalp issues I may be having with dandruff or itchy-ness.  I also still use the conditioner to co-wash.
  • Shea Moisture: Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque or Superfruit Complex 10-In 1 Renewal System Hair Masque - I will replace the Joico Shampoo with this once a week or so to deep condition. I'm still in love with these masques but I do need to leave them in longer to see benefits.  I will apply them then get out of the shower with my conditioner laden hair in a cheap plastic shower cap and wait a good 20 minutes (or longer if possible) before rinsing it out.  I do make sure that moisture is my issue before doing this using a strand test. To strand test for moisture, I take a clean and wet piece of hair that has fallen out after I shampoo and pull it until it breaks. If I pull it and it snaps really quickly, I know it is time for a moisture deep treatment! 
  • Aphogee: Keratin-2-minute-reconstructor- I still use this product but much differently.  I only use this when a strand test feels like I need a dose of protein.  To strand test for protein, I take a clean and wet piece of hair that has fallen out after I shampoo and pull it until it breaks. If I pull it and it stretches a lot (kind of like a rubber band) I know it is time for Apogee!  I leave it in for about 2-10 minutes depending on how stretchy the strand test is.
  • Macadamia Professional: Deep Repair Masque- I will still replace my other conditioners with this all over my head if my hair is in a huge funk and I have no idea what to do.  Works every time.  I leave it in as long as possible. I'll try to get out of the shower and let it sit for 30 minutes if I can.  Otherwise, 5-10 minutes works ok as well.
After Shower Care and Styling:
This is also the same other than the products I am using.  I let my hair dry in a micro-fiber hair towel while I do my skin care routine.  Then I gently detangle using a wide tooth comb or my Tangle Teezer (no I didn't make up the terrible product name).  I have also used The Wet Brush, but I find the wet brush to actually just be a better replacement for a normal paddle brush to be used only on dry hair.  I'd stick with a wide tooth comb or Tangle Teezer when it is wet.  Then I will towel dry for a few more minutes before applying leave in treatment if I'm using heat then serum (which I always use).
  • Shea Moisture: Black Caster Oil Strengthen, Grow, Restore, Leave In Conditioner with Shea Butter, Peppermint, & Keratin-  This is my step right after towel drying my hair every single time with my platinum hair. Also, who thought of that ridiculously long name?! I probably use at least a tablespoon of this stuff from my mid lengths to ends and put any remaining in the top part of my hair and massage my scalp.  My hair and scalp drink this up now. 

  • Paul Mitchell: Super Skinny Serum- As my hair gets more damaged from the lightening process,  I use this but when I know I'll be using my Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo with sulfates to wash it out soon because this is a heavy silicone and I don't want to damage my hair long term.  (see my post on silicones in hair products). If my hair seems to need even extra TLC, I will still mix 3 drops of pure Argan Oil into 1.5 pumps of my Super Skinny Serum and rub the mix beween my palms before applying it below my ears and focusing on the ends.  Any remaining residue (maybe a few drops total of the mixture) I scruch/smooth into the upper part of my hair.  
  • Wella Professionals: Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil-  This is a new product to me.  I am LOVING it though.  It smells AMAZING to start with.  Then it works in place of my super skinny serum when I don't want those hard to dissolve silicones and means I can air dry my hair and still have it be very nice and smooth.

  • Silk Elements: Mega Sile Olive Heat Protection Spray-  I have changed heat protectants!  I got this as a sample and with my new platinum hair, this makes any heat styling into silky perfection.  It makes your hair seem very oily when you first apply it, but after you heat style it leaves your hair PERFECTION!  Just be sure as you are blow drying that you keep the drier far enough away that the product doesn't smoke.  If your hair is already dry, apply this product and let it sit on the hair a few minutes before curling or straightening to make sure it doesn't smoke as well.  I'm not sure if the smoking is bad for your hair but it seems like not a good thing right?  If you have more information on this product smoking, please comment below!
  • Sebastian: Shaper Plus Hairspray-  I rarely use heat to curl, but when I do, find this to be best to hold my curls and not make them crunchy.  No white residue either.  You can brush through the curls and there will be no icky flakes.  My curls can last days though! Hooray!

WOW! I think you are fully updated now.  All my hair posts are available if you click the "hair posts" tab above or follow one of the tag link!

Thank you for reading and as always,

Shine & Sparkle!