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Hair by Brian
As The Chair Turns

"Combing" the internet so you don't have to

Life is like a box of at-home color...
you never know what you're going to get.
I hope this finds everyone in good health and not too restless.  

It has been a jam packed month in the hair world and a lot of confusion to boot.   While San Francisco was still under lock down, the State authorized personal services to be performed outdoors.  SAY WHAT?  Not only were the operational “Rules” ridiculous, this is impractical for just about every hair salon, barbershop, and nail salon throughout the state.  It’s also very unsanitary, unhealthy, and cheapens our industry.

There have been protests throughout California for weeks from hair salons and stylists about the ridiculous "outdoor" policy.  Again, opening outdoors is not a viable option for nearly every salon in California, especially here in San Francisco.   These protests, I believe, are what encouraged the changes the Governor made on Friday by allowing personal services to be done indoors (with limitations), no matter what tier each county was under.

The Governor’s and the Mayor’s press conferences on Friday have caused a lot of confusion on where hair salons stand on being open indoors or outdoors.  Marin and Santa Clara Counties (both Purple, I think) are allowing indoor services beginning Aug 31st. San Francisco (a Red tier) is stubbornly only allowing outdoors services beginning September 1st. Alameda (a Purple tier) is also only allowing outdoor services, but say they are "evaluating next steps and options for alignment with the state".  The  announcement by our Mayor was made before the Governor's press conference on Friday.  It should have been reviewed immediately once the Governor announced the new tiered system.  Because it wasn't, we now have this confusion.  Our Mayor said she would review everything this coming week.  San Francisco needs to get on board with the rest of the State, if you ask me.

There are salons, barbershops, and hair stylists in every county throughout California struggling with this same confusion. I've been asked by other barbers and stylists in SF on what to do.  I could only share my reasoning with them.  Everyone has to find their own comfort with this situation and make their own decision on moving forward.

I made the bold decision to go along with the Governor's announcement of allowing personal services indoors beginning August 31st.  I'm a little nervous about doing this, but feel it is the right decision.  I understand some of you may not be comfortable with my decision to reopen.  I do know that as soon as my email went out on Friday many of you were happy and excited to finally be able to schedule a hair appointment.

I also sent this message to the Governor over the weekend imploring him to "encourage" Mayors throughout the State to get on board with the State.

I hope this helped with any questions.

I’ve updated the “New Normal” with what you should expect and need to know for your upcoming appointments.   Please take the time to read this over.   It’s important.

I’ve been a little long winded here so I will just let you look over “What’s Inside This Month” below for the articles I’ve put together for you.

5 1/2 months has been a really long time.  I cannot wait to see each and every one of you in the coming weeks.

I am available by email, text or phone if you have any questions or concerns.  Or just want to chat.

Be well. Take Hair! AND #MaskUp 😷
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Hair by Brian and the “New Normal” (for now)
I am very excited to get back behind the chairs and see you all. We are easing back into reopening the salon for your safety and the safety of all the stylists. I understand you are excited to have your hair done but please be patient, understanding and flexible with this “New Normal” during your appointment. Your visits will be different than before with specific requirements everyone must follow to ensure everyone is safe.
Click here for a fairly comprehensive list of COVID-19 guidelines for all of us in the salon.


7 Best Scalp Massagers for Hair Growth, Both Manual and Electric

Thick, shiny hair is the dream, right? But, for those of us not currently blessed with the bouncing volume we might want, how can we help encourage healthy hair growth? Previously, the advice was to simply style hair for the appearance of thickness. Now, there is a new tool that may be the answer to more abundant locks: the scalp massager. So, what are the best scalp massagers for hair growth? Read on for more information.

What Are Scalp Massagers?

Available in a variety of different colors, styles and shapes, scalp massagers are, essentially, tools designed to be used across the whole scalp to take the effort out of massaging with your fingers.

And, while you definitely can just use your hands to manually massage your scalp, massagers definitely cut down the time (and muscle ache) involved, and are often able to cover your whole scalp in a more consistent way.

Benefits of Scalp Massagers for Hair Growth

Scalp massagers actually offer a ton of different benefits, including loosening oil, dirt and dandruff for a generally cleaner and healthier scalp. But, they’re especially famed for their potential to help hair growth.

This is because the act of massage helps in two ways: First, it stimulates the blood vessels under the skin, which in turn allows more blood containing oxygen and nutrients to travel to the hair follicle. And, second, it is thought that scalp massage helps to stretch the hair follicle, which can potentially increase the thickness of hair that passes through that follicle. In fact, two studies, one from 2016 and one from 2019, found evidence that scalp massage can result in thicker hair.

How Do You Use a Scalp Massager?

How you use your massager will vary from type to type, since some are electric and others require a little more muscle. For more information on how to use each individual type, take a look at the product recommendations below.

Whether you use one that is electric, manual, for wet hair or dry hair, the same principles stand, however: Go gently on your scalp (especially if you have any scalp conditions, such as psoriasis), choose one that doesn’t catch on or irritate skin or hair, and don’t overdo it.

How Often Should You Massage Your Scalp?

For most scalp types, one or two times a week will help to stimulate blood vessels and loosen dirt and debris without irritating skin and hair. For more sensitive types, try to keep this to just once a week, instead.

The Best Scalp Massagers for Hair Growth

Given the encouraging scientific research surrounding scalp massagers, plus the thousands of rave reviews, it seems these little tools are quickly becoming something of a beauty staple. Following are some of the most popular products on the market.

#1: Breo Portable Rejuvenating Mini Head Massager

At the more luxurious end of the scale is Breo’s electric, waterproof head massager. Featuring six different massage settings (longitudinal gliding, kneading, trigger point therapy, oscillating pressure, rhythmic compression, cross-fiber muscle-stretching and deep friction massage), silicone tips for a soft touch, and an ergonomic design to cup the scalp, this can also be used elsewhere on the body for a relaxing back and shoulder massage after a long day.

With a unique design that promises not to tangle long hair, it is also rechargeable via USB cable, making it ideal for travel. To use, simply move across the scalp while the electric massage tips get to work promoting blood circulation.

#2: Soft Silicone Hair Shampoo Brush

For a more pocket-sized alternative, try this round, silicone brush-tipped scalp massager, such as this one from Nearbyme.

With a non-slip cover and ergonomic design, this manual brush is used on wet hair while shampooing or conditioning. Simply massage shampoo through hair as normal before working this little brush over the scalp in small circles. To use with conditioner, first, wash out any leftover shampoo before massaging across the scalp while your conditioning product takes the time to work.

#3: Tezam Electric Head Massager

Now, here is an electric scalp massager that promotes hair growth and uses up to 8,500 vibrations per minute to stimulate blood flow. Check out Tezam’s affordable head massager.

With a long comb-like design, this massager has rubber beads on each tooth, helping to relieve muscle tension and loosen any scalp debris. The vibrations are thought to stimulate blood vessels more than traditional massage, plus they help with hair growth. Designed to be used pre-shampoo to help soften oil and dirt, this tool can also be used on towel-dried hair for a second, stress-reducing massage.

#4: Liba Head Scratcher Scalp Massager Tool

With thousands of five-star Amazon reviews and a budget-friendly price point, this manual scalp massager for hair growth looks a bit like a half-opened umbrella and uses flexible wires topped with soft beads to be moved up and down over the scalp. Its 360-degree design means you can get to your whole scalp in one go, too, meaning it takes less time.

Weighing less than an ounce, it is also highly user-friendly, taking the muscle ache out of massage. Better still? The pack includes two massagers, so you always have one as a spare. Or, if you are feeling generous, you can always give one to a friend in need of a scalp massage. For a deep, relaxing massage with additional scalp benefits, use this after lightly applying hair oil to the scalp. The oils will help moisturize the scalp at the same time as turning the routine into a mini spa session.

#5: Heeta Shampoo Brush with Soft Silico

And here is another shampoo brush designed to be used in-shower or bath, while washing your hair. With more than 15,000 positive reviews, Heeta’s shampoo brush has an ergonomic and lightweight design, making it simple to use even with wet hands.

Featuring soft silicone bristles, this tool is also suitable for dry hair and can be used in conjunction with any scalp oils or treatments for a relaxing massage with added hair-growth benefits.

#6: Magnaroller Scalp Massager for Hair Growth

Alternatively, for a massager with a difference, check out Magnaroller’s option, which may look like a giant hair roller but actually boasts 3 millimeter-long silicone “fingers” to stimulate blood flow as it is rolled across the scalp. As an added bonus, the roller contains magnets, which the brand claims help to attract iron in the bloodstream, directing more blood to the hair follicle. While it is unclear whether the magnets do much, from a scientific angle, to improve hair growth, the product has won rave reviews from fans who say the tool has produced real results.

#7: 2-In-1 Anti Hair Loss Magical Comb

And for a two-in-one product that tackles hair loss at the same time as styling, take a look at this electric massaging comb. Boasting 7,500 vibrations a minute, this brush uses motion to stimulate the hair follicle and blood flow, while the added red LED lights are thought to promote hair growth. In fact, several studies have shown red LED to have positive results for hair growth, giving this tool something of an edge. But while many LED machines are on the pricey side, this comb is still a budget-friendly option.

If you want to try one of the seven best scalp massagers for hair growth, just remember to not press too hard, take your time to slowly work your way across your whole scalp consistently and enjoy the benefits.

This article is from The Right Hairstyles

How to Grow Out Your
Pandemic Buzz Cut

Back when the pandemic started heating up in the United States several months ago and local shelter-in-place orders were instituted which closed down barbershops, I decided I’d let my hair grow out for the indefinite future. Instead of seeing the shutdown as an inconvenience, I reframed it as an opportunity to achieve some sweet, sweet, 1980s Sam Elliott hair. I had tried to achieve this worthy goal before, gotten close, but abandoned the idea when it didn’t seem to be coming together. I wanted to give the idea another go round; maybe it would somehow work out better this time. 

I was optimistic about the project, but by the middle of July, I’d reached my head-mop breaking point. Just as I had concluded on my first attempt, my hair is just too thick, wavy, and vertically-oriented in its growth to pull off the 80s flow. Instead of looking like Sam Elliott in Mask, I looked like Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. What’s more, all that hair on top of my head was making me overheat during the hot and humid Oklahoma summer.

So I had my mother-in-law buzz it off (she buzzes my father-in-law’s head each week, so she’s a seasoned pro). I officially joined the pandemic buzz cut club. 

The clippings lumped together on the floor looked like the pelt of a dead varmint. My head felt a few pounds lighter and a lot cooler. I’m enjoying my buzz cut. It’s a breeze to maintain. Washing my hair takes significantly less time and there’s no need to style or even comb it.

But I plan on returning to my typical side-part hairstyle for the fall, which presents a minor issue: a buzz cut can look a little awkward — fuzzy and round — while it grows out. The last time I grew out a summer buzz cut a few years ago, I remember I looked vaguely like a Chia-Head. 

To avoid looking like a potted indoor novelty plant, I reached out to Thad Forrester, barber and co-owner of Hudson / Hawk Barber & Shop for his advice on growing out a buzz cut.

If you can visit a barber . . . keep the back and sides short, and let the hair grow out on top.

“I like the strategy of keeping the sides and back short until the top starts to get longer,” Thad told me. It helps push more visual strength into the top of your head and “prevents the Chia Pet look from happening.”

Ask your barber for a taper at the temple and neck. If you don’t mind showing some skin as the hair gets closer to the hairline on the sides and neck, you can also ask for a medium fade along the sides and back. This will give your hair some dimension, making it look more like an actual haircut and less like a uniformly round tennis ball. Continue to let the hair on top grow out, until it too is in need of a trim. 

If you’re wanting to eventually grow the sides and back of your hair out rather than keeping them trimmed close to the head with a taper or fade, start this process once the hair on top of your head is long enough to comb. 

You’ll need to visit your barber a little more often — perhaps every two weeks — to keep your style looking sharp during this grow-out period. 

If you can’t/don’t want to visit a barber . . . let your buzz grow while keeping your hairline trimmed.

If you don’t think you’ll be visiting a barbershop anytime soon, you can of course keep buzzing your head. If you don’t have a mother-in-law handy, here’s a guide on how to do it yourself.

What if you can’t visit a barbershop now, but think you will in a couple months or so, and want to start growing out your hair now? Giving yourself a taper isn’t impossible, but it’s pretty tricky. Even having someone else do it for you is iffy.

You’ll thus probably need to content yourself with letting your buzzed fuzz get puffy, but you can still keep it from looking too unruly by doing a DIY clean-up along your hairline. This means trimming your sideburns along with the two trails of hair that run down your neck. We’ve got a guide on how to take care of this job here.

How long will it take my buzz cut to grow out?

Genetics will influence how quickly your hair grows, but on average, humans grow about ½ inch of hair a month. Depending on how long your hair was pre-buzz cut, expect it to take 3 to 4 months to grow out to its original length.

There you go. How to grow out your buzz cut, and banish Mr. Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia Head to 1990s commercial breaks.

These grow out tips are from Art of Manliness

How to Soothe Your 'Re-Entry Anxiety' as COVID-19 Lockdowns Lift

When COVID-19 began spreading in the U.S., Dan Kerber was drawn to the data. The 48-year-old from Plano, Texas read about case counts and projections every day, keeping his team at the telecommunications company Ericsson up to date on the latest news. So in May, when states including Texas began to reopen before the data showed it was time to do so, Kerber began to get nervous.

“If more people are out, does that mean my family and I are going to get it despite our precautions?” he thought. “Until there’s a vaccine or a treatment, I still worry about being in public.”

Kerber, who says he’s never struggled with anxiety before, now feels “underlying concern or unease” when he spends time in public, in large part because he has an autoimmune condition that makes him more susceptible to coronavirus. At the same time, he says, he’s anxious about the prospect of working and living remotely for months more, or longer. “I’m concerned about going into public, but now I’m also concerned about how long I can [last] without going out,” he says.

When COVID-19 lockdowns were first instituted, it felt, for many people, unfathomable to stay home nearly 24/7. But for people like Kerber, it now feels equally strange—and nerve-wracking—to do anything else after months cocooned inside. Psychologists have dubbed the phenomenon “re-entry anxiety.”

Lily Brown, director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, says there are two distinct types of re-entry anxiety. Some people are anxious because they have a “lurking fear” of catching or spreading COVID-19, she says, while others have fallen out of practice socializing and are finding it difficult to resume.

Both types of anxiety are likely driven by uncertainty and a fear of unknown harm, Brown says. Ambiguous and ever-changing public-health advice likely doesn’t help, either.

Brown says some anxiety is probably healthy as society reopens, since the virus is still spreading and still poses health risks. A little bit of nervousness can motivate you to follow public-health guidance like social distancing and wearing a mask. But when anxiety starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, it may be a problem, Brown says.

If you’re struggling to find the right balance, try these expert-backed tips for combating re-entry anxiety.

Take baby steps

Exposure therapy“—or safely confronting sources of fear—is the gold-standard treatment for many fear and anxiety disorders. The same tactic may help with re-entry anxiety, says Dr. Ryan Sultan, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center in New York City.

“Don’t go from staying locked in your apartment to taking the subway,” Sultan says. Instead, set progressive small goals that will get you closer to behavior you find scary. For example, you could start with a walk in the park alone, then try chatting with a friend from your window and finally go for a walk together.

If you do feel yourself getting pulled into an anxiety spiral, focus on your breathing. “The simplest way to pull yourself back from that anxiety is to really concentrate on taking controlled, slow, deep breaths,” Sultan says.

Start soon

“Social isolation absolutely has short-term mental-health impacts,” Sultan says. “But it potentially also has long-term impacts, and they’re directly proportional to the duration. The longer people avoid things that are making them anxious, the harder they will be to overcome.”

That does not mean you should rush out and socialize just like you did before coronavirus. (Large social gatherings are still not condoned by health experts, and most recommend meeting up outdoors.) But think about what you can do safely right now—perhaps sitting with a friend in your backyard while wearing masks and staying six feet apart—and take steps to do it sooner rather than later.

But think long-term

Sultan says he’s seen multiple patients who are remaining more isolated than necessary because of re-entry anxiety. He asks them a simple question: “Is this the life that you want to live indefinitely?”

Almost invariably, he says, people realize they “miss being outside, seeing their friends, living their life.” Having that moment of realization can motivate people to start taking small steps back toward normal, Sultan says.

Be wary of crutches

Brown says it’s easy for recommended public-health practices, like washing your hands regularly, to spiral into “safety behaviors” that, consciously or subconsciously, you rely on to keep anxiety at bay.

Be honest about how these safety behaviors are affecting you. If wiping down your groceries “takes you five minutes and it really helps you,” it’s probably not a big deal, even if it’s not strictly recommended, Brown says. But if you’re spending hours a day cleaning your home, that could be a bigger issue. “It’s never really up to me to decide, ‘Is this behavior a problem?’” Brown says. Ask yourself, “Is it getting in the way of the life you want to be living?”

Recruit a partner

Like most behavior changes, quelling re-entry anxiety is easier with a buddy who can both support you and hold you accountable, Brown says.

Similarly, if someone in your life is struggling with re-entry anxiety, try to be their partner through it, Sultan says. “Ask them, ‘What would make you feel more comfortable doing this? Is there something I can do that would help you with that? What’s something you would feel comfortable with us doing?'”

Then, of course, actually accommodate their answers, rather than forcing the issue, Sultan says. If your loved one is too nervous to go to a busy park, try suggesting an early-morning visit to beat the crowds, rather than convincing them everything will be fine at midday, Sultan recommends. And remember that people may have COVID-19 risk factors that look different from yours. Respect that people are going to want to move at different paces, often by necessity.

Get help

One bright spot to the COVID-19 pandemic: it’s never been easier to connect with a mental health professional, thanks to an uptick in telemedicine services. If you’re struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help, Brown says.

“I see people suffering with anxiety for years before they do anything about it,” she says. “We know that cognitive behavioral therapy is really effective in managing anxiety. My vote is always just reach out.”

If you don’t know where to get started, Brown says she and her colleagues can offer referrals. Contact them here. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline 24/7 at 1-800-662-4357.


Coconut Oil for Hair:
The Pros & Cons

People the world over swear by coconut oil as the all-natural beauty product they have been waiting for, but did you know it can actually be harmful for certain hair types? Far from offering the complete hydration that is promised, many people find that coconut oil can in fact have a drying effect. The determining factor is often what your natural hair type is and how you are using the coconut on your hair. Read on to learn about whether you ought to be including this ingredient in your care routine, and how.
The benefits of coconut oil for hair and skin

Coconut oil is full of healthy saturated fats and offers a distinctive and delicious taste making it a beloved ingredient in many foods. In recent years however, many people have also begun to celebrate the wide and varied cosmetic benefits coconut oil offers. Due to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil has natural anti-fungal properties making it an important aid for a number of skin issues, such as acne and athletes foot. What’s more, due to its naturally hydrating properties, the oil can be used as a moisturizer and is effective at reducing dryness.

The benefits of coconut oil for hair are well-documented and varied. While it may seem counter-intuitive to apply oil directly to the hair, it doesn’t not have the heavy and greasy effect you may think: instead it naturally strengthens, cleanses and smooths the hair. Comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, the oil from coconuts is able to penetrate much more deeply into the hair shaft than other substances. As such, it can provide much needed moisture to dry hair and help strengthen the cuticle to help prevent split ends.

Different ways to use coconut oil for hair

There are a number of different ways to use coconut oil for hair. The most popular are:

  • As a deep conditioning hair mask
  • As a detangler
  • To help fight dandruff
For anyone looking to use coconut oil for a hair mask the process is quite simple. Follow these tips for a deep and hydrating experience.
  1. For cosmetic use, it’s best to pick a virgin coconut oil that has been cold pressed. This will best ensure it is packed full of the healthy nutrients your hair craves.
  2. Wash your hair first to ensure it is totally clean and let it dry completely before getting started.
  3. Take a small amount of coconut oil, about the size of a tablespoon, and rub it between your hands to warm it up to a liquid state.
  4. Gently massage through the tips and middle section of your hair using your fingers. Try not to let too much sit on the scalp and this can block the pores.
  5. Wrap your hair in a warm towel and let it sit for up to thirty minutes.
  6. To wash out, use a clarifying shampoo.
When you shouldn’t use coconut oil for hair

The very things that make coconut oil so well suited as a treatment for some types of hair, can equally make it have more damaging effects on others. The high concentration of lauric acid that naturally occurs in coconut oil helps it to reduce protein-loss from hair strands. For hair that is very fine and benefits from added strength, this is a huge asset. However, if your hair is coarse and comprised of thick individual strands, using coconut oil for hair treatments could prove counterproductive: rather than smoothing the strands, the oil can create a protein buildup, exacerbating their stiffness.

A great alternative to coconut oil for hair is a weightless smoothing oil or serum that seals the cuticle without weighing the strands down. Try out the GLISS Oil Nutritive Weightless Oil to achieve light-as-a-feather frizz-fighting that also leaves hair feeling soft and shiny.


The true cost of human hair

Human hair extensions can cost thousands of dollars. But what's their true cost and where does the hair actually come from? Are people being exploited in one part of the world to produce beauty products for customers somewhere else? Liz Shoo investigates.

Human hair extensions and wigs can cost thousands of dollars. But what’s their true cost and where does the hair actually come from? Most of it comes from impoverished people in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. There are also reports of Uighurs in China being forced to process human hair products in internment camps. But not all human hair products are the result of exploitation. So how can you tell the difference?


a walk down memory lane
A math problem arose the other day while I was getting a haircut at 95 years old. I've had my hair cut seven or eight times each year that sums up to over 700 haircuts. I won't even address the cost of haircuts in my lifetime but am still blessed with hair to cut!

Barbers are becoming scarce today. There are only a few barbers in the Okoboji area; one in Arnolds Park, one in Spirit Lake and one in Milford. Otherwise men go to a hair stylist to get their hair cut. The COVID-19 virus shut the barber shops down for several months. The barbers wear a mask but we take our masks off. While I was getting my hair cut I reflected on earlier times. The barber today uses clippers, scissors and a comb. The one thing that has really changed is the price as it used to cost 25 cents and today $12 to $20 or more.

Barber shops are identified by a barber pole, red and white and even blue added. The blue stripes in America represented the American flag. Barbers in earlier times also pulled teeth and did minor surgery. One story about the barber pole says that the barber surgeons would hang their blood stained rags out on a pole to advertise their shop. The look of the barber poles is linked to bloodletting, with red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. George Washington's doctors did some bloodletting in his last days. The pole itself is said to symbolize the stick that the patient squeezed to make the veins in his arm stand out more prominently for the procedure. Men's hairstyling has come a long way since the Middle Ages, but the barber pole still preserves an iconic representation of the trade.

My early recollections of getting my hair cut were at home. Mother cut my hair until I was about 5 years old. She was pretty good with those hand clippers, scissors and comb. She also cut Dad's hair.

As a youth I believe my first encounter with a barbershop came when I was five. The barber was a personal friend of my parents so I knew him quite well. My dad dropped me off at the shop and the barber told me to sit over on the bench until he was through with the fellow he was shaving. I was familiar with shaving as I had observed my dad and uncles shave at home but to see somebody in a barber chair getting his whiskers shaved off was a new sight. I also got to observe the rest of the shop while waiting. There were three barber chairs available for getting shaves and haircuts, a shoe shine chair and little room off to one side.

That little room fascinated me and upon investigation I discovered a bathtub in the room. My first thought was that was a queer place for a bathtub but it wasn't long before some fellow came in and told the barber he wanted a bath. The barber took his money, gave him a towel and the guy went into the little room. He closed the door and I could hear water running into the tub and soon splashing so I assumed he was taking a bath. We had a bathtub in our house so I thought it was peculiar for someone to come to town for a bath. Little did I know that many houses and especially farmhouses had neither bathtubs nor running water!

While waiting for my turn I was able to watch the barber shave the man. It was quite a procedure to observe. First, the man sat down in the chair, and then the barber tilted the chair back until the man was almost lying down. Next the barber took out some very hot white towels from a steam box and applied them to the man's face. That procedure really looked hot and all I could see of the man's face was his nose sticking out from the towels wrapped around and across.

After a time the barber took off the hot towels and then with a brush and a glass mug put shaving lather all over the fellow's face and neck. Following that the barber took a long straight edge razor and ran it back and forth on a leather strap that hung to the side of the chair. I knew about razor straps as my dad had one that hung back of the bathroom door and if I did something naughty it was used on my backside to get my attention.

The barber shaved off the whiskers with long, even swipes. I admired the way he held the fellow's nose and shaved off the whiskers below his nose. What really caught my attention was when the barber shaved the fellow's neck. The guy had his head back and the barber took off those whiskers slick as a whistle. I thought to myself that I would have to be brave and very trusting before I would ever let a barber shave my neck.

When it was my turn to get a haircut, the barber put a board across the arms of the chair for me to sit on. Later in life it was really gratifying when I didn't have to have that baby board while getting a haircut. Then the barber put tissue paper around my neck and wrapped a large apron or towel around my front side and pinned it in the back. He then proceeded to cut my hair.

Those electric clippers sort of startled me as I was used to Mother's hand clippers but it went very smooth. He trimmed off some hair from the top of my head and sides, combed it nicely to see if it all matched and then dashed on some stinky hair oil. He again combed it, whipped off the apron and told me he was finished. I got up and proudly gave him 25 cents. It sure made me feel like a big boy.

That hair oil was in standard use by men in the United States for many years. The most popular brand was Fitch. Elvis Presley made it very popular with his slicked back hair, oil and the "ducktail" hairdo. I suppose it is still sold but I haven't checked lately. Barbers do not use it anymore.

While I was getting my first haircut at that early barbershop a couple of elderly men came in and sat down on the bench. Neither of them looked like they needed a haircut or a shave but what did I know? They were soon engaged in a lively discussion about some subject I couldn't follow. I did hear the words "president" and "congress" mentioned but that was beyond my comprehension. Soon another fellow came in and then it was a three-party conversation with the barber getting his "two cents" in every so often. The other barber chairs were empty but none of those fellows moved to get it. I finally figured out they only came into the barbershop to talk and read the newspaper. The barber didn't seem to mind.

The barbershop that I frequented as a youth did not cater to women and was strictly for men. One of the other barbershops in town did have a part of their shop partitioned off for women to get their hair fixed. There was an electric machine in there with all sorts of electric cords with some gadget attached that curled women's hair. I only went into that shop when I accompanied the barber's son who was a buddy of mine. I took one look at that electric hair curler and thought to myself that it looked dangerous. I do not ever remember my mother, grandmothers or aunts going to a barbershop to get their hair beautiful. Later several beauty shops opened up in town and the women went there.

I didn't know exactly what they did in those beauty shops but I did deliver a newspaper to one of the shops and had to go in each week to collect. Women were sitting under some sort of a hood or they had electric wires and clamps in their hair. It was very confusing to me and it wasn't until much later in my life that the whole procedure was explained.

Today many men go to beauty salons and get their hair styled, dyed and or curled. The beauticians cut hair differently than the barbers as they use a razor for most of the trimming. They usually wash your hair before they cut it. They do a great job but I'm old-fashioned and still prefer a barber!


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For the time being, my new days are Sundays thru Wednesdays.
Interesting Article I've Read Lately

A great read on the history of polis and why we are where we are today.  (there’s an audio link if you’d prefer to listen as oppose to read)

“The next year [1967], riots broke out in Newark and Detroit. “We ain’t rioting agains’ all you whites,” one Newark man told a reporter not long before being shot dead by police. “We’re riotin’ agains’ police brutality.” In Detroit, police arrested more than seven thousand people.”

The Invention of the Police

Why did American policing get so big, so fast? The answer, mainly, is slavery.

This year are started a section for the "Follically Challenged".  There are so many conversations and articles on the topic and I want make sure you are getting good information. 

This month I have another article for you
 about COVID-19 and hair loss.

4 Tips for Avoiding Hair Loss During COVID-19

People lose their hair for any number of reasons – hormones, genetics and aging, among others – but in the middle of a pandemic-fueled recession, one factor is taking center stage: Stress.

“Stress certainly can contribute to hair loss because it can affect hormone levels,” says Dr. Patrick Angelos (, author of The Science and Art of Hair Restoration: A Patient’s Guide.  “Any number of stressful events can lead to a sudden loss of hair, although in those cases the hair typically will grow back over time.”

For more permanent hair-loss concerns, Angelos, a plastic surgeon who specializes in hair restoration, uses robotic treatment to help patients regain their beloved locks. That process involves an advanced, minimally invasive hair transplant system that uses technology driven by artificial intelligence.

“Among the reasons patients consider hair restoration is that they want to get back some of their youthful look and feel better about themselves,” Angelos says. “Helping them accomplish that is one of the great satisfactions I get from being a plastic surgeon.”

But for those who want to keep their hair healthy and full now and who hope to avoid ever reaching the point where they need hair-loss intervention, Angelos offers a few tips:

  • Maintain good hair care and hygiene habits. The way you wash your hair could undermine your efforts to prevent hair loss, Angelos says. As you wash, avoid pulling back on your hair because that can put traction on the follicles. “The same goes for combing,” he says. “It’s less stressful on the follicles to wash and comb your hair forward, toward your face, instead of toward the back of your scalp and neck. Also, long hair weighs more, so on its own, it can put more traction on the follicles.” Brushing your hair regularly, however, is good because it massages the scalp and helps improve blood flow and circulation. The condition of your hair should also be in balance – not too oily, not too dry. “Finally, don’t overuse a hair dryer because that can make hair weak and brittle, which can lead to more hair loss,” Angelos says.
  • Treat health issues. Hormonal imbalances and other medical conditions such as low thyroid and iron or iodine deficiency can contribute to hair loss, Angelos says. “Avoid overuse of supplements and medications,” he says. “Since supplements such as testosterone, human growth hormone, whey, and DHEA can cause thinning and hair loss, especially avoid excessive use of these.”
  • Be aware of your nutritional needs. Some fad diets may have a nutritional impact on hair loss. “It’s really important to eat a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat,” Angelos says. He also recommends taking a multivitamin that includes vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E, along with the minerals zinc, iodine and iron, all of which help with hair health.
  • Avoid unhealthy environments. The negative health effects of smoking are well known, especially related to lung cancer. But one more reason to avoid smoking, Angelos says, is that it can affect hair loss. In addition to smoking, other environmental factors that can contribute to hair loss include environmental exposures like radiation and air pollution.

When efforts to prevent hair loss fall short, those who prefer to avoid baldness can explore the possibilities that modern science provides.

“Not every patient needs hair transplantation, though,” Angelos says. “Especially when it comes to younger patients, it may be best to start with other options. Since the reasons for hair loss vary from person to person and are unique to their circumstances, a good place to start is by determining the cause of hair loss in the first place, and then go from there.”


About Dr. Patrick Angelos: Dr. Patrick Angelos (, author of The Science and Art of Hair Restoration: A Patient’s Guide, is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon whose primary surgical interests include hair restoration and facial plastic surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Click Here To Schedule Your Next Appointment

A Perfect Vinaigrette Every Time

A good vinaigrette should punch your tongue with a potent combination of salty, sweet, and acidic flavors. Err too much in one direction or another, and your salad will suffer. Making a great tasting vinaigrette isn’t hard, however, and using the template below can help you nail it every time.

You’re probably using too much oil

As my esteemed colleague A.A. Newton has pointed out before, most vinaigrette recipes call for too much oil and not enough acid. Newton remedies this by halving the oil in any and every vinaigrette recipe she encounters, but that strategy only works with existing recipes.

If you want to make your own, unique, bespoke vinaigrette, it’s best to start with a ratio of one part vinegar and one part oil, rather than the oft recommended one part vinegar to three parts oil. This may seem like acid overkill, but keep in mind that a good vinaigrette should be too intense to enjoy on its own. It’s a dressing, not a gazpacho. Half a cup of dressing is plenty for a family-sized salad, so start with 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup acid.

For the oil, you can use something with flavor, like olive or hazelnut; or you can use a more neutral option like grape seed, avocado, or canola, and really let the other ingredients shine. If you want to get really crazy, you can mix oils—like toasted sesame and grape seed to stretch the flavor of the former—just make sure you don’t exceed the 1:1 oil-to-acid ratio.

For acid, pretty much any vinegar will work, though I would avoid straight-up white vinegar. If you want a really tart dressing, you can add a tablespoon of white vinegar and three tablespoons of something else, but I am not joking when I tell you it’s really tart. Lemon and lime juice are also quite lovely, particularly when paired with honey.

You must use some mustard

A good mustard adds flavor to your vinaigrette, and—more importably—it is the key to a stable, emulsified dressing. Without it, your oil and vinegar will separate from each other in mere moments, no matter how hard you shake. (Shake in a jar for the best results.) Mustards with a lot of mucilage emulsify the best, so choose a Dijon or another whole-grain option to maximize its stabilizing effects. A tablespoon will do the trick.

You need to sweeten, sweetie

A little sugar makes everything taste better, and salads are not exempt from this scientific fact. Liquid sweeteners go into solution the fastest, so choose a syrup. I’ve sweetened vinaigrettes with maple syrup, agave syrup, simple syrup, and honey, and all are pretty equally delicious. A tablespoon is all you need.

Add salt and other seasonings

Salt doesn’t just make things taste salty, it makes things taste good, and you need 1/4 teaspoon of it to make your vinaigrette sing. You could stop here and you you’ll have a perfectly delicious dressing, but I know many of you will not (and why should you). For other dry seasonings—like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, white pepper, etc.—start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more as needed to taste. For fresh herbs and alliums (like garlic and shallots), add them minced, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired level of potency, keeping in mind the flavors with intensify as they sit in the dressing.

Finish with a dash of common sense!

It might be tempting to pick the most flavorful option for each category, but remember that this is all about balance, and choosing one or two flavors to highlight with keep things from getting muddied. If you have a super-flavorful infused vinegar, consider using a bland oil. If you want to showcase the Meyer lemon, perhaps forgo the garlic. Also, check the ingredients of your vinegars for any additives, and maybe give them a taste with a piece of bread if you’re unsure of their flavor profile. Seasoned rice vinegar, as the name suggests, comes pre-seasoned with salt and sugar, so you may not need the usual amount of salt. Luckily, it is very easy to taste as you go when making a vinaigrette, so add any ingredients you’re unfamiliar with a little bit at a time, shake it all up, then taste and adjust as needed.

Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered

The remains of a 3,300-year-old woman who wore a complex hairstyle with 70 hair extensions was discovered in the ancient city of Armana.
(Image: © Photo by Jolanda Bos and Lonneke Beukenholdt)

More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.

She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore "a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head," writes Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the Amarna Project, in an article recently published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

Researchers don't know her name, age or occupation, but she is one of hundreds of people, including many others whose hairstyles are still intact, who were buried in a cemetery near an ancient city now called Amarna. [See Photos of the Egyptian Skeletons and Elaborate Hairstyles]

This city was constructed as a new capital of Egypt by Akhenaten (reign ca. 1353-1335 B.C.), a pharaoh who unleashed a religious revolution that saw the Aten, a deity shaped as a sun disk, assume supremacy in Egyptian religion. Akhenaten ordered that Amarna be constructed in the desert and that images of some of Egypt's other gods be destroyed. Amarna was abandoned shortly after Akhenaten's death, and today archaeologists supported by the Amarna Trust are investigating all aspects of the ancient city, including the hairstyles its people wore.

Bos is leading the hairstyle research, and the woman with 70 extensions leaves her puzzled.

"Whether or not the woman had her hair styled like this for her burial only is one of our main research questions," said Bos in an email to Live Science. "The hair was most likely styled after death, before a person was buried. It is also likely, however, that these hairstyles were used in everyday life as well and that the people in Amarna used hair extensions in their daily life."


Many of the other skulls Bos analyzed also had hair extensions. One skull had extensions made of gray and dark black hair suggesting multiple people donated their hair to create extensions.


Hairy discoveries


As Bos analyzed a selection of 100 recently excavated skulls (of which 28 still had hair) from the Armana cemetery, she noticed the people who lived in the ancient city had a wide variety of hair types. They range "from very curly black hair, to middle brown straight," she noted in the journal article, something "that might reflect a degree of ethnic variation." [Photos: 10 Iconic Hairstyles That Took Root]


Those skulls with brown hair often had rings or coils around their ears, a style that was popular at Amarna, she found. Why people in this city liked it is unknown. "We still have no idea. This is of course one of the answers we are still trying to find from the record," said Bos in the email.


People in the city also seemed to be fond of braids. "All braids found in the coiffures were simple and of three strands, mostly 1 cm [0.4 inches] wide, with strands of approximately 0.5 cm [0.2 inches] when tightly braided," Bos writes in the journal article.


People at Amarna also liked to keep their hair short. "Braids were often not more than 20 cm [7.9 inches] long, leaving the hair at shoulder length approximately," Bos added. "The longest hair that was found consisted of multilayered extensions to a length of approximately 30 cm [11.8 inches]."


Fat was used to help create all the hairstyles Bos found, something that would have helped keep the hair in one piece after death. More research is needed to determine whether the fat was from animals. A textile found on each of the skulls may have been used to cover part of the head.


Hide the gray?


In one case a woman has an orange-red color on her graying hair. It appears that that she dyed her hair, possibly with henna (a flowering plant).


"We are still not completely sure if and what kind of hair coloring was used on this hair, it only seems that way macroscopically," said Bos in the email. "At present we are analyzing the hairs in order to find out whether or not some kind of coloring was used. On other sites dyed hair was found from ancient Egypt."


This woman, among other ancient Egyptians, may have dyed her hair "for the same reason as why people dye their hair today, in order not to show the gray color," Bos said.

 The article can be found here

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