How To Use A Diffuser

how to diffuser

I hate blowdrying my hair. I really do. It’s boring and it doesn’t leave my hair as soft and shiny as letting it air drying does. But, sometimes, such as on cold winter days or rushed mornings, it must be done. And when it does, I always use a diffuser.

“But, wait, isn’t a diffuser used only for curly hair?,” I hear you ask. “Yours is as straight as a board! What do you need a diffuser for?”. Volume. My flat hair needs all the help it can get in that department, and a diffuser, if used properly, can help a lot.

What’s a diffuser?

A diffuser is an attachment that goes on the end of the blow dryer nozzle. There are several types. They can come with a particular model of hair dryer and be custom made for it. These are usually round and made of plastic. If yours doesn’t have one, you can buy a universal diffuser designed to fit most models. Diffusers can also have long or short finger knobs. The former comes with a sort of cup ball area for hair to nestle in. For travelling, use a sock diffuser instead. Shaped like a sock, these are smaller and fit easily into any bag.

What is a diffuser for?

A diffuser converts the strong blast of air into a gentler flow that spread softly through your locks. This is particular useful for curly hair, as a diffuser allows you to style it without messing up its natural shape. It also prevents frizzy hair. Those with straight hair can benefit from using a diffuser too. When used right, it can create lots of root volume.

How to use a diffuser for curly hair

1. Set your blowdryer on a medium speed. This will avoid it overheating.
2. Keep your blowdryer moving in a circular motion to distribute the air evenly through your locks.
2. Hang your head upside down and put your curls in the cup of the diffuser.
3. Move the diffuser towards your scalp to get heat to the roots. While doing so, be careful not to disrupt the shape of your curls.
4. Keep working in sections until your hair is almost dry.
5 Then, flip your head over. Your hair will be have a lot of volume now, so adjust your curls, and give them the shape you want.

How to use a diffuser for volume

1. Set your blowdryer on medium or low speed.
2. Diffuse your hair at the roots first, and then move in circular motions.
3. Hold the diffuser at a 90 degree angle from your head. This will lift the roots away from your scalp.
4. Work on one section of hair at a time.
5. Flip your hair upside down and dry it with a diffuser for about a minute. This will give it A LOT of volume.

Do you use a diffuser when you blowdry your hair?

Should You Use A Boar Bristle Hair Brush?

boar bristles hair brush

How many of you invest carefully in your makeup brushes, but purchase the cheapest hair brushes you can find? I’ve been guilty of this for the longest time too. And yet, with the wrong tools, it’s so difficult to achieve a beautiful, flawless look. That’s true for makeup, and it’s true for hair as well.

One of the best tools for your hair is a boar bristle brush. Made with wild boars hairs, boar bristle brushes have several benefits. They are gentler on the hair, causing little, if any, breakage. They can attract and remove dirt from hair, keeping it cleaner for longer, and, by distributing your natural oils throughout it, can also make it look shinier.

Before you invest in one, though, there are a few things you should know about them:

1. Boar bristle brushes work best for fine and thin hair
Boar bristles are softer than nylon bristles so they move more quickly through your hair. As a result, each stroke creates more volume, which is just what fine and thin hair needs. For best results, pick a brush with a thick space between bristles. That way, more hair can be grabbed at a time.

2. Boar bristle brushes work best for dry hair
As mentioned above, boar bristle brushes distribute oil from the scalp along the whole length of the hair, from the roots to the tips. This allows you to naturally moisturize all sections of your hair, including the tips, which usually don’t receive enough moisture. They’re usually the most damaged part of your hair too, so they badly need it.

3. Round brushes are for volume & paddle brushes for shine
Boar bristles aren’t designed to detangle hair (they’re too weak for that which is why, sometimes, nylon bristles are added). Instead, they are used for styling hair. If you want to shape your hair and give it more volume, opt for a round brush. If instead, you just want to straighten your hair and give it a glossy, shiny fish, choose a paddled brush.

4. Price matters
I’m a cheapskate, so I’m always looking for a good bargain. But sometimes, it’s better to invest in a pricey but high-quality product, like Mason Pearson Hair Brushes. Cheaper alternatives are available, but often, when the price is too low, the bristles used come from domesticated rather than wild boars. Domesticated boars have much softer hairs that don’t distribute sebum that well throughout your hair. Besides, a good quality brush, if you take good care of it, will last you a lifetime.

Do you use a boar bristle hair brush?

Can You Open Up Hair Cuticles For Better Conditioning?

washing hair less often

To make the most out of your conditioner, and allow all the nutrients and goodies it contains to better penetrate your hair, you must open up the cuticles with warm water. How many times have you heard this nonsense? Me, too many to count.

Like all junk science tips, this too seems to make a lot of sense at first. Except that cuticles don’t really open. They can only get raised and that’s something you want to avoid. Let me explain.

The cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft. It protects the shaft from damage, keeping it healthy. When the cuticles are damaged, hair becomes dry and brittle.

Now, what really happens when you wash your hair is that the water swells your hair. This raises the cuticle, damaging it. The same happens when you comb your hair too harshly, rub it too vigorously or have some relaxing or bleaching treatments done.

Unfortunately, a raised cuticle doesn’t allow beneficial ingredients to penetrate inside the hair shaft. That’d be too easy. Whether a substance can get inside the shaft or not depends on its characteristics such as size and shape. Instead, a raised cuticle is a sign of damage, which is why, after washing our hair, we need to use conditioner.

A conditioner contains ingredients that can smooth down the cuticles again. Conditioners won’t repair the damage done (hair is dead and, once it is damaged, it is damaged for good), but, with its smoothing action, it can help protect hair, make it feel soft and look healthy and shiny.

So, there you go. Next time someone tells you to “open” your hair cuticles, tell them no, thanks. It just doesn’t do hair any good.

Photo source: SCA Svenska Cellulosa…

Do Anti-aging Hair Care Products Work?

anti-aging hair care products

We live in society that is obsessed with aging. Every day we are bombarded with hundreds of products, treatments and tips that promise to keep wrinkles away from our skin. So it was only a matter of time before someone came up with an anti-aging shampoo or conditioner. Pantene, Nexxus and Redken all have anti-aging lines, and more brands are bound to follow in their footsteps soon.

But the idea of anti-aging hair care has always seemed silly to me. We all know that hair is dead. How can you prevent or reverse the aging process of something that’s dead? And yet, hair does age. It becomes grey and dry. And while hair care products can’t help the former, they can the latter. But do you really need an anti-aging product for that?

How hair ages

The colour in your hair, just like that in your skin, is caused by melanin. As we age melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) die. Less pigment cells means a loss in hair colour. Another culprit is hydrogen peroxide, a by-product of metabolism generated in small amounts throughout the human body, including in hair follicles. As we age, the amount of hydrogen peroxide increases and catalyse, the enzyme that breaks it down, can’t keep up with it anymore. Genetics also play a part.

Now, the pigment in hair has an important job: it protects it from UV rays. So, when it disappears, the sun’s rays can easily break down the proteins found in your hair, which help keep it healthy and moisturized. When this happens, hair becomes dry and dull, and it just looks awful.

So, do age-defying hair care products work?

Yes and no. Hair care products can’t do anything for your hair colour. No shampoo or conditioner on the market will prevent your hair from becoming grey (although, how wonderful would that be?). But what they can do, if they contain silicones, amino acids or certain oils, is to treat dryness. Coconut oil and olive oil, for instance, can penetrate hair, moisturizing it from within, while silicones coat each strand, binding moisture in. This makes hair look healthy.

But you don’t really need a special product to do that. Any hair care product with these ingredients will have the same effect. Leave-in products work even better. That’s because most of the goodies in shampoos and rinse-off conditioners just end up down the drain when you wash them out of your hair.

The bottom line

Anti-aging hair care products can’t prevent or reverse the aging process. What they can do is simply treat one its symptoms: dryness. And that’s something that any conditioning hair care product does, so there is no need for you to splurge on one that’s labelled anti-aging.

Do you use age-defying hair care products?

Does Your Scalp Produce Less Oil If You Shampoo Less Often?

washing hair less often

“If you shampoo less often, your scalp will gradually produce less oil.”

How many times have we heard this beauty myth? Some of us may even have put it to the test. I sure did, years ago. I’m plagued with oily hair that requires frequent washing, and so I’m willing to try anything that promises to fix, or even just reduce, the problem. So, how did this work?

It didn’t. As I gradually reduced my washing frequency, my hair remained as oily as ever. Actually, there were days when I thought my scalp was producing even more oil as a revenge for ignoring its need to be washed. Argh! I had to quickly go back to washing my hair every other day. I was not a happy camper.

So, what really happens when you shampoo less often? Well, dermatologist Jeffrey Bernabio explains that, because the amount of oil our scalp produces depends on genetics and hormones, “cutting back on shampooing will have no effect on your sebaceous glands”.

It gets worse. The purpose of shampooing is to eliminate excess oil and dirty. Do it less often, and all this gunk will accumulate on your scalp and hair follicles. As your result, your hair will be oilier and dirtier and your scalp may become inflamed or irritated. Ouch!

So, there you go. Wash your hair whenever you feel you need to, however often that is.

How often you do wash your hair?

Source: SCA Svenska Cellulosa…

How To Prevent Hair clips From Slipping

prevent hairclips from slipping

I often use hair clips to keep a small section of my hair from continually slipping in front of my eyes. And they’re pretty handy to keep in place the more elaborate hairdos I sometimes wear on special occasions. Most of the time, at least. Some hair clips don’t grip hair as tightly as they should and stubbornly insist on slipping down, ruining your hairstyle and annoying the hell out of you.

Luckily, there’s a solution.

Give the hair clip a shot of hairspray. Once it becomes a bit tacky (it usually takes about a minute), put it in your hair. Alternatively, you can use hairspray on the section of hair where you plan to put the hair clip. I rarely do this, though, because I often end up spraying too much product. But that’s just me. I’m very clumsy. Of course, you can use the same trick to keep any other kind of hair accessory in place.

How do you prevent hair clips from slipping?

PHOTO SOURCE: Kisspat feather

(Some) Hair Damage Is Normal

hair damage is normal

So, you wanna keep your hair damage-free, but you’ve heard that everything can harm it. Washing, blowdrying, styling tools, combing, towel-drying… It seems there’s nothing you can do to it that won’t cause some wear and tear.

Hair damage is to be expected

That’s because hair is very fragile. It doesn’t matter how well you take care of it. Some damage will occur. And that’s normal. Even simply washing your hair in water will cause the loss of a small amount of protein. So will sunlight. Does that mean that we shouldn’t wash our hair or never set foot outside?

Of course not. Who could possibly want to live like that?! Instead, rather than worrying about preventing hair damage, we should focus on reducing it as much as possible. If you care for your hair properly, the damage will be so minimal that you won’t even see it anyway. Your locks will be strong, moisturized and shiny. It’s only when the damage becomes visible, when your hair becomes dry or split ends occur for instance, that it becomes a problem.

How to minimize hair damage

So, how do you minimize hair damage? By handling your hair as gently as possible:

1. Avoid harsh surfactants that will strip too much of the hair’s natural oils.
2. Deep condition hair with coconut oil or olive oil.
3. Minimize the use of styling tools and, if you must use a blowdryer, use the lowest setting.
4. Towel-dry and comb your hair gently.
5. Wear a hat when going outdoors.

So, there you have it. Take good care of your hair and don’t worry too much about the small amount of hair damage that you can’t avoid. That’s necessary to keep your hair in top shape, anyway,

Do you worry excessively about hair damage?

Does Shampooing Cause Hair Loss?

shampooing hair loss

Shampooing is often blamed for hair loss and it’s easy to see why. Whenever you wash your hair, a few end up down the drain, leading you to think that your shampoo contains some nasty chemicals that are ruining your locks. But that’s just a myth.

Shampooing doesn’t cause hair loss

Shampooing doesn’t cause hair loss. The truth is we all lose about 150 hairs every day. Although this sounds scary, whenever a hair sheds, there’s a new one ready to take its place. If during shampooing you seem to lose more than normal, it’s only because the rubbing you’re doing to spread the shampoo evenly on your scalp and clean it may dislodge those hairs that are ready to shed. But if they aren’t about to fall out, they won’t. It’s only when you see a reduction in hair density that you should start to worry, but even that’s not caused by shampooing.

Not shampooing can contribute to hair loss

Shampooing less often, which you may have been tempted to do if you erroneously thought it was making your hair fall out, may, however, contribute to hair loss. How? Well, if you don’t wash your hair regularly, the dead skin cells will accumulate on the scalp, causing itching, dandruff and seborrhea. This inflames skin, making hair loss worse.

So, keep washing your hair as normal. Your shampoo won’t make it fall off.

Are you dealing with hair loss? If so, how regularly are you washing your hair?