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Choosing The Right Shampoo and Conditioner For Your Scalp and Hair Type

With the endless options of hair products lining the aisles of your favorite stores and hair salon’s shelves, it’s easy to choose the wrong ones. Using the wrong hair products in the shower can cause anything from dryness, brittleness and frizz, to weighed down, limp strands.


Shampoo

You should choose your shampoo based on your scalp, and your conditioner based on your ends and hair type.

Shampoo For Dry Scalps

If your scalp tends to be dry or flaky, you should look for a shampoo that will provide moisture and hydration for your scalp. Products labeled as smoothing, hydrating, and moisturizing will help promote beneficial moisture retention for your dry scalp. Try to stay away from fortifying or volumizing products or ones that contain sulfates because they can strip your hair of much needed moisture.

Shampoo For Oily Scalps

In contrast, if your scalp is often oily or greasy, you should steer clear of creamy, hydrating, and moisturizing shampoos because they can add too much moisture and cause your hair to feel worse. Look for labels that mention volumizing, balancing, or strengthening. Introducing a clarifying shampoo to your routine can help cleanse your hair of any product buildup as well as be super helpful for an oily scalp.

Please note that you should not overuse a clarifying shampoo as it can cause your scalp to dry out.

Shampoo For Curly Hair

Curly hair is often drier than straight hair because the texture makes it harder for oils to make their way away from the scalp and down the strands. You should be looking for a shampoo that will smooth, protect, hydrate, and moisturize your hair. Additionally, because of its tendency to dry out, curly hair doesn’t need to be washed every day. Finding an ultra-moisturizing shampoo can help reduce frizz and dryness without weighing down your hair.

Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

Color treated hair should be treated similarly to curly hair in the sense that it needs products that provide moisture, and protection. Color treated hair, especially if you’re sporting a colorful shade, should only be washed every few days. This is to prevent your color from fading quickly, as well as keep your hair and scalp from drying out.

Conditioner

Conditioner should be applied only to your mid-lengths and ends, not your scalp, especially if your scalp and ends differ in what they need. 

Conditioner for Dry, Damaged or Brittle Hair

It is important to choose a conditioner that will help prevent future damage and aid in repairing any current damage or dryness. It is best to avoid fortifying and strengthening conditioners as they can cause additional breakage. Look for labels that mention balancing, hydrating, smoothing, and moisturizing. Introducing conditioning treatments a few times a month can do wonders for your hair’s health and aid in preventing future damage.

Conditioner for Oily Hair

Try using a lightweight conditioner on your mid-lengths and ends, but you should keep any product away from your roots and scalp. Try to stay away from products that promote hydration and smoothing as they will add too much moisture to your hair and cause it to appear limp. Instead, look for strengthening, volumizing, or balancing. Additionally, a spray-in conditioner is a good, lightweight option for extra oily hair. It won’t weigh the hair down and you can apply it only where needed.

Conditioner for Curly Hair

Because of curly hair’s tendency to become dry, you should look for an extra-moisturizing conditioner to smooth your curls. Be on the lookout for products containing shea butter and oils to help hydrate your strands but be sure to avoid products that contain sulfates as they will dry your hair out further. A good leave-in conditioner can help condition your hair throughout the day to add shine and frizz control. To add even more hydration to your locks, try including a deep conditioning treatment a few times a month to smooth curls and prevent breakage.

Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair

If you color or highlight your hair frequently, you should look for a creamy, rich conditioner to moisturize strands and prevent breakage. Be sure to focus on your mid-lengths and ends and seek out products to help moisturize and protect your color. Leave-in conditioners and deep conditioning treatments can provide much needed hydration for drier hair and help keep it soft and healthy.


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Fashion Colors: What to Expect & How To Maintain Bright Colors

Fashion hair colors and rainbow strands may be all the rage, but make sure you know what to expect before you call up your stylist asking for the pink and purple curls of your dreams. 


You Have To Pre-Lighten Your Hair

If you have dark hair, you cannot apply color directly to your strands. In order to achieve saturated, vivid color, your hair will have to be lightened first. This means you will have to bleach your hair, which can cause damage. It is important to remember that the darker your hair is, the more it will have to be lightened. If you have blonde hair, you will most likely still need to lighten it, but not as much as you would for darker shades. 

Lightening your hair before color is applied is important to achieving your desired color results. If your hair is not lightened correctly, or not lightened enough, it will effect what your end result will look like, as well as how the color will fade. Hair that is not lightened enough can retain some brassy hues that will show through your color. This will be especially noticeable if you are trying to achieve an ashy look such as silver or lavender. The color may take on a yellow or orange tone.

It is important to understand that you may not achieve your desired results in one appointment. Very dark hair may take more than one session to lighten. Additionally, all hair is different, and one person’s hair may bleach to white in one sitting, while another’s may take several sessions. Be sure to discuss your expectations and goals with your stylist.

Fashion Colors Fade Fast

Fashion hair colors are semi-permanent and begin to wash out little by little each time you wash your hair. Darker shades tend to last longer than pastels, and certain colors like red, and especially green, will stain your hair until you cut it off. 

Because of how quickly vivid colors fade, you will need to visit your salon more often to keep your hair looking bright and fresh. The increase in salon visits can be hard on your hair, so in addition to seeing a stylist who knows how to keep your hair healthy, you can add the following tips to your haircare regimen:

Wash Your Hair With Cold Water

Warm water opens up the hair cuticle, and because fashion colors sit on top of the hair, washing with hot or warm water will cause the color to rinse out faster.

Cut Back On Your Washes

Frequent washing will speed up the fading process, so try picking up some dry shampoo to get you through your no-wash days.

Shield Your Strands From The Sun

Try wearing a hat if you’ll be spending prolonged time in the sun, and pick up a UV-protective spray or spray-in conditioner. The sun can cause damage to your hair, just like your skin, and can rapidly fade your hair color. You can expect to visit your stylist a lot more in the summer to keep up with the sun, but can look forward to the shorter days and weaker sun of winter to help maintain your color between appointments. 

It’s Expensive

Achieving and maintaining vibrant hair colors will require a commitment to your hair stylist and hair routine. You can expect to visit your salon more often that you are used to, and depending on how many sessions are needed to lighten your hair, the cost will go up from there in order to achieve the look you want. The cost of your salon visits will vary depending on how your hair reacts to bleach and color, how often you you visit, how healthy your hair is, and your choice of color – note that pastels require much more upkeep than than darker shades. Generally, your first visit will cost more than the following appointments, but depending on your look, the price can fluctuate. You should expect to pay anywhere from $300 and up if you are visiting an experienced stylist. 

Takeaway notes: 

  • Please go to a professional if you are thinking about coloring your hair a vivid orange or multicolored rainbow. If you try to bleach and color your hair at home, you may end up with very damaged hair, resulting in brittle strands, breakage, and split ends. You will also have a harder time repairing the damage if you visit a stylist after attempting the color on your own.
  • You will not walk in to a hair salon with dark hair and walk out with silver hair in an hour. It takes time and patience to color your hair and keep it healthy.
  • Candy colored hair fades quickly, so be prepared to adopt a high maintenance hair routine if you want to keep up with your new shade. 
  • Achieving and maintaining fashion colors is a high maintenance service, and you have to be prepared to keep up with the cost of maintenance. 

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Hairbrushes: The What, The When, and The How

Your guide to choosing the right hair brush for your hair, and how to use them to achieve your favorite styles!


Brushes

Boar Bristle Brush

Natural bristle brushes work best for evenly distributing oil from your scalp through the rest of your hair, resulting in softer, shinier looking hair. The soft bristles will not cause breakage and are great for fine hair. You can find board bristle brushes with either plastic or wood handles and in various sizes.

Mixed Bristle Brush

Mixed bristle brushes extend the benefits of boar bristle brushes to all hair types. A mix of natural and synthetic bristles means this brush works great for both detangling and smoothing as well as distributing your scalp’s natural oils along your strands. These brushes are available with wood or plastic handles.

Paddle Brush

Paddle brushes are excellent for all hair types and textures and work best for detangling. They come in rectangular or oval shapes and can be made of wood or plastic. Paddle brushes also come in a variety of different bristle types and thicknesses such as natural, synthetic or nylon.

Round Brush

Round brushes are your go-to for blow-outs and they come in a wide range of materials and sizes. Small barrel round brushes can be used to create a tighter curl while larger barrels can be used to achieve smooth and subtle waves. Metal round brushes are ideal for styling with a blow dryer. The metal will heat up while the vents in the brush will help channel the hot air to tame frizz while you style. Round brushes are available in metal, plastic, and wood varieties, with natural or synthetic bristles.

Vented Brush

Vented hairbrushes are great for speeding up your blow dry! While they won’t produce a look quite as polished as one you you would achieve with a round brush, they will drastically cut your drying time as well as reduce the amount of damage to your hair caused by frequent hot styling. The vented brush can also be used without heat, but since it does not give you complete control over your hair, it is best for a day that you don’t need your strands perfectly in place.

Wet Brush

Wet brushes are specifically designed for brushing tangles out of wet hair. The firm, wide set bristles can undo knots easily and prevent breakage. Wet brushes are great for all hair types and textures and are available in a range of styles including a detangler, rectangular paddle brush, round brush, vented brush, and flex brush.

Combs

Fine Tooth Combs

Fine tooth combs work well on short, fine hair for creating precise lines and styles.

Rattail Comb

These combs are best used for parting the hair into neat, precise sections before styling. They can also be used for backcombing. Rattail combs are available with both plastic or metal “tails”.

Wide Tooth Combs

Wide tooth combs work well for thick or curly hair, and detangling wet hair to avoid breakage. These combs are great for evenly distributing product or a leave-in conditioner through hair as well. You can find wide tooth combs in variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, and bamboo.

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The Wide World of Hair Products

All you need to know about different products and how to pick what’s best for your hair type and style!


Clay

Hair clay provides a medium hold that works well for shorter hairstyles adding texture and volume to both thick and fine hair. It has little-to-no shine resulting in a matte finish, so you can achieve a softer, more natural look.

Apply to slightly damp or dry hair.

Cream

Hair creams have low hold and provide moisture, shine, and volume to hair. They are more flexible than a gel or pomade, and work best on medium to long length hairstyles. They help control strands while also acting as a conditioner. Creams function best as a pre-styling product.

Apply to damp hair.

Gel

Hair gel is high hold and high shine. It can be used to achieve a slick, wet look or it can be scrunched out to create soft, defined curls. Gel can be used on a variety of hair lengths, thicknesses and textures, though it does not allow for flexibility in reworking your style throughout the day. It is important to apply gel towards the ends of your strands and keep it away from your roots as it can weigh down fine hair.

Apply to damp or wet hair.

Hairspray

Hairspray is a versatile product that can be used on all hair lengths, thicknesses and textures and can be used both to set a style and achieve volume. Depending on the style you are aiming to achieve, you have lots of different options when choosing your hairspray. It is available in various levels of hold as well as several varieties that can be used at different stages of your hairstyling. Hairspray is available in both aerosol and non-aerosol (in a bottle with a pump-sprayer) varieties.

Working Hairspray

Working hairspray has the least amount of hold. It is build-able and results in a soft, movable finish.

Styling Hairspray

Styling hairspray has a medium hold and can be used to build volume, add texture, and works well for up-dos and curls.

Finishing Hairspray

Finishing Hairspray is high hold, and can be used to lock in your finished style and keep everything in place. This should only be used once you are finished styling, because it does not allow for flexibility.

Flexible-Hold

This light hold hairspray can be used to tame flyaways and won’t weigh down your hair. It works great for longer hairstyles.

Medium-Hold

Medium hold hairspray can add volume and texture without adding too much stiffness.

Maxiumum-Hold

If you want your hair to stay in place throughout the day without much movement, high hold hairsprays are for you. They are a good choice for up-do’s, and slick ponytails.

Apply to dry hair.

Mousse

Mousse provides volume, hold, and definition and can be used on a variety of hair lengths, thicknesses and textures. It is a versatile product that works well for a wide range of styles. Mousse can be applied to damp hair and left to air dry to create a wet look, or blown out to provide volume and hold. If you have curly hair, mousse is a must-have for volume, curl definition and humidity protection.

Apply to damp hair.

Oil

Unlike a serum, hair oil is not meant to be used as a styling product, but as a conditioning/ nourishing treatment for your hair. They help repair split ends, detangle, prevent breakage and work to improve the overall health of your hair. Hair oils will soak into your strands and can be applied to wet hair or used on dry hair as a mask. Make sure to distribute the product evenly throughout your hair.

Apply to dry, damp, or wet hair.

Paste

Hair paste is a versatile product that provides medium hold and medium shine. The consistency is slightly thicker than a pomade and is usually water-based. A paste will provide texture, volume, and flexibility. The more you use, the stronger the hold will be.

Apply to slightly damp or damp hair.

Pomade

Pomade provides a high-shine, wet look with medium-to-high hold. The product does not dry completely after application, so it allows for some flexibility to rework your hairstyle throughout the day. Pomade is best for shorter hairstyles that you want to stay in place and works well with thick hair. There are two types of pomade: oil and water based.

Apply to damp hair.

Serum

Serums are great for treating and protecting hair. They can help shield your hair from humidity and sun damage, prevent frizz and tangles, add shine, and treat dry or damaged strands. Remember that you don’t need a lot of product and that a little goes a long way. It is also important that you keep serums off your roots because it can weigh down your hair. Serums are meant to work as a styling tool, so apply them to your hair before you begin styling your hair.

Apply to wet hair.

Texturizing Spray

Texturizing sprays and sea salt sprays add texture and body to hair and work best on medium to long length hairstyles. The spray can be reapplied and scrunched through hair throughout the day if desired. The salt in most texturizing sprays absorbs oil from hair and helps to create beachy waves.

Use on slightly damp or damp hair.

Wax

Hair wax is a medium hold product that is available in medium shine or matte finishes and work best with straight, short to medium length hair. Waxes are a slightly lighter hold than a pomade, and are more flexible than a gel, allowing flexibility for restyling throughout the day.

Apply to dry hair.


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