Secret places to get great hair products at knocked down prices. UK.

Hi everybody,

So you might know that I’m a bit of a hair product junkie and love finding new miracle products, especially if they are cheap! Its a problem that high end hair products are just very expensive and you never know if they are going to work for you, so I have a few tips on where to look for marked down/cheaper products.

  • TK Maxx. If you live near a large TK Maxx, take a look at their hair section, they often have old lady shampoos and things, and then high end products that are over stocked or end of the line. Recently they’ve had a great deal of argan and macadamia oils and a huge Tigi Bedhead range. They always have little gems.
  • Afro and Ethnic specialist shops. Often specialist Afro hair shops such as Beauty Queen Cosmetics (the one I visit) have great products much cheaper than high street stores. I purchased a bottle of aphogee keratin 2 minute reconstructor for only £3.99 (£9.49 on amazon), coconut oil for £2.99 and my hair dye is only £3.49 per bottle here. They stock hundreds of products for dry and damaged hair as well as many other things, including about 40 kinds of oil suitable for uses on hair. These shops can be a treasure trove!
  • Online! If you go to a salon and love a product, its often cheaper to get the product online, especially if you do some snooping around amazon, ebay, and cheap shops. Usually googleshopping can help you sniff out a bargain. 
  • Places like Boots are now doing high end products such as bumble and bumble and whilst I am not sure on their policy about testers/free samples, they do have counters so you can test the product for free whilst there. Usually if the company counter is new, they’ll be more willing to give out free samples.
  • TJ Hughes whilst usually walking into the shop feels like the twlight zone, they have some awesome hair deals on occasions, and these can also be found online. A the moment they are stocking Bedhead, Moroccan Oil, and goldwell.
  • Salon clearances. Sometimes salons close down, its sad, but it means they need to get rid of their shelf stock! Take a look around your area, or sometimes they put stock on ebay.
  • Ebay! I know it seems obvious, but heres the secret- don’t be afraid to buy products that are half used! You are more likely to win an auction of a product that has been opened, and if you don’t know if a high end product is right for you, then perhaps half a bottle for cheap is what you need to start with!
  • Magazines, its rare, bus sometimes you’ll get a good freebie on a magazine.
  • New Products to a store. Boots and superdrug are normally more expensive than buying at savers or online, however if they have a new product in the store, they will often have great promotions to try and get the product out to the masses, so keep your peepers peeled.
  • Groupon. Its less often these days, but groupon do have product deals.
  • Buyapower. Buyapower is a co-buying website which gets bulk deals so as they can get them to the masses for cheaper, however each deal is usually only available for a very short period with the lot that they have. The more people that buy that product, the cheaper it becomes! They have great high end hair deals at least once a day, and you can sign up for particular product alerts or just for hair alerts.

Colours that cover colours.

Hi all!

 I wanted you to know that this weekend I covered faded red dye (to pink) with orange dye and it worked perfectly, I achieved a lovely bright orange.

This was faded adore red with directions tangerine over it.

Other colours that can cover

  • Dark blue tends to be fool proof to cover mostly anything
  • Red covers orange
  • Dark purple covers light blue
  • Blue covers aqua

There are more of course, but I thought this might be helpful!

Hair tips and facts.

  • Bleach is not more damaging than box dyes, so long as you know how to use it- especially in the case of blonde box dyes for lightening hair rather than using an actual lightener.
  • Box dyes should not, as a rule, be used over hair that has been bleached.
  • Conditioners rarely have the ability to ‘repair’ hair, rather they just close and smooth the cuticles making the hair feel and appear softer- these are known as surface conditioners.
  • If you suffer from oily hair, do not apply conditioner to the scalp, only the ends of the hair where is suffers the most wear and tear.
  • Conditioners that claim to thicken the hair, usually work by coating the shaft of hair in a layer of protein, making it appear thicker.
  • Your diet can greatly affect the condition of your hair
  • There is no product that can make female hair grow faster, however for men there is a hair growth stimulant.
  • The best way to help ones hair grow is regularly getting trims to keep the hair in good condition and eating well.
  • It is common to loose up to 100 hairs a day
  • It is best, if possible, to not wash your hair every day since shampoos often change the natural PH of the hair and strip if of essential natural oils.
  • When brushing wet hair, you should use a wide toothed comb with rounded teeth to avoid breakage- the hair is much weaker when wet and usually 30% longer, stretching that even more can be very damaging.
  • To grow hair to their waist, the average person will take 7 years.

Types of dyes, what, why and how.

This post outlines the different types of hair dye on the market for at home dying, and explains some of the chemistry that goes into them so as you will better understand how to use them. I hope you find this informative :) most of it is already in the FAQ and on my original gaiaonline thread, but I thought I would make it more readily available here.

User ImageReadily available on the UK market are both semi permanent and permanent hair dyes. These can both be purchased to do at home as well as being available in most salons (which will also be able to offer you a wider range of types of dye). You can also find wash in/wash out dyes that last ‘six’ washes, but often only tint the hair lightly for a couple of washes. Demi-Permanent dyes are those that contain an alkaline to open cuticles, but do not lighten the natural colour of the hair- these are widely used to cover grey.


User ImagePermanent dyes to use at home are often referred to as ‘box dyes’ because they come in little cardboard boxes from drug stores. Almost every hair company have their own brand of dye, and there’s no real difference in them other than the shades, though many people have their favourites. Colour shade and staying power always really relies on the individual rather than the whole. Box dyes are not often made to be used on bleached hair, where as semi permanent bright colours are only ever very effective on bleached hair. Box dyes that contain metallic salts SHOULD NOT be used on bleached hair as the reaction will cause unwanted colours!

Permanant dyes work by having a developer that creates the molecules in the dye to shrink as you apply it to your hair so they are able to enter the shaft of the hair easily, after an hour or so, the developer stops working and the molecules grow back to their original size and are unable to then escape.

User ImageColour strippers

Merely reverse the developer process by shrinking the dye molecules back to their smaller size, allowing them to become free and dragged from the hair. If the timing is not adhered to, you can easily end up with patchy hair since some of the (anti) developer has stopped working, and the dye molecules are again too large to escape.

User ImageSemi Permanent dyes are usually vegetable dyes, made from vegetable extracts and work because they have small molecules that enter the cuticle of the hair, unlike permanent dyes however, there is no developer, the molecules do not change size, so they are able to escape through the cuticle as you wash it. Think of putting a ball in a hole, with permanent dye, developers make a large ball small enough to go through the hole, then the developer stops working and the ball (molecule) grows large again, and so cannot come back out. With veg dyes, the ball stays the same shape throughout.


User Image Hair that has never been coloured is referred to as ‘virgin’. Virgin hair will not take to colour as well as that which has been previously treated because lighteners (for example) open the cuticles and allow the colour to penetrate the hair more effectively.This however also works both ways since once the cuticle is open, hair dye can also be dragged from the hair more easily- some lighteners (as well as many alkaline such as dish soap) and clarifying shampoos open the cuticle a great deal, thus allowing colour to be dragged from the hair. Shampoo always opens the cuticle, but conditioner closes it.
Because of cuticles being closed, virgin hair often holds colour a lot more effectively than that which has been treated.Be aware that box dyes often have agents in them to open cuticles.


User Image I’ve had a lot of questions in the past about putting bright colours on darker hair. I believe that the best way to think about this is as if you are trying to paint. Painting on a white sheet of paper will get you a true and perfect colour. Trying to put the same colour on a black sheet will be dulled- think of your hair in the same way. You can put light colours on dark hair, but will often only be able to see a sheen or hint of the colour you put on.


User Image To remove any confusion, I will quote this site

The outer layer of the hair shaft, its cuticle, must be opened before permanent color can be deposited into the hair. Once the cuticle is open, the dye reacts with the inner portion of the hair, the cortex, to deposit or remove the color. Most permanent hair colors use a two-step process (usually occurring simultaneously) which first removes the original color of the hair and then deposits a new color. It’s essentially the same process as lightening, except a colorant is then bonded within the hair shaft. Ammonia is the alkaline chemical that opens the cuticle and allows the hair color to penetrate the cortex of the hair. It also acts as a catalyst when the permanent hair color comes together with the peroxide. Peroxide is used as the developer or oxidizing agent. The developer removes pre-existing color. Peroxide breaks chemical bonds in hair, releasing sulfur, which accounts for the characteristic odor of haircolor. As the melanin is decolorized, a new permanent color is bonded to the hair cortex. Various types of alcohols and conditioners may also be present in hair color. The conditioners close the cuticle after coloring to seal in and protect the new color.