Tag Archives: Protection

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.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, throw down your hair…

14 Jul

Do you drool over Kim Kardashian’s luscious locks? Envy Gisele, not for her model bod, but because her hair is heavenly? Do you suffer from feelings of inadequacy because you were born with fine hair and wonder how celebrities and models were blessed with hair that just doesn’t quit?

Pssst… I have a secret to tell you. Most of the time, it’s not all theirs.

A lot of celebrities opt for hair extensions to amp up their look. Self-proclaimed to be the “Rolls Royce” of hair extensions, Great Lengths boasts not only the most advanced and gentle method of application, but the best quality hair available. Although more expensive, Great Lengths uses Indian Temple Remi hair, which is in virgin condition and donated to the temple. The difference between the temple hair and cheaper extensions is that the hair is cut and gathered in a braid, ensuring all hair cuticles are facing the same direction which prevents tangling with your own hair.

Great Lengths are available in three strand sizes (standard, fine and extra-fine), five lengths (20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 cm.) and 35 hand-blended shades and 14 “fashion” shades. And unlike other brands, they don’t bleach the hair in the de-pigmentation process which damages the hair structure, and adds pigmentation in a way that ensures colour won’t fade out. Learn more here

But using high-quality extensions doesn’t matter unless the method of application is reliable and natural looking. Great Lengths uses a patented procedure that bonds the extensions to your own hair using a polymer compound with a molecular structure similar to that of human hair. It moves and behaves like your own hair, ensuring a strong hold without damaging it. Unlike cheaper alternatives, these polymer chains are more resistant to heat and water – though our stylists do warn that if you expose the bonds to chemicals like chlorine while swimming or go to tanning beds frequently, wear does occur and non-reusable extensions aren’t for you. However, over the course of five years trying out different, more affordable brands, they found Great Lengths has the best application method, the best quality hair and stays in the longest. “There’s a reason they’re number one,” said Sandra, one of two stylists at Haartek certified with Great Lengths.

Because Great Lengths has this patented technology, their extensions are only available through Great Lengths Certified Extension Artists. So you don’t have to worry about inferior or incorrect application. Learn more here “We  learned the different variations of extensions, how to blend them and also how to use them for thickening as well as length,” said Sandra. “It really shows you if you have what it takes to do extensions,” added Patrizia, our other certified stylist. “You have to have a lot of patience, focus… and flair!”

Taking care of them is the key to making them last. It’s vital that you use the special loop brush included with the extensions: “If you do not brush properly, you will get dreadlocks,” said Patrizia. “And you need to brush from the scalp down to avoid knotting.” You also have to remember that even though extensions are made from real hair, they are still an attachment, so be gentle with them. “They’ll last for three to four months if you care for them properly,” said Sandra.

If you’re interested in getting extensions, book a consultation and discuss potential length, colour, upkeep and price. If you’re just interested in thickening, it can be from $400 to $600 and if you’re after thickening and length it’s $900 and up. “They’re definitely an investment,” said Patrizia. Keep in mind, though, they aren’t reusable.

Though it’s no secret that high quality extensions aren’t cheap, the benefits of spending the extra cash are definitely worth it if you truly want long, natural looking, shiny hair that lasts and is easy to maintain. Afterall, so few of us have full-time stylists at our beck-and-call for day-to-day gorgeousness… *sigh*

Sometimes going green is not a good thing.

6 Jul

Brace yourself, kiddos. It’s about to get all sciency up in here again.

We’re about to do our very own Mythbusters-esque venture in this post: Does chlorine really turn blonde hair green?

*cue exciting adventure/detective music*

While our budget is not high enough to rent a blonde to sit in several pools and hot tubs with hair immersed (nor are we that cruel to risk her colour), I have gotten to the bottom of this myth without empirical research (yes, I am that good).

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the chlorine in pools or hot tubs that turns natural or highlighted blonde hair green. What happens is that copper, either found in the water supply, metal pool fittings or plumbing, oxidizes and binds to the protein in the hair shaft, depositing its green colour. This also happens when pool water is corrosive because of low pH (acidic) or because the water is soft (low mineral content).

So, the sanitizer (chlorine) doesn’t directly turn hair green, but if the water is already corrosive, having a high level of sanitizer will increase the green effect. To combat this, the pool water balance level (not sanitizer level) should be adjusted. But fear not, you don’t have to be a scientist to maintain your pool – there is a scale called the Langlier index used to calculate how corrosive or scaling the water is, determining the proper levels of minerals needed in the water.

Confusing? Don’t worry. Here are some tips for preventing green hair from Patrizia, an Advanced Stylist at Haartek.

1. Wet your hair with fresh, clean water before swimming or hot tubbing. If the hair is already wet, it will help keep it from soaking up too much chlorinated water.

2. Apply a conditioner beforehand. This will seal the hair cuticle and prevent copper from binding to the hair.

3. Rinse your hair immediately after being in the pool or hot tub.

4. If you are regularly in the pool or hot tub, use a clarifying shampoo once a week.

5. And those of you who are daring to be retro, nothing beats an old-fashioned swimming cap to protect those golden locks. That, or not dunking your hair. Either way. Though, if you are a routine swimmer, Patrizia seriously recommends wearing a cap.

But what if you’re not careful and you come out of the pool looking like a Muppet? “Removing the green successfully depends on how porous your hair is,” says Haartek owner, Cosimo. “A clarifying shampoo can work, but sometimes your only option is to bleach it, go darker or cut it off, unfortunately.”

The moral of the story? “Take preventative measures to protect your colour,” says Patrizia. “And always check the balance level of the water.” Going green may be trendy… just not for the colour of your hair.

 

 

It’s summertime, and the living is easy…

30 Jun

The long weekend is here. And chances are, you’re spending time in the (hopefully) beautiful, sunny weather… preferably on a beach in Muskoka.

It’s no chance that this summer’s top hair trends like braids and messy top knots are perfect for a laid back cottage weekend. Here are some tips for cute, low maintenance hair styles, whether you’re enjoying a beer on the dock or having fun in the water.

Tie it up

Forget the boring ponytail this weekend and go for something a bit more fun – the top knot! Extremely low maintenance, the top knot only takes seconds and ensures your hair is out of your face while you’re having fun in the sun… plus, it’s perfect for the-day-after-washing hair! And with helpers like Goody Spin Pins, all it takes is for you to twist your hair into a bun, insert the pins, and you’re ready for the beach!

Braids

Braids have been hyped enough in past posts that you get the hint why we love them. Because it’s “the messier, the better”, they’re perfect for the beach, the boat or the campfire. Plus, you can wear a cute hat to protect your colour from fading and your face from getting sunburned! Our fav? The messy, side fishtail braid.

Beachy Waves

What could be more low maintenance than embracing your natural texture and letting your hair down? Textured, beachy waves are super sexy, trendy and perfect for lounging around the cottage. The key to success if you aren’t lucky enough to be frolicking in an ocean? A texture spray like Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray or KMS Sea Salt Spray. Psssssst… Wanna know a secret? These products are also perfect to add texture to your top knot or braid.

So now you know our favourite styles for the cottage. But even though your hair should be low-maintenance over the weekend, don’t forget you still need to take care of it! Bring a leave-in conditioner with UV protection to prevent your colour from fading and your hair from drying out in the sun. And if you don’t have a shower? Bring some dry shampoo to add oomph and texture to your summer style. No matter what your plans are for the long weekend, show your hair some love!

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!  

Redheads to the right of me, redheads to the left..

9 Jun

We all know that red is the “it” colour this summer. From celebrities like Blake Lively, Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone and Malin Akerman changing from their signature blonde, to perennial redheads like Christina Hendricks and Florence Welch, fiery red hair is everywhere!

Whether you choose to embrace the lighter side of the red spectrum like Lively’s strawberry blonde, the auburn shade of Akerman or a bright red like Hendricks, going red is a big hair commitment… and you need to take care of your colour!

 Usually, reds brown out and fade faster than other colours, so the products you use are important. If you want your colour to last and stay vibrant, colour saving shampoos and conditioners are a must, and a leave-in conditioner or spray with UV protection is recommended.

The type of dye you use also makes a difference. Goldwell Elumen will give you illuminating colour with extra-long durability. It uses breakthrough patented technology to be the first oxidant-, peroxide- and ammonia-free hair colour so it won’t cause damage and it delivers outstanding vibrancy, shine and durability. Using pure, direct dyes, it penetrates deep into the hair and is anchored by magnetic attraction as the positively charged hair draws in the negative charge of the Elumen dyes. (Science? In a hair blog? Who knew!)

This translates to extra-long durability with incredible shine and intense colours, and is why stylists feel Elumen gives the best red results – as long as you want to stay red. Because it’s so durable, Elumen is harder to get rid of than normal hair colour, so it isn’t recommended for those that only want to be a redhead for a couple of months.

The benefits of Elumen are great, however. Besides the longevity, vibrance and shine of the colour, it’s hypoallergenic and eases frizz to make hair silkier. And unlike other dyes, mixing Elumen is akin to mixing paints, so there are endless possibilities when it comes to customizing your colour. Not only will you have great results, but you can have a lot of fun with your colour technician creating a look that is unique to you.  

Okay. You are now convinced that you were meant to be a redhead, but you’re not sure what shade is best for you. Carla, an Associate at Haartek, suggests that women with green or hazel eyes can pull off the true, deep red the best and those with paler complexions look great with a coppery red or strawberry blonde (think Lively). “And if you have a dark skin tone, you can really play around with violet reds… it looks stunning,” she says.

The consensus is in! Red is a really fun trend this summer… and we hope it lasts! But one last word from Carla, “Certain stars really don’t need to go as red as they have.” (We’re looking at you, Rihanna.)

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.