General

When to trim your ends

Having your ends trimmed regularly is a very important step when maintaining a healthy head of hair.  There are a few signs that you are in need of a trim: Tangling, light colored tips,ends when all other hair is dark, overly dry brittle ends, and if you can see the split it is way past time. Women with high lighted, permanent hair color, permanent relaxers, or tightly coiled hair typically are candidates for more frequent trimming.

 Far too often trims are skipped to ‘save the length’ of the hair. Unfortunately going extended periods of time without trimming can lead to lots of unnecessary damage to the ends. Once a hair has split there is no way to repair it. Yes, there are many products and conditioning treatments that claim to repair broken ends but they are really temporary fixes. The treatments fill the empty spaces but these bonds are broken again with a few days of basic manipulation. Split ends like to hug every hair near it, with or without splits of their own, causing lots of tangling. They also like to travel up the hair shaft. The only way to stop it is by clipping the split end completely off.

‘Quarterly trims keep the Tingle and Tangles tame.’ -June Ambrose

The Truth about Sulfate-Free Shampoo

In a more health conscious world we are living in it is no surprise that the beauty industry has not missed a beat when it comes to its beauty products. Sulfate-free products have been on the rise for many years. Sulfate has been in many products for ages! So what’s the big deal?! What is sulfate? Is it really that harmful? Is it okay to keep using shampoos containing sulfate? Why use sulfate-free products?!

 

Sulfate is short for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). It is a surfactant, or ingredient that is used to break up dirt and oil build up. It’s popularity is due to its deep cleansing, emulsifying (suds, foam) and easy rinsing abilities. People equate lots of suds with lots of clean, right?!  So naturally, many product companies have used it as a first ingredient for decades. SLS is found in many products such as shampoo, soap, and even toothpaste.

 

SLS has been known to cause irritation to the scalp, strips hair color (artificial), reverses keratin or amino-acid based straightening treatments, and may also cause frizziness to curly hair. People with skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis should look into using shampoos and soaps that are sulfate-free. As for those with lots of texture in their hair sulfate-free products have proven to maintain a smoother curl with little to no frizz. SLS opens the hair shaft to deeply clean the hair removing build up also stripping the hairs natural moisture which often leaves the hair shaft open resulting in frizzy strands.

So the sulfate has been removed. How does the hair and scalp get clean?  What does one do without volumes of suds?  Easy! There are other thorough, gentle, non-stripping surfactants to choose from. Look for ingredients, mild surfactants such as Sodium Lauroyl Isethinionate (also known as Iselux), Sodium Methyl Cocoyl and Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate in your shampoos.  These ingredients are naturally derived from plants and minerals. Some will give little to no lather while some will give lots of lather. Be mindful to rinse hair thoroughly before you shampoo to remove excess build up. They are very gentle yet very effective in cleansing the scalp and hair leaving manageable and retaining the skin and hairs natural moisture.  They will also help preserve the vibrancy in your hair color, and won’t strip your keratin or amino acid based straightening treatments.

Two professional product lines that I use in the salon are Design Essentials and ColorProof. Both lines have a great selection of sulfate-free products to choose from.

 

  • SLS can be irritating to skin 
  • SLS can strip hair of its natural oils
  • Sulfate-free benefits hair retaining natural oil
  • Sulfate-free is non-irritating to skin
  • Sulfate-free leaves hair frizz free
  • Sulfate-free preserves hair color
  • Sulfate-free maintains straightening treatments

‘Every great head of hair starts with clean hair!’

Shampoo, Conditioning and Styling at Home

head-missionEveryone wants to have healthy and beautiful hair. The good news is that there are just a few basic steps to achieve it at home!

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is the most important part to achieving great hair at home. Always be sure to choose what your hair will need. Often times we get carried away with what someone else is using. However, what works for one person may not be what your hair needs at the time. For healthy balanced hair your shampoo and conditioner selection should include ones that have good moisture and/or protein.

Shampoo

When choosing shampoo, pick something that is fit for your hair type. For fine hair, choose a shampoo that will add volume. Ingredients such as wheat protein, rice protein, keratin and amino acids add volume to the hair. For thick/coarse hair, choose a shampoo that will add moisture and increase manageability. Look for ingredients such as shea butter, rosemary, nettle extract and avocado butter. Focus applying shampoo to the scalp working it down to the ends. Massage the hair and scalp gently to avoid tangling.

Condition

 When choosing conditioner consider the same factors as choosing shampoo. Focus on applying conditioner to the ends of the hair working it up to the roots. This hair is normally more prone to dryness especially if your hair is collar length or longer. Remember when conditioning that your hair is like a sponge. Once your hair absorbs what it needs it will not absorb any more. On average conditioners take anywhere from 1-5 minutes to penetrate the hair shaft while deep/masked conditioners need to be capped and processed for 10-15 minutes. This is because there is a molecule size difference. The smaller the molecule the quicker the penetration. While larger molecules require the assistance of heat (simply capping to trap body heat or using a hooded dryer) to penetrate. Rinse hair with luke-warm then cool water to help close the hair shaft sealing in moisture.  After conditioning use a wet or cream leave-in conditioner before detangling and part hair into sections to prepare for drying.

Drying

 Depending on hair texture and your desired style is how you will choose which method is best. Blow drying works best with most hair types. For naturally curly hair blow drying begins your straightening process. For fine hair, use a medium heat and lower blowing pressure to help keep hair full. Choose a blow dry brush that has fewer rows to maintain fullness. For medium to coarse hair a higher heat setting and higher blowing pressure can be used. A blow dry brush with 9 rows (such as the Denman brand) has great tension to smooth thicker hair. For wet-set styles a hooded dryer or air drying is best. Many dryers these days have ceramic, ceramic-ionic, and tourmaline technology. This technology helps to dry hair faster and locks in moisture leaving hair shiny and frizz free!

Styling

 Be creative yet practical with your chosen style! Like blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons have ceramic, ceramic-ionic, and tourmaline technology offering the same benefit of locking in moisture for shinier hair. Although the heat of these irons is ‘safer’ it is still important to use a heat setting that is appropriate for your hair. Heat in any form can still cause dryness and breakage to your hair. Always start with a lower heat setting and turn it up as you see fit.

Nighttime Maintenance

 Nighttime maintenance is key to preserving your style. Whether you are wrapping, rolling or both be sure to cover your hair with a silk or satin wrap. As for your pillowcase, cotton pillowcases tend to dry the hair out. Choose a high-thread count or satin case that will not pull moisture out of your hair while you sleep.

Hair and Health Benefits of Water

        Lets begin with the basics! Water is the essence of life. Everything that grows needs water.  As we maneuver from day to day it is important to be sure your body is getting its necessary dose of water.  Our bodies are made up of about 60%-65% water.  Water helps transport nutrients and remove toxins from the body.  Sufficient amounts of water will ensure you body is working at its fullest potential. Many studies recommend 8 glasses per day. However, be reminded that food and drinks can be counted as well! Plenty of fruits and veggies such as cucumbers, spinach, watermelon and strawberries contain lots of water. Foods that act as diuretics (that still have great nutritional value) are citrus fruits, asparagus, onions and garlic. Also limit foods high in saturated fats as they decrease nutrient absorption.  Drinking room temperature or warm fluids promotes healthy digestion. Having healthy digestion will aid your body in absorbing nutrients from food as well as any vitamin supplements you may be taking!

Now that we have the inside of our bodies in check we can look at how water benefits the outside. Use warm water! Not hot! As good as it feels on the scalp and skin hot water is quite the culprit when trying to maintain smooth hair and skin. Although water is the number one moisture source hot water is still very drying to hair and skin. Warm water helps to promote good blood circulation in the scalp. Good blood circulation ensures that the scalp is getting a steady flow of nutrients necessary for proper hair growth. When cleansing hair rinsing is key! Thorough rinsing is necessary to cleanse build up on the hair and scalp. Frequent rinsing, shampooing or co-washing can help scalp problems such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. When conditioning hair, whether its a quick 2 minute conditioner or a deep conditioner in which you cap and use a heated dryer, it is important to rinse the hair with luke-warm then cool water. Cool water will help close the hair shaft leaving the surface of your hair flat and more reflective!

RECAP!

* Water is our greatest life source

* Drink up to 8 glasses of water daily

* Eat fruits and veggies with high water content to stay hydrated

* Water helps transport nutrients

* Rinse Rinse Rinse!

* Water helps rid dandruff

* Cool water rinse conditioner for shiny hair

*Stay hydrated inside and out!

” It is necessary to cultivate the scalp to grow hair as it is to cultivate the soil to grow a garden.” – Madame  C. J. Walker