Search Results: Allison Cooper

How to Reverse Your Summer Hair Damage
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

As we bid farewell to summer, it is more important than ever to address that summer hair damage and get your locks back to their moisturized, no-frizz state. After all, come winter we will be facing a whole new set of hair care problems. Fixing what summer fun damaged right now is absolutely essential!

Being outside with the suns hot rays shining down on us and pool days filled with chlorine can sound quite inviting, but it’s important to remember the harm that is being done to our tresses and, even more important, you need to know how to undo it. Well-known hair stylist Nathaniel Hawkins, who is best known for working with TRESemme and assisting the contestants on the notorious television show “Project Runway,” offers his advice for how to help restore your hair.

At home treatments

There are many different treatments that you can do for your hair from your own home, without spending the high prices at a salon. And guess what — they are just as beneficial! According to Nathaniel Hawkins, you can take the most popular looks from this falls runway to your hometown’s real-way by giving yourself deep conditioning treatments right at home that will reverse hair damage in no time.

Don’t forget to moisturize

Since sunshine and summer activities are widely known for stripping your beloved tresses of moisture and essential oils, it’s important to replenish them for the overall health of your hair. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners are a great way to start this process. If you hair is really damaged, then it may be more beneficial for you to begin washing your hair only every other day to help restore the natural oils. Restoring the moisture in your hair that was lost during the summer months is the most important aspect in getting your hair ready for fall.

Since curly hair is notorious for not allowing our natural oils to reach our strands, be sure that you are putting an ample amount of oil in your curly locks. Try something light like rose oil if you are unfamiliar with using oils, then find heavier oils if you need them.

Condition, condition, condition!

Every time you wet your hair, whether it is after you get out of the shower, or to style it, spray it down with a lightweight leave-in conditioner. This will greatly assist in restoring moisture as well as reduce frizz and hair damage.

You can even leave in some of your conditioner from the shower. You don’t have to wash it all out. If you don’t want to spend any more on purchasing another product, use what you already have and leave some conditioner in those locks to keep them moisturized all day.

Seal the moisture

To ensure that the moisture is sealed in the hair, consider using an oil. There is the LOC method and the LCO method. Watch how Nikki applies her products using the LOC method below.

If that appears to be too much product for you hair, then consider these oils for your curl pattern:

Ideally, these hair tips would have been included in your summer hair care routine so as to prevent hair damage in the first place, so keep these in mind for next summer too. If your haircare routine fell by the wayside this summer (it happens!”>, it’s important to keep in mind that it is never too late for a refresher course.

How to Treat Your Sun Damaged Hair
Photo Courtesy of Keshia Langevillier

As we transition from summer into fall, it is very important that we take care of our hair with the same enthusiasm as we do about extending our fall wardrobe. Healthy, well kept hair is always in style, and the most important accessory that everyone should attain as the weather goes from hot to cold.

Why Treat Sun Damaged Hair?

There are so many different reasons why curly hair care is essential for sun damaged hair. Keep in mind that hair can get sun damaged year round. No matter what the temperature is outside, the sun will still be shining bright. A damaged hair treatment should always be part of your curly hair care regimen.

It’s important to treat sun damaged hair on a daily basis to keep your hair follicles and scalp healthy. Treating sun damaged hair will prevent breakage, uneven hair growth and improve the overall health of your beloved tresses.

It is no secret that if you have curly hair, your curly hair care regimen needs to have added moisture in it, at least in comparison to how much moisture those with straighter strands need. Curly hair tends to dry out much quicker and easier than other hair types, due to the shape of the strand. The sun only worsens this issue as it tends to act as a drying agent, and will strip your curly hair of necessary moisture.

Oil Recommendations

  • Argan oil: helps increase the suppleness and elasticity of the hair and provides emollience and softness
  • Jojoba oil: an ingredient which can add moisture and help lubricate the hair shaft. It is quite beneficial in assisting and maintaining curl formation.

Buy professional products

Using curly hair products with high quality ingredients will greatly assist in restoring your hair to its natural state. It may be a little bit more expensive, but it is a wise investment that will greatly pay off.

Moisture, again and again and again

Since the sun’s rays will strip your curly hair of necessary moisture, it’s important that you take time to replenish it. Using deep conditioning treatments, followed by six drops of oil (such as rosemary oil”> and letting sit for at least 20 minutes will help bring your hair back to a manageable, moisturized state.

Eat a balanced diet

Whether you believe it or not, the food that you eat on a daily basis plays a huge role in the overall health of your hair, as well as its resiliency and ability to bounce back after it has been damaged by the sun. Eating a well balanced diet, exercising on a regular basis, taking a daily multi-vitamin and living a stress-free lifestyle will all greatly aid in your curly hair care routine.

Try at home remedies

There are many different at home remedies that will help to rejuvenate your hair and bring it back to life after a long, hot summer! Try out a mayonnaise hair treatment, olive oil for split ends, egg yolk treatment, henna or coconut oil. Applying these products to your hair, separately, and letting sit for 15-20 minutes will surely help your hair literally bounce back.

Protect those strands

Being proactive about protecting your hair from the sun year round is very important. Just like we apply sunscreen to our skin, we need to protect our hair. By being conscious about prevention methods, you’ll will limit the amount of restoration that you must do in order to get your hair back to its usual healthy state. Wearing hats and scarves whenever you are out in the sun will greatly help you to shield your hair from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s even important to wear a bathing cap whenever swimming; this will not only protect your hair from the sun, but from the chemicals in the pool as well.

Try retinol

Your skin just as sun damaged as your hair? Try using retinol products to heal it!

As summer comes to a close and we start to realize just how sun damaged our curly hair really is, us curlies have to take matters in to our own hands! Take preventive measures, always, in protecting your hair and skin from the sun. We know that hindsight is 20/20, so when your hair has been subject to too much sun, try some homemade hair treatments to keep your hair and follicles healthy.

Did you know hair could be sun damaged?

Follow Keshia (pictured above”> here:

Shiia M. and Instagram

This article was originally published in September 2011.

Why Hair Porosity & Density Matter

Every curly girl knows the importance of understanding the type of porosity and density that your hair has. Hair porosity and density both play a key role in your hair care regimen, what curly hair products you use and how your hair looks overall on a daily basis. Having this knowledge gives you the power to better manage and transform your hair from dull to fab!

Hair Porosity & Density Defined


Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb moisture. Hair that is considered to be highly porous is typically damaged and separated from the cuticle. This can be a result of many different factors such as it being over processed to simply having a need for more moisture on a daily basis. On the other hand, hair that is not very porous will be difficult to chemically straighten or perform any type of chemical treatment due to its inability to absorb.

Knowing your hair porosity will help you determine how much moisture your hair needs on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to achieve the look that you are going for. In addition, you will be better equipped to make decisions regarding your hair products.


On the contrary, hair density looks at the number of hair strands that you have per square inch on your scalp. People with low hair density are said to have thinner hair while people with high hair density have thicker hair. Knowing how dense your hair is will provide you to better choose products that will help either increase the volume in your hair or tone it down.

Though these concepts are both quite different, together they help to determine how your hair should be handled.

Product Recommendations

Daily Care

The daily care of your hair plays a big part in your hair porosity and density. Combing, towel drying, and shampooing can be done in a very rough manner that will damage the hair, creating breakage and cuticle damage. This will leave your hair looking limp and lifeless. Better managing your daily hair care as well as the hair products you use will greatly make a difference. If you have less dense hair, use lighter products. If you have dense hair, use heavier products. Porous hair will need more moisture so that it doesn’t suck it in from the air and frizz. Add these routines and products to your daily hair care routine to further enhance your curl.

Over exposure to Light

Spending too much time in the sun or under UV light can be a huge stressor to your hair cuticles. This will lead to drying on the hair follicle and then breakage. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight or UV light for 200 hours and beyond can start showing signs of damage. In order to overcome this problem, make sure that you are protecting your hair year-round whenever you are outside with hats and scarves. Drying the hair out can change your porosity, which will cause your usual miracle products to stop working.

Over processing

Using too many chemical treatments, such as relaxing or bleaching, can cause low density and highly porous hair. One way to overcome this issue is to do weekly hair treatments that help restore moisture and reverse the damaging effects of the chemicals. Try at-home methods such as the mayonnaise hair treatment or the apple cider vinegar rinse.

Want More?

Not sure what your hair porosity or density even is? Follow these simple steps to figure it out, test it out, and start planning around it!

Final Thoughts

It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s hair porosity and density are different, even within curl patterns, so you must treat your curls on an individual basis.

Tell us how you incorporate the knowledge of your porosity and density into your curly hair care regimen!

Dare to Bare Your Chemo Hair Loss

Suffering from cancer and having to deal with the horrible side effects of chemotherapy treatments can be very overwhelming. One of the most difficult and noticeable side effects is chemo hair loss or hair thinning.

Given that our hair helps to define our self of self and our identities, this aspect can be quite maddening. But being brave enough to take that step forward and actually “bare your bald” can bring on the rejuvenating feelings for which you have been yearning. That’s right – baring your bald can give you your independence back!

Bare Your Bald

The actual act of “baring your bald” is the invigorating act of showing to the world that you’re not afraid or ashamed of having lost your hair. You go about your life, living on your terms and not worrying about covering up your bald head by hats, scarves, or any other hair adornments. You are proud of the person that you are and the experiences that you have gone through, essentially molding you into the person that you are today.

Women who “bare their bald” are confident and comfortable in their own skin — no matter the circumstances.

The Emotional Side

Baring your bald will bring along a wide array of emotions, so you need to prepare yourself for how to deal with them. All in all, the emotions that you are dealing with are all in your head (no pun intended”>, and you need to choose what you are going to let bother you or hold you back, and what gives you the drive to keep going. It is all about how you feel and what you choose to make of the situation.

Too many people associate beauty with our appearance, but once you overcome the association of hair with beauty, you will be able to look deeper into your true self — and others will too. It’s important to be proud of the person that you are and show that off to the world. You are still the same person, and this change in your appearance is not going to change that.

Others’ Reactions

The people in your life who know and love you will accept you no matter how you look. People who see you outside may stop and look at you, which is one of those things that you will get used to and find a way to handle on your own.

Blogger Katie Evans, of The Bald and the Beautiful, stressed the fact that once you experience chemo hair loss, you will need to find your own “normal,” which will include an array of emotions that you undergo regarding being bald and beautiful.

“I still get stared at, but keep in mind, I’m 6 feet tall, queen size is an understatement, and I’m bald; people are going to stare. In the beginning, the staring didn’t bother me because I was very conscience of being bald; I was checking myself out in a mirror every chance I got. But as I got used to my baldhead and strangers continued to stare, I kind of got annoyed. I wanted to go over to them and say, ’Yes, it’s cancer,’ but instead I just kept walking. It took me a while to realize that not everyone staring was doing it out of ignorance, I’m sure some were looking at me thinking of a loved one who had gone through chemo, and maybe others were thinking that I was brave leaving the house with my bald head uncovered.”

Want More?

Baring your bold is totally a personal choice, and a tough one at that! For those that want to embrace their new life, but keep strands on their heads, try curly wigs!

Final Thoughts

In the end, every situation’s outcome is what you make of it. Take the time to grieve your chemo hair loss in a healthy time frame, and then move forward to live your life in the most fulfilled way possible.

Beware of Breast Cancer Awareness Scams

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it isn’t uncommon to see people everywhere sporting pink ribbons pinned to their outer clothing to show their support. As the years have gone by, there has been an overwhelming following of this trend from many different charities, organizations, and companies, including the NFL!

The trend has gotten so large, in fact, that you can’t even be sure that what you are buying is actually going to breast cancer awareness and research. Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money, and not a fundraising effort at all.

Breast cancer awareness scams have become such an issue, that concerned citizens have started Think Before You Pink, an organization dedicated to researching breast cancer awareness fundraising fraud.

Think Before You Pink

Think Before You Pink was the first to take a stand against all of the products branded with the pink breast cancer ribbon that weren’t necessarily giving back to the cause. Starting in 2002, they created numerous campaigns that generated a buzz about investigating products that we purchase because of the pink breast cancer ribbon.

They realized that there were many “pink products” on the market, such as hair products and groceries, that claimed to be giving to breast cancer awareness and research, but that many of these brands weren’t, in fact, living up to their promises.

Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money – not a fundraising effort.

Think Before You Pink is considered the watch dog for the entire breast cancer movement and the organization often get the truth out about many different products claiming to the associated with breast cancer organizations and charities, that are not. They have launched campaigns with well known companies such as KFC and Yoplait.

Fundraising Fraud

Think Before You Pink and their  efforts are so important because it raises awareness for consumers who think that they are purchasing products for a good cause. The organization encourages consumers to engage with the products and brands by asking critical questions about the role the brands are playing in breast cancer research and awareness. Many companies can be misleading with their messages, including charities and organizations who just want to make more money.

Think Before You Pink sheds light on the companies that are doing good things to support breast cancer, and makes consumers aware of companies that are trying to scam people for their money.

Before You Donate

Before buying any products that claim they are supporting breast cancer, it’s important to follow-up on the product and do some research. Many of us want to give back in any way we can, often without causing much of a hassle to our daily lives and routines. However, by buying in to the pink merchandise scandal, our “best” efforts go unnoticed, and breast cancer funding is not increased.

Think Before You Pink encourages consumers to focus on five critical questions before they purchase any product sporting a pink ribbon:

  1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
  2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
  3. How are the funds being raised?
  4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
  5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

Want More?

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Final Thoughts

Think Before You Pink is a great organization that puts their efforts towards a great cause. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the rest of the year for that matter, lets vow to apply these questions and methods towards the purchases that we are making!

Honey Hair Lightening: Fact or Fiction?

I’m sure that many of you never knew that this method even existed, but the truth is that honey does work as a natural hair lightener according to the forums on LongHairCommunity.

Many people are used to using natural honey on their hair by adding it to their conditioner and shampoo on a daily or weekly basis to condition and moisturize hair in a natural way. The reality is that a honey hair treatment is a subtle, natural lightening process for your curls.

How Does Honey Hair Coloring Work?

This method works due to the natural hydrogen peroxide that is found in honey. We all know the affect that hydrogen peroxide has on hair. The iron that is also found in the honey oxidizes the oxygen free radicals that are released by the hydrogen peroxide.

The amount of lightening that you can achieve through using this method greatly depends on how well your hair absorbs the honey, or how porous it is.

Honey Hair Conditioner Recipe

Honey Hair Lightening Tips

  • Add a bit of peroxide for a more dramatic honey hair effect.
  • Add ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil for a boost to the natural honey hair color.
  • If you have product or oil in your hair, wash it before applying the mixture.
  • This method requires zero additional heat. Do not apply heat to your hair with the honey in it.
  1. Pour 1/3 cup of honey into a bowl.
  2. Scoop a 1/4 cup of your favorite conditioner and put it in the bowl with the honey.
  3. Combine the mixture until you have the perfect combination and consistency.
  4. Apply the mixture to damp hair and cover with the shower cap. After this mixture has been sitting on your hair and scalp for 8 hours, you can take the shower cap off and wash the mixture out with water.

Honey Hair Lightening Method

  1. Mix honey and distilled water together. Use a 4 to 1 ratio of honey to water to make the mixture work properly.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp and let sit under a shower cap for one hour under no additional heat.
  3. Completely rinse the mixture out of your hair and shampoo, condition and style as usual.

The overall outcome of this process will have your hair looking and feeling silky, shiny, and healthy. It will also have your hair looking a little bit lighter in a natural, non-dramatic manner.

This method takes time, and if you are using the honey for only lightening purposes, you may have to leave the treatment on longer, or do it multiple times to get your desired outcome.

Want More?

For more information about honey lightening methods, visit the forums on LongHairCommunity.

Final Thoughts

The honey hair lightening treatment definitely works. If you are looking to try out a natural way to lighten your locks so that you can have lighter hair, look no further than your kitchen cabinets!

Flip Chemo Hair Loss On Its Head

While it can sometimes be difficult to look at the positive aspects of a hard situation, such as chemo hair loss, a positive outlook can make help make things better help you live longer! Everyone deals with chemotherapy in different ways, and being open and positive about it with the people that you love is a great way to accept what is going on in your life, and can even help you to overcome the disease!

Positivity Helps!

The American Cancer Society says that having a positive attitude towards having cancer and towards your chemotherapy treatment can have a lot to do with the way that your disease is handled. They are very clear that although your attitude won’t change the diagnosis, it can be a great coping mechanism. You will have both good days and bad days, but the way that you handle them will help you to live your life to the fullest.

Flip Chemo Hair Loss on its Head

So, this is where we step in and help you see the positive side of chemotherapy hair loss. After all, let’s be honest, we have all spent years dealing with, often in frustration, our curly locks. So what do you do when they’re gone? Rejoice in the silver lining, of course!

  1. More money in your pockets to do what you really want! Looking back, how much money have you spent on all different types of hair products? Keeping up with and maintaining different curly hair styles takes an awful lot of money out of our pay checks every week, no matter if we are using high end products or not. At the end of the day, it all adds up! Having the extra money that would be otherwise spent on hair products in your pocket will allow you to put it towards doing the things in life that you have always dreamed of doing! Fiction writing class? Horseback riding lessons? Finishing up that degree? Go for it!
  2. Take the opportunity to experiment with creative hairstyles. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our hairstyle, or are just too afraid to make any dramatic changes because, “it might look bad.” Now, you have the opportunity to get creative, step outside the box and experiment with different hair accessories that will help hide your thinning hair, or celebrate it! Try a bold new cut, or splurge on those accessories you never thought you could pull off. This is a new phase of your life, embrace it and enjoy it as much as any other.
  3. No more dealing with dangerous chemicals! Let’s be honest here, as women we are pretty much willing to put anything and everything in our hair to make it look good, despite any surgeon general or FDA warnings. Chemo hair loss will give you the opportunity to live a more natural lifestyle without adding extra chemicals that are unnecessary to our hair and scalps. Think of it more as an optional big chop and embrace the natural hair lifestyle, hair or not.
  4. More time to focus on the important things. How much time are you typically spending every day on your hair? What does this number then add up to in a week, a month, a year?  Once we objectively look back at our lifestyles, as chemotherapy allows you to do, you will see that all the time spent on your hair could be put towards numerous other activities like spending time with family and friends, the real positivity is all of our lives.
  5. Who’s that lady? Losing hair will give you the opportunity to reinvent yourself — through wigs! Why not try out a color or style that you would have never otherwise tried out? Wigs are highly versatile and allow you to be anyone that you want, but most importantly allow you to be yourself if you choose. Nowadays, wigs are just as capable of withstanding heat styling as your own hair — except that when they get damaged, you can just take them off!
  6. One less thing to worry about! As women, we spend an awful lot of time worrying about things. Did the phone bill get paid? What am I going to cook for dinner? What will my boss think of the presentation? Not having to worry about what you are going to do with your hair each morning as your start your day is simply one less thing to stress over, especially at this particularly stressful point in time. Take chemo hair loss as an opportunity to appreciate not having to fuss with long strands, and rejoice in the ease that comes with scarves and shorter tresses.
  7. Networking opportunities galore! There are many different websites and support groups that are targeted towards women dealing with chemotherapy hair loss. This will give you the opportunity to network and meet new people who are dealing with similar circumstances and can help you cope through your struggles. And, you never know, one of those contacts may just add fuel to your career after the breast cancer is put to rest!

Want More?

Look beautiful and give back to breast cancer research and awareness with these curly hair products!

Final Thoughts

Positivity is key to facing the disease, chemotherapy and hair loss with ease, minimal stress and overall happiness. What tips and tricks can you share that help you to look past negative situations and see the positive?

Salicylic Acid Shampoo for Curly Hair

No matter what hair type you have, we all struggle with flaking or dandruff from time to time. Having curly hair makes this situation a little bit more difficult because we are trying to avoid washing our hair on a daily basis, but sometimes, due to the itch, we have no choice. Unfortunately, by washing our hair on a daily basis, we can interfere with the style we are trying to achieve.

Turning to shampoos containing salicylic acid is one solution that many curly girls have found in order to remove build up, cure their itch and resolve the dandruff issue. Of course, there is a downfall: the drying factor that the salicylic acid has on our locks.

Is Salicylic Acid Shampoo Safe for Curly Hair?

Won’t It Dry Out My Curls?

Salicylic acid shampoo is safe for curly hair on occasion. Since curly hair has different needs than non-textured hair, those needs must to be taken into consideration.

Shampoos that contain salicylic acid are typically designed to resolve issues such as dandruff. However, there are no conclusive studies that indicate the actual cause of dandruff, so no remedies have been proven to be effective.

Shampoos containing about 2% salicylic are often considered effective at treating itchy scalp and dandruff issues. Just use the shampoo until the problems is resolved, then switch back to your normal routine. Salicylic acid shampoo is safe for curly hair, but can dry it out even further if used too frequently, so use it only in small doses.

The only time that you should contact your doctor about using a salicylic acid shampoo is if you are pregnant, the person using the shampoo is under the age of two or you have any known allergies to it.

What is Salicylic Acid?

The Facts

Salicylic acid is a product that can be derived naturally from the willow tree, which is also referred to as salix. It is then chemically synthesized to treat many different medical conditions, including dandruff, acne and fungus.

Salicylic acid can also be produced in the laboratory by combining sodium phenoxide with carbon dioxide under high pressure. This is a more commercialized way of creating it rather than just turning to it in its pure and natural state from the willow bark.

Salicylic Acid Products

Salicylic acid can be found in numerous products at the pharmacy and in your own home. It is commonly found in aspirin or medications that control headaches, creams that ease inflammation, acne treatments, ointments and bath additives. It can also be found quite frequently in prescription form due to its dangerous nature if ingested in large quantities.

All you really need to do is start reading the ingredient labels, and you will be surprised how common this agent is.

Salicylic Acid Shampoo

When salicylic acid is added to shampoos, its job is to soften and remove the dead skin. This process is completed by the salicylic acid causing the area to which it is applied to swell, then soften, and eventually peel off. It will also open the pores.

Dandruff Be Gone

  • Salicylic acid shampoo can be quite beneficial to those suffering from dandruff or simply from an itchy scalp.
  • It should, however, only be used in moderation to avoid over drying the hair.

Want More?

Salicylic acid not your thing? Try these at homemade hair treatments for dandruff. 

Curly Hair Care for the Gym

Is your curly hair keeping you away from the gym? Are you nervous about ruining your hairstyle, not to mention throwing the money you just spent on that relaxer or style down the drain, by sweating and being active on a daily basis?

Well, it is time to stop fearing the gym ladies! Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin recently visited the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show in order to talk to women about this exact issue and to offer these curly hair care tips for the gym. After all, our health should be our number one priority!

Don’t Be a Statistic!

Recent studies have shown that many African American women avoid the gym and other physical activities out of fear of ruining their hairstyles. Let’s be honest, it can be quite expensive to keep up with the expenditures involved with curly hair care, especially for those of us who are still relaxing it, and sweating does tend to change the hairstyle completely. But by putting our looks first and health second, we aren’t doing anything positive for our bodies, our selves or our health in general.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, “Benjamin’s office cited two studies that examined why fewer than 30% of minority women in the United States get the recommended level of exercise.” The reasons were lack of time followed by economic constraints, major life changes or traumas, safety issues, weather and environment, the hassle of personal care such as showering and keeping hair looking good.

Unlike many different kinds of hair, African American hair cannot be washed multiple times a day without draining the hair follicles of essential oils. It’s understandable that an African American woman wouldn’t want to spend an hour at the gym whenever she has plans for a hot date later that night. But things need to change. With more and more people eating unhealthy and the rate of obesity growing, we need to put the excuses aside and get active!

Curly Hair Care Tips

Professional demands also rank high on the excuses to not exercise.
  1. Exercise at night. For many women, it’s just much simpler to work-out at night. This way you don’t have to worry about impressing anyone — our families all love us no matter how sweaty we look — and can go home and go to bed. You can get up the next morning, co-wash and be on your way with a healthy body and healthy hair.
  2. Experiment with different hairstyles. There are many different hair styles that make working out much easier. Depending on your length of hair, you can try out braids and twists. Because braids and twists are meant to last for an extended length of time, they are ideal for the workout guru!
  3. Schedule washing your hair around your workout regimen. You don’t need to be working-out hardcore every single day. Spending an hour at the gym three days a week is adequate for staying in shape, as long as you are up and moving on the days in between. Therefore, scheduling the times that you spend at the gym with the day that you are washing your hair can be a great solution to this problem. After all, all life is about time management.
  4. Working out doesn’t have to be sweaty! You don’t need to be breaking an intense sweat to reap the benefits of physical activity. Simply walking around your neighborhood for 30 minutes a day will increase your heart rate, work your muscles and lower your chances for multiple health risks associated with the lack of physical activity.

Want More?

Try these post-workout curly hair tips to keep you looking great after the gym.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your body and hair looking great doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to figure out what curly hair care routine works best for your hair and your overall health.

Let us know what YOU do to stay fit and keep your hair looking great!

How to Tame Curly Eyebrows

Many of us blessed with perfect curly hair were also blessed, or another unspeakable word, with not so perfect curly eyebrows.

The existence of these longer, curly brows is annoying, frustrating and often talked about! After all, it is cutting in to our beauty sleep, and no one is okay with that!

Let’s face it — those extra few minutes of sleep or sipping coffee in the morning can really set the tone for the rest of our day. The last thing that we want to be doing is taming any unruly brows. These tips and products will give you some guidance as to how to create perfect eyebrows and take on the day with confidence!

Why Are Our Brows Curly?
Keeping your curl brows at bay doesn’t have to be painful or a hassle!

The same way that our eyebrows match the same color as our natural hair, they also possess qualities of the style and type of hair that we have as well. This is why people who have hair that grows really fast and thick must constantly be trimming their brows, and why people with curly hair have curly eyebrows as well.

  1. Trim, trim trim! As curly brows tend to get out of control, the best way to start to get them tamed is to trim and brush them. By first brushing them, you will be able to see how long your eyebrows actually are, and then use your trimmer and tweezers to shape your brows to the look you want. It is very helpful to first look through magazines and see what the current, perfect eyebrow trends are. This way, you will have a clear idea of what you want. Using a brow shaper as a guide can also be helpful during this step, especially if you have not done it yourself before.
  2. Wax and gel! After you have trimmed and brushed your brows to the point where you achieve the overall look that you are going for, the next step would be to apply a strong wax product to your brows. This will help straighten the curl, and lock the perfect eyebrow shape in. After the amount of wax that you are comfortable with is applied, use a brow gel (such as Anastasia Brow Gel”> and apply that on top. This is a trick of the trade for curly brows because it really locks your look in with double the power. By applying the wax first, the gel has something to adhere to that will help it stay in place longer and stronger.
  3. If all else fails, using a brow shaping and defining kit is another way to assist in achieving your overall desired look. Most of these kits come well equipped with all the necessary products to help keep your unruly brows in place.

Want More?

Nervous about trimming your brows for the first time on your own? Watch professional cosmetic artist Brett Freedman take on the challenge!

Final Thoughts

Don’t let refining your rowdy brows get you too stressed! It is all a process of trial and error until you find what works best for your curly eyebrows. Once you have implemented the system that works best for you, this process will become the least of your problems!

Hair Growth Cycle Myths and Facts

No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has the same hair growth cycle. Despite the knowledge that we have about hair, there are still many myths about hair growth. Read on and you’ll find the answers to many unanswered questions regarding what to expect from your scalp and your hair.

Hair Growth Facts

The Real Deal on What is Happening

There are three different phases that take place within the hair growth cycle. These are known by name as “anagen,” “catagen,” and “telogen.” At its own pace, each strand of hair on your head transitions through these three phases.

The anagen phase is also known as the growth phase. Most of the hairs on your head, up to 85 percent of them, are going through this phase at the same time. This part of the growth cycle will take anywhere from two to six years to complete. Every year, each hair follicle has the opportunity to grow up to ten centimeters.

The catagen phase is also known as the transitional phase. This phase will last anywhere between one and two weeks. During this phase, the hair follicle will actually shrink to 1/6 of its original length. The lower part of the follicle becomes destroyed and the dermal papilla, what nourishes the hair follicle, will break away.

The telogen phase is considered to be the resting phase in the hair growth cycle. This will last anywhere between five and six weeks, in which the follicle stays attached to the scalp, but does not continue to grow. Overall, 10 to 15 percent of all hairs on your head at this time are going through this phase.

These different phases all come together as the telogen phase ends and then the anagen phase begins again. This complete the hair growth cycle.

Hair Growth Myths

Separating Fact from Fiction

Once major myth regarding the hair growth cycle is that sections of hair go through each cycle at the same time, leading to missing patches of hair. This is completely false, as each individual hair goes through these phases at its own independent rate. Even though you shed your hair on a regular basis, a healthy scalp and head of hair will never have complete sections of hair missing at one time.

Some people also believe that by frequently wearing hats, you will toy with the hair growth cycle in a negative way. This is highly unlikely, unless the hat is being worn extremely tightly, and cutting off circulation to the hair follicles, thus speeding up the releasing of the dermal papilla.

In addition, many people believe that excessive washing, drying and styling of the hair will increase hair loss. This won’t happen unless you are doing this at excessive measures, roughly and multiple times a day.

What You Should Expect

The Physical Aspect of Hair Growth

On a day-to-day basis, one can expect to experience shedding between 100 to 150 pieces of hair. This is a normal result of the hair growth cycle. Whenever pieces of hair shed, it is simply a sign that new hair will be growing in its place. Shedding is a sign of a health scalp. If you are experiencing excessive hair loss, then it is suggested that you speak with your doctor.

Hard & Fast Hair Growth Truths

  •  The hair growth cycle is a natural process that cannot be rushed or slowed down by any methods.
  • There is no need to worry that everyday tasks are going to have an effect on the way that the cycle flows.

Want More?

Want to grow your hair longer, faster? We can help with that!

Silicone Hair Products vs. Silicates

Silicone hair products and silicates both affect curly hair in different ways. It is very important to be aware of the main differences and similarities whenever you are choosing hair products containing these ingredients. Being aware of the effects of these ingredients will make you aware of what they can to your hair, both in the long run and in the short run. You’ll be fully prepared to make the best hair care choices for your curly locks, and help you to achieve your best curls yet!

Silicone Hair Products

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Whenever silicones are added to hair care products, you can typically find them in the ingredient list by identifying ingredients ending in a “cone,” “conol,” “col,” or “xane.” Whenever they have a “PEG” or “PPG,” it means that they are safe to use on your curly tresses.

Silicone hair products characteristically are not water soluble, which will cause build-up in your hair over time. In order to get rid of the build-up that silicone hair products can create, you will have to use a shampoo that is surfactant-based. If using products that include silicones, it is highly advised to use the surfactant-based shampoo on a regular rotation to make sure that your hair is always looking its best, and to ensure that you are ridding your locks of the products that can steal away shine and weigh your curls down. Adding this surfactant-based shampoo to your weekly hair care routine will help maintain the luster and wellbeing that you want your hair to maintain for the long run.

Silicate Hair Products

Worse Than Silicones?

Silicates are another type of ingredient that are well known for being added into hair care products. There are many different types of silicates, such as aluminum silicate, calcium silicate and zirconium silicate. Depending on the type of silicate that is included in the product you are using, they may or may not be more abrasive than silicones. According to Cosmeticsinfo, however, “CIR Expert Panel concluded that these ingredients were safe as currently used in cosmetic and personal care formulations.”

The Conclusion

What Does Your Hair Need?

Silicone hair products have seemed to take the stage in the popularity contest between these two ingredients, due to how well known the products that contain them have become over the years. In addition, products containing silicone ingredients have promised many different attributes to their customers such as shiny hair, enhancing curl retention, and increased amounts of all-over gloss.

Silicones can be found in both shampoos and conditioners. Due to the molecular structure of the silicone molecule, the silicone hair products are able to spread consistently over the strand of hair, making their entire head of hair feel lightweight and silky, at least for a short period of time.

Overall, in this debate between silicone hair products vs. silicate hair products, it all comes down to what works best for your hair. Each type of ingredient has a different reaction when used on your beloved curls, and you have to find out what works best for you. Sometimes this takes a period of trial and error, studying ingredient lists for hours at drugstores, and possibly some bad hair days. But, once you come to the conclusion of the products and ingredients that work best for you, the wait will have been well worth it.

Hard and Fast Differences

  • Silicones are synthetic compounds that are usually heat-resistent and are most often non-water soluble. This insolubility causes build up in your hair, weighing it down and creating a dull look.
  • Using silicones requires that you use a shampoo that will strip the hair of the ingredients.
  • Silicates do not boast the shine adding and curl defining results that silicones do, but silicates are water-soluble.
  • Silicates are not synthetic, but naturally occurring, and result in a softer hair finish.

Need Silicone-Free Products?

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10 Silicones in Curly Hair Products to Avoid

When looking for new curly hair products to help tame your tresses, look at the list of ingredients rather than the brand or product line itself. Most of the time, if you are at a salon and looking through professional products for curly hair, all of your options are great. Whenever you are in a drugstore, however, it is best to spend some time reading the labels to find the best product that will suit you and your curly hair perfectly.

Overall, no matter where you shop, the variety of silicones in hair products should have you and your ringlets running for the hills. If you want to avoid  dry, brittle and flat strands, choose silicone-free hair products without any of the ingredients listed below.

Silicones That Cause Buildup

Knowing what you’re putting in your hair is half the battle to perfect curls.

Silicones in curly hair products will produce build up in your hair and scalp due to their inability to dissolve in water. Since their names can be quite difficult to remember, just keep in mind that anything ending in “cone,” “conol,” “col,” or “xane,” should be avoided. The only exceptions here are those ingredients with the abbreviations “PEG” or “PPG” in front of them. This abbreviation will alert you that they were made to be water-soluble, and won’t produce the build-up other silicones are known to cause.

The Skinny on Silicones

  1. Cetearyl Methicone 
  2. Cetyl Dimethicone 
  3. Dimethicone
  4. Dimethiconol
  5. Stearyl Dimethicone

Gentler Silicones

These ingredients are silicones as well, but the way that they are chemically constructed allows them to help repel the deposits that the typical silicones leave behind. Yes, they will slow down the build-up process, but as time passes, you will want to switch from products containing these ingredients to something more beneficial for your hair and scalp. These silicones may boast that they prevent build-up. Fortunately, you can use a clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner to restore your hair’s health and vitality.

  1. Amodimethicone
  2. Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane
  3. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Water Soluble Silicones

These ingredients are still considered to be silicones, but are somewhat soluble in water.  If you are in a hurry, and must purchase curly hair products that contain them, beware that they will cause unwanted build-up over time just like any other silicone.

  1. Behenoxy Dimethicone
  2. Stearoxy Dimethicone

How to Get Rid of Silicone Build-up

In order to get rid of the build-up that these products bring, it is best to use a surfactant. A surfactant is a harsh chemical that will clean your hair and rid it of all the unwanted chemicals and build-up. Surfactants are found in all soaps and cleansers, however, for curly hair, it is best to use a nonionic surfactant. Nonionic surfactants are gentler on the hair and won’t cause any damage to the curl pattern.

Ingredient Breakdown

Take this comprehensive list of ingredients in curly hair products with you the next time you go shopping for your hair.

Final thoughts

Overall, be careful when choosing your curly hair products, and remember, no one knows your curls like you do. What works for one person may not work for you, but these ten product ingredients cause the same amount of damage to all hair types. Pick up a bottle and investigate next time you’re out buying your hair products; you’ll be amazed to find what your favorites contain, and what they don’t.

Be a smart curly shopper!

10 Cool Sunglasses to Top Off Your Style

SunglassesEvery woman knows the importance of having sunglasses in their wardrobe. They have the ability to complete any look by making it look polished and pulled together, all while giving us a gust of confidence as well.

Each season, new types shades become popular and take center stage with trendy designers, so in case you haven’t been keeping up with the runways, here are 10 cool sunglasses you don’t want to be caught without!

1. Aviator/Pilot


These are currently the most popular cool sunglasses of the season. This style was first made fashionable by Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” and can now be seen everywhere! Aviator, or Pilot, frames primarily have very thin frames with a bar above the nosepiece. They are popular in both gold and silver.

2. Round

Round, very large frames have “fabulous” written all over them. SunglassesThese frames tend to have a movie star appeal to them. If you are planning on showing up to an event with a very glamorous look, then this option is surely the way to go!

3. Butterfly

The butterfly shades are similar to the round frames, but are set apart by the way the shades are cut. Butterfly sunglasses are narrower towards the nose and then fan out like butterfly wings toward the frame of your face. Many designers, such as Tom Ford, have been coming out with more and more of this style as they give a very distinctive look.

4. Cat Eye

Cat eye shades are perfectly suited for those out on the prowl. This style is narrow toward the nose, and then transitions into an oval frame that swoops up to a point at the corners of your eyes. As an accessory to a flattering summer dress, these glasses will give you that sexy look without much effort.

5. Square

Square sunglasses are great because they come in so many different options that you are bound to find something that compliments your face shape perfectly! The smaller square shapes are perfect for more casual looks during the day, while the much large square shape goes perfect with more over the top, alluring looks. This style is also perfect for people with heart shaped faces.

6. Rectangle

In the past, rectangle shades were primarily worn on men, but how times have changed! Designers, such as Tory Burch, have created rectangle looks for females that are both classic and sophisticated. This is certainly a trend that every gal should follow up on.

7. Rimless

Rimless and partially rimless sunglasses are perfect for a very refined and classy look that is in need of one last accessory to tie it all together. These are perfect for more upscale events.

8. Shield

These cool sunglasses are connected in the middle instead of having a piece that separates the frames at the nose. You will find this style being sported at the beach or during summer sporting events because they help protect your face, but still keep you looking cool!

9. Wrap

These cool sunglasses are contorted to compliment the shape of your head. If you like wearing glasses a bit tighter to your face, these would be your choice! They come in many different types of frames, so you have the option of choosing what compliments your face to make you look even more fabulous!

10. Wayfarer

These shades are for the spunky gal with a retro loving look! These shades will take you back in time and go well with a great pair of leggings and an oversized tee. They can be dressed up or down depending on the material that they are made from. Either way, these shades are always a fun choice!

Rotate Your Curly Hair Products

Rotating ProductsIn the same way that we get sick of eating the same foods every day, or doing the same exercises every week, our hair can get sick of us using the same curly hair products. The product you swore by last month might just not be cutting it anymore. Rotating your hair products on a regular basis is an essential key in always looking your best!

Of course, we all have our “holy grail” hair products that we turn to on a regular basis for hair emergencies and special nights out on the town. This is part of giving our overall look that extra bit of “fabulousness.” But for daily hair care, we need to be much more aware of what these products are doing to our hair and how they will be affecting us in the long run.

Ingredients Matter

Many curly hair care products contain ingredients that leave a heavy buildup, coat the strand, don’t allow moisture to enter and just plain dry the tresses out. Therefore, it’s important to identify the ingredients in the products that you use. It’s alright to mix lower and higher end hair products, as long as the ingredients are doing good things for your hair. This helps with your overall hair care rotation, not to mention your budget!

Some stylists, however, believe that if you’re using all professional products, it’s not necessary to rotate them. That’s because these products contain high quality ingredients that work with your hair and are designed to be used for a long time. Other hair care professionals believe that instead of rotating hair care products, simply using a clarifying shampoo on a weekly basis will rid your hair and scalp of product build up, allowing your products to work as new. Either way, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients in each product and understand how those ingredients will affect your hair.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Keep in mind that how ingredients and products affect you depends on what works best for your specific hair type. Each hair type works differently when paired with different products. It helps to have a daily hair care routine that is designed specifically for your type of tresses. Remember, there are more individual hair types than 2 through 4. You can also have fine, think or porous hair, as well as other unique factors.

In the end, it’s important to be proactive about the curly hair products you use on a daily basis. Instead of being persuaded through magazine advertisements and commercials, research ingredients and apply the outcome of those ingredients to your specific hair type.

After all, you wouldn’t put something in your body without reading the label, so pay close attention and don’t put something on your body without reading it either. Your hair will thank you, and at the end of the day, you’ll notice the difference.