4 Dandruff Myths Busted

dandruff myths busted

Dandruff can happen to anyone. Its unsightly white flakes and itchy scalp can make you feel very self-conscious. You just want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, but there are so many myths about dandruff out there that can prevent you from treating it properly. Let’s bust the most common 4, shall we?

1. Dandruff is contagious

Don’t be afraid to hang out with friends affected by dandruff. You won’t catch it like that. Dandruff is not an infection. It is just dead skin. You’ll get it only if you are predisposed to it.

2. Styling products can cause dandruff

Some styling products use resins to keep your hair in place. These can leave a flaky residue on your scalp which looks like dandruff. But it isn’t.

3. Poor hygiene causes dandruff

Poor hygiene can’t cause dandruff, but it can make it worse. Dandruff is caused by an overproduction of sebum and a harmless yeast that feeds on it. This irritates scalp and causes skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes. Washing your hair regularly with a shampoo that contains anti-dandruff ingredients, such as Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (contains Zinc Pyrithione), can help keep this condition under control.

4. Dandruff only occurs on the head

Unfortunately this is false too. Dandruff can occur on your face and body too, especially on your eyebrows, around your ears and nose, and on areas that produce too much oil.

Do you have dandruff? Do you know of any more dandruff myths that need busting?

7 Tips For Curly Hair Care

We always want what we don’t have. In my case, that’s curly hair. It’s so fun and cute, unlike my straight hair, which is as flat as a board and never seems to hold volume for more than a couple of hours in a row. So frustrating! But curly hair, as gorgeous as it may be, comes with its own set of challenges too. It’s drier and so more prone to split ends, more affected by humidity, and more difficult to style.

Some women are so frustrated with their curly locks to resort to flat irons to turn them into a straight and sleek mane. But if you’d rather keep your gorgeous curls, here a few tips and tricks to take care of them. With the right techniques and products, it’s easier than you think. ;)

1. Choose gentle and moisturizing shampoo

Curly hair tends to be dry, so it needs gentle shampoos that won’t dry it out even more. Paul Mitchell Curls Spring Loaded Detangling Shampoo and Aveeno Active Naturals Nourish + Strengthen Shampoo are both great options to consider. They contain gentle surfactants that won’t strip all the natural oil from your hair and are loaded with conditioning agents to give your locks that badly needed extra boost of moisture.

2. Don’t wash hair too often

The less you wash your hair, the better. I’m not suggesting you go days without washing it, especially if your hair is oily, but only that you don’t wash it more than it is really necessary. Overwashing it will only dry it out even more. And the towel-drying, combing, and blowdrying required after washing can further damage hair if you’re not careful. Hair is very fragile and pretty much anything can damage it. While some of this damage is inevitable, you don’t want to manipulate hair too much. The less you do so, the better.

3. Leave conditioners on as long as possible

Just like dry and damaged hair, curly hair is badly in need of moisture. So, when shopping for a conditioner, opt for a rich and conditioning formula such as TRESemme Smooth & Silky Conditioner. It has one of the most moisturizing formulas I’ve ever come across and costs only $5.99. Your hair will also great benefit from a leave-in conditioner. That’s because the more you leave conditioning ingredients on your hair, the better they’ll work, and the more hydrated your hair will be. My favourites for curly hair are EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Leave In Conditioner, which contains huge amounts of hair-penetrating oils such coconut and avocado oils, and Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-In Conditioner, which contains both oils and synthetic (but good!) conditioning agents.

4. Blot (not rub) your hair dry

Be super careful when towel drying your hair. Don’t rub! This will cause damage and lead to frizzy hair. Instead, gently blot the water out of your hair with the towel.

5. Use a diffuser to blowdry hair

The heat from the blowdryer can dry hair, leaving it brittle and lifeless. Ideally, it would be best to let hair air-dry, but that’s not always possible. In that case, keep your blow dryer on a low setting and attach a diffuser to it. A diffuser reduces the impact of the hot air blowing over your hair, preventing it from becoming dry and helping the curls to maintain their shape.

6. Don’t brush

Brushing hair can cause frizz too. Instead, gently detangle your locks with the help of a wide-tooth plastic comb. Or, better yet, use your fingers to do the job.

7. Tame unruly curls

Do you want sculpted curls without the crunch? Try Garnier Fructis Style Curl Sculpting Gel. It works great for those with thick, curly hair that need a lot of hold.Those who prefer less hold and a more lightweight formula can opt for DevaCurl Light Defining Gel instead. If you want some volume too, Paul Mitchell Extra Body Thicken Up is a great option to consider.

Do you have curly hair? If so, how do you take care of it?

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?