Healthy Hair


The New Year starts with resolutions. Resolutions to eat healthy, lose weight, exercise more, meditate more … so the list goes on. But how often do these resolutions include looking after your hair better. Considering that a large percentage of our resolutions are “looks” based resolutions, it is surprising that hair care is not one of them. Our hair is, after all, our crowning glory.

Eating healthy, exercising, drinking loads of water and creating a less stressful life style for yourself does of course reflect positively on your luscious locks. Extreme or severe diets do not reflect well on the hair at all. Inadequate nutrition, stress and medication can very quickly manifest in the hair. Hair can becomes brittle, lose lustre and even fall out.

The pictures I have used for this post are all from Vital By Nature, they offer very useful information and advice not only on natural hair care but on a large variety of health matter. It is definitely worth browsing though. The link below is on specific food that helps give your hair the shine and silky softness it needs. How to Improve Hair Health by Eating Nutrient-Rich and Whole Foods – by Lucy Funes  –




Another factor that has a huge effect on your hair is your handling of it when shampooing and conditioning.  Hair is weakest when it is wet and many people abuse their hair when they shampoo it. Firstly be careful not to rub and tangle your hair when shampooing. Lather the shampoo in your hands and then weave your fingers through your hair, massaging and cleaning the scalp with the finger tips. Then work the shampoo down the hair shaft without vigorously rubbing the hair. The action of the shampoo will clean the hair so it is unnecessary to aggressively rub and so knot your hair. If you need to get more lather into your hair adding more water will help. But it is important to note that often a good salon shampoo does not lather excessively.

When applying conditioner use your fingers as though they were a comb and apply the conditioner from mid lengths to ends. It is generally unnecessary to condition the scalp as the sebaceous oil from the scalp will give the scalp the nourishment it needs.

Towel drying your hair should also be done with care, it does more damage than good to rub the hair dry. Wrap your hair in a towel and gently squeeze the moisture from your hair into the towel instead.

Using a bristle brush on wet hair is also a sure way to split and damage your hair. Use a wide tooth comb when your hair is wet and a brush on your hair when it is dry, as a general rule. Often a reason for hair splitting is incorrect combing or brushing out of tangles in the hair. Comb or brush your hair from the ends or bottom of the hair length and work your way up to the roots. This is also an easier way for getting the knots out of the hair. Combing knots from the roots to the ends will only make the tangles bigger as they moves down and meet up with other tangled sections of hair.

If your hair is on the dry side try brushing it every evening with a soft natural bristled brush. The action of brushing will help the natural oils to move down the hair shaft and feed the hair. Again start from the bottom first to remove the tangles then only when the hair is tangle free start brushing from the roots to the ends, 100 strokes might be a bit tedious, but the more brush strokes the better to help more those natural oils into your hair.


A salon recommended shampoo and conditioner really does make a difference. Chat to your hairdresser as to which range is best for your hair. For the February posting of this blog I will cover in detail the benefits of using a salon shampoo and conditioner as well as the differences between salon shampoos and the cheaper off the shelf shampoos.

Don’t use rubber bands to make ponytails or braids that are not specifically for hair.  The rubber catches onto the hair shaft and can break the hair. It also breaks the hair when it tied too tight or when it is pulled out of the hair.  It is a good idea to change the placing of your pony tail, as tying your hair in the same place repetitively will weaken and eventually break the hair in that place.

It you colour your hair it is essential that you do regular in salon or at home treatments. Tints and highlights damage the hair, so replenish the nutrients and moisture with a treatment.

Here’s to 2013 and fabulous looking hair!


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Beautiful Beach Hair

The silly season is rapidly approaching and in South Africa that means, for most of us, a holiday at the beach, with plenty of sun and sea!  After a long and hard year the December holidays are a welcome chance to relax and spend valuable time with family and friends.

With the year coming to an end and the holiday and festive preparations upon us, perhaps a gentle reminder to give your hair some TLC over the December holidays will help prevent a serious need for beach hair recovery in January.

Be sure that you are equipped with all the hair care necessities before you leave for your holiday.

A good shampoo and conditioner becomes even more essential over the holiday season. Sun and sea, as well as the chlorine or salt in swimming pools all dry out your hair. A good shampoo and conditioner will feed your hair the nutrients as well as moisture and protein it will need. Discuss with your hairdresser what is best suited to you. You might need a change from your usual shampoo and conditioner, depending on where you are going and the type of holiday you will be having.

A good UV protection spray or cream is as important for your hair, as it is for your skin. Not only will the UV protection prevent your hair drying out, it will protect your colour and save your lushous locks from sun damage.

A home treatment is a win on holiday. Leave it in your hair while soaking in the sun rays on the beach. Don’t forget to use your wide tooth comb for texture and easy detangling.

Look out for travel packs available in most salons during the holiday season. These packs often include all or most of the above mentioned products in convenient travel size bottles and will help reduce costs and bulkiness of bottles of products.

Consider having a keratin straightening treatment at this time of year. The straightening treatment is great  for easy to manage beach hair, it reduces the frizz and keeps your hair style in place with very little fuss. A definite win for low maintenance gorgeous hair all season long.

A good styling product is a lso a must for low maintenance hair on your holiday – a curl taming cream or silicone based  product will give your hair the control, soft manageability and subtle texture you need on holiday.

A wide scarf wrapped around your hair or a  fashionable braid is a wonderful  way to stop the wind blowing your hair and making it unruly.  A french braid or fishtail braid is ideal for a fabulous beach look this summer.

For step by step instructions on all the fantastic beach hair styles I have used in this post please go to

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50 Shades of Blonde

Blonde hair has always been sort after, whether because of the saying blondes have more fun or because many clients are born with fair hair and then later in life go darker or simply because blonde hair is eye catching, it remains that blonde hair is in high demand and a large percentage of a hairdressers business.

Platinum Blonde, Strawberry Blonde, Beige Blonde, Champagne Blonde,Honey Blonde, Golden Blonde, Sand Blonde – the list of blonde colours are endless.  So why is it that most woman end up leaving the salon with a bleached blonde, peroxide blonde or even worse bottle blonde hair?

Highlights are in my opinion the best way to achieve a natural blonde hair colour. No one naturally has a head of hair all the same colour. A tint being a single colour, can end up looking flat and unnatural. Even if you are tinting your hair, perhaps to cover grey, I suggest that you put a few high and low lights to add depth and dimension to your colour.

I prefer doing highlights for blondes because the colour does not grow out from the root in a solid line. Highlights allows the colour to grow out more naturally and also allows the clients hair to last longer between colour applications. It is unnecessary to do a full head or even a half head of highlights every time the client come to touch up her colour. Often a parting or hairline colour is all the client may need. This not only saves the client money but allows for her own colour to add dimension to the total hair colour.

To give your highlighted blonde hair a natural look it is important that your hairdresser does plenty of fine highlights. This can be a time consuming exercise and many hairdressers would rather slice than weave highlights. Theses creates a slightly different effect but if done finely enough they can also work at creating a natural effect, although the block of colour that the slice creates does not give as soft an appeal as a weaved highlight. Slices are great for covering grey though and what I often like to do on clients is alternate both weaved and sliced highlights.

A while ago it was fashionable to give clients thick striped highlights creating a two toned effect. This method of highlighting can work when the highlighted colour blends in with the base colour, giving a slight lift and creating interest on a monotone colour. But as a two toned blonde highlighted effect, it tends to look artificial and dated.

Today the range for blonde tints, high-lifters and toners available are extensive. Your hairdresser should be taking advantage of these colours available from all the major hair colouring companies. I often use three or four different shades of blonde on a client to give the hair a distinct tone and add texture and depth. Before deciding on the overall tone of your blonde hair take into consideration your skin tone, for example –  a sallow skin will not look good with a golden or honey coloured blonde. If you have freckles it is important that the tone of these be also be taken into account as freckles too are either warm or cool toned. Discuss with your hairdresser the shade of blonde best suited to you before highlighting.

Another factor to take into account is your root or base colour. Generally,  it is not a good idea to have your highlighted hair more than 4 shades lighter than your natural colour. Highlights that are a lot lighter than your own colour means extensive upkeep as the roots  show though quicker and more distinctly. And too frequent an application of  lifting agents can compromise the condition of the hair. If your hair is a dark base it is best to add a variety of blonde shades ranging from your own base colour to a medium to light blonde.

Perhaps one of the most dreaded of highlighted blonde hair colours is highlights that go brassy or yellow. This normally happens when using bleaching powder. Hair that has been bleached, oxidizes over time, giving a yellow tinge to the hair. To help prevent this, use a shampoo specifically for blonde hair, these shampoos are normally purple as it is the purple pigment in the shampoo that will neutralize the yellow from the highlighted hair.

Although, using a blonde shampoo is useless if the hair has not been lifted to the correct colour to start with. To lift hair colour to a blonde, the hair colour pigments must be lifted from their natural state to a red, then orange, then yellow, to a pale yellow and finally to a beige blonde. Everyone has different amount of dark and red pigments in their hair and these pigments determine how long the hair need to process before they reach a beige or platinum blonde. Brassy hair colour is often the result of the bleaching agent not being allowed to process for long enough.

Any lifting process does damage to the hair, so if you are highlighting or lifting your natural colour it is essential that you maintain the condition of your hair. Regular treatments are important to replace both protein and moisture that is lost during lighting, as is using a salon approved shampoo and conditioner.  Also light colour does not reflect the same way a dark colour does and therefore blonde hair does not have the same shine as darker hair has. Use a shine finishing spray to give your blonde hair a healthier look.  If you work with your hairdresser you can create a natural, healthy and manageable colour. Done correctly you can have a lot of fun being a blonde.

All the pictures on this post have been taken from the Schwarzkopf Website and Facebook page. Schwarzkopf is the product I use for all my colours – they have an extensive range of colours available both for salon use and home use. Their colours nourish the hair, adding shine and a rich deep colour. They have a particularly wide range of high-lifters and toners for blondes a well as non abrasive bleaching products. Their home care products are again extensive, a product for every need to feed and care for your hair.

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Chemotherapy and Your Hair

All too often a client has sat down in my chair only to give me the news that she has breast cancer. Breast cancer as well as any other cancers requiring chemotherapy and, or radiation can and often do result in hair loss. This is needless to say, very traumatic, coupled with a mastectomy it has a massive impact on a woman’s femininity and self esteem. Support from family and friends in essential.

Chemotherapy drugs attack rapid growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs also attack the other rapid growing cells in your body, your hair follicle cells being one of them. Chemotherapy can cause you to lose your hair all over your body, not just on your scalp. Your eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair can also fall out.

Different types and doses of chemotherapy affect these growing cells differently, and can result in anything from your hair thinning out to complete baldness. Your doctor will know what you can expect.

Hair loss from chemotherapy is temporary and your hair will grow back. You can expect a regrowth of your hair three to ten months after your treatment ends. I have noticed with most clients that the hair sometimes grows back a different colour (often gray) or a different texture.

Treatments are being investigated to prevent or diminish hair loss, but unfortunately there are none that can guarantee your hair won’t fall out.

These treatments include

  • Scalp hypothermia (cryotherapy). This is a process in which ice packs are placed on your head to slow down the blood flow to your scalp while you are having the chemotherapy.
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine). This is a drug approved for pattern hair loss in men and women, it is applied to your scalp before and during chemotherapy.

Whether these treatments are options for you is something you would need to discuss with your doctor.

When you begin treatment you can expect your hair to start falling out after about one to three weeks. It can fall out very quickly, in clumps or more evenly and gradually. You will most likely loose hair throughout your treatment and up to a few weeks afterward.

You will notice many more hair strands on your pillow, in your hairbrush and in your bath or shower. This is why it is often better to cut your hair short before you start your treatment. The impact of finding short hair strands rather than longer stands of hair is psychologically less devastating. A short hair style will also look fuller while you are loosing hair and the thinning will be less noticeable. Going short will also allow the transition to total hair loss to be slightly easier.

Your scalp can become more sensitive during treatment. Using a soft brittle brush on your scalp and be gentle when toweling and blow drying your hair. Finger dying your hair is often a better option so when you cut your hair short choose a style that you can maintain with minimal effort.

Wearing a wig when you lose your hair is a personal choice. If you choose to go with this option be sure to buy a wig that is made of human hair as it will fall better and look more natural. Have your hairdresser cut or reshape your wig to suit your face after you have bought it. Also be sure to buy a wig that does not scratch or irritate your scalp. Often clients prefer to wear scarves as these can be cooler than a wig. If you choose not to cover your scalp remember to use sun block on your scalp as well as on your ears.

Doctor often recommend that clients stop colouring their hair. You might not want to put colour on your scalp during treatment and when your hair starts growing back but colouring your hair can make you feel and look better so consider highlights or lowlights, this allow you to colour your hair without having the colour applied to the scalp. Another option is to use an organic hair colour. Speak to your hairdresser and work with them, yes, losing your hair is very traumatic but with their help and support hopefully this trauma can be reduced.

pink ribbons by Carol Sutton is a website offering  free breast cancer web clip art and awareness graphics and is the site where I found the pink ribbon and  banner used in this blog

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Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

Paris Fashion Week was certainly not lacking in WOW Factor! Attention was paid to the hair in many of the shows, the hair creating an impact, some of it beautiful and some of it not. As with my blog on Milan Fashion Week all the images below have been taken from WWD. It has been a pleasure to view their website during the Fashion Week shows. They have consistently given us, the public, a detailed account of the shows. To see the details of the designer and photographer for each picture hover your mouse over the image and the information tagged will come up.

The hair in this collection is great! The short cropped fringe is a wonderful way to frame the face, whether straight or jaggered a short cropped fringe gives any hairstyle a fashionable and funky edge.

The Louis Vuitton collection is one of my favourite! The clothes awesome and the hair certainly made a statement with every model having a sixties beehive with a white Alice band and bow. The beehive, as classical as the bob is definitely a look try out. The height on the crown and the low swept fringe is always complementary to any shaped face.

For the runway this hair works in creating a strong geometric shape, for you too wear every day, this is certainly not a look I would recommend. I like hair to look healthy and shiny, no matter what the style.

Vivienne Westwood models for the show had big theatrical hair to say the least, can’t say I liked the hair much. This photo is one of the better hair images I found from this collection.

The hair bands in this collection definitely add to the fifties feel of the collection, although at times they add more of a sporty outdoor feel to the clothes. Got to say I love the look!

Gaultier’s 80’s pop revival collection is great, but when it comes to hair the 80’s I am too much reminded of bad perms and poodle like hairstyles. Proceed with caution …..

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Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

Milan Fashion Week was a feast of fabulous fashion and fantastic hair.

All the pictures below are I have taken from WWD. Their Face book page and their Web-site are wonderful to follow. Their backstage/beauty link gives incredible insight to the collections as well as close-up details of the hair, make up and clothes.

The photos speak volumes themselves, so no need for me to add words. To see who the designer and the photographer of the pictures are, hover your mouse over the photo.

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London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

London Fashion Week has come and gone, making way for Milan Fashion Week, but not before making it’s mark on the collections that have been coming out of the Spring/Summer 2013 shows.

As on my New York Spring/Summer 2013 blog I must thank Vogue and WWD for their regular and inspiring updates on both their Websites and their Facebook pages. All the pictures below have been taken from their sites. The photos have been credited with the designer of the collection as well as the photographer. To see the relevant tag, hover your mouse over the picture.

The images I have chosen are few in comparison to the numerous shows. I have chosen pictures which are congruous to the hair trends that I feel are being set in the Spring/Summer 2013 collections.

The hair and clothing in this collection reminded me of Little Bo Peep, although not really everyday wear for most people, I like the feeling of innocence the collection depicts.

‘Bed head’ hair off-set with defined partings, an easy hairstyle to achieve yourself. It is a style that works well on medium to fine mid-length hair. Use Velcro rollers to give your hair some body and movement and finish it off with a light weight styling cream for texture.

Elegance with a hint of grunge. The height, soft waves and subtle flow of this style create a sexy and striking style.

I love this look! The bee-hive is in my opinion as classic as the bob. A hairstyle that goes with any outfit to create a seductive and feminine appeal.

The dark tips on this otherwise simple hairstyle create an extraordinary yet attractive finish to the look. Very effective!!!

Strong middle parting were seen often on the shows, shown here with low buns or pony tails,the simplicity of the hairstyles in this show balance the bold colours and prints of the clothes.

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