Monday, April 23, 2012

Lightening Your Hair With Believe

Now that the warmer weather is here, everyone’s hair is no longer hidden under hats and what that means to us at Believe is that we are seeing an awful lot of very bad hair color applications—many are do-it-yourself at-home jobs.
The reason we see none of our clients among those who look like refugees from tin foil and paintbrushes over the kitchen sink or (men, are you reading this?) the ones who look like someone applied shoe polish to their heads is because we are lucky enough at Believe to have a Master Colorist. Lisa, the owner of Believe, spent years learning her craft and consulting on every hair coloring session we do here at Believe.
And while we can’t condense all her training into one article, here is the first of a series of articles revealing some things you should know about hair coloring (even if you insist on doing it yourself—and again, we beg…please don’t!).
Lightening the hair
This is a preparatory process for the application of a single-action, penetrating tint or toner and a lightening product used to lighten the hair to the desired shade.
Professional hair color lighteners were created to lift dark hair to light by diffusing natural melanin present in the hair's cortex. Experts like us at Believe know, they can’t always guarantee that you’ll walk in with black hair and can walk out a platinum blonde. (The underlying pigment might not allow that.) We may be able to take your very dark hair and make it much lighter—but that might take more than one application of lighteners and (do-it-yourselfers take note) you could be playing with fire.
Each application may damage hair due to the level of lightening and chemicals required to achieve it. The stylists at Believe are looking out for the long-term health of your hair. Listen to us!
The over-the-counter lighteners may contain a lower level of potentially harsh chemicals (and may not lighten your hair properly either) but don’t be fooled. They can still severely damage your hair. If you must lighten your hair at home—do a strand test in some inconspicuous place. Remember…Hair lighteners actually remove color—to just minimize the color, but remove it completely.  We really do recommend you step away from the box and make an appointment at Believe. We can assess your hair and tell you if it’s even a good time to consider lightening your hair. If we find it so, we will use one of the following hair lighteners: Oil, Cream or Power of Paste.
Oil Hair Lighteners
Oil Lighteners usually consist of the mixture of hydrogen peroxide with a sulfonated oil. 
Oil based lighteners are usually mixed with 20 volume developer and one or more lightening activators. Many of the lightening activators do contain ammonium persulfate.  It is the ammonium persulfate working in harmony with the hydrogen peroxide and the lightener to remove any unwanted red, orange or yellow tones in the hair.
Oil lighteners can provide maximum control when lightening naturally dark hair, which may take an hour or more.
Neutral oil lighteners can be used without adding color to soften the hair to better take a tint later or Colored oil lighteners add temporary color and highlight hair while they lighten. Gold lightens the hair while adding red highlights.
Silver lightens the hair while adding silvery highlights to gray or white hair.  It also minimizes red and gold tones on other types of hair. Red lightens the hair and adds red highlights.
Drab lightens and adds ash highlights, toning down or reducing red and gold tones.
Cream Hair Lighteners
Cream hair lighteners are the most popular types of lighteners.  They're easy to apply and will not run, drip or dry out, making them easy to control. With conditioning, bluing and thickening agents, they can protect the hair from harsh chemicals, “drab” or dull red, orange or gold tones, and make sure the lightener stays even and doesn't run (you don’t want streaks).
Powder Or Paste Hair Lighteners
Powder or paste lighteners are the fastest type of hair lighteners. These types of hair lighters contain oxygen-releasing boosters for quicker and stronger action in lightening. Your Believe stylist will mix these lighteners that hold really well and prevent overlapping with previously colored hair. You really need a professional to properly use these lighteners so they don’t dry out too fast, drying out the hair shaft and irritating your scalp.
Make an appointment with us at Believe to assess the condition of your hair prior to lightening it. We are happy to take a look, give our honest opinion, and recommend some next actions to get your hair ready to go lighter, Next week, check this space for some other things to consider if you taking bold action and Going Blonde.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Head's Up For Swimsuit Season

The warmer weather means swimsuit season is right around the corner so it is time to break out the salads, but will dieting hurt your hair? Our hair needs nutrients to grow—just like a toddler. If we want to maintain that quarter-to-half inch growth per month (meaning we can trim the old dead ends on a regular basis), we better take a look at what dieting and weight loss can do to our hair.

Every vitamin, mineral and amino acid we take into our mouth circulates throughout our body—including our hair follicles (and skin and nails). So while the right shampoos, conditioners and styling products (like the carefully-chosen selection at Believe) is important, they are only part of the story. Here's some things you should consider to keep your hair healthy, shiny and beautiful:

You Really Are What You Eat
Fresh fruit and vegetables (well washed so heavy metals contained in pesticides don't make it to your insides) and plenty of water (2.2 liters or 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men according to the latest Mayo clinic guidelines). Take a multivitamin to avoid brittle hair and includes these foods to do your hair good:
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach and Swiss chard contain lots of vitamins A&C—which is what your body needs to produce sebum, the natural hair conditioner. Carrots, a great source of Vitamin A will help your scalp stay healthy.
  • Legumes: Beans, particularly kidney and lentil provide plenty of protein and iron, zinc and biotin for good hair growth.
  • Salmon: Truly the king of fish, salmon is a treasure trove of natural nutrients your hair will love. Salmon contains Vitamins B-12 and iron for scalp health, but it is also chock full of high-quality omega-3 fatty acids, vital for shine. (If you can't stand fish, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day will also do the trick.)
  • Poultry: Chicken, duck and turkey are great sources of protein, without which your hair gets weak, brittle (and starts to lose its color!)
  • Nuts: Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid (one of the omega-3 fatty acids that helps the condition of your hair) and also has lots of zinc that, if you are lacking it, may cause hair shedding. (Other nuts to give a zinc boost are cashews, almonds and pecans.)
  • Bacon: We know, we know...horror of horrors, especially when you are dieting, but in case you are tempted at the upcoming Mother's Day Brunch, bacon actually provides protein, zinc and Vitamin B for happy follicles.
  • Eggs: Besides containing biotin and vitamin B-12 to help with shine, eggs are the best protein source you can find.
  • Whole Grains: These don't only give your body long-term energy (to stick to that fitness plan?) but give you lots of iron, zinc and B vitamins to speed up hair growth.
  • Beef/Lamb: These red meats not only give you b vitamins, zinc and protein but contains iron which you need for healthy (strong) hair and good growth.
  • Oysters: They may not actually be an aphrodisiac, but they do provide zinc, leading to healthy hair.
  • Diary Products: Besides providing the all-important calcium (needed for strong bones and hair), they also contain two high-quality protein sources--whey and casein.

Drastic Weight Loss Measures
If you are severely obese, you may be considering Gastric Bypass Surgery. One of the complications of that surgery is hair loss. To make up for the reduced calories, your body channels all nutrients to the organs that need them most—your hair doesn't make the cut. You body will send some strands in to resting stages and even may (temporarily) suspend production of new hair. Your hormones will be going a bit nuts after surgery, too, while the fat is being metabolized. The result may be some of your hair falls out.
To minimize the loss:
  • Up your protein to 60-80 grams per day (ask your doctor).
  • Consider putting off perms or color for a few months till your body adjusts.
  • Avoid over-brushing and use a good brush when you do (we have a great selection at Believe).
  • Indulge in scalp massages (Aestelance Oil Complex sold at Believe is great for massage) to send more blood to your scalp.
  • Condition, condition, condition to make your hair as healthy as possible and minimize breakage.
Add biotin as a supplement (as you may have trouble getting enough with your diet restrictions).

Don't Neglect The Outside
You are probably cutting back on fats and oils to get into that bikini bod shape, so don't forget to add moisture to your hair from the outside as well. Use sulfate-free shampoo like Agadir, Chromastics or White Tea (all sold at Believe) to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oil, a light conditioner like Mud Mask after every shampoo, a dab of Aestelance butter to keep your scalp health and act as a leave-in conditioner and come into Believe once a month for a deep conditioning treatment. By the time you hit the beach, you'll be ready, inside and out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Runway Hair & Makeup Trends

Spring not only brings out some gorgeous flowers, but the best of beauty at Spring Fashion Week. We grabbed a few of the hair and makeup trends from the runway to help you stay ahead of the pack.

I Just Got Out Of The Shower Hair
From Alexander Wang's sporty strands to Cushnie et Ochs slicked back seal hair, glistening hair (even the truly wet look) dominated the runway.
To get Wang's sexy strands, section hair and apply a lot of Agadir voluminizing mousse to damp hair and work it through from roots to ends. Make a (messy) center part and blow dry the hair rough to a little less than fully dry. Then soak strands with with Argan oil to give the hair a high shine.

Flat and shiny hair was shown by Ruffian using flat ironed hair, which was then pulled it back into an equestrian-inspired braid and sealed with Aestelance Lustre for a mirror-like shine.

For a little less wet look, brush back your blown dry hair into which you've worked Aestelance Foam for a soft hold, paying strict attention to the crown. Give a blast to the hairline with a blow dryer and give the ends a quick pass with a flatiron.
The dewy texture works well for this year's version of sexy bedhead. The Proenza Schouler models had their hair misted with a wave spray like White Sands, then strands were backcombed with spray wax before being pulled into a messy knot (with some pieces left to roam free). Jill Stuart's models went one step further, letting their hair blow in the breeze by wrapping big sections of lightly moussed dry hair around a curling iron and then quickly released. The next morning, their hair went unwashed and just spritzed with a conditioner like Aestelance Revitalize mixed with a little water, scrunched and off they went. The stylist on the runway, Odile Gilbert says this treatment nourishes hair and makes it smell good without weighing it down. At Believe, we've got to agree.
Calvin Klein stuck to the pure and natural look he always favors by having his models' hair lightly sprayed (we recommend Aestelance Super Spray) and then a one-inch curling iron was used to create a slight bend in the loose hair (almost looking as though the curve were an illusion).

Barely There To Blast Off Makeup
Makeup went a little schizo, veering between an almost bare, nothing there fresh look to hot neon and shades-of-Twiggy eye makeup.

Maybelline makeup artist Charlotte Willner’s three-step makeup look started with FIT Me foundation and a little pressed powder for the base, then added a deep rose blush where you naturally blush (cheeks and even a little on the temples). A clear balm was used on eyelids and lips just to bring out the shine (Aestalance body butter would work well here.)

Tommy Hilfiger even went one step further and ditched mascara all together! MAC's makeup artist used neutral Havana eyeshadow all over the lid and black eyeliner in a thin line to bring subtle attention to the eyes of the Hilfiger models.
There was nothing subtle about the neon trend seen everywhere at Fashion Week. Whether it is fuchsia, turquoise or electric orange nails, pump up the volume like the pros: Start with a white opaque polish and then top with your bright shade. Or top a true red lipstick (creamy so it won't cake) with neon orange eye shadow powder for a kiss me-or-else mouth (your teeth will dazzle with these bright shades, too.)

Mod makeup from the Swinging 60's ruled the day at Erin Fetherston. Her seriously smudged charcoal eyes were made even more dramatic by the peachy pink lips, and her models sported side ponytails teased at the crown. Shades of Carnaby Street!

Pony Up
Side ponytails were the only type of tails seen on the runway, though. New ponytails made a showing also with Monique Lhuillier going for gloss and bounce. Hair was treated with an architectural product like Aestelance Butter to get a sleek look through the crown. Sections were then teased with both fine and thick bristles (we have just the brush to replicate this here at Believe). The crown and ponytail were then brushed for a smooth look and voila --voluminous and bouncy hair without using extensions.  

One of our favorite runway looks was created by Michael Kors--the Fishtail Braid, featuring a sleek center part on top and dry texture on the bottom. The Hair was divided into two sections and leather shoe laces were woven through the length to create two separate fishtail braids that were tied together at the ends.
Marc Jacobs created a playful pony with a bump. Hair was swept back high and off the face with no part. The ponytail was flipped forward and pinned two inches from he base with a thin clip. The pony was then flipped back down toward the nape of the neck and secured with a second clip.
New tails also made a showing also with Monique Lhuillier going for gloss and bounce. Hair was treated with an architectural product like Chromastics Tri Organic Molding Cream to get a sleek look through the crown. Sections were then teased with both fine and thick bristles (we have just the brush to replicate this here at Believe). The crown and ponytail were then brushed for a smooth look and voila --voluminous and bouncy hair without using extensions.

At Believe we'll be happy to help you try out these fresh new trends. Just give us a call at 
914-747-0778 and let us help put a little Spring in your step.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Strut Your Stuff For Spring

Easter (aside from its religious significance for all our Christian friends) means one other thing to most of us—candy! Chocolate bunnies, malted milk balls, jelly beans of all colors, not to mention the decadent Cadbury Cream eggs...and while we at Believe are big “”believers” in all things chocolate, we also want to help keep afloat the idea that Easter is a time to dress up, sport your finery, strut your stuff and celebrate Spring.
When we were little girls, some of us got new Easter dresses (complete with new shoes, little purses and even gloves!) but the piece of apparel we most looked forward to getting each year was our new Easter bonnet, a tradition whose origin stretched back in history...

Later came the “Sunday of Joy” as the first Easter at the end of the Civil War came to be known. That day, all the grieving mothers and daughters who had lost loved ones in the conflict, were allowed to shed the black clothes of mourning, wear pastel colors and put flowers on the hats. Things got even merrier in the 1870's when an Easter Parade was started in New York City. NYC's gorgeous churches like Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and St. Thomas' Episcopal Church began decorating their sanctuaries with Easter flowers. The floral displays grew more elaborate and those who attended the churches started dressing up to match. Soon, decked out in new and fashionable clothing, churchgoers would stroll from their own church to others to see the impressive flowers (and to be seen by their fellow strollers) and the Easter “parade” became the thing to do. If you were rich, you strolled. If you were poor, you watch—an early version of the Red Carpet of today.

Dressing down” and being comfortable may have the upper hand these days—but if you are longing to see some fabulous Easter bonnets (or want to celebrate Spring by sporting one yourself), here's a few of our favorites from our friends at KayKyCo Hats Online Spring Collection: )

If hats are just too, too much but you'd still like to deck yourself out with some gorgeous new jewelry, we have just the things, on-sale now at Believe: Jeweled barrettes (from the French word “barre” or bar) were developed around 1901 and really came to be popular during the Roaring 20's when women cut their long and heavy hair (which needed combs and tiaras to hold the elaborate styles in place) and went for shorter bobs. The little rectangles of jewels were just the thing to add a bit of dazzle...and they still are. Come see our collection at Believe.
Your hands could use a little polish for Spring, too and we have resurrected an old favorite last loved in the 1960's...the spoon ring.

Spoon rings actually originated in 17th century England and were used as wedding rings. Servants in the “big houses” couldn't afford gold or any precious metal, so they stole the silverware to use as a ring. It was said you could tell which spouse worked in which house by the crest they sported on their spoon wedding ring. The trick was not to get caught—criminal offenses such as '”stealing a silver spoon” or “larceny by a servant” could earn you seven years transportation to Australia...all for love. We have a collection of spoon rings for sale at Believe right now and we promise, no handcuffs if you buy one!

Spring has sprung and though there barely was a winter, we are glad to see the flowers opening, the weather warming and the lovely colors everyone is celebrate and top your Spring outfit off—with a piece of jewelry from Believe.