Beauty Tips

Substituting Keratin Treatment for Relaxers?

Fashion is always changing and when fashion changes, hair changes too. They go hand in hand and why not? I know my hair has to match my outfit in order for the look to be complete. For so many years, women of ethnicity mostly, or those with unmanageable curly corse hair, have gone to a salon every six to eight weeks to get a relaxer retouch. They are scared to see that unmanageable natural texture.

For those of you that don’t how relaxers work, first you use a protective base, then section the hair and apply relaxer cream, smooth out, rinse, neutralize, condition, blow out, flat iron, and finish. And that’s just a quick version of it. And then every six to eight weeks you have to go to the salon for a retouch. And be cautious because relaxers may burn the scalp if they are left on too long or if you have a sensitive scalp. And remember: no shampooing or scratching at least a week before service.

Things are always changing. Relaxers are still very popular, but there is a new product on the block called Keratin treatment, also known as a Brazilian blow out. Let’s take a closer look at a Keratin treatment to figure out if it’s any better.

First you need a professional smoothing solution, anti residue Shampoo, deep conditioning masque, and smoothing serum. Next you’ll need to wash the hair with anti residue shampoo. Although it sounds crazy, the instructions say to wash the hair up to six to seven times to get it really really clean. And the hair has to be this clean so the treatment will stick. Towel dry the hair and then apply the anti frizz solution; depending on the length, you use half an ounce to an ounce of the solution. Next use an applicator brush and lightly apply the solution to one-fourth inch subsections. This is just like color applications except you’re using less product and you take a fine tooth comb and use it to comb solution through the hair. Repeat these steps throughout the rest of the hair.

Wow! So far this seems like a lot. But let’s keep going. It’s time to blow out the hair as smooth as possible to heat the solution. Next flat iron the hair and you have to use the flat iron to really activate the keratin solution. And with each subsection, you have to flat iron seven to eight times. You’re still not done yet. Now you have to apply the deep conditioning masque. The final steps apply smoothing serum and do a final blow dry and flat iron. Now you’re done.

Wow that was a lot of work, and after reading about keratin treatments, women still say they have breakage. So it’s up to you. Relaxer or Keratin treatment?

Why do I love ‘Brilliant Universal Styling Creme’?

Aveda Brilliant Universal Styling CremeWhat a great question! Sometimes a heavy styling cream is intimidating when you’re unsure of how exactly to use it. But after some experimenting with Aveda’s Brilliant Universal Styling Creme (goodness, what a title!) I’ve come to absolutely love it. It has become a must have for all of my blow outs!

Most of my clients want that soft, lived in, beachy wave look when they leave after a fresh hair cut. And they want it to last ALL day. Who can blame them?

Brilliant Universal Styling Creme adds just enough weight to smooth everything down and protect the hair from excess heat and humidity, while providing the perfect amount of hold for an all day style. I only ever use a dime-size amount, after applying some of Aveda’s Brilliant Damage Control Style Prep, and away I go! All you need is a blow dryer and your favorite round brush!

Be cautious when using this product on extremely fine hair as it is can get heavy. When someone with fine hair comes in and wants a beachy blow out, I’m able to make do with even less than a dime-sized amount of Universal Styling Creme. This stuff goes far, guys! You really don’t need a lot.

Give it a try, or have your stylist use it next time your’re in an Aveda Salon! You’ll love it.

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.

Eyelash Extensions

Some people are blessed with them and some people have to buy them: eyelashes! Let’s face it. Anything that’s on your face is being looked at. And some people just have naturally amazing lashes and some people don’t.

There are so many different types of hair out there that it really just depends on how lucky you get. Just in case you, like me, are cursed with short thin lashes, there is always Plan B. There are many different ways to add volume and length to your lashes. They are called eyelash extensions.

You can try strip lashes which glue over your actual lashes. They already come in a strip, so it is an easy and clean process once you get the hang of it.

They also have individual lashes that come in sections. These are added to any areas on your lashes that you want to fix—even to make a full lash. These can be a little trickier to apply than the strip version, but they can also last a little longer.

And, last but not least, there are actual eyelash extensions that are put on one by one on top of each lash of yours. Depending on the quality of the product, these can last two to three weeks. These are more expensive, and because they are applied one by one, you end up sitting there for two hours.

Bouncy Blowouts

Blowout with Big Curls

No great haircut is complete without a great blowout; the style truly is everything! Every cut has a blowout that suits it best. For example, a concave graduation looks great with a sleek smooth style, and a natural graduation, on curly hair, looks great with a diffused style.

Today, I’m doing a run-through of my favorite blowout for long, round layers.

Before I go into details, here is a list of all the products you will be using for this round brush blowout:

  • a round brush,
  • pure abundance prep,
  • phomollient, and
  • defining whip.

The end goal is a voluminous blowout with loose curls.

The first step is to add in your prep and the phomollient.

By the time you are ready to style your guest, their hair will be about 50% to 60% dry, so the second step is to rough-dry your guest’s hair until it is about 85% dry.

I like to section out a mohawk subsection and one subsection on either side of the head. In the back, I work my way up from the bottom, taking horizontal subsections. To achieve the look you want, make sure to create as much volume as possible when you get to the crown and the mohawk section. If your guest’s hair really doesn’t want to hold a curl, feel free to pin the curls in the mohawk as if you are doing a hard set.

Once the hair is completely dry and has the effect you want, take a dime-sized amount of the defining whip, rub the product in between your hands to warm it up so that it applies evenly, and apply it to the ends of your guest’s hair. This will give a piecey look and define the curls. If your guest likes a strong hold, you can finish off the look with a little bit of air control—it’s up to you!

Product Review: Aveda Dry Remedy Oil

Aveda’s new Dry Remedy Oil quickly became a must-have product in my professional hairstyling kit. I find myself using it on every guest during their service as it’s one of those incredible products that can benefit everybody’s hair type.

Dry Remedy Oil, 99.9% naturally derived, offers weightless shine and maximum condition to the hair without leaving a heavy, greasy finish like most other oils on the market. Other oils often contain silicones which makes a serum-like product. Those form a heavier type of styling aid, and can build up in the hair, weighing it down and leaving a greasy finish.

But because of the way Dry Remedy Oil is formulated, it offers great versatility. With any texture hair—even fine—I will add a few drops prior to styling, and then finish with a few drops for maximum softness and shine. This product is one of my secret weapons. Show a client how they can use it in their dry hair and they’re immediately hooked.

The benefits are real. It instantly adds up to 41% more moisture to the hair with its buriti oil. It also deeply penetrates the cuticle, and seals down any frizz or fly-aways. To demonstrate the full advantage of the oil, I like to apply the oil only to one side of their hair and then allow them to compare both sides. Sometimes guests have a hard time wrapping their head around why a stylist is telling them to add a new product to their routine. But offering a lesson on how to use it, and showing them the physical changes in their hair, ends up changing their mind.

Aveda Dry Remedy Oil

Hair Growth Supplements

A lot of people have trouble growing their hair. Some hair growth problems are just genetics or time taking its toll. But for others, like myself, there are some products that may help. Nowadays there are so many shampoos and vitamins. But how do you know you’re not just getting tricked into buying the latest trend? I’ve read a lot about these things, and I see a lot of ads on TV, in magazines, and even on social media websites. And I’ve gone through my own experience with damaged hair that just wouldn’t grow.



My troubles started about a year ago after coloring my hair way too much. I have naturally curly hair but, at the time, it didn’t have such a great curl pattern anymore. While I was at school at the Cinta Aveda Institute, my educator observed me cutting an angled bob on a guest. That day, I tried to wear my hair down with the the front slightly brushed back with bobby pins. After I was done, she admired the haircut I just did, and asked me what was going on with my own hair. I only have a slight body wave at my new growth with straight dead mid to ends. So I explained to her my situation. Then, she said, you should get the same haircut you just did on your last guest. I was a little scared, but an hour later I loved my new look.

About three months later, a few classmates and I were talking about hair, of course, and I brought up the fact that my hair was growing. One of the girls mentioned Biotin. So I read about this hair and skin supplement: Biotin 1,000 mcg. What I like about Biotin is that it replaces the natural Biotin that my body wasn’t producing enough of, which is why my hair wasn’t growing.

Note: When taking any new supplement, know that it may take 60 to 90 days to start seeing any results. I started taking Biotin in February 2014, and by June 2014 my hair was fuller, a nice length, and my hair feels great. So I like Biotin a lot. It’s a great hair supplement that doesn’t cost a lot.

Argan — an Aveda Ingredient

October 29, 2014
By

ArganOn the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco is the indigenous argan forest. Local Berber women, determined to save it from desertification, found help in the form of Professor Zoubida Charrouf of the Faculté des sciences at the Université Mohammed V of Rabat. She was able to help them form the Targanine Network—a cooperative in their local village. In partnership with Aveda, the women of the Targanine Network are able to process the nuts from the argan trees more efficiently to sell to international markets.

For hundreds of years the locals ate the fruit and nut from the argan tree and it was a major part of their lives. Over hundreds of years, the Berber women have used the argan oil for medicinal purposes, cooking, and beauty, while the shells were used for heating. Aveda sources 100% of its argan oil, which is certified organic, from the Targanine Network and have provided funding to purchase processing equipment that helps the women separate the seeds, thus increasing their productivity.

The argan tree lives to be between 150-200 years old and does not start producing the fruit until it is 30-50 years old. The beauty benefits from the oil produced from the seed of the fruit have become well known around the world. For hair, argan oil adds moisture and tames frizzy ends. If you have a dry scalp, you can dab some argan oil along the scalp before washing your hair. For the face, people apply argan oil directly after cleansing and treatments. At Aveda, argan is used in the Green Science line. It has been proven in case studies to show more smoothness to the face creating a clear and radiant glow to the skin.

Fall 2014 Makeup Trend: Gothic Beauty

Fall Makeup Trends - GothicThe current gothic trend is about creating a darkly romantic look with a glowing fresh faced porcelain complexion paired with dark lipstick, be it in red or berry, purple or burgundy. Mixing a foundation just a touch lighter than your natural color with your natural color can give a slightly pale complexion without looking overly theatrical or cartoonish. Staying with minimal foundation and concealer keeps it looking romantic. Contouring should be downplayed with slight emphasis on enhancing the cheekbones at most.

Deep colored lipstick creates an aura of mystery and drama. It is the focal point of this look. Eyes are downplayed, with light, neutral shadow and simple mascara. False eyelashes and heavy eyeliner are not part of this particular brand of gothic look. The look is more ethereal and natural with touches of intensely deep color along the line of Lorde. For added drama, the brows can be heavier and filled in darkly to play them up.

In more dramatic eye shadows, the trend this fall is metallics and a subtle metallic can be worked into this look as long as it’s kept light and the lips are the main focal point of the look.

Nutritious Hair

Combing Damaged Hair
Everybody desires naturally healthy, strong, luminous hair. Why rely on endless searching for a costly “miracle product” to restore your hair, when you can find the answers you’re looking for in the foods you eat?

One of a stylist’s best-kept secrets to healthy hair isn’t which high-end product they squeeze from a tube; but rather a well-balanced diet. With the appropriate amounts of protein, iron, and other key nutrients found in the foods we eat, we can actually treat the overall health and appearance of our hair from a much deeper standpoint—from the inside out.

Magnesium, vitamins B, C, D, E and, most importantly, proteins and iron, are necessary to maintain healthy hair. Learning how to work these elements into your daily diet to coexist with your personal lifestyle will, over time, result in the reconstruction of your hair.

Non-Vegetarians: The best source for protein and iron will be in lean meats such as pork, beef, and fish.

Vegetarians: Non-animal sources for protein and iron include spinach, soybeans, lentils, and cereals containing iron.

As much as well-balanced diets create the condition for healthy hair, poor diets can cause poor hair. Malnourishment, which is generally the result of low-caloric intake from a restrictive diet, can cause dry, brittle, dull hair. “Crash diets” can lead to hair loss due to an insufficient intake of necessary nutrients. Cigarette smoking—and the nicotine in them—also affects hair-health. Nicotine affects the body’s circulatory system; if the scalp doesn’t have a sufficient blood supply, hair growth can be inhibited.

Aveda Botanical Treatment

Most of us love to color our hair. Now, in 2014, silver ash color hair is very “in”, or color melting aka Ómbre. Have you ever noticed after your color service, your hair feels like hay? Yes, I said hay–with a stringy straw like texture. This happens because we’re opening the cuticle to lift cortex. With process, you walk out of your salon with beautifully colored hair, but now the pH level in the hair is off. What I like to do, both for myself and my guests, is use the Aveda Botanical Treatment.

Aveda Botanical Products

The Aveda Botanical Treatment comes in 3 different formulas: Damage Remedy, Scalp Remedy, and Dry Remedy. Plus, there are three concentrate oil formulas: Soothing, Conditioning, and Purifying. My favorite Aveda Botanical Treatments to use are the Dry Remedy and the Damage Remedy, mixed with the Soothing concentrate oil and Conditioning concentrate oil. This mixture really helped me after overly coloring my hair four different colors within a year. It’s safe to say that I had a lot of damage going on.

When I was in Beta phase is when I started doing more research on our Aveda Botanical Treatment. My educator at the time cut my hair into a very short bob. About three months later, another student and 
I were talking and she noticed that my scalp was super itchy (also I was probably scratching or patting my head a lot that day due to the irritation I was going through). She asked me if I’ve ever tried our Aveda Botanical Treatment since I’ve been eyeing it lately. I said no but I should.

We mixed Dry Remedy, Damage Remedy, Scalp Remedy, plus two concentrate oil, the Soothing concentrate oil and the Conditioning concentrate oil. I have to say, it’s been almost a year and about five treatments. I no longer have to use Scalp Remedy as much as I use the other because my scalp feels so much better and my hair is getting past my shoulders now. I love this Aveda Botanical Treatment. It’s hands down the best, and I’ve tried lots of different deep conditioning products. So go out there to an Aveda school or an Aveda salon and try a Botanical Treatment.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin

October 15, 2014
By

Home Remedies for Dry Skin include Avocado

In this entry I will be discussing how to remedy dry skin at home. As the weather changes and we move into the winter months, I am sure we will all notice a change in our skin. When our bodies have trouble holding in the water and oil that it needs to keep skin moist, we end up with dry skin. One main reason you could have dry or scaly skin is due to low humidity. Heating and air conditioning can also contribute to dry skin.

  • Baking Soda

    A baking soda soak is a folk remedy to relieve itching and dry skin. Add one cup baking soda to a tub of hot water. Soak for 30 minutes and air dry.

  • Oatmeal

    Adding instant oatmeal to your bath will soothe your skin. The oats are packed with vitamin E, a nutrient vital to healthy skin.

  • Coconut Oil

    This can improve the moisture and lipid content of skin. Best applied after shower to lock in the moisture or add a spoonful to a bath for a 30 minute soak.

  • Avocado

    Since avocado is a natural emollient, it can hydrate and even prevent dry skin. You can use as a moisturizing mask one to two times a week. Mash half of the avocado and apply it directly to your face and body. If you are looking for more hydration, add a teaspoon of honey which will add moisturizing benefits to the skin.

  • Water

    Drink lots of water. It helps to keep your body hydrated and can alleviate dry skin. Eight to ten glasses daily is the minimum quantity, but it is ideal to drink more!

How Do I Conceal My Problem Skin?

How do I conceal my problem skin? While there is no fast fix for acne, eczema, or bad sunburn, I found some great cover-up advice that will help skin look its best. It’s all about the prep!

  • Acne

    Make sure skin is hydrated by mixing oil-free moisturizer with foundation containing salicylic acid. To apply, use your index finger to pat mixture into the skin. Let it set for 30 seconds then look for any dry skin flakes and remove with tweezers. Don’t use powder to set the foundation—the chalkiness factor can amplify any blemishes.

  • Eczema

    You want to apply a moisturizing cream cleanser onto a makeup-removing wipe. Rub all over the face in a circular motion. Then rinse with cold water. Blend moisturizer onto the skin with fingertip. Next combine a dollop of foundation with a pea-size amount of moisturizer. Rub your fingers together to blend together, and then pat onto skin, applying evenly. Using foundation with a moisturizer is a soothing yet effective treatment for concealing and breakouts.

  • Sunburn

    Rub fresh Aloe Vera Gel over the burn and let it sit for 30 minutes. This will allow the skin to cool, and will calm the redness. Aloe also helps expedite the healing process of the burn. You will then apply a creamy moisturizer on top. Select a foundation two tones darker than your normal skin tone to cover the redness. You should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 daily to avoid burning in the first place.

As you can see, each skin ailment’s resolution is about mixing a moisturizer with a foundation. I hope this information helps.

Bikini Wax

Everybody might have different opinions about bikini waxing but I feel like you might need the right education about it before you make up your decision. Personally I think every girl should try it at least once in their lives.

Bikini waxing in the Middle East was considered a method of proper hygiene. This is pretty self-explanatory; some older woman might not see it as something they would consider due to the fact that it is such a personal area on the woman’s body. But nowadays, girls shave. Honestly, that’s the same thing. When you shave, you are removing hair, but some girls don’t seem to realize that shaving doesn’t change anything about the hair growth. For example, if you were to wax in the bikini area, the hair would grow back thinner and slower because you would be removing the hair from the actual root.

There are also different types of bikini waxes depending on how much hair you would like to take off. There is an American bikini wax, which takes off everything outside the bikini and also includes a trim. There is a French bikini wax, which takes off everything but a “landing strip”. And there is the Brazilian bikini wax, which takes off every hair in the pubic area and also includes a butt wax.

For someone that has never done this but has thought about it, I would recommend they try it at least once. They won’t regret it.

Benefits of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids

September 17, 2014
By

We all have our issues with choosing products for our skin and finding the best effective products with ingredients that will benefit our skin! AHA’s and BHA’s are great ingredients for giving a youthful look to our skin. They both work in their own way for a particular skin type or skin problem.

AHA and BHA

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is an acid that is derived from fruits that contain skin rejuvenating properties. Most commonly known are Glycolic, Lactic, Citric, Malic, and Tartaric Acids and are found in most skin care formulations as they promote the cell turnover rate. The process in which they work is by melting down the intracellular fluid letting dead skin cells to be removed from the surface of the skin. AHAs are water soluble and are best for the sun damaged or individuals with a thicker dermis. AHAs exfoliate the surface layers of the skin and help retain more water which, in turns, helps the overall moisture content. They do not penetrate as deep as BHAs; the overall effect of the AHAs is felt on the surface of the dermis.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is specifically one organic compound—a salicylic acid. BHA will work in the same way as the AHA does by breaking down and exfoliating dead skin cells. The defining difference is that salicylic acid is oil soluble, which has the ability to penetrate pores filled with oil and exfoliate those pores. BHAs are great for those individuals with oily or acne prone skin. There is an anti-inflammatory property as well as an anti-bacterial affect from using a BHA. It is also great for sensitive skin types and those that may have a specific skin condition.