Beauty & Fashion, Health & Fitness

Hair matters

Travel and lifestyle writing is a passion of mine, on the other hand, what some of you may not know about me is, I moonlight as a hairstylist. Or, is it the other way around – a hairstylist moonlighting as a writer? However you look at it, I love both! A maven by nature, trading stories and experiences with my clients provide me with inspiration and ideas. Fuel, if you will, for my creative thinking process. All of which drives me to solve some of life’s little mysteries. 

The blog’s beauty and fashion category are tailored to share my beauty regime expertise with readers and followers as if you’re sitting in my hair chair getting coiffed.

So with that said, I’ll get right to the root of the topic. Hair matters. Hair matters because it can be the difference between a good day or…a bad day. Most importantly though, it matters because your hair absolutely reflects the health of your body – internally and externally. There’s nothing better than a good hair day. So when we’re healthy inside and out, a glow naturally shines through in our hair and through our skin tone. All this healthy living channels self-confidence.

Before and after are one year apart. Photo by Courtney Paige

As much as most of us would like to deny it, the health of our hair is a direct indication of how well we take care of ourselves regarding nutrition, stress and our mental wellbeing.

What influences healthy hair growth? Actually, multiple factors have a direct impact on the health of your hair and hair growth. Unhealthy hair or hair loss is related to several reasons: chemically over-processed hair, stress, sudden or prolonged health issues, poor nutrition, genetics, surgery, pregnancy, poor maintenance, and/or over styling with heat tools.

This article highlights internal nutrition. Believe it or not, the scientific study of nutrition and how it affects our health has only come to light within the last century. Even more unbelievable is how scientific studies have only recently begun to realize the relationship between hair and nutrition.

It seems as though common sense would guide us to realize the health of our body goes hand in hand with the health of our hair. However, people generally believe they are stuck with the hair they were born with, and in some cases, yes, this is true. In many cases though, simply changing a few poor nutrition habits can set you on the right course.

Healthy Hair Matters

Beginning in the early twentieth century, scientists determined protein, good fats, and healthy carbohydrates are essential for a well-conditioned body.

And, only recently have scientific studies established hair thrives with a plentiful supply of specific nutrients from certain types of vitamins and minerals. For example, Biotin and Omega-3 fatty fish oils immensely improve the health of hair and nails. Biotin is simply a form of vitamin B7. Biotin and Omega-3 fatty fish oils are available at most drug stores, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

If your diet lacks these specific nutrients, as a beauty expert, my suggestion is to take the recommended dose of Biotin along with a multi-B-complex and an Omega-3. If you have extenuating circumstances, consult your doctor first before beginning any new supplement regime.

Best to take vitamins in the evening after dinner, before bedtime. A good practice is right before brushing your teeth. So vitamins in the bathroom you ask? Yep! The glass is already there, water is readily available, and you’ll be reminded because they’ll live near your toothbrush.

Brown silky beach curls are just a few product discoveries away.

Why take vitamins at night you’re wondering – how can that make a difference? Fact – vitamins react directly with the foods you eat, and, as we all know, our bodies repair at night while we sleep. So why not give your body, hair, and nails the optimal benefit of all the nutrients consumed throughout the day? With this new information, as you can see, it’s easy to advance your body’s nightly rejuvenation.  Note to self, when beginning a new vitamin B program you may want to adjust your daily caffeine intake.

Of course, beauty is only skin deep, but healthy hair begins from within, so why not start now?

Feedback from clients:

Lydia, “After my surgery, I began losing hair rapidly. A daily handful was not uncommon. I didn’t know what to do. My hairstylist recommended I take biotin to increase my hair’s growth and strength while decreasing the fall out rate. It took about three months for me to really notice a difference. During that time, the fall out decreased immensely, and my hair began to grow again.”

Julie, “My hair has been thin and fine my entire life. I started taking biotin on the recommendation of my stylist, and within 6 months my ponytail is twice the size it used to be. The density of my hair has increased but each individual strand is still fine, but that is way better than what I had to work with my entire life. I’m thrilled!”

The next article discusses how to make simple changes in your daily routine for the external health of your hair. Why? Because hair matters. And, we all want good hair days!

Feel free to comment or contact me at lookbycourtneypaige.com for any of your hair health questions.

Courtney Paige

Beauty & Fashion, Health & Fitness

Hair Matters 101 – Healthy hair lifestyle

Maintaining healthy luxurious hair is similar to maintaining a fit and healthy body. Results don’t happen overnight and it’s not a hair diet – it’s a lifestyle.

My clients find my salon through Google, Yelp, Styleseat, and word of mouth. Most are searching for a stylist to manage their mane and nurse their hair back to health. Ailments range from poor nutrition (internally and/or externally), poor care and commonly, over processing.

In my last post, I discussed internal nutrition. Ingesting nutrients, like Biotin (B7), B-Complex, Omega-3’s, and ample amounts of protein are essential to long-term healthy hair. In this post, I condense a 30-minute consultation into a 7-minute read. Here, I offer the same advice I share with my new clients during their first visit.

Let’s say this is your hair (or something similar). It’s long with split ends & over processed, but you don’t want to chop it off because your 20-year high school reunion is fast approaching. Or a classic case, you are getting married within a year – your hair is long, with split ends and neglected from using bad products. It’s also damaged by heat tools and over styling.

Some miracles don’t happen overnight, but it’s always worth the wait.

Don’t panic, in most cases nursing your hair back to health won’t take a year. Each situation calls for its own evaluation and everyone is different. Set realistic goals for optimal hair satisfaction. And yes, there are times you must chop it off and start fresh. Alas, I offer the following regime before doing anything drastic.

Experiencing noticeable effects from adjusting internal nutrients can take up to 3 months. There are however very important external hair habits you can implement right away.

13 Hot Tips for Healthier Hair

Brush 

  • Brush before you wash. Detangle hair so it isn’t stretched to its limit when wet. A boar hair brush is the ultimate. Prices vary. High end – Mason Pearson $100 or the more reasonably priced Cricket $14 – pictured here. Benefits: Natural scalp oils coat mid and end strands.

    Cricket Boar Hair Brush - Photo by Courtney Paige
    Cricket Boar Hair Brush $14Photo by Courtney Paige

Wash

  • Product matters. Check your product ingredients just like you do food labels. Sulfates are not your friend. Sulfates are a detergent, an ingredient used to create suds. An effective metaphor is – if you’ve ever used kitchen soap to wash a car, you see streaks. Detergent eats paint on cars – just think what it does to your hair. Get off the sulfates ladies! Davines is one of my favorite sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free shampoo lines. 
  • Wash only your scalp and hair at roots. When using sulfate free shampoos, use a nickel size amount with a bit water in the palm. Emulsify. If hair isn’t suds’ing up, simply add a bit of water to your scalp. Don’t wash ends, only roots. Naturally, soap runs down the hair’s shaft when rinsing. Use hot water to wash well and rinse shampoo. Benefits: Hot water opens hair cuticles -this cleans excess oil & dirt while leaving hair cuticles open for the conditioner to set.

    Davines Minu Shampoo $26 (8.5 fl oz) for Color Treated or Processed Hair – Photo by Courtney Paige

Condition

  • Use a quarter size amount of conditioner. Apply primarily on mid-strands and ends. Avoid conditioning roots. Let set while doing other shower duties. Rinse hair with cool water. Benefit: cool water closes hair cuticles locking in moisture and conditioning nutrients. Closed cuticles reflect light, manage frizz and create shine. If roots feel dry or you feel you must put ‘some’ conditioner at the roots – only use water diluted conditioner.
  • Do not towel dry hair. Unless you want volume or frizz, towel drying creates friction on fragile cuticles. It also damages hair, making it prone to breakage. Simply twist hair up in a towel to absorb excess water.

    Malibu Miracle Repair $5 (per pack) for Damaged Hair – Photo by Courtney Paige

Pre-Styling Products

  • Product Matters. Two key pre-styling products I prescribe that will nurse your hair back to health are a milk and an oil. Even if you have fine hair, these products give your outer strands the nourishment they need.

Pre-styling products: Marrakesh Leave-in Detangler $16 & Marrakesh Oil $24Photo by Courtney Paige

Comb

  • Comb pre-styling products through hair with a Wet Comb. The one pictured here is my fav.
  • Marrakesh Leave-In Treatment & Detangler – apply all over to damp hair. Apply to ends first. One spritz at the roots. My favorite comes in a mist bottle.
  • Marrakesh Oil – apply after leave-in treatment, mid-strands to ends before blow drying. Then once to ends after styling.

    Wet Comb $8Photo by Courtney Paige

Dry

  • I can’t stress enough how important this next step is – it’s so important that if you do all the previous steps religiously, but don’t implement this next step, all your efforts will be for nothing.
  • Tools – using the proper tools for your hair is just as important as using the right tools to build a house.
  • Blowdryer – invest in a bio-ionic blow dryer with a cool button. A good one will last you 10 years. A bio-ionic blow dryer dries hair from the inside out. This way, you aren’t cooking your hair on the outside while trying to penetrate heat to the inside core.

Style

  • Stylist Brush – a bio-ionic styling brush is the same concept as the bio-ionic blowdryer. The key is heat dry hair up to 90%. Finish with a round brush by starting style with heat and end with the cool button activated. Most of my clients are surprised to learn the “set” in wash, style & set is the cooling down process. Hair’s ability to maintain its style depends on how well the set is implemented.

    From blonde damaged ombre’ to healthy hair sombre’.

Good internal and external hair habits are connected. One without the other will defeat your efforts. It’s important to know that healthy hair is a lifestyle. Be good to your body. Be good to yourself. Be good to your hair.

~Courtney Paige