Archive for August, 2016

The ‘Natural’ Beauty Market


Everyone exudes their own natural beauty (it’s something we’re all born with!). The idea of a good Ottawa hair salon is to take the natural beauty which the client already has and enhance it through a new style or colour technique. The idea of a ‘natural beauty’ movement (by either only using natural and organic beauty products or abstaining from them completely) seems to be very popular as of late.

It’s important to be aware of the products that you’re using for your hair and body, but sometimes something that says ‘natural’ may not be as natural as you believe it to be. “The global organic personal-care market was worth over $8 billion in 2013, according to market research firm Grand View Research. North America generated 35% of the revenue share that year, analysts found. They estimate that the sector will reach $20 billion by 2020. Natural hair dyes are now being marketed in major organic retailers like Whole Foods, which sells Naturtint and Herbatint. Even CVS and Walgreens have slightly more “green” options by household names like Clairol Natural Instincts and Shea Moisture. While these products promote ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil or shea butter, the extent to which they are natural is debatable and loosely regulated. Actual chemists agreed to comb through a list of 25 ingredients that were commonly present in the aforementioned brands to determine whether or not the ingredients in these hair dyes were as natural as the packaging indicated. What they found was that most of the ingredients listed in the dyes may be based on naturally occurring compounds but most were synthesized or heavily processed from their original form. Michelle Francl, a chemist at Byrn Mawr College, said it would be hard to call the ingredients “natural.” “Most of this stuff is produced in a plant,” she said. Acrylates copolymer, which is synthetic, can be used as a binder in skin and hair products or as an emulsion stabilizer.”

It’s great to want to take a more healthy and natural approach to how you manage your hair and be conscious of the environment at the same time, but it’s important to know exactly what products your using and just how truly natural they are. In order to best understand the products that are being used to make your hair look its best make sure to consult with your Ottawa hair stylist upon your next visit.

Preventing Head Lice


It’s not something that anyone wants to think of having or having to dealing with, but head lice is a real issue. Seeing as how head lice usually affects more children than anyone else (and back to school is just around the corner) it seemed like the perfect time to have a conversation about it and what can be done to safeguard yourself and family.

Here are some important tips for lice prevention:

Get checked. Lice can commonly occur in schools or summer camps. If your school or camp doesn’t give out regular checks, ask the nurse for one every once in a while. If the nurse is unavailable, schedule an appointment with your child’s general practitioner to check for lice.

Know the symptoms. As you might know, lice are little and can be white, brown, or dark gray. They’re most common around the ears and the back of the neck, and feed off of human blood. They are much more noticeable on darker-coloured hair.
The most common symptom of head lice is itchiness in and around the back of the neck. In many children, lice don’t produce any symptoms until weeks or months after they’ve moved in. For this reason, it’s important to do regular visual check-ups with a fine-toothed comb in order to spot an infestation as early as possible. Doctors recommend combing for lice after the child has taken a bath/shower, while their hair is still wet.

Be aware of lice carriers. Obviously, although lice are irksome, they’re not to be avoided like an infectious disease. Instead, be aware of anyone who may have had lice or is being treated. Knowledge is power.”

Prevention is better than a cure, so use this information to keep your scalp and hair and the scalps and hairs of your family as safe and healthy as possible.

Historical Hair Straightening Don’ts

Close of Hair Straightener

If you don’t learn from the past, history is doomed to repeat itself. We all get older, but in order to get wiser as we age it’s important to learn from errors we may have made. Sometimes those errors could be due to a lack of knowledge about something because of limited information available at the time…other times, negligence. In either case, proper education is the saving grace for moving forward.

When it comes to the straightening of hair there have been many methods and techniques to achieve the look, some good and some bad. Today’s focus is on the bad; by examining the worst it’s more easily identifiable and avoidable for the present and future. Here are some hair straightening methods that should NOT be repeated, as documented by someone who lived to tell the tail:

Rarely Use Heat Protection
Heat protection was for wimps whose hair was never quite poker straight. If you wanted the straightest mane in the land, you didn’t bother with it at all. If only I knew the harsh, damaging reality.

Using a Clothing Iron
The process was simple: You turned on your household clothing iron, waited for it to heat up, laid your head on the ironing board, and used the clothing iron to flatten your hair. The safest — I use the term very loosely — way to do this was to get a friend to help you. But the entire event was just an accident waiting to happen.

Clamp Straighteners for Too Long
My adolescent mind believed that the longer I clamped my straighteners down on my hair, the straighter it would be. I thankfully chickened out when it started to steam — otherwise I may have burned my locks off.”

To keep your hair always looking and feeling it’s best make sure to consult with your Ottawa hair stylist directly as they will be able to guide you toward whatever hairstyle you desire by using methods aimed at preserving the overall health of your hair and scalp.

The Proper Hair Washing Technique


Last week we discussed hair washing frequency and the impact it can have on the hair and scalp, but what about the shampooing technique used while washing? Doing something is only as effective as the technique being used to do it in the first place; If it’s not being done properly in the first place, frequency will matter less and less.

Knowing how to properly shampoo your hair at home is important, especially when it comes to keeping your hair maintained in between visits to your Ottawa hair salon. George Northwood, stylist to the likes of celebrities such as Alicia Vikander and Alexa Chung explains that “most people don’t actually get their hair truly clean when they wash it, so it ends up covered in a sort of film which leads to dullness and lack of shine over time. By shampooing twice you have a first wash, to remove excess dirt and grime, and then a second wash to really get it squeaky clean. The main mistake we all make is to use too much shampoo in the first place, adding more and more when we find we don’t build up a sufficient lather. If you’re washing your hair twice you don’t need much shampoo at all – maybe a two-pence-sized blob for each time. The first wash probably won’t create much lather as its just cleansing away all of that grime and build-up. It can actually be quite half-hearted – just squirt the product into your hands, rub them together and run through the hair. I call it external cleansing. Then the second shampoo is your opportunity to really get it right into the roots and create a proper lather.”

The better you are able to wash your hair, the better maintained it will be in between stylings. Make sure to discuss the best shampooing techniques with your Ottawa stylist at Caralyn’s upon your next visit.

Frequency of Hair Shampoing


In life there are a few age old questions: What is the meaning of life? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? Another important question to add to that list is: how often should the average person shampoo their hair? This question is can be difficult to answer because it depends on several different factors.

“Shampoo traps oils, so if you do it too frequently, you may dry your hair out, leaving it prone to breakage, says Angela Lamb, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. ‘Hair produces natural oil called sebum, and shampoo is an emulsifier that captures and traps excess oil, dirt, and product residue, which you then rinse out to clean the hair,’ Lamb says. For the most part, some dirt is OK and natural — and you definitely want some oils to remain in your hair.” But, what about those who feel the need to shampoo their hair every single day? Is that excessive? Once again, it truly depends on certain factors. “The experts agree: Only a small group needs to shampoo daily, like those with very fine hair, someone who exercises a lot (and sweats), or someone living in very humid place, Carolyn Goh (Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA) says. ‘If you have oily scalp, then daily washing is needed,’ she explains. ‘Sometimes, people think they have dry scalp because they have dandruff, but in those situations, more frequent washing is also helpful.’”

When it comes to hair, the idea of cleanliness and health isn’t necessarily linked to daily shampooing, however if that is something which you’re accustomed to and feel comfortable doing you should never be shamed for it. Regardless of how often you shampoo for whatever reason make sure to visit your Ottawa hair stylist regularly to keep your hair looking and feeling its best.