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Tag Archives : hair and the environment

Expert Spring Hair Care Tools & Tips

Put the Spring Back in Your Hair

If you find your locks slightly ravaged after the winter months, you are not alone! My hair definitely needs some revamping after being subjected to numerous assaults by wind, snow, central heating, processed comfort foods and hurried morning high-heat drying. And let’s not forget the rather too many and too large glasses of warming wine- a common scalp offender. Here are my top tips for restoring bounce to your hair this spring.

Trim Time!

After this winter, chances are your hair is in need of a good trim. Split-ends, brittle fringes and lacklustre roots are never in vogue – and perhaps you’ve taken less trips to your hairdresser than usual in the colder weather? Again, I am guilty of this too. Trimming your hair will make it look thicker throughout the lengths and also prevent any damage from spreading further up your hair shaft. You don’t have to chop loads off – just an inch or so to even it out and freshen it up. If you’re looking to grow your hair longer throughout the spring and into summer, help keep your ends healthy with a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. I sleep with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in my hair at least once a week. Originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn, it really helps to restore hydration, shine and strength.

Vitamin D Delight

It’s extremely common for your body’s Vitamin D levels to drop during the winter and this can really take a toll on hair health – not to mention your skin and general energy level. 80-90% of your Vitamin D intake needs to be synthesised from sunlight. You may want to visit your doctor to run blood tests to check your levels – and while he/she is at it, suggest running a full blood profile to look at your iron, ferritin (stored iron) and Vitamins B6 and B12, too. The best Vitamin D rich foods are oily fish, egg yolks, avocado and liver, but sitting in the sun is really your best option! Which brings me to my next point…

White Hats On

The sun can be both beneficial and detrimental to our wellbeing. While it provides us with much needed Vitamin D, it can also lead to very destructive free radical damage. Luckily, you still obtain Vitamin D benefits from the sun while wearing sun protection. The same logic applies to your hair, which, just like your skin, can burn and become damaged. I always carry a tube of Philip Kingsley Swimcap, which was originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team, with me in warm weather. It not only guards hair against the sun, but also chlorinated and salt water and gives your hair a super-moisturizing treatment at the same time. Alternately, bring your wide-brimmed white summer hats out of hibernation.

Dietary Dos

If you, like me, have found yourself reaching for convenient foods during the winter, spring is a great time to make a change. Fast and processed foods have very little nutritional benefit, as additives and preservatives degrade the vitamins and minerals within them. Plan a weekly trip to your local farmers market to take advantage of the new fresh foods coming into season. Artichokes, for instance, are high in antioxidants, potassium, folate, Vitamins C and K, and fibre. Fresh spinach is another hair booster, containing good amounts of iron as well as Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron.

Go Dry

It’s all too easy to reach for an extra glass of red wine, or a warming spirit during the winter. Now that spring is in full bloom, make a concerted effort to cut your alcohol consumption and revitalise your body. A tipple here and there is fine, but drinking too much alcohol tends to dehydrate your scalp and flare-up itching and flaking. It can also deplete your body of electrolytes and vitamins. Either find a signature non-alcoholic cocktail (my favourite is lemon juice, elderflower, fresh mint, sugar syrup and soda water), or make your order a spritzer and keep it to one or two!

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Spring Hair Care Tips & Products: Revamp Your Regimen this Season

As the days get longer, the sun shines brighter, and outdoor activities (thankfully) return to our lives. The wool hat that limited your hairstyle options is no longer needed. The scarf that half covered your face is folded and put away.

How The Weather Affects Your Hair

After a long, cold winter, a glance in the mirror can be a shocking peek of someone else: Drab, needing a change, something to brighten, to refresh. It’s spring – the hair care routine you followed during the dry winter months of weekly deep conditioning treatments to keep your hair looking healthy may require an adjustment.

How Will Moisture Affect Your Hair?

As the weather warms up, there is increased moisture in the air. Balancing moisture, as opposed to adding it, now becomes the issue. Luckily, your hair will let you know what it needs.

Care For Frizzy, Dry Hair

If your hair is frizzy, dry and tangles easily, or if your hair feels rough to the touch, you hair is lacking moisture. You’ll need to keep up the deep conditioning treatment, and/or add a moisturizing conditioner to your hair routine, gradually transitioning to a two-week schedule.  Caretrico Moist Bounce Treatment is an ideal product for this. It can be used everyday as a conditioner and/or weekly as a deep moisturizing treatment.

Care for Limp Oily Hair

If your hair becomes limp or oily, cutting back on added moisture will rebalance your hair. Only deep condition your hair twice a month, and apply your daily conditioner by running it quickly through the bottom half of hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The change of seasons is a good time to rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar- like spring cleaning for your scalp!  Mix a tablespoon (make sure to use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar) in a glass of water to run through your hair. Leave in for a moment and then, rinse, rinse, rinse. The apple cider vinegar removes the build up of conditioners and treatments. The acid also closes the hair cuticle making your hair shine.

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Expert Hair & Scalp Products & Treatments: Promote Healthy Hair & Fight Hair Loss at the Philip Kinglsey Trichological Institute

Certain physical attributes can significantly elevate a person’s appearance. Say you were not blessed with modelesque bone structure. There are several other features (skin, brows, teeth…) the optimization of which (clear & glowing skin, well-shaped brows, straight, white teeth…) can still land you firmly in “10″ territory. Probably the most notable of these features is hair. Shiny, bouncy, Breck-girl hair makes a world of difference on anyone. As a low-maintenance gal, I relied on my high-quality (read: expensive) hair cut and color to compensate for the makeup I didn’t bother applying, the accessories I didn’t bother wearing, etc. Imagine my despair, then, when I realized my hair was falling out at an alarming rate. It was devastating and stressful…not to mention embarrassing.

Hair Loss & Thinning

Why? Why, oh, why was this happening to me? Well, the body considers hair a “non-essential” tissue, so the brain will not send nourishment to it if requirements elsewhere in the body are not being met. This can result in hair loss and/or thinning, as well as dry, brittle and lifeless hair. Additionally, (unfortunately) hair loss in women is a more complex problem than it is in men because of all the different factors at work:

  • Diet
  • Stress level
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormones

Poor Diet & High Stress Levels

I was struggling on all these fronts. Simultaneously completing my MBA, working part time and caring for my two young children had led to me often neglecting the most basic self-care. My diet was awful: I grabbed food on the go, never paying attention to eating a well-balanced diet. My stress levels were sky high and sleep was but a stranger. Although I felt run down and depleted, I also felt too busy to do much about it.

The Last Straw

My attitude quickly changed once my hair started to fill my shower drain…every day. Is that my scalp I see in the mirror?!?! My body was alerting me that the status-quo was not working, and I could no longer not deal with it. On top of my hair shedding, my scalp suddenly became extremely dry and flaky for the first time in my life. So now my suddenly visible scalp had become quite unsightly. It was clearly time to take action. I proceeded to purchase every scalp and hair loss product under the sun, from Apple Cider Vinegar to Zinc supplements. Still, I was not seeing any real results. Time for another tactic.

I Took The First Step

I made an appointment at The Philip Kingsley Trichological Institute in New York City, knowing that they specialize in hair and scalp health. The Institute is a hidden gem of hair health, tucked away in midtown Manhattan. It is not a spa or a flashy full-service salon; it is a no-frills hair and scalp treatment center. I was comforted by the straightforward professionalism and “clinical” setting; I knew they were going to go beyond scalp deep to deal with my issues. My visit was two-part. First, I met with trichologist Elizabeth Cunnane-Philips. This was an in-depth interview, just shy of a therapy session. Liz conducted a thorough investigation into my life, asking about:

  • Overall health
  • Family history
  • Diet/nutrition
  • Lifestyle

Her expertise and depth of knowledge were immediately apparent. Though she was a consummate professional and listened matter-of-factly to all I said, there was an air of compassion to our meeting which I really appreciated. When she asked me (rhetorically) where the protein was in my diet (surprise…there wasn’t any), it wasn’t a judgment, but a dose of tough love. Philip Kingsley takes a holistic approach to hair and scalp issues, treating the underlying causes as well as the appearance your hair/scalp. My diet was my biggest issue – woefully deficient in protein. And iron. And breakfast. To discover what else may be amiss (thyroid problems, deficiencies, etc.), Liz recommended a comprehensive series of blood tests, the results of which I would report back to her.

The Examination

She then examined my hair and scalp under a large magnifying glass. My scalp was inflamed, flaky and altogether unhappy. An inflamed scalp can often go hand-in-hand with hair loss, and can lead to even more hair loss if left untreated. Based on what she observed, Liz wrote up a personalized product list to be used during my treatment – the second part of my visit.

The Treatment

For my treatment, I met with another trichologist, Stephen Pullan. Where Liz was tough love, Stephen was kid gloves. His healing hands put the “treat” in treatment. After expertly applying an exfoliating scalp mask (to remove “debris” from my scalp), Stephen started squeezing a bottle of white goop onto my hair. He said it was Elasticizer diluted with water to make it easier to apply. Brilliant- I learned a new trick! My hour-long treatment included a divine 10 minute head and neck massage from Stephen, as well as time under a scalp steamer: Just like the helmet dryers used in salons, but with STEAM! I can’t begin to describe how soothing and restorative it felt. After steaming, I was put under infrared lamps, then shampooed and rinsed.

TO BE CONTINUED….

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Vacation Hair Care: Sand and Slopes

There is very little difference between caring for your hair at the beach and when skiing. In each instance, your hair is subjected to similar environmental hazards. For example, windy conditions, the sun, sweat, salt or chlorinated pool/sauna water, even hats—be they large rimmed sun hats or snug & wooly ski attire.

The primary consideration is protection from all of these elements, of which I will describe below:

Salt & Chlorinated Water

Salt water has an osmotic effect on the hair, meaning that it leaches water out of your hair. Chlorinated water can be just as damaging. To protect your hair from associated distress, use Philip Kingsley Swimcap. I originally formulated it for the U.S. synchronized swim team in 1984 and it contains UV protectors, moisturizers and is highly water resistant.

The Sun

Have you noticed that the skin on your face burns just as easily on the beach as when skiing? The same applies to your hair & scalp. The sun on both the slopes and the beach can be exceedingly damaging, causing hair to become brittle and dry and any exposed scalp prone to burn. To help prevent this, use my Swimcap Cream (as described earlier), or wear a hat. To re-hydrate and replenish your hair & scalp, apply an intensive treatment twice a week. I recommend using my Exfoliating Scalp Mask and multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioner, Elasticizer. They both ensure trouble-free scalps and resilient, manageable, shiny hair.

Wind

Apply weatherproof products that counteract dehydration. For example, Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence. As an added bonus, this will enable you to have protected and flyaway-free hair when going to social events!

Sweat

The sun, physical exertion and hats can all cause a sweaty scalp. This can result in itching, a buildup of bacteria and greasy looking hair. Apply Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner to your scalp to inhibit the spread of bacteria, clear irritation and soak up excess oils. Furthermore, always shampoo your hair at the end of the day to thoroughly cleanse your scalp and hair. Choose the correct shampoo according to your hair type and follow with the correct conditioner, also according to your hair type.  If necessary – and it won’t harm – shampoo your hair in the morning, too.

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