Friday, November 26, 2010

Better Health with 5 Fruits & Veggies a Day

All of us have grown up hearing, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well, this statement could not be any truer. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables can be seen and felt almost immediately. After eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, the first thing you notice is that you become more regular, the next thing you notice is an improvement in your skin, your complexion and how radiant you look. Why? The reason behind these significant health benefits are found in the high water, vitamin and mineral content of fruit and vegetables as well as the high fiber, which detoxifies your system. The fiber contained in fruit helps to cleanse your digestive system naturally, and the vitamins and minerals help to replenish and renew the skin from the inside out, and we all know the benefits of drinking water to help to flush the system of waste products and rehydrate the body. Maintaining adequate hydration levels is one of the most important factors for good health and healthy hair and skin. Since our bodies are 90% water, you can see how important this single factor would be.

Additionally, when our bodies are deficient in vitamins and minerals, our hair, skin, and nails all suffer. The body will not rob itself of valuable nutrients to provide for auxiliary functions like hair and nail growth. So, maintaining a sufficient balance will help ensure that there is enough to go around.

How can you get the benefits of 5 fruits and vegetables a day?

• Eat it - Fresh, frozen, chilled, canned or raw fruit and vegetables.
• Soups - Add lentils, beans, chick peas, corn, potatoes, carrots, turnips and other vegetables to your soups to get the benefits of added fiber.
• Drink it - Pure fruit juice.
• Juicing - A great way to get all the benefits of fresh vitamins and minerals by using a juicer to extract the juice from your favorite fruits and veggies. This is particularly good for people who don't like eating fruit and vegetables. Apples and carrots are a good combination to enjoy. Add a little Norwegian kelp powder if you like it green! I personally use a Jack LaLanne juicer and love it.
• Smoothies - Enjoy the goodness of fresh fruit by throwing your favorite fruits into a blender and getting all the nutrients you need from a fresh fruit smoothie. Add yogurt for extra flavor and to aid in digestive health.
• Sauces - Pasta and other sauces containing fruit and vegetables such as tomato.
• Desserts - Eating desserts containing fruit.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your fruits and veggies, remember to do so daily for optimal health.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hair “Toys”: Grow Your Hair With Style!

We all know the benefits of protective styling. We also know that the main goal of a protective style is to protect the hair, shield the ends. But if you’ve been wearing protective styles for a while, you definitely know that it can become a little boring. Little changes can minimize the challenges and keep you motivated. No matter what your protective style is, there’s an accessory to jazz up even the dullest looking French braid, chignon, French roll, or up-do. A good hair accessory can add personality or character to a hair style.

Barrettes or hair clips are a great way to create a simple, sleek look especially good for really short hair. With the recent explosion of hair accessories, you can find them in any shape or style. Hair pins or bobby pins are wonderful accent pieces that nestle well into a sleek and sexy version of the French twist. Pins aren't just for grandmothers anymore! They are easy to wear and will turn your simple hairdo into a fun and flirty look. Go for a retro look by wearing three in a row with a side part to give hair a slight “wave” pattern. Scarves worn around the head like a head band, is a look anyone can pull off. It adds color and excitement to any outfit and is a great way to keep hair off your neck or face in the warmer months. Pull all the hair back or leave a little bang out, it doesn’t matter how you do it. You simply can’t go wrong with a great scarf! offers the widest array of hair sticks; from sterling silver to art deco, their sure to have something to fascinate the most discriminating tastes. Use hair sticks to add intrigue to your French twist or bun or braid. You can even find inexpensive hair accessories at your local Claire’s Boutique, in malls across the U.S. Available hair accessories range from plastic banana clips to Celtic hair sticks. Adding a little pizzazz to your protective style can be as simple as adding a flower clip, trendy hair sticks, rhinestone covered bobby pins, stylish scarves, classic snoods, satin ponytail holders or headbands, or jeweled combs. The possibilities are only limited by your creative imagination! So get started building your “hair toy” inventory today!

Keep Your Grey Healthy & Vibrant!

Grey hair is no longer synonymous with old and matronly. Whether snow white, partially grey, or silvery streaks, grey hair is making its mark in the world of beauty and fashion. If you want to keep your grey, try to use a hair shampoo and conditioner that is targeted especially for grey hair. Grey hair can look yellow or greenish on some people. To neutralize the yellow color and leave your hair shiny and beautiful, try using a greying shampoo that contains a violet based color, instead of your usual shampoo. But don't overdo it! Many of these products can leave a purplish or blue cast. When hair turns grey, the protective cuticle thins out, which can make strands coarse and prone to breakage, because there are few natural oils in our hair. Keep tresses soft and healthy by doing the following:

• Choose a moisturizing shampoo to soften and smooth grey hair and make it appear more lustrous.
• Wash hair with a formula geared for grey hair once a week to counteract yellowing caused by sun, pollutants, hard water, and smoke. Try AVEDA Blue Malva Shampoo & Conditioner for Gray Hair, Clairol Shimmering Lights, or Jhirmack Silver Brightening.
• Leave-in conditioners and moisturizers will soften coarseness.
• Apply a clear gloss or glaze monthly on grey hair to coat the cuticle and boost shine.
• Opt for gels and mousses that are clear: The dyes in colored style products can tarnish grey hair. Check out Ouidad Clear Control, AVEDA Witch Hazel Light Control Holding Spray, or Paul Mitchell Illuminating Shine Spray.
• Avoid excessive use of heat from curling or flat irons as this may cause hair to become yellowed or brassy looking.
• Deep condition the hair regularly with moisturizing conditioners to help maintain optimum moisture levels. Many moisture products contain ingredients like spirulina, algae extract, jojoba, avocado, safflower, lecithin, or bee pollen/honey.
• Maintain a protein-rich diet to help fortify and protect thinning or weak hair and look for hair products with strengthening ingredients like keratin, panthenol, amino acid, or wheat protein to give vitality and elasticity to the hair.

So don’t let your grey be dull and lifeless! Follow these simple tips to flaunt beautiful, lustrous grey hair at any age.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cleansing Conditioner: New Hype or Hair Care Treasure?

Well, in the midst of pre-poo’s, conditioner washes (CW), deep conditioners, and leave in conditioners, emerges cleansing conditioners. They are the hottest thing on the market right now; touted for producing clean, hydrated, silky hair. The WEN cleansing system and its Sally’s Beauty knock-off, Hair One, are at the top of the cleansing conditioner list. Though I’ve done more than my share of successful conditioner only washes, I have to admit that these new cleansing conditioners did peak my interest. So let’s take a look at what makes these new products so special.
Hollywood stylist, Chaz Dean, creator of WEN, believes that sulfates in most shampoos can be very damaging and stripping to hair so he created these cleansing conditioners to clean hair without stripping it. So the question is can hair really be better off in the long run by cleansing with a conditioner. And if it does work, will a regular drugstore conditioner produce the same effect?
I’m really big on comparing product ingredients and getting the most for my money when it comes to product shopping. So let’s see what the significant difference is in these WEN conditioners and the plain ole drugstore stuff.

WEN conditioner ingredients: ($28 bucks)

Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Wild Cherry Fruit Extract, Fig Extract, Chamomile Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Menthol, Sweet Almond Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Methlisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Essential Oils

Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet conditioner: ($8 bucks)

Water, cetrimonium bromide (and) cetearyl alcohol, sucrose ester, glycerin, honey, betaine, sclerocarya birrea oil, glucose, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, citrus aurantinum dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus medicalimonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus tangerina (tangerine) oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) oil, polysorbate 60, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase.

Suave Biobasic Conditioner: ($4 bucks)

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Quaternium 18, Potassium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Rosemary Extract (Rosemarinus Officinalis), Sorbitol, Goldenseal Extract (Hydrastis Canadensis), Glycerin, Algae Extract

From the looks of it, no significant difference can be seen between these conditioners, other than the price tag. In fact, Burt’s Bees seems to be packed with substantially more cleansing ingredients, the citrus oils, than the WEN. Of course, it's important to understand that heavy product users will not be able to get a real good clean with conditioner only; you will need a good clarifying shampoo. But for all others, conditioner only washing is a great way to keep hair moist and clean.
As an avid conditioner only washer, I don’t see any reason to jump on this new hair care hype. So I’m gonna stick with my old favorites. Why don’t you check it out for yourself?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Battle for Thickness

The average woman spends hundreds of hours washing, drying, and styling her hair each year, yet many are not always happy with their results. If you have thin and fine hair, then how to thicken hair is a constant search. As we grow older, there is a tendency for our hair fibers to become finer and shorter over time, but years may elapse before any obvious difference is seen. Because “fine” is not necessarily thin, you should understand what fine hair really is."Fine" refers to the diameter of a single strand. So, you can have fine hair that's abundant, because you can have many individual strands per square inch. You can also have fine and thin or thinning hair, which means you've got strands that are small in diameter and on top if it, you don't have a lot of them.
So, exactly what is the prescription for getting rid of dry brittle hair and growing shiny, thick, bouncy hair? Let’s look at some factors of hair health. Healthy hair starts from the inside, at the root of each follicle, the blood supply that feeds it and the nutrients we consume play an important part of the process. The consumption of nutrients and the blood supply to the roots of the hair affect the hair growth. Vitamin B in all its forms is a key player to thicker hair and the prevention of hair loss. It is also reported that an iron deficiency can cause a woman’s body to stop producing hair until the iron is replaced. Foods high in iron are liver, lean red meat, chicken, pork, salmon, egg yolk, pumpkin seeds, dried peas and beans, bran, blackstrap molasses, prune juice, raisons, peanut butter, apricots, green beans, walnuts, cashews, pecans and almonds. Iron absorption is increased by Vitamin C, so it seems we also need to make sure we get the recommended amount of that nutrient by eating oranges, grapefruit, potatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts, red and green peppers, tomatoes, cabbage and collard greens. Nutritionists say that too little protein in a diet can cause dull hair and a loss of luster. We can get the protein that is recommended daily from meat, chicken and fish as well as soy and milk products and even stinging nettles (boiled).
Apart from having a balanced diet, essential oils can also be used to promote thicker hair. Having your veggies, nuts, and eggs in the recommended quantities will be very beneficial for the health and beauty of your hair.
In short, our nutrition has the most noticeable and consistent impact on the health of our hair. So eat healthy and grow healthy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hair 101: S.O.S. for Healthy Hair

If your hair needs rescuing you’ve come to the right place! Add a few of these hair remedies and watch your damaged hair become a thing of the past!

CONDITION: Hair that lacks moisture and needs additional moisture to replenish the hair shaft
REMEDY: Hot Oil Treatment
BEST FOR: Dry hair and scalp, chemically treated, and natural hair. Use once or twice a month.
HOW TO USE: Massage through wet/dry hair. Cover with a plastic cap. Sit under hooded dryer for 15-25 minutes. Or let sit for 30-45 minutes. Shampoo and condition. Or once a week combine a quarter size amount of pure organic olive oil (available at health food stores) with a deep conditioner. Cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 15-35 minutes or cover plastic cap with a hot towel wrapped around head and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour.
SUGGESTED PRODUCTS: African Pride Wonder 8 Oil, Coconut oil

CONDITION: Cleanse hair and scalp. Restore moisture
REMEDY: Moisturizing Shampoo
BEST FOR: Relaxed, color treated and natural hair
HOW TO USE: Ok, that is self explanatory
SUGGESTED PRODS: Nexxus Therappe, Cream of Nature Ultra Moisturizing, Dark and Lovely 3-n-1 Detangling Shampoo, Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo

CONDITION: Exfoliate the hair and scalp of debris, product buildup
REMEDY: Clarifying Shampoo
BEST FOR: Those with active lifestyles. Note: Clarifying shampoos contain no moisture, so those with color should be cautious.
HOW TO USE: Shampoo as normal and follow with a moisturizing shampoo. Use once a month or every other month.
SUGGESTED PRODS: Mizani Purifying shampoo, Organic Root Stimulator Uplifting shampoo, Revlon Herbal Deep Cleansing shampoo

CONDITION: Help stop and prevent breakage, split ends, and shedding of hair. Also strengthen the hair cuticle.
REMEDY: Reconstructor/Protein Conditioner
BEST FOR: Damaged or relaxed/color treated hair or natural hair. Depending on hair's condition, use once or twice a month, natural hair, once a month.
HOW TO USE: After shampoo, apply to wet hair. Cover with plastic cap and sit under hooded dryer for 15-30 minutes. Or wrap a hot towel around the plastic cap and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour. RInse. Towel Dry. Follow with a moisturizing conditioner.
SUGGESTED PRODUCTS: Affirm 5-in-1, Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating, Mizani Kerafuse Protein Treatment, Aphogee Two-Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Nexxus Emergencee

CONDITION: Infuse moisture into the hair shaft and scalp, as well as coat the hair cuticle.
REMEDY: Moisturizing Deep Conditioner
BEST FOR: Relaxed, color treated and natural hair
HOW TO USE: After shampoo, massage through hair. Then cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes. Or let sit w/o heat for 30-60 min.
SUGGESTED PRODUCTS: Keracare Humecto, Nexxus Humectress, Mizani Moisturfuze, , Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrating Treatment, Optimum Care Rich Conditioner, Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayo or Olive Oil Replenishing pack, Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Faster Hair Growth in a Bottle: Myth or Fact?

In our fast paced society, we are always looking for ways to cut time, save money, go faster, do more, and do it better. Well, hair care is no different! Billions of dollars are spent every year in search of that “miracle” product that will fill in our thinning hair lines, repair heat damaged hair, smooth the frizzes, and grow the long hair we’ve often dreamed of, without the assistance of weaves. In my search for the “grow-hair-to-my-waist- in-a year” guaranteed results routine, I’ve come across hundreds of tedious regimens, countless you-tube how-to videos, and numerous commercial products that promise to grow my hair 1 inch EVERY month! Well, we all know that what works for one may not work for another. So how do we find what works for us? What are the common elements in all hair care routines? Simple! Any well rounded hair regimen will include cleansing, strengthening, and conditioning. Cleansing the hair is accomplished by a hair specific rotation of clarifying and conditioning shampoos. Clarifying shampoos thoroughly remove product build-up and heavy oils from hair; while conditioning shampoos offer softness, detangling, and moisture. Strengthening the hair is vital to growth as well. The hair is strengthened through regular application of protein based conditioners for 15 minutes or more. However, applying protein too often can also lead to hair breakage; as it does serve the “harden” and fortify the hair. So it is essential to follow all protein treatments with moisturizing conditioners. Conditioning the hair aids in keeping it lubricated and moisturized, helps build elasticity, and gives hair a natural, healthy sheen.
So when you’re struggling to put together an effective regimen to grow your hair or just keep it in optimal health, remember you can keep it simple and still get results by just ensuring that you include each of those three elements. Happy hair growing!