Blog Archives

Which Chakra Are You?

Certain groups of people are very knowledgeable as to what chakra is and the purpose and benefits from these body mists.

Aveda has five different chakra scents:

  1. Grounded
  2. Nourished
  3. Intention
  4. Harmony
  5. Expressive

Someone had to explain to me that, after smelling all five scents, the one that smells most pleasant to you is the one that you need most.

  • Chakra 1 is located below the stomach. This one helps one feel more grounded to take care of our basic needs. This one will help those who need to slow down.
  • Chakra 2 is located in the stomach. This one helps those feeling disconnected to themselves.
  • Chakra 3 is located above the stomach. This is where we set our intentions and desires. This one will help with feelings of impatience and anxiety, or with mental blocks.
  • Chakra 4 is located in the center or the heart. This is connected to feeling empathy and love for others around you. This one will help those who feel unconnected to people or depressed.
  • Chakra 5 is located in the throat. This one helps those in need of help expressing themselves or getting into their creative mode.

I personally like all of the chakra scents, they all smell natural and earthy. For some, they may smell too strong or “unfeminine.” But I think everyone should give chakra a try. It works similarly to aroma therapy. So go to your closest Aveda shop and find out which chakra you are.

Enbrightenment Correcting Serum

This product contains Aveda’s most highly concentrated, plant-powered, brightening blend to diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration on your skin. This product helps promote surface cell turnover for greater skin clarity and luminosity to give your skin the best color and appearance it can possibly have.

It is 100% naturally derived from plants including grape extract, mulberry root, and asorbyl glucoside. These elements help promote surface cell turnover. The aroma was made with organic lavender, sustainable sandalwood, organic rose geranium, and organic rosemary. All these help soothe and calm the skin.

To use this serum, you smooth it onto clean or toned skin in the morning and at night, focusing on discolored areas. It will make the skin feel tighter which is normal. And then you follow the serum with the enbrightening correcting lotion or creme. 52% of those tested saw improvement in clarity and 34% saw the appearance of dark spots diminish.

My personal experience with this product was actually quite amazing. I have tried the serum alone mainly for scarring. My skin has very dark melanin in it, which causes my scars to become a lot darker then normal. They can turn almost black, depending on how bad the blemish is. I have noticed the scarring goes away a lot quicker when I use the product. I would recommend it to anyone that has bad scarring or dark spots on their skin, which are hard to get off.

This product costs $53, so it is on the pricey side. But it’s worth it compared to the amount spent at a dermatologist using lasers or peels on the skin to get rid of dark spots.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil (melaleuca) is an incredible essential oil that has been around for quite some time. It has amazing healing components that kill bacteria and it has many benefits. It can reduce and prevent both acne and fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis). It helps to kill lice and scabies. And it treats ringworm infection, athlete’s foot (tines pedis) and many other infections. If you have almost any type of infection or sore or itch, you should use tea tree oil to kill the bacteria that lives in the infection.

If you have a sore throat, take a bath and add it to the bath water. Tea tree oil’s healing properties and nutmeg scent will help treat the itchiness of your cough and reduce the inflammation in your throat, making it easier to breathe and sooth the soreness of your throat. Tea tree oil works by killing the bacteria and fungus that lives in the infection. This reduces your bodies allergic reaction to that bacteria or fungus.

In rare cases, tea tree oil can cause its own allergic reaction such as a rash or redness that is mildly itchy and appears as a blister. Some people have gotten severe blistering from tea tree oil. When you stop using the oil, the rash will dry up and go away on its own. So you probably want to make sure that you’re not allergic yourself before using a lot of it.

Tea tree oil should never be taken orally. Some reactions from ingesting tea tree oil include drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, blood cell abnormalities, unsteadiness, and severe rashes. Tea tree oil should never be used on pets, children, or by women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding.

My personal experience with tea tree oil has not been that great. After coming to the Cinta Aveda Institute, I started to experiment with essential oils including lavender, rose, and tea tree oil. After my face routine which included exfoliating and using toner, I would apply a couple drops of tea tree oil on my palm and dab it all over my face. At first, it was great. I noticed it would dry out some acne and it helped get rid of it much quicker then usual. But after about two months of using tea tree oil in my daily routine, I started to get this strange blistering on my forehead and cheek. At first I thought it was a staff infection, but I looked online and found my symptoms exactly matched the allergic reactions of others to tea tree oil.

Even though I like the oil, I am one of the unfortunate people that are allergic to it. I have noticed, however, that if I dilute the oil with some exfoliating toner, I don’t get any type of rash!

Learning Challenges at Cinta Aveda

Cosmetology school at the Cinta Aveda Institute was a good experience. There was so much to learn in so little time. It was quite an experience learning color, hair cutting, using different brushes, and all the different types of up do’s.

I think, at first, the most challenging thing for me was using the round brush. I never knew how to use a round brush, or how to use one hand with a brush while using the other with a blow dryer. To be honest, at first using a round brush made me feel like an idiot! But as my hands got used to the brush/dryer combination and as I learned the different twists and turns involved in a round brush blowout, it became really fun. It’s amazing how lifting the hair up in one direction and pulling it out in the other direction can create so much beauty and volume in a hairstyle.

I also thought that using a round boar-bristle brush to create slick straight hair was an amazing technique to learn. In combination with the Aveda product “Naturally Straight”, the boar-bristle brush could straighten curly Latino or African American hair into straight slick hair. I’ve used this technique on several clients and they’ve left extremely surprised and impressed that their hair could go from curly to straight without using a straightener. It’s always rewarding to see your clients happy and feeling great about themselves.

Another thing I’ve appreciated learning at Cinta Aveda was giving scalp and shoulder massages. I think I’ve gotten more complements on the massages I’ve given compared to the services I’ve performed. The different aromas that Aveda provides in combination with a good back rub or scalp massage gives the client a great sense of peace and relaxation before going into a hair cut or putting color in their hair. I always get a positive reaction or expression on my client’s face.

By the end of the Gamma Phase, we sometimes get lazy. But I strongly believe in a good scalp or shoulder massage! I enjoy giving a shoulder massage because it’s an extremely rewarding sensation to see someone physically feeling better.

The Invati System

The Invati SystemThe Invati System is a three-step system, created by Aveda, for people with thinning hair. “Invati” means invigorate in Sanskrit. This product was made and derived from India and contains a unique blend of herbs—97% all-natural ingredients—designed for thicker, longer lasting hair. The three steps are a shampoo, a conditioner, and a revitalizing spray.

The shampoo cleanses and exfoliates the scalp. It helps remove dry skin and products from the scalp, helping keep it healthy and moisturized instead of tight and dry. The shampoo consistency is creamy and runny compared to most shampoos, leading some to think that the shampoo does not cleanse well enough. But really, it’s actually the opposite. This shampoo helps exfoliate the scalp, which most shampoos don’t. It’s so important to exfoliate our skin and, to continue having healthy hair, it’s just as important to exfoliate our scalp. The Invati shampoo is very cleansing and healthy for the scalp even for those who aren’t worried about thinning hair.

The conditioner was created to thicken and strengthen the hair. This conditioner helps prevent more breakage and gives the hair more elasticity. The grape seed that is in the conditioner wraps around the hair cuticle and gives it its moisture and thickness. The conditioner also has nut oil which gives the hair its shine. The conditioner’s texture, similar to the shampoo’s, is runnier than most conditioners. But it does its magic when used correctly.

The revitalizing spray is the third step to this system. This product, sprayed and massaged into the scalp, helps rehabilitate the hair and scalp. The directions say that after shampooing and conditioning, the product should be sprayed six times on each side of the scalp while the hair is still wet. The revitalizing spray contains vitamin E oil that helps give the hair its strength. But the product is not oily at all. It is recommended to use the spray twice a day while giving the scalp a nice massage, which helps the scalp with circulation. The spray is an extremely important part of the Invati System, and it is important to follow the directions.

I used the whole Invati System for over six months. After just a couple of weeks, I experienced a significant difference in the amount of hair that I had been losing. Before I started using this product, my hair would fall out in significant quantities after a shower. But afterwards, I would come out of the shower and the hair that I would lose was countable: literally less than twenty hairs. I did a test and stopped using the Invati System and went back to use Aveda’s Scalp Benefits shampoo. But I noticed a dramatic difference and switched back to the Invati System. With the Invati System, my own hair has been thicker, too. There are also many more fine baby hairs than usual.

Because I personally used and believed in this product, I recommended it to a client that was experiencing thinning hair due to thyroid problems. I wasn’t sure that the Invati System would help because her thinning hair was caused as a side effect of a medication she was taking. But after a month, my client came back and told me that she had been losing less hair than usual and was extremely impressed and happy with the product. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone with hair loss, especially because I know personally how bad it feels when too much hair is falling out.

I think the Invati System is amazing, but it’s important to be religious with the product. The Invati System smells great and leaves the hair healthy and clean. However, the product is on the pricey side. Everyone wants healthy skin, and everyone wants their hair to be as healthy and beautiful as it can possibly be. If you’re someone that cares about your hair the way that you care about your skin, then this product is worth the purchase. Because the Invati System is also helpful for preserving a healthy scalp, I recommend this product 100% even for people who don’t have thinning hair.

Hot Tools for Beauty

There are a large number of different hot tools used in the beauty industry. Here, I’ve tried to describe many of them and provide some of my impressions using these products.

  • Curlformers

    Curlformers

    Curlformers are nylon plastic curl tubes used to create curls without using an actual curling tool. Curling tools are hot and can be difficult to use. These Curlformers avoid those problems. They come with plastic curled tubes that have a plastic stick with a hook at the end. The idea is to use a small section of hair, about an inch in width and length. I can’t recommend Curlformers; rather I’d stick with regular heating tools. The tutorial videos that I saw demonstrating these Curlformers don’t leave the hair with beautiful curls. Rather, each subsection leaves a crease which is not very flattering. A regular curling iron or wand may require more skill to use, but they produce a better result.

  • Air Curler

    Air Curler

    The Air Curler is a bucket-like tool that attaches to a home air dryer. It comes with a bucket-like device that attaches to the business end of the hair dryer with a cone shaped attachment. There’s a rubberband that can be used on the hair dryer to bulk it up if the hair dryer is too small. To use, you put your hair in the bucket attachment, turn on the hair dryer, and the device spins your hair in circles reminiscent of how a cotton candy machine works. In the tutorials I’ve seen, the device isn’t recommended for dry and damaged hair—it will just begin to tangle and leave the hair feeling drier. But for less damaged hair, it creates somewhat elegant effortless-looking curls. However, in my opinion, I’d still recommend a curling iron over this product. Air Curler doesn’t give even-looking curls or curls with volume. My guess is that it generally won’t work as well as you were hoping when you bought it.

  • Instyler

    Instyler

    The Instyler is designed to both straighten or curl your hair depending on your desired look. It looks more like fancy straightener that spins. The circular side—that either curls or straightens—has the heat. The other side has bristles. According to the tutorial, it is designed to be used on damp hair. It is actually pretty impressive when used just to straighten the hair, leaving it super straight and shiny. However, I wouldn’t personally recommend using this device to curl. I don’t like the curls it produces. I think it’s best just to use it for straightening hair, where it does a good job.

  • Wonder Wax

    Wonder Wax

    Wonder Wax is similar to the green wax we use at Cinta Aveda. The wax is purple and comes in a cup along with three spatula sticks and some wipes that help remove the debris left over when the wax is peeled off. The wax needs to be heated in the microwave for three minutes to get a honey-like consistency. Like other waxes, it will not rip off all hair if peeled improperly—the wax needs to be set correctly with the direction of the hair. I recommend just to continue shaving unless its some kind of special occasion. Personally, I’m not going to use this Wonder Wax.

  • No! No! System

    No! No!

    No! No! is a laser hair removal device that you use at home. It comes with the hair removal device itself together with a buffer pad that is necessary to use after using the laser. This device doesn’t completely remove all of the hair. When used, one can feel some heat. The device is quite pricey. Some of the reviews I read said that it gives off a burning hair smell. It needs to be angled correctly at 90 degrees, and it has a blue light that comes on to let you know it’s working. But even when used correctly, it still doesn’t leave the skin completely hairless. It does irritate the skin and leaves it reddened. My recommendation would be to skip this device and use more traditional methods of hair removal like shaving or professional waxing.

  • Ultimate Detangling Brush

    Ultimate Detangling Brush

    The Ultimate Detangling Brush was designed to painlessly detangle hair. The brush, with a handle, is large and round; the bristles are made of plastic. The bristles are formed into a uniform circular pattern which, I assume, helps get rid of the tangles. From the reviews I saw, it does seem to do its main job of detangling the hair easily and without pain. If you have clumps of tangled hair, it’s better to finger comb the crazy tangles and then use the detangling brush to get the smaller tangles out. While I wouldn’t necessarily purchase this brush, I can see why others, especially those with bleach-damaged thin hair, would like it.

  • Tulip Instyler

    Tulip Instyler

    The Tulip Instyler is designed to create perfect curls. This device sucks the hair up into its barrel and creates a curl in seconds. The device has a hole that allows only a certain amount of hair to get sucked into the barrel. This prevents tangling and makes sure that the right amount of hair gets sucked into the device. It has a built in guard to prevent any type of scalp or hand burning. Finally, there’s a built-in timer that beeps to let you know that the curl is ready.

    This device works really well with no problems or confusion for those that have difficulty with other curling devices. My only problem with this device is that it creates one specific curl that looks very uniform. Playing with the curled hair after curling the whole head with this device would give you the ability to have looser, more natural looking curls.