Let’s Talk Hair Care

Before I started seriously thinking about going from dark brown highlighted hair to blonde, I’d been very low maintenance with my hair, getting color and cuts about once a year, deep conditioning once every couple weeks and using heat on my hair a couple times a week. Before getting my hair bleached, I wanted it to be in the best condition possible and started browsing online for hair care routines, going from brunette to blonde and maintaining color. Check out my journey to blonde here.

There is a lot of information (contradictory information) and many hair care routines to be found. I wanted to compile some of this contradictory information here and share my hair care routine.

Silicones – Two conflicting thoughts here – Use products with silicone, it protects the hair and makes it shiny; never use silicone, it builds up and dulls the hair. Silicone seems to be one of the more controversial hair care ingredients. It’s in almost every hair care product; shampoo, conditioner, oils, masks and treatments. Silicone offers protection from the environment (UV, pollution) and makes hair shiny and healthy-looking (even if it isn’t). It detangles hair and gives it a feel of slip. It protects hair color from fading and prevents frizziness.

Silicone builds up on the hair over time even through shampooing, weighing it down, eventually making it look dull. Silicone blocks other treatments, hydration and nutrients from getting to the hair. So if the shampoo used doesn’t take out previous silicone and the conditioner used contains silicone, other treatments used after such as oils, treatments and moisture will just sit on top the silicone and not penetrate the hair. Silicone coats the hair, making it shiny. Silicone isn’t going to build up indefinitely on the hair, the hair only has so much surface area.

What about water soluble silicones? These are silicones that rinse away with water, mild shampoo or cleansing conditioners. Two common silicones, dimethicone and cyclomethicone, are not water soluble.  Silicones modified with PEG are water soluble; look for PEG in front of the silicone ingredient. While sulfate shampoos are harsh, this is not the only ingredient that can remove silicones. Shampoos with coco-betaine and cocamidopropyl betaine can remove silicones, water-soluble or not.

20180730_0853065670535886757794425.jpg20180118_1304391204404135793550224.jpgI’ve recently been moving toward silicone-free, but after a color service, will use a silicone conditioner for extra protection. I currently switch between the BlondMe Keratin Restore Bonding Mask (with dimethicone) and the Don’t Despair, Repair deep conditioning mask from Briogeo (silicone-free). To get the slippery feel on the hair without using silicone, look for brassicamidopropyl dimethylamine (from the broccoli family, but can also be synthetic), look for the fatty alcohols (cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol as examples) and look for oils. One of my favorite silicone-free all natural conditioning masks is Enrich from Josh Rosebrook. This is made of many oils and herbs and has the slip and detangling feel of a silicone-based conditioner.

Washing – Something as “simple” as a hair wash seems anything but. Color safe shampoos, sulfate-free shampoo, drug store, salon quality, no-poo and cleansing conditioners, apple cider vinegar rinse, baking soda; wash hair every day? twice a week? once a week? once a month? Is dry shampoo okay to use?

It is pretty well known that you shouldn’t wash your every day. As natural oils are washed from your hair, color can fade quicker and mineral buildup occurs on the hair faster. I read in an Instagram post from Josh Rosebrook I believe who says it is okay to wash your hair every day as long as you use organic, all natural, gentle ingredients (he sells an all natural hair care line). I disagree with this. While gentle all natural ingredients are likely better and less harsh, natural oils are still washed away and mineral buildup from water occurs, plus I would be annoyed at having to wash and style my hair every day.

20180730_0908567554017436655157703.jpgI’ve never tried no-poo for any length of time, but have used cleansing conditioners from Deciem’s Hair Is Fabric, but I do prefer a good moisturizing, foamy, cleansing shampoo. I’ve recently been using Briogeo’s Super Moisturizing Shampoo from the Don’t Depair, Repair line. I also use a purple toned shampoo from Schwarzkopf to maintain the cool tones in my new blonde hair. I go as long as I can between washes, about every 3 to 4 days, and wash in cool water.

As for what makes a color-safe shampoo, as far as I can tell, it should be sulfate-free (SLS and SLES). Sulfates are harsh detergents, making hair dry and washing away color. I’ve used sulfate-free shampoos for a long time; years ago from Pureology and more recently from Malibu, Briogeo and Schwarzkopf.

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Some people use apple cider vinegar and/or baking soda in place of shampoo or conditioner (or both); I wouldn’t, even diluted I think it would mess with the pH of the scalp and doesn’t seem like it would clean as well. I use apple cider vinegar rinses after an oil treatment, however. ACV seems to break up the oil and is better than shampooing the oil out three times in a row which would negate the hydrating oil treatment. I also use it as a sort of clarifying treatment for oily scalp or product buildup. I then follow with shampoo and conditioner. I have been using John Masters Organics Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier and Color Sealer, but when I run out, will just mix up my own.

Air dry – Should you air dry your hair? Two thoughts on this – Don’t air dry, water swells the hair, damaging it; Yes air dry, the heat from a hair dryer is more damaging. You could blow dry on the cool setting. I let my hair dry, but my hair is pretty thin and dries relatively fast.

20180730_0911053886229566114084729.jpgDry shampoo – Dry shampoo comes in spray or powder form. I have used sprays from Batiste and Marc Anthony. I haven’t used a powder one, but am looking at Briogeo or Barber and Fritz for my next dry shampoo purchase. Dry shampoo can extend the time between hair washes. I don’t use dry shampoo too often and wouldn’t want to use it multiple days in a row, as it builds up on the hair.

20180118_123927394723153613330611.jpgConditioners – In addition to the above conditioners, I use a leave-in conditioner from Belegenza called EnCore. I saw a recent article, saying people should condition the hair first, rinse, then shampoo. That makes no sense to me; conditioner closes the hair cuticle and makes the hair hydrated and shiny.

Protein – If hair is stiff and brittle, it might have too much protein, and stringy or limp hair, not enough. If looking for a protein treatment, products should contain hydrolyzed protein, so the molecule is small enough to penetrate the hair. The leave-in conditioner I use has three different kinds of hydrolyzed protein and I use it every 3 or 4 days after I wash my hair.  Another option is hydrolyzed protein drops. Barber and Fritz makes Strengthening Tonique, a treatment with soy, corn, silk, wheat and keratin proteins in a dropper bottle that you can apply to washed hair, add conditioner over top and rinse, add into an overnight mask treatment or mix into other styling products and use as normal.

Oils – There are penetrating oils that can hydrate the hair and sealant oils that coat and protect the hair. Everyone seems to use coconut oil. Two opposing thoughts here – Coconut oil molecules are small enough to penetrate the hair and is very hydrating; the molecules are too big and the oil just sits on the hair. I couldn’t find a definitive answer here. I generally use coconut oil or jojoba oil as a sealant.

Hydrating oil examples include olive, avocado and argon. Sealant oils include jojoba, grape seed and sweet almond.

20180730_0916408314706840296952837.jpgWater is the best hydrator, so after a hair wash and condition, I towel dry, mix a leave-in conditioner with argon oil and marula oil (I find marula to be lighter than argon), put that on the hair and seal that in with jojoba oil, then air dry. For my hair length and thickness I use a two-pea size leave-in conditioner, 2 drops argon oil, 2 drops marula oil and 4 drops jojoba oil. If I want a refresh without washing, I’ll spray some rose water with aloe vera (I like the rose water from Akita) and put a few drops of oil on my hair. I use The Ordinary marula and argon oils. These are organic, cold pressed and inexpensive.

20180730_092111668717949954967143.jpgFor hot oil treatments, I’ll usually use a mix of argon, black castor and marula oils, comb that through the hair, put on a shower cap and then use a heated hair cap. The heated hair cap is much better than a hot towel. A towel is drippy, heavy and loses heat fast. The hair cap has gel inside that is heated in the microwave and stays hot for about 20 minutes. If doing a scalp treatment as well, I’ll use rosemary and/or peppermint essential oils to increase blood flow to the scalp, a cooling sensation and antimicrobial benefits. Oils and essential oils can be mixed with regular shampoo and conditioner as well.

I’ve also read that some people don’t like hot oil treatments, as the heat opens the hair cuticle, causing color fade. I haven’t had an issue with this so far. The open hair cuticle also allows for penetration of the oils to get the benefit of the hydration and nutrients.

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Treatments –  Malibu C makes many different types of treatments for common issues in one-use packets; Color Prepare, Hard Water, Malibu Blondes, Swimmers, Scalp Therapy, Curl Partner and Relaxer. The only one I’ve used thus far is Color Prepare.

Thicker hair – There is so much anecdotal evidence about castor oil thickening hair and regrowing hair on bald patches; I have doubts about that, but haven’t tried it for any length of time to try and get thicker hair. Essential oils like clary sage, peppermint and rosemary are added to products to stimulate the scalp and contribute to hair growth and thickness. Again, I’ve not tried this long term, and I have doubts this will actually work despite all the anecdotal evidence online.

20180613_1333008402756878716784672.jpg20180118_123821196183418652463828.jpgThere are a few treatments and shampoos that claim to thicken hair; Belegenza has their GrowOut shampoo and conditioner and GrowOut Scalp Energizing Spray. (I tried this spray with no results, but perhaps didn’t give the product enough time to work). Grow Gorgeous has a hair density serum. Tropic Isle living makes shampoo with castor oil and red pimento oil to get thicker, longer hair. Deciem’s The Ordinary relatively recently came out with their Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density. I’ve been using this for about 7 weeks now, as the ingredients sound quite promising. You can read about this serum here. Products like these serums need time to work, at least 6 months.

20180730_0927413970431966958726335.jpgBond builders – There are a few of these types of treatments on the market. Olaplex is well known and has a home version that strengthens and protects the hair by relinking broken disulfide bonds from chemical services, heat and mechanical damage. Bond and Seal and Brazilian Bond Builder are others.  I use Olaplex before and after getting a color service.

20180719_1115562850468612545314376.jpgCombs and brushes – Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair. Avoid using a nylon brush on wet hair (or dry hair). This can cause breakage and frizz. I use Tek’s wide tooth wooden comb to gently detangle wet hair. It can also be used to comb through oils, conditioners and masks. It does a good job at removing debris. It does not cause hair static like a plastic comb. It is said that it can distribute the scalp oils through the hair, but I would think that a boar bristle or paddle brush would do a better job. I haven’t tried a boar bristle brush yet, but apparently it is said this should replace your nylon brush for gentle detangling, distributing oils and cleansing the hair.

20180730_0923191822953970538498838.jpgHeat and UV protection – Use minimal heat, but if you do, use a heat protectant, I’ve just recently started using UV protection for my hair as well with the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil that is a heat and UV protective primer.

img_20180522_104704_2609192062539791358336.jpgSupplements and diet – A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help the health of the hair, skin and nails. Look for foods with protein, iron, vitamins A, C and E and omega 3 fatty acids. I like to drink green smoothies in the morning with spinach, mango (alternating with other fruits and vegetables), flax seed, whey protein and yogurt.

img_20180515_114245_6277204793039654946309.jpgFor supplements, a hair, skin and nails vitamin usually contains the above vitamins, in addition to minerals, B vitamins and biotin. You can also supplement with collagen via a powder, capsule or bone broth. I sometimes take a multivitamin and omega 3 supplement and have recently been using the Sproos Up Your Skin and Hair enhanced collagen supplement.

incollage_20180730_0940117466668475529913913074.jpgHaircuts and trims – While I had previously never gone to the same hair stylist twice, I had gotten the same haircut for a few years, a shaggy bob, but it always had to be flat-ironed to look good or would dry in a dome shape around my head as it grew out.  With the right haircut for your face shape and customized to your lifestyle, a good haircut can have a good grow out. I found a hairstylist who gave me a great haircut that grows out nicely and requires no heat or product to look great. This cut made me a repeat and now permanent customer (Style Theory in Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

Get trims regularly. This prevents split ends and keeps frizzy ends away which allows you to keep length as well.

Split ends – Two opposing thoughts here – Use “this” cream or treatment to fix split ends; nothing will fix split ends, the hair must be trimmed. It seems the way split end creams and treatments work are to temporarily stick the two split ends together. So, the only way to fix split ends permanently is by trimming the hair regularly. That way, the split end won’t continue to travel up the hair shaft.

Scalp health – Probably the most important factor for healthy hair is a healthy scalp. Like your face, the scalp should be cleansed, balanced and exfoliated. I just found out there are toners for the scalp that are applied after shampooing and conditioning that aren’t rinsed out. Exfoliating the scalp once a week or so can remove product and oil buildup from the hair, and can contribute to hair growth; Briogeo makes Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Microexfoliating Shampoo and Christophe Robin sells a sea salt scalp scrub shampoo. I have yet to try scalp toners or exfoliants on the scalp. As mentioned above, hot oil treatments with essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint stimulate the scalp.

Satin/silk pillowcase or hair wrap – Using a satin or silk pillowcase rather than cotton reduces friction on the hair as you sleep, resulting in less breakage and frizz. This reduced friction can also diminish crease wrinkles on your face. Cotton absorbs more moisture than silk, potentially making skin and hair drier.

Summary – My Hair Care Routine:

  1. Wash every 3 to 4 days. Alternate with a moisturizing shampoo and purple toned shampoo.
  2. Condition using a deep conditioning mask (with silicone) after a color service, alternating with a moisturizing deep conditioning mask (no silicone).
  3. After each wash and condition, mix argon and marula oils with a leave-in conditioner and seal with jojoba oil.
  4. Apply the Hair Density Serum to the scalp in the evening.
  5. Once a week use Olaplex No 3.
  6. Once a week do a hot oil treatment with argon and marula oils (mix with rosemary and peppermint oils for scalp treatment) and use the heated hair cap. Rinse with apple cider vinegar. Shampoo and condition as normal.
  7. Morning green smoothie. Supplement with collagen, occasional multivitamin and omega 3.
  8. Use a mulberry silk pillowcase.

 

 

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Your Best Face Skincare Restore Review

Restore, by Your Best Face Skincare, is a nighttime cream serum for face, hands and neck. This product claims to increase elasticity and thus reduce saggy and crepey skin, brighten and even complexion, reduce dull-looking skin, soften fine lines and hydrate dry and damaged skin. Directions say to apply a small amount to clean, damp skin and massage in.

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Ingredients: reverse osmosis water, Leucidal® (leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate), SYN®-TC (glycerin, aqua, tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine), ethylhexyl palmitate, Uplevity™ (water, acetyl tetrapeptide-2, caprylyl glycol), TEGO® Pep 4-Even (tetrapeptide-30 (and) glycerin (and) water), Elhibin® (glycine soja (soybean) protein), cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate, sorbitan olivate, ceteareth-6 olivate, meadowfoam seed oil, vitamin E succinate, cupuacu butter, hydroxyethylcellulose 

SYN-TC uses tri and tetrapeptide technology focusing on collagen for smooth, plump skin with improved elasticity. Uplevity is a combination of peptides and actives that apparently enhances the expression of genes involved in the organization of elastic fibers and dermal cohesion to combat sagging skin. TEGO Pep 4-Even diminishes pigmentation spots and brightens the skin. Elhibin comes from soybean protein and is a proteinase inhibitor. Proteinase plays a role in irritation and accelerated skin aging.

Hands are one of the first areas to show signs of aging; they are always exposed to the environment and I rarely remember to put sunscreen on my hands.  I decided to try Restore on my hands; the skin is thinning (I didn’t really realize how thin until my daughter compared her hands to mine and said “oh my god, your skin is so thin” after pinching my skin), I have increased fine lines and my hands go through cycles of dryness every couple months (if you are looking for relief of dry skin, I love this product). I have no hyperpigmentation on my hands.incollage_20180628_0947416065175794106863496094.jpg

YBF Skincare products work well together and layer beautifully with no pilling. Restore can be mixed with the Private Reserve oils, the Antioxidants Concentrate or the Advanced CE Concentrate for customized benefit. I used Restore on its own.

I used this in the evening about 5 times a week for 4-1/2 months on clean, damp skin. The product has better spreadability and faster, easier absorption when the skin is damp.  Restore is a lightweight, white, thick serum/thin cream that is unscented, but has its own somewhat medicinal smell that only lasts for seconds. On application this has an amazing silky feeling on the skin that immediately has a softening, slightly plumping effect. This is such a different feeling than any other product I’ve used. This feeling lasts for about 30 minutes.

In touching and looking at my hands after 4-1/4 months of use and looking at close up views of the photos above, while this product gave immediate very short term results, I don’t think I really see the longer term results I would need to continue purchasing. My hands feel a bit softer and some dryness on my knuckles has improved (but this could also be achieved by using an oil on the hands; vitamin C also works for brightening ). The finer lines around my knuckles and those due to the thinning skin look the same, so I can’t imagine this product helping deeper wrinkles on the neck or fine lines on my forehead (though to be fair, the skin is thinner on the neck and face than it is on the hands). I don’t have pigmentation issues on my hands, but I know these spots are very hard to get rid of as I have hyperpigmentation due to sun damage, and consistent use of a product for months, if not upwards of a year, especially products without containing something like hydroquinone or kojic acid.

I tried Restore a few times on my face just to get a sense for texture and this would make a nice lightweight moisturizer for the face (I don’t like using heavier moisturizers as I have oily skin). It absorbs after about 20 seconds and there is the immediate softening plump on the face, but it didn’t seem as silky as when used on the hands. This would make a nice treatment for the lips.

I have tried and love a number of Your Best Face Skincare products, but I will not be repurchasing Restore.

 

 

 

 

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

Deciem’s recently launched hair care from The Ordinary, Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density, replaces Deciem’s discontinued Stemm product (which I also used likely about 2 years ago now). This is a concentrated serum that claims to make hair look thicker, denser, healthier and fuller. This is more of a first impression post (this product has not been on the market long enough for anyone to see results of the claims). I wanted to post some before photos of my hair and invite you to follow/check back, I expect in about 3 to 6 months, when I hope to see some results.

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caffeine, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Larix Europaea Wood Extract, Pisum Sativum Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract, Glycine Soja Germ Extract, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Apigenin, Oleanolic Acid, Arginine, Glycine, Calcium Gluconate, Zinc Chloride, Lactic Acid, Gluconolactone, Dextran, Maltodextrin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan gum, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

The serum is thin and slightly yellow. It contains 1% caffeine by weight, and with a quick search I found an article citing the Journal of Dermatology that says “topical treatment with caffeine resulted in the increase in average growth of hair follicles by around 46%. It also extended its life cycle by 33%” and an article saying “hair products that contain caffeine are not able to reach the hair follicle and therefore can’t promote growth” though this was from a hair clinic. This contains the complexes Redensyl, Procapil, Capixyl, Baicapil and AnaGain. Redensyl is a complex that apparently gives better results than hair transplantation in 84 days with visible hair growth. Procapil apparently strengthens hair and prevents hair loss. Capixyl is a peptide from the extract of red clover that reduces the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes thinning of the hair follicles which causes hair loss. Baicapil is an active of three plants that stimulates hair growth, increases hair density and reduces hair loss. AnaGain apparently reactivates hair growth, contributing to thicker, fuller hair. Deciem says that the above technologies make up 21.15% concentration by weight. Hydrogenated castor oil is toward the end of the ingredient list.

The ingredients sound promising, and I’m looking forward to seeing if this product works. For reference, I’m 37 years of age, my hair is fine (but I have a lot of it, other than the thinning front area of the head), I have some graying, I get my hair colored about twice a year and I have had thinning hair likely for a couple years now, more toward the front and sides of my head. I’m using the Multi-Peptide Serum on my eyebrows as well, as they are thinning and some hair follicles are likely dead due to over-tweezing in my early 20s.

I’ve used The Ordinary hair serum for about 4 days now. Putting a drop on my fingers, it has a slightly oily feeling for a few seconds, then a bit sticky for a few seconds and absorbs quite quickly into the skin. There is not really a smell to the serum.

Directions say to apply a few drops to clean, dry scalp ideally at bedtime and massage into scalp. This is a leave-on treatment. The first couple uses I parted my hair in a few areas and put a drop in each parted area toward the front of my hair and one drop on each side of my head (edges of the hair) and massaged into the scalp. This left a bit of an oily look and feel to the hair that lasted about 30 to 45 minutes until it absorbed and/or dried, so using before bedtime is ideal. I also tried putting a couple drops on my fingers then massaging into the scalp that way, but I’m not sure that applied product evenly to all areas. In the morning, my hair looked and felt normal with no greasy feeling or residue.

Update: September 2, 2018 – Three-month after photos coming soon; follow for a new Hair Density Serum post on September 8 or 9. Click here for 3-month after results.

Before photos:

Follow this space for after photos in the coming months.

Abnomaly Petrowhat Review

Abnomaly Petrowhat is Deciem’s recently launched lip and skin ointment that can be applied to lips and dry areas of the skin and claims to hydrate, protect and repair dry skin from the first use. This is not a lip gloss.

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Ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma (Natural Flavour).

The first ingredient is squalane, an emollient oil that hydrates and prevents hydration loss. Sucrose laurate and sucrose stearate are also emollients. This lip treatment contains amino acids which can hydrate, repair and act as antioxidants. Adansonia digitata seed oil is another name for baobab oil, containing fatty acids and vitamins which moisturizes and has a silky feeling.

I bought the coconut milk flavor that reminds me of the beach. It has a mild coconut scent and flavor and is not sweet tasting. The scent is stronger than the taste. The ointment comes in a metal tube, which is problematic; once the seal is pierced, a lot of product rushes out of the tube.

I’ve used this balm for a couple weeks now, about three times a day. On initial application to the lips it has an initial wet silky feeling, not particularly oily, and somewhat shiny. This silky feeling and shine lasted a few minutes as it absorbed into the skin. Once absorbed, about 15 or 20 minutes later, the lips had quite a dry feeling with almost peeling skin.  This product actually made my lips dry. A lip treatment I like much more is Quench.

I get dry patches of skin on my hands every couple months, almost eczema-like with peeling. I tried Petrowhat on these dry patches as well. On initial application I had immediate relief of the soreness that comes with very dry skin. The ointment absorbed rather quickly, as my hands were quite dry and then left a kind of dry protective layer on my skin that lasted quite a while. So, while this protective layer was nice for my hands, it made my lips really dry. I’m not sure that these dry patches healed faster than with a good hand lotion or something like jojoba oil, but Petrowhat did offer a protective layer on my hands and would likely work well over a lotion or other oil.

I won’t use this on my lips anymore, but will continue to use my tube when I have dry spots on my skin. I will not repurchase.

BioBliss Lash and Brow Booster Serum Review

BioBliss is Prairie Bliss Botanical’s science skincare line. Prairie Bliss is a small Canadian spa and skincare company offering all natural and organic products. I’ve also used the Caffeine Fix Eye Serum and U-Fresh Mist from this company. Since trying B Beauty’s Eye Lash Enhancer and not seeing the results I wanted, I purchased the BioBliss Lash and Brow Booster Serum.

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The Prairie Bliss website lists the ingredients; however, it is a hover list and has a copyright label, so I’m not sure I’d be allowed to list it fully here. Please see their website for a full list of ingredients. I’ll go through the primary ingredients though. The two active ingredients are peptides; myristoyl pentapeptide-17 and myristoyl hexapeptide-16. The pentapeptide enhances keratin production, thus creating lengthening and thickening of the lashes. The hexapeptide also stimulates keratin and makes lashes appear thicker, longer and stronger. Apparently these two peptides, when used together, make lashes grow 25% longer. The other primary ingredient listed is castor oil. Castor oil is anecdotally touted as a hair growth miracle all over the internet. I have doubts about castor oil growing hair; this is the first ingredient in the B Beauty Eyelash Enhancer, which didn’t lengthen my lashes.  However, I have been trying castor oil as a weekly hair oil treatment. The BioBliss Lash Serum includes other oils and vitamins.

This product claims to lengthen and thicken lashes with visible results in 2-4 weeks and best results in 6-8 weeks. This is to be applied on clean eyes at the root of the upper eyelash once daily. This can also be used on eyebrows. As with most eye products, it should be used within 3 months.

I have short eyelashes that seem to grow straight out with no curl. Due to over-tweezing my eyebrows years ago, they are thin and some of the hair follicles are likely dead (I don’t expect anything to revive dead hair follicles).

I applied this to my eyelid at the root of the eyelashes with the small brush and also applied it to the root of my eyebrows in the evening. The product itself is white and has a bit of a medicinal smell. It is not irritating. About three weeks in I started noticing results; my eyelashes were a little longer. I didn’t see any change to my eyebrows though.

I used the product for 8 weeks, and definitely noticed results in the mirror as I applied the product close to the end of the 8 weeks. I thought the eyelashes looked longer, but I didn’t notice any increase in thickness. In the photos the results were harder to see.

 

The top photos are before and the bottom photos are after 8 weeks’ use. Zooming in on the photos, I’m not sure I can see too much difference in the length looking at the front of the eye (a bit surprising since I could definitely tell there was lengthening as I applied the serum towards the end of the review); however, the side profile definitely shows lengthening. I can also see the lashes are a bit thicker especially towards the root. It looks like I might have some graying on some eyelashes and on the after photos the coloring looks better and the lashes look stronger and healthier.

Something I want to note is that the company recommends this be used by 3 months due to bacteria buildup. This is pretty standard with products used around the eyes (mascara, eyeliner, eye drops etc.). The bottle contains 10 mL of product. I used this for 2 months on my upper eyelashes and my eyebrows, and the product was only a quarter gone at the end of the 2 months. The product could easily be half the size.

I’d likely purchase again. I was hoping for more length, but perhaps with the way my eyelashes grow straight out, the length is harder to see. There are definite results with the eyelashes looking healthier and thicker. I was also hoping for at least thickening of the eyebrows as well. I might look for another product with the same active peptides in it; whether a product does what it claims depends on the concentration of actives used. There have been good, proven results with products containing prostaglandins, but I’m a bit reluctant to try these based on side effects.