Tag Archives: Hair

What Would You Do With One Second of Carefreeness?

Imagine you could let all of your worries and troubles go for one second, what would that moment look like? A french non-profit called the Mimi Foundation gave 20 cancer patients that chance a few weeks ago.

Each patient suffers from a terminal form of cancer. Many have completely lost their hair due to radiation treatments and their days are filled with dread of the next hurdle in fighting the disease. For one day they were invited to a studio to have their hair and make-up done, all while keeping their eyes closed. Then they were placed in front of a one way mirror that had a photographer on the other side. As they opened their eyes he took a photo of that first few seconds of happiness. He captured the pure joy of a carefree moment, something they so rarely get to experience in their current every day lives.

As we come to the close of our week on stress, what would your carefree moment look like? If you could choose it, where would you be? What do you think would bring you that joy? Tell us in the comments below.

We Have a Problem: 7 Year Old Girl Sent Home by Racist School Policy

Two months ago 7 year old Tiana Parker was sent home from school because her hair cut was considered “distracting.” What was her haircut? Thin dreadlocks tied back in a bow. The Oklahoma public school that sent her home has a policy that says “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” Really? Could they be any more blatantly racist? Afros are the natural style of many black women’s hair and you want to imply it’s distracting?

MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry decided to take up the cause on her show, especially after derogatory comments about black hair were made by “The Talk” co-host Sheryl Underwood (a black female herself) earlier in the week. Melissa addresses her segment to young Tiana, affirming that the little girl has nothing to be ashamed of – that her hair is not distracting but an homage to black heritage. Melissa names off several influential black artists and musicians who have also rocked dreadlocks – from Bob Marley to Whoopi Goldberg and more recently Willow Smith. She applauds Tiana’s parents for withdrawing her from that school and placing her somewhere where her natural beauty – her black beauty – is embraced. We applaud them as well.

This issue hits particularly close to home. As a child of interracial marriage (my dad is black, my mom white) my hair was often an issue of contention. I was born with a full head of it. My mother’s family has thick hair, especially for Anglicans, which combined with the kinky curls of my dad’s DNA lead to this:

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That’s me on the left, age 4. Diana Ross ain’t got nothing on this, y’all.

It only got thicker and more out of control from there. I was 15 before we decided to try relaxing my hair. I grew up in the south so having my white mom take me to a black hair salon to get a perm was always a level of complicated that would take a text book to explain. It cost $150 and took three and a half hours (did I mention my hair is really thick?) of me sitting in a chair with my scalp feeling like it was literally on fire. That painful tingle was the feeling of some magical concoction burning the ethnicity out of my hair. That went on once every 3-6 months for 7 years.

Why? Because I never felt pretty with my hair natural. I often make the comparison that my hair without a straightener looks like someone shoved my fingers into an electrical socket. All of the popular girls at school at stick straight shiny hair that they could wear down any time they liked. All the lead characters on my favorite tv shows were the same way – even the black characters had their hair shiny and straight instead of natural. All the weather has to do is think about drizzling and my hair becomes a seeing hazard for anyone walking behind me. Like Tiana’s school is trying to preach – I felt like I was a distraction.  Even now I prefer my hair straight over curly (though to be honest, that also has a lot to do with the fact it’s cooler temperature wise if it’s not all bunched up on my head).

It’s because the message given to Tiana, and all other little girls attending that school, isn’t a new one. For generations little black girls, and minorities all over, have been under pressure to “white-ify” themselves to fit the beauty ideals we are bombarded with on a daily basis. From simple hair treatments like relaxers and extensions to the extreme of skin bleaching treatments. It’s often insidious – the fact we see so few black females rocking natural hairstyles in mainstream media. It’s a subliminal campaign. But this – Tiana’s case? There’s nothing undercover about it. We are telling girls in primary school that their natural beauty isn’t good enough, that it’s a distraction, that it’s ugly. And that’s a problem.

So take a second before you put on your make-up today. Look in the mirror, just look, before you style your hair. Tiana Parker isn’t a distraction. She’s beautiful. So are you, right now – naked and natural and flawless. Own that. You have to because there are a generation of girls growing up who are being told differently and we have to show them the truth. That job starts with us. Let’s do better than this.

5 Nutrient-Packed Foods for Healthy Hair

de5de856512394ea_shutterstock_96575575.previewMany of us assume that buying the best shampoos and conditioners will be enough to keep our hair looking healthy. These products do help to repair existing hair damage but don’t do much to promote new hair growth and cannot replace essential vitamins that we may be missing from our diet. There are certain essential vitamins and minerals that our hair relies upon, and a lack of these is often the source of many hair growth problems. Some simple changes to our diet can really make a big difference to the look of our hair.

Modern lifestyles can also have an impact – a busy lifestyle, lack of sleep, or even pregnancy can seriously make a difference in our hair health. Vitamin supplements have  been proven to help, but if you are looking for the most natural sources of these vitamins then here is a list of 5 food types foods that can help to provide those essential vitamins your hair needs.

Fish

Many sources site that salmon is the number 1 super food for healthy hair. This is because it contains a great combination of essential substances that our hair simply loves. Omega 3 oils help maintain a well hydrated scalp, and many believe this is essential to maintaining healthy hair growth. Oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3, and salmon is also rich in Vitamin D which is great for your hair follicles.

If you are someone who doesn’t like eating fish then certain vegetable sources can be a great way to get the omega-3 you need. Rapeseed, flaxseed, soya beans, walnuts, almond and even tofu are all good sources of Omega-3.

Vegetables with Beta-carotene

Beta carotene is present in many vegetables and provides us with a great source of Vitamin A. For many people who suffer from dandruff a simple addition of vitamin A to their diet can help solve the problem. Vitamin A helps to promote sebum oil which is our body’s natural conditioner for our scalp. It can also help with hair growth problems as it is said to assist with oxygenating our scalp. Sweet potatoes are known to be one of the best sources, and other vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and broccoli are also recommended.

Oysters

Oysters are also recommended to help fight scalp problems such as dandruff. A lack of zinc in your diet may even be the cause of hair loss, and oysters have a particularly high zinc content. Zinc helps promote the level of androgens in our body, and for some people a low level of androgens has been directly linked to hair loss. Crab, liver and beef are also good sources of zinc.

Eggs and other biotin rich foods

Our hair is essentially built using protein, a nutrient that has been associated with speeding up hair growth. Protein can be found in many types of foods, but eggs are one of the best sources. Another important mineral in eggs is biotin, and those who have a biotin deficiency may suffer from brittle hair. To prevent this, biotin has been proven to be effective from both foods and supplements if needed. Kidney beans and nuts such as almonds and even peanuts are also good sources of biotin.

Fruit and vegetables with Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for both our hair and skin. Vitamin C helps keep our blood vessels oxygenated, which in turn keeps our hair follicles healthy. Super fruits such as blueberries have a very high level of Vitamin C, and strawberries and citrus fruits are also good sources. Many vegetables such as green beans, spinach and broccoli are good sources, and the old-fashioned rule of eating colorful vegetables can give you a good indication of a high vitamin C content, as well.

You may have identified that one of these essential sources of vitamins is missing from your diet, and that may well be the cause of a particular problem. If you are concerned and believe you may have a nutrient deficiency then simple tests at your doctors can identify what vitamins and minerals you may be lacking. This Women’s Hair PDF can also help you to diagnose any hair health problems you may have!

Beyoncé Cuts Her Hair: World Overreacts

By Yael Kaufman

If you’ve turned on your T.V., opened your web browser, listened to the radio, or (let’s be honest) just walked down the street for a cup of coffee, you’ll have heard the big news: BEYONCE CUT HER HAIR OFF.

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Wait guys, this isn’t just something small, she cut it all off. It’s a pixie cut. WHY AREN’T YOU MORE ENTHUSIASTIC? WHY AREN’T YOU UPSET? WHY. DON’T. YOU. CARE?

Because it’s a haircut. People can cut their hair any way they would like to. We know this. It’s a personal decision. For some reason, when celebrities become involved, though, we feel the need to comment (sometimes rudely). It’s almost like we take it personally. In fact a lot of Twitter has done just that.

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Our society is obsessed with celebrities’ lives—their fortune and fame, their families and partners, their good deeds and mishaps, their…haircuts. This isn’t new, but the issue is worth raising every once in a while so that we prevent it from achieving a spot of normalcy in our lives. Somehow we’ve become so engrossed in the lives of these celebrities that we feel the need to mourn the loss of something so minor as a head full of hair. (Seriously-hair). It does sound a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Beyoncé is a stunning woman, and we think she is ROCKING that pixie cut. It’s fierce and beautiful, and not just because of the way it looks, but because of what it stands for: she is an individual, she makes her own decisions, and she’s not an idol–she’s human. This type of mania has probably affected all of us at some point in our lives, so there’s no need to feel ashamed. We just have to make sure that we check ourselves—that we take time to reflect on the important things in life, and try to refocus our priorities.

After all, these celebrities are as human as we are.

That being said, if you need to kill some time (in a completely non-obsessive way) check out these crazy celebrity haircut transitions. Some of them are fairly entertaining.

We would ask how you feel about Bey’s haircut in comments, but that would be hypocritical. So let us know about something you’ve done recently to empower yourself. We support you!

Photos from Beyoncé’s Instagram.

Hair Does Matter: 3 Ways to Make Losing Your Hair More Bearable

My poor mother often reminds me how, when I was a kid, I used to torment her and the hairdresser when it was time for a haircut (apparently the hairdresser needed a Valium beforehand). If my hair was even slightly too short or cut in a way that was not exactly what I had envisioned, I would hide in my room for weeks, completely miserable. I’m embarrassed to say that I still carry on this trait, but now I’m much better at managing my emotions and my hairdresser actually welcomes my visit.

But when I had breast cancer and was about to start chemotherapy, needless to say, the thought of losing my hair was terrifying. I’ve been through cancer twice: The first time I was given a chemo regimen called CMF and didn’t lose my hair. But I wasn’t so fortunate the second time around when, three years out from my first diagnosis, I discovered a lump under my arm, a small tumor considered a local recurrence. This time, I would lose my hair to chemo. I learned a lot about myself through this physical change — mostly how insistent I became at finding new ways to look and feel like myself. Here’s what I learned, in the hopes it may help you:

Find out your options. When I knew I would need a wig, I started by doing a little research and found a few wig places with stylists that deal specifically with cancer patients. These places usually have private rooms for trying on wigs and a staff that is sensitive to the needs of people dealing with hair loss. Many hospitals also have salons you can go to. Remember, if you plan on wearing a wig, it’s really important to have it ready before your hair actually comes out, which is usually 3 to 4 weeks after your first treatment. Also, if your hair is long, it’s definitely an easier transition emotionally if you cut it in stages.

Decide whether you want to go synthetic or natural. The price range for buying a wig is huge. The synthetic ones are much less expensive and are fine, they look good, they’re easier to wash and care for, and they’re affordable enough that most women can have a few different looks.  The natural-hair wigs are more expensive, but you can highlight and dye them like your own hair. (Did you know that insurance sometimes pays for wigs? Find out if yours will cover the cost).

Make sure you have the necessary accoutrements, like the wig stand (it attaches to a table for stability while you style it, and this is where your wig will “live” when you are not wearing it. I felt a bit self-conscious about leaving mine out so I put it on the shelf in my closet when I wasn’t busy playing with it to get it looking as much like my own hair style as possible; I cut the bangs a bit too short, and since this hair doesn’t grow back, there is no room for error, therefore from experience, I do not recommend cutting your wig by yourself.) And don’t forget the oh-so-lovely toupé tape you will need to keep your wig on your head. This part is annoying and felt ridiculous at times (putting men’s hairpiece tape on my head), but you have no choice. I found that the way I taped my wig to my head was key to it looking natural on me. Make sure the tape is in the right place: Close to the outer part of your head so that the line between your hair and your face is as flat as possible. But let’s face it, it’s hard to feel like yourself when you have a wig taped to your head. I discovered a few things that helped:

For the natural look:  Wear your wig like you wear your own hair. If you wear clips in your hair, wear them in your wig. I kept my wig a bit messy, like I normally wear my hair and that definitely worked to help me feel like myself. Unless you’re someone who wears a perfectly quaffed hairdo, then don’t start now; keep it styled the way you always do. Use your same hair products and dry it as you normally do. Wearing scarves and hats are great (with your wig on); they help you feel secure (that your wig won’t move) and can be really stylish and fun!

For a bolder look: If and when you’re ready, try putting on your favorite outfit and a little makeup and bare that beautiful head of yours. It’s amazing how much positive attention you’ll get, especially from other women. I was bald over the summer and on a really hot day I decided to brave it (at first in a part of town where I didn’t know anyone), and I have to admit, I felt pretty styling. I felt more feminine than I thought I ever would. And a few weeks later, I braved it and went out in my own neighborhood, wig-free. I felt liberated! As I walked down the street, I received so many beautiful smiles of support from the faces I saw every day.

Looking natural with a wig on was really important for me. I mastered the art of it, which helped me get through a lot of the fear of looking like a “cancer patient.”  But to liberate myself and go out bald after trying so hard to look “normal” felt even better.

Lori Benson is the director of the film, “DearTalula,” a documentary chronicling her experience of breast cancer. Lori travels the country sharing her story and using her movie to start a dialogue on critical issues, such as the emotional aspects of breast cancer and the role of family history

 

Visit Breast Cancer: Healing the Whole Woman to read all of our breast cancer content.

 Originally published in October 2008

Live Your Best Life, Naturally: Tips From The Web

It’s not easy being fabulous. Sometimes it’s even tricky being adequate. We all know sleep, exercise, and healthy eating are essential for a thriving body and a happy heart. But how many people actually have the time and discipline to live exactly as they  exactly as they wish they could? Here are some easy, natural tips to help you thrive between errands and coffee runs.

Some of us don’t have time to pack lunches, and some of us get paid to eat at restaurants every day. Either way, here’s how to eat out and still maintain your weight.

How To Eat At A Restaurant Every Day, Without Gaining Weight (Bliss Tree)

Don’t wait for your yearly exam to take the reins on your health. Is your heart at risk? Start doing something about it today.

7 Surprising Signs of an Unhealthy Heart (Care2)

Next time you want to spend $60 on face cream, go grocery shopping instead. The frugal (and yummy) path to a gorgeous You.

Six Foods to Make Your Skin & Hair Healthy (Elephant Journal)

People of all shapes and sizes struggle with cellulite – here are some simple tips to help you reduce it.

7 Tips to Naturally Reduce Cellulite (MindBodyGreen)

And we know it’s not the weekend yet…

Before you beat yourself up for five days of unhealthy activities, try these weekend tips to undo the week’s damages.

Healthy Weekend Activities: Undo the Office (Huff Post)

 

 

The Magic of Almond Oil – Affordable Natural Beauty from Head to Toe!

Angie here from Megsmakeup.com bringing you some natural and organic love today via the Almond…one tiny little piece of crunchy perfection that packs a powerhouse WALLOP of health and beauty power.  It’s the Demi Moore of the nut world and I’m loving it.
 
Am I over exaggerating?   I think not.  As posted a few weeks back I’ve begun adding essential oils to my bath for relaxation purposes.  Following the suggestions of many I also added a tablespoon of Almond oil to the water to help moisturize my skin.  What I have found has been absolutely remarkable. 

Not only is my skin insanely soft after bathing (lotion isn’t even necessary so this saves me valuable time before bed) but it acts as a great natural shaving lotion as well.  The oil sits on top of the water and I simply rub my legs with my hands spreading the oil/water around and shave.  My razor glides over my skin effortlessly and my skin is left silky smooth and completely hydrated…and NO shave cream bottles to take up space around my tub or end up in landfills!  Not to mention the $ savings.  I’m skipping expensive lotions and shaving cream and feel great about both.  Though I do have to warn you it gunk’s up the razor a bit.  Just tap it on the side of the tub to remove. 

 An added bonus…you know how your bare legs rubbing together while walking can create some MUCH unappreciated friction.  OUCH mama…can you say fire down below!?!  The almond oil creates a natural barrier that keeps that friction from building up and you are left pain free and cute as can be in your summer dress.  I bought three new summer dresses this weekend just because of the Almond oil!!  FUN!
 
Worried about the oil in the bath getting in your hair and looking greasy?  Don’t be.  Almond oil massaged into your scalp is a natural answer to excessive hair fall (the amount you lose in the shower), it nourishes and smoothes your cuticles making it strong and thick and adds beautiful shine to your hair.  Remember…you are only adding one tablespoon to your bathwater and this is being distributed ALL over your body and hair so excess is minimal.  Almond oil deeply moisturizes your skin, improves your complexion retaining a natural glow, smoothes skin irritation and inflammation (ahem…devil’s thigh burn), prevents aging, heals rashes and calms dry irritated skin.  They say it helps lighten dark circles too but I cannot attest to that.

I bought Aura Cacia Organic Sweet Almond Oil at my local health food store for $7 and you can get it online in bulk for even cheaper.  Get a big enough bottle that you can refill your bath side container and keep packaging out of our landfills.  Enjoy your Almond Oil from head to toe and don’t be shy…share with us YOUR secrets for using this wonderful and all natural miracle!

Ayurveda help for Hair

Ayurvedic Remedies for Dandruff:

• Mix up a spoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut oil. Instead of coconut you can use neem oil otherwise. Keep this mixture in a air tight container, preferably a glass container and use this oil to massage your scalp before going to bed. Practice this continuously for at least 15 days and feel the difference of your healthy scalp. After 15 days do it for alternate days for the best of result.
• Add a spoon of castor oil, mustard oil and little coconut (or neem) oil and massage your scalp every night and have a shampoo the day next.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Hair loss:

• Massage the scalp gently with coconut or almond oil daily for 10 to 15 minutes.
• Boil neem leaves in water. Cool, strain and rinse hair with it.
• Increase green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts in the diet. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, Soya beans, whole grains and nuts.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Premature graying of Hair:

• Apply a paste made from 2-Tsp. henna powder, 1-tsp. curd, 1-tsp. fenugreek seed powder, 1 tbsp. coffee, 2-tbsp. mint juice and 2-tbsp. basil juice. Apply this paste to the hair for two hours. For a darker color, leave this paste in for 3 to 4 hours. Wash hair with any natural shampoo.
• Grate some fresh ginger. Mix with honey and place it in a jar. Eat 1-teaspoon everyday.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Itchy scalp:

• Rub the scalp vigorously after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands.
• A mixture of lettuce and spinach juice is good to drink to induce hair growth. The juice of alfalfa mixed with that of carrot, and lettuce juice is also good to take.
• Daily application of coconut oil mixed with lime- juice on the hair is also beneficial. Applying juice of green coriander leaves on the head is also good.
• Washing the hair with a paste of cooked Uraddal (black beans) and fenugreek (methi) 2-3 times a week.
• A paste of licorice made by grinding it in milk can be applied in the bald patches. It induces hair growth. A paste of seeds of lemon and black pepper may also be applied on the bald patches.
• Use Amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) for washing the hair.
• Enhance oiling and massaging of scalp.
• Use coconut oil or mustard oil at least three times in a week.
• Use medicated oils on the scalp and massage gently in the roots of the hair.
• The diet should contain more green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, soybean and vitamin A.
 

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