Wednesday, January 30, 2008

C-Curve: Nurturing Your Curls Beyond the Salon

Welcome to the premier column of C-Curve!

In each volume, I will provide tips and hints for maintaining your curls outside of the salon, a few website and/or book recommendations, and maybe little extra feature in from time to time!

As this is our first issue, we will address the basics needed to keep your hair frizz-free, soft, and manageable.

Beyond the Cut…

So you’ve just gotten your curly cut. Your hair feels nice and quenched, your curls defined and frizz-free. What now?

Your stylist tosses a LOT of tips to you on your hair during the visit, and no one can remember them all ;). The biggest thing to remember with learning how to care for and style your hair at home is PATIENCE. Remember, we as stylists had to practice a LOT to get hair care down—it takes time and repetition to get used to a new routine. Be easy on yourself!

Probably the most important tips to remember are the ones that deal with general washing and conditioning. Among them…

1. Try to not wash your hair over two times a week. Depending on the cleanser, you can do it more or less. If you are using a cleanser without sulfates (Deva products) you can definitely use it more frequently. If you just have to wash your hair with a sulfate shampoo, be very gentle and do not use it more than twice a month. But remember: sulfate cleansers are going to take out quite a bit of moisture, so your curls will take a bit longer to bounce back to an ideal moisture state.
2. Condition! Every time you get your hair wet in the shower, you must condition at least the ends of your hair. The reason is that warm water and steam opens up the hair cuticle, allowing for moisture loss. Rinse your conditioner with as cool of water as is comfortable. This seals the cuticle back up and locks that moisture into your hair.
3. No more towel rubbing! Ideally, the best way to encourage those nice, frizz-free curls is to shake your hair out upside down, gently separating the curls with your fingers from the underside. Shake the curls out again, hold a towel open in your hands under your hair, then lift the towel up to gather your curls in an upward scrunching motion, and squeeze. Repeat this on all sections of your hair until you feel most of the water is absorbed. You NEVER want to rub a towel through your hair or use any fast motions, as this encourages frizz and breaks up the curl pattern.

Washing and conditioning are just as important to gorgeous curls as is styling, cut, and color. Remember, great curls start in the shower!

What’s on the Web

Many curly girls are quite adept at using the web to learn more about their hair, but it never hurts to mention a few sites of interest…
1. This website was started around five years ago by a few curly girls looking for a way to network with other curls around the world and share their knowledge and wisdom of hair care. On this site you will find a very active users forum, full of tips and advice from fellow curlies. There are also monthly articles and features, as well as a curly mart stocked in books, hair accessories, and even curl pride t-shirts and bumper stickers! Definitely worth a bookmark!
2., Both of these sites give great info and tips on the Deva product line. They also feature articles and advice for curlies. Check their sites out and learn more about what goes into making your fantastic Deva products!
3. All About Hair: If you are like me and want to know what the ingredients in your products do, this website gives a good breakdown of common hair care ingredients and their indications.

And remember, we as stylists are here for you! If you ever have any questions about your products or techniques, do not hesitate to give us a call. Stay tuned for more tips on styling and a few book recommendations in the next issue!

Hair Peace! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brazilian Waxing: All You Wanted To Know

Brazilian waxing has taken off in popularity in the new millennium and while there are many fans of the procedure, there are usually an equal amount of questions. Here are our answers to a few of them:

Q. What should I expect?
A. A first time Brazilian wax can be a nerve racking experience, but it shouldn't be! While every waxing specialist has different techniques, the general procedure is similar. Your waxer will have you undress from the waist down and will offer you a towel or draping cloth to cover yourself while you wait. They will then clean the area and usually use a talcum powder to absorb any skin oils. Then the actual waxing takes place. Wax varies and some waxers may use soft wax with strips or a self hardening wax or even a combination of both. After the waxing is over, an oil will be used to remove any excess or leftover wax and will be followed with a soothing agent.

Q. How much will it hurt?
A. Pain varies for everyone but often times people say it hurts less than expected. Taking an aspirin or pain reliever a half hour before your appointment will help alleviate some pain and redness that some people experience. Try to relax and keep breathing, being tense will only make things worse! And remember, if you need a short break, don't be afraid to ask.

Q. How much hair should I let grow before coming in?
A. Hair that is between 1/4" to 3/4" is the easiest to wax. If hair is too short, the wax will be unable to adhere to it and it will not be removed. If hair is longer than 1 inch, it is always appreciated if the hair is trimmed to a shorter length. If hair is too long, it can be more painful as well as take longer to perform the service. Some salons will also charge up to $15 extra if trimming is necessary.

Q. How long will it last?
A. Your first wax will generally leave you hair free for 1-2 weeks. The more often you are seen, the longer you can go between waxes. On average, every 4-6 weeks is a good timeline for appointments, eventually you may be able to go up to 8 weeks or more. With time, hair will grow back finer and thinner and each wax will hurt less.

Q. Is there any special aftercare I need to do?
A. Waxing is relatively easy in terms of aftercare. The area may be sore with some redness for a day or two but this usually goes away quickly. To prevent ingrown hairs, it is recommended that the area be exfoliated each day in the shower. This can be done easily with a bath poof or exfoliating scrub.

As always, if you have other questions or concerns, don't be afraid to ask your salon or waxing specialist, or ask us here!

What is eyelash perming?

This is a process that curls your eyelashes. It takes about an hour, and lasts approximately 8 weeks or until you have shed your eyelashes. The first step in eyelash perming is applying a small amount of adhesive to the eyelid and then placing a small sticky "perm rod" over the glue. Lashes are then rolled onto the rod. The size of the rod and length of eyelashes that are wrapped around the rod determine the amount of curl. A gel-like perming solution is then placed on the lashes and they are left to process. The perming solution is then removed and followed by a neutralizer. After the neutralizer, a conditioning oil is applied. Finally the oil, rod, and adhesive is removed and the lashes are curled.

Eyelash perming combined with an eyelash tint is a great service for anyone who wants to look polished without a lot of work. It is also great for vacations or any time spent at the beach, the pool, or the gym.