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Flat Iron | Hair Straightener | ISA Professional

11 May '17

Pedicure & Pamper Your Feet

A Spa Day At Home 

Life can be hard on the feet. Walking the city streets daily as a pedestrian or working jobs that require us to stand all day can leave our feet feeling sore and rough. And those cute shoes or sexy heels can often make our tootsies hurt worse, even with gel inserts and an office job.

So what’s a body to do when the dogs are barking? (Everyone knows barking dogs are sore feet, right? Or is that just a Southern thing?) Well, that’s easy! Schedule a spa day for your feet, right in your own home! You don’t even really need much in the way of equipment, and it can do wonders for your mood - and your soles.  

Soak Your Feet 

Foot Bath | InterContinental HK | ISA Professional

To begin your self-care session, prepare a footbath. This can be as simple as getting a large bowl or pot, or getting out a deep plastic basin purchased just for your feet. You can get even fancier, if you like, and invest in a deluxe heated footbath that vibrates and makes bubbles. (If you have a fancy, dedicated footbath, just follow its directions on how to use it.)  

If you’re putting together a completely homemade footbath, add warm water perfect for soaking to your pot or bowl or basin. Just be careful of not burning yourself with the hot water!

Once you’ve added your water, you may choose to enhance it: add Epsom salts to soothe and soften hard-used feet. Or you could add a drop of essential oil - lavender, perhaps, to help with fatigue, or peppermint to improve circulation. Natural Living Ideas shares several foot soak recipes you might be interested in investigating and trying. (Remember: dilute essential oils, and make sure you’re using safe ingredients.)  

Before you settle in to enjoy your footbath, you may wish to pour yourself a glass or cup of something enjoyable! You could take the opportunity to use a face mask as well, or perhaps get out a book or put on a TV show. Whatever you do, sit back, relax, and let your feet soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

 Scrub Your Soles

Clean Soles | Wokandpix | ISA Professional

After you’ve had a nice, long soak, you should give your feet a good scrub. If you have a pumice stone, this is the time to use it: dip your pumice stone in warm water, and then gently rub it in circular motions on rough skin. You can do this for two or three minutes, rinsing both your foot and the stone occasionally. Be gentle with yourself - all you want to do is remove the dead skin cells. If your skin becomes irritated, you’re doing too much.  

Don’t have a pumice stone? You can still exfoliate! Just mix up a sugar or salt scrub (or purchase one already made). You can find hundreds of homemade scrub recipes on the Internet, but the basics often involve mixing 1 part oil (from coconut oil to grapeseed oil) to 2 parts sugar or salt. Then you gently rub this grainy mixture across the rough skin as with the pumice stone above.

Afterward, take your newly scrubbed feet and gently pat them dry with a towel.  

Restore Your Skin 

So you’ve soaked and scrubbed and now you’re ready for moisturizing! You want to do this as soon as you’ve finished exfoliation, in order to rehydrate your skin and lock in moisture. This is also the best time to trim your toenails, since they’ll also have softened up in the long soak. 

These are tons of products out there formulated especially for deep moisturizing your feet. Choose your favorite lotion or cream and go to town, rubbing it across the tops of your feet, all over your toes, and all across your soles. This step also serves double duty, providing the perfect set-up for you to give yourself an amazing foot massage.  

Rub some oil onto your toenails and into the cuticles as well - argan oil or Vitamin E oil can promote healthy nail growth. Argan oil is also brilliant for any cracks you might have on your feet from badly dried skin, and can nourish and heal the roughest spots. Just remember to wipe the bottom of your feet of excess oil and take caution on smooth walking surfaces as you wouldn't want to slip and fall. 

Have some Fun 

 

A post shared by Gelnailsat (@gelnailsat) on

 

You could call it quits at this point, and luxuriate in having clean, pampered dogs that are no longer barking. Or you could get creative and take it to the next level with some fun color! Yes, I’m talking about painting your toenails!  

Even if it’s not open-toed shoe or sandal weather yet, having cheerfully painted nails can boost your mood and your confidence - even if you’re the only one who knows about them. So break out those daring nail colors you’re never sure of pulling off when your feet are on display and give them a chance. Experiment with some nail art as well! It’ll be our little secret, if you want it to be.  

Now that you can pull off a great spa treatment for your feet at home, hit the comments and tell us what you’ll be drinking or reading as you relax with a nice footbath!  

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26 Apr '17

Hairstyles in Ancient Egypt, Rome, & China

Hairstyles Are Ancient History

Hairstyling is one of humankind’s most personal and creative methods of self-expression, and one of our most basic methods of communication. Our hair can tell the world we’re reserved and professional, edgy and on trend, carefree and down to earth, or anything else we want to be. Glamorous. Wild. Innocent. You name it, and there’s a hairstyle for it.  

In fact, hairstyling is tens of thousands of years old. Even combs have been around for about five thousand years. And every time human ingenuity has leapt forward, we’ve created new versions of combs and hairbrushes and scented oils and barrettes and more to level up our hairstyles. The use of heat-based styling tools is just as old combs, starting as metal rods or tongs that were heated in flame! From the Babylonians to the Persians, the Greeks to the Egyptians, mankind are old school creators when it comes to our hair and how we wear it.

Egypt 

 

 

The Egyptians celebrated cats, great intellects, and really fantastic hairstyles. If their own hair didn’t suit, they would employ hair extensions or wigs made from sheep’s wool or human hair. In fact, wigs were favored not just because someone could slip on the ideal hair at a moment’s notice, but because they meant the wearer could keep their heads shaved. A shaven head can be a great thing in a hot climate, and it also prevented nuisances such as lice.  

Of course, only wealthy women could boast of wigs and elaborate hairstyles. Among women in the older Egyptian era, short hair was favored, often shoulder-length or just under. In the New Kingdom, fashion favored longer hair that was elaborately braided or curled or bound (or a combination!), heavy with adornments. Curling was achieved with metal tongs, and fat applied as a styling gel. The rich boasted ivory hair pins or combs, weighted gold beads, and headbands that evolved into splendid diadems. Those who lacked wealth did not lack imagination, and many poorer Egyptians would use flowers and berries to decorate their hair.

Greece & Rome

 

In Greece, women typically wore their hair long and when they didn’t, it was often due to class. Only wealthy women could afford to play with their hair, which is thankfully not true today. Many soft, elegant hairstyles we might think of as “classic” come from ancient Greece - like the chignon with stylish curls pulled forward over the ears. Besides curling, the Greeks would also put waves in their hair, and favored braids and buns and braided buns. They might weave brightly-colored cloths through their hair, or place jeweled combs, or use a diadem of precious metal to impress - and keep their hair out of their faces.  

Romans took the Greek practices to another level. While they classically enjoyed the chignon and bun and diadem as much as their neighbors, Emperor Augustus and the Empire changed all that. Hairstyles became opulent and elaborate, festooned with tall tiers of curls or intricate curled layers or a dizzying complexity of twists and jewels and precious metals. When it came to hairstyles, imperial Romans didn’t play around!  

China 

Ancient Chinese women perhaps boasted of the longest hair around - since hair was seen as a gift from one’s parents, haircuts were largely avoided. While girls tended to wear their hair in braids, eligible young maidens showed off their tresses in loose ponytails with center parts or partial buns and twists adorned with hair pins and sticks. These accessories could be simple ivory, elegantly carved, or elaborate and jeweled confections of precious materials. Sumptuous headdresses could be seen as well, but these are particular to specific ethnic groups.  

 

A married woman mainly kept her hair bound - in hairdos either simple or elaborate, depending on everything from her occupation to her social status. Simple hairstyles included a high bun or a low knot, and elaborate hairstyles might be lavishly decked out in ornate combs, flowers, headdresses, or buyao (those hair sticks with dangling elements that “shakes as you go” - the literal translation of buyao).

We hope you’ve enjoyed this small taste of the wide and wondrous history of humans and hairstyling! There’s still so much to tell, but you can already see that our hairdo history rests on a few notable columns - such as braids and twists, accessories, and heat styling. Here at ISA Professional, it’s heat styling that fascinates us the most - and drives us toward innovation!

The first modern curling iron (heated with hot air) is generally credited to Marcel Grateau, from which we get the chic Marcel Wave, so evocative of the 1920’s. Curling irons went electric in 1959 thanks to Rene Lelievre and Roger Lemoine, much to the relief of singed scalps across the world. Since then, we’ve only gotten better, developing professional styling tools with more precise temperature control and quality heating plates to more easily style hair. Would you love to know more? Just click over to our History of the Flat Iron. And don’t forget to drop us your thoughts on ancient hairstyles below!

 

 

 

 

15 Mar '17

ISA Professional Hair Stylist: Emily Anderson!

Get to Know ISA Professional Hair Stylist

Emily Anderson

Admit it; we all love checking out Instagram to get the latest inspiration. Whether it’s with makeup, fashion or our area of expertise, hair, you can always count on finding a picture that gets your interest. You scroll and heart many pictures of talented artist’s work but once in a while there’s one that stands out, and Emily Anderson (@emilyandersonstyling) is definitely one of those stylists! Her beautiful feed was filled with so many hair inspirations and amazing shots of her hair creations (like her pixie cuts that many of us considered rocking, but only if she held the scissors).  

We are now happy to announce that Emily Anderson is an official ISA Professional Stylist and to celebrate, we wanted to share with you the gorgeous #flatironcurls that she is so well known for! Her personal favorite is our titanium flat iron; its tapered tip and rounded sides make it perfect to create those signature flat iron curls. Be sure to follow her and show her some love.

 

 

This video is perfect if you want to learn the correct way of achieving these beautiful flat iron curls. We know that Emily makes it look easy and you may get frustrated as you learn, but keep at it and watch yourself improve. Remember, our flat iron’s design is perfect for this soft look and really, after seeing her end results, you know it’s completely worth the practice!

 

 

This photo is a great example of Emily’s talent: a stylish pixie cut, pink color work and once again, flat iron curls created with our titanium flat iron! We love colorful, bold looks and this pink would be so much fun to try out. It also highlights how flat iron curls can be possible with short hair, too! 

 

 

Another amazing pixie cut styled with our titanium hair straightener, this time a bit shorter and just as awesome. We suspect that after seeing her creations, it’ll make you consider getting a chic pixie cut too! 

06 Mar '17

Bangs Are Back, Get Your Cut on the Double

Return of the Bangs

Psst. Hey, you. Scanning this article on your phone or laptop - are you in a crowded room? Coffee place, maybe? Café? Take a look around, and chances are someone in the room’s gonna have bangs. Maybe several someones! Bangs are back, my friends, and they’re on trend in a big way.

It’s not that surprising - fringes never fall out of fashion for long. How can they? They’re fantastically versatile, and can complement any hairstyle. Bangs are frames for your face, a natural way to cover imperfections, and can add mystery or whimsy to your look. Plus, they’re a great way to transform your current style without taking the plunge on an entirely new cut. 

Baby Bangs

 

 

Short bangs can immediately infuse drama into your look, boldly accenting your ‘do with attitude. They’re also one of the most severe looks, and the fringe requiring the most work to maintain. So be honest with yourself when considering baby bangs: do you have the moxie and the work ethic to pull them off? 

You’ll also want to consider your face shape and how happy you are with your features: there’s no hiding behind these bangs, and they accentuate your entire face rather than directing the eye. Round or heart-shaped faces may appear rounder and wider. On the other hand, oval or angular faces can rock micro bangs with ease. 

Baby bangs can work with any hair length, and tend to look best with textured or messy hairstyles. You’ll also need to decide on whether you want your bangs blunt or razored - the latter works best if you have any hair pattern concerns, like cowlicks.

There are a few keys to working with baby bangs: you want to style them right out of the shower, before anything else. Know which way your hair goes, and make sure you’re brushing and blow drying the strands straight and down. Use anti-frizz products at as necessary, as well as a good holding product. The flat iron is your friend here, and you might even need a mini one for these micro bangs. Also, don’t forget to put a slight curve in while ironing to give your bangs that natural curved look.

Pro-tip: before sleeping, comb your bangs straight and place a headband over them. This will help prevent them from twisting into crazy shapes overnight. 

Framed Faces

 

 

Framing bangs are great for softening your look, or even adding a touch of mystery. They also work well with almost any hair type; though, if your hair is stick straight, framing bangs may be difficult to keep styled all day. They require less upkeep than baby bangs do, and even qualify as low-maintenance depending on your overall style. 

Have a round face? Framing bangs can work for you. Love textured, natural hairstyles? Hairstyles that might even be described as tousled? Framing bangs WILL work for you.

Framing fringe can be categorized into a few main styles - there’s the curtain, side or side swept, and swept back looks. Here’s the rundown on each:  

Curtain bangs are parted in the middle, and the hair combed away to either side of your face. They soften the severity of a middle part and taper your forehead, drawing the eye to YOUR eyes. They can be left long all the way across, or your stylist can shorten the center strands. 

Side bangs operate as advertised, being parted to the side for a classy and versatile look. They can simply cover your brow at a sleek slant, or even obscure one eye for a playful and mysterious vibe. This is also a good style for making your face look longer or covering up forehead imperfections. 

Swept back bangs fully reveal your face again, but are still a framing fringe and add edge to your appearance. Brush your longer bangs back and to one side, creating a curved crest atop your head that falls to one side. This style requires more work than other framing bangs, and will need holding product to stay in place. 

Pro-tip: framing bangs styles are easy to experiment with while growing out shorter bangs.  

Full Figured Fringe

 

 

Thick or wispy, these are your standard forehead-obscuring bangs, and probably what you first picture when bangs are mentioned. Leave them extra-long and you’ve got eye-grazing bangs, sexy and stylish. Cut them straight, and you’ve got a hardcore blunt look emphasizing your nose and lips. 

When styling heavy, full-figured bangs, you can part them slightly in the middle, slightly sweep them to one side, or part them not at all. Just make sure you use your flat iron to give them a gentle curl inward to help them fall cleanly and naturally. (Use a more extreme curl if you’re going for Bettie Page bangs.) You’ll also want to be on frizz alert, and use sleeking products as necessary. 

Blunt and thick bangs are heavy on your face, and you might risk a helmet look if you’re not careful - but play your cards right and you’ve got a call back to a sultry 60’s look. Stay away from the blunt look if you’ve got a round face, or it’ll look even rounder as with the baby bangs. Wispy bangs are also super in these days, so don’t fret if you want bangs but have thin hair. You can still rock the fringe!  

Pro-tip: balance out heavy bangs with shorter overall hair length. 

So, you ready to get that cut on the double? We wouldn’t blame you; we almost nipped out to get a fresh fringe while writing this for you. Hit the comments and tell us whether you’ve turned your bucks into bangs recently! We’d love to see how it worked out for you.

28 Feb '17

Dying Your Hair: Before and After Care

Proper Care for Dyed Hair

Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Maybe you’ve been struck by a heady whim and can’t wait another second. However you got here, you just know: you’re ready to dye your hair. You’re armed with photos of Evan Rachel Wood’s chic grey-blonde or a gorgeous pastel pink color melt or one of NaturallyTash’s latest stunning color combinations. You’ve made an appointment with a colorist, and you’re counting down the days.

 

 

So all that’s left is waiting for the appointment, right? Well, yes and no. We’ve got a few tips to prep your hair for the big day. Grab a chair, and take notes, everyone: welcome to Dying 101.  

Keep Your Hair Healthy 

One of the biggest keys to a great color application is to have healthy hair. (Also a good rule in general, let’s be honest. Treat your hair like the crown it is, folks!) Use quality cleansing and styling products that are gentle with your hair. Make sure to use your heat styling tools correctly, and protect your hair before using them. You should also indulge in a moisturizing hair treatment about once a month.

We’ve got many great pieces on how to keep your hair healthy here on our blog, so you don’t have to look far for more great advice. Just scroll back and keep reading! To get you started, here’s how to get healthy hair with 3 oils.  

Don't Wash Before You Go 

Pink Hair | ISA Professional

Do not wash your hair right before you go to the salon - preferably, wash it at least two days before your appointment. Doing this helps ensure your hair’s natural oils haven’t been washed away, and the even distribution of oil in your hair should give you the best chance for evenly-colored hair.  

This break also gives your scalp a chance to heal from any scratches it might have picked up during a vigorous hairwashing. Crying in salons is very serious business, and you don’t want to suffer because the chemical treatment is burning on broken skin.  

When you do wash your hair for the last time before seeing your colorist, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up in your hair. If your hair is healthy enough, or has low porosity, you may want to skip the conditioner at this point. For natural hair with high porosity, you should deep clean and deep condition; check out NaturallyCurly’s guide, “How to Prime Your Hair for Color (No Matter Your Porosity).”  

Try not to use any styling products in the last 48 hours before you’re parked in your colorist’s chair.  

After Care for Dyed Hair

The day has arrived! The dye has been applied! You look fabulous! Now - how do you keep it that way? 

We’ve got tips for that! And they’re mostly common sense, and a snap to follow.  

First things first: wait as long as you can to wash your hair after having it dyed. While waiting 24 hours is generally enough to ensure the color’s been absorbed, some colorists are firm on suggesting 48 hours - or as long as you can go.  

While you’re not washing your hair, it’s time for a shopping trip: stock up on shampoo and conditioner formulated to protect color-treated hair. You should be able to find these easily within your favorite brand; some product lines even get really specific and protect certain colors.  

You may also want to wash your hair less often, to keep your hair’s natural oils going strong. Coloring your hair can damage the hair cuticle, making your hair more porous and prone to moisture loss - which means prone to color loss as well. You’ll also want to avoid super hot water, which can strip your hair’s moisture. Be sure to condition with every wash, and regularly deep condition as well.

Make sure to protect your hair from the elements as well: the sun can fade your fab coloring job, and chlorine from pools can do nasty things to it. Try to use hair products that include UV protection, and wear a hat or head covering while outside with no shade. You can protect your hair from pool water by covering it with conditioner before jumping in.  

Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed Dying 101 - instead of a degree, you get an awesome new hair color! Best class ever, am I right? And if you don’t like the color, you can simply change it again. Now hit the comments and share your advanced tips with the class!


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