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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ward

I'm a Hairstylist: Ask Me Anything

For this week, I asked my Facebook friends to ask me questions. After all, the point of this blog is to share some hair magic with all of you, so who better to ask. I was delightfully surprised that the questions were so interesting, so here we go!

(a few of these were so good, I'll be doing separate blog posts about them after to go more into depth).

What are clear signs of dead hair?

Technically, all of the hair that we see on our heads is already dead, the struggle is keeping that hair healthy and hydrated to appear "alive". A few signs that your hair is becoming damaged include:

  • Dry-feeling, unhydrated ends.

  • Split ends

  • Hair starts to tangle more easily

  • Hair isn't holding onto color as well anymore.

  • Breakage

What's the dirtiest hair you ever had to style? Describe.

Oh boy, I normally leave these stories within the salon. A common hair myth is that you shouldn't wash your hair before having it colored. Sadly, some people take this myth WAY too far and decide to come in with a hot mess on their heads. I once had a lady come in for her color touch up, and her hair was so dirty that it was actually wet underneath from oils.

Is having my hair up 80% of the time unhealthy?

Under some circumstance, yes. However, if you avoid a few things, you can drastically reduce the damage of having your hair up all the time.

DON'T - Wear really tight elastics all the time. Doing so can cause traction alopecia (hair-loss caused by pulling) usually around the hairline. This can cause a receding hairline when done too often. DO - Use a clip or loose elastic to tie your hair up. There are tons of healthier alternatives around for securing your hair that look great! Check out Invisibobbles, they are a traction-less hair tie that you can use again and again without it snapping on you.

DON'T - Leave your hair up all day and night. Make sure you let your scalp breathe! Having a clogged up scalp can cause all kinds of problems, including slower hair growth.

DO - Remember to take your hair down and let it breathe. I recommend running a brush through your hair right after taking it out. This will stimulate your scalp and promote healthy growth rates. It will also remove any hairs that have shed while you've been wearing it up.

What is the best brand of shampoo/conditioner for thin hair?

Before I go into brands, I'd like to just discuss some general characteristics of products suited for fine hair. Always look for something that isn't too heavy. Drug store products are a big no-no for anyone with fine hair. These products are loaded with unnecessary ingredients that can leave a build up on your hair and scalp. For anyone with fine hair who is ready to make the switch to professional products you should always start with a few deep cleansing shampoos to remove the build up.

As for brands, it really turns into preference. Luckily, there are so many great professional products available to give a variety. Here are a few of my favorites that my clients love.

Kevin Murphy - Plumping Shampoo and Conditioner

Schwarzkopf - Moisture Kick Shampoo and leave in treatment.

Color WOW - Daily Shampoo and Conditioner for fine hair.

Aveda - Pure Abundance Shampoo and Conditioner.

How do you make hair grow faster?

The important thing to keep in mind is that your hair will not grow a noticeable amount overnight no matter what you do. However, there are some things to help promote natural hair growth,

  • Brush your hair often, and don't forget your scalp

Regular brushing helps to keep your scalp healthy, stimulated, and free of debris. Scalp stimulation promotes healthy hair growth by keeping the blood flowing in that area.

  • Get regular trims

Okay, let's debunk a major hair myth right now. Why does your hairstylist keep saying that to grow your hair out, you should get it cut more often?

Fun Fact: split ends cannot be fixed, they will not go back together and will not be healthy again. Any product claiming to repair them, is probably just putting a coating over your hair to make it feel healthier. In reality, the hair is still broken. The ONLY way to get rid of split ends and stop them from traveling upward? Cut them off. Getting 1/2 inch trims every 6-8 weeks removes splits and prevents the damage from spreading.

  • Maintain a balanced diet

Everything in our bodies is connected. When one system is thrown off, it takes a toll of your overall health in so many ways. If your hair is feeling weak, it could be a sign that something else is wrong. Maintaining a balanced diet keeps your body healthy and happy, and in turn keeps your hair feeling great.

  • Try keratin supplements

Reasonably priced keratin supplements are all over the market. You should always check with your doctor before starting new supplements but most people can tolerate a little more keratin.

Keratin is the protein in your hair and nails. Some people need extra keratin if their bodies are not producing it naturally, and most of us couldn't hurt from a little boost to keep our hair and nails looking healthy and happy.

  • Use quality products on your scalp and hair

If you are still in the mindset that drug store hair products are just as good as professional, you need to sit down with your laptop and do some research. These products are full of unneeded additives and ingredients that leave a build up on your hair and scalp. Fun Fact: this build up can actually slow down the growth of your hair. Your scalp needs to breathe, and if there is years of product build up sitting on top of it, it's going to have a hard time doing that.

If I'm trying to achieve blonde without killing or over-processing my hair, how often should I lighten it to achieve this look?

Ah, here it is, the question of the ages. This has to be the most asked question when it comes to hair. So, here it is.

First of all, you should absolutely not be doing this yourself. When it comes to lightening your hair, there is a LOT that can go wrong. However, if done in-salon, a lighter look is often achievable. For those born with naturally very dark hair, you may never get platinum silver hair. Naturally dark hair has a lot of pigment to it, and so the process of removing the pigment (bleaching) takes longer and more work. Unfortunately, your hair may not be able to handle getting that light before it starts to feel like cooked spaghetti.

Virgin Hair: All hair should be lifted slow and steady. Low volume developers, mixed with a good colorist will give great results. In this situation, most colorists would suggest doing a lift and tone every 6-8 weeks depending on the health of your hair. Even then, you will be sent home with care instructions that are critical in the success of going lighter. Lifting your hair causes damage, there is no way around it. With proper care, most hair will lift to the desired level, but you will have to trust the process.

Professionally Colored Hair: Lifting color out of hair is a lot harder than with virgin hair. Most professional colors will remove without high levels of damage, but again, ensure that you use all of the after-care products prescribed by your stylist during your journey of going lighter.

Box-Colored Hair: Alright folks, here's the ugly truth. If you want to go blonde, prepare to spend a lot of time and money. The only way around that investment, is to fry your hair at home. When I say fry, I genuinely mean that your hair will likely look like cooked spaghetti by the time you get to the desired level of blonde that you're looking for.

In salon, you will likely need at least two-three visits. Even then, there isn't a colorist in the world that can guarantee to lift out box color and maintain the integrity of your hair at the same time. Normally, in-salon lifting can remove quite a bit of the box color, but nothing is for sure. When lifting these colors, they come out splotchy and uneven. It takes an experienced colorist to spot treat these uneven areas. Please keep your expectations realistic. I 100% recommend going in for a consultation, they're free and will give you a better picture of what can be done for your hair. Maybe you can lift to a beautiful platinum blonde, but it's never for sure.

Have more questions? Leave them below!

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