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Category : Hair & Scalp Care

Top 10 Tips For Great Hair

Top 10 Tips For Great Hair

“But you don’t know MY hair!” many of you are saying right now as you read that headline. You’re right, we don’t know your hair. But whether it’s long or short, curly or straight or in between, dry or oily, color-treated or natural, there are certain principles that apply to everyone (everyone, who has hair, that is). Here are our top 10 universal guidelines for helping your locks look their best.

Let It Be

That is, let your hair be itself, let it live as it wants to live. Embrace your natural texture, growth patterns, and color. You can beat your mane into submission with heat, chemicals and brute strength, and you may get the look you’re aiming for. Hair strands can be shaped, to an extent. But if the manipulation is too severe, over time you’ll create damage and your tresses will eventually rebel. Accepting what you have is freeing, encourages you to work with your best features, and will result in healthier, better looking hair.

Shampoo Less Often

No more than twice per week, once a week if you can do it. Simply rinse your hair and scalp when you shower. You can always condition, just don’t use shampoo every time.

Add Moisture

Conditioners and treatments give moisture back, which is critical for healthy hair. Think of your fingernails and cuticles. In the winter you may apply lotion or oil to your fingernails several times a day because you can readily see the dryness. Hair strands have a cuticle also. Dryness leads to cracked cuticles which leads to frizziness and breakage. Caretrico Privy Treatment Slim Though is a deep conditioning treatment that can be used as a hair mask twice per week as well as a daily conditioner. Ideal for thick, course and/or curly hair. Caretrico Privy Treatment Moist Sleek  is a moisturizing treatment for those with finer or wavy hair.

Deep Condition With a Professional

Good salons have thorough conditioning treatments that include several steps using rebuilding products and heat and/or mist processes that help deliver the products into the hair. Do a bit of research in your area to find the salons with the best recommendations. Doing this on a regular basis will make a big difference in your hair. At Salon Ishi we have a number of deep conditioning treatments including our exclusive Sherpa Treatment.

Use Protection

On your hair, we mean. After shampooing and conditioning, or anytime you style, give your hair some protection from the strong heat of your styling tools and from dehydrating environmental elements by using products specifically designed to give your hair a bit of armor for defense. Caretrico After Treatment Enrich Milk is a leave in conditioner and styling treatment that not only infuses the hair with moisture but protects it from pollution, the elements and heat damage from styling tools.

Take Care Of Your Scalp

Healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp. Keep your scalp clean. If you have a problem with dryness, oiliness or fungus, treat it. While you may need to see a dermatologist, there are steps you can take on your own. S-Heart-S Scalp Brush Mini is a great tool for massaging and cleaning the scalp, removing dry flaky skin and product buildup from the scalp and hair cuticle. For a flaky or oily scalp, you may also want to try a scalp toner.  The skin on your head requires care too.

Get Your Hair Cut Regularly

There is no “treatment” that will fix split ends. They will keep on splitting, higher and higher. Weak ends result in breakage and unhealthy looking hair. Regular cuts get rid of weak ends and give a fresh appearance.

Take Your Vitamins

Yes, they help. Hair and nails are made of protein and a healthy diet that includes vitamins created to promote the growth of hair and nails is helpful. Vitamin A, Omega 3s and B-complex vitamins like folic acid and biotin all promote cell turnover.

Have a Personal Consultation With Your Hair Care Professional

Okay, we agree, your hair is special. Therefore, talk with your hairdresser to get personalized recommendations for products, treatments, regimens, schedules, and processes that will help you have the healthiest, most beautiful hair possible

Use Color and Chemical Treatments Sparingly, and Have It Done Professionally

Sometimes we just gotta have that color, cover that gray, or get those curls. If that’s you, go to a reputable salon and work with a professional who knows how to use the products while maintaining the integrity of your hair. It is undeniably more expensive than doing it yourself. But your hair will be much healthier in the hands of a professional and you’ll end up with much better looking hair.

The good news is that with a little effort you CAN have healthier, better looking hair. Here’s to you and your best hair!

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Hair Brush Basics

hair brush basics

Hair brushes are so basic and taken-for-granted that it’s easy to overlook their importance. Using the right hairbrush properly has direct effects on both the health and appearance of your hair.

You’ve heard it many times before

Brushing is very good for your hair! It stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, bringing it nutrients and oxygen. It helps cleanse the hair, removing dirt, skin cells, and product. It smooths the outer layer of each hair strand and the cuticle, promoting shine. It also separates the hairs, incorporating air for a fresh bounce.

Sounds simple enough

until you notice that your stylist uses a selection of about a dozen brushes, all different sizes and shapes while doing that killer blowout. To help guide you through the process, here are just a few of Salon Ishi’s brush basics – a hair brush 101 if you will.

Detangling brush

I’ll put it gently: if you don’t have a detangling brush, get one. These are especially necessary for long hair. Detangling brushes are specially designed to distribute the tension in interwoven hair evenly and typically have nylon bristles designed to glide through hair easily. When detangling hair, be gentle so you don’t cause breakage. This is why special detangling brushes are valuable. At Salon Ishi every one of our shampoo sinks is equipped with the S-Heart-S Scalp Brush. It’s our go-to tool for brushing wet hair.

This brush is extremely valuable. It’s also perfect for people with:

  • fine or weak hair who are afraid of brushing
  • thinning hair who need to stimulate the scalp with gentle yet penetrating bristles

Pro tip: if hair is really tangled, start brushing from the ends, not the scalp. And take in small sections.

Smile Heart Story Scalp Brush KassaScalp massage brush

A healthy scalp yields healthy hair, and massaging the scalp to stimulate blood flow and relax tight muscles is an important step to a healthy scalp. The S-Heart-S Scalp Kassa Massage Brush, available at Salon Ishi, is a wonderful, versatile tool. It not only has soft, pliable bristles for the scalp but also has a special shape for fitting the hand and has three round points that can be applied to pressure points on the head, neck, shoulders, scalp, the inside of the hands and even feet for an invigorating muscle massage. We use this brush in our famous Shiatsu Shampoo treatment. Massage, ahhh.

Brushes for blowdrying and styling

With regard to the material construction of the brush bristles you have basically two choices:

  • natural
  • nylon

For brush shape you also have two main choices:

  • round
  • flat

In terms of size, there many choices from small to large:

  • smaller is preferable for short hair
  • large brushes for long hair

Let’s break down the advantages and uses of each

For everyday brushing: natural bristles are best. Natural bristles have varying lengths which touch more hairs, and the natural material cleans and smooths the hair for a healthy shine.

For blowdrying and styling: choose nylon bristles. You’re wanting grip, control and durability. Nylon bristles perform better under high heat than natural bristles.

When selecting the shape of your brush consider the end result you’re looking for. If you want volume and some curl, use a round brush. If you’re aiming for a straight, sleek style, use a flat brush.

Pro hair brushing tips

  • Watch which brush your stylist uses on your hair.
  • Tension is key to smoothness and uniformity, whether you’re going for volume or sleekness. Practice keeping the section you’re working on tight.
  • Work in small sections. Yes, it will take longer, but you have better control.

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4 Ways To Enhance Your Beauty Regimen With Negative Ion Water

4 Ways To Enhance Your Beauty Regimen With Negative Ion Water

When hot, sticky summer weather makes our hair and skin freak out (i.e., break out…frizz out…), we make sure to stock up on our favorite multitasking product from Japan. No one can sing the praises of Vine Minus Ion Care Water better than Travel Beauty’s hair care expert, Ishi.

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Where do I begin? Vine Care Water is negative ion water that was first developed in Japan for NASA to clean the lenses and mirrors on space bound vehicles and satellites. Bacteria cannot live in a pH 12.5 environment, so it was made as a germ-killing cleanser. Negative ion water is 170 times more absorbent than water, so on its own it provides moisture. Used in conjunction with hair and skin care products, negative ion water works as a driver – so it boosts the effectiveness of products used subsequently.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Hair Care

The negative charge of the water is attracted to – and bonds to – hair.  It helps strengthen fine hair, making it feel thicker. It boosts the strength of conditioners, treatments and styling aids to amplify the benefits of these products. It can also be mixed with your shampoo or conditioner at a rate of 10%, or can be sprayed onto hair, roots to ends, before leave-in conditioners or styling aids are applied. This is a fabulous tool for thick, curly hair as well; read more here about how to use it.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Skin Care

Care Water works well as a moisturizing skin toner or clarifier (most products that clarify tend to dry the skin). Many of my clients have had success clearing up some forms of acne with Care Water as well. Layered with other products, it boosts the benefits of those products. Here’s an easy experiment to give you an idea of what Care Water does:

  • Put a few drops of oil into water. You will see it separates.
  • Then spray the oil and water with Care Water.
  • You will see it actually reduces the size of the oil drops so that the water and oil mix together.
  • This is the same way Care Water breaks up and clears away oils on the skin.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Scrapes & Cuts

Sprayed on scrapes or cuts, Care Water cleans the wounds (by killing bacteria) and moisturizes, therefore promoting healing. It’s currently being used in research at burn hospitals in Japan with very positive results.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Teeth

Care Water also works for brushing your teeth – both cleansing and whitening. Read all about our smile-cleaning secrets here. Don’t swallow it, though! It is not for internal use. The pH is too extreme for that. Care Water is the ideal multi-tasking travel companion. You can find this cure-all wonder water in travel size here at Travel Beauty.

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6 Hair & Scalp Care Tips For Summer

Hair and Scalp Care Tips For Summer

Living in London, where the mid-60s is considered a ‘hot day’ during the peak of Summer, the prospect of a beach holiday thrills me to no end. And who doesn’t love basking in the sun and cooling off in the sea and pool? Summer just wouldn’t be as fun without these things.

However… even though it feels glorious at the time, if you throw all caution to the wind your hair is likely to be a mess come September – and dealing with this is no fun at all. Here are my tops tips to maintaining luscious locks from June through to August.

Skin Vs. Scalp

I cannot tell you how many people I speak to that have experienced scalp burn. While we are very conscious of protecting our skin, the poor scalp is so often neglected. However, your scalp is skin – and as such it can burn.

A sunburnt scalp can be highly unpleasant, with redness and soreness that is followed by large flakes approximately a week later. Apart from not looking very nice, a flaky scalp is known to cause and/or worsen hair shedding in certain individuals. Very seriously, leaving the scalp unprotected can also lead to cell changes and skin cancer. To help protect your scalp, apply your regular sunblock to your parting – or to any other areas that are exposed. Alternatively, you can wear a hat or sit under a cabana or umbrella. If you have already burnt your scalp, apply the same logic as if your arms or legs got sunburnt: keep it covered until the skin heals.

Scorched Hair

You are not able to feel it, but the sun can burn your strands. UV rays degrade and weaken the hair’s protein structure in a similar way to bleach; it is why hair becomes lighter. It is also why sun exposure can make the hair very dry and brittle and riddled with split ends. Salt and chlorinated water can add to this damage, making a truly tress-terrifying trio. The best way to guard your hair is with a water-resistant moisturizing cream containing UV filters. We make one called Swimcap Cream that was originally formulated for the US Olympic Swim Team. You simply dampen your hair and apply it from root to tip. As an added bonus, Swimcap Cream gives your hair a hydrating treatment at the same time as protecting it. In fact, many people comment that when they use it their hair is in better condition after summer than it was before.

Hydrate

Like all skin, the scalp can become dry if you are dehydrated. The solution to this is an easy one: stay hydrated! Water is best, but any (non-alcoholic) drink will do.

Put Down The Pinot

The good news is that dandruff tends to be less common in the summer. However, the bad news is that a common summer cooler, white wine, often triggers it in predisposed individuals. Being someone who loves a chilled glass of Gavi by the pool, I know this news may be annoying for some. There is more good news though! Spirits (i.e. vodka and gin) are scalp friendly if drunk in moderation. Cheers!

Diet

Your hair is made of protein, so it’s important to include sufficient quantities of it in your daily diet. There are so many delicious, fresh and nutritious protein rich foods available in the summer, so do take advantage! My favourite seasonal delights are lobster (rolls), barbequed scallops and shrimp, steamers and soft shell crab. All very lean, all low in mercury, and each one packs a hefty dose of all essential amino acids needed for hair growth.

Tangles

Last week when I was in Portofino my hair resembled a birds-nest after jumping in the hotel’s pool and letting my hair air-dry. I was torn between quickly detangling so I could tackle the lunch buffet ASAP – and taking my time and risking losing out on the fattest langoustine. However, knowing how damaging this can be, I was patient. But most women I saw were not. And why would they be? Many are not aware that pulling through knots can cause a lot of breakage and thin the appearance of the ends.  A great way to make things easier is to carry a travel-sized detangling spray in your beach bag, like our Daily Damage Defence. Start detangling at your ends and gently work your way up.

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Answers to Your Shampoo and Conditioner FAQs

best ways to use shampoo and conditioner

You’ve been shampooing your hair your entire life. And conditioning almost as long. You can do it with your eyes closed. With one arm tied behind your back – right? Still, at Salon Ishi we get asked for shampoo and conditioning advice every day. It makes sense actually, since clean hair and scalp are directly related to healthy hair. So, since you asked, here are some shampoo and condition FAQs.

Q: Does the shampoo and conditioner I use really make a difference?

A: Yes. It’s in your own best interest to consider your own hair type and condition when choosing products. Is your hair fine? Colored? Dry? Oily? Pay attention to your hair’s needs and give it some assistance with products that target what you need. If your hair is on the finer side and you color treat your hair, go with Caretrico Type S Shampoo and Caretrico Privy Treatment Moist Sleek conditioner. If you hair is thick, dry and/or color treated, Caretrico Type H Shampoo and Caretrico Privy Treatment Slim Through is the way to go.

Q: Are expensive products really better?

A: Yes, in general. Generic, drugstore brands are serving the broadest possible audience at the lowest possible cost and in order to do so are more likely to use harsher cleansers and fillers. Salon products are developed with hair health in mind by companies whose very existence is devoted to hair care. Their focus, product offerings and ingredients reflect it.

Q: How often do I need to shampoo and condition?

A: In all likelihood a lot less than you’re currently doing it. Shampooing hair too often can cause conditions that seem to require more products (dryness, oiliness, brittleness, etc.). Cleanse less often and allow your hair’s natural oils to hold in moisture. As a general rule, we say shampoo once or twice a week. It may take your hair a few weeks to adjust to this new regimen but it’s worth it in the long run. And if you’re shampooing less often, you can afford to get the highest quality shampoo and conditioner.

Q: But what if I exercise every day?

A: Consider simply rinsing your hair with water and applying a little conditioner just to the mid-lengths and ends. Or, try using conditioner as the cleanser: work it in and rinse it out well.

Q: Do I always need to use conditioner after I shampoo? I feel like conditioner just makes my hair oily.

A: Yes, you should be conditioning after every shampoo. If your conditioner is making your hair oily then apply only to the mid-length and ends, switch to a different conditioner, rinse better (a likely culprit), or see the above two questions and wash less often.

Q: I’m trying a new brand and it’s making my hair _______________ (brittle, break off, oily, gummy, etc.). What do I do?

A: Stop using it! Strawberries are healthy but some people are allergic to them. Similarly, not every product works the same way for every person. Experiment with different products and you’ll become a discerning consumer.

Q: Do those “2-in-1” products work? (the shampoo and conditioner in one)

A: Not effectively for most people. The fact is, shampooing is primarily for cleaning the scalp and to a lesser degree the hair. Conditioners are primarily for the hair that’s been around longer – the midshaft and ends – that need attention. So there’s a very good reason you have 2 separate steps for cleansing the hair.

Shampooing and conditioning are important for healthy, great looking hair. This is one of those areas where we all think we know everything since we’ve been doing it so long. But there’s always room to learn and improve. And sometimes small changes make a big difference. At our salon, we have used the Caretrico shampoos and treatments (conditioners) for many years with great results and many of our regular customers will make a special trip to the salon if they run out. We highly recommend them.

Have other questions? Please ask them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.

Find Brent Lockhart on Twitter and Instagram @brentlockhart

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