Think You’re Losing Hair? Read This.

Hair LossThis is for anyone who has ever been worried about the amount of hair they are losing. Whether you notice it in the shower, see it on the bathroom floor, or left in a brush, hair loss happens. If you feel your hair is thinning, you’re not alone. As we age, everyone experiences hair loss. Here is some information about what is normal, what is not, and what you can do about it.

Normal Daily Hair Loss

On average, we lose 100 hairs a day. If your hair is shoulder length or longer, this shedding process may be more noticeable because of the length. Shampooing and brushing your hair facilitates this process. If you spread out your shampoos to every other or every third day it may seem like you are loosing more than a normal amount of hair, but in reality it is the accumulation of hair from the days you didn’t shampoo. I have naturally wavy hair. When I wear it curly, I never brush through it and I shampoo every third day. By the time I shampoo and comb through my hair I have a fist full of strands that are determined to clog my drain if I don’t catch them. It seems like there is a lot, but in reality it is just an accumulation of 3 days of normal shedding hair.

Your hair goes through 3 phases of growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is know as the growth phase. The longer your growth phase, the longer you can grow your hair. If you feel like you can never get your hair to grow to your dream length it is probably because you have a short anagen phase. At any time 85-95% of you hair is in the anagen phase. In the catagen phase the hair strand is released from the follicle, cutting off blood supply needed for growth. In this phase the hair is not growing but still securely on your head. Finally there is the telogen phase. This is the phase where shedding occurs and effects 13% of your hair. During this phase the existing strand is released as the follicle begins to regenerate a new strand. The length of these phases are determined by genetics so you can thank your parents for your abundance or lack of hair.

Hot Tip – Want more hair? Get Pregnant.

During a pregnancy, your hormones change causing more of your hair to be in the anagen, or growth phase. This is why pregnant women experience amazing hair growth. The downside is that as hormones re-adjust after pregnancy, typically when you finish breastfeeding, then hair kicks in to the telogen phase when excessive hair loss is experienced.

Hair Loss From Aging

About 50% of men and 74% of women claim to be effected by hair loss. In the US nearly 30 million women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. As we age we experience more hair loss. For those between the age of 18-34, 16% are experiencing hair loss, but the number jumps to about 45% for those over the age of 50.

Men and women produce testosterone, but as we age it converts to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This affects the body’s ability to produce hair. The hair bulb is basically suffocated, causing it to be unable to grow hair. Menopause is when most women experience major hair loss as a result of this process.

Hair Loss From Life Changes

When I have a client who is experiencing greater than typical hair loss, I ask them to think about what changed in their lives 3 months prior. It takes that amount of time for our hair to be affected by falling out. This can be a change in diet, medication, or stress. Divorce, breakups, deaths, or unemployment are just a few examples of situations that can initiate hair loss. Going on or off medication including birth control, vitamins, supplements, antibiotics, and mood stabilizers can also affect hair loss. The good news is that it is not permanent. This type of loss is usually temporary and eventually grows back over time.

What You Can Do About Hair Loss

Some hair loss is permanent, but many times your follicles can be jump-started to initiate new growth. There are well know lines like Nioxin and Rogain that have been used by many to make it happen. Now other hair care companies are adding hair regenerating lines. At Fix we carry Redken products and they have developed Intra-Force, a 3 step process of products that combats the causes of thinning hair and reduces breakage by 95%. This line is designed to reduce a build up of sebum and DHT on the hair to promote a healthy environment for hair growth. Vitamin E and and Arginine are implemented to give the scalp nutrients for ideal follicle growth.

I love that I have a solution for my clients that are concerned about hair loss. I have seen the results and it’s impressive. When the correct products are prescribed and used appropriately I have seen a reduction in hair loss and new growth. Keep in mind hair that is generated as a result of any line of this kind is usually finer than normal hair, but it is hair. For men or women experiencing hair loss it can be empowering to see new growth come in after using the right products.

Hair loss can be a miserable experience, but when you have the right information to diagnose why it’s happening and products that can potentially stimulate new growth, you can find the silver lining. Talk to your stylist about your concerns and they can point you in the right direction so you can have healthy, beautiful hair.

Growing Your Hair – Pop Quiz


Grow Your Hair
Want to grow your hair? Do you know the best way to do it? Take this Growing Your Hair Quiz and find out if you know the facts about what makes your hair grow faster, stronger, and better than ever before.

Answers

1. On average hair grows how many inches a month?

On average, hair grows an 1/2 inch per month. This means it would take 6 months for your hair to grow 3 inches and 1 year to grow 6 inches.

2. Frequent trims cause hair to grow faster.

False. Hair grows at the rate it grows. Frequent trims can make the hair healthier as it grows, but keep in mind the ends should really just be “dusted”, meaning about an 1/8 of an inch or less taken off through your growth process.

3. Styling products can make hair longer.

True. While the right products can’t necessarily make your hair grow faster, they can make your hair seem longer by keeping the ends healthy. Heat protectants, conditioners, and protein based products help to reduce split ends and breakage. This will make your hair seem longer and reduce the amount you need to cut off during salon trims.

4. Eating / taking this can make your hair grow faster….

Trick question. Many believe that taking specific supplements or eating certain foods can make your hair grow faster. The truth is, just being healthy and taking care of your body overall will result in healthier hair. Eat a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. Also, don’t forget to exercise. By doing these things, you give your body everything it needs to produce healthy hair quickly.

5. Hair grows faster in which season?

Summer! Hair grows faster in warm weather. There is more blood circulation when your body is warmer, therefore generating faster hair growth. Your body recognizes temperature more than seasons, so if you take a warm weather vacation in January, that can stimulate follicle growth.

Above all else, growing your hair takes patience. The right stylist can be your biggest cheerleader and support you through the process. There may be some days where the process is driving you crazy and you’re tempted to cut it all off. It may seem like it’s taking forever. In those moments, reach out to your stylist to help keep you on your path. For all of my clients growing our their hair, we extend their haircut appointments by 2 or 3 weeks, but schedule 15 minute “clean up” appointments in between. A “clean up” may consist of a bang trim, neck trim, cleaning up around the edges, or sometimes it is just a counseling session where I check in with them and encourage them through the process.

Now you have the facts. Go grow your hair!

Healthy Hair During Your Workouts

Keep your hair in shape
Over the last couple of years, I have slowly become addicted to my workouts. I’m fortunate to live across the street from Community Fitness, the best group exercise facility in Seattle. As the list of classes I take grows, I find that I am in an endless cycle of ponytails, sweaty hair, shampooing hair, blowing hair out and back to ponytails. In essence, my hair is getting a workout just as much as I am. So for all of us girls trying to stay in shape and keep our hair looking good, here are a few pointers.

Best Hairstyles for Breaking a Sweat

Braids–The best way to get your hair out of the way and reduce pulling and breakage is to braid it. Nice for us, braids have come back! If you don’t know how to french braid your own hair, check out this YouTube video from makupwearables. It’s a great tutorial and she has tons of other braid styles. While your are perfecting your skill, you can always ask a friend to braid for you.

Ponytails–Personally, I am a pony tail girl. I want it back, I want it tight, and I don’t want to have to fuss with it throughout my workout. The downside to a ponytail is potential breakage. Your hair type will determine how much breakage you may or may not get in this style. If you have fine, fragile, or heavily chemically altered (highlighted blondes listen up), ponytails can definitely do some damage. When you have your hair down take a look at it from the back. Many times there is a fine line of breakage that runs horizontally through the hair. If you see that line you will notice that it is probably exactly where you put the elastic band in your hair. Sometime the breakage is so extreme that it almost adds an interior “layer” to the hair. Eek! For those of us with medium to thick, course hair our hair can stand up to a little pressure, but it is still important to be thoughtful of your pony process.

1. When choosing a hair band for your pony, be sure that it is either covered in fabric/threading or is an “ouch less” plastic that easily slides out of your hair.

2. Vary the location of the pony tail. If it’s high one day, make it low the next.

3. Instead of creating an actual pony tail consider making it a hair puff. Meaning, as you are putting your hair through the hair band on the last round only pull through the middle of the length. This redistributes the tension placed on the hair which helps reduce breakage.

4. Never put in a tight pony when your hair is wet. Wet hair stretches almost 50% more than dry hair. When you put it in a tight tension pony the tendency is that the hair is stretched to its breaking point, a quick way to create unwanted “layers” in your hair.

5. When your workout is over, take out that pony–especially if your hair is sweaty. It goes back to number four. Wet hair = more stretching = potential breakage. Or alternately, loosen the tension so it’s not pulling as much.

6. If you wear your hair up at night go old school with a scrunchy. No, it’s not pretty, but if your hair is up in a hair band at night and your tossing and turning imagine how that hair is being stretched. A scrunchy will get it out of the way but have much more give in the tension.

Products That Will Protect Your Hair While You Perfect Your Form

Depending on how much you workout, you may want to consider using specialty products to revitalize and protect your hair. Here is a list of my favorites:

  • Redken Hair Cleansing Cream–This is a deep cleaning shampoo that should be used alternately with your daily shampoo. If you shampoo every day your would use the Hair Cleansing Cream once a week. If you shampoo every other day, then once every other week. It’s perfect to remove any build up created by your hard work. It brings the sparkle back and gives the opportunity for your other styling products to perform effectively on a clean surface.
  • Redken Anti-Snap–Anti-Snap is pretty self explanatory. It is a leave-in treatment conditioner that helps to strengthen your hair and reduce split ends. It also works as a heat protectant which is great when you are frequently blow drying your hair. It’s light enough to work for all hair types and can be layered with your other daily styling products.
  • Redken Diamond Oil–The name alone makes this product sound amazing. The newest product in the Redken Haircare family, Diamond Oil is a silicone free combination of coriander, camellia, and apricot oils that penetrate deep into the hair strand. The effects of this product create hair that is 2x less likely to break and 3x shinier than when it is not used. Because it is silicone free, it also works as a skin moisturizer making it the perfect double duty workout partner.

You don’t have to sacrifice beautiful hair in pursuit of your fitness goals. By using the right tools and products, you can ensure that outside the gym your hair looks as good as your body.

Avocado and Mayonnaise Are Not Hair Treatments

20130508-231156.jpg

I’ve been doing some homework and looking into some online hair advice that is misleading. There are a endless amount of home hair treatments using things that are better on a salad than your head. I wanted to take a moment to touch on what makes an effective hair treatment and how dedicated hair treatments work differently than groceries.

Bananas, avocado, eggs, vinegar, mayonnaise, and coffee. These are just a few of the ingredients I have found for home hair treatments. Users swear to their effectiveness and seem to love the “organic” nature of the ingredients. The truth is what ever effect these ingredients have on the hair is cosmetic, or surface with a short longevity. Yes, eggs are a protein and we know we need protein for healthy hair, but these proteins are not designed to penetrate the hair strand in a way that will strengthen it. Penecillian is a drug derived from mold, but in order for it to be effective there is a chemical process that makes it compatible with our bodies and effectively do it’s job.

Every hair care manufacture developes treatments to repair the hair. The technology allows these products to derive the best of specific ingredients and partner them with science to give them effectiveness and longevity. As technology advances the effectiveness increases surpassing what a home treatment can provide.

Additionally, from a market perspective, there are over the counter salon treatments and in-salon treatments. In-Salon treatments typically have the ability to penetrate deeper into the hair strand and last much longer than an over the counter treatment product and in half the time.

At Fix we love our Redken Chemistry System. This unique in-salon treatment allows us to custom mix benefits specific to your hair needs. They can help reduce color fadaged, reduce frizz, add softness and/or strength. This treatment locks in its benefits by balancing the pH levels in the hair. The treatments take 7 minutes to apply. Because the technology drives the beneficial ingredients in to the center of the hair strand the effects are seen much longer than a home hair treatment or a over the counter salon treatment.

Our best selling over the counter treatment is Redken’s Strength Builder Plus. This cream mask is used in replacement of conditioner and when it is used 3 times consecutively it can increase the strength of the hair by 96%. Just think about that for a minute. 96%. Because Redken prides its self on science and technology every claim must by proven in a laboratory before it can be attached to a product. I have yet to read about a home hair treatment that can make a similar claim with scientifically proven results.

So, the next time you feel like your hair could use a little extra conditioning, strengthening, or shine visit your hair stylist instead of the produce aisle. Salon treatments are more effective and last longer than anything that was stored in your fridge.

Color Correction – Christin’s Path to Peach

Pastel hair color–it’s everywhere right now! We’ve seen pictures of celebrities or images online of pinks, lavenders, baby blues. At Fix, it is a common request from our clients of all ages. To do it successfully, the process aligns itself with a classic color correction process. It can be time-consuming and expensive, but it certainly makes you stand out in a crowd. Today I want to share Christin’s story to peach. It’s a perfect example of what steps it takes to go from a dark hair color to a light hair color, whether it is pastel, blonde, or even light brown.

Here’s what Christin looked like before we began:

In order to get a perfect pastel, the hair needs to be lightened as much as possible. Christin had been coloring her hair at home, so our first step was to lighten her existing color to pale blonde. It can be a delicate process to make this happen. You can never be sure if the color is going to lighten easily or with bands of color. That’s why I am a huge believer of test strands. This is where I take a small section of the hair and treat it with lightener to read how it will perform overall. It took a few applications, but it lifted pretty evenly giving me the result pictured below. You can see the lightened hair in contrast to her original color.

I then repeated the process on the rest of Christin’s hair. Again it took 3 separate applications of lightener to get to blonde. After each process I applied a protein based strengthening treatment to help maintain the hair’s health. Here is Christin at the end of the lightening process.

Next up, choosing a peach formula. This, too, can be a tricky process. I have two goals when I create this type of formula. First, it needs to be the peach my client has in mind. Color shades can vary drastically, so I want to ensure the results match the client’s expectations. Second, I want it to be set in the hair to give it the best longevity of color. Again, here is where I depend on test strands to see what my final formula will be.

Before applying the pastel formula on Christin’s hair, I applied another strengthening treatment. This infuses protein into the hair, in turn giving color molecules a place to embed and creating a longer lasting color. It’s a non-negotiable step that creates healthy, beautiful end results.

After the first color application, the pastel peach was pretty, but too light. This happens sometimes when laying color back into the hair. Sometimes color has to be laid in a couple of times to get a real, pure tone. Here is Christin after her first peach application.

We then went on to add a second layer of color. This application did the trick. We achieved an amazing color, but a little strong in intensity. Christin loved it and wore it for the next 6 weeks. Here’s how it looked.

When Christin came back to the salon 6 weeks later the color had lightened up. She decided this time she wanted to go for a softer peach. After tweaking her formula a bit, I loved the final color.

This color was beautiful. And because of the series of salon treatments performed on her hair, we were able to achieve the look while also ensuring her hair was in great condition. Christin has been peach for about 10 months now and gets tons of compliments on her look.

As you can see, this type of service is time-consuming. From beginning to end, our Intense Peach look took three appointments lasting 4 hours each time. I charge $100 per hour for this service, so if you do the math you quickly realize this is a big investment. Choosing to do this in a salon with an experienced stylist ensures that you will get the precise color you want and keep your hair shiny and healthy. I’ve seen many hair lightening “home jobs” and it’s not pretty. People who try the “do-it-yourself” route usually end up in the salon to get it fixed, so why not just do it the right way from the start?

If you are considering any type of color correction service, going from light to dark or dark to light, a consultation is imperative. If any stylist tells you he/she can perform this type of service in one day, I would go somewhere else. Remember when you are lightening hair from brown to blonde we are working with a fiber. There is only so much you can ask of that fiber in a short period of time. Slow, control lifting is the best way to get where you want to go and still have hair to show at the end of it. Ask your stylist if they have any pictures of clients who have received similar treatments so you can see the end results.

It’s also worth mentioning the value of salon treatments through any color process. Every time a chemical color service is performed on a hair strand, that fiber is weakened. Without protein based treatments, your hair will not survive the correction course and the color will fall out much more quickly.

Drastically changing your color can be a rewarding “feel good” event. Take the time to find a colorist who is experience in color correction. To help with the process, read my post How to Find Your Perfect Stylist. Then go for it! Changing your hair color can give you a new outlook on life and your identity. Embrace it!

Welcome To My Hair Fix

Welcome to “My Hair Fix”, a blog I have created to help provide education about your hair, your salon experience, hot tips and techniques to make your hair beautiful. After over 15 years in this industry traveling across the country and working in my salon I hear many of the same questions from clients regularly. Haircare is one of the fastest growing businesses in the country, this means that product technology, available services and styling tools are evolving and improving at a fast rate. If you aren’t submerged in the world of hair on a regular basis it can be tough to keep up.

This blog is designed to be a resource of education from someone who is submerged in the world of hair. I love it. I am fortunate to have amazing clients that inspire me every day and trust my vision for their hair. I have also worked with Redken as a design and color educator for 10 years. This experience has aligned me with a science based industry leader that I can continually learn from, staying on top of the latest hair innovations.

There is a lot of information about hair out in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction. There are some resources more valid than others. My intent is to empower readers with information to make educated choices about their hair needs. What are the best treatments on the market, new salon services pros and cons, quick home hair tips, how to find the right tools for your hair, and the best color options for your are just a few of the topics that will be covered. I love to answer questions and look forward to hearing what’s on your mind. Over time I hope to create a library of great hair information.

Now, read on. Let me know what you think. Stay in touch with email, Facebook or follow me on twitter. I am excited to see where we go!

Sincerely,

Mandy McCullough

Why Steak Won’t Repair Your Hair – Healthy Hair: Do you have it?

Healthy hair, do you have it? Want it? Not sure how to get it?  For those on the quest of nurturing your tresses, it’s important to understand what healthy hair has that damaged hair doesn’t. I certainly can’t repair my car engine if I’m not even sure what’s supposed to be under the hood to begin with.

Healthy hair is made up of a few simple components in the following ratios:

  • Protein 80%
  • Moisture 10-15%
  • Lipids 6% (Lipids are fatty oils on the surface of hair)
  • Pigment 1%

When hair is damaged, it is missing one or more of these components in some manner. Protein is the number one key to healthy hair. This is what bonds together to form hair fiber. Damaged hair has broken protein bonds causing your hair to be fragile, lack shine and cause color fadage. Protein comes in many forms and some are more effective than others to repair hair. I mean, in theory steak is a protein, but I’m certainly not going to expect that to sit on my hair and repair it.  Just like cell phones, science has been able to make proteins smaller and smaller over the years. The smaller the protein the more effectively it can be delivered to the cortex, or center, of the hair strand giving it strength. Have you ever sat under a salon dryer with a treatment on your hair? That is the equivalent of a brick shaped cell phone–old school. Now protein can be delivered at the shampoo bowl in about five minutes and last much longer than a heated mask treatment.
Obviously hair needs moisture. Lipids coat and protect the hair from outside aggressors. They are also what give the hair reflect. When hair is lacking or needing these components, it becomes fragile and dull.

When repairing hair it is important to know when to add these components, particularly if repair is needed during a color service. Protein should always be added before color. Remember, it’s proteins that reinforce the hair fiber and give the color molecules something in which to embed. On the other hand,  moisture and lipids should be applied after a color service. If applied before, they will make it hard for the color molecules to embed themselves in the hair strand. Applied after a service they will encourage color longevity by sealing the color in and giving the hair a reflective finish.

Damaged hair comes from two sources: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical damage comes from everyday styling, brushing, flat ironing, and curling. Chemical damage comes from, well, chemicals. Treatments such as color, highlighting, perms, and straightening all create chemical damage. Mechanical damage can cause the cuticle to be raised or melted, dry and weakened. Hair that is chemically damaged includes the effects of mechanical damage on a deeper level including excessively weakened protein bonds.
Want to test your hair to see if it’s damaged. It’s easy! Gently pull a strand of hair from your head and place it in a glass of water. If it floats, congratulations! You have healthy hair! If it sinks it means your hair is weakened and damaged. Time to see your stylist for a treatment.

Protein and moisture, in many forms, are options available for repair. At Fix Salon we depend on Redken’s Chemistry System to repair our clients’ hair. This is a professional salon treatment system that works in under 10 minutes. A stylist can create a personalized mix based on your needs. The results of the treatment last longer and are more effective than home treatments because it has the ability to penetrate deep into the cortex of the hair strand rather than simply coating the surface. If your hair could use a healthy boost, we’ve got the fix for you.