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Your hair will thank you..

11 Aug

Sometimes when you’re looking for hair products, the selection can be overwhelming. There are so many brands and products to choose from, not to mention that you may not know what’s best for your hair. That’s where salons come to the rescue.

Although salon-exclusive products are more pricy, they also come with so many advantages. Did you know that salon products are more concentrated (they contain less water) so you use less when styling… and they last longer! And most salon products are also sulfate-free, which means that they won’t strip your colour (saving you money in the long run!)

The most important thing about buying your products from a salon is the expert advice you get. Good salons will happily help you choose the right products for your specific hair type without selling you stuff you don’t need. Stylists also explain why the product is right for you and how to use it, so you don’t feel clueless. And most salons offer you a product guarantee – if you find that you hate what you’ve bought or that it just doesn’t work for you, you can exchange it. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

So, here is Haartek Salon’s pick of the week:

SCHWARZKOPF  REPAIR RESCUE SEALED ENDS

As featured in September’s issue of Lou Lou magazine, Schwarzkopf’s Sealed Ends is one of Haartek’s all-time favourite products… and is used religiously by many of our stylists.

The BC Repair Rescue line that Sealed Ends is part of is specially formulated for dry, damaged hair. It not only repairs the cells within the hair, but it also recreates the hair surface, returning it to its optimal level of health. Sealed Ends helps to soften the hair, controls frizz and fly-aways, and gives you the easy comb-out that everyone wants. Its Amino Cell Rebuild technology recovers the hair’s natural elasticity by strengthening the structure of the hair cell.

How to use: Work sparingly into the ends of your hair and do not rinse. It can also be applied to dry hair for general smoothing and sealing.

Eat your way to healthy hair!

15 Jun

Is your diet helping or hurting your hair?

What you eat affects your physical state in every sense, and your hair is no exception. According to Ladies’ Home Journal, you need a mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to promote good scalp and hair health.

Here are six foods to help you get shiny, healthy hair:

Poultry & Beef

Since proteins are the building blocks of your hair, getting enough high-quality protein is essential to avoid weak, brittle hair. Chicken and turkey are excellent healthy options and if you don’t have high cholesterol, eating red meat twice a week can promote optimal hair health with B vitamins, iron and zinc.

Whole Grains

Another great source of zinc, iron and B vitamins are complex carbohydrates that feed you energy over a longer period of time… and your scalp does need energy! Whole wheat bread, fortified whole grain cereals and brown, short grain rice are great options.

Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12 and iron, making it one of the best foods for beauty benefits! According to the American Dietetic Association, these vitamins and minerals are essential to support scalp health. Not a fan of fish? You could try one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed!

Dark Green Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are good for us. And they’re good for our hair too! Greens like broccoli, spinach and Swiss chard not only provide you with vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, but they produce sebum, an oily substance secreted by your hair follicles – basically, the body’s natural hair conditioner! Adventurous? Try seaweed  or a kelp supplement for your dose of iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc, sodium and potassium.

Beans

Forget that old rhyme about beans and focus on the health benefits! Legumes like kidney beans and lentils provide protein, iron, zinc and biotin to promote hair growth.

Nuts

For a great source of zinc (a deficiency of which can lead to shedding) try cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts. The latter also includes alpha-linolenic, an omega-3 fatty acid, that can help to condition your hair! And did you know that brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp? Include some of these in yoghurt or cottage cheese at breakfast or lunch!

The key to good hair health is the same as overall body health – balance. If you consume too much of a vitamin or mineral, you may create problems with hair growth, so make sure you have a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, omega-3 fatty acids and low-fat dairy to keep your hair looking its best.

And beware of crash diets with super low-calorie counts and a stressful lifestyle. If you lose a lot of weight quickly or have continued high stress, you may affect the hair cycle and increase shedding. Diets and stress are bad enough without hair loss!

Many salon brands are also aware of the benefits of these foods and include natural ingredients to heal hair from the outside in. Ask your stylists which products include the right natural ingredients for your type of hair in addition to a balanced diet to give it that extra boost.

So now you know what it takes to keep your hair naturally gorgeous. Now only if we didn’t continuously blow dry, curl and flat iron it. Hmm… I guess that’s what treatments are for!  

Crusaders in the life-long quest to de-frizz…

26 May

Taming frizzy, unruly, poofy hair is a life-long quest for many women, especially in damp and humid climates. Just ask female Torontonians in the middle of July.

Straighteners and relaxers are not new to the beauty industry, but in the past they have been very intense and full of chemicals. Although the results from last year’s breakthrough Keratin treatment, The Brazilian Blowout, were amazing, the product was later pulled from Canadian and European markets due to unacceptable levels of formaldehyde compromising the health of consumers and stylists applying the treatment over a long period of time.

Four months later, there is now a formaldehyde-free Keratin formula promising to grant the wishes of the frizzy haired. Dióra Professionnel has introduced their Keratherapy line of treatments and products as a safe alternative to traditional keratin treatments. Keratherapy is free of formaldehyde, urea, aldehydes and other harsh chemicals and is in compliance with The European Union, Canadian and other international health and safety regulations worldwide.

It boasts a formula that is derived from a blend of orange peel oil and Natural Certified Organic ingredients including: jojoba oil; aloe vera; green tea; and pomegranate and marigold extracts. The products also use Moroccan argan oil, pure keratin, collagen, amino acids and proteins to rebuild, and add strength and elasticity to the hair.

Although Dióra calls this “the evolution of brazilian keratin,” the Keratherapy available in Canada is not a straightening treatment like the Brazilian Blowout. Its results can’t be compared to the old Keratin treatments that contained formaldehyde, or even the Intense Renewal Keratherapy treatment that is only available in the States; it will not eliminate curls or waves in the hair. It will, however, smooth, tame and de-frizz unruly hair for up to 12 weeks and the treatment reduces drying time in half. It can be used on coloured or highlighted hair and it, in fact, helps to lock in the colour and extend the vibrancy of blonde or “high fashion” shades.

At Haartek, the whole procedure takes about two hours and you can’t wash or put any product in your hair for 48 hours. Dióra offers a Keratin Infused Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner that is free of sulfates, parabens, sodium chloride, propylene glycol, DEA and TEA, but any shampoo or conditioner that is sulfate free, like Kevin Murphy or Eufora, is safe to use after the treatment.

If you’re interested in getting any kind of straightening or de-frizzing treatment done, it’s best to consult with your stylist to see which is the right one for you.

But to all my fellow frizzy-haired friends, at least we know there are options out there that can help solve our dilemma, even just temporarily… ‘cos shaving my hair off is just not an option – my head is far too big.

Attached to your hair? Be good to it!

7 May

So now that you’ve thought about what you put your hair through (most of us, anyway), let’s talk about trying to fix the damage that has been caused.

If you blowdry, flatiron, curl or colour your hair, chances are that it’s coming out of the winter months a little dry, brittle or fried. And I think we can all agree that hair in that state is not very cooperative or great.

But rather than abusing it some more just hoping that the summer will fix the problem, why not try a treatment?

There are several options for coaxing your hair out of its fragile state – and the good news is that there are options for at the salon AND do-it-yourself.  The two most popular in-salon treatments at Haartek are the clay pack and a fabulous cocktail of minty-tingly revitalizers to repair and seal the cuticles of the hair.

In both cases, the time the treatments stay on your head varies, though with the cocktail the longer it stays the better.

The clay pack is great for fine hair needing some extra care and craving volume. There are three different kinds: a generic one that can be used on any hair colour; one with a lilac toner for cool blonde hues; and one with a gold toner to refresh golden hues in blondes. In all cases though, this treatment adds oomph, strength and fantastic shine.

In terms of a customized treatment cocktail there are a couple of options. Stylist Yuliya’s favourite in-salon treatment is Kevin Murphy’s Born Again. “It’s great for tortured, frizzy, unruly or chemically abused hair.” Like the clay pack, it adds great shine, but can also be customized by your stylist, tailoring the cocktail to your hair needs -  more protein, conditioning or moisture can be added. These additions are only available in the salon, as something like protein in the wrong amount can be extremely damaging to your hair.

The second option is Eufora’s Urgent Repair treatment. Unlike Born Again, which may weigh down fine hair, Urgent Repair is great for everybody. And it can also be customized in the same way - plus Eufora’s Beautifying Serum can be added too.

Treatments are especially recommended for those who colour or highlight their hair. Susan, a Director at Haartek, says, “It’s very important to have a treatment after your colour services. It helps to seal in the colour and condition your hair.” This means that the colour gets locked in and lasts longer because it won’t have any open cuticles to escape from.

Leave-in conditioners are also a great way to protect your hair from all the abuse it takes, and they’ve come a long way in the last few years. Gone are the days when a leave-in cream or spray would leave your locks greasy and weigh them down. Not only do they provide excellent UV protection, but they also seal in any conditioner that you have used in the shower. Remo, co-owner of Haartek, insists that a leave-in conditioner like Goldwell’s Kerasilk Instant Silk Fluid, Kevin Murphy’s Staying.Alive, KMS’ Colourvitality Colour Protect Spray or Eufora’s Hydration Leave-In Conditioner should be the first product you use when you get out of the shower. “It should go on before any other styling product and before combing your hair to evenly distribute the conditioner and to help get through tangles.”

The nice thing about these treatments is that you can use Born Again, Urgent Repair, Beautifying Serum and the leave-in conditioners for hair maintenance at home, ensuring that you always have healthy hair. And when you come into the salon for your services and need that extra TLC, your stylist can add a customized treatment that your hair will thank you for.

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