The truth about hair straightening and dangers

It’s been debateable for years whether or not hair straighteners cause any damage to hair follicles but with an ever growing trend of celebrities sporting poker straight hairstyles the majority of women do not think twice about any damage that may be caused. I remember the days when hair straighteners were expensive so teenagers found an alternative and ironed hair straight instead. Many would come into school with burnt ends as they couldn’t really see what they were doing with their head on the ironing board!

Apparently a third of women have hair straighteners and one in five men also admit to this trend too, most people who use them will not leave the house as they prefer straight hair compared to curly, wavy or frizzy. In reality relying heavily on hair straighteners will only cause hair to become more frizzy and curly. They also make hair dull and thin over time but many women argue that after having hair straightened its shinier and silky, but this is short lived.

A lot of women and young girls who are addicted to straightening hair usually start to panic when they find that their hair is falling out, it isn’t really as the hair becomes so weak from heat damage that it starts to break off eventually. Hair straightening also leads to split ends as the ends get burnt and bear the brunt of the heat.

20 years ago hair straighteners took 20 minutes to reach the optimum temperature for creating poker straight hair using steel plates. Now with better material to create the plates it takes less than a minute to heat up to 200c. Apparently the new hair straighteners are worse than before as they are higher in temperature, using plates that are 180c or less will not damage hair as much as 200c. A lot of women argue that they use heat protecting products to ‘protect’ the hair but in reality it does little to prevent any damage made.

There are a few things you can try to help restore frazzled hair to its former glory, things like deep conditioning, hair masks and even sleeping on a silk pillowcase can prevent split ends and keep hair looking silky smooth, it also helps hair lock in natural oils.

Older styled hair straighteners that use steam to create straight hair are safer but much more expensive; they do not cause so much damage as you would using a conventional straightener. This year looks like its set to concentrate on bouncy and wavy hair and curls rather than the poker straight look that has been dominating the catwalk the last few months. So say goodbye to straighteners and embrace bouncy and curly volumised hair.


Fish pedicure and foot spa warning

Last year the biggest beauty trend to hit the UK was the fish pedicure or fish foot spa, popping up all over the place and even in the local shopping centre. A year later and it may not be as trendy as it was once thought to be.

What is a fish pedicure?

Using miniature fish that has to be imported from abroad, they nibble on dead skin and help keep skin smooth and soft. It costs up to £50 for a 20 minute session soaking feet in a tank filled with these harmless miniature carp that nibble away hard and dead skin to help keep the skin on the feet renewed and soft.

The Health Protection Agency has now launched a major investigation after claims that the fish can carry infection and diseases and pass them from customer to customer as the fish are never discarded. Because they are so expensive to throw away they are kept for a longer period of time, this is unusual practice as salons have to discard or sanitise tools after each pedicure session. Salon owners claim that the UV light in the tanks and filters help keep them free from disease and infection.

Currently when you go for a fish pedicure they do ask in you have any fungal foot infections or diseases but staff do not actually check, some people have been put off in the past because of seeing customers with unhealthy looking feet using the fish foot spas.

Salons also claim that the water is constantly being monitored and changed every few hours to help keep it as clean as possible. To be honest this looks like a strange money making scheme to get innocent people into spending silly money when you can do it yourself only cheaper. They are already banned in 14 states in America and it looks like it will soon be banned in the UK too.

You can have smooth and silky feet all year round inexpensively and at the leisure of your own home, read how to get beautiful and smooth feet here.

Digital perm

We all want the best of both worlds when it comes to hair styling, if you have straight hair you want it to be curly, if you have curly hair you want it to be straight, you can never win. At the moment curls are very this year, big curls, soft curls, all curls. So with many women wanting to create the looks they see in the magazine sales for curling wands, tongs and rollers will increase.

If you are really want long lasting curls then you should try the new Digital Perm, it is a new curling technique that started in Japan. By using chemicals to change the structure of the hair a little like a perm the Digital Perm uses a digitally controlled thermal heating chemical process. Each individual digital roller is then attached to a special unit that uses infra-red technology to change the hair structure to the desired curl.

Digital curls require less maintenance as they dry defined so there is no need to get out the rollers or other hair heating apparatus. Digital curls are also not like a perm where they are dated and tend to be tightly packed to create smaller ringlets; the digital perm is more current and modern with large soft curls.

You would be mistaken into thinking that the Digital Perm is just from those who have very straight hair as even those with frizzy hair can also benefit from having their hair digitally curled to provide manageable curly hair. The digital perm costs in the region of £300 but it is wise to find someone who has the experience as once the curls are set then they will stay that way. Unfortunately there isn’t much information in regards to how long it lasts for but a good estimation is around 6 months.

Some women have reported that their hair got completely fried when they had it done whereas others have had a pleasant experience. The reviews are half and half so take the time to find a reputable salon that also has the experience in providing digital perms as the training is very important, you don’t want to end up having to cut most of your hair off due to a bad perm.

£300 compared to around £60 for a chemical perm seems very dear so make sure your hair type is suitable before opting to have this done.


Face shaving for women, new trend

A recent article I came across today was advising women to start shaving their face as an alternative to waxing, threading and laser hair removal. In a bizarre twist it even says how celebs have also started to follow this trend.

It is said that Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe were also fans of this method for facial hair remover but I think this is just a story that a bored writer invented as a way to stir up trouble in celeb land. To suggest that celebrities are also adopting this trend with no proof or statements is very misleading. It’s worrying that many young girls and women will read this article and think that it’s ok to shave the face like many men do.

Does shaving make hair grow back thicker?

It has been a popular subject for years and there has been a lot of research conducted on if there is any link between shaving and thick hair growth. The conclusion that the medical profession has come up with is that there is no link between shaving and hair growing back thicker. But many people disagree with this statement as they have first hand evidence that suggests there is a link.

Forums have been buzzing all morning with women sharing their experiences with shaving, women who started shaving their face at young age are advising that you don’t shave your face as they can tell you first hand why it isn’t a good idea. Women who started shaving 30 years ago are now telling their story of how naive they were and how 30 years later they are forced to shave on a daily basis otherwise they end up with stubble.

Face shaving was said to become popular because laser hair removal cannot pick up on what the professionals call ‘peach fuzz’ it is too fine to remove unlike coarse darker hair that laser therapy can eradicate easily. Experts also believe that when the face is shaved it also reflects the light and the constant shaving enables the skin to be exfoliated and looks younger because of collagen stimulation.

I have never heard of anything so ridiculous! If women are embarrassed by facial hair there are many cost effective ways to remove it. You can bleach, thread, wax, use hair removal cream or get electrolysis or laser hair removal. Shaving is not recommended for women as men have thicker skin than women so stubble will look hideous on a woman compared to a man.


How to remove blackheads quick and easy

In some point of our lives we will all experience blackheads, it doesn’t mean you have poor hygiene or need to wash your face more it just means you have oilier skin that most. It is a fairly common problem with most sufferers having them on their nose, chin, forehead and cheeks but it’s not unheard of to get them on the back too.

How to prevent blackheads

If you do not have a skin care routine then it is worth finding one that works now before the problem gets worse. You should wash your face with a face wash, cleanse, tone and then moisturise. Make sure the toner is alcohol free and does not dry out your face; this should be done in the morning and the evening. Men and women both suffer from blackheads and it’s nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. If they start to become infected and turn to boils or raised red bumps this is when medical advice should be sought.

How to remove blackheads

You should refrain from trying to squeeze out blackheads aggressively as you may leave scarring and your pores may be left permanently enlarged. With so many different ways to remove them here are some of the best and popular methods.

  • Blackhead pore strips – you can find these in the beauty section at a pharmacist or health and beauty store. You have a strip that you need to apply some water too then you put it over the area that you want the blackheads removed. It works well for the T zone, forehead, nose and chin. There are strips that work for the back and the cheeks too.


  • Facial steamer – steaming the face using a face sauna works well to open the pores, then take a tissue and gently squeeze them out. If they refuse to move then steam for a further 5 minutes and try again. If you do not have a face steamer then use a bowl filled with hot water and put a towel over the back of your head whilst leaning over it to stop steam from escaping.


  • Blackhead pens – they are along metal rod with a small hole at the end, you cover the blackhead with it and push down. The blackhead should just pop out; the inner part of an ink tube pen works the same way. Pressure is applied all round the blackhead to make it come out.

Remember to apply ice or something cold to the areas you have removed blackheads so the pores can close. Also remember to wash your hands.


Alcohol and animal free makeup

As we all become more aware what goes into the products we use consumers are always on the lookout for alternative beauty products that are more environmentally friendly and contain no animal preservatives. Such make up is also known as ‘halal’ makeup which in turn means kosher by using natural products and dyes rather that those derived from animals and alcohol.

What is in makeup?

How many women who wear makeup actually know what goes in it? Did you know that whale fat is most commonly used in lipstick and pig placenta is used in most make up too? Slugs and snails are also used in makeup so how do you fell now you know what it contains. Most makeup such as blusher and foundation contain man made dyes that are potentially harmful, they can cause wrinkles, spots and sensitivity later in life. The use of make is bad for the skin as it prevents it to breathe naturally and unsightly large or blocked pores can be seen.

Makeup that is free from alcohol and animal parts are a lot safer you know they contain no harsh chemicals and all dyes are found naturally in plants and flowers. In recent years there have been many manufacturers that have cashed in on this trend. First there was the Body Shop now there are similar chains all over the world providing better quality makeup.

Samina halal makeup

I came across a young muslim girl who started her own business of selling halal products, they are made according to strict Islamic laws. After much research many scholars have said that the word halal is often misused and there is no such guidance when it comes to animal produce in makeup. As Samina herself said the reason for starting this ‘halal makeup’ business was because she felt bad wearing makeup whilst praying. By Islamic tradition you are not allowed to wear makeup when you pray so it just doesn’t make sense. It looks like another marketing gimmick to make Muslim women confused into what is allowed and what is not. The range offered is not that good anyway, it is very limited so the colours you usually use is most likely not available.

There are alternatives to ‘halal’ makeup as I am still not convinced, there are many brands such as Origins and Body Shop that has a great organic makeup range that is free from animal or alcohol. You just need to read the label properly and research such products not follow blindly.


The dangers of fake eyelashes

As you may have noticed the growing trend for fake eyelashes has really gotten out of control. Most celebrities can be seen wearing them on a daily basis and some even have their own range. Girls Aloud are prime examples who have been seen promoting different styles of fake eyelashes. Katie Price, Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria and Sarah Jessica Parker are just some of the high profile celebrities that are seen making fake eyelashes fashionable.

Getting thick eyelashes naturally?

Without the need for heavy mascara or fake eyelashes Boots have recently started selling an eyelash serum that states it can ‘boost the length and thickness of eyelashes by up to 50%’. For many women who have very fine eyelashes that even the most volume increasing mascara cannot enhance will hail this product as a miracle if it does work. Others on the other hand will be buying this product to repair any damage they have already caused by abusing the use of fake eyelashes. RapidLash is on sale now at all major Boots store with the retail price of £39.99.

Fake eyelashes and recent problems

Cosmetic surgeons have reported an unusual increase of women coming in to seek advice and treatment from the loss of eyelashes. It seems many women aspire to look like their role models and are wearing up to three fake eyelashes at one time to achieve the enhanced volume look that Katie Price so often sports. By doing so natural eyelashes are suffering, when you are constantly putting fake eyelashes whether a strip or individual in time they pull you natural lash forcing them to come out. In turn the hair follicle becomes damaged and the lash will never grow back.

Surgeons have started to use the same technique used to tread baldness and apply the method to restore eyelashes. They remove a strip of hair along the back of the head, and then they remove each hair follicle carefully and implant it on the lash line where eyelashes need to grow. It has proved successful so far but with the procedure costing £3,000 it seems like a ridiculous amount to pay for abusing eyelashes and putting on cheap fake eyelashes that are as cheap as £1 a pair. The other downside to this procedure is that like natural hair it will keep growing so you will need to keep trimming on a regular basis so it doesn’t get too long.

After much research into the loss of natural eyelashes it would seem that there is no cure for the loss of eyelashes but instead of falling foul and losing them there are natural ways to enhance the length and thickness of natural lashes without the need to spend lots of money.


Is a hairdresser really necessary?

Did you know in order to have healthy hair, it is advised that you have a trim at least every 6 weeks? Not only will you prevent split ends but you will also make hair thicker and full of life. The average haircut is around £20 but for many people this is an added expense every month, so you should learn how to care for your hair so you don’t need too many haircuts.

If you have a fairly straight forward haircut then you could probably get away with having it trimmed once a year. This works if you don’t have any layers, fringe or high maintenance haircut. If you have a bob or your hair length is longer than your shoulder you could probably have a friend trim it for you.

Cutting a fringe

If you have an existing fringe, you could try trimming it yourself – hairdressers can charge as much as £12 just to tidy up the fringe. Why should you fork out when you know fringes don’t take very long to grow. Look on the internet and find video tutorials of how you can cut your own fringe in any style that you want. There’s even a new tool that has just been designed so that everyone can cut their own hair at home. It’s basically a straight guide that is clipped against hair and it guides you to trim, layer or cut a fringe. You can master any hairstyle with a little creativity.

When is a haircut necessary?

When your hair starts to feel thinner and look unhealthy and lifeless, then you should visit a hairdresser for a well deserved treat. Nothing compares to the feeling of newly cut hair – it seems so silky, smooth and very light. Once a year is good enough for having a proper haircut so it’s well worth going to a good salon, even if their prices are slightly higher than others.

Men’s hair

When it comes to cutting or styling men’s hair, this is where savings can really be made. Instead of visiting the barbers why not invest in a home clipper set so you can do it yourself or get someone to help you. There is also a new hair cuttings system by BaByliss that has been designed for men who keep hassle free short haircuts. They can do it themselves in half the time compared to a clipper. With so many great reviews and long term financial savings, why not buy one for a young child so they can benefit from a haircut anytime they want.

Semi permanent hair colour

If you’re thinking of updating your hair colour or having a simple transformation, then why not dye your hair to reflect your mood and also prevent it looking dull and lifeless. You would be very surprised at how a little colour can do to your hair. If you are unsure whether or not a colour would go with you, then why not go for a semi-permanent hair colour instead.

There are so many brands that do semi permanent hair dye so why not take advantage of this and find a colour that you would really like to try. There are supermarket own brands, high street own brands as well as big names such as L’Oreal and Schwarzkopf.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How long does semi permanent colour last?

It usually depends on the brand but it’s 10-24 washes depending on hair length and dye colour used.

Is semi permanent hair colour bad for you?

It has less concentrate of the dye so not really; the colour will fade in time and is not as strong as permanent hair dye.

What if I don’t like my semi permanent hair colour?

You will have to just wash it out – unlike permanent hair dye where you have to wait at least a few days before you can change the colour.

Will my hair be dry?

All hair colour is supplied with hair conditioner that prevents hair from drying out easily and breaking; the hair colour also has less concentrated chemicals so hair should be silky smooth and very shiny.

What are the advantages of semi coloured hair?

It’s a good way of experimenting with colour until you find a colour that you would like to dye hair permanently. As they are also washable, if you don’t like the colour you can buy high PH shampoos that will make the colour fade faster. Semi permanent hair will only enhance hair or make it darker so if you want hair to be a lighter shade, you will probably have to have it dyed permanently.

Take care when applying permanent hair dye permanent or semi-permanent; read all instructions carefully as methods of applying do differ slightly. Wear old clothes and use old towels for a while as semi permanent hair colour will stain towels, clothes and even bed sheets. Protect hairline, ears and neck by applying Vaseline or cream to avoid staining.

Coloured hair – Permanent or non permanent

Due to a high demand for people wanting to change their looks constantly, the market for hair dye has become extremely competitive. If you are dying hair for the first time, then it is advisable to go to a salon first. They will do it professionally using good quality products providing even coverage. The question for most people though is whether to go for permanent hair dye or non permanent hair dye or a semi-permanent hair colour.

Find the perfect hair colour

Many people choose a colour that will reflect the time of year and bring out the best features in you. So in summer opt for a light reflective colour that will lift your mood and in the winter choose a slightly darker colour or vice versa. Some people like to make a statement so will go for very bold colour like black, red and peroxide blonde. Not all colours are suited to everyone and it’s best to have patch test prior to applying hair dye to see if you are allergic to it. Bright colours such as blue, pink and purple are not stocked routinely on the high street, so to get this colour you may have to order online or go to a salon that will mix the right colour for you.

Permanent vs. non permanent hair dye

Non permanent hair dye is a good option if you only need a colour for a special occasion or a trial before deciding if you want the colour permanently. Non permanent hair dye will also ruin some clothes and towels as the colour will wash away eventually; the same goes for pillowcases and bed sheets. If you go for non-permanent, you will also notice that after a while hair will lack shine and start to look dull and lifeless.

Permanent hair dye will never fade or wash away and will always be shiny and full of life. After washing hair dye out, towels will not stain and neither will clothes or bed sheets. Be careful when applying hair dye as it can stain surfaces it comes into contact with things such as tiles, carpet and walls. If you can afford it, then the salon is the best way to get it done; if not there are many over the counter products that will give the same salon perfect hair results.

Applying hair dye at home

  • Divide hair using a comb and separate using large sectioning clips
  • Take each section and detangle thoroughly
  • Work in hair dye from the roots
  • When all sections of hair has been dyed then apply to the ends

Roots take longer to dye that’s why dye is always applied there first, if you add hair dye to the ends too soon you will end up damaging hair and will end up with brittle straw like hair ends. Always use the instructions that were with the hair dye product and stay out of direct sunshine for the first week or you could end up a whole shade lighter.