Posts Tagged hair care

Naturally Gorgeous Hair


With the increased awareness of organic foods and a return to naturally made products comes an increase in home remedies for hair.

Lemon juice to lighten, coconut oil to condition, egg for protein, avo for frizz, beer for body or honey for hydration – the question is – do these home remedies work??

While I am all for eating healthy, I do believe that organic and natural foods work when ingested. They often have little benefit when used in their raw form on the hair. They can often cause long-term damage rather than do any good to the hair.

The molecular structure of most of these products are not made to penetrate the hair shaft and give nutritional value where it is needed. They often coat the hair, giving an illusion of an instant fix, this coating is able to fill in the cracks in the cuticles and smooth the hair shaft, giving the hair a silky soft and shiny appearance. In truth, repeated layers of this kind of coating to the hair shaft can do considerable damage over time.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand it, is with an analogy of painting your nails – the nail varnish gives the nails a glossy and healthy appearance. This layer of polish through wear and tear begins to chip and flake, if you should paint another coat over the chipping layer of polish, it would look great again for a while, but repeated coats of nail varnish over time is going to damage the nail.

Using good foods that are unable to penetrate the hair shaft effectively is achieving the same result as painting layer after layer of varnish.

Foods can also be quite difficult to rinse out of the hair and not easily removed from the hair.

Today there are so many products available that work on specific hair problems, they have been scientifically designed to work on a molecular level to give you optimally healthy hair. There are also an ever-increasing amount of products available that are derived from natural substances and free of harsh chemicals and parabens.

Besides being a rather messy hair care experience, raiding your kitchen for a hair remedy is not likely to benefit you hair. Stick to eating healthily and use a good product that suits your needs instead.


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Hair Care

We all want beautiful shiny and healthy hair, but how often are we prepared to pay that little bit extra for a salon recommend shampoo and conditioner.

No, your hairdresser is not trying to make an few extra dollars off you when they suggest a home care range for you.

A salon shampoo and conditioner is better for your hairs health and maintenance.

Your hair has an acid mantle which naturally protects the hair shaft. The pH of this layer is about 5.5 – salon shampoos are made at the pH level and thus they will not destroy the natural balance of the hair.

“Off the shelve” shampoos do not necessarily have a pH balance of 5.5 and be aware an supermarket shampoo may say pH balanced but, battery acid is also pH balanced. What is important is that the shampoo be balanced to 5.5 in order for the acid mantle of the hair to not stripped.

Remember your grandmother spoke of having squeaky clean hair. Well, when you have washed your hair and it is squeaky clean you have stripped the acid mantle from your hair shaft and removed your hair natural protection. A soap, which is alkaline will do this, as will baby shampoo which is balance to a baby’s tears to prevent the eyes burning.

Salon shampoos may not lather as much as “off the shelf” shampoos, but they are designed to clean the hair. Remember it is not the amount of lather you can accumulate while shampooing that will clean your hair but the action of the shampoo which is designed to open the hair cuticles and remove dirt and oils from the hair shaft.

Because of this action of shampoo which opens up the hair cuticles, a conditioner becomes essential. It is the conditioner that seals the hair shaft once the impurities have been removed. Many clients with oily scalps or fine hair are reluctant to use a conditioner, but as you see a conditioner is vital in completing the shampooing process.

I often tell clients with  fine limp hair or and oily scalp to use a leave-in conditioner instead of a heavier conditioner which could weigh the hair down. It is also important to remember that when you are shampooing you should focus on cleaning the scalp first and then lightly working the shampoo down the hair shaft. Whereas, a conditioner is focused on the mid-lengths to ends of the hair. This will help prevent and oil build up on the scalp.

A sulfate free shampoo is essential for tinted hair as sulfate can remove colour from the hair faster than necessary. If you are colouring your hair in a salon your hair dresser is most likely to recommend a shampoo to help the colour last. In fact most salon will not guarantee a colour if you do not use their recommended shampoos.

Highlighted hair does not necessarily need a sulfate free shampoo, unless you use tints as your highlighting colours. Hair that has been lifted with a high lifter or bleached is most likely to need a keratin or protein based shampoo.

Fine hair is also most likely to need a keratin based shampoo, to help strengthen the hair shaft. Courser or frizzy hair will probably need a moisturizing shampoo.

The above is just a generalization though, for an accurate recommendation for your specific hair, it is best to chat to your hairdresser.

Have a look at some of the products below, they are all from Paul Mitchell. Paul Mitchell has numerous ranges of shampoos and conditioners. All of them fantastic and most definitely one to suit your needs.

Have a look at the Paul Mitchell website for more information on their products. The site also tells you where their products are available to purchase. All the pictures on this post are also from their site. Many of the pictures I have used are from their hairdressing school, as you can see they are producers of hairdressers extraordinaire!

“Tea Tree
Experience the tingle of Tea Tree Special, the citrus refreshment of Lemon Sage, and the soothing tranquility of Lavender Mint.
Tea Tree’s natural extracts and rejuvenating scents will turn your shower into a spa-like indulgence.”

“Awapuhi Wild Ginger took home 3 awards at the 20011 Allure best of Beauty Awards. You can transform dry damaged hair with the Awapuhi Wild Ginger Collection”
“Double Hitter for men is 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, it washes and conditions in one step, a hearty lather rinses clean with a fresh scent which leaves hair full and healthy looking.”
“Paul Mitchell®
Treat yourself to award-winning, luxury hair care at an affordable price. Paul Mitchell products combine quality ingredients and the latest technology to ensure top performance and flawless results with every style.”

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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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Understanding Excessive Hair Loss

Hair loss seems to be a growing concern among women today.

So when are you loosing too much hair, what causes it, and what can be done about it??

Balding is generally hereditary, following male or female pattern thinning and ultimately resulting in permanent balding. Whereas the causes of hair loss most commonly seen in the salon among female clients is often temporary, the hair growing back once the underlying condition, is stabilized.

Firstly it is important to understand that it is normal to loose up to an average of a 100 hair stands a day. Hair follows a growth cycle, which consists of a growing stage of about 2-5 years. About 90% of the hair stands will be at this stage at one time. The next stage is the resting stage, the remaining 10% of hair will be moving though this stage to the falling out stage and then to a new growth stage in the hair follicle when the new hair will begin the growing stage again.

So what causes abnormal and excessive hair loss?

  • Hair styling routines such as tight ponytails and braiding can cause hair thinning especially around the hairline.
  • Stress or shock is another cause of abnormal hair loss, this includes the effects of sudden weight loss, illness or death of a loved one. Hair pulling is also a result of stress and leads to balding patches on the scalp.
  • Poor nutrition or a lack of certain vitamins and minerals can also cause hair to fall out. A lack of iron is a common cause of hair thinning. Crash diets and eating disorders also cause abnormal hair loss.
  • A thyroid imbalance is another common cause of hair loss. Hormones have a big impact on the hair and hormone imbalances or changes can cause hair to fall out. This is often see after pregnancy when the hormones return to normal. Another common time this type of hair thinning is noticed, is at menopause.
  • Excessive exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun speeds up the aging process of the scalp by thickening the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and thus increases hair thinning.
  • Infections and diseases it another cause, for example fungal infections such as ringworm.
  • Hair loss can be the result of medication, chemotherapy being the most obvious. But arthritic medication, anti depressants, heart medication and high blood pressure medication as well as steroids can all have a huge impact on the hair condition.
  • And lastly, blocked hair follicles caused by excessive sebum, sweating or over use of products can also cause hair to thin.

It is often thought that salon treatments can use hair loss but in my opinion this is not true. Salon treatments done incorrectly can use hair breakage, not hair loss.

So what do you do if you are loosing too much hair?

If necessary a trip to your local GP is recommended and have a physical examination done to find out if you have an underlying medical condition or a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Always shampoo your hair regularly, using a good shampoo. This is especially true if you gym or exercise a lot or if you use hairsprays and other such products. There are numerous shampoos, conditioners and treatments available today that help combat hair thinning and loss. Speak to your hairstylists about a home care range that would be best suited to your hair. Eat healthy and take a good supplement. Vitamin B, iron, calcium and zinc all promote healthy hair. And be sure to get enough sleep, fresh air and exercise.

A healthy body and mind is the first step to a health head of hair.

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MoroccanOil Treatment



This is an amazing product, it was launched six years ago and is now the number one selling independent product in the world!


As a hairdresser who has a big highlighting clientèle, I find this product incredible. I add it to highlighting powder to keep the hair conditioned and protected while highlighting. It guarantees fantastic results every time. I also use it as a porosity equalizer before I do permanent colours on my clients, the result is beautiful, rich, even colour!


And clients love it!  The delicious smell of the product entices every client and the feel of their hair after using the oil has them instantly sold on it. The Moroccanoil treatment improves the condition of the hair, it de-tangles, increases elasticity, controls frizz and static and gives the hair a gorgeous shine and a super soft and silky feel.  It can be used as a conditioning, styling and finishing product and it also protects hair from environmental damage.


The magic ingredient in the Moroccan oil treatment is their signature argan oil. Found growing in South-west Morocco. Argan oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, protein and vitamins as well as antioxidants which renew, restore and revitalize hair that has been damaged.


The oil absorbs into the hair instantly and it can be used on wet or dry hair. It decreases blow waving time and can also be comfortably used on wigs and extensions.


This product really is a winner, and if you are not already using it I suggest you give it  try, you won’t be sorry!


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How to cut your own fringe successfully!

English: Picture to illustrate bangs

English: Picture to illustrate bangs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much as I ask my clients not to cut their fringes, it seems that the urge is an irresistible one and most clients have at some point attempted cutting their own fringe.

So instead of having a client walking into the salon with a sheepish, somewhat guilt expression on her face and me being challenged with some serious repair work, time to give some advice on what to do and what not to do when you find that you are in dire straits and absolutely have to give your fringe a snip.

Firstly, using kitchen scissors is not an option. Nails scissors would be far better. (You can, of course, buy a pair of hair scissors and keep them especially for these desperate moments.)

Secondly you need a comb to help create a straight and even line on your fringe.  A couple of hair clips to separate the rest of your hair from the fringe is also good to have on hand.

I don’t advise that you cut your fringe when your hair is wet. Your hair jumps when it drys and you are bound to end up with a fringe that is too short.

So with the correct tools at hand and clean, freshly blow waved hair you are now ready to successfully cut your fringe.

Don’t cut your whole fringe in one go, instead take small sections along the hairline. Comb the first section down over your eyes and then starting from the center work out to each side, cutting your fringe in a straight line and finishing where the eyebrows end.  Be sure that you don’t cut your fringe to short, I suggest that you cut your fringe below the level of the eyebrow.  Once you have cut the first section use that section as a guideline and bring other sections down and cut these as you did the first.

It is important to note that most peoples fringe jumps more on one side than the other, so take this into consideration when you cut your fringe and allow for that jump.

And lastly my advice is to be conservative in your cutting. cut less rather than more of at first, you can always cut more off if you need too, but if you cut too much, well you know only to well that it can’t be put back!!

Good luck and happy fringe cutting.

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