Saturday, October 30, 2021

Northern Lights


This weekend is supposed to be perfect for viewing the northern lights

Friday, October 29, 2021

In Transit

I am currently in transit. I should be back to normal on Monday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sea Water And Your Hair

I am currently in Hawaii and today, I swam in the ocean.  Salt water always seems to leave my hair stiff and horrid, especially if I don't get a chance to rinse it out immediately.  Today I took a tour that gave us 1.5 hours to swim and check out the local turtles but since it was at a park, the only showers available had cold water.  I had to wait till I got back to the hotel to really get rid of the salt water.

One of the best things to do to protect your hair from salt water is to wear it up in a bun if possible. This is because salt water can strip moisture from the hair and make it really, really, dry leading to split ends, breakage, and dull, lackluster hair.  If you have your hair in a bun, it means less hair is actually exposed to the salt water.

Before putting it into the bun, is to wet your hair and apply a pre-shampoo such as the one designed to protect your hair from the ocean or chlorine. One pre-shampoo that comes highly recommended is Swimcap which was designed to protect hair from both the salt water and UV rays.  If you can't find a good pre-shampoo, cover your hair in an oil like coconut or jojoba to keep it from absorbing as much salt water.

Once you are done swimming, rinse your hair with fresh water but sometimes that can be difficult so bring an extra bottle of water so you can do this.  I sometimes carry a cup along so I can fill it from the sink and pour it over my hair to get rid of all the salt or I've used it if the water coming from the shower head was not spraying properly.

Then wash it as soon as you possibly do it.  As soon as I got back to my hotel room, I washed my hair to get rid of any remaining salt that I didn't get when I rinsed my hair after swimming.  Select a shampoo and conditioner that are designed to add moisture to your hair while helping restore elasticity.  In addition, if you are swimming a lot, use a hydrating hair mask at least twice a week to keep it healthier.  Don't be afraid to use a leave-in conditioner to add extra hydration to your hair.  If you don't use enough conditioner, it can be quite difficult to comb your hair properly which can lead to additional damage. 

Furthermore, skip the blow dryers and hot tools because the salt water dries your hair out and these can make them even dryer.  If you don't use them, you are giving your hair a chance to repair themselves. Just let your hair air dry for the best results. 

One final thing to think about is to apply a UVA/UVB spray to your hair or apply a sunscreen designed for your hair on before going out.  This will protect your scalp from burning and it will help protect your hair from sun damage.  I know that this type of product is hard to find where I live but I know it can be ordered off of Amazon quite easily and they offer a variety of products.

Think about all of these things when you go swimming in the ocean.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Exercising In The House


We are heading into the colder temperatures. Some of us live in climates where it gets too cold to enjoy time outdoors or the weather is such that you can’t go out but you still want to do some sort of exercise. So today, I will make suggestions for things you can do at e when you can’t go out. These suggestions do no require any fancy equipment nor access to a gym.

First is one of my favorites. Just throw on your favorite music and dance to it. I love using music from the 1960’s because it has a great beat, and it is so danceable. After about 30 minutes, I am sweaty and feel great. If you are not comfortable bopping around, you can check YouTube for instructional clips. 

Second, clear a space in the living room for yoga. Fortunately, there are many different versions of yoga so you are likely to find one that works for you. Again, YouTube has a some really good videos to follow if you’ve never done it before or you are not confident enough to do it on your own.

Third would be a barre exercise. Think of dancers standing next to the barre to stretch. I admit to sometimes using the back of the sofa or a chair instead of a barre and either worked well. YouTube has some really nice workouts but if you have never done barre before, look for those videos that are no more than 20 minutes long.

Fourth is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT which integrates segments of high intensity exercise with lower so your heart has to work a bit harder. I’ve done it before and I enjoy it because it makes me work harder at times and I don’t mind it because I know the high intensity sections are say 60 seconds. Although I have a couple DVD’s with HIIT, I also hit YouTube for variety.

Fifth is the couch potato workout where you squeeze in exercises during commercial breaks. For instance, during the first set of commercials, you can go from sitting position, to standing, then back to sitting and repeat till the show comes back on. During the next break, sit at the edge of the chair, place your hands next to your body, then schoolchildren a bit so you can easy your body towards the floor by bending your arms, then raise yourself up by straightening your arms and repeat. You can sneak in lunges, squats, the plank, jumping jacks, or other exercise. 

These are just five examples of exercises you can do at home if you are unable to get out due to weather. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Remember When?

 Remember when we'd find every puddle on the way home from school?  Remember the joy of splashing through each and every one?  Remember?

Friday, October 22, 2021

Do It Yourself Exfoliant Recipes

When you exfoliate your body or your face, you do not have to invest in something from the store.  There are plenty of options that use ingredients commonly found around the house.  I often create a body exfoliant at home because I do not use it enough to warrant buying some.  

Today, I'm devoting my space to recipes you can make at home designed to exfoliate either your face or body.  They are easy and don't take much effort to make.

Facial Scrubs:

1. Cafe Au Lait Facial Scrub - 1/2 cup of coffee grounds, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk or buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon of honey.  Mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container. When you are ready to use, gently dampen your face by splashing water or spraying water on it. Spread the scrub all over your face while avoiding your eyes.  With wet hands, rub the mixture into your skin using circular motions.  This should take three to four minutes.  Rinse the mixture off your face and pat dry.  You can store any left over scrub in the fridge to use another time.  

2. Chocolate and Sugar Face Scrub - Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract together in a small bowl.  Remember cocoa powder is unsweetened and usually used for cooking. Rub the mixture onto your dampened face for about a minute and then leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off and patting dry.

3. Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub - Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey (organic preferred), juice from 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Mix the oil, honey, and lemon juice together fully and then mix in the granulated sugar. Gently rub the mixture into your facial skin for about 60 seconds before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

Body Scrubs

1. Brown Sugar Body Scrub - Take 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of ground oatmeal.  Begin by mixing the coconut oil and honey together completely.  Then add the brown sugar and ground oatmeal until you have a thick paste. Once you've wet your skin, rub the mixture all over your body for a minute or two and then rinse.  Pat dry when your done.

2. Salt Body Scrub - Take 1/2 cup of salt and mix it with 1/2 cup of coconut or olive oil.  Rub it over a damp body and rinse with lukewarm water.  Store any left overs in a airtight container in the fridge.

3. Simple Sugar Body Scrub.  Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  Apply to your wet body using your hands, wash cloth, or luffa sponge. Gently rub with a circular motion for about a minute or two and then rinse off.

I've given your three facial scrub  and three body scrub recipes that use ingredients easily found in your kitchen. If you have some essential oils around, you can add 10 to 15 drops to either the salt or sugar body scrubs.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Exfoliating Your Face.


As I was growing up, my sister said I needed to exfoliate my skin on a regular basis.  Her recommendation had ground up walnut shells in it which was supposed to do a much better job but over the years, I've learned that you do not want an exfoliate with the ground up walnut shells.

Remember, exfoliation is used to to remove the dead skin cells from the outer layer and can make the skin look better and make it easier for the skin to absorb topical skin products.  Skin cells flake off, making room for new cells once every 30 days or so. When the dead cells do not fall off, they can appear as flakey patches or clog pores.  Exfoliation can help keep this from happening and it can help increase collagen production.

In addition, there are two ways to exfoliate your skin, mechanical or chemical. Mechanical exfoliation is when a person uses a tool such as a brush or sponge, or a scrub which physically removes the dead cells.  In addition, physical exfoliation is much easier to do because you just need a cloth and some homemade product. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation relies on things such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids which dissolve the cells gently.  

In addition, it is important to know your type of skin before selecting the exfoliate because if someone with sensitive skin isn't careful, they might experience burning or sting after it is done.  In addition, a person with normal skin should not be as sensitive and it should stay pretty clear but someone with dry skin will notice their skin is flakey and dry but someone with oily skin will notice that it is shiny and greasy.  It is possible to have a combination skin which is dry in areas but oily in others.

Before exfoliating your skin, it is important to look at the medications you are taking because some can make your skin more sensitive or even peal.  If you are using a prescription with retinol or benzoyl peroxide, you might notice your skin breaking out or becoming dry when you exfoliate.  The method you choose should be based on our skin type.  If skin is sensitive, dry, or has acne, think about using a wash cloth and a mild chemical exfoliate but if you have oily skin, think about a mechanical type but make sure it is not damaging. 

It doesn't matter which you use, apply the product using small circular motions for about 30 seconds before rinsing with lukewarm rather than hot water.   Do not exfoliate if you are sunburned or any cuts on your skin. Once you've finished exfoliating your skin, apply a moisturizer because exfoliating can be drying. Do not exfoliate every day as it can be damaging. 

On Friday, I'll be sharing some Do It Yourself facial exfoliates that can easily be made at home.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Myths About Hair


There are somethings we grow up hearing from friends, parents and grandparents.  My grandmother always said you needed to brush your hair 100 strokes every night with a natural bristle brush while my father said I needed to have short hair because it was naturally curly.  I never managed to brush my hair the suggested 100 strokes every night and I hated short hair so when I left home, I grew it out to butt length and discovered it actually is easier to take care of.

So today, we are going to look at certain myths regarding haircare and we'll see if they are true or false.  One of the big ones is when they say you need to trim your hair regularly so that it will grow faster.  That is FALSE.  Trimming your hair regularly does not make it grow faster.  Instead, it makes your hair look thicker and better because you've gotten rid of the split and damaged ends.  Your hair is going to grow about a quarter inch every month or about three inches per year.  

Another one is that sleep does not affect your hair but in truth it does.  When you go to sleep, your body produces a natural hormone called melatonin. In addition, to helping your body sleep, it also promotes hair growth so if your body does not produce enough melatonin, you might end up experiencing hair loss.  When you do not get enough sleep, your body ends up being more stressed and its this stress that can signal your hair to enter a "resting" state before heading into a premature "shedding" state which means you are losing hair. 

A related myth is that stress causes your hair to turn gray which is mostly incorrect.  The color in your hair is produced by the pigment melanin. Once your hair loses all it's melanin, your hair turns gray. Research shows that the stress does not cause your hair to go gray but as stated earlier, it can make you shed hair almost three times faster than normal. Furthermore, the follicle sets the color so that strand will be the original color for as long as it is on your head but as you age, your hair produces less color and the new strands will eventually be all gray until you are totally gray.  The process usually begins around the age of 35.

Of course there is the idea that wearing a hat too much can cause baldness or hair loss but this is total fiction.  If you begin losing hair, it is associated with hormonal or genetic factors. Sometimes male pattern baldness is caused by a specific hormone DHT which causes the hair follicle to shrink before falling out.   

Remember, I told you my grandmother recommended brushing your locks 100 strokes everyday?  Well that one isn't good for your hair because brushing causes friction which in turn damages your hair.  A few strokes per day is good for distributing natural hair oils but not 100 of them. In addition, there is a myth that says your hair gets used to the shampoo and condition but that isn't quite true.  The truth is that if the shampoo or conditioner no longer work the way they should, it means the needs of your hair have changed. 

I remember reading in beauty books that one should finish the hair washing process with a final rinse of cold water to get a shiny finish.  It sounds interesting but it is not true.  It will not close you cuticles because they are already closed unless you did something like color them or your hair is dryer and then they will frizz. I was glad to hear this because my sister insisted this was the way to go and I hate, hate, hate, cold. 

The final myth I'm looking at is the old, if you see flakes on your shoulders when you wear dark clothing, you must have dandruff.  This one isn't true. Dandruff occurs when you have an oily scalp or a yeast active fungus because it causes your scalp to over produce cells and the dead cell buildup is shed. Real dandruff flakes are yellowish and your scalp looks greasy.  If the flakes are white, it just might be due to a dry scalp,  too much styling product, or some sort of skin product.

I was glad to find out that some of the myths my family shared with me turned out to be wrong.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Friday, October 15, 2021

Skin Care While Traveling By Air.


I realized the topics associated with traveling might be better done at the beginning of summer but I am traveling so much recently that I have to be aware of this topic.  I usually end up on trips where I'm in the air between 6 and 12 hours depending on where I'm going and I can tell you from personal experience that its easy for my skin to mess up if I don't take extra special care during the trip.

In addition, I have to wear a mask from when I hit the airport until I get checked into my hotel depending on the place.  The mask can play havoc with my face because the air on the plane if recirculated and can be very drying which can cause immflamuation. In addition, if you sit by a window, you are exposing yourself to increased amounts of ultra violet radiation.  

Furthermore, humidity levels in planes tend to be lower than what most people are used to. This can cause our skins to either end up feeling dryer or oily.  If it feels oily, its because the skin began producing oil to counter the dryness. When the air pressure is lower than what you're used to and being at a higher elevation, you end up with less oxygen in your blood means your skin looks dull. Unfortunately, you might also suffer from water retention due to being stationary for long periods of time and you might end up with a puffy face.

So the first thing to do is to make sure you drink lots of liquid before you get on the plane since the more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your skin is. In addition, take a nice shower and go through your whole skin routine before heading to the airport, including using serums, moisturizers, and sun screen before you head off.  Make sure you use one of those heavy duty masks on your face the night before to add extra moisture. 

When you are on the plane, make sure you drink plenty of liquids but try to avoid caffeine because it is a diaretic and can dehydrate you.  If you can, get up and walk up or down the aisle to keep from retaining water and cutting down on the amount of puffiness you experience.  You might want to keep some hydrating spray with you so you can spritz your face at points throughout the flight.

After you arrive at your destination, wash your face and reapply your serums and moisturizers to help hydrate your skin. Don't forget the cold compresses on your puffy eyes. Continue using your normal products since it is strongly recommended that you do not try any new facial products when you head out on a trip since your skin might react differently than it does at home.  Think about investing in travel sized items so you don't have to carry the big sized ones. 

If you have to pack lightly, cut back on your facial products to bare minimum but make sure you include sunscreen. moisturizer, facial cleanser, and any medications you need for your skin so you don't have any flareups. If you can't find your favorites in a travel size, look for travel sized containers you can transfer your facial products into. I always bring my own facial cleaner because the facial soaps provided by the hotel tend to be drying.  

So think about what you need when you head off on your next trip which will be thanksgiving or Christmas for many of you. I've learned how to cut back on my hair and facial products so I can head overseas with minimum weight.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Taking Care Of Your Hair While Traveling.

I've been doing a lot of travel this fall.  I think I have 15 days between the end of one trip and the beginning of the next.  The one thing I've noticed is no matter how clean or dirty my hair is at the beginning of the trip, it is horrible by the time I arrive at my destination.  I think that might be because I'm either in the air or at the airport for 12 to 15 hours or longer.  I also notice that it is dryer than normal when I arrived so I had to figure out how to keep my hair in decent shape during the trip. 

Care for your hair begins before you ever leave home. The very first step is to moisturize your hair because the recirculating air on the plane tends to dry out your hair.  Apply a nice serum with argon oil, coconut oil, or apply a light coating of coconut oil straight.  This protects your hair so it doesn't look dull and dry by the time you land.  In addition, it is important to drink water on the trip but the addition of extra oil doesn't hurt.

If you are not immediately heading off for a meeting and have time to check in to your hotel, you might want to consider applying a hair mask before you leave so it has the whole trip to permeate the hair.  When you get to your hotel, wash it out and style your hair. Otherwise, if you have to head off to a meeting, apply a bit of serum to your ends to refresh it so it looks better.

On the other hand, if you want to fix your hair for the trip so you look more professional, think about applying a serum to your hair before you use straighten or curl it to nourish your hair and protect it from the recirculating air on the plane and in the airport. 

One important thing to include in your travel bag is some dry shampoo just in case you get stuck somewhere or arrive too late to get ready for a meeting.  When you have dry shampoo, you can clean your hair so it looks better without having to find water.  I've seen women who tried to wash their hair in bathroom sinks and it just doesn't work but with a dry shampoo, you don't have to worry about that.  It will be one of your best friends when traveling.

Once you get to your destination, you have to think about your hair, especially if you swim in a hotel pool, hit the ocean, or just lounging by the ocean.  Chlorine or saltwater can really mess with your hair, so if you apply some coconut oil to your hair before swimming or lounging, it can keep your hair from becoming brittle and dry. 

Finally, try not to wash your hair everyday, otherwise you can damage your hair even more.  Remember, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, before, during, and after.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Exercising While Traveling By Air.


I usually end up traveling about 40,000 miles by airplane each year.  I find that I usually end up spending a few hours between planes and don't move around as much as I should.  I usually end up just sitting but I've been looking into ways I can exercise between planes so I'm not so wiped out by the end of the trip.  One thing I have done to get some exercise is to take my camera and wonder through the airport looking for interesting things.  For instance, I know where the pet place is that has a fire hydrant and a mat for dogs to do their business at the Seattle airport.  I know where there is a nice garden at the Honolulu airport. 

One way as I mentioned to get a nice workout is to take a nice long walk around the various terminals, or from one end to the other and back several times if it is smaller.  If it's during the day, you'll end up avoiding the crowds and if it's at night, you'll have a clear path.  This is one of my favorite ways to workout, especially if I'm traveling with someone. 

If you are by yourself, or with someone, you can always focus on working your abs while sitting there.  You can start with toe taps where you sit quite straight in your chair.  Lift one foot just off the ground and hold it for 10 seconds before returning it to the floor, then lift the other food off the ground and hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat until you have done 10 reps on each side and make sure you use your abdominal muscles as you do this exercise.

Next while sitting on the edge of the chair, lean your torso back, while holding the sides of the chair.  Lift your legs out in front of you and then bring your knees up to your chest before extending out fully.  Repeat until you've completed 15 repetitions. If that last exercise is a bit too hard, just raise your left leg, hold it up for 10 seconds before lowering it and then repeat with the right leg.  Repeat the exercise until you've done it 10 times on each side.

Try a seated crunch by sitting up straight in the chair with your toes touching the ground and bring your hands behind your head.  Slowly, bring your chest towards your lap and slowly back up.  Repeat until you've done this chair crunch 15 times.  Then you can also do a torso twist which is where you twist the torso to the left slowly as far as you can go, hold it, before twisting to the right and pausing.  Continue until you've done 15 to 20 on each side.  

If a torso twist is not enough, how about a seated bicycle crunch.  Sit at the edge of the chair, lean your torso back to touch the back of the chair and place your hands behind your head. Now bring one elbow to the opposite knee by raising the leg off the ground , slowly, and then back, place the foot on the floor, then bring the other elbow to the opposite knee slowly.  Repeat until you've completed 20 repetitions. 

If it's not too crowed, perform either forward or backward lunges in a small area off the main walkways or in a corner.  You'll need to do at least 10 on each side for the best results. If you are really dedicated, throw in a resistance band to do a few things off in the corner where it's not too crowded.  Other ways to sneak in some exercising is to walk up stairs instead of using escalators, walk down the halls instead of moving sidewalks, and walk quickly between gates.

So if you travel a lot and still want to get a bit of a workout, I've outlined several ways you can do it without equipment.  One word of advice is to travel in comfortable workout clothing so you can easily perform these exercises.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Why Is Balance Important?

When most people think of exercising, they think of strength, resistance, cardio, HITT, core, and so many others.  They figure out how many sessions of each type of exercise so they get a good workout throughout the week.  They make sure they take care of the heart, strength, so nothing is left out but how many people think about working on their balance unless they are taking some sort of dance class like ballet? 

  Balance plays an important part in walking, going up and down stairs, and it's used as we navigate through the world around us. Unfortunately, as we age, we can easily lose our ability to balance which is not good because having a good balance keeps us from falling. 

There are several factors that impact our balance and they often appear in our 30's.  For instance, we begin to lose muscle mass if we don't work to slow or eliminate loss completely.  In addition, we also begin to experience bone lose which leads to osteoporosis when we are older.  Both the loss of muscle mass and bone density can impact our balance when we reach our 60's and 70's.

If we experience dizziness or suffer from certain diseases, we might find our ability to balance decreasing. It has been found that seniors who incorporate exercises designed to improve their balance become steadier and if they fall, they are likely to fall more gracefully, thus helping to protect from serious injury. Consequently, it is important to either include exercises specifically designed to improve balance or perform exercises that include an element that works on balance.  

It is important to choose exercises that will help our balance by working specifically on balance or improve the muscles in our core. Fortunately, there are exercises we can do anywhere to help build balance and which do not need any special equipment.  If you do any of these exercises and you seem a bit shaky, don't be afraid to lightly touch the back of a chair to help your balance.

One of the easiest exercises is to stand on one leg for 10 seconds and then change to the other leg for 10 seconds.  Repeat this exercise several times.  This is one that could easily be done while brushing teeth.  Another exercise is to walk by placing one foot down, then the next foot is put so the heel touches the tow of the first foot.  Take the next step with the foot from behind and move it in front, touching the heel to the toe of the previous foot.  Repeat for at least 20 steps.  Do this instead of walking around the house.

Another one uses a straight backed chair.  Sit in the chair, legs form a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor.  Fold your arms in front of you, and raise yourself out of the chair using only the muscles in your legs. Once you are standing up, slowly sit down till you are back where you started. Repeat the exercise multiple times. 

If you'd prefer some sort of organized exercise at the gym or YMCA, think about Tai Chi or a gentle yoga.  Both exercises can help improve your balance and either one is fun.  I do both plus a few others that are labeled specifically as improving balance.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Coconut Oil For The Skin And Hair.

 I'm sure you've either used coconut oil on your hair or had a friend recommend it.  My sister always drenched her hair in coconut oil before washing it so it stay more hydrated.  I use it between washes but I have to be careful otherwise, my hair gets too oily and it looks horrible.  

Coconut oil is actually quite good for both your skin and your hair.  It is 100 percent fat of which 80 to 90 percent is saturated fat. The saturated fat is what keeps the coconut oil solid above 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, 47 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid which is a medium chain fatty acid.  Lauric acid when eaten increases your bad cholesterol but when used on your skin provides antimicrobial facets which kills bacteria. 

As far as your hair, coconut oil protects both your scalp and hair.  It helps protect your scalp from bacteria and irritants which can damage it. The lauric acid nourishes the stands of hair as the coconut oil seeps into the strands. Coconut oil is absorbed quickly into the hair and can help keep the frizzy under control while cutting down on breakage. 

Furthermore, it is said that coconut oil protects your hair from loosing protein so it stays healthier. It works for all types of hair from normal to bleached, to chemically treated, to UV damaged. Since lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, it helps the coconut oil a long, straight structure so it is better absorbed into the hair strands. 

If coconut oil is applied to your hair before you wash it, it will protect the hair from damage caused during the washing and combing processes. When hair is wet, it absorbs water into the thick central core of the hair itself, thus causing the strand to undergo a structural change. The cuticle or scales that cover the thick center, normally lay flat and over lap but when the central core absorbs water, these scales suddenly point outwards.  The scales pointing outward is what causes the hair to become weaker when wet and more prone to damage.  The oil keeps the hair from absorbing so much water.

When you apply coconut oil after you wash your hair, you are hydrating it, making it softer and less likely to be damaged when you fix your hair. It is possible that using coconut oil can help you grow your hair longer because it moistures your hair, cuts down on breakage, protects your hair from protein loss, and damage when wet, and protects your hair from environmental damage such as smoke, UV, and wind. In addition, it is suggested you apply coconut oil to your hair before you swim to protect it from either salt or chlorine to prevent additional damage.

When you buy coconut oil to use in your hair look for the extra virgin coconut oil because it has had nothing added to it to preserve it or bleached.  Check it out if you want a more natural alternative.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Alternatives To Hairspray.


I do not use hairspray unless it is absolutely necessary because I usually have to use the stuff that will keep my hair in position while driving 55 miles per hour,  since that is what my mother kept around the house.  It wasn't until I left home and had a chance to learn more about the world that I discovered there are alternatives to hairspray.  I was extremely happy to discover these because I had to wash the stuff out of my hair or I couldn't get a brush through it.

Mousse is great because it can be used in place of hairspray and it doesn't have the same chemicals in it and is often softer.  Mousse helps define curls while adding volume to hair.  Usually, mousse is applied to dry hair but it can be applied to roots only or all through your hair.  If you apply it throughout all your hair and dry your hair upside-down, it gives your hair a lot of volume.  Just be aware that it doesn't have the same holding power for short hair as hairspray does.

On the other hand, you could try a gel, especially if you have short hair.  Gel offers better holding power than the mousse, almost as good as hairspray. In addition, using a gel allows you more control over how much you want to actually use.  The biggest thing about using gel is that you must spread it out and make sure there are no clumps of gel otherwise it will dry into hard clumps.

Gel can be applied either on dry hair or wet hair.  You can apply it to wet hair and let the hair dry naturally which can sometimes give a wet look.  If you apply it on dry hair, you can get those fly away strands under control.  Or you apply gel to sections of your dry hair and style them the way you want.  Unfortunately, gel can make your hair feel quite stiff so if you want it to be soft, this is not what you want.

Another alternative is to use a paste in your hair.  A paste allows you to add a bit of texture to the hair while adding a bit of volume.  It is great for those who have shorter, thinner hair because it gives the illusion of having thick hair when using paste. Although it can be used on wet hair to get the maximum hold, it is better used on dry hair, for a bit of extra hold. It does not have the same amount of hold as a strong hairspray but it does leave your hair softer and looking more natural.  The paste has to be warmed between your hands in order to use and it washes out quite easily.

You could also use a styling clay, which provides medium hold and adds volume. It works on both wet and dry hair but it doesn't make your hair look shiny.  It does wash out easily but at the same time it does not provide a solid hold.  

Finally for commercial products is a pomade which is also known as hair wax, or hair paste. It provides a high slick shine on your hair.  It works on styles that can be created with a comb and come in either  oil or water based. Oil based pomade will last longer, provide more shine, but it is harder to get out of the hair. Pomade tends to hold hairstyles in place as well as hairspray but the final hairstyle can be extremely stiff.

As far as making alternatives at home, I'm including gelatin and flaxseed.  For the gelatin alternative, heat 1/2 cup of water until it is simmering and then add in 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin, stirring until completely dissolved.  If you want a light scent, add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil before allowing the mixture to cool completely. Apply to the hair when it is still a bit damp and style your hair.  What ever is left over can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time.

The other possibility is flaxseed gel to use on your hair.  Boil up one cup of water before adding 1/4 cup of flaxseed.  Allow it to stand for one full day to get the best results. When its ready, you can apply it to your hair as you style it and it the left over can be refrigerated.  There are other alternatives to use instead of hairspray but I don't like using egg whites, or sugar because I'm always afraid of them going bad in my hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.