Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Myth Busting On Sun Protection

Awareness of the risk of skin cancer has driven alot of people to sunless tanning methods and using sunscreen for protection. But have you ever wondered about how safe from the risks of skin cancer you really are? And what is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

Basically in a simple nutshell, UVB rays are the rays we all love to hate. The ones that give us nasty sunburn and melanoma. So you put your sunblock on and go happily about your life assuming that your protected against the sun because you don't turn red.

Then there are the sneaky UVA rays which don't tell you what they are doing. There is no redness, no visible sign to look at and say hey I need to get out of the sun. They are the real culprit of premature aging, skin leathering and even cancer. The UVA rays penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin tissue wreaking havoc underneath the visible. The importance of UVA protection has been somewhat of a mystery to most and is just recently being marketed to the mainstream with broad spectrum sunblock.

There is a common misconception that using a tanning bed or booth is a safer way to tan. Some wil even tell you there is absolutely no risks at all.

Tanning Beds are NOT I repeat NOT a safe alternative to natural sunlight! These beds give off between 50% to 100% more harmful UV rays than natural sunlight and have the same damaging effects if not more! The only difference is you get your damage in controlled amounts possibly avoiding an uncomfortable sunburn and you spend less time working on your tan than you would laying out in the sun.

Then there is the whole deal with SPF protection. Here in the US you can get sunblock with SPF 70+. So how do you know how much SPF you need? Should everyone use mega strength sunblock every day?

The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended use of at least SPF 15 for every day use. Sunscreens chemically absorb the UV rays to a certain degree. No sunscreen will block 100% of the rays from the sun but SPF 15 should absorb about 93% of the rays from the sun. SPF 30 absorbs about 97% of the harmful rays and SPF 50+ blocks about 98%. So twice the SPF factor does NOT mean twice the protection.

When choosing the proper SPF protection from your skin, you need to factor in your natural skin type. If you are a fair skinned person who burns at the first sight of sunlight, those few extra percentages may make a difference in how long you can stay in the sun. If you have a previous experience with skin cancer, you also need to be extra careful.

And just because you have naturally darker skin or have developed a "base tan", this does not mean you are impervious to the effects of the sun. While you may not burn as easily, damage still occurs causing premature aging, sagging and cancer. You will need to use at least 15% SPF broad spectrum sunblock.

It is best to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply 15 to 30 minutes into your sunny day. You should reapply your sunblock every 2 to 3 hours. Theoretically sunblock should last 5+ hours, but it really depends on your skin, the activities involved such as swimming and sweating and that particular brand of sunscreen and its ingredients. Don't wait until you see signs of redness to apply sunblock. The redness is a sign of damage occurring and you have another 15 to 30 minutes of damage that can happen before the sunblock takes effect.

For the life of me I cannot understand why people think they need a tan . Beautiful skin shouldn't be judged by its color. Dry leathery skin isn't pretty. Beautiful, healthy, fresh skin is what we all want no matter what color we are.
So be that beautiful flower that you are and share what you know. Maybe you will save someone's life or at least keep them from looking like an old work boot.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

At The Hair Trade Show June 2009 (photo album)

Just a quick post with some photos of all the stuff that happens at a hair show. It is a fashionista's heaven!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bold Brilliant Hair Color For The Everyday Woman

A few photos from my last hair show showcasing "unnatural" hair colors in all their glory!

This yellow is my favorite. For so long Ive had a distaste for the yellow tones that to me signify an under processed shade of blonde. But used as an accent color it simply pops in a brilliant but somewhat understated.

Brilliant teal placed strategically throughout the crown area accentuates this strong bold haircut.
The dark base color serves as a perfect backdrop for the panels of brilliant color.

This is not particularly my favorite haircut on this model but I love the sheen this magenta and purple gives off. Her base color is still a natural brown but the pop of color give it a whole new dimension.

This is by far one of the most versatile cuts that just about any woman can wear. She has orange and pink panels of color mainly through her part area on the top layer.I also like how the natural color has been left in her bangs.Sometimes unnatural colors can look harsh right up against the skin.

Now this model has an all over brilliant copper red with very fine yellow streaks placed delicately throughout providing somewhat natural highlights but with an overall vibrant feel.
I think the key to wearing a strong hair color without looking "trashy" is all in the cut and style. If your going to go for a bold color, get a bold cut to compliment the overall feel.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nail Salons " Dirty Secrets"

A day at the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure is supposed to be a nice relaxing time. Being pampered and prettied and taken care of. You look around and it seems clean enough, no trash on the tables, everything put away. The customer that went right before you looks plenty happy. So after a quick wipe down on the tub and a trip to the back to get her tools together, you manicurist calls you over and your ready for your turn.

Your in trouble already! Dirty foot spas and implements are the 2 major violations in nail salons. The drains and tubing inside the foot tubs get skin particles and bacteria inside of them.Simply a wipe down will not sufficiently clean the tub out. It needs to be filled all the way up and ran for several minutes with a sanitizing solution made for the job. It is better to wait for a clean tub than risk a nasty infection.

Most people also shave their legs prior to getting a pedicure. After all you don't want someone massaging your stubble. But shaving leaves tiny cuts which serve as perfect entrances for microscopic bacteria and fungus. Let alone diseases like Hepatitis and AIDS. So avoid shaving at least 24 hours prior to your pedicure.

Implements that use a razor blade to cut off callouses are not only dangerous, but illegal! Infections can be extremely dangerous from these type of implements and can spread quickly into the bone and leg and can even lead to limb loss and death.

Implements should be sterilized with a hospital grade autoclave. This takes time, not just a quick wipe down. If you see your manicurist use and implement and stick it back in her drawer with the other implements, she probably isn't cleaning them. Be aware of these little actions because it can mean your life and health could be at risk.

Files should be santizeable and washable.Wooden files and sticks are to be discarded after use.

All surfaces should be cleaned with a disinfectant solution before you sit down and your manicurist should wash his/her hands before touching you.

Alot of people choose to bring their own implements and files in when getting a manicure or pedicure so don't feel awkward or paranoid for doing so. It is a legitimate health risk and at any time you feel uncomfortable about the cleanliness of your nail salon, call your local board of health and inquire about any problems you may see occurring in the salon. You can also go online and check with the State Board Of Cosmetology in your state to see the rules and regulations of salon sanitation for your area.

Most salons are inspected less than once a year. It can be as long as 5 years between inspections in some areas who just simply do not have the manpower to inspect salons more frequently. Fines can be as low as $25 for a major violation that can cost you pain and suffering. Salons are rarely closed for violations and the majority of salons have major problems. So don't assume just because their salon license is valid, that it must be clean.

Take your own health into your own hands and don't be a victim of unsanitary nail salon practices. Take a minute and check out the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology rules and regulations (I live in Ohio but every state in the US should have similar sites.Here is a PDF file from the news section at the Ohio State Board Of Cosmetology that has a news article from FOX news showing some of the dangers that exist http://www.cos.ohio.gov/uploads/File/danger_lurks_in_dirty_salons.pdf

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Greek Goddess Look

When they say what goes around, comes around they really mean it! It may have taken thousands of years for Greco-Roman styles to become popular again (toga party fashion excluded), but thank goodness it did. It brings us back to the simplicity of classic beautiful elegant design. Gladiator shoes, maxi dresses and beautiful draping and braiding in clothes topped off by a classic Grecian hair style can be seen every where you turn.

Maybe if all us women band together and embrace this trend our men will too! I personally wouldn't mind if there were sexy Spartans on every corner. Think of the money to be made in full body waxing....

But enough of that mindless banter and back to the topic of Greek Goddess hair. To get this look I would suggest a curling iron between 1" and 1.5 " for soft big curls. Another great option is buying a set of hot rollers. I know...soo 80's right? But once you get the hang of hot rollers you can set your hair in just a few short minutes, and get dressed or whatever while they set.
Once you hair your hair curled, flip your hair upside down and shake, using your fingers to mess the curls. Use a wide toothed comb or large pick to gently back comb the root area for volume and texture while your head is still upside down. Don't flip your head over yet! Before you do use a workable aerosol hairspray all over and finger through your hair separating loose curls.

Pull your hair up in sections and pin in place leaving random loose curls loose. Use a firm hold aerosol hairspray to set the style in place.Pull it all up or just part of it up.Or leave a side pony tail. Putting it up in sections leaves you the option of stopping at any time when you feel it looks right. Controlled messy is the key here.
Accessorize with a braid or twist the sections as you pin them in place. There is no set pattern of design for this look which make it easily creatable since you can rework it until it looks right.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be Back Bloggin Soon!

To those few who may be checking back on my blog I wanted to say thanks and don't give up on me yet!

Ive had alot of family drama going on that has my mind wrapped around it. Plus its summer break from school so adjusting to everyone being home all the time is kind of stressful. (I'm sure the moms out there can relate)My Grandpa has been on and out of the hospital so Ive been running there alot. But I consider it a blessing, not many people my age have their grandparents around and all 4 of mine are still living.

But I do have alot of drafts started I need to finish up and publish, but every time I try to do it someone needs something from me as usual. But I am making a definite effort to get my blogging rolling again.

Take care all and be well!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flat Iron Wars: Chi vs GHD

If you've researched flat irons both CHI and GHD probably have come up as the most known names in the industry. Heres the scoop on the real history behind the iron wars.

Farouk Systems USA came out with CHI irons. They were by far the best styling tool that had ever been manufactured. Every stylist owned a CHI iron. Alot of time and effort went into the research and development of the CHI iron. Then sadly one day Farouk Systems USA was sold and product manufacturing was outsourced. Cheaper quality irons resulted from the manufactuer changes. Problems with electrical wiring shorting out became synonomous with the once hailed and renown CHI brand.

Enter GHD> GHD stands for Good Hair Day.Much simpler and way more catchy than cationic hydration interlink ! GHD marketed its irons to 2 places.BSG which is the main supplier to most professionals and Sephora. Every BSG store you walk into has a mannequin head and a GHD iron. GHD representatives come and stand by the head and pressure stylist to try the GHD while bashing CHI for its problems.

I have 2 of the original CHI irons and I have tried the GHD irons more than once and argued with the reps over the quality difference I see in my original CHI irons and the GHD irons. The original CHI Irons are the basic black ones that say Global Beauty System on the side.I never thought for the life of me I would find another iron I was satisfied with! The GHD does not compare to an original CHI iron in any way shape or form. Anyone who has an original CHI will tell you this. Now the more recent CHI irons are a sad disappointment and the GHD irons blow those ones away.
GHD irons are not exactly cheap either! You can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for one. I have heard from an inside source that the PACKAGE ALONE costs the company about $11 which is of course passed on to you. Makes you wonder what was skimped on to afford such expensive packaging! I would rather have $11 worth of quality instead of a box I am eventually going to pitch.

I decided if my CHI irons die I need to be prepared to purchase a replacement.Over the past 2 years I have tested tons of irons because I decided I do not want to risk a bad CHI and I don't want a GHD. I am not impressed by their pushy sales tactics nor their irons and fancy boxes.So I set out on a mission to check out every flat iron I could get my hands on.

Right now by far my favorite winner for new #1 iron is Infrashine. They are a relatively new company and their irons are just emerging as a major player in the tools department. I tried out an Infrashine iron at a hair show the beginning of May in Cleveland Ohio and haven't stopped thinking about it since. No preconceived notions it just felt right to me.
So June 1st I was at a hair show in Nashville Tennessee, and was sitting having a cocktail with some of the vendors( they all know me cause I'm a hair show roadie )
And guess who I had the privilege of meeting! A man named Paul who is one of the big wigs at Infrashine. When we started talking I had no idea who he was. I asked what he was selling at the show and he meekly replied "oh we sell tools, stop by if you wanna look at any" So stupid me starts to say "well I may do that I'm in the market for a new iron, and the Infrashine is my fav right now!" And I continue to brag on my Original CHI irons. So he starts to tell me about the history of Infrashine.....They made the original CHI irons! When Farouk was sold, the developers got together and came up with an even superior iron and named the company Infrashine. There is actually a little sensor inside that detects when the iron needs heat and deliver heat within 1/16 of a second. Paul had tons of irons disassembled so you could see the actual guts behind the machine and I was highly impressed with the design of the infrashine irons.

Paul actually gave me an Infrashine Redline Iron for free (I love free stuff!)and told me to pass on my unbiased opinion of it. I got home and have used it for 2 weeks straight and I actually gave my mom one of my original precious rare original CHI irons, which is something I thought I would be buried with.

I do not carry nor sell this product.I am not pushing you to purchase this iron because it benefits me in any way. The iron is AMAZING. The people seem great and down to earth which is a definite bonus in my book!

So in the battle of CHI Vs GHD..........Infrashine wins in my books

Here is the link to the Infrashine website, If you are in the market for a new iron I highly reccomend you check them out before making a big purchase.