Hair Salon Vicksburg MS
Ocean Springs, MS
Natural Beauty - Treat Your Hair Right
By Sierra Senyak
Years ago, sick of my dull brown hair and inspired by Kate Winslet’s auburn locks in Titanic, I decided to try some henna. Alas, the effect was more Little Orphan Annie than glamorous movie star, and I was crying before I’d even rinsed it out—which is how I ended up dyeing my hair blonde. Ignoring the label that warned people with hennaed hair not to use the product, I mixed up the hair dye solution in my bathroom, worked it through my newly scarlet tresses, and waited. In no time, my mirrored image reflected a multihued halo of frizz with the consistency of straw.
My story may be extreme, but I’m certainly not the first whose quest for a new look left her crowning glory better suited to lining the floor of a barn. The hair products industry is huge—Americans spent an estimated $9.5 billion on products and salon visits last year—and far too much of that money is spent damaging our hair in the very process of trying to beautify it. Perming, straightening, and coloring are the top offenders, but harsh beauty care products and styling habits can also take their toll. “The biggest mistake I see is overprocessing,” says Jennifer Bahney, a trichologist (hair and scalp specialist) and founder of longhairlovers.com. “The most important thing people who want beautiful hair can do is to treat it gently.”
Why? Because hair is essentially a thin strand of dead protein and can take only so much abuse. Jerome Litt, a dermatologist at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University and author of Your Skin from A to Z, asks us to compare our hair to a cashmere sweater, then consider how that sweater would look after being washed, combed, colored, teased, straightened, curled, pulled, twisted and twirled—and then blasted with 1,500 watts of hot air. It’s easy to damage the cuticle, or outer layer of the hair, making it brittle and more likely to dry out and break.
Aging heads are especially vulnerable to harsh treatment. With time, our scalps produce less of the oily substance, called sebum, that coats the cuticle and keeps hair shiny and manageable. The hair growth cycle also slows, making hair thinner and finer. Add to this women’s changing hormone levels, which can also thin hair, and it’s not surprising so few of us reach our golden years with the same lustrous locks we had at age 25.
Still, the news isn’t all bad. The fact is, you may be able to preserve, and even restore, some of your hair’s luster if you trade some of your chemical-heavy habits for something milder. For instance, if you’ve been using permanent hair color, consider experimenting with henna or other herbal dyes instead. If your hair is starting to thin, wash it with a thickening shampoo rather than resorting to a perm. Whether you’re coaxing your locks back from a disastrous chemical treatment or simply want to pamper them, a gentler touch will help. Here are several ways to give your hair a break. Use a light touch. Remember when beauty experts advised brushing your hai...
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