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11 Causes of Hair Breakage

Written By Vincent AMigo on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 | 7:08 AM

1) Overstretching the hair: Do you stretch your hair prior to styling? If so, be sure you are using one of these least harmful methods: twists or loose braids. Banding is another option as well, depending on the tension.  On the other hand, tight banding or tight braiding can overstretch the hair and lead to weakened strands. Also, be sure you are stretching on damp hair instead of wet hair.  Wet hair will be more susceptible to breakage under tension. Lastly, refrain from using rubber bands or any other harmful hair tie (e.g., cotton) during the drying process.

2) Styling on wet or drenched hair: Hair is most fragile when wet or drenched with water.  Styling the hair in this state may lead to mechanical breakage.  Depending on the manipulation required for the desired style, it may be better to wait until the hair is damp or damp-dry.
3) Diet low in protein: Hair largely consists of protein (i.e., keratin) which is built from amino acids extracted from foods we put into our body.  A diet low in protein can translate into weaker, thinner hair strands (and thus breakage) or even hair loss.  Mitigate this issue by incorporating more nuts, chicken, fish, and beans into your diet.
4) Diet low in zinc, iron, and/or Vitamin B-12: A deficiency in any of these nutrients can result in weaker strands (and thus breakage) or even hair loss.  Taking a good multivitamin on a daily basis can ensure that you are receiving a sufficient amount of these nutrients. If you are severely deficient in zinc or iron (e.g., anemia), I highly recommend that you see a doctor.
5) Use of sulfate shampoos: Certain sulfate shampoos (e.g., shampoos containing SLS and ALS) can be harsh on the hair thus weakening the strands. Switching to a more gentle sulfate shampoo or a natural shampoo can mitigate this issue.

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Hair Structure - Causes of hair damage

Written By Vincent AMigo on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | 6:54 PM

The most common causes of damaged hair are:
  • Excessive brushing: using a hard brush and brushing hair violently or when wet can damage it.
  • Chemicals: chlorine from swimming pools, bleach, hair dyes and other salon treatments can damage the structure of your hair.
  • Sun/heat exposure: exposure to the sun or excessive use of hairdryers and/or hair straighteners can dry out and damage hair.
  • Poor diet: an unhealthy diet or a state of dehydration can affect the function of the hair follicles which disrupts hair growth.
  • Disease or illness: there are several diseases or illnesses which can damage hair structure or cause thinning of the hair strands.
  • Medication: certain medications especially those used in chemotherapy treatment damage hair structure and ultimately lead to hair loss.
  • Male pattern baldness: a genetic condition in which changes within the male hormones or androgens damage the hair follicles which prevents them from producing more hair.
Following a good hair care routine can mitigate against some of these but if you do notice that you are losing an excessive amount of hair then seek medical attention.

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8 Ways You're Damaging Your Hair

Written By Vincent AMigo on Thursday, December 1, 2016 | 7:32 AM

Perms, highlights, extensions: In our quest for beauty are we sacrificing the hair on our heads? Here’s a breakdown of the damage too much styling can wreak on our tresses.

Kristin LaVerghetta, 23, from Norton, Mass., has hair to die for. It's shiny, it's full, it has just the right amount of bounce, and worse yet, she makes it all look completely effortless.
What's her secret when it comes to having great hair, other than good genetics?

"I don't color it -- never have," LaVerghetta says. "I blow dry it every day and use a straightener sometimes, and I shampoo and condition every day, which works best for my hair type."
To protect her hair against the heat of the blow dryer, she uses hair product first. Her secret to hair success: Less is more.
Most of us aren't as kind to our tresses. From highlights to lowlights, chemical perms to chemical straightening, blow drying, braiding, and bleaching, how we treat our hair has a direct impact on how healthy -- or unhealthy -- it looks.
Causing split ends, lack of luster, or hair breakage, our styling habits play havoc on the one thing we're trying to capture -- beauty. Hair experts explain the anatomy of the hair on our head, offer insight into the damage too much styling can cause, and give advice on how to keep your locks looking luxurious.

The Anatomy of Hair

"Hair is fiber, much like wool," says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a staff dermatologist at the Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, Calif. "It's bundled together tightly in the middle and protected on the outside by a cuticle."
Every hair has three layers -- the inner fibers make up the medulla; the cortex surrounds the medulla; and the cuticle is the outer layer that protects the inner, more sensitive components from damage, Mirmirani says.
Each hair grows about 1/4 inch every month out of a follicle on your head, and it can keep growing for up to six years. Then as part of the natural cycle of hair, it will fall out and make way for a new hair.
How long your hair is depends on how long your growing cycle lasts. If it's only two years instead of six, your hair will naturally peak at a shorter length. The same goes for the thickness of your hair: Thick hair grows out of large follicles; smaller, narrower follicles produce thinner hair.

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10 Ways You're Ruining Your Hair but Don't Know It

Written By Vincent AMigo on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | 8:16 AM

Everyone knows that endless flatironingbleaching, and using tons of styling product aren't exactly the best thing for your hair. But ponytails, clarifying shampoos, and repairing masks seem pretty harmless, right? The truth is, there are many healthy-ish or NBD habits that can actually lead to breakage, damage, and excess shedding. Here,10 sneaky little ways we're making our hair hate us (so you can stop doing them ASAP).
The Culprit: Detangling Wet Hair
Wet strands are especially delicate, so ripping through them post-shower with a brush or comb can lead to serious breakage, explains Rachel Bodt, senior colorist at Cutler salon in NYC. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer (it's equipped with flexible bristles that are gentle enough to use on wet hair) while you're still in the shower and your hair is coated with conditioner. Bonus: Your conditioner will be more equally distributed and your hair will be insanely shiny and soft allover.
The Culprit: Your Perma-Pony (or Bun) Positioning
We're all guilty of wearing the same topknot or low pony for days on end. Unfortunately, repeatedly placing tension on similar areas can result in hair weakening and even excess shedding, says Bodt. Make sure to switch up your style regularly and use snag-free hair ties (these neoprene Emijays are super cute!) or Goody's Spin Pins to secure with the least possible tearing.
The Culprit: Sleeping With Wet Hair
It's so easy to twist freshly shampooed hair in braids or a messy bun, pass out, and wake up to tousled mermaid waves. But if you're dandruff prone, this is a huge mistake. Since flakes can be caused by a fungal infection, resting your wet head against a warm, damp pillowcase for six to eight hours a night will encourage the white stuff to show. Try to shampoo a few hours before bedtime or rough-dry your hair on medium heat until its nearly dry, then hit the hay.

The Culprit: Using Too Many Protein Masks
Protein-packed hair masks are great for repairing bleached and damaged hair. However, your hair needs a balance of moisture and protein. If you load it up with just protein, it can leave your strands parched and brittle, according to Bodt. To ensure you're getting enough nourishment, swap your conditioner for a mask just once a week and alternate between hydrating and repairing treatments.
The Culprit: Only Using UV Protectant Outdoors
Of course it's important to spritz sunscreen on your hair (and everywhere!) when you're hitting the beach or hanging outside all day. But even when you're not getting lots of fresh air, you need to stay protected. Skipping this step can screw up your color because sitting near windows, the light from your computer, and even fluorescent office lighting all add up to color fading. A quick spritz will save you major $$$ at the salon and keep that flawless balayage in tact.
The Culprit: Touching Up More Than Just Your Roots
When you DIY your dye job, it's tempting to apply the product all the way down to your ends and not just touch up the new growth. Avoid this temptation! Pulling the color all the way to your ends can dehydrate your hair and result in uneven color (since the length of your hair will end up being colored over and over and over). To make sure you only tint your roots, apply conditioner from the mid-shaft of your strands down to prevent the dye from running, suggests Bodt.
The Culprit: OTT Detoxing
If you love using hairspray or salt spray (who doesn't?!), you know the importance of a good clarifying shampoo to eliminate buildup. But relying on this deep cleanser too often can strip your hair of the good oils it needs to stay healthy and protected, Bodt explains. Try using them once a month and always apply a moisturizing mask after to re-hydrate the squeaky clean strands.
The Culprit: Your Lifetime Blowout Bar Membership
We get it. Blowouts make everything better. But if you're hitting up a jam-packed blowout spot more than once a week, you may be risking excessive heat damage. "Some blowout bars focus a little too much on doing hair quickly," says Ricardo Rojas, a celeb stylist in NYC. This means they might be turning the heat up a too high and not protecting your strands as much as they should. Ask your blow-dry stylist to rough dry your hair instead of starting the blowout when your hair is wet and to keep the dryer on a lower heat setting when possible. And BYOP (bring your own protection)! We love Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Protection Spray.

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Is Lanolin a natural moisturiser for natural hair? A castor oil alternative?

Written By Vincent AMigo on Friday, October 7, 2016 | 11:54 PM

Lanolin is essentially sheep sebum. Traditionally, sheared wool is simply boiled in water for a few hours and the lanolin rises to the top ready for scooping up.

Lanolin is actually not really a fat despite looking like one. It is technically considered a wax. It is quite different from the vegetable and fruit derived oils and butters such as coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil or shea butter. These oils and butters are true fats consisting mainly of fatty acids. Lanolin however is made mainly of esters of fatty acids and even has some alcohols and cholesterol.

Q:  Ah so much jargon! Why should I care if lanolin is a wax and coconut oil is not? What really is the difference between a fatty acid and an ester of a fatty acid?

The difference is that the ester version found in lanolin can actually hold water very well. Let me be clear, this does not mean that lanolin can dissolve in water well - it does not! It does mean that when you mix it with water, the water is attracted to it and can be trapped within it.

Q: Aha, so is the trapping of water by lanolin what makes it moisturising?

Yes, this is part of what makes it moisturising. A second part is that at least with skin, it is known to be able to penetrate into skin cells and combine with water within those cells, once more preventing water loss. It is indeed possible that it may do the same with hair since both hair and skin (and wool!) have keratin as a key protein.


1. Melting Lanolin: Pure lanolin is a thick wax and it really does not melt as easily as a fat e.g coconut oil or shea butter. Pure lanolin does melt and become spreadable but you need to use a very small amount and really rub it between your fingers for a good solid ACTUAL minute. Slathering it on while it is still sticky and not spreading easily is NOT the business. If you are struggling, you can purchase liquid lanolin too but be aware that in order to stay liquid, some parts of the pure lanolin are extracted.

2. Apply to either freshly washed or freshly misted hair: If you are looking for a moisturising effect, make sure that there is water on your hair for the lanolin to use.

3. Lanolin generally plays well with other oils or butters: You can use lanolin in addition to another oil e.g if you normally use coconut oil to 'seal' your moisturiser, you can still apply this first and then top up with lanolin.

4.  Lanolin is an alternative to castor oil: I have found that castor oil can be difficult to use for some naturals as it is too thick and sticky. If you are looking for something like castor oil but a little easier, then a thin layer of lanolin may just be what you need.

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Written By Vincent AMigo on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | 7:15 AM

While laying at the beach for hours and soaking up some vitamin sea feels great, we often forget that it is essential to take care of our hair and skin to survive all the salt, chlorine and sun. We apply sunscreen all over our skin, but we tend to ignore our hair depriving it of moisture.
After I got back from my Eid getaway from Phuket, I thought I would share a couple of tips on how I protected my hair from the damage it could have gone through amidst all the island hopping, tanning at the beach and chilling at the pool.
Hats are your saviours 
UV rays from the sun can damage your hair making it dry and brittle, so the first step to protect your hair would be to keep a big, wide brimmed hat on at all times. Not only does it complete your beach holiday look, also really serves the purpose.
 Serum to fight frizz 
Recently I tried the Schwarzkopf osis+ magic finish serum. I religiously consumed almost half the can throughout the trip, and applied the serum onto the dry ends of my hair. It helped to smoothen it and hold in moisture in my locks. These are perfect to fight frizz.
 Apply oil or leave in conditioner while taking a dip at the pool 
It is very important to seal your hair with oil before diving into the pool and saving it from chlorine. I prefer applying leave in conditioner before I hit the pool so that my hair soaks the conditioner and not the chlorine.  I would recommend the L’oreal Ever crème nourishing leave in spray. The product does not leave sticky residue and is extremely conditioning.
Beating Humidity
Humidity can result in greasy scalp. To reduce the greasiness all you need is a trustworthy dry shampoo. I use the dove hair therapy refreshing dry shampoo, which is effortlessly available in most stores and budget friendly.
Styling your hair 
Using heat irons and blow-drying increases the frizz in your hair. Instead opt for a styling oil spray. The Toni and Guy sea salt texturizing spray does the trick for me.The product gives my hair natural movement with light hold.Also the most manageable hairstyle would be a messy bun or a braid.
Hair spa and hair treatments 
With all that being said , it is always good to get your hair a good protein or hot oil treatment once you are back. You could also try a diy hair mask at home.
Here’s the link for some easy to do DIY hair masks.
No more frizz, dry locks and unending combing to detangle your hair!

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Written By Vincent AMigo on Friday, September 30, 2016 | 9:44 AM

Hair tends to get dry, dull and lifeless during the summer season. It tends to bleach hair to a lighter shade and hence coloured hair tends to get further damaged. So we need to protect our hair and keep it pretty and lustrous. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
Use a leave in conditioner/oil
Hair care tip- leave in conditioner
In the Middle East countries, the sun as well as the air conditioning system causes the hair and scalp to become extremely dry. It is a must to use a leave in conditioner or non-greasy hair oil to nourish and moisture hair. Also one must stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water so that hair receives required nutrients.
Shampoo and condition well
Women must know their hair type and accordingly use the right shampoo and conditioner. To maintain coloured hair, use a colour protecting shampoo. Also for scanty hair, one should ideally use a lighter conditioner and for thicker hair, opt for a coarse conditioner. Don’t over shampoo, as this will once again lead to dry hair as it strips the natural oils.
Get a hair treatment
Apart from doing various things at home to keep your hair shiny, this summer make sure to get a hair treatment once a week. Depending on the problem area for your hair, opt for a deep conditioning or hot oil massage to stimulate and enhance your hair growth. Once a day, also try and massage your head for a few minutes, in order to lubricate the scalp.
Tackle dandruff with soothing products
Often when hair gets dry due to humid weather, dandruff sets in and irritates the scalp. For this, make use of lemon products or other home remedies. Women can also try using rosemary or a cooling shampoo and product. This will help ease the itching and slowly get rid of a flaky scalp.
Use SPF products
Avoid using too many products on your hair, as it will only lead to more damage. But if you need to, go in for products that have UV protection as this can protect your hair from the harsh sun rays. Stay away from the blow dryer or heating gadgets and instead mildly towel dry and let your mane dry naturally.  Use a good hair mask or natural ingredients on hair to infuse moisture into your locks.
Get a regular trim
Get a regular hair trim and haircut, once in 2-3 months, so as to get rid of split ends. This will also aid in new hair growth and can add a new look to your hairstyle. Keep your hair clean and tidy, so that it stays healthy and shiny all through the summer season.
These tips will keep your hair in good form and you won’t lose sleep over hair fall.

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