Monday, May 3, 2010

Negating the "Lobster" Effect

As the sun shines brighter and the days become longer and more and more beautiful, many of us will find ourselves at happy hours, barbecues and outdoor baseball games (woohoo!) without realizing how powerful those rays really are. Until we get home and notice that we have an awkward, bright pink sunburn.

This is the perfect time to call upon a sunless tanner. Many scoff at how "orange" they look, but layered over the pink sunburn makes it look like a perfect and natural shade of summer glow.

Be sure to choose something with moisturizing benefits, as the sunburn most definitely needs that moisture to heal (and not peel). I like Jergen's Natural Glow, as it's cheapish, easy, and favored by many (read: tried-and-true). Choose the shade based on your skin tone, slather on, and you'll steer clear of pesky lobster jokes.

Grow, hair, grow!

It seems to be the goal in life for every 12-29 year old to grow Kim Kardashian-style locks. Long, lucious, luxurious.... Victoria's Secret Runway-worthy.

"I'm so happy I'm beautiful!"

Now, first of all, there's a lot of extensions involved in hair like theirs. Whether it be the every day variety, or supplemental tracks put in just for the show, there is a certain level of unnatural enhancement. But there must be a way to foster hair growth, yes?

I've had plenty of clients in my chair hoping to grow their hair out and wondering how to do so. Many say their hair just "stops growing" at a certain point.

The science of hair indicates that it grows 1/2" every month, or 6" every year. Science also shows that at any time, only about 90% of hair follicles are actually producing hair. Each follicle lasts about 2-6 years, sheds the hair, and takes a holiday (most restart unless there's a thinning situation). So if you think of a strand of hair being 6 years old, that's 3 feet at max (exceptions are inevitable), and then it's done.

"But KM, how do I make it grow??"

The secret to growth and health and thickness (all those desirables) is all about circulation and blood flow. Scalp massage is one of the best ways to foster circulation. I'm not talking the stress-relieving sort, I mean pinching the tissue to really get that blood in the skin. Stimulation is the name of the game. Hanging your head upside down for a period of time is another less-fun alternative to get some flow going.

To protect your hair from the rubbing motions, I really recommend using oil - my choice is Aveda's Beautifying Composition, because it's Jojoba-based (closest to skin's natural oil "sebum"), and because it's Lavendar and Rosemary fabulousness makes me so darn happy.

Of course, there are other things to consider, but many of them you've heard:
- Don't wash your hair too often - those oils are important.
- Be careful when putting your hair up, taking it down, or detangling not to pull those strands from the head. Start at the bottom and work your way up systematically.
- Sleeping position can have quite the effect on your hair - you may notice thinning on one side or the other. Tie a scarf around your hair to protect it, or consider a silk pillowcase, which doesn't catch the hair as much as cotton. If you can, adjust your sleeping choices.
- Minimize damage to the hairs by styling more gently, using less heat, protecting from the sun and intervening with your blondorexia.

....and once it's grown to obscene lengths, come see me to cut it off again ;-)