Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Successful New Years Resolutions Continued.


So far, you've made your list of goals and you've analyzed what triggers you have for habits you want to get rid of and those you want to start.  What do you need to do next to make it possible for you to meet your New Years Goals.

In order to meet your goals, you have to make it personal.  When analyzing your goals you want to start, set an easy cue and an obvious reward.  If it is a brand new habit, you might consider working your way into it.  For instance, you might want to start walking every day so for the first week, you just get into your walking clothes with shoes but you don't leave the house.  During the second week, get dressed in your walking outfit and then walk around the block. The following week, add a bit of distance so you feel as if you are making progress towards your goal.  On the other hand, the reward needs to be an obvious reward to your body feels as if it wants to do this.  The goal might be a long leisurely shower, a small piece of chocolate, or just the pride you accomplished it.  To monitor this last one, write down how proud you are in a journal. 

Furthermore, the plan should take into account that for any hurdles that come up.  You might want to walk everyday but sometimes you can't due to things like blizzards, tornadoes, or your trip to town took longer than expected.  If you don't make it that day, don't berate yourself.  Instead, think about starting again the next day.  In other words, forgive yourself for messing up and know you can start on the path the next day.  In addition, have a plan in place for times such as this.  It is especially helpful because people get frustrated when they perceive a lack of progress.

So it is suggested, people use the small numbers game to help them reach their goal.  For instance, you are running five miles that day but you need a bit of a boost to make it.  Change the way you think.  Rather than thinking that you've done one mile and have four to do, think of it as having run one mile and if you do one more, you'll have doubled the distance traveled.  The first is considered a negative thought, the second positive. In other words, rather than looking at the whole distance you have to go, look at what you've already accomplished.

Another thing to know is that thinking positively may not help us meet our goals because when we think positively, we often picture our success and daydream about it but that can stop us from reaching our actual goals.  Instead, we need to think positively but realistically.  It is suggested we think about what we wish which is what we want, what is the outcome or what do we want our lives to look like when we get there, what will stop us from reaching the goal or what sidelines us, and how do we get around it.  

The best way is to set up a plan with built in flexibility.  So instead of saying I will go to the gym every morning at 5:30 am, you might change the last part of I will go to the gym every day so if you can't get there at 5:30, you and still go during the day and still be successful. Community support also helps keep you on track but it might be with friends, via social media friends or online support groups or give a relative money such as $100 to hold for you until you reach your goal. There are ways, especially during the time of COVID.  

Finally, if you get off track, don't give up for the year, instead, start reaching for the goal again.  After all, the goals do not have to be tied to New Years, they can be tied with the next Sunday or Monday.  There are no rules that say, you can't start again as needed. In addition be kind to yourself. Instead of calling yourself stupid names and designating yourself as a failure, tell yourself, you can.  Look at what happened, admit it, and then ask yourself what can you do to get back to it.  We are human so we will trip up.

Spin the negative into a positive and keep moving.  Never give up.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, December 27, 2021

It's That Time Again for New Years Resolutions.


It's that time of year again, when we sit down and create a list of goals for 2020.  It is so easy to go overboard on that list.  For instance, deciding to go to the gym but we decide on going everyday for 2 hours instead of looking at what we can easily accomplish.  I've seen people show up at the gym beginning January 2nd and they are there so much but by March, they've burned themselves out.  

I am one of those who always puts exercise on my resolution list because its the way to help me stay on course but this year I've been slack about exercising.  It has to do with both my parents passing four months apart.  That left me kind of depressed but I need to exercise to help me stay fit and in a better mind.  

So what types of resolutions are the best to choose so we are able to stick with things the whole year long because people are unable to keep over half their resolutions. The best resolutions are those that are doable and mean something to you.  For me these are exercising and trying for a healthier diet but others have resolutions that meet their desires and needs more. 

According to one study, most people manage to carry out their resolutions to the end of January before they give up. This is often because the resolution is based on what society or someone else thinks it should be rather than individual need. Another reason for failure is that the resolution is way too vague or there is no plan in place to make sure the resolution is carried out. 

The resolution needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.  When you come up with a resolution, it has to be laid out.  If the resolution is that you want to lose weight, it is not specific enough but if you say you want to lose 10 pounds over the next three months, that is and you'll have a better chance of making it.  This type of resolution is measurable but not all are as easy to measure such as you want to eat healthier.  This is measurable but it requires a food journal where you list everything you eat so you know you are meeting the resolution.  Or if you want to stop biting your nails, you might want to take pictures over time to show that is happening.

Each successful resolution needs to be achievable so rather than making it too large such as wanting to pay off your house in 10 years instead of 30, you might change it to paying an extra $150 per month so you shorten the length of your loan.  So when you look at your resolutions, you need to determine if it is something you can do or if you are setting yourself up for failure.

In addition, the resolution must be relevant to you because it matters to you.  If you decide you want to go to Florida next summer because all your friends have made that goal and you don't like Florida, you are less likely to reach the goal. On the other hand, if you would rather see a show in New York City, then that should be your goal.  It is understood that some goals are harder to accomplish during the time of COVID but you can still have your goals and you never know.  Things are changing all the time.

Finally, all resolutions need to have a time scale to go with them.  This means rather than focusing on one final goal of say losing 30 pounds next year, you might decide concentrate on losing 2.5 pounds every month as this is more achievable and easier to make because the goal is set up in timed increments.  

Once you've written your list of resolutions, you need to have determined the ways you can use to get there. If you are trying to begin a new habit or get rid of old habits, you need to break the habit into three parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward.  The cue is what signals you to do it such as you get bored so you want to eat.  The routine is what you do such as going to the refrigerator, the reward is no longer feeling bored.  This is a bad habit you want to change so when you get bored, you know you want to eat so rather than going to the fridge you might change the routine to taking a nice walk outside so you feel better.

Check back Wednesday for the second half of learning what it takes to be successful with your New Years resolutions.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Different Types Of Mascara

The other day, I needed to pick up some mascara.  I usually buy one type because I like it to add a bit of color and thickness but not too much.  As I stood there, I looked at so many different types and decided I would check out the different types.  

Before we look at the different types of mascara, we'll look at how they come.  It is possible to find a powder mascara which is dry and you add a few drops of water to it so you can use a wand to apply it to your lashes.  There is creme mascara which can smudge thus requires a special applicator. Finally is the liquid mascara which is the most common form and easily found.  I'm looking at six different types of liquid mascara today.

First is the lash lengthening mascara which is designed to extend your natural lashes.  This type of mascara contains polymers made up of nylon and rayon which bind to the tips of a persons eyelashes.  The wand has dense bristles so that the mascara covers the lashes thickly. To get the best results one should use two coats so your lashes look their best.

Second is the thickening or volumizing mascara which adds volume to your lashes, especially thin or sparse lashes, so you don't look like you are wearing fake eyelashes. This type of mascara contains waxes, silicone polymers, and pigments designed to make lashes look darker and fuller. A good way to apply this type of mascara is to move the wand side to side at the base of the lashes before sweeping upwards if you want fullness all the way up.  Otherwise, just apply it to the base.

Third is the curling mascara which helps curl your eyelashes so your eyes look bigger.  The mascara has a thicker consistency and contains filming polymers that tend to contract after they are applied to the lashes. This mascara allows the eyelashes shrink and curl. The curved line of the mascara wand helps the polymers curl the lashes.

Fourth is the waterproof and smudgeproof mascara. One important thing about waterproof mascara is that it does not be reapplied throughout the day because it is designed to be used once.  Waterproof mascara contains wax-oil, mineral oils, and waxes which keep the mascara from interacting with liquid so it doesn't run and stays on the lashes. Unfortunately, waterproof mascara can dry out your lashes so don't use it all the time. When you are ready to remove the mascara, you need to take a cotton pad and add a good makeup remover that is safe to use around the eyes.  Hold the pad on your eyes to give the liquid a chance to breakdown the ingredients of the mascara before gently wiping it away.

Fifth is the non-clumping mascara which is the one that gives the most natural look while adding definition to the lashes. This mascara contains glycerin and silk extracts to keep it from clumping. The wand has long bristles that help apply the mascara evenly across your lashes but do not provide as much volume or length as the other types.  This is the type to wear if you want a more natural look.

Sixth is the lash defining mascara which provides both volume and thickness to your lashes because it spreads evenly across the lashes. This type of mascara has strong pigments for color, filmifying polymers for thickness, and rayon or nylon fibers for added length. 

So with this knowledge, one can find the mascara that is best suited to make your eyelashes look their best.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Addicted To Exercise?


I've known people who always seem to be exercising.  One of my neighbors would walk outside for 2 to 3 hours no matter the weather and then ride a stationary bike for another couple of hours.  I asked her if she was a bit overboard on exercising and she said no but I often wondered if she was addicted to exercise.

It is possible to exercise too much and be addicted to it. Exercise addition is defined as having an unhealthy obsession with physical fitness and exercise.  In fact, people addicted to exercise often are obsessed with certain things including exercising and are unwilling to stop so they continue doing it in secret.

Part of the issue is that when you exercise, your body releases certain chemicals which make a person feel good and is perceived as creating a sense of reward or pleasure. Often the person addicted to exercise depend on the pleasure they derive from the release of these chemicals. Many people who are addicted to exercise may also suffer from body dysmorphia, have an eating disorder, or are addicted to losing weight. 

When you exercise, your body actually release endorphins and dopamine which are also released during drug use.  So when they exercise, they experience the pleasure or reward these chemicals cause but when they quit exercising, the feeling  goes away and to keep experiencing the pleasure, they have to start exercising again.

It often starts due to wanting to be more fit, loose a significant amount of weight or perceiving oneself as being larger than in reality.  Often people who feel under pressure to stay in shape, or have an eating disorder or suffer from body dysmorphia are at risk of becoming addicted to exercise. It is thought that many people who are addicted to exercise fall into one of two categories.  The first group may also be addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs but for the other group, may be addicted to sex or shopping.  In some cases it appears that recovering addicts may use exercise to fill the void left when they no longer suffer from past addictions.

The symptoms of exercise addition include feeling really up and buzzed at the end of a session, suffer from withdrawal symptoms if one does not exercise for long periods of time, have an uncontrollable need to workout, reduce or stop doing other things to find more time to exercise, spend long periods of time both preparing for and recovering from exercise and being unable to stick with a reduced exercise routine. 

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to diagnose because there is no simple check list to use to diagnose it and it is not yet fully recognized by the medical community but it does exist. There are seven things to look for if you think you are in a situation where your exercising is controlling you.

First, you are always exercising to work off the calories from the meals you ate or you need to workout to eliminate your fat stomach, you too big thighs or other body part you do not like.  Second, you are always at the gym spending three or four hours there every day.  You know the people at the gym better than you know your neighbors or coworkers.

Third, you are working out so much that you are always tired. This is because you are spending so much time working out and not enough time on yourself and it leads to becoming sick or hurt.  Fourth, you are always changing plans so you can spend more time working out. In addition, you schedule everything around your workout times so you don't miss any of your workout.

Fifth, You have a workout schedule you rigidly adhere to so even if the weather is bad out, or you are sick, you insist on heading out to the gym to work.  Your main goal for working out is to burn calories or lose weight rather than staying in shape for your health. You go through feelings of fear, anxiety, or stress in regard to your body if you can't get out to exercise. Finally, you experience guilt if you have to skip even one exercise session or you have to finish early.

Sixth, the results you experience are decreasing even if you add in more exercise. This can lead to irritability, loss of sleep and appetite. Seventh and lastly, you end up with an unrealistic view of your body or a poor body image. 

If you are concerned you might be addicted to exercise, there are things you can do.  One is to keep a workout journal where you list the days you work, the type and amount of exercise you do, how you feel and how you feel when you are not exercising. You can use this information to help you ease up.  There is a possibility of needing professional help to get over the exercise addiction and this information can help.

Remember, taking a walk every day does not mean you have an exercise addiction but if you walk for 3 hours and then do two aerobics classes for another two hours everyday, you must might.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Exercises You Should Avoid.


There are exercises that you might have grown up doing or someone tells you are the best thing but which are no longer recommended.  When I took P.E. in school, they always told us to stretch first but now, they tell you to warm up a bit before you stretch so you don't do any damage.

Today, I'm going to talk about exercises personal trainers tell you to avoid as part of your routine.  Many of these exercises are not that effective while others cause damage.

1. The dumbbell side bends.  This exercise is often used by people to make their waists smaller while tightening love handles.  Unfortunately, the exercise does very little because it does not engage your obliques and it involves too much twisting of the spine and too much lateral bending.

2. The superman which you do on your stomach.  It has you lift your upper body and legs off the ground and is supposed to target the lower back.  The exercise actually forces your lower back to over extend again and again so you can cause more back pain.

3. The behind the neck presses.  This exercise is when you bring the weighted bar down behind your neck and then raise it up.  It is supposed to to strengthen your shoulders, upper back, and triceps but it is not very effective because it can put a strain on your neck and shoulder muscles.

4. Barbell jump squats. This is done when you want to tone your gluten and legs but when doing this exercise, you might use too much weight, thus putting too much pressure on your back and joints.  

5.  Leg extension machines. Unfortunately, the leg extension machine is not designed to correct form or target specific muscle groups.  The problem with this machine is that it applies tension to the anterior curciate ligament or ACL which could cause the knee cap to slide right or left.  In addition, it places the maximum amount of force on the back of the knee cap which is the thinnest portion of cartilage is located. 

6.  The Smith machine.  This machine is used by people to help them do a variety of exercises using barbells such as a dead lift or  back squat.  The problem is that the machine has a fixed bar path which means the user must move with the machine rather than using their own natural movement. It can over load your the joints thus possibly leading to injury.

7. Crunches.  These can be effective but not if they are done incorrectly and many people feel that quantity is better than quality. Consequently, they do a lot of low quality crunches and it does not produce the results they want. 

8. Bicep curl machine.  Although many people use this machine, the problem is that the machine does not allow people to do the full range of movement they are able to do with free weights. In addition, there can be problems with form and posture. 

If you are doing any of these, you might think about looking for alternative exercises to decrease your chance of sustaining injury.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Ideal Amount Of Exercise ?

Many people go after certain types of exercise because they prefer them rather than making sure it is mixes up.  I love walking but I know I need to throw in strength training and a good aerobic workout but I don't always manage it.  So what type of workout schedule is considered ideal?  it is composed of several different exercises because there is no single exercise that does it all. Furthermore, the exercise plan should be balanced so all recommendations are met.  

Basically the recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise per week.  Intense aerobic might be some of those ones like the PBX and others while moderate might be a normal aerobics workout.  These can be broken up and spread across the week such as 30 mins five days a week or 75 minutes twice a week for moderate or 25 minute three times a week.  It is based on you and your schedule. 

Aerobic exercise is going to make your heart and lungs work harder, so you are burning calories while burning fat off and helping your heart.  Think of taking a good long walk, ride a bike, take a nice run around the neighborhood, or head to the swimming pool.  If none of those appeal to you, think about taking a dance class, Zumba, or other activity but what ever you choose, aim for at least 15 minutes for each session.  

They also recommend that you work in two or more strength training sessions each week but it is important to have a break of at least 48 hours between the sessions so your muscles have a chance to recover. Strength training usually involves a machine, free weights, or bands and helps prevent bone loss while building muscles.  This is an extremely important part of your exercise routine because we start loosing strength as we age and we want to make sure we stay strong.  

Although they say one set of exercises is effective, they say you should actually do two to three  repetitions of the exercise to get the best results. When you begin your strength training, work on your form rather than the amount of weight so you get the best results. If you are just starting out you can do it with a small can in each hand if you don't have a light weight. Think about shifting out strength or resistance exercises so you might do weights one day, kettle ball another, and possibly the resistance band for the third day.  You don't want to get used to the same exercise day after day.

Finally, throw in some balance exercises,  30 minutes long, one to two days a week.  This is because our sense of balance tends to decline as we age so we need to practice balancing.  It could be via yoga, tai chi, or pilates.  If your balance isn't that good, look for a class that allows you to hold on to a chair or bar to help you. As you get better at balance, you won't need to use a chair.  If you have time, add in a couple of flexibility exercises to help keep your muscles stretched.  

If you do not have access to classes or are not ready to return, you can pick up a couple of weights, several different DVD's so you can have a complete workout at home.  If you prefer, search for videos for each component so  you have a balanced workout.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  have a great day. 

Last thing,  I'd like to apologize for this column not being published this past Monday when it should have been but I ended up with some significant internet issues so it didn't happen. It's always good the coffee shop has free internet. I should be back to normal I hope but who knows.  

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Friday, December 10, 2021

Eyelash Extensions


Up until recently, I'd never heard of eyelash extensions.  I've heard of hair extensions but I never knew they'd come up with one for eyelashes.  Eyelash extensions are a way of ending up with awesome eyelashes without undergoing eyelash transplants, lash lifts, or using tons of mascara everyday. 

Eyelash extensions are the application of semi permanent eyelashes made out of lightweight synthetic lashes, faux mink, real mink or silk that are applied lash by lash to your own lashes. The process uses a semi-permanent glue that was specially formulated so it sticks but does not irritate or damage the natural lashes.  In addition, the individual lashes are directly attached to the lashes themselves.

When done, your lashes should be more full, be longer, and are lifted so they look great even without mascara. The number of lashes applied to the natural eyelash determines the final look.  The more lashes applied, the thicker and more dramatic the final look.   The average person has between 80 and 140 lashes applied to each eye and the lashes are between 6 and 18 mm long because different lengths must be used to create the best look. For a thicker look, more than one lash can be applied to each natural lash.  Furthermore, when you use extensions, you can customize the look so you get the effect you crave. 

When you go in to get lash extensions, you'll choose the length, the amount of curl, and the number of lashes for each cluster.  It is recommended that you get lashes that are 3 to 5 mm longer than your natural length and you have to decide on the thickness of each lash but you have to balance thickness with weight.  You'll also have to select the amount of curl ranging from natural to quite curly or lifted. The final thing is number of lashes so do you want one lash applied to one lash or a fan of three lashes to one lash.  

As far as the time commitment, it takes between one and two hours lying down so the lashes can be applied.   Lashes cost between $100 and $600 but be aware they last about six weeks but it is recommended you go in every two or three weeks to have the sparse areas filled in.  If you want the lashes to last longer, it is important to use a lash conditioner.

Once the extensions are installed, it is important to avoid water to give the glue holding the lashes in place, a chance to fully dry.  It is also recommended that you do not curl them with a mechanical curler because it can cause the lashes to break. Or use mascara because the mascara can be difficult to remove and in the process of removing the mascara, the lashes might be damaged.  If you have to use mascara, use one that is easy to remove. In addition, do not use oil based products or cleansers because you want to give your lashes a chance to stick properly.

If you are concerned that using extensions might hurt your eyelashes, the answer is no they do not but damage can occur if they are not properly installed, or if the wrong type of lash is used. For instance, if too many lashes are applied, they will shed sooner or if you rub your eyes, you'll cause eyelash breakage. Furthermore, change your sleeping position to your side and use a silk or satin pillowcase since cotton can tug at your lashes when they catch.

Finally, if you decide to go this way, make sure you find an experienced technician who is certified and possibly liscensed depending on the requirements of your state.  You want someone who knows what they are doing, can make recommendations for the right combination of factors for your eyelash extensions and who will advise you properly on aftercare.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

What Is A Lash Lift?


On Monday, I discussed eye lash transplants which are quite expensive, and a possibility if you want something more permanent but it's not the only way to improve your eye lashes. Some women have lashes that are so awesome, especially when mascara is applied but others need a bit extra help even after the mascara is put on. 

One way to improve your eye lashes is by using a lash lift because lashes normally grow out rather than up which makes the lashes look better when they point upwards. Basically a lash lift is actually perming your lashes by lifting them while curling lashes for a better look. The lash lift goes from the bottom or root area up to the ends so their length is more noticeable. The process uses a lifting solution and a tiny curling rod to lift the eye lashes. 

There are two types of lash lifts you might have done.  The first is like a regular perm and the other is used a keratin solution for healthier results.  Now if you get the traditional lash lift done, you'll begin by having a consultation with the licensed professional to determine the eye of of lash style you want because that determines the size and shape of the curling rod. Then the area around the eyelashes are cleaned and the lashes are placed around a silicon rod and attached with adhesive so they stick while you lie on a bed with your eyes closed.

When everything is just right, a lifting  lotion is applied to the lashes which encourages the lashes to mold themselves to the rod. The process is finished when a setting lotion is applied which sets the final shape of the lashes.  The whole process takes between 45 and 60 minutes.  Many salons require people to have a patch test done two days before the appointment to make sure there is no possibility of a reaction.

On the other hand, the keratin method is almost the same.  The eyes are closed and silicon pads are placed on the eye lid.  The lashes are lifted so a serum that breaks down the protein in the eyelashes just before the lashes are molded to the pads.  Then a keratin based setting solution is applied which begins to restore and condition the lashes.  The lashes are tinted at this point before the lashes are removed from the shields and the lashes are coated in pure keratin as the last step. 

Either way, it is recommended you avoid having water, makeup, or anything else touch your eye lashes for the first day or using mascara for the first 48 hours after the process is completed so the curl remains.  In addition, lashes should look great for four to six weeks depending on how fast your lashes grow.  It is recommended women use a lash oil on the lashes to nourish them. Furthermore, they should not use waterproof mascara because it dries the lashes out which can lead to broken eye lashes. 

This process cannot be done if the lashes are shorter than 4mm long.  It is recommended women tint their lashes when they get the lash lift so that your lashes are darker and you look like you just woke up. The cost is between $100 and $175 so its not bad. Come Friday, I'll discuss eyelash extensions so you have knowledge of the three choices for lashes.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Monday, December 6, 2021

Transplanting Eyelashes

After researching how they fill out eyebrows by transplanting hairs, I wondered if the same thing existed for eyelashes.  Some of us need all the help we can get to have really awesome lashes and this might be a more permanent solution rather than having to rely on mascara.  Well, one can transplant hair to fill out eyelashes but it's important to know all the positives and negatives so you have full information on the topic.

This procedure works much like the eyebrow transplant in that hair is taken from one area of the body and move to the eyelash area. Specifically hair is taken from the back of the head, and after the doctor numbs the area, individual hairs are inserted one by one.  Although many use it to look better, it is great for folks who suffered burns and complications from tattooing. 

Eyelash transplants are technically a type of hair transplant just like eyebrow and hair transplants. In general the results should last the rest of your life but they do have to be maintained and even trimmed since the transplanted lashes may continue growing just like regular hair.

The pros of eyelash transplants is that the lashes are that they are long lasting and it is real hair but on the other hand, this process can cost between $2,500 and $6,000 for the 2 to 4 hour procedure, and it is generally not covered by insurance.  In addition, it can take a while to see the results and the success rate is only moderate. There can be pain and bleeding and there is the possibility of infection or cornea irritation. 

Once surgery is over, you will experience some swelling and bruising in the eyelid area for several days. The hairs and crusts will fall out in 5 to 8 days after surgery but over the next 4 to 6 months, new lashes will grow in, making the lashes look fuller and nicer. Since it takes a while for the results to be visible, wait about a year to judge the results.

Furthermore, this requires more downtime than other options and you have to wait for the lash area to heal and the hair to grow. If you are pretty healthy and there are no underlying medical conditions, you are considered a good candidate for an eyelash transplant. It is important to talk with a doctor before committing to the process.  It is extremely important to go to a board certified plastic surgeon who does eyelash transplants if you want to go this route. 

Now, if you are not interested in getting eyelashes transplanted, there are other procedures which can be used.  One if a lash lift and the other is to get eyelash extensions.  I'll be talking about both procedures in more detail over the rest of the week.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Friday, December 3, 2021

Eyebrow Transplants


I heard that someone in the public eye ended up getting some feedback on getting hair transplanted into their eyebrows.  I'd never heard of such a thing but if you stop to think about it, it makes sense since many men are getting hair transplanted to their heads.  

Remember, eyebrows help frame your eyes and your face.  They also divert moisture such as sweat and droplets of water from your eyes.  No matter, everyone wants to have a nice pair of eyebrows. 

There are several factors that contribute to the type of eyebrow you have.  Genetics does polar a role in whether you have thick or thin eyebrows but certain medicines, injuries, medical conditions, and excessive use of vitamins can cause you to lose hair from your eyebrows. 

One way people make it appear as if they have thicker eyebrows is with the use of cosmetics but some go so far as to get plugs of hair transplanted to fill in their eyebrows. Physically, the surgeon takes plugs of hair including the roots from the nape of your neck or behind your ears and surgically places them in your eyebrows.  

The surgeon removes the hair and places it in a saline bath before they are replanted. This procedure is usually done under local anesthetic so you don't feel anything.  Once the surgeon has completed the process, the area is left open so a crust can form around the follicles. In addition, there will be some bruising and swelling but after a few days, the crust falls off and the swelling goes down.

Then the hair that was transplanted falls out but new hair should begin emerging around the three month mark but if this doesn't happen because the graphs didn't take, you can try again at around nine months but it depends on the judgement call of the doctor.

The people who are most likely to consider an eyebrow transplant are those who suffer from burned eyebrows, scarring, tumors, a disease that causes their hair to fall out or those who pull it out, an under active thyroid or someone who has consumed too much Vitamin A.  

There are some possible side effects you need to be aware of should you want this procedure.  First of all, some of the plugs may not take so there will be patchy areas in the eyebrow.  In addition, the alignment might be off due to where the plugs are placed during surgery and the individual hairs could end up growing in different directions if the plugs are not carefully lined up.  Other risks include additional bleeding, scarring, infections, bruising, and significant swelling.

The best results occur during the first two to three years and then the hairs can start falling out and you might need to have more plugs put in. The cost of this procedure ranges between $3,000 and $8,000 depending on where you live, if you are covered by insurance, and other factors but in general your health insurance will not pay for it unless it is deemed a medical necessity. If you decide this is for you, check around, talk to those who do it, ask for recommendations, and avoid cut-rate clinics since their work may be subpar.

I know I'm not interested in this type of thing since I like my eyebrows but I know there are people who may choose to undergo such a procedure.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Changing Views On Losing Weight.


Since there is new research on how the metabolism really doesn't slow in the same way we had thought in the past, we have to look at the process of losing weight differently. It has been observed that people often are able to lose weight but they are unable to keep it off and end up gaining most or all of it back. This losing and gaining back has been referred to as the "yo-yo effect". 

In fact, research indicates that about 90 percent of the people who lose weight through dieting, paid programs, or through some sort of gastric surgery end up gaining it all back.  Many scientists believe this happens because of the way our metabolism works. 

When you go on a diet, your metabolism begins dropping since you are consuming fewer calories because your body burns calories at a slower pace but then it changes and you end up gaining the weight. Unfortunately, they don't exactly know the precise process that causes people to regain the weight but there is a new study starting to follow people who are losing weight.  They'll look at everything from energy expenditure, and changes in blood, brain, and muscles psychology in the hopes that they figure out what causes people to regain the lost weight. This study is expected to take three to four years.

The results will give scientists a better idea if the metabolism stays low during the dieting time but as time passes, the diet triggers some sort of inherent biological mechanism that makes us eat more and our weight goes up.  Or is it that we return to previous bad habits, and caving into social and cultural factors that encourage us to eat more.

At this point, scientists claim that if it is a biological mechanism then people have to figure out ways to prevent weight gain in the first place but if it is bad habits or social or cultural factors, it might be better for people to see psychologists to help modify their habits or other factors so they don't give in to these. But how do the results of the latest study in which they've concluded that metabolism is fairly steady from 20 to 60 effect weight loss views?

Well, the current thought arising from the conclusions of this study is that there are other things such as genetics, hormone changes, stress,  sleep and diet effecting weight especially during middle age. It is suggested that a diet of highly processed foods is one of the major culprits responsible for weight gain. In addition, there is more food available to us everyday than we had available evolutionarily and the highly processed food is designed to be over eaten.

Although there are all sorts of articles out there that tell you how to improve your metabolism using different things including exercise, there is evidence that exercise does not improve your metabolism.  Several studies that compare the amount of calories burned by hunters who walk on average 19,000 steps a day and the average American or European and both groups burn the same number of calories.

There is a group of scientists who believe that the body is designed to keep its expenditure of calories within a certain range each day but the body burns the same number of calories each day however, it adjusts how it uses the calories to meet the lifestyle. One other thing is that scientists have yet to discover what is responsible for the individual variations in metabolism.  

The new research produces some interesting new areas for investigation and we are learning more and more how the old thinking needs to change.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Latest Research On Metabolism

Recently, there was some research published which seems to disagree with the normally accepted view of metabolism.  Traditionally, we've heard that as we age our metabolism slows down so it is not as effective at 45 as it was at 20 but this new paper indicates that belief is wrong. According to this study, our metabolism is pretty stable until we hit the age of 60 and then it slows down.

This new discovery will change the way professionals look at metabolic health and recommendations will change. This study looked at over 6,400 people spread out over 29 countries of all ages from new born to extremely old. They used a method that is considered the best way to determine how fast each person burned calories and how many calories were burned through out the day from brushing teeth, thinking, or exercising.

What they discovered is that there are four stages of metabolism in life but they do not correlate with stages of life such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. In addition, your metabolism peaks earlier than previously thought and begins slowing down much later.  As far as controlling body fat and muscle percentage, women's metabolism is the same as men's. Finally, in the larger population clusters,  individual metabolic rates could be as much as 25 percent higher or 25 percent lower than the average for each age.

This is not everything they discovered.  They found that a new born's metabolism mirrored it's mother's but within a month, their own metabolism increased so it became about 50% faster than adults. Furthermore, metabolism peaks when people are toddlers and then begins losing about 3% of the metabolism until the age of 20. It remains at this rate until you reach the age of 60 when it begins to decline, slowing down at a rate of about 0.7% each year.  

There are other factors that cause adults to gain one to two pounds a year over time.  These factors include stress, schedule, hormone levels and energy levels and they change during your 40's and 50's which is where the idea that your metabolism was slowing. In addition, it appears that metabolism and weight are not as closely related as previously thought. The bottom line is that you need to be burning more calories than you partake of in order to keep your weight down. 

It turns out this new research can impact other areas such as does of medicines because of the ability of the body to metabolize it. It could also change the way the medical profession treats cancer because the cancer cells metabolize energy when they grow and divide so the rate at which they grow may be different as people age. This study provided a map of how the changes occur at a metabolic level and can be used to look at the the age related decline works across all body systems.

So if you are having weight issues, know that they might not be caused by your metabolism but by other factors.  I know I've gained a few pounds in the last five years and this new research helps me understand why this is happening and how I might go about getting rid of those few extra pounds.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Last Step


When we got turkey soup for dinner, we knew this was the end.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sandwich Day


Mom always made turkey sandwiches with turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Can Wrinkles Be Prevented Or Reversed?


As you get older, you'll notice those fine lines forming or the dips around your face get deeper and more noticeable.  One day you have none and the next they are there.  In addition, you see commercials or ads offering the miracle cure for those fine lines and wrinkles. 

So we buy those products that offer us the belief if we use it, we'll get rid of wrinkles and look younger, but can we prevent wrinkles or even reverse them?  The short answer is we will end up with wrinkles no matter what we do but there are things we can do to minimize them.

Unfortunately, as we age, our skin undergoes wear and tear just like our joints and the rest of our bodies.  Our skin is made up of a framework of collagen and elastin which is responsible for keeping our skins looking young and unmarked.  As we age, the framework weakens and causes the skin to sag.  In addition, the skin becomes thinner, so gravity pulls at it so it begins to sag. The last factor is our genetics which is what makes us look younger or older than our actual age.

Now there are things we can do to cut down on getting wrinkles but many of them can be avoided or minimized.  One of the biggest factors contributing to wrinkles is the amount of your exposure to the sun. I know that so many of us as teens want to be in the sun.  We want that wonderful glowey skin tone you get from being in the sun but its only as we get older that we realize we need to limit our sun exposure. 

When the suns rays hit your skin, they penetrate it and damage the supporting fibers causing them to break down thus allowing wrinkles to form.  In addition, UV rays cause age or "liver" spots.  The number and condition of the wrinkles depends on your lifetime exposure to the sun so if you spent most of your life in the sun, you are more at risk of wrinkles but don't get upset because you can keep the amount of further damage down.  So start using sun screen now.  Put it on in the morning and reapply every two hours to protect yourself and top your outfit off with a hat.

It has been shown that smoking increases the number and depth of wrinkles. Smoking decreases the amount of blood flowing to the face and the face is exposed to chemicals present in the smoke.  Most smokers also squint to keep smoke out hot their eyes and it is the squinting causes wrinkles around the eyes. So if you are smoking, give it up to prevent further damage.

Another factor that contributes to the formation of wrinkles is heavy or excessive drinking because most people who drink too much tend to have poor diets and a poor diet contributes to having wrinkles. Your body needs you to eat a good diet so it is able to repair and prevent damage. 

To prevent additional damage, use sunscreen, apply a retinol , moisturize, drink enough water, eat a diet with lots of vitamin rich foods. don't smoke, don't sleep on your face, and relax to prevent or minimize wrinkles and sun damage. If you haven't done all of these, go ahead and start doing them because its never too late to start. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Which Facial Products Are Best Used When?

If you read about skin care, there is always some new ingredient being touted as "the" current one.  After a while, it fades being replaced by a new one.  You read about all it's great benefits but the one thing you seldom see is when one should apply it.   Even with some of the standard industry ingredients, its not clear  about morning or night application or even why. 

Let's start with the most obvious items first.  Since the last item used in your routine is the sunscreen, that should be the last thing put on in the morning.  On the other hand, if you include retinol in your routine, it should be used at night because retinol degrades when exposed to UV rays.

Now, if you are a regular user of products that contain Vitamin C, it is better to use it during the day because Vitamin C is classified as antioxidant which protects you from UV damage.  For the most part this is true but if your Vitamin C preparation is a non water based solution, then it should not be used during the day due to the silicone content. Furthermore, it doesn't work well with sunscreen. 

Another ingredient, Niacinamide or Vitamin B is great for fighting pigmentation and found in so many products.  This is one that can be used both during the day or at night. Although it can be easily used with concentrations of up to 20 percent, it is most effective in the 3 to 5 percent range. Another ingredient is Vitamin E which is often found in small concentrations with Vitamin C but this one can be used at night or during the day easily.

If you read the ingredients on most products, you'll find hyaluronic acid in them.  Hyaluronic acid is great for boosting the moisture in your skin and it can be used either during the day or at night. This ingredient is designed to sit on top of the skin where it forms a layer of hydration. This layer disappears when you wash your face so it has to be reapplied frequently. 

As mentioned before there is retinol or Vitamin A which is often found in over the counter or acne products. In general, the retinol in over the counter products tend to break down when exposed to sunlight. and this causes the product to be less efficient.  On the other hand, if you use a prescription acne product that contains retinol, it can be used during the day due to its form being photostable.

When your skin product glycolic acid also known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's, you do have to be careful.  Although it is a great exfoliator,  it is best to use these at nights because it can increase the possibility of a sunburn during the day.  In fact, it makes it so it takes less time for the sunburn to occur and the effect continues for up to one week after you quit using it.  If you want to use glycolic acid during the day be sure to wear a good efficient sunscreen but I'd strongly recommend using it only at night. Another great AHA product is Lactic Acid and since its an AHA, it is best to use it at night due to the same issues.

If you have acne, salicylic acid is something you are quite familiar with. Salicylic acid is classified as a Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA. BHA's do not cause increased photosensitivity like AHA's and so it can be used in both in the morning and at night but one needs to still use a good sunscreen.

Finally, comes the peptides. These short chain amino acids are great for helping your skin produce collagen, elastin, and keratins and can be used at either at night or during the day.  No matter what you use during the day always finish it with a good sunscreen, even during the winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Saturday, November 20, 2021

One Pot Of Gold?


They say there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So if that is true, do you get…….?

Friday, November 19, 2021

Bee Venom For The Face


For most of us, our encounter with bee has been in summer when we've gotten stung by bees.  I've had my few encounters over my life and they hurt.  Recently, I discovered that bee venom is now being found in facial products. 

The idea behind using bee venom is that it is supposed to reduce wrinkles and inflammation.  It is considered a natural product and is said to help both acne and signs of aging.  Of course, as one ages, certain things will happen and you can't avoid the process completely but you can work on reducing the effects.  

Officially, bee venom, is a colorless, liquid poison deposited by the bee when it stings.  The bee venom is a mixture of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as sugar, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. One of the compounds contained in bee venom Melittin, contains 26 amino acids and makes up about half of the dry weight of the venom. In addition, it contains two peptides, apamin and adolapin which possess anti-bacterial effects.

Furthermore, it has been found that bee venom is good for treating both acne and aging.  It is specifically recommended for use with common, everyday acne, aka pimples.  For acne, it is best used in conjunction with other products such as a salicylic based wash.

According to some research, bee venom, especially in purified form, appears to be able to increase collagen, while stopping sun damage.  When used twice a day, the bee venom reduced the depth of wrinkles, and number of wrinkles in one study.  When bee venom is applied to the skin, it causes it to inflame and trigger a response by the skin to heal wounds.  This causes the skin to produce collagen.  

The nice thing about bee venom is that it is easily absorbed by the skin where it goes down fairly deep into the skin so it looks plumper, lifted, and much firmer.  It plumps the skin by increasing blood circulation, and in the process fills and smooths the fine lines, and wrinkles.  The increased blood supply hits the area, it encourages increased production of collagen and elastin.   

Furthermore, it is recommended that bee venom be used in conjunction with other products to get the best results.  When first using it, it is recommended one carry out a patch test because of possible reactions.  If there is no reaction after 24 hours, it is safe to use it all over your face.  It is best to use it after your face has been cleaned and before the application of moisturizer.

I regularly use three products that contain bee venom every night.  One is a serum, one is an essence, and one is a face cream. I've noticed that my wrinkles are a bit less and it leaves my skin feeling nice and it looks decent.  I like using it at night because I tend to use other products during the day.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Improving Collagen Levels In Your Skin.


As we know, the amount of collagen in your skin decreases over time.  It is said that one way to improve collagen in your skin is by using supplements but that is not proven and it is not vegetarian so I for one will not take it.  Fortunately, there are other ways to improve the amount of collagen so your skin doesn't show signs of aging as much.

One way is to increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your diet. It is found in foods with amino acids such as beans, root vegetables, and soy. It can also be taken as a supplement.  Increasing the amount of hyaluronic acid in your diet will improve your collagen levels.

In addition, make sure you have enough vitamin C in your diet since this is one vitamin that your body cannot produce. Vitamin C can help protect your skin and helps boost collagen production by the body.  Vitamin C can either be taken via supplement or via foods such as oranges, green leafy vegetables, and other foods.

Furthermore, there has been a study which seems to show that people who take aloe steroids as part of their diet, experienced increased production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. In some, it doubled the production while the appearance of facial wrinkles decreased.  

There is a recommendation people should make sure to increase the amount of antioxidants in your diet.  Although, antioxidants do not improve collagen production, they do protect help the amount of collagen do a better job.  Researchers have looked at using retinol, a specific type of antioxidant that helps boost collagen in levels in the skin and help collagen last longer, while blocking enzymes that destroy it.  You will find retinol in many, many skin products and there is research to show this works. In addition, products with peptides used on the face will help improve collagen production.  Peptides are short chains of amino acids used to make proteins and collagen by the body.

Of course, it is important to wash and exfoliate the face on a regular basis helps protect the collagen levels in the skin. Furthermore, finish off your morning routine should include a layer of sunscreen to help protect your skin from both UV rays and environmental factors.  Both UV and environmental factors such as dust, smoke, and pollution can impact collagen levels.  

Many skin care products that include collagen, advertise that your skin will use the collagen to reduce visible signs of aging and wrinkles but that isn't true.  The size of the collagen molecules in these preparations are actually too large to pass through the skin to the lower levels and do not do anything. As mentioned earlier it is better to rely on products with retinol, vitamin C, and peptides since the skin can absorb those.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Take care and have a great week.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Do Collagen Supplements Work?


If you've been checking out YouTube or TikTok, you might have noticed that people are recommending one take a collagen supplement to help replace what is lost to aging.  In case you didn't know, Collagen is a type of protein found in the skin, muscles, bones and tendons in the body.  In fact, it is the most abundant protein present in the human body.  Although there have been at least 16 types of collagen identified, most of them are classified as type I, II, or III.

Types I and III are found mostly in the skin and and bones while type II is located in your joints.  The collagen found in the skin is actually located in the middle layer or dermis.  Collagen makes up part of a networking system called fibroblasts which is where new cells are produced and it helps replace old dead skin cells with newer vibrant ones.

One of the marketed ways to improve collagen levels is to take a supplement.  This raises the question concerning the effectiveness of such supplements.  Do they really help your body restore your collagen levels to what they should be?  Let's check that out.

First thing to know is that most collagen in supplements comes from cows, pigs, and fish and contain types I , II, and III. These supplements might be in the form of hydrolyzed collagen where the protein is broken down into smaller pieces called amino acids, gelatin which is only partially broken down, and raw where the protein is not broken down at all.

There is some research that supports the idea that your body will absorb the hydrolyzed collagen best but the reality is that your body will break down all forms of collagen into amino acid which is absorbed by the body.  In fact, your body produces collagen naturally from the protein you put in your body. 

There is some early research supported by a couple of different studies which indicates that taking a collagen supplement in hydrolyzed form will reduce wrinkles, and improves skin hydration but it is too early to really know how they work on overall skin health. 

Furthermore, since most of the collagen found in the supplements comes from ground up chicken, pigs, cow, and fish parts, there is concern about its safety since the parts used tend to absorb contaminants and heavy metals.  In addition, concern has been expressed that some of these supplements might contain mad cow disease and in 2016, the FDA prohibited companies from using certain parts of the cow due to this concern. 

Some doctors feel that since supplements are not as well regulated as medications, it is better to create a homemade bone broth made out of chicken, fish, or beef bones to get collagen. If you are going to buy a supplement, look at companies use bones and skins from free range, cage free, and antibiotic free sources. Check the bottle for the NSP or USP labels because this means they are meeting the requirements of a third party overseer. In addition, check out web sites to see what the company is doing to make sure they are keeping heavy metals and contaminated ingredients out of their product.

If you decide to try a collagen supplement, understand that it could take up to 12 weeks to see any results and if you are a vegetarian or vegan, this is not a good option.  On Wednesday, we'll be looking at products that can help improve the amount of collagen in your skin without taking a supplement. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Protecting Your Hair In The Winter

At sometime, during the winter, most people end up going outside.  Unfortunately, most people only think about staying warm when its cold outside rather than taking time to protect their hair.  Cold winter weather is extremely harsh on your hair and it is important to take steps to protect it.  Even when it's not well below zero, one should still do things to keep the hair healthy.

One of the easiest things to do is to wear a hat during the winter.  The hat protects your hair to shield it from  the dry air, rain, snow, and/or wind which can rob the moisture from your hair. 

Unfortunately, winter weather can dry your hair out, causing breakage so a hat is great protection but make sure your hat is lined with silk or satin if your hat is made of wool, polar fleece, or cotton because those fabrics can cause additional breakage. Furthermore, the dryness of winter air can cause your hair to build up static electricity so make sure to apply a spray a dry oil to hydrate your hair and keep it shiny. 

Another thing to do in winter is to run a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which has been removed due to indoor heating and by using a humidifier you are helping to keep your hair hydrated. Furthermore, don't forget to get regular trims so the ends are no longer dry and split. Getting regular trims help the hair stay healthy and cuts down on split, dry, ends. 

Often in winter, we opt for those nice hot showers with the temperature of the water turned up as much as possible.  Of course, this makes the room nice and steamy but for your hair, the temperature should be lower because the hot water can remove moisture from your hair, making it more brittle leading to additional breakage.  Wash your hair in warm water followed by a cool, not cold rinse.

If you can, let your hair air dry. When you blow dry your hair, it can remove moisture from your hair, making it more dry and brittle. The dryer air is hard enough already but when you apply heat to your hair, it sucks any moisture from your hair, damaging it.  If you don't have the time, wash it at night to give it enough time to dry on its own. Try not to straighten it or use a curling iron.  Instead wear braids, buns, or twists. 

Growing up, I was told never to go outside when its cold because your hair can freeze and break off. Guess what? It is true so make sure your hair is dry whenever you leave the house.  If you have to, you can blow dry it but make sure you use some sort of protection so it doesn't lose moisture.  Don't be afraid to use hot oil treatments or hair masks to provide deep moisturizing at least once a week. You might also need to add oil to the ends daily to keep them moisturized.  In addition, consider using a heavy duty leave in conditioner to provide additional protection.

Finally, try not to wash your hair every day.  Instead, plan to wash it every three to five days to help it stay healthier.  Hint: If you have fly away hair, rub a dryer sheet over your hair to eliminate static from your hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Exercising Outdoors


It is that time of the year when temperatures fall and people who exercise are having to make adjustments with rain, snow, wind, or just overcast days. We all know that if you skip one day, it becomes easier to skip the next, and the one after that.  It's easy to decide not to go outside when its too wet, cold, or snowy.If you are willing to continue your excise regime outdoors there are some things you can do to stay warmer, remain in good health and be successful. 

First thing is to dress dry and warm.  If you get wet, the dampness will conduct the heat away from your body and you'll end up chilled and feeling miserable. This could lead to hypothermia which is when the core of your body drops to below 95 degrees F and if its cold enough outside, you might even experience frostbite. Avoid wearing anything made of cotton because cotton soaks up both sweat and rain, consequently holding in moisture.  Instead, consider wearing only synthetic fabrics such as polyester, polypropylene, or nylon to stay drier and warmer. These fabrics will draw moisture away from your body about 50 percent faster than cotton.

Next, wear layers instead of just one or two pieces.  Begin with a thin base layer made of synthetic fabrics to pull moisture away from your body.  If it is cold, think about wearing a middle layer made out of polar fleece, and top off with some sort of outer layer or shell to protect you from the elements. The outer layer could be a windbreaker, a vest, or a heavy weight jacket depending on the weather. In addition, choose bright colors to increase your visibility to passing vehicles. In fact, it is recommended adding reflective gear, tape, or blinking lights to make it easier for others to see you.

When temperatures are down, it is important to protect your extremities from the cold by wearing gloves, mittens, a hat or headband. These should be made out of wool or synthetic materials and these items are small enough to tuck in a pocket if they are not needed. Should you find your toes becoming chilly, think about using shoe covers because running shoes are designed to let heat escape and shoe covers will help keep the heat in. If not, look to purchase running shoes designed for winter use. 

In addition, make sure you take care of your skin by drinking lots of water and wearing a good moisturizer because winter weather is dry. Think about using something like Vaseline under your nose, on your ears and the tip of your nose for additional protection or consider using a running mask or scarf.  When I have to be outdoors, I wrap my face with a scarf to make sure the incoming air is warm so it doesn't freeze my nose, mouth, or lungs.

One other thing in regard to your skin, make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen.  Yes, it is winter but the snow covered ground tends to reflect sunlight so you are exposed to it twice.  If you are up in the mountains, the air is thinner and you are more exposed to UV rays.  Don't think that if its cloudy, you'll be fine because they come through and you are still exposed to them.

When you are outside, stay to paths that have been plowed or salted so you are not exposed to ice while running. If you can't avoid areas that have snow or ice, think about using cleats or spikes.  The thing is that spikes are not good to use on pavement and may make it more difficult for you to balance. 

Now that we've covered dress, don't forget to warm those muscles up before hitting the trails. Think about performing dynamic warmups to increase blood flow and raise your muscle temperature. If you do not do a good warm-up you could be at an increased risk for sprains and strains. Don't forget to breath when you are exercising outdoors. In colder weather, the vessels of your airways tend to shrink so if you cover your nose and mouth when outside, you keep moisture in your body as you breath out. 

If you start warming up, do not be afraid to remove layers of clothing. Do not wait until you are feeling super warm to remove layers, rather remove the clothing when you start feeling a bit warmer.  Tie the layers around your waist where they are easy to retrieve should your body temperature drop. In addition, consume liquids while outdoors because it is too easy to become dehydrated because you don't feel thirsty.

One other thing, be aware of the wind because of the wind chill factor which makes the temperature lower than it actually is and it is possible for you to end up with hypothermia.  If you are doing laps, start by running into the wind so when you are sweaty, you'll have the wind at your back.  Finally, as soon as you are done, cool down with more dynamic moves and then immediately get out of your workout clothing so you don't get chilled.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Digital Perms

I was cruising YouTube and came across digital perms.  I didn't know about them.  My mother was born with baby fine hair and always permed her hair, otherwise it looked horrible.  She did them at home until she discovered the local cosmetology school where she could get a perm for not too much. I don't know if she'd have liked these but I find the whole concept interesting.

A digital perm is a perm created with hot rods whose temperature is regulated by a machine with a digital display.  It is this machine with wires coming out that connect with the rollers.  It looks a lot like the first perm machines from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. It is also known as a "hot perm". In addition, it is called an Asian Perm, Korean perm, or Japanese perms.

In the process, a digital perm combines heat with the use of chemicals to change the chemical makeup of your hair so it produces loose curls instead of tight spiral curls. The chemicals help break the bonds of your hair so they can take a curl that is but in with the hot rollers.  According to what I saw, the resulting waves will last up to a year and look absolutely natural.  A digital perm takes many hours to complete and can be more expensive than the traditional perm.

The process is that solutions are applied to the hair and then it is wrapped in specially designed curlers.  The curlers then are fastened with rubber bands and a small pad is wrapped around each roller.  The curlers are attached to these cords which are connected to a digital display that applies heat.  After a certain amount of time, the curlers are disconnected and taken out, a neutralizer is applied, and the hair is twisted a bit here and there until it is dry and the curl is there.  I will say, the individual processes varied a bit from video to video but the general description I gave was pretty much the same in all of them. One other thing, they do not recommend this type of perm on bleached or damaged hair due to the heat and chemicals.

Now for the more detailed things you need to know about digital perms.  First the amount of time it takes to curl your hair and it's cost is based on the length of your hair, the shape its in, and the type of hair you have such as thin versus thick or course versus fine. It normally takes between two and four hours to complete but it can take longer. As far as price, it is going to run at least $150 and up again depending on the salon and your hair.

Secondly, make sure you want the hairstyle since it will last up to a year or longer.  If you do it and then want to do something else, it will be hard to reverse the process without damaging your hair.  So make sure you want the curl. You will probably experience frizz after having it done because digital perms were originally designed for Asian hair and the heat used may fry your hair.  Be prepared to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize your hair to counter any damage. 

In addition, take time to research the type of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products you will need for curly or wavy hair, otherwise your hair might end up being crunchy and you won't get the frizz under control.  Think about keratin based products since they help your hair. Another aspect to think about is the time you will need in the morning to fix your hair.  There is a good chance it is going to take longer than it did when you had straight hair. 

In order to keep the frizz down, do not run your fingers through your hair since it will only add to the frizz.  Furthermore, you will need to twist sections of your hair as you are blowing it dry with a diffusing hair dryer to keep the curl at its best. 

The best way to keep your curls is to use a curl cream after you wash and condition your hair.  When you dry your hair, dry it at the roots to keep the volume there. When your hair is 70 to 80 percent dry, start twirling sections of your hair as you dry it.  Once your hair is dry, use your fingers or a large tooth comb to smooth the curl and apply oil or serum to keep it from frizzing. 

I think it can be a great thing for someone who really wants curly hair for a long period of time.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.