Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break Hair

If you are one of those hard-working students about to head off to warmer climes to take a little pressure off for Spring Break...we've got some tips for you below.

But we haven't forgotten you Moms either—the ones praying for a safe trip for your kids (they are always your babies, we know) and feeling a little stress (which shows in your hair, too...) Stop in at Believe or a relaxing scalp massage, a cup of herbal tea, and a little deep conditioning of your own (you could use a little babying yourself).

Spring on:

Headed somewhere warm?
Sudden temperature changes can traumatize your hair. As the mercury rises on the thermometer, your cuticle (the outside protective covering of your hair) swells and opens, making it more vulnerable to environmental hazards. Your hair can get brittle, dry, weak and give up its color. Battle this with a spray on conditioner with sunscreen, like Chromastics Triorganic Leave-In whenever you are outside and deep condition with Chrosmastics Triorganic Extreme after every shampoo.

Hitting the beach
The sun wrecks havoc with your hair (and skin). UVA/UVB rays can result in extreme color fading and dryness, so much so that hair might split or breaks off with just a comb-out (and that's without even factoring in the use of a blow dryer or flat iron, which just compounds the problems).
Fine textured hair is even more vulnerable to the harmful rays of the sun. Here's why: there are three layers to our hair shaft; the cuticle (the outside), the cortex (the middle), and the innermost layer, the medulla. Fine hair lacks the medulla, which is why it's generally considered the weakest of all hair types, and why it needs extra protection from the sun. But if you must shake your mane in the sun's rays, remember to apply protective sun screen to both your hair and skin every hour—or more often if you go for a dip.

Speaking of dips
Salt from the Ocean or Gulf or chlorine from pools, can truly damage hair (I remember a light blonde from our high school swim team whose hair absorbed so much chlorine, it turned green!) Sand is no help either, acting as a natural exfoliator, rubbing against your hair shaft, making it rough, damaged and—again--stripped of color. The wind off the water finishes the job—drying your hair that same way it dries your clothes when they are hanging on a line.

How to rescue your hair
Wear a hat! Not only will you protect your hair shaft, but your scalp is one of the first places to get sunburnt, causing pain, itching, flakes and dried out roots. Run some Aestelance Butter into your hair before you stick it under the hat (the heat will help the healthy oils sink deeply into your hair's cuticle.)
Remember to reapply sunscreen to your hair (and skin) every hour—more often if you are swimming or perspiring heavily.
Rinse your hair with clear cool water immediately after swimming.
Use a ph balanced and sulfate-free shampoo like Aestelance After-Swim.
Deep condition after every shampoo.
Take it easy on the alcohol. Too much isn't good for your skin or hair or decision-making ability.
Make an appointment at Believe as soon as you get back. You don't want to be heading back to school until we've had a chance to look at your hair and scalp's condition and do some repair work ourselves.

Be safe, be smart and, from all of us at Believe, have a great Spring Break!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fight Thinning Hair at Believe

Did you know that more than 50% of men have what is called male pattern hair loss by the time they are 50? Or that 30 million women face hair loss or hair thinning problems themselves? Hair growth (and some loss) is a natural cycle, but infection, chemicals, ill health and even medication can disrupt that cycle and the results can be devastating. If you are one of the sufferers of hair thinning or loss, here's some information we at Believe hope you will find helpful:

How Hair Grows
Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 2-3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts around two to four months, the hair rests. Only about 10% of your hair is in transition or resting at any time. Mostly it is growing—about 6 inches a year is the average.

Are You Losing It?
Everyone loses between 50-100 strands each day. You lose even more—up to 250 strands--on the days you wash your hair (No, don't stop shampooing! You'll lose the hair anyway and, in the meantime would have to suffer from oily, lank hair.) But you might notice a more than usual amount of hair on your pillow in the morning or stuck in your comb or brush. Men's hair seems to recede from their forehead or crown. Women may notice thinning on the top third or half of their scalp (you may actually see that your part is becoming wider or you are seeing more of your scalp when you pull your hair back). If thats the case, you might want to make an appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor may take blood work to make sure your thyroid is working properly and that you don't have another autoimmune disease. You'll be asked about your family history—did your mom, grandmother or Aunt Bertha have this problem of hair thinning or loss? The doctor may look at your scalp with a magnifying lens to see if your some of your hair follicles are thick while others are thin— a tell-tale sign of female pattern hair loss called androgenetic alopecia, a condition that happens to 50 % of women, particularly if you are in your 50's or 60's. Skin conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis might also be the cause, as may stress, dramatic weight loss, physical trauma (like surgery or a long illness). You may just be taking too much Vitamin A. Be sure to be thorough when listing your history with your doctor and follow his or her other recommendations.

What You Can Do Yourself
Take it easy on dyes and chemical treatments (follow your Believe stylist's advice—we always keep a close eye on the state of your scalp and hair). Beware of towel drying too aggressively, blow drying too hot or too close, overuse of flat irons and stay away from bad brushes (we have a great selection of good brushes at Believe.) And while you are waiting for your new healthy hair to grow in, we have a little secret to share: XFusion Hair Building Fibers. These all-natural Keratin “hairs” bind to your existing hair to make your hair look thicker and fuller instantly.

Here's how XFusion works: Shake the product gently over thinning areas. In seconds, thousands of tiny color matched hair fibers intertwine with your own hair. They are “magnetized” with static electricity so they stay securely bonded and in place all day and night. XFusion lasts through rainstorms, windy conditions and even all that sweating you do at the gym. It even works well with all your favorite hair products (and even hair transplants!)

XFusion can't be detected, even from two inches away and gives natural looking fullness and thickness that lasts till your next shampoo. It is a safe effective product and one we are happy to sell at Believe. Come by for a consultation and a demonstration of how XFusion can be used to solve your thinning or hair loss problems. We are delighted to help.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Believe Clears The Air

My mother used to say, “You have to suffer for beauty” (she was usually dragging a brush through my tangled hair at the time). What she said still holds true—especially in the salon business. The truth is, the products we use to make your hair more beautiful could actually make all of us sick unless we cleared the salon's air of all those noxious smells and potentially harmful chemicals.

So we did! Believe Beauty Lounge is proud to announce we have installed the Restorer™ Salon Air Cleaner to make sure the air in our salon is clean, crisp and healthy.

The Restorer uses filters specifically designed to target particulates and the most harmful chemical and gas odors—like those that occur during processes like hair coloring, perms, highlighting and straightening. The Restorer pulls contaminated air through the bottom of the unit. Impurities are then replaced as the air passes through specialized filter media before it is released back into our salon. Simple, yet effective and it makes our stylists, our customers and even the local health department happy.

Here's why we installed a commercial grade air cleaner: Though we love our home air purifiers, they simply aren't strong enough, nor their HEPA filter large enough to do the job in our salon. You see, traditional filter media effectively captures airborne particles, but it doesn't reduce gases and odors. That's why our Restore unit uses activated carbon filter media that has been specially treated to adsorb gases. Adsorption (with a “d”) is not to be confused with absorption (with a “b”). During absorption (with a “b”), one substance is taken into another – for example, a sponge absorbs water. However, adsorption (with a “d”) involves collecting or drawing a substance to the surface – much like a magnet. By adsorbing gases, a specially treated activated carbon filter reduces the amount of gases in the air, along with their related odors.

Salons are a true little laboratory of gases like Formaldehyde – used in hair straightener and nail hardener, Phenylenediamine (PPD) – used in two thirds of all hair dyes, Sodium Hydroxide – used in hair relaxers and Ammonia – used in hair dye –a pretty noxious brew, but the Restorer gets rid of these potentially harmful pollutants.

Featuring a 360 degree exhaust, the Restorer uses a particulate filter, which removes 99.98% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron, which is three times better than ordinary HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) designs and, best of all, the Restorer never sleeps—it works 24 hours a day to make sure out salon's air is as clean as a whistle.

Now at Believe, you won't suffer the side effects of pollutants you'll still find at most other salons-- like headaches, eye irritation, respiratory problems or drowsiness...and if you've got allergies to any of the chemicals used in the beauty industry, Believe is now even more welcoming. Make an appointment to stop by soon. You (and Mother Nature) will notice the difference immediately.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Create Your Own Show-Stopping Style

Even though we are still talking about Angelina’s leg, she wasn’t the only one to strike a pose at the 2012 Oscars.

Actresses decked out in designer gowns dazzled the eye and their hairstyles helped us remember that The Academy Awards is all about star power.

Here are three trends we noticed and how to get your humdrum locks to look Hollywood glamorous:

Old World Wow
Some actresses, notably Penelope Cruz and surprisingly young Miley Cyrus showed off ‘dos that wouldn’t have been out of place in the ‘30’s or ‘40’s when Harlow’s platinum curls lit up the screen.

Penelope Cruz went with a subdued roll, very different from the usual bed-tousled look she usually sports, for where her long hair looks uncombed and sexy. The understated roll is reminiscent of a young Grace Kelly.

Here’s how to get the look:
  • Start with dry hair and a small amount of voluminizing mousse, like Argan Oil Voluminizing Mouse at the roots.
  • To give hair texture and curl, set Hair in steam hot rollers, rolling hair straight back from the head. Use smaller rollers in the back to give a tighter curl and then pin hair underneath to achieve the bob.
  • Mist with Iden Fast-Drying Hair Spray With Bee Propolisand then back comb and tease at the root. Brush out finger waves into place and set with White Sands as a finishing spray.

Miley Cyrus achieved a grown up star look by having her long hair cut into asymmetrical lengths, and parting the hair slightly to the side. Volume mousse was used at the crown before blow-drying the top smooth, barrel rolling individual segments with steam rollers, teasing under the left side curls for volume and pinning the right side curls behind her ears to show off some fabulous dangling earrings. Finally, the curls were sprayed with a sure hold finishing spray like Aestlance Super Spray.

Bodacious Buns
Buns were another trend seen often on this year’s red carpet…with young Emma Stone and funny woman Tina Fey taking home the honors. Both began with a ponytail, though Emma Stone's twisted bun had a deep side part. For anti-frizz, her stylist would have used a product like Chromastics Serum that also brings out hair’s shine. The ponytail was then separated into five sections, with each wrapped loosely around the base of the ponytail and pinned. The bun was finished with extra hold hairspray like Iden Finish and, while duplicating the look, you may want to use a misting of Aestlance Lustre for extra shine.

Tina Fey’s beautiful bun began with voluminizing mousse like Aestlance Foam being worked through hair and drying the hair upside down for maximum volume and texture. Hair was then finger-coaxed into a loose ponytail and pinned under, then secured with extra hold hairspray. Such a deceptively simple style drew attention to Tina’s beautiful face.

Rooney Mara’s severe bun was created much the same, except hair was drawn flat against the head and tightly bound into a ponytail before a severe bun was created, the better to accompany her truly dramatic straight cut bangs.

The other hairstyle trend was Side Swept Hair, shown off by George Clooney’s Goddess, Stacy Keibler.

Her golden waves were side parted with the right side, a bit of lift applied to the crown with mousse while drying, and then her hair was drawn back on the right side (depending on your hair’s texture, you may have to secure it with a hidden pin), pulled over the left shoulder and gently curled at the end’s with an iron. Holding spray that doesn’t add stiffness is vital to this look

Taking time and care to craft a hairstyle (instead of leaving your hair loose and flowing) seems to be the rage this year. Why not create your own Oscar award-winning look for your upcoming occasion? Make an appointment at Believe and we’ll show you how.