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Tag Archives : healthy hair in winter

Quick Fixes For Healthy Hair

Maintaining gorgeous, healthy hair can be quite time consuming. Trips to the salon, styling, shampooing, conditioning and weekly hair masks can all add up, and often fall by the wayside when we are super busy. This month, the lovely Team at Travel Beauty have asked that I put together a list of my top quick fixes for keeping locks in great shape. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!

Quick Moisture Surge

I try to use a pre-shampoo conditioner, such as PK Elasticizer, at least once a week. It helps to keep my hair elastic and minimizes breakage, so I need fewer trips to the salon to get trims. However, setting aside the time to let it work its magic can be a bit of a challenge. To get around this, I apply it before bed, sleep with it in overnight and then shampoo and condition in the morning as usual for maintained hassle–free healthy hair.

Salon Saver

As just mentioned, using a weekly pre-shampoo conditioner will help keep your hair in better condition so you’ll need to get it cut less often. However, daily environmental weathering and tearing a comb through tangles can also break your hair at different lengths, making it unmanageable and styling more time consuming. My top tip for warding off these unruly, split and uneven ends – and subsequent salon trips  - is to use a daily protective detangling spray, such as PK Daily Damage Defence. It helps to keep your cuticle intact and also guards against damage from UV rays.

Dry Shampoo

Sometimes there just isn’t time to wash our hair every day…or an extra 30 minutes of sleep is seriously needed. Invest in a well-formulated dry shampoo with scalp benefits, like PK One More Day. It soaks up excess oils from the hair, but also soothes the scalp to prevent that tell-tale itching between washes.  That said, try not to leave more than a day between washes – your hair gets just as dirty as your face and infrequent shampooing can lead to dandruff and an imbalance of scalp flora.

Dandruff

The best way to soothe and clear dandruff is to shampoo daily with an antimicrobial shampoo. However, if you simply can’t fit this into your schedule, apply a flaky itchy Scalp Toner to the affected areas on the days you don’t wash your hair. Re-apply as necessary throughout the day as itching and/or irritation occur.

Fast Food

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ll know I’m a huge proponent of a healthy, balanced diet. Hair is the second fastest growing tissue your body supports, yet it is also non-vital tissue, so it needs the right hits of vitamins, minerals, proteins and energy at regular intervals to stay healthy. Breakfast is the most important meal, as that’s when energy levels to your follicles are at their lowest – but it’s also often the hardest meal to get right as we’re often rushing out the door or simply too sleepy to think straight! My tip is to boil 2 eggs the night before and slice them up onto whole wheat toast when you get into work, or with your morning coffee. This gives you a great protein and complex carbohydrate boost, and takes no time at all.

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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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Seasonal Changes

Hair Care Products

Seasonal changes require us to make different choices for our hair to balance out environmental effects. It is important to keep in mind that one product usually doesn’t work for all seasons. With shampoos & conditioners, you might need an alternative to compensate for the effects of the environment. A mild shampoo that worked wonders in the summer might need to be replaced with something more moisturizing come fall. A conditioner that has a heavier bond may be too much in the summer, but the perfect choice for fall/winter. Caretrico Moist Bounce Shampoo and Moist Bounce Treatment are perfect winter hair care choices. Summer air is moist, and causes many hair types to get frizzy. In the fall, however, the air is dry. Some hair is at it’s best in the fall, while others need to condition more due to drier air, heating systems in our homes and constant blow drying.

Hair Color

As the golden luster that your skin garnered over the summer fades, you will notice a similar phenomenon transforming the hue of your hair. Fear not, this is completely normal. This is nature’s gentle nudge to encourage us to add more depth to our hair color. Richer hues go better with our winter wardrobe palette. This change can be made all at once, or you could add lowlights to gradually return your hair to its richest tones. When these tones mix with your hair’s natural highlights from the sun, your hair color will gain extra depth and dimension.

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Top Holiday Hair Tips

During the holiday party season, over-indulgence, over-scheduling and over-styling can all take their toll on your hair and scalp. Here are my top tips to keep your locks looking luscious through the New Year.

Stress

Stress can increase hair shedding in certain individuals. Simply put, it’s due to the conversion of adrenaline to testosterone. While keeping stress levels in check is tricky at any time of the year, it’s especially hard during the holidays! If you don’t have time to go to a yoga class, or are staying with family, there are a few things you can do to create your own “om” zone. Invest in noise cancellation headphones, lock the door and download a meditation video or cd! Even 10 minutes of meditation can really work wonders when it all becomes a bit too much…

Diet

Your hair is composed primarily of a special protein called keratin, so getting adequate amounts through your diet is vital to hair growth. Luckily for you, holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of hair-helping, freshly prepared proteins such as turkey and red meats. The amino acids found in these nutritional powerhouses will help fuel your follicles! Iron and ferritin (your body’s supply of stored iron) deficiencies are very common causes of hair loss, so tuck into a steak, some stew or bit of bison to improve and sustain your iron blood levels.

Alcohol

Itchy scalp? Blame it on the alcohol. While this is not the case for everyone, white wine and champagne can trigger dandruff flare-ups in people who are prone to them. Stick to red wine, and try to drink in moderation! For those of you who already have an itchy scalp, invest in a good flaky/itchy scalp shampoo, conditioner and scalp toner to soothe and clear up any irritation. The Philip Kingsley Take Comfort/Flaky Itchy Jet Set has all 3 in one neat little bag specifically made for travel!

Styling

During the party season, it’s very tempting to reach for hair straighteners and curling irons on a daily basis. While heated styling tools are certainly a convenient way to perfect your style for an evening out, they can wreak havoc on the condition of your hair. Those high temperatures can dry out and snap your strands – they’re even capable of boiling the water within your hair’s cortex (core), causing rupture to the follicle! Scary stuff. Try limiting your use of straighteners and/or curling irons to twice a week, and always prep hair with a heat protective product. In the interim, use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, such as Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, to help restore bounce, moisture, manageability and elasticity to your hair.

Shampooing

Frequent shampooing creates the optimum scalp environment for healthy hair growth. That said, it’s really tough to find the time to shampoo your hair often enough during the winter: there really isn’t the option to let it dry naturally when it’s so cold outside! Try to wash your hair every other day, and in-between washes use a dry shampoo with hair and scalp benefits.

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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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