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Hair by Brian
As The Chair Turns

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

Resting is not a waste of time. It's an investment in well-being.
Relaxing is not a sign of laziness. It's a source of energy.
Breaks are not a distraction. They're a chance to refocus attention.
Play is not a frivolous activity. It's a path to connection and creativity.

I hope this finds you with a full and thankful heart.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but these have been rather exhausting times.  Not a “boy, am I tired” kind of feeling.  More because of the constant awareness we need to have in every waking movement.  Should we or can we do this or that?  Inside? Outside? Masks? No Masks? How many people?  How close?  Hugs?  Am I comfortable with (fill in the blank) yet?  This thinking has become such an every moment thing that we don’t even realize how exhausting it’s become.  Our brain is tired.  It’s no wonder we’re exhausted.

We’re going to be at this for a little while longer so we’re going to need to look after our wellbeing now more than ever.  Take a breath. Turn off the TV. Shut down your computer. Get some fresh air. Go for a hike. Take a walk along the waterfront. Read something frivolous. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Start a gratitude list. Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing. Pause. Just Be!

If we keep doing the smart things we’ve been doing (exhausting as they can be) we will get through this.  You got this!  You really do!

The Holidays really are here, aren’t they. There’s still time for you to get in for an appointment before Christmas. Sundays have filled up so I’ve opened up a couple Saturdays (Dec 11th & 18th) if you need something on a weekend.  I have evening appointments available, too, but you’ll need to call, email or text me to see what’s available.

Just a reminder I’ll be visiting my Mom over the Christmas / New Year break.  I will be away the end of December and the first couple weeks of January (December 23rd thru January 8th to be exact). You'll want to keep those dates in mind when scheduling your appointment.

Also when I’m back in January, I’ll be across the street in a new salon. I will be at 315 Sutter St. 4th Floor, inside Blade & Brush. You should have received an email from me a couple weeks ago with that announcement.  I think you’ll like the space. Your confirmations next year will have the new salon information, too.

This month I have articles for you on why your hair fell out this last year, debunked haircolor myths, the “Skullet”, how much your hair is worth, blowdrying fundamentals, the “blow wave”, reasons why you’re tired, and info on my new online store.  All that and more so please check it out!

As always, I am available by email, text or phone if you have any questions or concerns.

Happy Holidays!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Be well. Take Hair!

What's Inside This Month

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Search though past newsletters for previous articles, recipes, and episodes from 2014 through 2021.
Due to the proximity and extended periods of time in which we work with you, our client, and each other, we feel that it is in the best interest of the salon and community to continue requiring masks when spending time at Hair by Brian and Allen Fu Hair Studio.

As a salon, we are committed to creating a space that not only is safe, but also feels safe. We are looking forward to the day where we can be mask-free, but we aren’t quite there yet! We are grateful for your support and kindness through these transitions!

Getting vaccinated is best way to stop spread of COVID-19.
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The Atlantic

The pandemic has been a near-perfect mass hair-loss event.

When i first suspected that I was losing my hair, I felt like maybe I was also losing my grip on reality. This was the summer of 2020, and although the previous three months had been difficult for virtually everyone, I had managed to escape relatively unscathed. I hadn’t gotten sick in New York City’s terrifying first wave of the pandemic. My loved ones were safe. I still had a job. I wasn’t okay, necessarily, but I was fine. Now my hair was falling out for no appreciable reason. Or at least I thought it was—how much hair in the shower drain is enough to be sure that you’re not imagining things?

The second time it happened, a little more than a year later, I was sure—not because of what was in the shower drain, but because of what was obviously no longer on my head. One day, after washing and drying my hair, I looked at my hairline in the mirror and it was thin enough that I could make out the curvature of my scalp beneath it. I still had enough hair, but notably less than I’d had before the pandemic. Feeling a sense of dull panic at the no-longer-refutable idea that something might be wrong, I tipped my head forward to take a picture of my scalp with my phone’s front-facing camera. When I looked at it, the panic became sharp.

I did what everyone does: I Googled my symptoms. At the very top of the search results, a colorful carousel of vitamins, serums, shampoos, and direct-to-consumer prescription services appeared; a so-small-you-could-miss-it disclosure in one corner signaled that these products weren’t real search results, but advertising. Well below them, the real results weren’t much better—WebMD, a bundle of Reddit threads, medical journals whose articles would cost me $50 a pop, factually thin blog posts, natural-health grifters touting hair-growth secrets that doctors didn’t want me to know, product reviews that weren’t labeled as ads but for which someone had almost certainly been paid. I pressed on to gather whatever reliable-looking information I could find, itself full of terms I didn’t fully understand—effluvium, minoxidil, androgenic.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I had just started a quest for answers that many, many others had also undertaken in the previous year. Only a few months into the pandemic, around the same time when I first thought I might be losing either my hair or my mind, people whose hair was indeed falling out by the handful started to come forward. They showed up in Facebook groups about hair loss, in subreddits dedicated to regrowth, and in the waiting rooms of dermatologists and hair-restoration clinics. First there were a few, but then there were thousands. Some of them had had COVID-19, but others, like me, had not.

At first, the fire hose of products I’d been sprayed with felt like a very American type of reassurance—not only was my problem apparently common, but it was also widespread enough to be profitable, and therefore maybe it had a solution. In hindsight, the products feel more like a warning.

This story isn’t about a medical mystery. The pandemic was a near-perfect mass hair-loss event, and anyone with the most basic understanding of why people lose their hair could have spotted it from a mile away. The actual mystery, instead, is why almost no one has that understanding in the first place.

Hair loss, I eventually learned from my diligent Googling, can be temporary or permanent, and it has many causes—heredity, chronic illness, nutritional deficiency, daily too-tight ponytails. But one type of loss is responsible for the pandemic hair-loss spike: telogen effluvium. TE, as it’s often called, is sudden and can be dramatic. It’s caused by the ordinary traumas of human existence in all of their hideous variety. Any kind of intense physical or emotional stress can push as much as 70 percent of your hair into the “telogen” phase of its growth cycle, which halts those strands’ growth and disconnects them from their blood supply in order to conserve resources for more essential bodily processes. That, in time, knocks them straight off your head.

The pandemic has manufactured trauma at an astonishing clip. Many cases of TE have been caused by COVID-19 infection itself, according to Esther Freeman, a dermatologist and an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and the principal investigator for the COVID-19 Dermatology Registry, which collects reports of COVID-19’s effects on skin, nails, and hair. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with something unique about the disease, she told me—any illness that comes with a high fever can cause a round of TE, including common illnesses such as the flu. Among the millions of Americans who have been infected by the coronavirus, hair loss has been a common consequence, she said, both for patients whose symptoms resolve in a couple of weeks and for those who develop long COVID. Researchers do not yet know exactly how prevalent hair loss is among COVID-19 patients, but one study found that among those hospitalized, 22 percent were still dealing with hair loss months later.

COVID-19 infections are only part of the picture. Throughout the pandemic, millions more Americans have suffered devastating emotional stress even if they’ve never gotten sick: watching a loved one die, losing a job, going to work in life-threatening conditions, bearing the brunt of violent political unrest. Feelings can have concrete, involuntary physical manifestations, and these traumas are exactly the kinds that leave people staring in horror at the handfuls of hair they gather while lathering up in the shower.

All of these factors have led to what Jeff Donovan, a hair-loss dermatologist in Whistler, British Columbia, described to me as a “mountain” of new hair-loss patients since the pandemic began. What exacerbates the difficulty of dealing with hair loss for many patients, he and the other doctors I spoke with told me, is just how little good, if any, information on the condition the people coming into their offices are able to assemble, even if they broached the issue with other kinds of doctors in the past. “They don’t know what’s going on, they don’t know why they’ve spent so much money, and they’re just so confused," Maryanne Makredes Senna, a co-director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s hair-loss clinic, told me. “It’s like, ‘I don’t know what to believe, and I went to this doctor and they made me feel like I was crazy.’” The doctors I spoke with said that their patients typically come to them after having seen at least a handful of other practitioners, and sometimes as many as 15.

This level of confusion—including my own—is, frankly, infuriating. Eighty percent of men and about half of women experience some form of hair loss in the course of their life. TE was first described in the 1960s, and it has long been a predictable side effect of surgery, changing medications, crash dieting, childbirth, bankruptcy, and breakups. The way TE resolves for almost everyone who doesn’t already have chronic hair-loss issues is that the hair eventually grows back—plain and simple. You would think, at some point, that someone would tell you not to panic if you lose some hair after something intense happens—that even if you shed for months, it will grow back eventually, and there’s no need to do anything but wait.

For several reasons, many people don’t get much straightforward information on any type of hair loss, TE and beyond. For one, hair loss doesn’t really lend itself to the format of the modern American doctor appointment. Finding the right diagnosis can be a detailed, time-intensive process. “You cannot do everything for a hair-loss patient in a 15-minute visit,” Senna said, and that’s all the time many doctors get to have with their patients. Seeing a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss, she said, is more likely to get patients a visit of at least 30 to 45 minutes and a more detailed, empathetic evaluation—if a patient can figure out to go to such a dermatologist in the first place.

Moreover, hair loss typically isn’t a particularly urgent problem for practitioners who may have many other types of health concerns coming into their office. Most hair loss that isn’t triggered by some kind of trauma is caused by androgenic alopecia, or AGA, often known as male or female pattern hair loss. It’s passed on genetically and has no cure, although some safe treatments are widely available. Doctors busy with other things may shrug their shoulders at patients who have incurable conditions that aren’t physically dangerous or painful. And for panicking patients who hear “Wait it out” or “Buy some Rogaine,” that recommendation may feel dismissive or inadequate, even if it is correct.

Some causes of hair loss vary along ethnic lines, so getting answers can be even harder for certain patients. Susan Taylor, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder of the Skin of Color Society, told me that Black patients usually land in her office with more advanced hair loss than their non-Black counterparts, which can make treatment less effective. Black patients are more likely to have a type of hair loss called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or CCCA. According to Taylor, many practitioners know little about CCCA, and their advice to patients suffering from it can be especially dismissive. “For Black women in particular, they’re told, ‘Stop your relaxers; don’t straighten your hair,’” Taylor said. “And then they say to me, ‘But Dr. Taylor, I always wear my hair natural. I don’t relax my hair.’”

What makes all of this harder is that hair loss—TE in particular—is a long game played on a wonky, counterintuitive timeline. It’s a nightmare for people trying to distinguish correlation and causation on their own. TE is temporary for almost everyone, but because of the vagaries of hair’s growth cycle, the shedding generally doesn’t start until two to four months after the stressor that triggered it occurred. By then, people are no longer thinking about the flu they had months ago—a new shampoo or medication might get the blame instead. And many people who experience TE have no idea whether their hair will ever come back; the shedding can go on for months before slowing down, and regrowth can take several more months to become visible to the naked eye. By the time people notice their hair growing back, a year may have passed since the process was set into motion. Once it starts, the only effective treatment is patience.

If you’ve never gone from normal hair to bald spots in a matter of weeks, you might be tempted to dismiss this as vanity. But people value their hair because the society they live in tells them it’s important. Women in particular have been told for centuries that their hair is their glory, which paraphrases a biblical edict about long hair as a demonstration of righteousness before God. A full head of hair, Donovan, the Whistler dermatologist, pointed out, is still a crude, unscientific shorthand for youth, for healthy living, for vitality. Losing it can send people into a profound depression, or make them ashamed to leave the house.

So people do what I did. They turn to the internet. Waiting for them is a booming market for nonmedical health products, ranging from the dubiously effective to the obviously scammy. Never does a new product look more promising than when you’re trying to solve a problem you don’t understand. In America, where competent medical care can be hard to access even for simple problems, hair loss—extremely common, highly emotional, absolutely confounding—is a case study in how much money there is to be made in this mixture of desperation and hope.

When I first began my own search for answers, the avalanche of hair-loss products under which Google immediately buried me was disorienting and overwhelming. It wasn’t just the beautiful, full-color photos of luxuriously packaged pills and oils that Google threw at me up front, but how the internet kept the score, using the admission that I was losing my hair to stalk me across time and platforms in a way seemingly designed to wear down my defenses. For months on end, those products and many more followed me around the internet, interrupting my friends’ Instagram stories of their latest cooking projects and slipping between my extended family’s Facebook posts about their kids’ first day of school.

At first glance, many of these products seem promising. Vegamour, a start-up that describes its shampoos and scalp serums as a “holistic approach to hair wellness,” can become practically inescapable if you use the internet to look at mainstream fashion and beauty products. It has a website and social-media presence befitting any luxury cosmetic, complete with videos of models tossing around their impossibly thick hair and promises of clinical proof that its products will grow yours. This clinical proof is not included on the site for scrutiny. (A spokesperson for Vegamour did not respond to questions about its products and website.)

Wellness products are a marketing sweet spot for a class of celebrities who are supposed to be more relatable than traditional stars, because they seem to offer a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be beautiful, but without really revealing anything at all. They are a simple way to assure an audience that you got hot through clean living, good nutrition, and a little self-care—that your entire deal isn’t one big, carefully stage-directed feminine farce. The catch, of course, is that the professionally beautiful absolutely do not rely on these types of products to ensure that their hair looks thick and luxurious. Celebrities, as Senna told me, generally don’t have incredible hair. Instead, they have incredibly expensive hair extensions and lace-front wigs. (SugarBearHair did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

In the United States, cosmetics and dietary supplements occupy a separate legal category from drugs. Their efficacy claims are far less regulated, which allows the manufacturers of nonmedical hair-growth products to make enticingly vague promises that would be more heavily scrutinized and caveated when made by a pharmaceutical company. Paradoxically, this freedom from regulatory surveillance can lead potential customers to assume that these products must be superior overall. The difference can seem implicit in the distinction from pharmaceuticals—if this class of products weren’t safer, more natural, and just as effective, wouldn’t the same level of governmental caution be applied to them? Can’t we infer something from its absence?

These assumptions and their attendant fears are explicitly encouraged by many supplement and cosmetic companies as a way to more effectively market their own products. Vegamour’s website, for example, includes a list of medical-grade ingredients that its products do not include, alongside context-free lists of the most unpleasant side effects that have ever been attributed to those ingredients, even if those side effects are quite rare. The site does not mention any potential side effects of its own products. Drug manufacturers are legally required to track and disclose side effects, but cosmetic companies are not.

You can see the effect anywhere that health problems are being discussed online, especially in spaces dedicated to regrowing hair. In one Facebook group with nearly 30,000 members, the same discussion plays out again and again: A new member asks for help, alongside photos of her thinning hair. Well-meaning people post links to buy the vitamins or essential oils that they’re currently using. They suggest a megadose of biotin, which has never been linked to hair growth in those without a biotin deficiency. They recommend an iron-supplementation protocol with its own Facebook group, even though taking iron supplements can be dangerous if you’re not deficient. Suggesting minoxidil can be controversial, even though it’s one of the only effective treatments for hereditary hair loss, has been studied for decades, and is widely available over the counter in cheap generics. People express a fear of side effects without getting more specific about what scares them. The most common side effect of minoxidil is scalp irritation.

When wading through the sludge of the internet’s hair-loss advice, if you’re lucky, you come across someone like Tala, whose last name I’m not using in order to protect her privacy. She’s a 39-year-old moderator of the Reddit forum r/FemaleHairLoss, which has grown from about 3,000 subscribers to more than 14,000 during the pandemic. The subreddit is a relative rarity on the internet: a place to crowdsource information about a tricky health problem where discussions tend to stay based in reality. People post lots of pictures of their head, either to ask whether it looks like they’re losing more hair than they should be or to show before-and-after photos of treatment plans that really work. They talk about minoxidil and finasteride. They trade hair-war stories about scalp injections and laser helmets, and tell newbies how to find a specialist who can actually help them.

Tala has AGA, the hereditary kind of hair loss, and has been losing hair since she was 30, but she considers herself lucky—she lives in an area with lots of good doctors and she can afford to see them, which means she has access to quality information. Passing on as much of it as possible feels important to her and the subreddit’s other moderators because of how vulnerable many of the group’s new members are. “I can’t tell you how many suicidal people come to this group,” Tala told me. “To know that somebody is suffering that much because they lost their hair, it breaks my heart.”

Maintaining a safe, truthful environment is an uphill battle. “To keep this group running and to keep it free from shills and people who are trying to take advantage of it and spammers, it’s a lot of work,” Tala said. She and the other mods walk a difficult line: For the group to be helpful to as many people as possible, it has to feel welcoming and nonjudgmental, and it has to be free of people who might be trying to sell something. For the group to actually help, the moderators and regular commenters have to find ways to tell people who have spent so much money on “natural” cures that they maybe have been duped, without making them feel stupid or defensive. They teach people the basics of hair’s growth cycle, what to look out for when evaluating a scientific study, and which treatments are known to be effective for the type of hair loss they suspect they have.

Several of the doctors I spoke with think that communities like r/FemaleHairLoss, which encourage rigor and evidence-based treatment options, provide a useful port in the storm of internet health marketing and misinformation. Nonmedical products, the doctors said, are basically all useless for expediting the growth of existing hair—which is not possible in already healthy individuals—or reviving dormant follicles. Dietary supplements themselves can be useful, Senna said, but only for patients whose hair loss is caused by a nutritional deficiency, which is rarely the case for people eating a standard American diet. If you’re not medically deficient, more isn’t better—and it can certainly be worse. Senna mentioned biotin, large doses of which are extremely common in hair-growth supplements. Too much biotin can lead to an incorrect thyroid-disease diagnosis, she said. Thyroid disease can also cause hair loss, so the misdiagnosis can send doctors on a wild-goose chase. The whole problem becomes bigger than if you never took the supplements in the first place.

The myths commonly passed on as facts in some online hair-loss groups are a constant impediment to getting patients on treatment regimens that actually have some chance of helping their hair. “It can be very, very challenging to convince the patient that the diagnosis that she came up with from the internet is not the correct one,” Taylor, the University of Pennsylvania dermatologist, told me. With some types of chronic hair loss, the time that people spend trying things that don’t work is precious—the longer someone goes without effective treatment, the less effective they can expect that treatment to ultimately be.

In the case of TE, hair loss’s timeline is on the side of the wellness industry. Think about how all of this feels to the average person, who has no idea what’s happening to them or why, and who may not even realize that dermatologists treat hair loss—I didn’t. After a couple of months of shedding, they may get worried enough to start looking for remedies as their scalp becomes more visible. They pick up a bottle of hair vitamins and a vial of scalp oil, with the understanding that results will take a few months to see. Down the line, when they spot short little hairs filling back in around their hairline, they’ll attribute that regrowth to the things they bought, not their natural hair-growth cycle. Suddenly, they’re evangelists for their vitamins and oils, which seem like a miracle cure but did nothing at all.

The pandemic likely put this process into motion thousands—if not millions—of times. It’s a challenge that the supplement and cosmetic industries were well positioned to meet; beauty supplements and topical cosmetics are now often sold alongside each other, not just in luxury department stores and beauty emporiums such as Sephora and Ulta, but at Target or via Amazon’s recommendation algorithm. That these products don’t work matters very little to their profitability. In that way, this is a story that predates the pandemic by at least a century. When real, reliable information is hard to come by—in this case, when it is cut off from the general public by the structural limitations of the American health-care system—there will always be a market for new products with hollow promises.

From The Atlantic

If you've noticed your hair is getting thinner during this pandemic or even falling out, you're not alone.
COVID and pandemic stress is causing widespread hair loss

Hair loss is a common side effect of COVID-19 and the trauma of the pandemic itself. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Atlantic writer Amanda Mull about her article, "The Year America's Hair Fell Out."

The Gray Hair Movement Has Reached
Royal Circles 

Supermodel Kristen McMenamy and British Vogue’s own Sarah Harris are the fashion world’s poster girls for gray—their every Instagram post proof that a head of silver hair isn’t just acceptable, it’s seriously aspirational. But the period post-lockdown has seen the gray hair movement go mainstream. 

Forced to relinquish their regular salon visits due to COVID restrictions, many women chose to embrace their regrowth, rather than run from it. It seems A-listers were no different, and the return of the party circuit (and unfettered access to glam squads) did nothing to quell enthusiasm for this newly liberated approach to beauty. 

Image may contain Tie Accessories Accessory Human Person Queen Letizia of Spain Suit Coat Clothing and Overcoat

Letizia in Stockholm wearing Carolina Herrera, with silver strands visible in her dark hair. 

 Michael Campanella
After Sarah Jessica Parker proudly showed off pearlescent roots in a viral Sex and the City reunion snap, and Andie MacDowell’s halo of silver curls became the most admired hairstyle on the Cannes red carpet, intentional regrowth is now infiltrating royal circles. Spain’s Queen Letizia arrived in Stockholm for a state visit this week looking characteristically groomed in a camel cape by Carolina Herrera, with natural strands of silver visible in her glossy dark hair.

Letizia, a former journalist and news anchor who married into the Spanish royal family in 2004, is as influential in Spain as the Duchess of Cambridge—whose tacit seal of approval can be worth millions of pounds in sales to a brand—is in Britain. Her relaxed approach to regrowth is further evidence that the rise of gray hair—part of a broader welcome shift towards age positivity—will be perhaps the biggest beauty headline of 2021. Her segue to gray follows that of another royal brunette, Princess Caroline, whose salt and pepper bob is suitably chic for the daughter of style icon Grace Kelly
from Vogue

Myth Buster

8 Haircolor Myths Debunked
By Industry Experts

Haircolor myths: They can twist client understanding and even trip up colorists from time to time. And while the advent of the Internet can be seen as a force for good—it can, after all, help quell client curiosity about hair dye as well as provide infinite inspiration—it can also spew misinformation unchecked. “[Clients’] belief in a myth may create false expectations about their color service leading to dissatisfaction with their results,” warns Joanne Rempel, Eufora color development manager. Your job: Disprove myths delicately. “It’s important to educate clients on the facts, but do so in a professional manner in a way that they’ll understand. Sometimes stylists overcomplicate matters for clients,” explains Amy Spencer, Malibu C artistic team member and educator. Beauty Launchpad asked three top color pros to dismantle dye lies so that you can help spread hair hue truth simply.

Myth #1: Sub-Scalp Bleaching

Your client swears that her previous stylist’s highlights lasted longer than yours because he placed lightener in the hair follicle. “This is definitely untrue. Lightener only works on the exposed hair. Some stylists could definitely get foils closer to the scalp than others, but any highlights are definitely on the outside of the scalp,” Rempel says. Carefully clarify that lightener is unable to penetrate into the hair follicle, and therefore can’t lighten hair developing in the follicle. Rempel advises explaining to clients the benefits of taking smaller sections and a finer weave to allow you to get closer to the scalp area and, if correcting a fellow colorist on this myth, advising her on how she can improve her foil work.

Myth #2: The 24-Hour Post-Color Wash Rule

We’ve all heard it: Don’t wash your hair for 24 hours after a color service. Otherwise, as the tall tale goes, you’ll strip away some of the vibrant color. “The truth is you can wash your hair after the color is processed and it won’t be harmed,” shares Sonya Dove, Wella Professionals global creative artist and Ulta ProTeam member, adding, “Now, shampooing too often can certainly strip the oils from hair, so be aware!” She notes that haircolor technology advancements make this old wives’ tale simply that: a myth worth debunking. “I always suggest clients take home color care products to enhance their color and stop it from eventually fading,” Dove says.

Myth #3: Bleach Drives Direct Dyes Deeper into Hair

This myth has long been held by stylists, but Spencer believes there’s no time like the present to debunk it as it affects proper formulation for corrective color. “Lightener and direct dye have the same charge, so when you use a traditional lightener on direct dye, it has a similar reaction as putting two ends of a magnet together. They repel each other, causing the dye to spread out,” she says. In order to hammer the idea home, she recommends showing colorists how lightener and direct dye work via visuals, like a photo or video.

Myth #4: Haircolor Causes Irrevocable Damage

“Damage is a harsh word,” Spencer says. While she admits haircolor does cause oxidization—and over-oxidization can damage hair—current technologies allow colorists to safely add color, shine and dimension sans harm. To better ensure hair integrity, Spencer suggests proper prep pre-color to help decrease stress on hair, as well as using bond builders to rebuild disulfide bonds during processing. “I like to educate clients on the science behind it without getting too technical,” she says. Spencer also recommends posting before and after visuals of color to show how color services can actually condition, gloss and leave strands stronger as a way to help demystify this myth.

Myth #5: Henna-Colored Hair Can’t Be Lightened

The pros differ on their assessment of this myth, though they do agree that Henna-colored hair can be lightened to some degree. First, have a thorough consultation with your client, asking about frequency of use and whether the Henna includes mineral salts in the formulation. “Not all Henna is created equal,” Rempel warns. She notes that quality and ingredients in Henna formulation differ, and that the mineral salts found in many Henna brands make total removal difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Rempel refuses to remove Henna with mineral salts as the chemical reaction with color or lightener can cause severe damage to hair. “I tell clients the truth as I know it. If they insist on wanting something done, I just say no and tell them to find another stylist,” Dove agrees.

Spencer, on the other hand, has found success removing Henna after prepping the hair with Malibu C Color Disruptor and CPR, and even teaches a class devoted to this subject. However, all pros do concur on this integral step: They insist that Henna removal shouldn’t be attempted without a test strand first. “The telltale signs of mineral salts may be heating of the hair strand, smoking and damage or breakage,” says Rempel. Whatever you decide, make sure to have clients sign a release form in advance, and explain the risk involved with removal.

Myth #6: Haircolor Responds Better to Dry Hair

Wet, damp or dry hair: Which is best for haircolor application? It largely depends on what the manufacturer directions say, Dove concedes. “Each brand varies—even the product lines within a brand vary!” she stresses. Dove offers this example: “At Wella, Color Touch demipermanent needs to be put on clean, damp hair because the dampness helps porosity and how the formula absorbs. Yet for Koleston Perfect, Wella recommends applying on dry hair due to the technology in the formula.” Also consider damp versus wet hair. “There is a big difference between wet and damp hair when it comes to haircolor,” Rempel explains. “Damp hair (70- to 80-percent dry) is fine to color over; however, if there’s significant water in the hair, it will need to be displaced with color to achieve your desired results, and therefore slows down the process. The cuticle layer is generally more closed off when hair is wet.” She notes that as a general rule, direct dyes require application on dry hair for the color to last. The lesson in this myth: When in doubt, check the manufacturer instructions.

Myth #7: Hair Should Be Dirty—Not Clean—Before Coloring

How many times has a client shown up with greasy strands to her color appointment? Don’t blame her; she has definitely fallen victim to the “Don’t wash your hair prior to a haircolor appointment; a little dirt and product helps the process” myth. Wrong! “Not sure this was ever true; however, certainly today, this is an urban myth,” Rempel declares. In order to better maintain hair’s health and integrity, modern haircolor formulas feature lower percentages of alkalizer, which functions to open the hair cuticle, she explains. With less blasting open of the cuticle, anything coating the hair—say, dirt or product buildup—is counterintuitive to the process of absorbing haircolor. Therefore, clean—or ever-so-slightly soiled—hair ensures color can more easily penetrate the hair shaft without having to work through layers of grime and product. So let your clients know: No more greasy strands!

Myth #8: Baking Soda Removes Haircolor

While baking soda can remove color, it doesn’t mean clients should use it. “Baking soda is an abrasive cleanser and can be used on stovetops and countertops, but should not be used on the hair and scalp,” Rempel emphatically clarifies. Spencer reasons that the pH of baking soda is high, so it would likely ruin hair. “At-home remedies scare me,” she sighs, adding, “They haven’t been tested!” Rempel agrees, “We must caution ourselves about believing myths and urban legends about things like baking soda, lemon juice and other at-home remedies as being ‘better’ (i.e. more clean) for the hair. They may be more damaging to the hair because they’re not buffered. Hair-coloring agents, albeit chemical, contain buffering agents that do the job of protecting the hair strand. I like to leave baking soda and vinegar to the homemade volcano science project!”

From BeautyLaunchPad

Scalp Health

How to Prevent Scalp Irritation Caused by Hair Dye

Fresh hair color doesn't have to equal irritation.

Walking out of a salon with fresh highlights and a burning scalp is, unfortunately, more common than you’d think. And for those of us blessed with hair that’s quick to grow back, this every-six-week two-for-one deal can become more painful than blissful. However, it doesn’t have to be. We tapped Stephanie Brown, master hair colorist at IGK Soho, for her top tips to prevent and treat a scalp that’s easily irritated by hair dye.

Embrace the oil
According to Brown, if you’re heading to the salon for a single process, the easiest way to avoid mild scalp irritation couldn’t be easier, and starts before you leave the house. “Don’t wash your hair before getting it colored,” she advises. “The hair’s natural oils can help to protect your scalp and hair.”

Be honest with your colorist 
Having a conversation with your colorist and letting him or her know about your sensitivity to hair color is key—then they can dig into their toolkit. Brown says she usually adds Care & Comfort or Sweet’n Low when she’s mixing color for a client who’s sensitive to dye. “These have pH buffers to help neutralize some of the ammonia to cause less irritation to the scalp,” she explains.

Side note: Does Sweet’n Low even work?
According to cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos, “cream of tartar, aka potassium bitartrate, is one of the ingredients in Sweet’N Low. It has a low pH buffer, while saccharin [another main ingredient in it] also has an acidic pH. Because of these properties, it is believed that the addition of artificial sweeteners helps neutralize some of the ammonia used in hair color and mitigate irritation.” 

Ask for a patch test 
“If you get very irritated, you may have an allergy and should do a patch test first,” says Brown. “I will sometimes suggest taking a Benadryl before getting color if a client is irritated by color, especially those with platinum hair.”

Do your salon research
If you know you’re allergic to these artificial hair dyes, look for salons near you that use organic hair color—Brown says these are usually gentler on the scalp.

Be picky about your shampoo and conditioner
The work doesn’t stop after your appointment is over; what you use in the shower makes just as big of a difference in your scalp’s health and irritation. Brown says we should be using pH balanced shampoos and moisturizing conditioners.

Treat your scalp at home
Thanks to the recent influx of scalp-centric products, sensitive scalps around the world have so many options at their disposal. A tried-and-true favorite? IGK Trust Issues ($29), a formula Brown relies on for her own scalp. Aside from using patented hydrogel time-release technology to moisturize both while you use it and over time, it’s also infused with natural astringents like apple cider vinegar to rebalance the scalp.

Go au naturale
If you’re after a cleaner approach, Brown says ingredients you likely have in your pantry can help soothe, too. “An apple cider vinegar or chamomile tea rinse works well,” she says, advising to leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing out. “You can also do an oil, like coconut, avocado or hemp seed, and leave it on for 10-30 minutes, then shampoo out.”

From Newbeauty


New allergic reactions to hair dye reported

Hairdressers in parts of the UK are reporting clients having new allergic reactions, like rashes and burns, to hair dye after contracting coronavirus.

Scientists at Imperial College London are now researching how the disease could be reprogramming our immune system, in a similar way to other illnesses.

The trade body that represents hairdressers and beauticians is warning professionals to carry out additional patch tests to avoid facing legal action.

Gemma suffered a reaction to a patch test despite using the same hair dye for years. She had also recovered from a previous Covid infection. Her salon says it has seen four clients with the same issue since it began compulsory patch tests for all clients.

Reporter: Frankie McCamley

Is ‘The Skullet’ Australia’s Rudest Haircut?
Once a skullet always a skullet.

It’s been a hairy year in more ways than one. Australia has seen influencers growing mustaches, civilians mimicking Chris Hemsworth’s lockdown beard and various other bizarre grooming trends as a result of all the extra time we’ve now got at home.

Reaching fever pitch, Matt Damon this week shocked American fans by stepping out with a ‘dirty’ Australian haircut last popular in Europe and America in the middle ages. Suffice to say, we thought the world of male grooming couldn’t get any crazier.

How wrong we were… enter the skullet.

Taking the cake for the most ‘confronting’ quiff this year is ‘the dusty’ (also known as ‘the skullet’). What’s that, you might ask? A haircut that looks like an elbow (essentially, a version of the mullet, but with the top either fully shaved or extra short).

Rocked two years ago by Richemond Midfielder/Forward Dustin Martin, ‘the dusty’ is now sweeping the country (as are mullets more generally, inspired by icons like professional surfer Mikey Wright), proving once again how long it takes for a bold new look to filter down to the mainstream after initially being laughed at.

It’s not just Gold Coast groms and aspiring AFL players getting in on the action either, with DMARGE this week capturing a couple of young kings rocking ‘the dusty’ whilst ambling around south Sydney.

Though the snobs might recoil at such a cut, others – like Sydney barbershop owner Jacob Martin (proprietor of Tate & Lyle) say it could be evidence that Australian men are paying more attention to their mental health, with the ‘mullets for mental health’ month having just come to a conclusion.

As for the ‘finer’ details of the skullet cut itself, Mr. Martin said, “AFL players seem to treat dirtiness like a trophy… [but] at least the mullet section has straight lines.”

In regards to rocking this look for yourself: “the dirtier the skullet, the better.”

We didn’t stop there. Adam Walmsley, the owner from an inner Sydney salon, Friends & Family, was equally as perplexed by this ongoing trend.

“I’m not sure myself….is it part of the skullet family?”, Adam commented. Turns out Adam was the winner with the ‘skullet’ being the most logical answer.

Wikipedia confirms this is the case, explaining the “skullet (plural skullets)” is “a more extreme form of the mullet hairstyle, in which the hair at the back is kept long, whilst the hair on the top and the sides is shaven in a buzzcut or skinhead style.”

Early example of what would later be called a “skullet”, by (partially bald) Benjamin Butler in the 1870s.

Even if it may be intrinsically associated with having ‘a rude head’, we’d argue men should be able to snipper their skulls however they want, and not obsess about what others think. Indeed, half the ‘cool’ factor of a new haircut trend (whether its a Faux Viking Hipster Undercut or a Peaky Blinders Special) is in its rarity.

Only problem is the ‘skullett’ movement is growing’ so fast it may soon lose its shock value…


Hair Health
The Biology of Hair Aging
Industry experts share insight into why hair changes as we age—and how to combat those unwelcome outcomes.

The passing of time brings about many physical changes, and hair isn’t exempt from its effects. As we mature, tress texture, color, volume and shine tend to shift and fade—but those transformations needn’t be traumatic. Hair color, quantity and quality can be preserved by taking certain styling steps while following basic healthy-living tips. Our experts weigh in on the biology of hair aging.

Cause and Effect

“There are three main reasons for why hair aging occurs,” says Kenneth Vigue, Redavid director of marketing and education. The first and most common encompasses internal factors, including genes, diet and medication. Menopause is a contributor to women’s hair transformation starting in their forties, as the sex hormones that stimulate follicle-fiber growth tend to dwindle. Over time, fibers become thinner, often falling out and no longer regenerating. “Family history can’t be altered, and genetics also play a role when it comes to pigment,” says Cherry Petenbrink, CLICS creative director and Olivia Garden artistic director. “If one or both parents turned gray early in life, chances are you’ll follow that same pattern.” The second cause consists of environmental factors, including exposure to chemicals, pollution, salt and sun. “People with active lifestyles often find themselves in environments that promote hair aging, particularly come summer,” says Vigue. “That ranges from the photoaging effects and molecular breakdown caused by excessive UV damage to salt and chlorine buildup.” Finally, mechanical factors play their part in the tress-aging process. “Years of wear and tear caused by thermal tools like blowdryers and styling irons, in addition to the overuse of chemicals found in straightening treatments or perms, can lead to less youthful-looking hair,” says Petenbrink.

Signs of Aging Strands


Whether you were in your twenties or forties when you spotted your first gray strand, loss of saturation is an inevitable fact of life. Melanocyte cells that infuse hair with color eventually stop producing pigment. Stress on the sympathetic nervous system, poor nutrition and a deficit of essential vitamins and minerals can all hasten this process, but the bottom line is melanin doesn’t generate forever. Most studies agree on the rule of fifties: Half the population will have fifty percent gray hair by age fifty.


“Hair gets thinner as you get older, and its texture can also change,” says Sonya Dove, Wella Professionals global artist. That’s because shorter follicle life cycles stop replacing old strands with new ones as people hit their forties and fifties. Thinning patterns vary, with men experiencing more male-pattern baldness around hairlines and crowns, and women tending to see uniform loss around the scalp. Fiber diameters also alter, growing larger for the first few decades before steadily decreasing in size, which can lead to loss of volume or even a change in existing curl patterns.


Excessive oil production may be a marker of puberty, but when most of us hit middle age, both skin and hair begin to tend toward dryness. This is due to shifting hormones that slow down sebum production. Natural oils keep strands looking smooth, which means loss of moisture may result in the unwanted appearance of flyaways and frizz.

Combating Hair Aging

Luckily, there are solutions to the hair-aging problem. “I like to start my graying clients with a demipermanent hair color,” says Petenbrink. “That covers fifty percent or less and blends fifty percent and higher without changing hair’s structure.” Scalp health is an essential prerequisite to shiny, voluminous-looking tresses, so opt for products containing ingredients that increase blood flow while nixing impurities. “Cedarwood oil boasts those qualities naturally, and is phenomenal for cleansing scalps and hair so they can thrive and breathe,” says Vigue. “Certain oils, including orchid oil, can also smooth down cuticles to infuse luster and tame flyaways.” And while it may be easier said than done, making healthy lifestyle choices can help hair—and bodies—look and feel their best. “Attempt to keep stress to a minimum and eat a good diet rich in protein, iron, vitamins and minerals,” says Dove. Cheers to many years of youthful-looking strands.

From BLP

Click here to check the balance of your eGift Card

How Much Money Is Your Hair Worth?

Cutting off your hair might mean a bold new look, but it’s also a chance to make some quick cash. You can generally sell your long (or short) locs for anywhere from $100 to $1000, as human hair is a hot commodity for high-quality wigs, weaves, and extensions, but before you grab some scissors you might want to know how much you can get for your lovely mane. Here’s how to price your hair and see if it’s worth the big chop.

Your hair care type and routine matters

Different hair types are worth different amounts. Thicker hair is easier to make into a wig, so it has an advantage; also rare colors like red are harder to come by and pull a larger price tag due to the limited supply. Longer hair earns more cash as well.

“Buyers want thick, healthy, ‘virgin’ hair that is 10 inches long or longer,” says the personal finance site The Balance Everyday. “Virgin” hair refers to hair that has not been altered with chemicals like dyes, perms, or bleaching, and has no heat damage. Even damage from excessive washing can dull the color and weaken the strength of hair.

Unfortunately, there are some discriminatory market trends to expect as well. Curly or tightly-coiled hair (often represented in hair from Black and Brown people) is more difficult to sell. According to Beauty Mag, curly and coiled hair is “less flexible,” which is why some vendors don’t request or carry it. With the growing acceptance and popularity of natural hair, though, curly hair is rising in demand.

How much is your hair worth?

Finding out exactly how much your hair is worth can be done quickly and from the comfort of your home. Beauty Mag offers an easy-to-use calculator. The first thing you’ll see at the top of the site is a box with four sections: hair length, thickness, color, and an option for virgin or not virgin. The first two boxes are sliding scales for you to raise or lower to match your hair. You’ll need a ruler to measure your hair’s length, and you’ll measure your hair’s thickness based on the root of your ponytail. My hair, which is about seven inches long, three inches thick, and virgin, is calculated to be worth $102.90.

How to find a buyer

Selling your hair online might sound sketchy, but a Google search will actually reveal several legitimate buyers. The lifestyle blog Work at Home Adventures suggests “17 Places to Sell Your Hair,” including eBay and Craigslist; other sites like Hair Sellon, Just Sell My Hair, and Online Hair Affair allow you to make an account, submit pictures of the hair on your head, and set a price. With any online sales, though, make sure you keep an eye out for scams.

Convenient Online Booking
24 x 7
Book Now

For the time being,
online booking is available Sunday thru Wednesday.

Thursday, Friday or Saturday if you're having an extreme hair emergency.

What is a hair mask?

Sometimes, hair needs more hydration than your regular conditioner can provide. Hair masks add extra moisture to help keep your hair healthy and smooth.

What do hair masks do?

When your hair’s looking dull, feeling dry or not as smooth and shiny as you’d like it to be, a hair mask is the best remedy. This product is an intensive conditioner designed to nourish and moisturize hair and repair damage. Hair masks are available for a range of hair types and needs.

You can buy hair masks ready to use or make them yourself at home. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to choose the right mask for your hair. 

Who needs hair masks?

People who have dry or damaged hair can benefit the most from hair masks. Hair masks are moisture-rich and can sink into the follicle to nourish hair damaged by heat or hair dye. Other people prefer to use these products preventively, to keep their hair in the smooth and shiny condition it’s already in. Unless your hair verges on the greasy side, you can use a hair mask.

Hair mask benefits

Hair masks have multiple positive effects on your hair. They include: 

  • Hair masks leave your hair softer and shiner
  • Using hair masks can moisturize dry hair
  • Some hair masks can mask the appearance of split ends and reduce breakage
  • Your hair may be stronger and your scalp healthier after using a hair mask
  • By moisturizing hair, masks can reduce frizz and stray hairs
How to use a hair mask

Hair masks are straightforward to use but require more time than you’d usually spend washing your hair. Start by shampooing your hair as usual. This removes dirt and grease that might get in the way of the mask thoroughly soaking into the shaft of the hair. Shampooing also opens up the hair cuticles so the mask can penetrate better. 

Then, squeeze your hair after rinsing out the shampoo, but don’t dry it. Now apply the mask to your hair, making sure to comb it into the strands with your fingers, so you don’t miss any sections. If your hair is often limp or you want extra volume, avoid the roots, starting around midway down the length of the hair. 

Wait around 20-30 minutes for the hair mask to work its magic. If your hair is dried, you can leave your hair mask on overnight. You may want to use a hair tie to put your hair up and out of the way while you wait. After the designated amount of time, rinse out the mask and dry your hair as usual.

Moisturizing hair mask ingredients

If you want to make your hair mask, there are a few nourishing ingredients you should include. You can also look out for these ingredients in store-bought hair masks. 

Olive oil

Olive oil is an excellent natural moisturizer and is excellent for homemade masks as it’s readily available in practically any grocery store — in fact, you probably already have some in your kitchen. It contains squalene, which is also naturally produced by our bodies to moisturize our skin and hair, so it’s great for hair masks.

Avocado oil

While any oil can help moisturize hair, avocado oil is rich in nutrients like folic acid, iron and magnesium, which can help boost your hair health.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a favorite among people who make their hair masks and other beauty products since it’s solid or semi-solid at room temperature, making it less messy to work with. It’s also one of the best oils for penetrating the hair shaft due to its low molecular weight. 

Shea butter

Fat extracted from the shea nut tree; shea butter is another common ingredient in hair masks due to its excellent moisturizing properties. Like coconut oil, it’s solid at room temperature, so it’s easy to handle.

Aloe vera

Anti-inflammatory aloe vera is a quality hair mask ingredient for anyone with a dry or itchy scalp. It’s easy to find aloe vera gel to add to homemade hair masks.


Bananas contain silica, which helps make hair softer and shinier. It’s rarely found in commercial hair masks, but it’s easy to mash or blend into a homemade hair mask. 


Some recommendations for you:

Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment Hair Mask

Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment Hair Mask

This mask is designed to hydrate and soften hair and contains a range of moisturizing ingredients, including avocado oil and coconut oil. It’s a good choice for dry, color-treated hair.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Avocado Hair Mask for Curly Hair

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask for Dry, Damaged or Color Treated Hair - Repairs Straight, Wavy and Curly Hair

Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque

Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque
Its impressive moisturizing properties make this mask excellent for anyone struggling with dry hair. It helps treat split ends and smooth any unwanted frizziness.

Verb Hydrating Hair Mask

Verb Hydrating Hair Mask

This mask is suitable for all hair types and can nourish hair and repair damage. Ingredients such as babassu oil leave hair softer and glossier.

Wondering how to blow dry hair like a pro? Mastering the art of the at-home blowout is essential to looking and feeling your best, getting out the door on time, and keeping your hair healthy and beautiful.

But just grabbing a blow dryer and blasting heat at your hair won’t give you the sleek, voluminous results you crave! It’s important to choose the best tools and techniques for YOUR specific hair type (straight, wavy or curly) and length (short or long). If you’re tired of only having great hair after a trip to the salon or blowout bar, read on to discover the best ways to blow dry hair.
Click one of the links below to master your at-home blowout.


  1. How do you blow dry your hair properly?
  2. How long should it take to blow dry hair?
  3. What is the fastest way to blow dry hair?
  4. Why does my hair look frizzy after I blow dry it?
  5. Is blow drying your hair with cold air good?
  6. Is it better to blow dry wet or dry hair?
  7. Is it okay to blow dry hair everyday?
  8. Is blow dry bad for hair?
  9. Hot air brush vs blow dryer
  1. How to blow dry natural hair
  2. How to blow dry hair straight
  3. How to blow dry curly hair
  4. How to blow dry hair for volume
  5. How to blow dry thick hair
  6. How to blow dry short hair
  7. How to blow dry long hair
  8. How to blow dry men's hair


What caught my attention
this month

On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

#1 New York Times Bestseller • A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

"Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." —The New York Times

Reviews you may want to check out
The New Yorker:
An artist illustrates Timothy Snyder’s treatise on combatting autocracy.
Washington Post:
The Guardian:
Snyder is the award-winning author of Bloodlands and Black Earth, and his extensive study of the Holocaust has made him one of the foremost experts on authoritarian movements. In this brief and urgent call-to-action, Snyder, the Housum Professor of history at Yale, identifies striking parallels between the political landscape of pre-war Europe and today’s United States. History’s lessons are many, however, and while democracies can fail, they can also resist and grow stronger. From the examples of the twentieth century, Snyder has distilled twenty essential points that should guide the current struggle. They are as simple as “do not obey in advance” and “beware the one-party state,” and as inspiring as “contribute to good causes” and “learn from peers in other countries.”

Health and Well-Being
14 Reasons You're Tired All the Time

Lack of sleep isn’t the only thing sapping your energy. Little things you do (and don’t do) can exhaust you both mentally and physically, which can make getting through your day a chore. Here, experts reveal common bad habits that can make you feel tired, plus simple lifestyle tweaks that will put the pep back in your step.

1. You skip exercise when you’re tired
Skipping your workout to save energy actually works against you. In a University of Georgia study, sedentary but otherwise healthy adults who began exercising lightly three days a week for as little as 20 minutes at a time reported feeling less fatigued and more energized after six weeks. Regular exercise boosts strength and endurance, helps make your cardiovascular system run more efficiently, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. So next time you’re tempted to crash on the couch, at least go for a brisk walk—you won’t regret it.

2. You don’t drink enough water
Being even slightly dehydrated—as little as 2% of normal fluid loss—takes a toll on energy levels, says Amy Goodson, RD, a dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume, explains Goodson, which makes the blood thicker. This requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs. To calculate your normal fluid needs, take your weight in pounds, divide in half and drink that number of ounces of fluid a day, Goodson recommends.

3. You’re not consuming enough iron
An iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to focus. “It makes you tired because less oxygen travels to the muscles and cells,” says Goodson. Boost your iron intake to reduce your risk of anemia: load up on lean beef, kidney beans, tofu, eggs (including the yolk), dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter, and pair them with foods high in vitamin C (vitamin C improves iron absorption when eaten together), suggests Goodson. Note: an iron deficiency may be due to an underlying health problem, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms of iron deficiency, you should visit your doc.

4. You’re a perfectionist
Striving to be perfect—which, let’s face it, is impossible—makes you work much harder and longer than necessary, says Irene S. Levine, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. “You set goals that are so unrealistic that they are difficult or impossible to achieve, and in the end, there is no sense of self-satisfaction.” Levine recommends setting a time limit for yourself on your projects, and taking care to obey it. In time, you’ll realize that the extra time you were taking wasn’t actually improving your work.

5. You make mountains out of molehills
If you assume that you’re about to get fired when your boss calls you into an unexpected meeting, or you’re too afraid to ride your bike because you worry you’ll get into an accident, then you’re guilty of “catastrophizing,” or expecting that the worst-case scenario will always occur. This anxiety can paralyze you and make you mentally exhausted, says Levine. When you catch yourself having these thoughts, take a deep breath and ask yourself how likely it is that the worst really will happen. Getting outdoors, meditating, exercising, or sharing your concerns with a friend may help you better cope and become more realistic.

6. You skip breakfast
The food you eat fuels your body, and when you sleep, your body continues using what you consumed at dinner the night before to keep your blood pumping and oxygen flowing. So, when you wake up in the morning, you need to refuel with breakfast. Skip it, and you’ll feel sluggish. “Eating breakfast is like starting a fire in your body by kickstarting your metabolism,” Goodson says. Goodson recommends a breakfast that includes whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat. Good examples include oatmeal with protein powder and a dab of peanut butter; a smoothie made with fruit, protein powder, low-fat milk, and almond butter; or eggs with two slices of whole-wheat toast and low-fat Greek yogurt.

7. You live on junk food
Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs (like the ones you’ll find in a box or at the drive-thru window) rank high on the glycemic index (GI), an indicator of how rapidly carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Constant blood sugar spikes followed by sharp drops cause fatigue over the course of the day, says Goodson. Keep blood sugar steady by having a lean protein along with a whole grain at every meal, says Goodson. Good choices include chicken (baked, not fried) and brown rice, salmon and sweet potato, or salad with chicken and fruit.

8. You have trouble saying ‘no’
People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. To make matters worse, it can make you resentful and angry over time. So whether it’s your kid’s coach asking you to bake cookies for her soccer team or your boss seeing if you can work on a Saturday, you don’t have to say yes. Train yourself to say ‘no’ out loud, suggests Susan Albers, a licensed clinical psychologist with Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. “Try it alone in your car,” she says. “Hearing yourself say the word aloud makes it easier to say it when the next opportunity calls for it.”

9. You have a messy office
A cluttered desk mentally exhausts you by restricting your ability to focus and limits your brain’s ability to process information, according to a Princeton University study. “At the end of each day, make sure your work and personal items are organized and put away,” suggests Lombardo. “It will help you have a positive start to your day the next morning.” If your office needs major reorganizing, avoid becoming totally overwhelmed by taking it one step at a time: start by tidying what you can see, then move through your desk and cabinets drawer by drawer.

10. You work through vacation
Checking your email when you should be relaxing by the pool puts you at risk of burnout, says Lombardo. Unplugging and allowing yourself to truly unwind allows your mind and body to rejuvenate and return to the office stronger. “When you truly take breaks, you will be more creative, productive, and effective when you return,” says Lombardo.

11. You have a glass of wine (or two) before bed
A nightcap sounds like a good way to unwind before falling asleep, but it can easily backfire. Alcohol initially depresses the central nervous system, producing a sedative effect, says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, P.C., in New York City. “But it ultimately sabotages sleep maintenance.” Alcohol creates a rebound effect as it’s metabolized, which creates an abrupt surge in the adrenaline system, he says. This is why you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve been drinking. Dr. Towfigh recommends stopping all alcohol three to four hours before bedtime.

12. You check e-mails at bedtime
The glaring light of a tablet, smartphone, or your computer’s backlit screen can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, says Dr. Towfigh. Sensitivity to the digital glow of tech toys can vary from person to person, but in general it’s a good idea to avoid all technology for one to two hours before bedtime, he says. Can’t avoid checking your device before your head hits the pillow? Then hold it at least 14 inches away from your face to reduce the risk of sleep interference.

13. You rely on caffeine to get through the day
Starting your morning with a java jolt is no big deal—in fact, studies show that up to three daily cups of coffee is good for you—but using caffeine improperly can seriously disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, says Dr. Towfigh. Caffeine blocks adenosine, the byproduct of active cells that drives you to sleep as it accumulates, he explains. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that consuming caffeine even six hours prior to bedtime affects sleep, so cut yourself off by mid-afternoon and watch out for these surprising sources of caffeine.

14. You stay up late on weekends
Burning the midnight oil on Saturday night and then sleeping in Sunday morning leads to difficulty falling asleep Sunday night—and a sleep-deprived Monday morning, says Dr. Towfigh. Since staying in can cramp your social life, try to wake up close to your normal time the following morning, and then take a power nap in the afternoon. “Napping for 20 minutes or so allows the body to recharge without entering the deeper stages of sleep, which can cause you to wake up more tired,” he says.

This article originally appeared on
(Januray 2017)


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 is from
News - Medical
Life Sciences

Low-level laser treatment can stimulate hair follicles and hair growth, expert finds

A world-renowned hair loss expert from Chula has discovered that low-level laser treatment can stimulate hair follicles and hair growth. Guaranteed by a world-class award, this treatment for thinning hair and hair loss can deliver results in 24 weeks.

Thinning hair, hair loss, and baldness can sabotage the self-confidence and quality of life of people of all genders and ages. Those who suffer these problems struggle to find the right treatments, like changing shampoos, cutting their hair short, taking supplements, avoid using chemicals on the scalp, etc., to no avail. One of the reasons for the failure is not tackling the problem at its root cause, especially in the case of genetic hair thinning, and hair loss.

Assoc. Prof. Ratchathorn Panchaprateep, M.D., Head of the Hair and Scalp Center, Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society and lecturer of the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, in her research on "Proteomic Analysis in Derma Papilla from Male Androgenetic Alopecia after Treatment with Low-Level Laser Therapy" that received an award from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) proves that the use of low-level laser therapy can stimulate the scalp and hair growth in 24 weeks.

Warning signs of "unusual hair loss"

Whenever more than 70 to 100 strands of hair fall off each day, that's a sign of abnormal hair loss. This needs immediate attention and consultation with dermatologists."

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ratchathorn

"Normally, you can lose some hair when shampooing, blow-drying, or combing every day. However, if you encounter unusual hair loss during the day, e.g. during meals or walking around at work, that is another sign of abnormality, and you should see a hair-and-scalp specialist. Men have short hair, and it's hard to notice hair loss during the day. You should pay attention right after you wake up to see if there is any hair on the pillow."

For men, thinning hair, and hereditary hair loss usually starts in the front and recedes into an M-shaped hairline. Some develop a bald patch in the crown that gradually spreads out. For women, thinning tends to start at where the hair parts, and gradually worsen as time passes.

"Hair thinning and genetic hair loss are different from thinning hair caused by an abnormal immune system (Alopecia Areata) that causes round patches of hair loss the size of a 10-baht coin," Assoc. Dr. Ratchathorn, M.D. added.

Cause of thinning hair, hair loss, and baldness

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ratchathorn revealed that, statistically, up to 40 percent of Thai people have thinning hair, hair loss, and baldness problems. The number is on the upward trends every year, with the current environment -; stress, weather conditions, and bad diet. Hair problems and baldness can occur in both females and males, but in the latter, the problem starts at a young age and the conditions are more severe than in females. The main causes of hair and scalp problems are as follows:

  1. Genetics – Outstanding genes from the father or mother with thinning hair, or scalp problems;
  2. During puberty, the male hormone testosterone will stick to the hair follicles, causing both the follicles and the hair to become thinner, and fall off easily;
  3. Environmental factors such as stress, sunlight, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, etc., can also be the culprit. Nowadays, hereditary hair loss is increasingly found in younger people.
Low-level laser therapy – a new alternative to restore life to your hair
Currently, there are three popular treatments for genetic hair loss: Taking Finasteride medication to stop testosterone from sticking to the hair follicles and to slow down hair loss; applying Minoxidil topically and continuously to the scalp to plump up and thicken the hair, and hair transplant surgery by transplanting the hair from the denser area. This method is suitable for severe and advanced cases. The advantage of this method is that the hair will last a lifetime, and can be permed, dyed, and washed. People with hair transplants can engage in any sports activities with confidence.

Recently, low-level laser therapy -; a new treatment that is effective with fast results became available. There are two types:

  1. Laser cap or comb – the accessories that emit red laser light 'Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)' to gently stimulates hair follicle cells. Suitable for those who have thinning hair in the initial to moderate stage, this device is portable and can be used at home. Using this device continuously for 15 minutes a day will strengthen the hair and hair follicles, as well as generate new and thicker hair growth. However, patients should consult the doctor for directions on use, and device type.
  2. Low-level laser adapted from the laser used for hair removal. It is a low-energy laser to stimulate the hair follicles all over the scalp.

"This low-level laser therapy is suitable for patients with an early stage of hair loss i.e. with mild to moderate symptoms, but not suitable for those in an advanced stage, or already have baldness. Patients should undergo the therapy continuously at least 5 – 10 times, every two weeks. They will start to see the result after the 5th treatment. Clearer results can be seen after three months. Patients will have new growth of stronger hair," Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ratchathorn said.

This is the first research in Asia to confirm the efficacy of low-level laser therapy for genetic hair loss, making Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ratchathorn the first Thai female doctor to win the highest Platinum Follicle Award 2019 from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) for her professional excellence and research on hair.

"Even though genetic hair loss cannot be cured, the current treatment can extend the hair's life and scalp health. Most important is to keep your body strong with a healthy diet especially protein, get enough sleep and avoid stress," Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ratchathorn concluded.

Contact channels for consultation and treatment:
  • Dr. Ratchathorn started a public Facebook group, มีผมให้หวี by Bevita, for discussion and education about hair care tips, and how to solve thinning hair, hair loss, and baldness problems, in a friendly environment, but guided by medical principles.
  • People seeking help with hair thinning and hair loss problems can contact Hair and Scalp Clinic, Division of Dermatology, Por Por Ror Building, 14th Floor, Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society Tel. +66-2256-4000.
Click Here To Schedule Your Next Appointment

You may or may not still have Thanksgiving leftovers, BUT Christmas is coming...

Turkey Dinner* Leftovers Tortilla Wrap

*substitute your favorite vegan meat alternative
I think we can all agree that eating the leftovers is half the fun of Thanksgiving! Turkey sandwiches are a classic way to use up your leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, but let’s bring that concept into 2021. Instead of making a regular sandwich, make your leftover turkey sandwich in the famous folded “Tiktok wrap” style. The flavors in this Thanksgiving Leftovers Tortilla Wrap are classic, but the presentation is new and fun!
What to Put in Your Tortilla Wrap

Obviously, this is flexible and you can put whatever you want in your wrap, but I used leftover turkey, leftover stuffing, leftover cranberry sauce, and brie. Cheese is always a good idea because it kind of helps glue everything together. You also want to make sure you have a mix of solid and soft ingredients. Ssoft ingredients, like stuffing, cranberry sauce, or mashed potatoes, will also act sort of like glue. And make sure to chop any solid ingredients, like turkey, into small pieces, which helps them stay in the wrap.

What Kind of Cheese to Use

I love, love, LOVE brie with cranberry, so I bought some brie specifically to use in my wraps. BUT, in the spirit of using up leftovers, here are some other cheese that would also taste great with the flavors in this wrap:

  • Cheddar
  • Cream cheese
  • Chevre (goat)
  • Havarti
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Monterey Jack
What Size Tortilla to Use

I used a large, burrito-sized tortilla. Technically, you can use any size that you have, but the larger the tortilla the easier it will be to fold. A small tortilla will be difficult to fold once the ingredients are added.

Try something new with your traditional Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich this year by making it into a fun folded tortilla wrap!


  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped turkey
  • 1/4 cup stuffing
  • 3 slices brie


  • Cut the tortilla from the center out to the edge (as if you were cutting it in half, but only cut halfway across).
  • Place the tortilla in a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium.
  • As the skillet and tortilla begin to heat up, spread the cranberry sauce over one quarter of the tortilla, starting next to the cut. Add the chopped turkey in the quadrant next to the cranberry sauce, the brie in the next quadrant, and then the stuffing in the last quadrant.
  • Fold the piece of the tortilla with the cranberry sauce over the quadrant with the turkey. Fold it again over the quadrant with the brie. Then fold it one last time over the quadrant with the stuffing.
  • Continue to cook the folded tortilla for a couple more minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is brown and crispy. Enjoy hot.
How to Make a Thanksgiving Leftovers
Tortilla Wrap

Step by Step photos
Sliced tortilla on a cutting board

Cut a large tortilla from the center out to the edge.

Thanksgiving leftovers prepared for the wrap

Gather your Thanksgiving leftovers to use in the wrap. I used leftover turkey, leftover stuffing, leftover cranberry sauce, and a few slices of brie. I used about a quarter cup of each. It’s important to chop the turkey into fairly small pieces to help it all stay in the tortilla.

Filling ingredients on the tortilla in a skillet

I like to put my tortilla in the skillet with the heat turned on (medium) before adding the fillings so I don’t have to try to lift it once everything is added, and so that each portion of the tortilla gets a little toasted. I do not use any sort of butter or oil in the skillet, but you can if you prefer. Place each ingredient in one quadrant of the tortilla. I like put the chopped turkey in the second quadrant so that the cranberry sauce is facing the turkey once folded. This helps the turkey stay in place and the turkey tastes great when covered in the cranberry sauce.

first fold of the tortilla

Fold one quadrant of the tortilla (next to the cut) over the second quadrant.

second fold of the tortilla

Then fold both of those over the third quadrant.

third fold of the tortilla

Then fold it one more time over the fourth quadrant.

Browned tortilla wrap in the skillet

Then let the folded tortilla wrap cook for a few minutes on each side until it is brown and crispy.

Thanksgiving leftovers tortilla wrap cut in half facing the camera

I suggest enjoying the wrap in its neatly folded form, but I cut mine in half for the photo above so you can see a cross-section of the fillings. :)

Print Recipe
The "Blow Wave"

If You Blow-Dry Your Hair, You Have This Jewish Woman to Thank

If you’ve ever wondered why hood dryers—those domed head prisons so ubiquitous in women’s hairdresser shops throughout much of the ’50s and ’60s—aren’t so common anymore, you can look to Rose Evansky, the Jewish inventor of blow-dry styling who died last month, at the age of 94.

Ms. Evansky, born Rose Lerner in 1922 in Worms, Germany, unleashed the revolutionary blow-dry style onto the world from her shop in Mayfair, London then the cultural capital of hairstyling. One day, Ms. Evansky eyed a “barber drying the front of a man’s hair with a brush and a hand-held dryer.” She thought: “Why not for women?”

Not long after, the technique made headlines. By brush of luck one day in 1962, the British editor of Vogue happened to drop by Evansky’s shop. Aghast at Ms. Evansky’s technique, the editor rang the fashion editor of The Evening Standard—later that night the newspaper unleashed “the blow wave” onto the world.

Ms. Evansky, whose father was imprisoned at Dachau in 1938, and who, speaking only German and Yiddish, escaped Nazi Germany by way of Kindertransport, championed her so-called “Mayfair style”—one characterized by “freedom and movement.”

As for her own hair (naturally air-dried) she cut it herself. As she once told W magazine, “Why would I let anyone else when I can do it myself?”

Meet the 90-year-old inventor
of the blowout

Consider if you will, the humble blowout. Freeing us from the tyranny of the bulbous overhead dryers our forebears had to suffer, (curlers digging in to scalps while the heat bears down anyone?), it's both ubiquitous and unique—there's a stylist offering them on every main street, yet no two ways of doing it are ever the same. But where did it all begin?

W sat down with the woman behind it all, possibly the beauty industry’s best-kept secret: 90-year-old Rose Cannan. The originator of the woman’s blowout and co-owner of Evansky’s, the leading London salon of the 1960s, Rose’s clientele pre-dates the better-known British salons like Vidal Sassoon and Leonard of Mayfair. Not one to court the limelight, Cannan had all but disappeared until a few years ago when she was “outed” at a cosmetics conference by a friend in the audience who pointed out that she was very much alive and kicking in the British seaside town of Hove.

Here she tells us about the day she invented the blowout technique:

“It was a Friday and all the chemicals were on the trolley ready to straighten my clients’ hair, yet again. I hated straightening hair. And I remembered something that had happened a few days before. I’d been wandering past a barbershop in Brook Street around the corner from our salon in North Audley Street, and I saw the barber drying the front of a man’s hair with a brush and a hand held dryer. And this image—of the barber with the dryer—flashed through my mind and I thought, ‘Why not for women?’. So I started doing this on my clients’ hair, and Lady Clare Rendlesham (the Vogue editor and famous champion of 60s style-setters) came in, took one look at what I was doing and said, in that formidable voice of hers, ‘What are you doing Rose!?’ and went rushing back out.

“I immediately thought, ‘What have I done?’. My usual Jewish anxiety kicked in—Rendlesham could make or break a career. She reappeared with Barbara Griggs, who was a journalist for the Evening Standard, and said, ‘Look what Rose is doing!’ They went out again. The whole thing was mysterious to me. And that afternoon, this piece appeared in the newspaper about the new blow-wave. That’s how it came on the market.

“Of course, not everyone was pleased. When the article came out in the paper, my husband [her first husband, the late Albert Evansky with whom she owned the salon] said to me, ‘Have you gone mad? We’ve just bought 20 new hood dryers! What shall we do with them? Throw ’em out?!’

“I do feel like I’ve achieved something. I’ve freed women from having to sit under a hot dryer for ages, frying on hot days—though in the winter it was pleasant enough. I was the opposite of all those male crimpers—I wanted to operate with clients who were mature women who understood what I was doing for them. We chatted, we talked, it was fun. Sometimes they’d say, ‘My husband won’t like this.’ And I’d say, ‘Never mind about your husband, look at it for yourself!’ and I’d give them a little lecture about independence.

“Where do I go now to get my own hair done? [Laughs] My hair is best described as ‘windswept’ as I live near the sea. I’ve never colored it, and I cut it myself. Why would I let any one else when I can do it myself?”

from W

Remembering the Stylist Who Truly Understood Curly Jewish Hair

Those of us who have tangled with our Jewish curls owe a debt of gratitude to Rose Evansky, of blessed memory, the inventor of the blow drying technique.

Evanksy died last November at the age of 94 – not exactly in anonymity, but her name was not of the household variety, either. You could say that she flew under the radar on a stream of hot air. In the business, however, her name was legendary. Vidal Sassoon, the better-known British hairstylist, once called Evansky “without question the top female stylist in the country and the equal of any man.”

If you were a girl with curls in the straight-haired culture of the 1960s, you know from my angst.

Hair was supposed to swing, like everything else in the 60s! I inherited my father’s curly hair and struggled daily to tame it, with poor results. If there was an ounce of moisture in the air, my straightened hair would frizz up before I even made it down the driveway. My ringlets were a more reliable predictor of the relative humidity than the meteorologist on the 6:00 news.

I would sit on my bedroom floor paging through magazines, cutting out pictures of celebrities with flowing tresses, like Marianne Faithfull, Mia Farrow, and Patti Boyd. Standing in front of the mirror, I’d gently shake my head back and forth, like the model in the Breck commercial – but instead of rippling sinuously from side to side, my frizzy locks steadfastly refused to budge.

I tried every trick in the book. Wrapping my wet hair around orange juice cans and sleeping on them was a nightly ritual. When I could no longer tolerate the discomfort, I wrapped my wet hair around my head and secured it with tape. I applied the (probably carcinogenic) Curl Free and U.N.C.U.R.L. products many times, resulting in a flat, chemically burned look. My best friend even agreed to iron my hair – using a real iron from the laundry room – in a process that flattened the ends but left them scorched, too.

I’m pretty sure it was after Woodstock that “letting it all hang out” came to apply to hair, as well. Gingerly, I experimented with the new look. The day I emancipated my curls for good was when Carole King’s first album, “Tapestry,” came out. Barefoot with faded jeans and long, curly hair, Carole was my new role model.

And then, like a miracle, the handheld blow dryer came into my life. At long last, I could tame my stubborn locks!

Evansky, born Rosel Lerner in Worms, Germany, was 16 years old when her Polish father was sent to Dachau and she was hustled out of Germany on a Kindertransport to safety in Britain. Her father survived the concentration camp, and the family was reunited in London the following year. Rose found a position as an apprentice to Adolf Cohen, one of the giants in the hair industry, who also trained Sassoon.

She had a talent for the business, ultimately rising to the top of her profession as the most sought-after female stylist in posh Mayfair salons. With a keen understanding of the look women wanted and with their impatience for sitting under a hooded dryer, she came up with the idea of the blow-dry technique. Eventually, she became so successful that she opened her own shop, Evanksy’s, one of the most popular salons of the day.

Evansky once confessed to having “Jewish anxiety” when she introduced her new technique, but she needn’t have worried. Both the press and the public embraced it. As inventions go, this one ranks with microwaves and caller ID as one of my favorites.

In her 90s, Evansky wrote her memoir, In Paris We Sang, in which she described the harrowing adventures of her early life. It makes me happy to know that out of the darkness, she found fulfillment and success, and was given the gift of longevity to enjoy it.


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