Chemotherapy Hair Advice 101

Model: Anik, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson. London - Willie Christie's Studio

If you search Google for “Chemotherapy Hair Advice” you will find loads of excellent articles (esp. NHS .pdf documents) detailing the procedure and hair issues. However, I would like to share some of my thoughts and give you a bit of hairdressers chemotherapy hair advice!

Like most of us, I’ve known a number of people who have had chemotherapy, quite a lot actually; but as a hairdresser, I’ve taken a very keen interest in their hair and the advice that’s been given to them by their supporting team.

Chemotherapy Hair Advice

  • The normal daily average hair loss for everyone (you & me) is about 100 hairs. I say that because: When using the cold cap it is my understanding that chemotherapy slows hair growth. Therefore: if you are undergoing chemotherapy over a period of, say, twelve weeks, by the end of the treatment, and beyond, your hair WILL get thinner – that would be absolutely normal, even if you didn’t get extra hair falling out due to the chemotherapy. And just like postnatal hair loss, your hair will grow back.
  • Handle with care – To prevent your hair from being Pulled out, don’t pull it! Sounds like stupid advice, but ‘hair dynamics’ could mean that even long dirty hair, or hair wrapped around super soft sponge rollers, is being put under too much force / stress and may be pulled out. Think about what pulls your hair, and don’t do it.
  • Pony-tails must be kept very loose, and always use non-metal hair elastics like 4mm Blax Snag Free Hair Elastics or a ribbon.
  • Obviously, don’t get all your hair cut off! Play style and length by ear, but I would recommend getting your hair cut in a style so you can allow it to dry naturally. And that usually means: medium short. It’ll make life much easier for a whole load of reasons.
  • How to wash your hair during chemotherapy: Wash it twice a week as a maximum. Use lukewarm, tepid water. Apply a very small amount of shampoo to the scalp/hair roots and very gently massage – don’t worry too much about the ends. Only give one wash, rinse very thoroughly. Pat hair dry, don’t rub with towel.
  • Don’t wash your hair under a power shower.
  • Always use a very small amount of conditioner (for normal hair) (whether you need it or not) and comb your hair Very Gently under the running water.
  • Personally, I would recommend that you don’t use leave-in conditioners, or any product that is normally left in your hair like: hairspray, setting lotion, gel, mousse and wax, dry shampoo, volumising and shine shampoo, etc., because they may cause product build-up.
  • One of my clients said, the current advice is to not wash your hair 2 days before or 2 days after chemotherapy.
  • Use a pure, mild, acid balanced shampoo and conditioner (PH about 5.00 – 7.00). I like Timotei Pure Shampoo contains no silicones, parabens or colourants. Does contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate. On the other hand, I recommend Urtekram Children’s Shampoo and conditioner, get it from
  • Please be aware that the name baby or children’s shampoo, doesn’t necessarily mean mild and acid balanced – some of them are alkaline (above PH 7)!
  • Parabens are preservatives and are used to restrict the growth of yeasts, molds and bacteria.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES) – an oil dispersant, detergent and surfactant, it is used in soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and hundreds of cosmetic and beauty products. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
  • Don’t leave any shampoo or conditioner on your scalp or in your hair, always rinse thoroughly.
  • Most hairdressing products are designed to be rinsed out.
  • If your hair gets very knotty, comb your hair from the ends first and work your way towards the roots. Never, ever, tug.
  • If you really need to dry and style your hair with a hair-dryer: use the lowest heat setting, gentlest speed and for God’s sake take off the nozzle.
  • All my hairstyles can be dried/styled by just using your fingers, hands; you don’t need to use brushes, they tend to catch and pull.
  • Feed You Hair, Eat A Rainbow: Diet doesn’t only effect your health, but also your hair – feed it! Eat: peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango, papaya, apricots, blueberries, sardines, salmon, pumpkin & ground flax seeds, walnuts and wheat germ – I’m talking, lots of multi-coloured fruit and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds and grains.
  • I advise you to:
    • Leave longer for your hair appointment, so I can take my time to be gentle with your hair.
    • Try having your hair cut dry, without washing. It makes no difference to me or the outcome of your style, but it may help your hair a little? Wash it after the cut and allow it to dry naturally.
    • Still have your hair cut every four to five weeks, it’s important to keep your hair at the optimum length, plus I can keep an eye on the condition of your hair.
    • Obviously you must avoid all permanent tinting, permanent waving (all chemical processes) until at least three months after your chemotherapy treatment finishes. However, there is such a thing as a water rinse (they’re like the old fashioned coloured setting lotion): Roux Fanci-Full Temporary Rinse. They’re great for toning down and blending gray hair and roots. And just like a setting lotion they wash out.
    • Have a gander in Waitrose for your hair care products, they’ve got a very good selection. Don’t confuse Waitrose Pure Shampoo for Timotei Pure Shampoo.

That’s it! If you would like to talk with me personally, please get in contact x

How To Stop Washing Your Hair Every Day

Are you washing your hair every day? @WestrowHair tweeted a slightly gloomy and tongue-in-cheek article that carries the title, The 14 eternal struggles of having to wash your hair every day and with the subtitle, “I know it strips the hair of its essential oils, but it’s either that or I look like I suffer from the bubonic plague.” by Catriona Harvey-Jenner @CatHarveyJenner.

I fully understand that washing your hair every day isn’t necessarily enjoyable, but I was saddened by Catriona’s comment, “It’s not a choice you know.” I don’t know Catriona or her hair. I hope this reply to Cat’s article will get her thinking.

Greasy hair is a surprisingly big topic; it’s also a topic that I think about every time I cut hair (I’ll explain that later)!

Just in case you don’t know: the grease, sebum, is secreted through pores in your skin by the sebaceous glands – they’re all over your body apart from the palms and the soles of your feet. Sebum protects the skin from water (getting in and out), and is antibacterial and antifungal – basically, it’s bloody good stuff. Hair moves sebum from its roots to its ends V.quickly.

Washing your hair every day? My comments on Catriona’s article

I’ll follow/use Cat’s list headings – read her article first and then you’ll see where I’m coming from.

You have to wash your hair every day:
​It is perfectly OKAY to wash your hair every day. If you are washing your hair every day, are you washing it correctly? See: The secret of perfect hair: shampoo it CORRECTLY! Most of the people I know who have issues with greasy hair, and wash their hair every day, only give their hair one wash – you need to wash it twice!

Unfortunately washing hair takes time, plus it needs drying, the whole process could easily take an hour; yeah that’s a struggle every morning.

You get through a lot of shampoo:
When washing hair, always use the smallest amount of shampoo possible and wash it twice – More shampoo is never better. Make sure you’re using the correct shampoo for your hair type. Expensive, celebrity shampoos aren’t better – £3.99 or £39.99 there’s not a lot of difference; you don’t get what you pay for! However, you may stumble across an expensive shampoo that you really like and suits your hair, that’s a bummer. Don’t get taken in by all the hair and fashion industry bollocks.

You don’t understand how people can get away with washing it once or twice a week:
Washing ones hair two, three or four times a week is about normal!!! However, my grandmother (1906 – 1981) washed her hair fortnightly, and I used to wash my hair twice a day: in the morning before work and again in the evening after sports.

A lot of people wash their hair every other day, that means: washing your hair four times in week 1, and three times in week 2 (a 14 day cycle).

BTW, body oil, sebum, is naturally healthy! Greasy hair is healthy hair.

Yeah, we know it strips the hair of its essential oils:
Yeah, well, the essential oils, if that’s what you want to call them, are continually being secreted from the sebaceous glands. Washing your hair every day is not going to do any harm. Equating hair with essential oils is almost total bollocks – some people have little to no sebum, and their hair is perfectly okay. You could always use a minuscule drop of hair conditioner or Argan oil on the extreme ends?

And we’re aware it’s a habit we’ve got to break:
In my humble opinion: it’s not the habit of washing your hair that’s the problem, it’s the addiction to the feeling of bouncy, fluffy hair that is the issue – especially if your hair type and style wants to be flat and floppy.

If you want to wash your hair every day, that’s perfectly okay.

Festivals are a no-go:
Absolute Bollocks. Get stuck in. I was going to try and make a music festival joke quoting Cat’s, “greasy monstrosity,” but I won’t!

You’ve heard hair is self-cleaning:
That’s not strictly true – but in a perfect world it is. The problem is pollution; particulate matter, often very corrosive, that stick to the grease on the hair shaft and needs to be removed with a detergent/shampoo.

Work related particulate matter may also be a problem.

Dry shampoo just doesn’t cut the mustard:
Dry shampoo has its place, but it’s certainly Not for everyone – I’d say it works better on blondes! It can give some body to thin hair. Calling all brunettes: if you’ve got a problem with greasy hair, steer clear of dry shampoo.

Neither does ‘wearing it up’:
Chignons work much better on dirty hair, which is always an issue for brides. If you’ve got greasy Mel C bits hanging down over your face, you’re not doing it correctly – talk to your hairdresser for tips.

​You thought it was just a teenage phase:
At this point I’ve got to ask, ​’Have you got over active sebaceous glands?’ If you suffer from acne, you may have. Take a look at your diet and lifestyle. Stress, junk food, alcohol and cigarettes will fuck your skin and hair.

Hormonal fluctuations caused by menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, illness and medication can/often cause an increase in sebum secretion.

Sometimes you can get away with just wetting your hair in the shower and not washing it:
For me this is a revealing statement. No shampoo in the house: use an incredibly small amount of washing-up liquid (it’s stronger than shampoo).

If you can get away with just wetting the hair, I really wouldn’t bother – rinsed and blow-dried hair is horrid, worse.

Baths are simply not possible:
Yeah, don’t wash your hair in bath water.

If we don’t wash our hair, we face leaving the house looking something like this:
No comment!

This kind of comment is just ignorant. IT’S NOT A CHOICE YOU KNOW:
No comment! But it is always your choice.

How To Stop Washing Your Hair Every Day

  • Get a new hairstyle – mingin looking hair is almost always caused by the wrong choice of hairstyle.
  • Identify if you really have got over active sebaceous glands (causes acne, see doctor). If you wash your hair in the morning and then it loses its bounce somewhere between lunch and dinner, that could be normal. Look at your hair type and style – talk to your hairdresser.
  • I said, “it’s a topic that I think about every time I cut hair,” that is because hair type is crucial to style – long, thin, naturally straight, fine, mousy-brown, greasy and damaged hair isn’t going to retain a bouncy and fluffy state past lunchtime. Talk to your hairdresser and get the correct haircut for your hair type.
  • Look at your lifestyle (stress) and diet; eat: peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango, papaya, apricots, blueberries, sardines, salmon, pumpkin & ground flax seeds, walnuts and wheat germ – I’m talking, lots of multi-coloured fruit and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds and grains. Cut down on the alcohol, onions and garlic.
  • Product build-up may also be an issue (even some shampoos can leave a residue). The most common cause for dull, drab hair is product overload. Start by shampooing your hair with a clarifying, anti-residue shampoo, which should remove up to 70% of the residue left from hair products.
  • After shampooing, try giving your hair a final rinse with V.cold water; it will delay the flow of sebum. However, a hot blow-dry will reverse the effect, so keep that cool too – Heat makes oil flow faster (inc. central heating)!
  • Don’t use a conditioner unless the ends are overly tangled, and then only a very little on the tips.
  • Loads of fine, bleached highlights are brilliant for adding body to long(ish) hair, therefore enabling the hair to hold more sebum before it flattens.
  • Short hair tends to be much easier to cope with generally, obviously it washes and dries faster.
  • A great habit to get in to: pick a day of the week to get yourself outside in the fresh air, and don’t wash your hair – No hats please – Your hair will smell of ozone, lovely.

If you’ve got a question on this subject, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Straighten Hair Naturally

After reading 6 ways to straighten your hair naturally by Katherine Martinko @feistyredhair on TreeHugger, I had to write this response, simply because of the missing information:

I totally agree with Katherine Martinko when she says, “…many of the tools used to straighten hair, such as heat and chemical straighteners, are really bad for your hair. Over time, they dry it out, split the ends…” For me beautiful straight hair begins, with: A good hair cut. Correctly cleansed & conditioned hair. A perfectly executed blow-dry.

Healthy Hair, hair that is in really good condition, tends to be easier to keep straight than damaged hair! Damaged ends are often slightly curly. Have a gander at: My Top Ten Hairdressing Tips.

Read Katherine’s article, then you’ll understand my response.

Straighten Hair Naturally – SlashHair’s Tips

  1. Brush wet hair until it dries:
    After washing and conditioning your hair (see: The secret of perfect hair), give it a perfectly executed gentle blow-dry. That means take your time, small sections; point the hair-dryer down the hair shaft (from root to end); throw away that fucking heat concentrating nozzle; use a good quality hairbrush like a Denman Brush. Tip: always comb hair after washing and conditioning as brushing can rip wet tangled hair.
  2. Wrap wet hair tightly:
    Wrapping hair is not that easy, there’s a certain technique needed to get it smooth. The idea is to use ones head as one great big hair roller; the problem is: the hair needs to be re-wrapped in the opposite direction, maybe two or three times, during the drying process; otherwise the hair will be bouffant on one side and flat as a witch’s tit the other! You’ll need one or two big rollers in the crown. Tip: don’t secure the wrap with bobby pins, it will cause marks, use a triangular hair net instead.
  3. Set your hair in large hair rollers:
    Depending on your hair length, I’d recommend 76mm (3″) hair Rollers. Katherine is absolutely right, your hair must be completely dry before you remove the rollers (BTW, it’s the same when wrapping your hair. And it could take 12 hours to air dry depending on thickness). Tip: use a combination of blow-dry mousse and a few drops of Argon Oil as a setting aid; after removing rollers brush your hair well in all directions and conclude by giving your hair a light, warm blow-dry (same when wrapping).
  4. Use overnight hair hands:
    Don’t do what Katherine suggests, in the end it’ll damage your hair because even non-metal hair elastics exert a stress! It would be better for your hair to have one thick low plait (braid) fastened with a soft ribbon at the end. Obviously, your hair will not end up being straight, it’ll be wavy. Tip: use a few drops of Argon Oil to keep fluffy ends under control before plaiting.
  5. Twist hair into a bun:
    Steer clear of this because in the end it won’t work. Not only that, but it may actually damage your hair due to extra stress caused by the hair elastic! Straightening the hair with a ‘twisted’ chignon takes quite a lot of skill. Very difficult to do on ones own hair, challenging for a hairdresser. Requires the use of a hair product. Tip: the continual use of hair clips, pins, elastics and ribbons (regular point of contact) is bad for your hair.
  6. Make a natural straightening mask:
    Sorry, but a natural straightening mask is absolutely, totally Bollocks. It’s a con. It will not work. Save the milk and honey for your bedtime drink. As I said at the start, keeping your hair in good condition is a prerequisite to good looking hair. Tip: How To Get Super Shiny Hair.

Maybe it sounds like I didn’t like Katherine Martinko’s article, that’s not true! Actually I liked Katherine’s article, straighten hair naturally, I just wanted to clear up what I thought were a few caveats.

Things Your Hairdresser Really Wants You To Know

Things Your Hairdresser Really Wants You To Know

The bohemian M. Pring returning to normality. Eton 1980

The big problem for me with articles like Cosmopolitan’s 10 things your hairdresser REALLY wants you to know, is that they are usually stuffed full of hackneyed truisms like, ‘Number 3. You get what you pay for;’ and unfortunately, they don’t really come up with the goods. What does your hairdresser really want you to know?

Have a quick gander at 10 things…

First, hairdressing isn’t just about cutting and styling hair, it’s principally about communication – And The key hairdressing skill is the ability to listen; if your hairdresser is doing all the talking during the opening consultation, something is very, very wrong.

Second, hairdressing is both a personal service and a craft, I know that’s obvious, but it’s how your hairdresser combines those two that distinguishes them. For instance, you don’t want all personal service and no ability do you? Or maybe you do?

Third, your hairdresser has no favourites – I love you all equally. And that maybe is too much flannel!

Okay, now I’ll go through Cosmo’s 10 things:

1. Can you do my hair like this picture? Most hairdressers love pictures of hairstyles, they’re great conversation starters. You want a hairdresser honest enough to speak frankly and with the ability to create something suitable for you and your hair. All photographs need interpreting and put into context: who’s the person. why was the photograph taken. what are they selling. is it their normal, everyday hair. has the image been digitally remastered…? You don’t want a hairdresser who just says, “Yes” then proceeds to fuck it up!

2. I want to grow my hair: I used to say, “If you want to grow your hair it’s important to get it cut regularly to prevent it splitting.” But actually, that’s mostly bollocks – as with all things hairdressing, it very much depends on your hair. If you want to grow your hair, Don’t Get It Cut – it’ll grow faster! Do keep it in good condition though, and see your hairdresser very occasionally (4 months-ish), for style correction and a quick check through.

3. The truism, “You get what you pay for:” A salon is only as good as its worst hairdresser – one of my banalities! Looking for a new hairdresser? Recommendation is key, so chat with friends, and if you see someone with a great hairstyle, ask them where they get it cut – you’ll soon find a hairdresser or salon coming to the fore. Before making an appointment go in and have a look-see, get a free consultation with the stylist and pick up a price list – and let’s face it, if the stylist is good you’ll normally have to wait for an appointment.

4. The untruism “Salon (professional) products are better than High Street (retail) products:” Oh that that were true; it’s certainly what hairdressers desire and have been gunning for. I know it’s a cliché to say ‘economy of scale,’ but it’s the reality; big supermarkets (inc. Boots UK) have a much bigger buying power than your local independent hairdresser. There are hundreds of hair products on the market, your hairdresser, the expert, can talk you through them and recommend the right products for you. “Full of hidden chemicals,” is scaremongering. Talk with your stylist.

5. What is your hairstory? Make sure you talk with your hairdresser before you get your hair washed; this is called an opening consultation and is Very important. It doesn’t matter how well your stylist knows you, you should always receive and opening consultation. Having said that, a good hairdresser will know your recent hair history just by looking at it, and will confirm that by talking you through it. If your stylist is not listening during the opening consultation, run away quickly!

6. & 7. Condescending Hairdressers: I found numbers six and seven of ’10 things…’ (‘colouring and lightening are opposites’ and ‘you can’t lift colour with colour’), slightly patronising. Inferior hairdressers often use smoke, mirrors and bollocks to explain technical matters! Salons who use specialist colourists don’t usually have this as a problem.

My #7. Describing colour: Don’t try to describe your hair colour over the phone, it is virtually impossible. The colourist will want to see you, it’s also a good idea bring in a photograph if you want to discuss a colour.

8. Unhappy with your hair? Most hair issues are resolved at the opening consultation, but if you are not happy with your hair at any time, Tell Your Hairdresser As Soon As Possible; you Will get it sorted out – usually for free. A good hairdresser wants & likes to be informed of issues so they can improve themselves.

9. Client etiquette: Of course etiquette works both ways. So yeah, don’t be late, equally, tell your stylist if you’re on a schedule. Also, holding a mobile phone to your ear is distracting and awkward. But remember this: You are always right!

10. Love me, recommend me: Yes, the hairdressing industry does rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations. And Yes, you will normally receive a discount off your next appointment for referrals.

10 things your hairdresser REALLY wants you to know was written by Annie Davies for Cosmopolitan magazine on 3 June, 2015 @ 10:44 AM

My Top Ten Hairdressing Tips

hairdressing tips - Model: Anik, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson. London - Willie Christie's Studio

Hairdressing Tips – Don’t Try This At Home!

I often get asked online for hairdressing tips, I usually try to come up with something that matches the occasion! However, a client asked me, what is my top hairdressing tip! I wish I’d said, “it’s not that important.” Here are my ten, fairly random, top hairdressing tips – enjoy!

1. You’re Beautiful, I’m beautiful

Everyone has the potential to be beautiful because true beauty comes from within – it’s not about hair, make-up or fashion. It’s about how you feel about yourself and others. Confidence, Empathy and Love are the key words here. Be yourself and release yourself from the constrains of conformity – You’re Already Beautiful, that’s what makes my work so easy.

2. Obviously A Professional Haircut

The key to good looking hair is the haircut! But I would say that wouldn’t I. Get your hair cut every four to six weeks to preserve the style, and every three months to keep it healthy.

3. Gungy Hair

If your hair’s mingin and looking dull, you’ve probably got some form of product build-up or overload; wash it with a deep cleansing ‘clarifying shampoo’. I recommend you use a clarifying shampoo once every two to four weeks to wash away residue – Wella Pure Shampoo and Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash are good. Always use a compatible conditioner after deep cleansing because it turns your hair to straw!

4. Feed You Hair, Eat A Rainbow

Diet doesn’t only effect your health, but also your hair. If your hair is fucked up, feed it! Eat: peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango, papaya, apricots, blueberries, sardines, salmon, pumpkin & ground flax seeds, walnuts and wheat germ – I’m talking, lots of multi-coloured fruit and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds and grains.

If you are losing your hair, start off by taking a multi-vitamin supplement, then check your diet and lifestyle.

5. There Are Three Products Everyone Should Have: Dry Shampoo, Argon Oil and L’Oreal Elnet Satin Hairspray

Dry shampoo is great for oil build up, it gives more time between washes and gives volume to fine hair – if left in! I like L’Oréal Professional Techni Art Fresh Dust and Batiste Original Dry Shampoo (Matt finish, slightly dusty, better on blondes than on brunettes).

Love hair oil – Argon to baby oil it doesn’t really matter what oil. Apply a microscopically small amount of oil to the scalp (1-3 drops for fine hair to 1.5ml on thick wavy hair). Put two drops of oil, say, on to your fingertips and massage gently into the scalp – Not the hair (in reality the oil will mainly be on the hair roots)! The oil will move down the hair shaft quickly and naturally to control the fluff and frizz.

(2 drops of oil plus dry shampoo is totally brilliant for chignons!)

Hairspray is the condiment of the fashionista. A tiny dash of hair sauce and you’re done! Elnet Hairspray is outstanding. Spray lightly on fingers and gently smooth down the fluffy ends.

6. For The Best Hair Day You’ve Had In Months

After shampooing and before conditioning, use a citric acid rinse. Prepare the rinse in a plastic measuring jug by completely dissolving approximately 1/2 (half) teaspoonful of citric acid crystals into 200ml of boiling water. Add 300ml of cold water (you’ve now got 500ml of warm citric acid solution) – give it a stir. (You could use an organic cider vinegar rinse instead if you want: 18ml vinegar + 500ml warm water). Carefully pour the citric acid rinse over your hair, avoid getting it in the eyes, leave it on for one minute, rinse off well with cool-cold water… then condition your hair as normal – voilà.

7. Chuck Away That Bloody Hair Dryer Nozzle

Give yourself a break from the dryer and let your hair dry naturally when ever possible; every haircut I’ve ever done will air dry perfectly well. And by-the-way, that fuckin’ nozzle on your professional hair dryer, concentrates the heat to damage your hair – chuck it away now, as it’s almost impossible for you to dry your hair yourself like a professional.

There’s a trend for blow dry bars – you’re not necessarily cheating on your hairdresser, but your hairdresser should do a better job, simply because they know you. I charge about £40 and I’ll give you a free lesson at the same time – if you ask.

8. Use A Toothbrush As A Back-Combing Brush On Thin Hair

Let’s face it, fine, thin hair may need a little extra help to look fuller. Regular back-combing tends to damage the hair, especially when one uses a comb (never under any circumstances use a metal comb for back-combing), however, a soft toothbrush is gentle and easy to use – BTW, just back-comb the roots!

9. Hair Bands Damage Hair – Repetitive Strain Injury

If you continually use one of those cheap ponytail hair bands with a metal joint, day after day, it will always damage your hair at the point of use/contact! I recommend using non-metal hair elastics like 4mm Blax Snag Free Hair Elastics or a ribbon! Nuff said!

10. Split Ends Can Not Be Mended

Split ends can’t be mended, they need to be cut off – not singed off with a lit taper.

However, a quick temporary superficial fix is a freezing cold acid hair bath (like in #6, but freezing-fucking-cold), plus a good deep-conditioner (like Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Masque), plus a leave-in treatment (like Redken Extreme Anti-Snap). And the stylist’s secret is all in the blow-dry – point the hair dryer downwards (from roots to ends) and dry without over heating!

11. Prevention Is Usually Better Than The Cure

That’s it! Need help? Get in Touch.

Look Good At Interviews

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Campaign for Real Beauty

Sali Hughes – @salihughes, a prolific and talented writer, broadcaster and blogger (who I follow on Twitter BTW), Tweeted:

I was immediately transported back to my school days and our ridiculous careers advice officer. He looked like the cross between a 1960s Russian spy, a lowly civil servant, a bundle of old rabbit tweed socks and Johnny Morris (of Animal Magic fame. A BBC Bristol children’s series running from 1962-1983). My older sister was the first to encounter him. “What do you want to do when you leave school?” he asked in the voice of a hamster. “I want to be a primary school teacher,” replied my sister. “Well, I don’t think you should set your goals too high; I would advise you to apply to Woolworths,” he said in the voice of Dotty the Lemur. My sister came home crying, distraught at the thought of her miserable future. “I told him I want to be a primary school teacher and I’m Going to BE a Fucking primary school teacher,” she sobbed and screamed petulantly. Brilliant. Obviously the careers advice officer was using reverse psychology; there he sat like a sack of King Edward spuds, but with the psychological profile of every child in the school at his fingertips. Evidently against my sister’s name they had, belligerent bitch, use reverse psychology! And of course it worked, she became a fucking primary school teacher! Against my name they had, Dreamer – tell him what he wants to hear! He was such a Tosser. However, that is still a long way from being told you look like a sexual predator. Was she, the careers teacher in question, overcome with political correctness (like I am) and didn’t know how to articulate her feelings? Did she just want to say, “No one is going to employ you looking like that, you silly little tart.” …Well it had to be said! Maybe the careers teacher was actually trying to help? It’s not usually straightforward, there is normally another side to the story – I’d like to hear it. ROGUE by Rihanna - sexually suggestive perfume ad.

ROGUE by Rihanna – sexually suggestive perfume ad. Pushing boundaries?

Here in the United Kingdom, we do live in an over sexualised world, just look at the latest erotic advertisement for Rihanna’s new perfume Rogue. It has been banned in the UK from areas where children are likely to see it – That’s going to work! Anyway, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled:

“While we did not consider the image to be overtly sexual, we considered that Rihanna’s pose, with her legs raised in the air, was provocative. Because of this, and the fact that Rihanna appeared to be naked except for high heels, we concluded that the ad was sexually suggestive and should have been given a placement restriction to reduce the possibility of it being seen by children.”

Children, girls especially, have a lot of unnecessary body image pressure on them – pressure that is meted out by many different industries. While Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry behave like ‘Porn Stars’ (it’s crazy, why do we let them corrupt our society?), young girls are being bullied and teased because of the way they look! As The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty says, “Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.” …And I think they should also say, “Where Confidence Is The Source Of Beauty.” Most People Are Beautiful. Here is my Hairdresser’s Tip of how to look for an interview: It’s all about projecting the Real You and a positive first impression – we all have different personas, but true beauty comes from within. Your look should fit the interview, if it’s the school careers teacher, well polished smart casual and following the school uniform policy to the letter. Generally speaking: a smart dark suit with hemline low enough so you can sit down comfortably, and with conservative shoes to match. Jewellery should be kept simple and not overtly distracting. Obviously a professional hairstyle – the key to your hair looking really good is the haircut! The goal is to be comfortable and natural, after getting your hair cut professionally you should easily be able to present a neat and polished look. If you’ve got difficult hair, it may be a good idea to get a blow dry the day before. Keeping the hair away from the face with a ponytail or a simple sleek chignon is a good idea for long hair. Keep the make-up looking chaste and the perfume sparingly light. All that said, why would anyone call a Normal Young Person a sexual predator, the phrase has such vile connotations and symbolism associated with it? Horrid.

[Edit] Just seen a picture of the young girl in question, she looks like you’d expect, Really Lovely (thought I’d share it with you) – good luck to her :-) xXx


How to take FIVE YEARS off your face, just by changing your parting | Mail Online

How to take FIVE YEARS off your face, just by changing your parting | Mail Online.

So true. Just to say centre partings can be a real no-no for people with long thin faces – it’s one of the big mistakes! Anyway, what we’re talking about here is creating a balanced ‘youthful’ look – hair length can also be an issue, as can colour.

The secret of perfect hair: shampoo it CORRECTLY!

Model: Anik, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson. London - Willie Christie's Studio

The other day a client told me about an article she had recently read: The secret of perfect hair: Use conditioner BEFORE you shampoo – Of course I had already read it!

The article basically explains the method of conditioning the hair before shampooing (I was going to summarise it, but please read it yourself) – By-the-way, it’s not a new idea, remember those hot (warm) oil conditioning treatments of the 1960s and 1970s?

You should also read Siobhan O’Connor’s article: How to Wash Your Hair Backwards. Have You Ever Tried It? – She gives an excellent quote by the late Horst Rechelbacher:

When you wash your hair, try using your conditioner first. If you want to go all the way, put oils on your scalp, give yourself a nice massage, and then comb it through. Next, wet it down, put conditioner all over your hair and then also all over your body. Wash yourself with the conditioner, then rinse it all off. Then, you use shampoo. Rinse it off as well, and you won’t need conditioner again. If your hair is tangly, put a little oil on your hands and then comb it through – that’s it. You will feel very pure. – True.

I have been in hairdressing all my life, I’ve heard and read a lot of bollocks about shampoos, shampooing, conditioners and conditioning, so here are my thoughts on this complex subject!

Firstly, there are a lot of variables, here are a few of the obvious:

  • The Water [hard-soft/temperature/pressure/pollutants].
  • The Shampoo and Conditioner [the multitude of formulations, PH etc., application/quantity and distribution, development time].
  • The Hair Type [Length (short-long), Density (number of), Diameter (thickness), Texture can mean: Afro-textured hair/tightly coiled/kinky, curly, wavy or straight (natural or chemically processed) and the degrees thereof; and within those groups there are three types of texture, coarse, medium and fine. Colour (natural or chemically processed). Condition (greasy-dry/healthy-badly damaged). So, for example you could have: long, thin, naturally straight, fine, tinted blonde, greasy and badly damaged hair].
  • The Dirt [natural body oil (sebum), styling products, environmental pollutants]
  • Your Modus Operandi [technique/frequency/etc.].

How to wash and condition your hair

You’ve got to pick the correct shampoo for your hair type! Put a small amount (about the size of a ten pence piece, more is not better) of shampoo on the palm of your hand, rub hands together and apply evenly to the dry (not wet) hair. Massage the hair and scalp gently and thoroughly. Rinse very well with fresh clean warm water (hot is not good and definitely not bath water). Repeat using slightly less shampoo. Rinse very well with fresh clean warm water. If the shampoo didn’t lather on the second application, repeat a third time using even less shampoo, it should lather this time, if not, do it again because your hair is obviously dirty. Rinse very well with fresh clean warm water. Never leave shampoo on the hair to process unless there is a specific requirement.

For the best hair day you’ve had in months: After shampooing and before conditioning, use a citric acid rinse. Prepare the rinse in a plastic measuring jug by completely dissolving approximately 1/2 (half) teaspoonful of citric acid crystals into 200ml of boiling water. Add 300ml of cold water (you’ve now got 500ml of warm citric acid solution) – give it a stir. You could use an organic cider vinegar rinse instead if you want. Carefully pour the citric acid rinse over your hair, avoid getting it in the eyes, leave it on for one minute, rinse off well with cool-cold water.

If your hair is not squeaky clean do not condition it, re-wash it! You’ve got to pick an hydrating conditioner that is harmonious / compatible with your shampoo type and brand. Put a minuscule amount of conditioner on the palm of your hand, rub hands together and apply evenly to the to the hair – where required, often to the ends only. The quantity of conditioner used is actually determined by the hair type (the size of a ten pence piece is far, far too much). Comb the conditioner gently through the hair. Leave on for the required time – 1-3 minutes. Rinse off very well with warm/cool water.

After washing, rinsing and conditioning pat the hair dry. Apply a microscopically small amount of oil to the scalp (1-3 drops fine hair to 1.5ml on thick wavy hair). Put two drops of oil, say, into the palm of your hand; dip in fingertips from your other hand. Touch both sets of fingertips together for an even distribution and massage gently into the scalp – Not the hair! The oil will move down the hair shaft quickly and naturally.

Washing the hair three times a week is normal, however your lifestyle may change this?

Obviously that is not the end of the subject, there are a number of individual problems. Washing your hair in reverse, reverse shampooing, may seem to solve the fine, greasy, lank hair problem in the short-term (because, it is common for people with fine, lank hair to over condition and have problems with product buildup), but I think you will find that in the long-term, reverse shampooing may damage chemically processed hair to the point of no return.

If you think you have a problem with your hair, the only way to determine its true condition and identify the proper course of treatment that is right for you and your hair, is to talk with your hairdresser. I can help you to achieve and maintain, healthy, beautiful and shiny hair that will grow stronger and live longer. I can also teach you how to safely use the different styling tools, like straighteners – that can potentially wreck your hair, so you can recreate a professional looking finish without buggering it up.

What do I do when my hair colour came out too dark?

© Model: Persephone, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson

I’ve been contacted by someone from Westminster, California, who’s had a problem with her hair colour after going to a cheap hairdresser in Little Saigon! “How do I lighten hair that has been died too dark?”

Firstly, I’ve got to say, I don’t even talk to my own clients over the phone about hair colour because, colour is almost impossible to talk about behind its back, it needs to be there in the room with you, face to face. Colour changes its personality according to the person who’s looking at it, so when colour’s involved it’s ménage à trois and loads of conversation!

I’ll start off with the quick and slightly unrealistic fix:

Wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo (like: Pantene. maybe: Head and Shoulders) twice, don’t apply conditioner. Comb it through very carefully because it will probably be knotty – take your time, no tugging. Blow-dry your hair really, really smooth and straight (don’t use too much heat. don’t use straighteners). O.K. now you’re going to repeat that, wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo twice but, this time use a good quality moisturising conditioner (comb the conditioner through, leave it on for a couple of minutes). Apply a minuscule amount (1 ml) of oil to the scalp (via fingertips). Blow-dry as normal!

What you will then have done is remove any excess tint stain that’s sticking to the scalp and hair shaft. It will make it slightly lighter, but it will not change the hue – you wanted a light cinnamon/ auburn and got a dark brown/ purple, they are two different types of red, one’s a yellow red, the other is a blue red!

Don’t be tempted to go down the Sun-In or bleach road, and lemon juice will only lighten it fractionally and uncontrollably.

All permanent hair colours lighten with time and sun; a tint normally lifts up a shade after about two weeks (BTW Semi-permanent hair colours are almost gone after about two weeks). You can repeat the hair-washing regime for a week – max.

Just thought I’d better mention a product, One ‘N Only’s Color Fix. It’s a gentle way to remove permanent hair colour! However, I’ve no idea what it’d do to your hair colour?

I would recommend that you go back to the hairdresser in Little Saigon and complain A.S.A.P. Then wait for two weeks for your hair colour to lighten and for your hair and scalp to return to its normal state. Then go to a reputable hairdresser – it’s the proper way to get your problem sorted out – don’t try to do it yourself!

I hope that helps a little Eddie, please feel free to ask if you need more help :) xxx

Hair Loss – How can I stop my hair falling out?

hair loss | Michael Pring losing his hair, Eton 1979

I got asked a question by Anne this afternoon, “How can I stop my hair falling out?” Here’s my potted reply!

Firstly, I’ve got to say, check your diet. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is very important for healthy hair, skin and nails. Hair loss is often exacerbated by inadequate nutrition – vitamins for the hair: A, B complex, E and C. Minerals: iron, iodine, zinc and copper. Get them from food, not pills; however, for a quick fix belt and braces approach that won’t kill you, take a multivitamin and mineral tablet!

Hair Loss Is Often Very Upsetting

The general name for hair loss is Alopecia. Hair loss is very common amongst women as well as men. In fact, 98% of women who have given birth suffer from postnatal hair loss, which is natural, normal and almost always grows back.

The main cause of hair loss amongst women is hormonal (postnatal hair loss) and the main cause of hair loss amongst men is pattern baldness (Alopecia Androgenetica) which is caused by genetics and stress. The common causes for hair loss are (not in any particular order): hormonal, genetics, stress/ anxiety, poor diet, mineral deficiency, illness, scalp infection, medication and severe trauma (i.e. after surgery or illness).

Don’t confuse hair loss with natural moulting. It is normal to lose around 100 hairs per day, if your hair is long and you wash your hair once a week, you could notice quite a lot of hair in the plug hole! Once a year you might find you are losing extra hair caused by natural moulting. If you have problems with hair loss, you or your hairdresser will normally notice a bald/thin area. The first course of action is to start taking a multivitamin and mineral tablet, visit your doctor and/or trichologist.

The Solution

All I’ve got to say is, minoxidil lotion (Rogaine®/ Regaine®)! Regaine is an effective hair loss treatment for men; obviously it’s suitable for women too.

I have looked around for an affordable, effective and an all-natural product to help my clients who have thinning hair and baldness; I found and I recommend, Pro-Genenesis and – with over 100 products to choose from!

They say, “The Pro-Genenesis Hair Enhancement System is a clear, topical solution prepared by a special curing process which concentrates the biologically active components of select plant enzymes, while preserving their natural organic state; specifically formulated to stop abnormal hair loss and promote the growth of thick, healthy hair for *men and women*.”

OK, let’s face it, out of the profusion of hair loss remedies that are marketed, only a very few actually work; always stop, think and proceed with caution before you actually buy.