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

Home & Garden

More bloom for your buck

Spring blooms aren’t always about budding flowers. Get the best bang for your buck by cultivating indigenous drought resistant plants that offer vibrant color year-round. My clients often ask, “How do you plan your garden; where should I start?”

Planning a garden can be a daunting task. It was for me in the past. I had a brown thumb until I gained loads of knowledge through trial and error.

Succulents are full of life ~ Photo by Courtney Paige

As with any topic these days, gardening information is endless, so I share three tips to start.

1 ~ Create a balanced mix of annuals and perennials so you aren’t committed to start from scratch each year. Make a mental note of which plants thrive.  This simple habit will increase your bloom real estate each year.

2 ~ Watch your garden closely over the course of several days (or several seasons) to assess which areas are shaded or sunny.

3 ~ Take the time to get to know your plant’s watering needs.

All three points are vital, yet number three is essential. If you envision a dazzling garden,  you’ll need to assess your lifestyle. Do you travel, do you forget to water, do you live in a dry arid area, do you live in a foggy moist area or somewhere in-between?

With the basic three observation steps in place it’s time to commit and purchase your flowers. Deciding which plants to grow is a tad overwhelming. There are so many choices. Again, where to start?

Pansies & Petunias at Home Depot – Photo by Courtney Paige

Consider succulents. People tend to think succulents are fragile and difficult to grow. Actually, the opposite is true. You may be surprised to know most succulents thrive in full sun. A drought resistant beauty, perfect for California’s hot and arid weather. Cold and foggy mornings keep succulents happy & cozy. They also thrive in shallow dirt or sand which makes them easy to replant. 

Soft vibrant color year round – Photo by Courtney Paige

Succulents tend to be a bit pricey $$. So if your neighbor happens to have some, don’t be shy, ask for clippings as if you’re asking to borrow sugar.  Luckily, succulents are perennials and prolific. Here’s a link to Amazon, where the prices are reasonable if you have Prime and don’t have to pay for shipping. Otherwise, Home Depot is another option – unless you have a good neighbor. 

If your goal is to create a low maintenance garden, succulents are a perfect choice. You’ll plant them once and enjoy their beauty year after year, unlike annuals, which need yearly replanting.

Iceland Poppies & Marigolds at Home Depot- Photo by Courtney Paige

Blogged while listening to Sheryl Crow Soak Up The Sun and U2 Beautiful Day

~ Courtney Paige

Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure

Perfect place to sip & see on a rainy day

Sunshine on a cloudy day – Photo by Courtney Paige

It’s been a long wet winter and most of us, I imagine, are ready for some heat. As I sit here pondering spicy things on a rainy day, Flying Goat Coffee calls my name. Today is a chai type of day, I say. When winter feels like it’s lingering on because a groundhog didn’t see its shadow, Flying Goat Coffee is the place to lounge sipping a hot chai latte while watching trains cruise by. The Goat, as it’s referred to by the locals, sits nestled in one of the oldest buildings in Sonoma County.  The stacked stone monolith, built in the late 1800s, stands majestically as commander-in-chief of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square.

Flying Goat Coffee ~ Commander-in-Chief of Railroad Square Photo by Courtney Paige

The Goat lives just across the street from the old Santa Rosa Train Depot. There are also two locations in Healdsburg near the square. It anchors the railroad track as if it’s the end of the line. Reality is, the Goat is where everything begins. 

Back Patio at the Goat – Photo by Courtney Paige

It’s the perfect place to start the day – with a chai latte and a gluten free banana bread pastry perhaps. The Goat just may be the only place in town that crafts artisan gluten-free pastries. Their chai latte, consistently delicious, is made with all natural ingredients, and of course, the froth artwork is icing on the cake.

I like to say, “the Goat is the quintessential pinnacle spot in Santa Rosa where east side meets west side.” An unexpected surprise in an unexpected space. Give the Goat a whirl, I bet you’ll get hooked. The stark interior, restored to a 1920’s black and white art deco decor, pops with bright yellow accents and a 50 feet high ceiling that hugs its guests with a bright picture window enclave.

Flying Goat Foyer – Photo by Courtney Paige

On sunny days, a brick patio shaded by 150-year-old magnolia trees await your arrival.

Photo by Courtney Paige

For now, I’ll take the spice, skip the rain, pine for the sunshine and head to Flying Goat Coffee in Railroad Square.

Sunshine served all day long – Photo by Courtney Paige
Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure

An irresistible wine country humblebrag

Follow me to Preston ~ Photo by Courtney Paige

Humblebrag: to make a disguised boast or brag, for example: He’s humblebragging about how tired he is from his world travels. bit.ly/humblebragdefinition.

Blog post created while listening to: Doobie Brothers ‘Listen to the Music’ Bottle Shock movie soundtrack. http://bit.ly/bottleshockalbum

For some reason, I think the word humblebrag is so funny. It’s one of those words the more you say it, the more it makes you laugh. The act of humblebragging dates further back than ancient Greece. Yet, the term itself, coined in 2011, had a bad wrap during its infancy. Most recently though, it’s finding a favorable place in our rapidly changing digital world. As with anything, there’s good timing and bad timing. Everything in moderation is always a good idea too, except when it comes to certain types of indulgences.

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Photo by Courtney Paige

There are times when one can’t help but boast about the geographical area with which they live. This is one of those moments. Spring is in the air whispering about the festivities on the horizon, and there’s a lot going on this week in Sonoma County. I’m bursting at the seams to share two annual events that will fill your belly and wet your whistle. You’ll want to permanently place both events on your calendar. Barrel Tasting and Restaurant Week.

Photo by Courtney Paige

If you’re a foodie and/or a wino…errr….wine aficionado, then these two events are not to be missed. There’s lots of land to cover in Sonoma County. It’s a challenge to navigate and pin down choices without spinning your wheels. Truth is, Barrel Tasting and Restaurant Week are the perfect reason to don your LBD (little black dress), get social IRL (in real life) and wiggle your way out of your comfort zone.

Barrel tasting kicks off wine season during the first two weekends in March. Here’s the link for the deet’s. http://bit.ly/SoCoBarrellTasting  Hot tip, remember, if tickets are sold out, passes are available for purchase at any participating winery. Take note, no food pairing during barrel tasting at the wineries. Pack a picnic, or be sure to make reservations at participating restaurant week venues listed here: Sonoma Insider

Sonoma Insider has a helpful legend to sort restaurant options by category including region, city and cuisine for over 130 Sonoma County restaurants. http://bit.ly/restaurantweekchoices

Barrel tasting and restaurant week are the perfect pair, like two love birds. Sip and swirl by day, and savor bits and bites at night. By the end of the evening you’ll humblebrag to your friends and family about how exhausted you are from over eating and drinking at barrel tasting and restaurant week. Enjoy!

~ Courtney Paige