From cynic to fan: Jade Beauty Head Massage Tool from Hayou Method

While I am a big fan of quality hair brushes, like Kent, Tangle Teezer or Wet Brush, that don’t irritate the scalp, nor pull your hair out when brushing, recent hype about jade & rose quartz head massage tools has left me cold – yet another expensive tool that we don’t need in our arsenal, I thought to myself. Yet the images of Chinese concubines and Japanese geishas brushing their gloriously long and glossy manes kept swirling in my mind and when an opportunity to try the launched in October Jade Beauty Head Massage Tool from Hayou Method arose, I guess I was in the right frame of mind for an experiment.

Designed for use directly on the scalp, the latest tool from Katie Brindle, Chinese Medicine practitioner & founder of Hayo’u Method, offers multiple health and beauty benefits. Based on highly researched massage techniques, the promise is that it is extremely easy and enjoyable to use. Through Gua Sha (a massage technique using a tool) and conscious breathing exercises, you can help reduce the signs of premature ageing, while also looking after your internal health. So far, so easy!

The benefit of regular head massage should never be underestimated and while the long-term effect depends on a variety of factors, brushing your hair and massaging your scalp promotes healthier hair growth, stimulates the scalp, reduces stress & tension, increases energy levels and promotes the sense of calm & relaxation.

According to Katie, Hair Combing (or Combing Therapy) is an extension of Chinese Medecinal Massage Tui Na and Jade Beauty Restorer Comb offers you a daily beauty ritual that can have long-term benefits not only for your state of mind, but the health of your scalp and hair.

Hayo’u Method Jade Beauty Restorer Comb (£38)

‘What Will it Do?’ I wondered, as I got to grips with brushing my and my daughter’s hair and scalp with a jade comb. Its soothing shade of green and lightness both pleasing on the eye and soothing for the mind. Well, combined with the ritual, it will improve the blood circulation to the scalp, which in turn will deliver more essential nutrients to the hair follicles, which in its turn will help determine how healthy your hair will be (coupled with other factors, like lifestyle, existing health conditions, DNA & nutrition). Using this comb also massages the acupressure points, regulating the meridians (or energy channels) on your head. Using it daily will have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and will help reduce stress – something that I can testify to. The actual process of brushing your hair and stimulating the scalp with this jade comb slows you down, allowing for your actions to be almost sloth-like, leaving you calm and energised in equal measure.

Interestingly, because of the size and the way that the comb ends are shaped (it is quite comfortable to hold in your hand too, allowing for more precise movements, but make sure that your hands are dry, so it doesn’t slip out and break !) it will help clean the scalp of dead skin and dandruff. It also feels very satisfying to gently untangle the knots out of the hair with the comb at the end of the day, especially if yours is long.

Katie helpfully shared a video about the best ways to put this comb to good use and after watching it & improving my own technique, I got on with using it daily, often twice a day, in the morning after brushing my teeth and in the evening as I unwind in my bathroom in silence. There is something almost Pavlovian in the pleasure derived from slowly running the comb over your scalp and hair, slowing down the breathing and emptying your mind of the clutter.

And it wasn’t just me who enjoyed using this comb, but my little girl too. While I got too pocessive over ‘the fragility’ of jade, if it gets dropped on the tiled bathroom floor, I very much enjoy the tender moments with my daughter in the evening, brushing her hair, catching up on day’s events, plans for the next day and unwinding together before bedtime. We also added our own twist to the technique, leaning forward and brushing the scalp and hair from the back forward, with the blood rushing to the head for a brief period of time and it feels so good to then look int the mirror and see a lion’s thick mane of hair .)

So, do I still think that a jade hair comb is an unnecessary gimmick? Absolutely and resoundingly ‘no’. I absolutely LOVE using this Jade Beauty head Massage Tool and have noticed that my scalp feels less dry and the hair seems to be shinier after about four weeks. Now I also look forward to my daily hair & scalp brushing ritual, which before seemed more like a quick chore, rather than something special. The art of enjoyment of little things that make a difference to how we look and feel!

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Time to do good – The Boost Box Company

Sometimes out of something terribly testing comes out a seed of hope that blossoms into a giving tree – that’s really the first thing that came to mind, when I received a gift box from the Boost Box Company. Its founder, Nadia Campbell, initially comes across as any other busy mother of three daughters, balancing work & family, but dig deeper and a treasure of wisdom comes to the surface, teaching anyone willing to listen that life doesn’t give us tasks that we can’t deal with, but it is the way that we respond to challenges that is the making (or breaking) of us.

Nadia and I ‘met’ via social media pages. We exchanged e-mails, which led to a long phone conversation on March 8th, International Women’s Day, on a variety of subject. Her story touched me deeply & having had my own personal crisises in the past, I know that we share multiple common threads.

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Beauty brand in the spotlight: Skin Owl

Knowing the beauty brand from afar and enjoying using their products is one thing, but meeting the founder allows you to view the brand in a completely different light and from multiple angles. You observe the person ‘in action’, talking about their passions and products, while you innately decide whether what they tell you makes sense to you or is more about trends and mass market mentality that prevails in the beauty marketplace. Some play the role well in order to charm you, other allow themselves to luxury to be themselves and letting you be the judge of their character. Meeting Annie Tevelin, an American founder of a natural beauty brand Skin Owl, didn’t go to plan, but allowed me to meet a woman who is not only passionate about her day job, but clearly see that she holds women and their skincare needs deep inside the confines of her heart.

Originally I was supposed to meet up with Annie at the brunch that she was organising during her visit to London from the US. Annie used to live and work in London, so the city holds a very special place in her heart and so she wanted to get together a group of women, who didn’t know each other and forge new connections based on the female spirit and interest in natural beauty. However on the eve of the event Annie had to cancel it, due to unforeseen circumstances, and we both tried to juggle our busy schedules in order to meet up before she flew back home. On a cold morning I arrived at Camden’s Triyoga and settled myself in a corner sofa of Nectar cafe with a cup of warming matcha latte.

Annie arrived quietly, but her wild mane of hair and a coat in an eye-catching shade of coral red, accompanied by her wide smile, which seemed to draw people towards her (one will later spill water over her, eliciting first surprise and then an understanding giggle from Annie) and within minutes, joined by a fellow beauty blogger Ailish Lucas, we all chatted away like old friends.

Time flew by, with us discussing our opinions on the problems we all face, busy schedules, skin woes, travel, love & relationships, favourite products and skincare tips. Annie is good at listening and asking you with genuine interest about things that matter to you, but when you ask her questions, she is engaging and open as well. She is a realist and doesn’t promise magic, but there is a strong undercurrent of passion that must be one of the ingredients that she infuses her products with. There is no doubt in my mind that at the centre of Skin Owl is Annie’s desire to help women feel good in their skin, because it is something that affects the self-esteem of many. Throughout life we are affected by our hormones, every day – from our moods to our skin. There are many beauty products and even more promises thrown at us daily from the press pages and tv and phone screens, yet not many brands engage with consumers and try to tackle the problems that negatively impact us. Treating healthy young skin is easy, dealing with problematic skin is another story. Annie, who has suffered from acne and eczema in the past, is the vocal advocate of looking after our skin and she makes sure she gives you ammunition with her helpful advice, if you ask for it. Being privy to one person’s discontent with one of Annie’s products, I promised that I will talk to Annie about it. When I did,  I passed Annie’s comments to the person, made sure she got in touch with Annie and by the time Annie was back in the US, overpowered with jet lag again (she battled it fiercely in London, attending to her very busy schedule come rain or schedule crumbles), the problem seemed to be in the process of being resolved. If that isn’t customer care you want to receive when something doesn’t work for you, I don’t know what is.

‘Skin Owl’s sole mission is to read more