By now, you've probably heard all about the Brazilian Blowout controversy, but the OSHA testing that found formaldehyde in the straightener is only the first salvo in what promises to be a much longer conflict. Brazilian Blowout's manufacturers have filed an injunction to prevent OSHA from disseminating its test results, saying they're "false" and "misleading" despite similar findings in tests by Health Canada. I don't want a company ruined for no reason, but it does seem unethical to limit public knowledge about a product. Do you want to hear more about these tests, or is it only fair to wait until the definitive results are in?
Ever since Good Hair premiered at the end of last year, there's been much more open and positive dialogue about respecting and loving your natural hair texture. Lots of women were already going natural, but making the changeover has really gathered steam with the advent of the keratin controversy and a concomitant wave of support for natural hair's beauty, culminating in Sesame Street's adorable "I Love My Hair" song. While it seems that the number of women going natural, combined with the recession's ill effects, may be putting some African-American salons out of business, it's also heartening to see so many people embracing and celebrating the beautiful hair they were born with instead of trying to fit a narrow normative standard. Hair is still a hot-button issue for many women, regardless of their texture, but hopefully this is a signal of more self-acceptance to come.
Hair loss is the pain after pregnancy! It often occurs in the months after a new mama's hormones adjust. From the clumps of hair found in the shower drain to the baby wisps that sprout up, mothers have much to deal with after delivery. We asked Paul Lebrecque from the eponymous salon for some tips in managing postpartum hair.
- Don't be afraid to keep hair long. Paul agrees that the 47 percent of LilSugar readers who have kept their hair long are making life easier. Long hair gives moms more options, including ponytails, chignons, and updos.
- Consider a Keratin treatment. The Brazilian straightening treatment makes blowouts fast and easy, lasts for up to three months, and is safe for use on nursing mothers. Paul does recommend that moms should pump and dump their first batch of milk the next day as a precaution.
- Keep popping prenatal vitamins. The same vitamins that give expectant mamas thick manes and strong nails can help combat hair loss. Paul tells his clients to stay on the pills for three months after their tots have weaned.
For more of Paul's tips, read more
If you've been thinking of treating your hair to a keratin treatment, here's an opportunity to do it on the cheap. The treatment, which de-frizzes and straightens hair, usually costs hundreds of dollars. But if you're willing to go to a beauty school, you can save about 80 percent. Through June, Empire Beauty Schools will be giving the treatments for $48.
If you have reservations about having a student work on your hair, here's the deal. Only advanced students are allowed to perform keratin treatments — so you won't get a nervous newbie on her first day — and all services are closely supervised by educators. There are 96 schools nationwide, the formula is formaldehyde-free (some aren't), and the price is right.
Keratin is a strong, fibrous structure of proteins that are found in skin, hair, nails, and teeth. It is made from amino acids that bond together and form a protective layer. If damaged, skin, hair, and nails commonly become weak and unhealthy looking. This is why you will often find keratin in hair products (to help strengthen the hair shaft and give it resiliency) and in skincare treatments (to help with moisture loss and firmness).
Watching my little one bite her fingernails prompted me to do some research, and I started with just the basics. I just wanted some fingernail facts so I would know something about the different elements of her new habit. So here are 5 things about your nails, fingers and toes, that I thought you just might like to know.
- Fingernails and toenails are made of keratin - a protein made of dead cells, which is also the main protein found in hair. In fact, structurally nails are modified hair. Cutting your hair and fingernails doesn't hurt because they are dead - makes sense right. Horse hooves and bird feathers are also made of keratin.
- Contrary to popular belief your nails do not grow after you are dead because your nails are already dead (see above). Nails appear to be growing after death since the skin around them shrinks. Urban myth dispelled.
- Fingernails grow more quickly than toenails and men's nails tend to grow more quickly than women's. Women's nails DO grow faster during pregnancy, it is not the pre-natal vitamins it is the hormones.
- Light trauma, like typing on a computer, stimulates nail growth. Or you could think of typing more like a massage for the nails - it sounds less traumatic.
- Fingernails have no feeling. But the fingernail extends deep beneath and behind the skin of the cuticle, and nerves on the back of the finger around the cuticle sense forces transmitted from the tip of the fingernail. The brain integrates the sensations from the nerves of both the fingertip pad and cuticle to give a complex enhanced perception of pressure and shear at the fingertips.