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Luscious Locks: 5 Habits of Women with Beautiful Hair

 

 Beautiful Hair 5 Habits

Photo Credit: Image via www.fashionfilesdaily.com

If you find yourself constantly coveting a shinier, thicker, frizz-free mane, you’d be surprised to hear that the answer to obtaining one doesn’t lie in pricey salon treatments or caviar-infused scalp masks. Instead, it’s simply down to good old-fashioned daily habits that literally make or break your strands.

 Here, after many deep conversations about heat styling and conditioners with the women in our lives who seem to effortlessly grow magazine-cover ready hair, we’re happy to reveal to you the ultimate practices to getting and maintaining those enviably luscious locks.

    1. Trimming Your Hair Regularly

Yes, even when trying to grow it out. As tempting as it might be to skip seasonal trims in the hopes of achieving a longer hairdo faster, to add healthy length you need to do just the opposite. While cutting the ends of your hair doesn't affect the follicles in your scalp which determine how fast and how much your hair grows, frequent trims might make your hair look a little longer. This is because getting rid of split ends reduces hair breakage, and breakage is what makes hair look thinner and lifeless. Also, once your hair splits, there’s no way to reverse it or repair the damage. So aim to get a haircut every six to eight weeks to prevent harmful breakage before it starts.

      2. Sleeping on Silk

While cotton may feel soft to the skin, its weave actually grips and tugs at individual strands, causing damage and breakage to the hair when you toss and turn at night. The effects of continuous contact with cotton pillowcases can also tangle hairstyles, ultimately resulting in more frizz and less shine. Meanwhile, silk’s smooth texture allows hair to slide around more smoothly, preventing knotted hair and split ends. Unlike cotton that absorbs moisture, silk stimulates hydration, leaving your hair shinier and soft to the touch. Fewer frizzy strands in the morning? Now that sounds truly dreamy.

     3. Minimizing Heat Styling

Blowdrying, straightening, and curling tools have become an invaluable resource when it comes to taming otherwise unruly strands, but sadly frequent heat styling takes a toll on your hair, wearing and degrading it over time.  The regular exposure to high temperatures leaves the hair dry, dull and prone to breakage. If you can avoid it and air-dry instead, it will greatly help you maintain the quality of your hair. Have fun and try wearing a ponytail, bun, or braid the second day, or use a serum to control frizz and tame fly-always. But if you absolutely must use hot tools to style your hair, always use a spray-in heat protectant. To remember, think of it this way: a heat protectant is the hair equivalent of sunscreen for the skin. Don’t skip it.

*Bonus tip: Heat-protection serums work best with blow dryers, while sprays are more compatible with flat irons. Different products are designed for dry versus wet hair so be sure to check the label beforehand.

      4. Eating the Right Foods

Much like the skin on our face, beautiful hair starts with nourishment from within. So despite all the attention we pay to the hair follicle once it leaves the scalp, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of inside health. What you put inside your body every day plays an immense role in the rate of your hair’s growth, texture, gloss, and volume. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients. Since hair is made of a protein called Keratin, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for keeping your locks strong and healthy. Moreover, a diet rich in iron, Vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids will help stimulate your hair follicles for growth.

  1. Moisturizing

The skin that makes up your scalp needs moisture just like the skin on your face does, especially if it's going to provide a healthy foundation for hair to grow. A general rule of thumb is to follow with conditioner every time you shampoo your hair. But the moisturizing doesn't end once you leave the shower. Even if you're not heat-styling your hair, you should comb through a protective product or a nourishing hair cream or oil. It helps to reduce dryness, split ends, boost your hair's shine and beat out frizz.

*Bonus tip: Argan oil works wonderfully as a hair conditioning treatment. Rich in Vitamins A and E, antioxidants and fatty acids, the oil boosts cell production, regeneration, and the hair’s texture. It is particularly effective in treating thinning, damaged or color treated hair.

   Written by Sofia Sosunov

 

 

Eyes Wide Shut: A Guide to Better Sleep

Irving Penn for Vogue, 1991

Irving Penn for Vogue, 1991

Though often overlooked in our caffeinated existence, the importance of adequate sleep goes beyond its power to banish under-eye circles. A good night’s rest is as vital to our health as proper nutrition, hydration, and air. Sleep allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to process information. In fact, your mind is surprisingly busy while you’re dozing off; during sleep, you consolidate your memories and skills you have learned while you were awake.

On the flip side, sleeplessness poses a real risk to our health and well-being. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, people suffering from sleep debt (which means less than seven hours of sleep a night for adults) face a higher risk of suffering from obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and weakened immune function. According to Dr. Jim Horne, author of “Sleeplessness: Assessing Sleep Need in Society Today,” one of the most important factors to improve one’s sleep is peace of mind at bedtime. The reason why many people have insomnia in our frantically paced modern life is that our minds are constantly racing. The issues, problems, tasks and to-do lists in our waking life tend to creep in and intrude our sleep. And life in the smart phone is age is not helping. Quick glimpses of incessant notifications trigger agitated, nervous systems to release floods of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, causing blood pressure to spike and muscles to tighten.

8 Habits for Better Sleep

We’ve composed eight ways to help you develop a relaxing routine. Remember, by repeating a regular pattern, you condition your body and mind to realize that it’s time to go to sleep. Many activities people do in the evening can be overstimulating. So a bedtime ritual can help you to unwind before hitting the pillow. Snooze away, dear friends.

Create Your Own Sanctuary. For many people, interrupted sleep is caused by external factors such as light, discomfort, noise and uncomfortable room temperature. Treat yourself to a tasteful silk sleeping mask, spray a touch of lavender on your pillow, consider blackout blinds, adjust the room temperature (the last thing you want is to wake up either hot and bothered or chilly and shivering) and have earplugs handy. And, if your mattress isn’t up to standard, let that be your next big investment.

Move Your Body. Studies show that exercise such as brisk walking, light biking and yoga can function much like an antidepressant, decrease anxiety, clear the mind, and help bring on a restorative night of sleep. Also, working larger muscle groups such as your legs in your daily workouts helps physically exhaust your body, making it easier to fall asleep.

Take a Bath. Besides being a relaxing activity in itself, a warm bath helps the body to reach a temperature ideal for rest. Amp up the sleeping potential by adding Epsom salts to your bath.  Stress drains the body of magnesium, which helps to promote rest while improving the quality of sleep and concentration; and Epsom salts are rich in this essential mineral. When the salts are dissolved in warm water, the magnesium is absorbed through the skin and can replenish its supplies; the salts also help relieve your body of toxins.

Sip on Chamomile Tea. Not only can drinking a warm drink before bedtime makes you feel drowsier, but the naturally calming caffeine-free tea has also been proved to have a calming effect on the body.

Breathe. If you find it difficult to switch into sleep mode, try meditation or breathing exercises to get you in the mood. Take several long, deep breaths and focus on what you are grateful for today. By simply concentrating your attention on the positive attributes of your life can bring your whole mind and body into balance and eliminate any sense of anxiety. Headspace offers 10-minute-long meditation sessions which you can interact with on your smartphone, providing instant relaxation.

Eat for Sleep. Tart cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock; we suggest eating some with breakfast and at night. Almonds are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that’s necessary for good sleep. Black rice, sesame, and pumpkin seeds are also good sources. Meanwhile, bananas can promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, 

Get Some Sunshine. Starting your day with natural light exposure helps reset your biological clock. It also balances your body’s melatonin and cortisol level. 

Maintain a Regular Sleeping Schedule. Keep your circadian rhythms in check by adhering to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. Yes, even on weekends.

  Written by Sofia Sosunov

Eat Your Way to Glowing Skin

Bae Yoon Young for Beauty+, April 2015

Bae Yoon Young for Beauty+, April 2015

While we are all about slathering our face and body with nurturing oils, beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. In fact, what we eat has a direct effect on our skin, and a healthy diet abundant in antioxidants, vitamin C, good fats, collagen, and amino acids can mean the difference between a fresh, radiant complexion and a weary, puffy, one. Older skin cells are continuously shed and replaced by younger ones, and a steady supply of micronutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. When you eat the correct balance of foods, you feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to stay, soft, supple and blemish-free.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of eight beauty superfoods that will significantly enhance your complexion. Keep reading to see what they are.

BEETS

The powerful antioxidants in beets help fight signs of aging to keep skin firm and youthful. Their combination of minerals and vitamins (folate, Vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium) stimulates cell production and repair, protecting our skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Add the vibrant root vegetable to your morning juice along with apple, carrots and a hint of ginger for a delicious cleansing boost.

CHIA SEEDS

These antioxidant-rich seeds are packed with minerals and fiber as well as the perfect balance of essential fatty acids (packing almost 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per 1-ounce serving). Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is credited for giving our skin that "glow" we all strive for while also leading to a visible reduction in inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. Sprinkle chia seeds into smoothies and fruit salads, or soak them in almond milk overnight for a satisfying dessert.

BRAZIL NUTS

While you probably already know that Brazil nuts are a healthful snack, they are also a beauty food, as they’re a rich source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant which is essential for the immune system. A selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. Just four nuts will provide you with the recommended daily amount. Sprinkle them on your salad alongside other seeds, or carry as nutritious snack.

SWEET POTATOES

Adding these delicious beta-carotene-rich starches into your daily diet can combat lackluster complexions. The wondrous, skin-brightening combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in sweet potatoes works to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals that cause the dreaded dulling effect. Sweet potatoes are also rich in biotin, which stimulates hair and nail growth.

SPINACH

This leafy green is high in Vitamin A, essential for promoting growth in skin and hair. Spinach is also loaded with Vitamin C, which is imperative for the building and maintenance of collagen, making it a no-brainer for any meal, juice, or smoothie.

PINEAPPLE

Tangy and exotic, pineapple benefits the skin by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and removing toxins from the body. What’s more, it also helps in the production of collagen.

 

Antioxidant fantasy

Anti-oxidant fig fantasy

FIGS

The tiny seeds in figs are loaded with nutrients that help rid the digestive track of toxins and mucus, which may prevent important nutrients from getting to the skin. High in fiber, figs are a perfect sweet treat to aid in cleansing and detox. 

 

AVOCADO

Besides being a delight smashed on a crispy toast, avocados are an abundant source of vitamin E. Praised as a skin-beautifying antioxidant, Vitamin E is present in the human epidermal tissue, where it creates smoothness and suppleness. Studies also found that vitamin E  helps fight signs of aging by protecting the skin against oxidative cell damage as well as supporting healthy skin growth.

And lastly, it goes without saying water is imperative for a dewy, healthy complexion. Our skin needs moisture to stay flexible, and even mild dehydration will cause it to look dry, tired and slightly gray. After all, H20 isn't a beauty secret — it's a basic human need. So make sure to keep hydrated at all times (especially during these hot summer months). If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind yourself to drink regularly.

 – Written by Sofia Sosunov