Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Flip flops can be good for your health

It's "back to school" time and college dorm showers are an ideal place for bacteria (like athelete's foot) and fungi to grow. Showers are moist environments, and all it takes is one person with athlete’s foot or some other foot condition to make life worse for everyone on the dorm floor.

Even if the common bathroom showers are cleaned daily, you do not want to shower barefoot. In fact, you should never even enter the dorm bathroom barefoot. Always go in with socks, flip flops, shoes, or some sort of protection for your feet. (Why? Some people have been known to urinate in the showers, and do some weird stuff in the shower.)

For a cheap investment of only several dollars, a simple pair of flip flops  or Crocs (anything waterproof) can save you a lot of hassle and embarrassment from foot fungus or other bacteria at college. Showering with shoes on may be awkward at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be glad you made the switch.
When it comes time to wash your feet in the shower, simply do it one foot at a time — pull one foot out of your flip flop and balance on the other foot. Be sure to scrub each foot thoroughly as most people don't remember to 'wash' their feet.

Also don't forget to wash your "shower shoes" periodically. Hot soapy water and a little scrubbing should do the trick.

The Bad, the Ugly and the Smelly

1 Athlete's foot is the most common fungal infection and is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin.

     There are actually three types of athlete's foot: toe web, moccasin-type and vesicular infections.

          Toe web infections usually occur between the fourth and fifth toe. The skin becomes scaly, peels and cracks.

          Moccasin-type infections start with soreness on the foot. Then the skin on the bottom or heel of the foot can become thick and crack.

          Vesicular infections begin with sudden outbreaks of large, fluid-filled blisters under the skin.

You can treat most cases at home with over-the-counter lotion, cream or spray. For severe cases, doctors may prescribe pills or medication to apply to the skin.

2 Some signs of nail fungus are thickening, yellowish discoloration, "toe jam" and breakage of the nails.

Plantar warts, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), can enter the body through tiny cuts or cracks on the feet. It's contracted mainly through walking barefoot in public places - like residence hall restrooms.

What can you do to prevent any and all of  theses? Scrubbing your feet, wearing the right socks, letting your feet breathe and never going barefoot.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Importance of GENTLE Facial Cleansing

Cleansing of the face is very important because our faces have sebaceous glands that make sebum. Sebum is good for the skin and should not be stripped completely. It is an oily substance that provides protection for the skin and stripping it completely will cause the glands to produce more and then you could end up with an over production of sebum, which will cause an oily complexion.

Also, the top layer of the face's skin, the stratum corneum, has fewer cell layers than most other parts of the body. This thinner layer makes the skin more easily irritated. So we have to be gentle. Our faces are expressive and always moving, so using soap will just emphasize tightness.

Soap that you use on your body is far too drying for skin on the face. What is good for the body is not necessarily good for the face. Dermatologists advise not to use soap on the face due to the fragrances, detergents, and deodorants that they contain. Over time, soap on the face will cause wrinkles. It will dry the skin out and remove the sebum, which in turn will harm the skin.

Facial cleansers generally have a low pH that is more acidic. This is important because that avoids upsetting the skin’s acid mantle. Soaps are more alkaline and have a high pH. Products high in alkaline irritate the facial skin. Some cleansing bars are gentle because they have a low pH level. These bars are so mild, though, that they may not be able to remove the oily build up from oily skin types.

A good facial cleanser should contain, moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. It should have cleansing ability to heal and nourish the skin. Also contain antioxidants to counter the free radicals of everyday exposure to the harsh elements in our environment.

Always remember that not all facial cleansers are the same. Some have alcohol and other harsh ingredients in them. Always read the labels and check for ingredients, the more natural the ingredients, the less it will cause irritation to the skin.

Choosing a facial cleanser can be confusing. There are so many different brands on the market. Also knowing your skin type, weather it is dry or oily will help to choose what is right for you. The cleansers come in a variety of different forms, such as creams, gels, foams, lotions, and some have granules for exfoliating. There are even cleansing cloths that have the cleanser right in it, so all you add is the water!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bad Hair Day

Having a bad hair day? I hear you. It’s not always the fault of the weather though. Sometimes how you take care of it
Are you using the right shampoo? What about conditioner? Shampoo cleans your hair and your scalp, so you might want to base it on its condition: dry or oily.  Conditioner should be used to treat your hair.
Dry:  Try to use shampoos that are specifically formulated for dry scalp. Ingredients like menthol and tea tree can help moisturize your dry scalp. Look for shampoo labels that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls (especially handy if you have curly hair). These products promote moisture and can be beneficial to your dry scalp. Avoid strengthening, fortifying, and volumizing shampoos. These products can strip your scalp of necessary moisture.

Oily:  Look for labels that read volumizing, strengthening, or balancing. These products are less moisturizing and more effective at removing excess oil. Avoid shampoos that are hydrating, moisturizing, smoothing, or good for curly hair. These shampoos tend to add too much moisture to your already oily scalp. After shampooing, avoid working your conditioner into your scalp. Rather, concentrate on keeping conditioner on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair. Rinse well.

How to fake great hair when it doesn’t think so.

Get a Great Deep Conditioner - A weekly (or more if your hair is super dry) deep conditioner will revitalize dry hair, restore moisture, and help tame frayed ends.

Use a Blow-dry Creme -  A blow-dry creme helps your hair dry faster, your brush glide smoother, and your hair stay straight and frizz free longer. 

Perfect the Blow-out with the Right Brush - A great blow-out can fake a great hair day with perfection, but the best way to get a great blow-out is to have a great ceramic round brush.

Invest in a Better Hair Dryer - You'll be shocked at how much faster, smoother, softer, and shinier your hair can be with a great hair dryer.

Protect Your Hair From Heat - Many heat protectors lock in moisture, prevent heat damage, and seal the cuticle down giving the illusion of super shiny, healthy hair. Whether you curl, straighten, flip, or crimp your hair, good heat protection is a must. 

 Add a Little Curl - Instead of wearing your hair stick straight, add a little bend to the ends. Waves and curls bounce light and give the illusion of healthier hair.

Clip-in Extensions - Hair extensions can transform your hair in an instant. You can quite simply add volume, length, and thickness without a huge investment or a lot of work.

Finish with a Shine Spray -  Whether you just don't "do" hair spray or your favorite brand isn't as shiny as you'd like, try a shine spray to give a final healthy looking touch to your hair, no matter how you style it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Have's and Have Not's

Some people are not as fortunate as others because they suffered from cancer and in the process of being treated experienced hair loss.  Have you ever thought about growing your hair a bit longer so you could donate it to a worthy cause? If so, read on...
There are several organizations out there, some focused on adults and others on children. Also the length of hair can vary anywhere from 8" to 12" long. Whether or not it has been permed or treated with dies varies as well. 

The following steps are the same across the board:

  • Clean and dry your hair before cutting.
  • Braid your hair or put it in a ponytail before it is cut.
  • Place the ponytail or braid in a sealed plastic bag with rubber bands at both ends.
  • Place it in a padded envelope for shipping. Address it accordingly.
  • After that usually a form or some other kind of documentation is required. 

The Childhood Leukemia Foundation accepts hair donations for the Hugs-U-Wear program, which gives wigs to girls who have suffered hair loss as a result of cancer treatments.

Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who are suffering from a long-term medical hair loss.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths distributes free real-hair wigs through American Cancer Society wig banks all across the country.

Now before you go rush out there and chop off your hair, you may want to consider a few things:

  1. It takes a while to grow your hair out. (You should try to take good care of it in the meantime. No one wants "sick"/damaged hair.)
  2. You might want to consult your stylist and determine if a new hairstyle is warranted. 
  3. It's better to have a stylist cut it for you rather than you chopping it off yourself and ending up with a crooked do(NOT)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hair today...

Always want what you can't have? Not a problem. You got straight hair, we can make it curly. You got frizzy hair, we can straighten it out. Got grey hairs you want to vanish: poof! gone! Whether it's with chemicals or heat, there's a trick in our bag for you.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Perm?
Perms work best on hair that has not been colored or highlighted. The chemicals are too harsh for double-processed or heavily highlighted hair. Perming hair that's already damaged from highlights or color can result in major frizz.

If you have dry hair or loads of short layers, you aren't the best candidate for a perm. Perms will dry hair out even more and a perm on short, layered hair could end up poodle-like. Black hair and Asian hair can also be difficult, but not impossible, to perm. You'll want someone who specializes in your type of hair texture.

Not sure if your hair is a good candidate for a perm?  One way you can find out if your hair is damaged and can't withstand more chemical processing is to do the old float trick. Take a few strands of hair and put them in a glass of water, if they sink, this means your hair is damaged and is soaking up moisture. If the strands float, this means your hair is healthy. You may want to keep it that way and avoid the perm. The thicker your hair, the better the perm will take. Also, most perms generally last about 2-6 months.

How to Choose the Right Color Tone
You're likely a "warm" if you have golden, olive or dark skin and brown or dark eyes (most Latinas, Asians and African Americans fall into this category). "Warm" women tan easily and the veins in their inner wrists are green.

You're a "cool" if you have fair skin and blue or green eyes, you burn before you tan and the veins in your wrists run blue. If you're confused because you sometimes burn, sometimes tan, you likely skew warm.
If you have warm skin, opt for golden shades such as caramel and bronze in a darker shade than your skin. Avoid jet-black hair which will wash you out. If you do opt for a golden shade, don't go too light. Your best bet is to use semi-permanent color and never go more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color.

A hair dryer & flat iron can be a girl's best friends
Things to consider when using a hairdryer : it's to dry and style your hair not bake it to a crisp. You may need to use a diffuser to avoid frizziness. Use a comb not a brush initially. Start with freshly-washed hair. Next add any hair products to lightly towel-dried hair. Then use the blowdryer. Separate your hair into sections (it's easier to work with). Now you can use the brush to style curls or straighten your hair.

Flat irons should be used only on hair that's been thoroughly dried. Ceramic plates are best. They diffuse heat better and result in less damage. First apply styling cream/oil to the damp hair. Next coat your hair with a heat-protective spray. Separate your hair into sections (it's easier to work with). Blow dry each section. Then take a 1-2" section of hair and clamp the iron down as close to the scalp as possible. Slowly pull iron down the length of hair. Rub a serum gloss between your hands and palm over hair for extra shine and to keep hair in place. To keep frizzies along the hairline at bay, spritz hairspray on an old toothbrush and 'brush' them down.