|Hair by Brian
The "Need to Know" Stuff
Prior to the start of your appointment, I need to ask the following:
- Do you have a new or worsening cough?
- Have you had a fever within the last three days?
- Have you experienced a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste?
- Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
- Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
- Have you traveled outside your immediate daily routine in the past 14 days?
- Have you recently attended a large group gathering?
- Do you have a pending COVID-19 test?
- Have you been diagnosed with or cared for anyone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions or begin to have any symptoms of COVID-19 I cannot serve you at this time. You will also need to reschedule any previously scheduled appointments.
When You Arrive for Your Appointment:
- Pre-Shampooing is no longer required.
- Arrive at the time of your appointment.
- Please text me when you arrive. I will let you know when I am ready for you to come up to the salon. The door may be locked so I'll need to come down and let you in.
- Please wear a mask to your appointment.
- Hand sanitizer must be used upon arrival.
- Please follow all salon guidelines and signs to keep yourself, myself, and those around you safe.
Click here for a fairly comprehensive list of COVID-19 guidelines for all of us in the salon.
Gen Z didn't invent the middle part.
It brings me no pleasure to type these words, but center parts are tearing the internet apart.
That's right. The timeless middle hair part is at the center of a recently sparked generational feud of dramatically epic proportions — one that's driving a wedge between members of Gen Z, millennials, and really anyone with a head of hair.
How could people be arguing about the placement of hair parts ever, let alone in 2021? Amazing question. As with so many viral trends these days, it all started on TikTok.
Basically, a decent number of Gen Z TikTok users decided to start roasting millennials for doing ~millennial things~ like wearing skinny jeans and refusing to abandon their side parts. (It's a whole thing.) The Gen Z argument is essentially that side parts are less flattering and make a person look older, so they're urging all millennials rocking side parts to do themselves a solid and reclaim their youth by achieving that elite scalp symmetry.
For the past few weeks I've watched in horror as my fellow millennials took the Gen Z middle part TikTok narrative as a deeply personal attack. Some broke down in what appeared to be mid-life crises, wondering if their side parts had been aging them for years. Others caved to peer pressure and temporarily switched to center parts as an experiment. Then, after being wildly disappointed by their trials they stubbornly switched back to side parts and rudely argued things like middle parts are "STUPID!" or "scream, 'I'm in elementary school!'"
The debate, quite frankly, is getting out of hand. So I'm here to settle it.
As a rare millennial who has proudly — without a single shred of shame — rocked the middle part for my entire life, I feel I am the utmost authority on this particular topic.
First things first: Do I think the middle part makes me look younger than I actually am? Almost certainly. In 2016, when I was 23 years old I got carded when trying to buy a ticket to the famously inappropriate PG-13 movie La La Land. Upon realizing the film wasn't rated R like she'd thought, however, the woman let me slide. To this day I still occasionally get asked if I'm in high school or college, and the middle part may be to blame. But hey, if anything, I'm taking my youthful appearance as a compliment!
Do I personally agree with members of Gen Z who are going to bat for my beloved middle part? Of course! But as I've learned from years of enduring light center part shaming from classmates, friends, and family members, the middle part is not for everyone. And if there's one thing I can absolutely attest to from having had a part down the center of my head for the past 27 years it's that Gen Z didn't invent and doesn't own this hairstyle by any means.
When I told my mom — the woman who first bestowed my iconic middle part upon me — about this generational feud, she got a bit defensive. "You've worn a middle part your whole life. Sounds like, if anything, they stole it from you!" she said. And you know what, she's got a point.
Members of Gen Z may rep and worship the middle part, and I love them for that, but they shouldn't act cocky about it, as if they're the ones who made the center part what it is today. I've been repping the middle part since before Gen Z was born, and before I was born people older than me were doing the same. (Editor's note: Before this late Gen Xer switched to a buzzcut, I was a middle parter going back to the late '70s.)
When I was younger my signature look (straightened hair with a middle part and face-framing angles) was inspired by former center part queen, Amanda Bynes. Crucially, Bynes is not a member of Gen Z, nor are other famous middle parters, including but not limited to Cher, Meghan Markle, and Megan Fox. It's worth noting, too, that there are countless other public figures born before 1996 who occasionally switch to and look great in a center part.
If you're a millennial who's a fan of the middle part, that's fine. If you're a member of Gen Z who's a fan of the middle part, that's also fine. If you're a fan of the side part, the same rules apply. Do you see where I'm going with this? If you're 87 years old and want to rock a zig-zag part you should be able to go for it without anyone else weighing in as if it impacts them at all.
In the wise words of my mother, "You should be able to part your hair anywhere. Wherever makes you feel most comfortable." Again, she's right! I'd very much like to continue rocking my center without people assuming I'm doing so to look younger or because a younger generation bullied me into wearing one. As a die-hard middle parter I simply don't feel myself when I part my hair to the side. And I imagine that's how die-hard side parters feel when they try a middle part, so who am I to tell them otherwise?
To members of Gen Z: Please stop telling other people how they should wear their hair. To my fellow millennials: Don't feel pressured to succumb to middle part peer pressure, but don't you dare insult those who have one, either.
Wear one part forever or switch your hair part up every once in a while, but just stop fighting about it. There are far more important things to ask of people, like to wear a damn mask.
This is from Mashable
Read This Before Going Blonde!
5 Truths Every Client Should Read Before Going Blonde
So, your client (that's you) wants to go blonde with their one-hour appointment, previously colored hair and drugstore-bought products at home. This situation is all too common for colorists. That’s why we’ve rounded up some blonding real talk you can share with clients who want to go brighter. Keep reading, have the proper consultations and start your client’s journey to blonde the right way!
Truth #1: Your Appointment Might Take 3+ Hours
“Reality is, it takes up to 50 minutes for hair to lift to the shade you want and love. That’s an entire hour of your appointment that you’re just hanging out waiting,” @laurenbartonhair wrote in a recent IG post. “Trust me though, it’s worth taking small little baby sections, foiling your head til it gets heavy and letting it sit for the full amount of time.”
Here’s why it’s worth it: Taking a transformation step by step with the proper processing times prevents hair from lifting to a dark yellow or uneven tones that can’t be fixed with a toner or purple shampoo!
Check Out This Processing Time Breakdown Below
Instagram via @laurenbartonhair
Here’s another visual from @tialambourn_hair: This is the same foil, just 15 minutes later! This means there is only a 15-minute processing time difference between lifting from a Level 8 to a pale Level 9 or 10—aka EVERY minute counts.
Instagram via @tialambourn_hair
Truth #2: Your Stylist Will Know If You Used Box Dye—Be Honest
Bleach doesn’t lie! What happens when a client comes in with box dye and the stylist does a strand test? The truth comes out. “Clients, please let your colorist know a detailed hair history of color, products, [type] of water you shampoo your hair with and medications,” suggests @jessicascotthair.
Here’s an example:
When Jessica did a strand test on her box dye client (see below), she was confronted with intense bands. With this hair history, be prepared for warm tones, multiple sessions and hundreds of dollars to go lighter.
“For this client, we had to glaze her to the darkest level lift there was in this picture. So basically she ended up [with] a dark brown from her starting point which was black,” Jessica wrote.
Instagram via @jessicascotthair
Truth #3: Clients With Curls, This One’s For You!
Let’s talk about highlighting curls. Here’s a quick breakdown of what curly girls should take into consideration when requesting bright highlights on naturally curly hair from @looksbylacie.
- Starting Point: “Your results will be based on YOUR starting point. How your hair will lift depends on what you already have going on with your hair—if you already have color or if you don’t,” Lacie said.
- Protecting The Curl Pattern: Your curls need to be healthy enough to lighten, so you don’t disrupt the curl pattern. “Lifting too aggressively without a solid plan can result in a loss of curl pattern or damage,” adds Lacie.
- Trust Your Colorist: Just because your hair has heat or color damage, doesn’t mean you can never try bright highlights—but wait until your hair isn’t compromised. Be open to your colorist’s game plan and patient with the process to reach your dream hair.
What happens when curls are overprocessed?
Watch this video from @bumbunniii below!
Truth #4: You Need To Maintain Your Color At Home
You leave the salon loving your blonde color, but a few weeks later it’s feeling brassy and coarse—this isn’t uncommon. Color maintenance is KEY. “Light blonde color on textured hair can be the most DIFFICULT to maintain! Colors like this are not for the faint of heart and require major TLC in and outside of the salon,” shares @haircolorkilla.
That’s why Kara always STRONGLY recommends that her clients use a toning washing system like the Matrix So Silver Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask trio to keep color fresh and yellow-free.
For clients with curly and textured hair, it’s also important to add protein and moisture. Kara recommends products like the Redken Extreme Hair Strengthening line that brings protein to the core of the hair fiber.
Truth #5: Here’s How You’re Going To Get That Lived-In Look
When we talk about “root shading,” here’s what we mean: a demi-permanent color tapped at the roots to blur out any highlight lines for a more lived-in look. Here’s why it works.
“Not only does this give a more natural look but it allows your grow out to look SEAMLESS for 12+ weeks,” @hair_by_mallory_ wrote in a recent IG post. “Where as a non-root shaded look would look grown out in anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks! Some of my clients go anywhere from 3 to 6 months with this technique!”
Pssst… colorists, do you LOVE this blonde? Same. Mallory pre-toned with Moroccanoil® Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo to get these bright, clear blonde results.
Check Out The Full IG Post Below
From Behind the Chair
The 5 Men’s Hairstyles
The 5 men’s hairstyle trends for 2021 are a continuation of the choice you made in 2020… to shave, or to grow?
Now I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a big follower of trends. I am, however, a big believer in doing what you want, wearing what you want, and experimenting as you like.
With the closure of barbershops in 2020 (and into 2021), we were forced to decide, “do I grow it, or do I shave it?” As such, guys like us were given the opportunity to experiment with style. The hairstyles that we are seeing this year are the development of these lockdown looks.
1. Short & Textured
I know from the video that I did about the death of the Skin Fade, there were so many comments saying, “what do you know… no, never… never giving up.” That is fine. Go wild. But with this ‘short & textured‘ hair trend, it’s less about solid structure and it’s more about movement.
You can still go with your favourite fade, but it doesn’t need to be so severe. Try working with slightly longer length on the sides, or move the fade placement lower, to allow for a more tapered (and classic) look.
With the hair on top, it’s all about adding shape and definition – for a choppy, textured, messy finish. This will then allow you to style with matte finish products for a really gritty finish.
2. New Longer Length
‘New Longer Length’ is for anyone, like me, that experimented with longer hair in 2020.
Now, these long hairstyles are going to be slightly more reminiscent of the nineties – think grunge with a really live-in finish. Again, it’s all about movement and texture.
This hairstyle trend is all about just letting go and going with it. Enjoy it!
3. Natural Curls
One of the biggest video trends that I’ve seen on YouTube is ‘curly hair to straight hair’. Loads of guys seem to be searching for it. But not in 2021!
This year is about embracing those natural curls, from the Afro high-top skin fades (really short on the sides with a high, square top) to accentuating the curls on top with a shorter fade. There are loads of options.
This trend really is about that juxtaposition of the short and the long. So keeping it really, really short on the sides and then having all those curls and the waves on top.
4. The Mullet
Now, if during lockdown you completed Netflix, then I’m sure you watched Tiger King. Joe Exotic really did bring back that mullet… but maybe for all the wrong reasons.
The mullet did, however, start to work its way back into the mainstream. Check out this mullet look on Troye Sivan.
5. Bald to Buzz
For a lot of men struggling with hair loss and/or receding hairlines, a hairstyle’s primary purpose is to disguise bald patches. But 2020 saw men embracing the bald and going for the buzz cut.
2021 is less about the extreme buzz cut but more about experimenting with different types of buzz hairstyles. Even just the slightest change in length on the sides versus the top can make such a difference.
Watch The Video
The Causes and Treatments of
4 Common Scalp Issues
Certified trichologist Gretchen Friese identifies the causes and treatments of four common scalp issues: psoriasis, dermatitis, alopecia and dandruff.
As a BosleyMD-certified trichologist and hairstylist/salon director at Foushee SalonSpa (@fousheesalonspa) in Littleton, Colorado, Gretchen Friese has her hands (and eyes) on everything related to hair and scalp health. Here, she shares the key characteristics, causes and best remedies behind four of clients’ most common scalp concerns.
Psoriasis appears as bumpy red patches covered with white scales—caused by the immune system attacking healthy skin cells. If the client is sick or battling an infection (strep throat is a common trigger), her immune system will go into overdrive to fight the infection, kicking off a psoriasis flare-up. Psoriasis is usually cleared up by doctor-prescribed medications.
With dermatitis, the skin will typically look dry, swollen and red. But there are several different kinds: Atopic dermatitis (eczema) begins at infancy and is usually caused by dry skin, genetics, an immune system disorder, a skin infection, exposure to certain foods, or contact with allergens—or a combination of these. Contact dermatitis is typically caused by contact with a skin irritant, inciting an allergic reaction (think poison ivy, perfumes, jewelry containing nickel, cleaning products, or creams/lotions). Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by a yeast that’s present in oil secretions on the skin. Follicular dermatitis is essentially atopic dermatitis that affects hair follicles. Control dermatitis by moisturizing regularly, or using medicated ointment, creams or dermatitis-specific shampoos.
Alopecia leads to thinning hair and also comes in various forms. Androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness, usually genetic) occurs with a sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone. Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, is typically caused by trauma or stress. And traction alopecia happens when hair is pulled too tightly, stressing the follicle and eventually leading to hair loss. These may not have complete cures, but retail products can help fill out the appearance of thinning areas.
Finally, dandruff appears as white flakes on the scalp, which shed into the hair and fall from the head (perhaps accompanied by mild itchiness). Here, a fungus feeds on the oils on the scalp, which can have many causes: irritated or oily skin, not shampooing enough, age (it’s common in teens and young adults), weather, stress levels, medical conditions and some hair products. The condition can usually be remedied with an anti-dandruff shampoo.
How can a stylist sensitively broach scalp issues with clients? “It can be an embarrassing topic, so ask a benign question like, ‘How is your scalp feeling?’ or ‘Have you had any itching on your scalp lately?’” Friese advises. “Questions like this will usually open up a conversation about the issue.”
Similarly, Brandon Johns (@diplobrandon), an educator with Malibu C and owner of Dallas-based Studio2020, asks clients if they’ve experienced any changes to their diet or medications, then recommends therapeutic treatments to remove any mineral buildup on the hair and scalp (followed by related retail suggestions). “Clients often are looking for the stylist to bring these issues up,” Johns notes. “But it could be caused by something really simple—like if they’re using the same shampoo for six months or more, overwashing, or not washing hair often enough. They may just need a simple switch!”
Chemical Allergies: Shampoo, Cleaners, and More
That moisturizer your friends swear by left your face red and scaly. The cleaner you've been using for years to make your bathroom sparkle made your hands itch and burn.
For some people, the chemicals in shampoos, cosmetics, and detergents can trigger allergic skin reactions.
These reactions -- what your doctor calls allergic contact dermatitis -- happen when your immune system overreacts to chemicals that are normally harmless. They can be in products you're exposed to over and over, like cleaners, colognes, hair dyes, and personal care items.
Even if you've used them before, you can still have a reaction.
Cosmetics and personal care products have a lot of potential allergens, things you could be allergic to:
- Fragrances in soaps, colognes, deodorants, body creams, cosmetics, detergents, and tissues
- Preservatives and antibacterials, added to many liquids to keep them from spoiling
- Substances added to thicken, color, or lubricate a product
- Chemicals in permanent hair dyes and other hair products
- Formaldehyde resin, an ingredient in many nail care products
- Sunscreens, often found in cosmetic moisturizers, lip balms, and foundations
Your skin is one of the first places where the warning signs can show up. They often appear 24 to 48 hours later, but can start as late as a week after you come in contact with the irritating chemical.
Each person may have different chemical allergy symptoms. Some of the most common are:
- Red skin
- Scaly patches
- Blisters that ooze
- Burning or itching, which may be intense
- Swelling of the eyes, face, and genital area
- Sun sensitivity
- Darkened, "leathery," and cracked skin
The symptoms tend to be worst where you touched the thing you're allergic to. If you get the allergen on your finger and then touch another part of your body, like your face or neck, you can set off an allergic reaction there.
Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, so see your doctor to find out what the problem is.
Often your doctor may be able to diagnose your allergy by doing a physical exam and asking you about your symptoms.
Sometimes, they may suggest you see an allergist for a skin test, also called a patch test. The allergist places small samples of chemicals on your back and checks to see if you get a rash.
Keep track of your symptoms. It will help your doctor make a diagnosis. Note details such as:
- What you were doing in the 24 to 48 hours before your outbreak
- Any products you were using before the reaction
- How much of the product you were using and how often
- Where it touched your skin (even places with no symptoms)
- Symptoms you have or had
- Any previous skin reactions
You'll want to identify and avoid the chemical that seems to cause your allergic reaction.
If you do come into contact with it, wash your skin with soap and water as soon as possible. If you have the allergen on your hands, don't touch other parts of your body until you've washed your hands.
It may help to take off and wash any clothes or jewelry that might have come in contact with the irritating chemical.
If you use nail care products, make sure the product has dried before you touch your skin.
Got a mild reaction? You can sometimes treat symptoms yourself with over-the-counter medications such as calamine lotion, antihistamines, or cortisone ointments.
See your doctor if you have frequent or severe outbreaks. They can help you find out why it happens and give you prescription medications if you need them.
WebMD Medical Reference
11 Gorgeous Reasons Why
Curtain Bangs Rule
If you know someone (maybe even yourself!) who has been dreaming of making a dramatic hair change without sacrificing a ton of length, then curtain bangs may be the answer. The elegant, flowing layers beautifully frame the face, and can go with almost any length.
1. Beachy Curtain Bangs
This style is as loose and carefree as a day spent at the seaside. Here, Peter Thomsen (@pjthomsen) gave his client a light new balayage and soft face-framing layers.
2. Delicate Curtain Bangs
Sometimes less is more, even when your client has long hair, as demonstrated by Chris Weber Mirlach (@chrisweberhair), who describes the bangs as "effortless."
3. Curtain Bangs with Style
Curtain bangs don't just look good when the hair is down--they can really add to the style when the hair is pulled up into a stylish updo or carefree pony, as shown by Rachel Williams (@rachelwstylist).
4. Bardot Bangs
Curtain bangs can add drama and depth to a sleek style, as shown by Sal Salcedo (@salsalhair), who calls these "Bardot Bangs."
5. Romantic Shag
Curtain fringe can add volume and natural wave to the hair, giving it a romantic, old world feel, as shown by the work of Lo Shabino (@classiclois_hairstylist).
6. French Fringe
Paige Bureck (@pinkdagger) gave her client some decidedly French feeling with this cute cut.
7. Fuller Fringe
Done correctly, a shag and curtain bangs can actually give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair, as seen on Holly Seidel's (@hollygirldoeshair) client.
8. Bold Color, Bold Fringe
Sometimes a client wants a complete transformation. And while this style from @mageofhair doesn't require lots of length to be lost, it certainly makes an impact—and one that's only enhanced with a bold color choice.
9. Long Fringe, Short Hair
Belinda Mills (@bel_pipsqueekinsaigon) shows that short-haired girls can wear curtain bangs, too!
10. Farrah Fawcett Fringe
Mick Lewis (@hairbymickk) created this look that harkens back to the '70s when shags reigned supreme—but with a thoroughly modern twist.
11. Voluminous Curtain Bangs
Go big or go home! Curtain bangs don't have to be subtle, they can be in-your-face, like this gorgeous cut from Brian Hickman (@brianhickman1)
These fun looks are at Beauty Launch Pad
Convenient Online Booking
24 x 7
For the time being,
online booking is available Sunday thru Wednesday.
Thursday, Friday or Saturday if you're having an extreme hair emergency.
What caught my attention
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to explore the science of making work not suck. From learning how to love criticism to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again.
Check out this episode
The Real Reason You Procrastinate
You procrastinate because you're lazy, right? Wrong.
The truth is more complex -- and far more interesting. Learn how to stop putting off important tasks ... with a little help from master procrastinator Margaret Atwood.
(click on the image below to listen to the episode)
I also just picked up a copy of his latest book:
“Think Again is a must-read... In an increasingly divided world, the lessons in this book are more important than ever.” –Bill and Melinda Gates
‘Mallen Streaks’ Are Officially Cool
But What Are They?
he so-called Mallen streak, once covered up and concealed, is now being embraced by popular culture.
In fact Bodyguard
actor Richard Madden often sports his natural white/grey streak with pride, even wearing it to awards ceremonies.
What is a ‘Mallen streak’?
A white/grey streak is known as a Mallen streak and it is an example of poliosis – which in short means an absence of melanin in the hair which results in a white streak.
Throughout history, the streak has become synonymous with evil – think X Men’s Rogue or the Bride of Frankenstein. The term ‘Mallen streak’ came into common parlance in the 1970s.
Originally coming from the Latin word ‘malignus’ (meaning ‘bad kind’) it was first used by novelist Catherine Cookson in her ‘Mallen’ trilogy. The novels follow the lives of a doomed family who all share the hereditary white/grey streak in their hair. Cookson writes of the pejorative associations of the streak, “nothing good ever came of a Mallen.” But times are a-changing…
Embracing ‘Mallen streaks’
Hopefully attitudes are changing as figures in the public eye now wear their streaks with pride.
“Personally, I would always encourage a client to embrace a streak and work with it as a feature,” says Paul Dennison, colour director at Ken Picton. “It’s incredibly unique and striking and if you cover it, you’ll constantly be fighting the regrowth and trying to cover it up.”
Other notable celebrities with a Mallen streak include politician Ed Milliband, TV presenter George Lamb and author Caitlin Moran.
Paul is a fan of the look and has some tips on how to work with a Mallen streak as a colourist. “It’s a very strong look and because white hair is so clean, it can look really dramatic when sitting next to the darker, natural hair,” he says.
“I’d aim to enhance that by covering any other greys, so that the front section becomes even more apparent and really stands out. If a client has covered their white hair previously and wants to grow it out and embrace it, I suggest you pre-lighten the ends as much as possible, then tone to the natural colour with a nice ash or clean blonde.”
A grey/white streak has also featured in Tony Haresign’s ‘Mallen Madness’ collection (image to the left). The owner of Esquire Barbershop says of the inspiration behind his collection: “My influences for this collection included 1970s sports presenters, Batman, Catherine Cookson and Film Noir. I was keen to include a Mallen streak in the collection to highlight how striking the grey/white streak can look.”
Collection image credit:
Hair: Tony Haresign
Assistants: Kayti Dickinson, Blayre Turnbull, Daina Renton
Make-up and styling: Michelle Watson
Suits: Chester Barrie and Richard James, Savile Row
Photography: Matt Marcus
Greasy Hair Facts & Hacks
Why Is My Hair Always Greasy?
I had a man in my Facebook group tell me his hair gets greasy 24-36 hours after shampooing, and that he had to wash his hair every day or it would get too greasy. But is daily washing really the solution to greasy hair? Or is there something more going on?
This is an issue many men deal with, and it’s frustrating when it seems like the only answer is to shampoo more often. As you’ll see in a moment, this can actually backfire on you. The truth is there are many variables at play, and the only way to really solve the issue is through trial and error.
For guys who are battling with greasy hair, I’m going to suggest five possible scenarios for why it’s too greasy, along with a solution for each potential issue.
However, you’re almost certainly not dealing with all five issues, so don’t change all five of these things at once! My advice is to change one thing at a time, give it a week or two, and reassess. If your hair is still too greasy, try the next suggestion.
It could take a couple of months to diagnose what’s going on, but once you figure it out, you can manage your greasy hair much better!
The first possible reason your hair is too greasy is from overwashing. This sounds counterintuitive because if your hair is greasy, you should wash it…right? Maybe.
When you shampoo, the detergent cleanses and removes the sebum from your scalp. This is a good thing when there’s too much sebum clogging your pores and slowing your hair growth. But naturally, your scalp needs to replenish the sebum that’s been stripped away.
An optimal healthy cycle for this to happen is every three to five days. You shampoo, then the sebum begins to naturally replenish, building up over three to five days and protecting your hair, then you shampoo again.
Here’s the rub. When you strip the oils from your scalp daily, your sebaceous glands start to overproduce. They’re working overtime to keep up the sebum production level. You might not have ever noticed this when you had short hair because it wasn’t as visible. Now that your hair is long you can see and feel the grease buildup.
Gradually cutting back on your washes might help your sebaceous glands get back to a normal production cycle, but don’t cut back too quickly. If you quit cold-turkey your scalp will continue producing like normal because it hasn’t had a chance to adapt.
You should wean off. If you currently shampoo daily, cut back to five times per week, then to four, then three, then shoot for a twice per week schedule.
Be advised, this isn’t always the case for everyone. I know many guys who have said, “I’ve tried to train my scalp to produce less oil, but it didn’t work.” If that’s the case for you, then you might be dealing with our second issue.
2) You’re Born With Overactive Sebaceous Glands
Ok, so you tried shampooing less often, but it didn’t work.
The second possible reason for greasy hair is because an oily scalp is your natural hair type. Your genetics, your hormones, call it whatever you want, but you were born with it. Don’t give up yet though, there are plenty of ways to address this.
First, if you don’t have my hair type PDF you can download it here for free, but there are three hair type factors that can affect your grease buildup.
The first is your curl pattern. If you’re a 1 or 2A like me, and maybe 2B, your hair tends to get oilier quicker. That’s because with straight and slightly wavy hair, oil moves down your hair shaft much easier than with curly hair.
If you have naturally curly hair, your oils don’t travel down the hair shaft as easily. This is why curly hair tends to need more moisture than straight hair.
Next, look at your hair density, which is the follicle proximity per square inch. If you have thin or medium density hair, then your sebum has less hair through which the oil can spread, so it tends to look greasier.
Finally, consider your scalp moisture levels. If you have an overly oily scalp or oily roots and dry ends, your hair will grease up quicker due to overactive sebaceous glands.
If your hair type falls into one, two, or all three of these categories, there is a good chance you struggle with greasy hair more than most:
- Your curl pattern is 1or 2A
- You have thin or medium density hair
- You have a naturally oily scalp
What can you do?
The best answer I can give is to use a clarifying shampoo every other wash. Something that has a much stronger surfactant than a gentle shampoo or a co-wash. Sometimes that could even mean using a sulfate shampoo with something like ammonium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate.
I generally advise against using sulfate shampoos, but in this case I’d recommend adding a clarifying sulfate shampoo to your regimen.
If you want to stay sulfate-free, just make sure the main detergent in your shampoo is a stronger anionic surfactant. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch my YouTube video where I break down all the different surfactants in shampoos and conditioners.
If you didn’t see that video, anionic surfactants are the strongest detergents chemists can put in shampoos. And while sulfates are anionic surfactants, there are milder sulfate-free anionic surfactants that still clarify. My personal favorites are sulfonates—something like a sodium c14-16 sulfonate really gets me dialed.
You do want to make sure the shampoo is marketed as a clarifying shampoo. Sometimes shampoos can contain sulfates but still have a ton of moisturizing ingredients to try and balance out a harsh surfactant. Or the chemist will put a lower percentage of the detergent in the formula that isn’t as clarifying.
3) Your Diet is S.A.D. (Standard American Diet)
The third reason you might have greasy hair? Your diet is causing oily skin. If it’s not your genetics, try looking at what you’re putting into your body. Remember, you are what you eat!
A study in the Journal of Dermatology and Endocrinology showed that western diets, which are high in greasy fried foods, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates can cause your sebaceous glands to overproduce, leading to oily skin and greasy hair (1).
There’s also a correlation between less sebum production and a low glycemic diet that’s high in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and omega 3 fatty acids (1). In fact, there was a direct link to Omega 3 fats and a decrease in the inflammatory factors that cause skin acne (1). There’s also some evidence for less sebum production on a caloric restriction too (1).
So before you write it off as genetics, look at your diet. Foods that might help balance your sebum production are things like:
- Whole grains > refined carbs
- Grilled fish > fried fish
- Steamed veggies > french fries
As the founder of modern medicine, Hippocrates stated, “let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”
4) You’re Over-conditioning
The next possibility for greasy hair is too much product or over-conditioning. Yes, there is such a thing as conditioner buildup.
Conditioners contain cationic surfactants like behentrimonium chloride or cetrimonium chloride which contain a positive charge, which binds to the negative charge of your hair.
When used occasionally and with the right surrounding ingredients, this is incredibly softening and conditioning for your hair. On the other hand if you over-condition, you can see cationic buildup, which makes your hair feel heavy, greasy, weighed down, and flat.
There is some evidence to show that sulfonates remove cationic build up better than sulfates. So for guys who don’t want to shampoo every day but still want to condition daily, this could be a reason your hair is feeling greasy.
Likewise, if you’re a guy who washes with conditioner and then adds a leave-in conditioner, or hair oil on top of that, then you’re packing on the oil. Since regular conditioners don’t have detergents to remove scalp oil, your sebum is accumulating on top of all this as well.
If you want to wash your hair with a conditioner in between shampoo days, my suggestion is to wash with a cleansing conditioner. This is called a co-wash, a conditioner with a mild detergent in it. Much milder than the detergents in your shampoo, but still cleansing.
To round out some options for this scenario, some men with naturally dry or curly hair will only co-wash and won’t shampoo their hair at all, called the no-poo or low-poo method. Another option is to do your clarifying wash and then wait for three or four days until your next wash. Finally, you can also try a dry shampoo to use in between wash days.
5) Your Shampoo Is Too WEAK
The last possibility I can suggest for greasy hair is you’re using the wrong shampoo & conditioner for your hair type. I’ve already mentioned that men with greasy hair should use a cleansing or clarifying sulfate shampoo once a month. But how do you know if you’re using the wrong shampoo?
If you have greasy hair, it’s possible your current shampoo is not strong enough. Gentle shampoos use very mild surfactants as their main detergent, like decyl glucoside or sodium lauryl lactylate. You’ll know it’s the main detergent because it will be the first or second ingredient after water.
While these are excellent mild detergents for people with dry hair, they’re not the best for dealing with an oily scalp. In addition to your once-per-month clarifying wash, I’d recommend a sulfate-free shampoo with a stronger anionic surfactant—something like sodium cocoyl isethionate, like in Epic Cleanse shampoo from The Longhairs.
These anionic surfactants are not as strong as sulfates, but still pretty clarifying, and a great option in between your clarifying shampoo days to keep your scalp moisture-balanced.
Bonus Possibility: You’re Touching Your Hair Too Often
I decided to throw in a bonus possibility and it’s a bonus because I doubt it’s the main cause of greasy hair, but it can contribute. You might have greasy hair if you’re running your hands through your hair too often.
Your hands are oily. And as tempting as it is to stroke your epic locks, you’re adding excess oils to your hair. Unless you’re putting your hair up or moving it out of your face for a reason, try and touch it as little as possible.
There you have it boys, hopefully this sheds some light on why your hair might be too greasy and how you can address it.
Remember, don’t try and change all these things at once! Read through this post a few times and decide which reason is most likely causing greasy hair. Make an adjustment in your hair care regimen, see how it goes for a week or two, and reassess. If you’re still not seeing the results you’re looking for, try something else.
Pappas A. The relationship of diet and acne: A review. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009;1(5):262-267. doi:10.4161/derm.1.5.10192
Walk this way:
17 tips for getting the most from your daily lockdown outing
From re-creating trails at home to tracking animals, here’s how to add purpose to your stride
The weather is rubbish, there is nowhere to go and, bereft of the joys of spring, the daily lockdown walk can feel pointless.
But, of course, it is not: the mental and physical health perks of exercise are immune to seasonal changes. We need to gallivant around outside in daylight so that our circadian rhythms can regulate sleep and alertness. (Yes, even when the sky is resolutely leaden, it is still technically daylight.) Walking warms you up, too; when you get back indoors, it will feel positively tropical.
But if meeting these basic needs isn’t enough to enthuse you, there are myriad ways to add purpose to your stride and draw your attention to the underappreciated joys of winter walking.
Even Alex Strauss, the author of The Mindful Walker, has to tackle her resistance to get out on wild winter days. Sometimes, she says, “it takes a few mind games to get motivated. When it’s cold, when it’s grey, instead of saying you’re going to go out and do a 40-minute walk, allow yourself to say: ‘I’m going to do five minutes.’ Your brain is much less likely to resist that. Then, once you’re out there, it often turns into a longer walk.”
Spot winter birds
“It’s a big misconception that not a lot goes on in winter,” says the Springwatch presenter Megan McCubbin, who is back on our screens on BBC Two with her stepdad, Chris Packham, in Winterwatch. Plus, it is easier to spot birds in leafless trees. “There are some amazing winter spectacles to see, if it’s safe to do so within regulations. One of my favourites is the starling murmurations. The birds come together in their hundreds, if not thousands . . . as they’re going in to roost. They perform the most amazing synchronised movements in the sky.”
If you can get to open fields at dusk, you might spot “the beautiful white silhouettes of barn owls hunting along the hedgerows and across fields”, she says. “While our summer and spring visitors might have left on their migration, we’ve got a lot of winter visitors.”
Try mindful walking
A salve for the soul . . . mindfulness can slow our heart rate and reduce anxiety. Being mindful, says Strauss, “just means to be present, focused and aware of your internal and external landscapes in any given moment. When we bring mindfulness into the equation, we take everything up a notch in terms of benefits. We know that mindfulness can slow our heart rate and reduce anxiety and depression.” When we are mindful during exercise, our workout is more effective. One of the easiest ways to “drop into mindfulness” while walking, she says, is to listen to your footsteps. “I like to do a little activity where I breathe in for four steps, hold my breath for about four steps – whatever feels comfortable – and then exhale for four steps,” she says. This takes a little concentration, but it allows you to release the extraneous thoughts in your head and live in the present.
Give yourself a mission
Winter is a surprisingly good time of year to practise mindfulness outside, says Strauss: “The fact that the natural world is partly dormant can prompt us to turn our attention inward more. Things tend to come into sharper focus in the outdoors.” It is the perfect season, therefore, to try a “mindful mission”. Once you are “quiet inside” from the breathing exercise outlined earlier, “notice five things in nature you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste, although I don’t recommend licking trees or anything. It’s just a way to bring all of your senses into sharp focus.”
This section is 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's article:
Hair Loss May Be A Long-Term Health Consequence For People Who Had Severe COVID-19
If there is anything to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that we are constantly discovering new things about the virus and its associated infection. Now new findings suggest hair loss may be a common long-term health consequence for patients who had severe COVID-19 that required hospitalization.
The findings, published in The Lancet, also suggest women may be at greater risk of suffering from long-term health consequences.
Previous research has found 1 in 10 people may have persistent health consequences up to three months after their COVID-19 infection has passed. People that have long COVID commonly report symptoms of fatigue, loss of taste and smell, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal, joint, and muscle pains.
The new study confirms that some of those commonly reported long COVID symptoms such as fatigue and joint pains could be considered as primary long-term health consequences of the virus, as their findings showed they were still reported six months after patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had recovered. Furthermore, an additional health concern was revealed: hair loss.
The study investigated 1,655 patients that had been discharged from the Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China between Jan 7, 2020, and May 29, 2020, after being treated for COVID-19.
Six months later patients were examined again with blood tests, a physical exercise test that consisted of a six-minute walk, and a questionnaire to assess whether they had any long-term symptoms after their COVID-19 experience.
The results indicated that 63 percent of patients had reported fatigue or muscle weakness, 27 percent reported sleep difficulties, and 22 percent reported they had experienced hair loss during the last six-month period since having COVID-19.
"At 6 months after acute infection, COVID-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression," the authors wrote in the study. However, hair loss was also one of the highest reported symptoms six months on.
It's worth noting that hair loss is not uncommon during infections, and may occur for short periods of time after recovering from a regular cold. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) explains: "Temporary hair loss is normal after a fever or illness. Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss."
The AAD also says losing hair after infection could continue for up to six to nine months and that this could be made worst by stress, which is prevalent during a pandemic with all the health, social, and economic challenges it presents. Furthermore, worrying about losing hair could cause more stress, which can result in a vicious feedback loop, so learning ways to mitigate stress is important.
Your hair should return to normal on its own over time, but if you are concerned speak to your health care provider or a dermatologist.
The Ultimate Pot Pie
This Is the Ultimate Pot Pie to Make This Winter,
and It Couldn't Be Easier.
Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.
There is nothing more comforting in winter than a pot pie. The all-in-one meal with its savory filling and crispy buttery crust is like a hug on a plate. But many people shy away from homemade pot pies as being fussy to make or assume that they have to be full of meat, making them a hard choice if you are feeding a household that includes a vegetarian. But I am here to tell you that your new favorite pot pie is both meat-free and super simple!
The World's Easiest Pot Pie
A hearty mushroom and white bean pot pie is just the thing on a blustery winter's night, with plenty of protein and deep savory flavor, so even omnivores don't miss the meat. And you can change up the mushrooms and styles of beans, the spices and herbs, even the crust, so once you know the ratios, you can experiment to your heart's content. Here's how to make easy pot pie magic any night of the week.
1. Start with an easy pot pie crust
For starters, unless you are passionate about pastry, use a store-bought fresh or frozen pie crust or puff pastry. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before making your pie.
2. Collect your pot pie filling ingredients
For your filling, for a 9-inch pie, you are going to want about a pound of mushrooms. You can go as basic as white buttons, a little punchier with criminis, or go all-out on something wild like chanterelles or morels. Use one mushroom for an intense flavor, or balance three or four varieties for more complexity. Clean them well and chop coarsely.
Then you want something oniony. Shallot is elegant, regular onion is sweet, leek is more vegetal, and again, feel free to combine. You want about half a cup minced total. If you love garlic, add a minced clove. If you want to take your filling to a curry place, feel free to add some grated ginger or even a minced chili pepper.
You'll need a 14-ounce can of white beans. You can go for small navy beans, or huge gigante beans. Cannellinis are wonderful and creamy. If you prefer, you can use dried beans; just soak and cook to package directions until tender before using as they won't cook in the pie.
Finally, you'll need ¼ cup of cream—it can be cream, half and half, or even sour cream (chances are that one of those is probably living in your refrigerator right now).
3. Assemble the pie
It couldn't be easier. Here's what to do:
- Cook the aromatics in about a tablespoon of oil or ghee until wilted, then add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and begin to brown.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the mixture and cook to remove raw flour taste and brown slightly.
- Stir in about six ounces of either stock or water, and cook until it thickens, about five minutes.
- Add the drained can of white beans.
- Once the beans have heated through, stir in about a quarter cup of cream.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste and any other spices you might like. If you have fresh herbs, add a couple tablespoons: Thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and parsley are all are great in this. Taste again and adjust seasoning.
- Set aside to cool, or store in the fridge up to two days before assembling your pie. You want the filling completely cooled otherwise it will melt the butter in the crust.
When you are ready to assemble, transfer your cooled filling to 9-inch buttered pie dish. Heat the oven to 350, then top with your preferred crust, crimping the edge around the rim of the dish. Brush with a beaten egg and cut a few slits for steam to escape. If you want some extra oomph, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the crust. Bake on a sheet pan to catch drips for 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is baked through. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Explore at MyRecipes
The Unexpectedly Violent History
of Red Hair
History has dealt a mixed hand to the redhead. Alternatively admired or derided for the color of their crowning glory, attitudes to those with red hair have always been polarized. Throughout time, redheads have been portrayed as beautiful and brave or else promiscuous, wild, hot-tempered, violent or immoral. Gingernut, carrot top, flame-haired, copper head and rusty just some of the nicknames for red hair. The modern mind also associates the hair color with individual countries such as Scotland and Ireland or cultures such as the Vikings.
The reason for these attitudes and associations is complicated and lies partly in the origins of red hair and the human reaction to things that are different. For although 40% of people carry the gene for red hair, real redheads are rare, amounting to no more than 1% of the population. It requires two carriers to make a red headed child. So why is red hair so rare and unique? What is its history, and is it fair to assigned heads such a turbulent reputation?
All in the Genes
Red hair has always been a question of genes. Clues suggested that red hair could have evolved in Paleolithic Europe amongst the Neanderthals. Scientists analyzed Neanderthal remains from Croatia and found a gene that resulted in red hair. However, the gene that causes red hair in modern humans is not the same as that in Neanderthals. Nor is the red-haired gene of either race found in any of the peoples who are descended from Paleolithic humans, namely the Finnish and most of Eastern Europe. This fact not only rules out interbreeding as a route for Homo sapiens red hair, but it also rules out early Europe, as it’s the birthplace.
Instead, the origins of red hair have been traced back to the Steppes of Central Asia as much as 100,000 years ago. The haplogroup of modern redheads indicates that their earliest ancestors migrated to the steppes from the Middle East because of the rise of herding during the Neolithic revolution. The Steppes were the perfect grazing lands for the herds of the agriculturists. Unfortunately, however, the lower UV levels of the area limited their bodies’ ability to synthesize vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies bring about weak bones, muscle pain and rickets in children. So the migrants had to change.
To survive their environment, people living in northern regions, in general, had begun to evolve to suit their environment and to allow their bodies more access to the limited light. As a consequence, their skin and hair started to become much lighter. In the eastern steppes, however, things occurred slightly differently. A mutation occurred in a gene known as M1CR which caused hair color not merely to lighten but to change entirely- to red. The skin of these new redhead people was well adapted to absorbing the much-needed UV light. It was, however, a little too sensitive to the sun- which is why redheads often sunburn and are more prone to skin cancer.
These pioneers of red hair then began to spread to the Balkans and central and Western Europe in the Bronze Age as they migrated once again, this time in search of metal. The majority of the migrants remained in these regions, although some spread further west to the Atlantic seaboard, and fewer still moved eastwards into Siberia and some as far south as India. However, these latter migrations were scant- which explains the rarity of red hair in these areas.
The Balkans and Western Europe now became established as the geographical and historical homeland of red-haired culture. It was one that was observed by ancient writers who began to form their conclusions about the red-haired peoples they encountered.
From the History Collection
Myths About Redheads You Always Thought Were True
Like stereotypes about any group of people, it should come as no surprise that many of the weird rumors and legends about redheads aren't always true. These are just some of the most popular ginger myths and why they just don't hold any water.
Surely you've heard the myth that all redheads have not just a short fuse but also a fiery temper. Or perhaps you think that they tend to be bolder and brasher in general and are quick to act on their impulses. After all, the color red is often associated with strong emotions like passion hence the red boxes of candy that litter the shelves every Valentine's Day.
But the reality is that redheads are inherently no more prone to explosive anger or even curt crankiness than anyone else. They are unfortunately more susceptible than others to being bullied, according to the BBC, so perhaps there's some psychology at work that reinforces the stereotype constant bullying certainly can have an impact on victims.
But there are some other interesting factors at work here. Redheads do produce more adrenaline than others, according to Red: A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey, which means they, quote, "fire up more rapidly than others."
If gingers are more prone to possessing a fiery temper, as the stereotype suggests, they must also be a hot mess in emergency situations right? All of that adrenaline rushing in will no doubt make them lose their minds and start freaking out about the situation as opposed to keeping calm and getting through it.
Actually, that couldn't be further from the truth. That's because not only do gingers produce more adrenaline in general, but they also can access it faster than blondes or brunettes, according to Red: A History of the Redhead. And because they can synthesize the hormone more quickly, that makes them more adept in fight-or-flight scenarios. So they'd definitely have a head start while being chased by a bear or getting away from some bad dudes while you straggle behind them.
So when you're assembling your survival squad for the zombie apocalypse, be sure to include a ginger or two, they just might save your life!
Watch the video to learn more myths about redheads you always thought were true!
The Chemistry of Redheads
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