Taylor Swift has seriously been shaking up her look this year. First, she debuted a sleek new bob at the Grammy Awards in February. Then, she posed for Vogue‘s May cover with her tresses bleached platinum blonde. That look seemed just for the photoshoot, though, as her recent outings proved she still had her golden locks. But today, it seems Tay’s officially committed to the edgy look.
After posting a series of images from her Vogue shoot on Instagram, Swift posted a current snap this afternoon with the simple caption: “BLEACHELLA.” And, yes, it looks like she’s actually bleached her hair for real. See for yourself:
It’s like a whole new Taylor—except she’s still rocking that red lip classic thing that we like. Her new look is perfect for the Coachella music festival, which starts today in Indio Valley, California. Her bae Calvin Harris is headlining. That hair, those shades, that cool jacket—is this a whole new Taylor Swift? We can’t wait to see.
We are conscious about everything that we do, so much so that we feast on all forms of advice and information we can find that will give us the edge we need for healthier, longer, shinier tresses. The problem with that is, we do not all have the same problems, needs or techniques that actually work and will benefit us.
So, despite all of our best intentions, we do deal with some damage and many times it is our own misinformation that causes it. All we need is a little guidance to make us aware and figure out how to stop it before it causes any more damage. Here are some common mistakes many are making which are doing us no favors and causing tons of damage.
Not using a heat protectant
Believe it or not but there are still some out there that feel a heat protectant is not necessary because they never used one before and their hair is not damaged. sigh. Heat protectants are products that protect your hair from the direct heat of blow dryers, curling wands, flat irons and other heated styling tools.
Heat protectants will form a protective barrier between your hair and the heat appliance, they will add shine and they fight off heat damage. No if, ands, or buts about it. Use the protectant if you do not want heat damage…period.
Not washing your hair enough
There are some of us out here still thinking they only need to wash their hair monthly. When you leave product build-up, dirt, sweat and pollutants in too long you can clog the pores so much that it could even keep it from growing. Hair grows in a clean scalp and environment and can only thrive that way.
Washing or cleansing your hair too often
Washing too often (especially with harsh ingredients in your shampoo like SLS) can be too drying and can strip the natural oils from your tresses that you actually need. Squeaky clean hair is not necessary and more damaging to textured hair than straight hair. Incorporate co-washes or use a sulfate-free shampoo if you feel you must wash more than once a week.
Not deep conditioning regularly or at all
Regular conditioners or daily conditioners are just surface conditioners which are just for absorbing ingredients into the surface of your hair. They only do part of the job of conditioning your tresses. Deep conditioners or pack conditioners that have ingredients with low molecular weight. “These ingredients penetrate the hair, nourishing between the cuticles, within the cuticle layers and/or within the cortex.” Naturallycurly.com
The deep penetrating effects allow proteins, amino acids and oils, etc. to replenish and restore the hair from it’s damaged state longer than regular conditioners. This is a necessary step after every wash and missing it can detrimental to the moisture levels in your hair. If the hair is brittle, dry and easily snapping, then you probably have been missing on your deep conditionings!
Washing and rinsing hair with hot water
Hair should never be washed or rinsed with hot water as the hot water dehydrates your hair just like it does with our skin. This can lead to dry, brittle hair that will easier to snap off and break.
Holding onto split ends
Some naturals are not trimming your ends regularly or whenever they see raggedy ends. This is not allowing your hair to grow or retain length because slpit ends never go away and can actually travel up your hair shaft splitting even more and giving your hair see-through sections and frayed ends.
Native to Europe, this peppermint herb has a long history for medicinal uses like stomach problems, muscle pains, and even headaches. Peppermint essential oil, botanical name Mentha piperita, is extracted by steam distillation and is an extremely potent essential oil. It blends well with basil, bergamot, cajeput, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, mandarin, marjoram, niaouli, pine, rosemary, spearmint, and thyme.
Peppermint oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, insecticidal, antispasmodic, and carminative properties and the entire plant contains menthol. This fragrant oil is often used in aromatherapy, lozenges, toothpastes, balms, and rubs, because of the methanol and menthone components.
How does peppermint oil work?
Many products harness the benefits of peppermint oil, but working with it in its most natural state yields far more benefits. Because it is an essential oil and a rather potent one at that, using it in its undiluted form is not recommended. Great oils to dilute peppermint essential oils are almond oil or jojoba oil. With its cooling effect and sweet smell, it can be misjudged as safe for everyone but it can trigger side effects in people with sensitivities.
Benefits of peppermint essential oil
This oil contains a host of minerals and nutrients including, calcium, copper, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It has omega-3, vitamins A, and C, and due to the menthol, menthone and methyl esters in peppermint essential oil it is widely used in cigarettes, chew gum, teas, ice creams, soaps and shampoos. It is believed to aid in indigestion, dental care, stress, and even respiratory problems.
Benefits of peppermint essential oil for hair
This oil is a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals with some fatty acids and that cooling effect from menthol so you know this is phenomenal oil for our hair. Peppermint oil can aid in oil secretion in skin, and therefore prevent acne and help with treat cracked lips and an irritated scalp. It has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which help to cool the scalp and eliminate dandruff and fight lice. It can relieve a dry scalp, stimulate hair growth, and give hair a healthy shine. This is a great oil for adding to massage oil or hair oil along with a few drops in a shampoo or conditioner if having scalp or hair issues, as it will pass on those antimicrobial and antiseptic properties to those products.
It stimulates hair growth because of the increase blood circulation to the scalp when it is applied through an oil massage or in the shampoo or conditioner. This is one of the reasons you find this oil in products for baldness or hair thinning. There are several products that carry this great oil in their formula, but if you want the more potent oil you can create it yourself.
How to make your own peppermint oil
Fresh peppermint oil
Glass jar with tight lid
Wash the peppermint leaves before crushing or chopping them, as this will release the natural oil. Place them in the jar and pour the olive oil over them. Make sure the olive oil cover the leaves completely. Seal the jar tightly and wait 24 hrs. Strain the oil and add more chopped or crushed peppermint leaves and olive oil and then reseal. Repeat the process for five consecutive days. Remove the leaves by straining and pour the oil into another clean container and store in a cool place.
We all know water is the most important ingredient when it comes to moisturizing our natural curls but did you know that not all water is created equally? Depending on your area, there are several environmental factors that can transform your water into hard water. Hard water is high mineral content, specifically magnesium and calcium. When rainwater hits the ground, the water interacts with limestone, chalk, and other elements. After interacting with the elements and also traveling through lakes and streams the water ultimately becomes hard.
Mineral buildup from hard water causes major issues for detangling, conditioning, softness, and the overall look of your hair.
While these minerals are not considered harmful to your health, they do alter how well the water cleans your household items and your hair. According to the US Geological survey, hard water can have some benefits, since humans need minerals to stay healthy. In addition, hard water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium for human dietary needs. But when it comes to your hair, hard water is not your friend. Due to the mineral buildup that is deposited onto the hair cuticle from hard water, this causes major issues for detangling, conditioning, the softness and overall look of your hair. So what’s a girl to do if you live in a hard water area? Here are some key tips to building your regimen.
3 Steps to building a hard water regimen
1. FIRST, TEST YOUR WATER
If you are unsure if you live in a hard water area, conduct a quick lather test. Hard water usually leaves behind a white residue on glasses after rinses or washing. When lathering with dish soap, hard water will result into somewhat of a white film vs. a rich lather right away. If you for sure have hard water, the less expensive solution is to install a water filtering showerhead. The filtration will help to remove chlorine and other deposits before they interact with your hair. The more effective but also more expensive option is installing a water softener system for your home.
2. ALWAYS PRE-POO
Pre-pooing is a pre-shampoo process, usually completed with oils or your favorite deep conditioner to help with manageability and detangling before the actual shampoo process. Common forms of pre-pooing include hot oil treatments or a DIY mixture of coconut oil, honey, and a banana for extra slip and conditioning. While you don’t have to be a DIY mixtress every time you shampoo, instilling a pre-poo regimen into your weekly process will help soften the hair to combat what the hard water left behind. Instead of spending hours to get through your wash day, pre-pooing can help cut that time in half.
Chelating shampoos are designed to bind to metals, minerals and pool water chemicals in order to remove those elements from the hair.
3. SWITCH UP YOUR SHAMPOOS
If you live in a hard water area, consider stepping up your shampoo game to include clarifying and chelating shampoos. If you swear by the Curly Girl Method of no-pooing, combining the no-poo method with hard water could be a problem. Perpetual co-washing, partnered with metals and minerals left behind by hard water proposes a serious problem for moisture retention and product effectiveness. Chelating shampoos like the Ion Hard Water Shampoo are designed to bind to metals, minerals, and pool water chemicals in order to remove those elements from the hair. Implement a chelating shampoo into your regimen once a month to ensure your hair is clarified and clean for healthy hair growth and optimal conditioning. Also, remember not to skip the deep conditioning sessions since clarifying and chelating shampoos can be extremely drying to the hair.
Do you live in a hard water area? What ways have you changed your regimen to ensure healthy hair?
Hair loss due to stress is so common that almost everyone has experienced it or knows someone who has. This type of stress induced hair loss can occur through intense change in the body like pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, or obsessing over life. These occurrences bring about high levels of change within your body, which can result in hair loss. While many of us have noticed these changes throughout the ebbs and flow of life, many still do not understand what is happening within.
Knowing what we know thus far, I think it is time to ask the really important questions like how do hormones affect us. Here is a closer look.
Hormones and Hair Growth Cycle
According to Sophia Emmanuel, Certified Trichologist from Crown Worthy Trichology Studio, “The endocrine system is made up of endocrine glands. The ovaries, thyroid, pancreas, and other glands all secrete hormones that circulate in the blood and regulate how we function. Hormone imbalance can affect body activity such as hair growth. Too much of a hormone or not enough can lead to diffuse hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium, defined as excessive hair loss from all over the scalp. No one will go bald with diffuse hair loss because the hair is replaced, but the hair can look and feel thin because the rate of hair growth is slower than the hair loss. Normally our hair sheds during the telogen stage about 50 to 100 per day. Telogen hair appears on clothing, in the shower, and is what we see on a daily basis. The abnormal hair loss takes place when anagen hairs of the hair growth cycle prematurely shift to the telogen stage, which is the resting, and hair fall cycle. When there is an abnormal amount of hair follicles in the telogen stage diffuse hair loss occurs.”
You see, the endocrine system works to keep balance in the body. Unfortunately when our body is off balance, a physical side effect is diffuse hair loss.
Hormones and Pregnancy
When pregnant the body experiences an imbalance as changes arise. The pregnancy glow appears in the skin and suddenly hair growth is abundant! Unfortunately it does not always last. The sudden growth occurs as certain hairs in the hair growth cycle become suspended on the anagen phase, therefore you see fuller, denser hair:
“During pregnancy the high levels of estrogen increase hair growth. Approximately three months after pregnancy, estrogen along with other hormones return to normal levels. Normal hair shedding that should have taken place during pregnancy begins at this point. This hair fall is temporary and no treatment is required. The hair loss will stop after three months and your hair should return to normal after six months.” – Sophia Emmanuel
A common myth attributed to this hair loss is a deficiency diet. Although maximizing nutrient intake during that time is always welcomed for mother and baby, it may not eliminate the results of hormonal activity. It is recommended to welcome all change that occurs during this time to cause no added stress on your body. To expect change will help in coping and the emotional effects of hair loss could be helped through a trip to the hairdresser for a new haircut to support and conceal the hair loss. Deep condition your hair and treat the scalp with an essential oil massage. From here gently care for your strands to not induce excessive shedding. It is recommended to continue using prenatal vitamins for up to a year after delivery. The American Pregnancy Association recommends
consulting with a health care provider
avoiding tight ponytails, rollers, or braids
eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables to protect the hair follicles ad encourage growth
using wide tooth combs
minimize heat styling
Hormones and Menopause
The dreaded change for a woman can be devastating if not understood. While this change can bring about hot flashes and mood swings, it is a natural part of life for women and must be understood to bring about acceptance and not exacerbate its effects. During menopause a woman’s estrogen lessens and stress typically increases. However, every woman has a different outcome. Emmanuel says, “During menopause, androgenetic alopecia can occur in women genetically predisposed. During menopause ovaries stop producing estradiol but continue to produce androgens, male sex hormones, that may influence thinning of pubic and axillary hair (under arm hair), but increase facial hair. Treatments for genetic thinning caused by menopause include hormone therapy, which involves the taking of estrogens with cyproterone acetate, a progesterone that suppresses androgen activity in the body. Aldactone (spironolactone) is another drug prescribed by doctors. The topical treatment of Rogaine 2% or 5% for women can be used and can be purchased over the counter. Herbal remedies include taking saw palmetto. Research shows that saw palmetto may block 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that converts DHT into testosterone. DHT is a sex steroid and androgen hormone responsible for hair loss.”
Women who are not genetically predisposed to androgenetic alopecia will want to visit their doctor or a certified trichologist to discuss hair loss. Typical recommendations include diet alterations, iron increase, and a weekly workout regimen to limit and relieve stress.
Hormones from Stress
No matter what age, sex, or stage of life you are in, stress can and will wreak havoc on your body during the stages of pregnancy, menopause, or any other hormonal transitions and stress. Stress is characterized by worry doubt, fear, and anxiety or brought on through disease or trauma to the body. Even lack of sleep or a nutrient deficient diet can bring about additional stressors, causing diffuse hair loss.
“Stress increases the production of five hormones. Growth hormone from the pituitary gland, thyroxin from the thyroid gland, adrenaline from the adrenal medulla, glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex, and glucagon from the pancreas. When these hormones increase, blood sugar levels increase taking the body to a diabetic state (hyperglycemia). When stress continues in the body for too long, all these hormones decrease. This takes the body to a hypoglycemic state, also known as low blood sugar. Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia cause diffuse hair loss. Correct diet and taking minerals such as chromium and zinc can help control blood sugar levels. “- Sophia Emmanuel.
The circle of life itself brings about many unavoidable changes. Thankfully we have the endocrine system to help us keep our balance. Knowing the intricate details of what is happening within can help you prepare when your time arises. Keeping a balanced, healthy life is key to making it beyond these transitions. A healthy diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables and high doses of water are necessary. Increasing your physical activity also strengthens the systems and helps to regulate your hormones. Take care of your body to help your body take care of you.
A shift in seasons doesn’t necessitate a beauty switch-up, but it’s the perfect opportunity to take the plunge should you crave one. If a chop isn’t in the cards, try a celeb-inspired hair color change instead. The systematic gravitation toward lighter locks for summer doesn’t have to be so obvious—a crop of today’s most in-demand actresses and models are rocking standout hues that feel especially appropriate for summer. Here, nine looks to consider before your next salon visit.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sunny Golden
Nothing says California girl like warm, bright bands of multidimensional golden color.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Icy Platinum
A cool hue pops against sun-kissed skin.
Beachy balayage looks effortless on long, wavy hair
Hailey Baldwin’s Russet
Amp up a neutral medium brown with subtle ginger undertones.
Emma Roberts’ Warm Strawberry
A bright pinkish hue warms up fair complexions.
Julianne Moore’s Rich Copper
A glossy copper is strikingly unexpected for summer.
Cara Delevingne’s New Bronde
A hybrid between blonde and brown, this sandy hue feels fresh for the season.
Emilia Clarke’s Light Golden
Punch up medium-brown strands with a subtle wash of warm honey gloss.
Jasmine Tookes’ Warm Chocolate
Accent a deep coffee color with aptly placed bronze highlights.
Ready for your new summer hue?