Despite my predisposition towards pretty clothes and artistic objects, I am pretty low maintenance as most girls go. Yes, I take pleasure in playing dress up and looking up my dream wardrobe on Pinterest, but I am also the master of a five minute makeup job, and rarely spend more than $5 on a singular beauty product. I'm all about quality and effortless style over a price tag and brand credentials. As my hero Anais Nin puts it, "Luxury is not necessary to me, but beautiful and good things are." I don't often rave on about products, and am usually kind of skeptical about "this is the best thing ever" taglines. But that being said, everyone in this world should at least try "Elasticizer."
Developed personally for iconic actress Audrey Hepburn in 1974 by trichologist (hair scientist) Philip Kingsley, Elasticizer claims to intensely repair hair after repeat heat processing. Audrey was so impressed by the product that she had huge tubs of the stuff sent over to Switzerland, where she was then living.
As for me, I was first introduced to Elasticizer last year. For quite some time, I had a long, wavy, silky brunette mane. It hadn't always behaved, and we experienced a love-hate relationship throughout my teenage years; but by the time I got to my twenties, I perfected taming its wayward personality. I guess I could say it was my thing. Since age 16 (when I thought it was a great idea to cut it short and dye it dark — I was obsessed with Karen O), I had been growing it, and it had finally gotten past my nipples, in true mermaid style.
But then I got my heart broken. Badly.
I was stuck in London, at a job I did not enjoy and feeling pretty unsettled. (I was literally about to move cities to be with my then boyfriend. It sucked.) Once I stopped spending my free time crying into my pillow, binge watching Game of Thrones and panic-texting all my best friends, I decided it was time for a change, and the easiest thing to change was my appearance.
For a long time, I would Pinterest-fantasize over tiny tattoos, bejewelled ears and My Little Pony hair. My ex boyfriend, however, had really loved my natural look. Looking back, I think that as cheesy as this sounds, my decision to stray from the au naturale was kind of an act of rebellion — and within one weekend, I had my first tattoo and four new ear piercings. Within six months, my hair was pale blue/green. I wanted to look like Vika Novikova in Rusalochka.
Of course, my hair was also slightly damaged.
Luckily, the home bleach (I don't recommend it — go to the hairdresser) didn't wreck my hair tooooooo much; but trimming became more of a regular thing due to split ends, and I lost my length. It was sad times. Help was not far, though, in the form of my new friend Sam.I was planning a big launch party in Central London for my lingerie brand Flimsymoon's Kickstarter campaign launch. The venue was in Farringdon, and Sam worked down the road at an alternative-looking hairdresser (where they also sold coffee). We bonded over hair dying chat and other such things whilst I sipped on latte after latte. I called on her expertise when re-coloring my hair more blue (the original attempt was more mint-choc-chip than duck egg like my mermaid muse) and for a haircut — and man, she saved my follicular life!
Elaticisizer is a pre-shampoo treatment — meaning you apply it to damp hair and leave it on for around 20 minutes under a cap before shampooing. It can also be left to work its magic overnight for an intensified result. Sam actually used it as a conditioner to pastelize my semi-permanent blue hair dye (Bleach London's Blullini), by mixing it together to create a paler shade. This worked like a blue rinse/conditioning treatment, and I was sold. My hair felt silkier than before I had lightened it! (Literally, I could not stop touching those locks.) I had to get me some of this enchanted elixir!
Blullini Semi-Permanent Cream Colour, $8, Bleach London
This product works by transfusing moisture directly into the hair cuticle, which improves the shaft's elasticity. As it works internally, rather than coating the hair in a shiny chemical, hair doesn't appear lank and there is no build up. Just gloriously, strokable curls.At $45 for a 150ml size, it is not cheap and cheerful — unlike some of my other wonder products. However, its thick, creamy texture does go a long way (even on a head of hair as abundant as mine) and, in my opinion, it is worth every penny. As my ridiculously talented hairdresser friend Sam puts it:
"I've been a stylist for over eight years and I will never stop looking for the best hair treatment on the market. My number one is, by far, Elasticizer. Since being introduced to the Phillip Kingsley brand, I have been on many seminars held by their trichologists to learn about the science of hair, and why their products work. I feel it is important for me to know exactly why we have problems with our hair in order to know what the solution will be. In short, Elasticizer makes sense. As a stylist having 100 percent belief in a product means not even having to explain why to my clients; they trust me and I know they will see the results."
Images: Courtesy Brands; Giphy; Instagram