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Flat Iron | Hair Straightener | ISA Professional

22 Nov '16

Healthy Hair with 3 Oils

Transform Your Hair with These 3 Oils

Woman With Split Ends | ISA Professional

No matter what your hair type is, we all struggle once in a while to get our locks looking like we want. Some curly haired individuals struggle with fly aways and frizz, while some individuals with dry hair have to deal with dandruff and lack of softness. You try all these different products that claim to do what you want, but in the end it just isn’t enough. Isn’t it frustrating to try a new product, only to find that your hair looks even worse than before? I had this issue for a long time until I decided to try another approach to control and revitalize my thin and frizzy hair. It was then that I discovered an item that would change my hair game forever: oil! Now, I know what you’re thinking; ‘I’ve been trying to stay as far away from oil as possible, I don’t want to look greasy!’. Well, you need to pay attention now, because even if you have oil prone hair or skin, these 3 oils will help combat that, along with bringing even more benefits to your beauty routine! But before getting into my favorite oils for hair care, I’d like to remind you that not all oils are the same. You need to keep an eye out for the ingredient label and ensure that it is only 100% pure oil. Pure oils are best kept in a dark place and stored in a dark, glass bottle to ensure its freshness and shelf life. Now that you’re sure of your oil’s pureness, it’s time to put them to good use to achieve beautiful and healthy hair!

Argan Oil

Argan Oil | ISA Professional

I wanted to start the list with my personal favorite, argan oil, or as I like to call it: ‘liquid gold’. This oil is taken from the fruit of a tree that only grows in the driest areas of the world; this makes it an extremely valuable oil that will just amaze you with its many benefits. Argan oil is a wonderful moisturizer for both hair and skin; this is because it’s high in vitamin A, E and omega 6 fatty acids. Not only does it deeply moisturize, it’s also a natural cell booster, which makes it ideal for any anti aging regimen. Remember to apply it on your face and neck in circular motions using your warm hands, once or twice a day. For beautiful and shiny hair, apply it liberally as a weekly treatment and leave it on for about 30 minutes before washing as normal. You can also use argan oil as a heat protectant before using a flat iron or hair straightener, or even use it as a frizz fighter by applying on the ends and working your way up (don’t apply on the scalp if you’re using it as a leave in moisturizer).

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil | ISA Professional

Now for the oil that works best with those that suffer from an oily prone scalp: jojoba. Jojoba oil is so great for dry scalps, it even helps relieve scalp psoriasis! By applying this oil to your scalp, it helps clear up dead cell buildup (which can sometimes be confused with dandruff since it also leaves flakes in your hair). This makes it perfect for those suffering from oily hair because it helps control your oil production and is also anti fungal! It’s high in vitamin E, A, D and antioxidants that can help diminish inflamed skin and itchiness and can also be used to moisturize your hair after washing it. Just apply the jojoba oil with your warm hands to get all the benefits; you can also use it as a weekly conditioning treatment.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil | ISA Professional

Lastly, tea tree oil is highly beneficial to those suffering from dandruff, hair loss or head lice. This powerful little herb has it all: it’s antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic; making it ideal to fight different hair problems that many people suffer from. It helps prevent hair loss! Tea tree can also help unclog hair follicles while getting rid of dead cells, which is so convenient since it leaves you with a healthy, dandruff free scalp. Since I rarely get dandruff and don’t suffer from hair loss, I don’t really use tea tree as much as other oils, but it works wonders on those who desperately need it (my friends rave about tea tree oil all the time). To use tea tree oil, mix it with a carrier oil such as argan oil or olive oil (too much tea tree oil can just leave your hair too dry and brittle, so it’s best when mixed). A mixture of 8 oz. carrier oil with a few drops tea tree oil in a squirt bottle is best. Then apply on your scalp using your warm hands and massage gently for a few minutes; the circular motions help the blood flow, which then helps hair growth and health. Leave it on for about 5 minutes and wash your hair as usual.

Woman Applying Product On Her Hair | ISA Professional

Which oil do you swear by for your hair’s health and beauty? Let me know in the comments below!

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27 Sep '16

Achieving Perfect Curls & Keeping Them Beautiful

Steps to Gorgeous Curly Hair

Gorgeous Curly Blonde Hair ISA Professional

I remember I used to resent my curly hair when I was younger and I knew many friends who went through the same thing. We all had to deal with the ever dreaded frizz that would occur on a daily basis, especially with the humid weather that surrounded us all year long. Who with curly hair didn’t go through the ordeal of having your mother or grandma insist on going through your hair with a, *gasp* brush! Not one of these new amazing straightening brushes either; no heat, no warm bristles just pure tug and pull.

Your relatives couldn’t let you leave the house without using some instrument to comb your hair and you would have to deal with your poof ball for the rest of the day, constantly wetting it to try to tame it. Obviously they meant well, but this was before everyone had internet access, the tool we now use to research and educate ourselves on pretty much any topic in the world. The internet helped me figure out exactly what to do to make my curls work for me, not against me. Being finally able to appreciate my curls was a great feeling; I finally knew what to do and use and it’s just routine now. If you still haven’t found out what works for your hair, or just want to pick up a new tip, read on to find different ways to get the best out of your curly locks! 

Co-Washing Is Your New Best Friend 

Deep Conditioner ISA Professional

Co-washing means to skip shampoo completely and just condition to get the most moisture into your hair follicles. By doing this, your curls will look and feel healthier; I tried it and absolutely love the results! I prefer to use a shampoo once in a while but you can be part of the no-shampoo (no-poo) community if you feel like your hair is extremely dry. If you do decide to sometimes use shampoo, keep in mind that sulfates are curly hair’s worst enemy. Make sure your hair products are 100% sulfate free, since sulfates are harsh and can leave curly hair feeling and looking dry.

Use a Wide Tooth Comb (NOT Brush) and A T-Shirt On Wet Hair

Gorgeous Curly Har with Volume ISA Professional

With curly hair, the best way to de-tangle and style it, is when it’s very wet. A great way to ensure you don’t forget to do this is to always use a wide tooth comb in the shower, with conditioner still in your hair. Rinse off the conditioner when you’re done and use a T-shirt to dry it off, instead of a towel. A T-shirt is not as rough as a towel and will reduce frizz considerably. Stay away from brushes because they break curly hair easily and will produce more frizz. Instead, use a wide tooth comb and start from the bottom, the tips, then work your way up to the roots. This also reduces the breakage that can damage curls so much.  

Always Use A Diffuser With Your Blow Dryer

Beautiful Curls ISA Professional

Curly hair is easily damaged if the proper steps aren’t taken when using a blow dryer. While you may love the way your hair looks after a blow out, you should avoid using a blow dryer daily. Instead, pick the day you want your hair to look its best and use dry shampoo in between blow outs to protect your hair. Diffusers are a must have when using a blow dryer! They help distribute the hot air evenly through your hair instead of letting it blow in a direct stream. Just twist small strands of your hair with your fingers and place the diffuser on your hair. It's a good idea to leave the tips for last, since these dry quicker than the rest of the hair.

Lastly, don’t forget to use heat protection before using any heat styling tool, it will save you a lot of grief and haircuts in the future!

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08 Aug '16

How to Choose The Best Shampoo And Wash Your Hair Healthy

Choosing The Right Shampoo for Healthier Hair

Woman Choosing Her Shampoo and Conditioner- ISA Professional

While it may seem like a simple topic to talk about, there are many that do not consider the ingredients or consistency when choosing their shampoo or conditioner. Maybe you think that all shampoos and conditioners provide the same results, but that is not true. All of us should be better researched on what makes a high quality shampoo or conditioner and even though it sounds a bit overwhelming, believe me, it's worth knowing about. In addition to knowing what to look out for in your washing products, there are also ways of improving your washing techniques. From cutting down on product use (which also helps you save money and is great for the environment), to knowing where and when to apply the product on your hair, you will find everything you need to know in this article. Now, let's speed up our hair washing routine while protecting our health and achieving shiny, gorgeous hair together!

How To Choose A High Quality Shampoo 

     To do this correctly, you should start by looking for products with natural ingredients and higher degree of viscosity. The viscosity of a liquid is the consistency. The thinner it is, the faster it flows out of the bottle. The slower it flows out of the bottle, the higher the viscosity. Lower viscosity products have a higher water content by volume; higher viscosity products tend to have more of the active ingredients you need for cleansing your hair successfully.

Open Shampoo Bottle- ISA Professional

Natural Ingredients? 3 To Avoid In Shampoos

     The word "natural" is broad and can be easily misunderstood when it comes to personal care products for your hair. Many companies use this kind of buzzword to give you a false sense of security. There seems to be an ever growing need for products with words like natural, organic and chemical free. Although it may sound difficult to know which products are actually natural, there are certain ingredients you should avoid altogether; below are the usual suspects that you should stay away from:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)

     Chief among these is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), a surfectant that is used in many cleaning products, from shampoo to soap to dish soap. It is a skin irritant and may be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane.

Fragrance/Parfum

     The name of this one sounds innocent enough, fragrance sounds like it should just be something that smells nice. Beware, fragrance is a catch all term that can encompass a large range of chemicals. There can be a undisclosed mixture of scent chemicals and fragrance dispersing ingredients such as diethyl phthalate. These can cause lung and skin irritation, as well as potentially damage the reproductive system.

Triclosan

      This is an antibacterial and preservative which can persist in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity.


     A trick to telling shampoo and hair wash quality is by the size of the nozzle. Most shampoo comes in a flip top bottle with a nozzle built in. The larger nozzles tend to come on products with less active ingredients. The larger nozzle makes you more likely to squeeze out more shampoo. I'm sure you've experienced this, and once it's already in your palm you feel like it would be unhygienic to return it to the bottle and a waste to throw it down the drain, so you put it in your hair and end up using too much shampoo. This is not only a waste of money but also of time because it will take you longer to wash the shampoo residue out of your hair. Additionally, because you used too much shampoo and over cleansed the scalp, you will then need to overuse conditioner in order to replenish the lost moisture, leading to more wasted money and over use of product.

Best Method for Washing

Woman Shampooing Her Hair- ISA Professional

      Once you have chosen a good shampoo or hair wash, the method to washing your hair is simple.


     First, thoroughly wet your hair with warm water. Second, dampen your hands. Third, squeeze the shampoo or hair wash onto the palm of one hand. A dime sized portion should be sufficient for short hair, a quarter sized portion for medium/shoulder length hair, two quarter sized portions for longer hair. Before you apply the shampoo or hair wash, first rub the palms of your hands together to create a lather from the shampoo and the water already on your hands. Then, apply to your hair starting at the top of your head. Then insert your fingers until the tips of your fingers touch your scalp and massage the shampoo or hair wash outwards toward your forehead. Then place your fingers back on top of your head with the tips touching your scalp and massage the shampoo back towards the nape of your neck and tips of your hair. This way, the shampoo or hair wash will stay in contact with each part of your hair for the optimal amount of time: longest on the parts of the head that produce the oils, and shortest on the tips of the hair which are the driest and most easily damaged.

     After you have washed your hair, and given yourself a relaxing head massage in the process, rinse your hair. As a general rule of thumb, you should rinse you hair for three to five times as long as it took you to wash it. You should count this time from when the shampoo or hair wash first touched your hair to when you began to rinse it. If it took you 2 minutes to wash, then it should take you 6 to 10 minutes to rinse it all out. Stand directly under the stream of water and occasionally sweep your hair with your hand, but do not brush when wet as brushing wet hair can damage it.

     Bonus points for doing a finishing cold rinse!

     If you can stand the temperature change, the best final rinse for freshly washed hair is to rinse it thoroughly in water that is as cold as your tap can give you. When I'm camping, the water comes from the well and it is really cold but I smile while trying to not grit my teeth and I tough it out because it leaves my hair so smooth and shiny! The reason this works is because the warm water of the shower opens up the cuticles on the surface of your hair, which under magnification look almost like fish scales. Tricks such as rinsing off in cold water, or flat ironing with a hair straightener in the direction that the cuticles face, smooth them out and seal the cuticles so that you get healthier, stronger hair, and brilliant shine.

     If you used a quality one step hair wash then congratulations and skip to the end on how to dry your hair! If you have a two step shampoo and conditioner combo, then it is now time to apply the conditioner. Conditioner is designed to replenish to hair some of the moisture lost while shampooing and cleansing it. Conditioner can also have ingredients that will smooth, soften and make hair more manageable.

Blonde Woman With Shiny, Healthy Hair- ISA Professional

3 Top Ingredients To Avoid In Conditioners

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

     PEG is a small organic alcohol that is commonly used as a conditioning agent. It's a skin irritant and can cause allergic contact dermatitis (rash) as well as contact urticaria (hives).

Dimethicone

     Dimethicone is a silicone based polymer which is used as a conditioning agent and lubricant. It makes the hair seem slicker when used in conditioner. It is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful and is an environmental toxin and can bio-accumulate in your body.

Phenoxyethanol

     Phenoxyethanol is a preservative and fragrance used in skin and hair products. It is highly irritant to skin, eyes, and lungs. Further, it can cause organ system toxicity.

The Truth About Conditioner

     The important thing to remember about conditioner is that most conditioner is designed predominantly for hair, so that's where you should put it. You do not need to apply it in the massaging technique to your scalp. If you have ever used argan oil on your hair you will know what I mean. Over the course of several hours, some of the oil is drawn up naturally up the hair shaft and into your roots. If you have a greasy scalp or hair that becomes naturally oily soon after washing, then apply conditioner only to the bottom 1/2 of your hair. For everyone else, applying conditioner to the bottom 3/4 of your hair is best and capillary action will take care of the rest.

     When applying conditioner, begin at the tips of your hair. Use the same amounts for conditioner as for shampoo given above. Rub the conditioner between your damp hands, then begin by rubbing the tips of your hair if you have short hair, or close your hands around the tips of your hair if you have long hair. Work your hands up toward the roots but do not apply conditioner directly on the roots.

     Because of the way that the moisturizers in conditioner work, you do not have to rinse for as long. A good rule of thumb is to rinse for the same amount of time as how long the conditioner was on. So if it took you two minutes to condition, then rinse for 2 minutes.

     Again, bonus for doing a finishing cold water rinse!

Drying Your Hair

Woman With Long, Straight, Healthy Hair- ISA Professional

     There is a myth that drying your hair naturally, without the use of a hair dryer is the best way to attain healthy hair. This is true, but with some caveats. If you live in a hot, dry, low humidity environment, with lots of sunshine and a steady breeze, and you can spend half an hour in said breeze after you wash your hair each time, gently brushing it, then yes drying your hair naturally is a great choice.

     However, if you live in the world that most of us live in, with time pressures and high humidity summer, then using a hair dryer is best. What you want is to dry your hair the fastest way possible, while using the lowest temperature that is not room temperature. On most hair dryers, this equals the low (but not cold) heat setting and the high speed setting.

     And voila! I hope you've enjoyed reading these tips on how to pick a high quality shampoo and conditioner, then using them to attain your best hair ever! Did you learn anything new? Do you have any tips or ideas to add? Tell us in the comments below.

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18 Jul '15

DIY Fruity Hair Masks That Moisturize and Smell Like A Dream

DIY Hair Masks

 

While going shopping to the store can be extremely fun and satisfying as you walk around the aisles and compare different products against each other, there are cheaper alternatives when it comes to your beauty care. I am a huge DIY advocate when it comes to beauty treatments and hair masks are one of my absolute favorites to make. Hair masks are a cheap, efficient way to give your hair some much needed TLC and the ones made with fruit smell sooo good, you really have to try these!

 

One of the perks of using fruit on your hair is that these masks are more efficient when the fruit is very ripe (not ideal for eating). So whenever you have some fruit left over that you didn't get to eat in time, instead of throwing it out, you can use it for your hair! Hair masks make your hair more manageable and soft, so combing and styling time is much shorter. Just make sure to shampoo and rinse your hair extremely well after applying these and before styling! I prefer to use ISA Professional's digital flat iron after applying any of these masks; it allows me to control the pure ceramic plates temperature, leaving my hair looking super smooth and straight, without any heat damage.

 

The hair masks' efficiency is obvious by how soft and healthy my hair looks afterwards; give some of these a chance and let me know how they worked for your hair and wallet!

 

Avocado Mask

Avocado

Avocados are well known to be highly beneficial to beauty routines; this is because avocados are high in Vitamin E and B, making them great for moisturizing skin and hair. Avocados are also rich in oil, making it ideal for those who want their hair to have a natural shine. Mash a whole ripe avocado until it's as smooth as you can make it. Mix a teaspoon of almond oil to the smooth avocado and apply the mixture to your hair, concentrating on your roots first. Wear a shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes to let it take effect. Shampoo, condition and rinse well. Style as usual.

 

Banana Mask

Banana

Bananas have high levels of potassium which are great for dry, damaged hair. Bananas also have Vitamins B, C and E, which help repair broken and split ends. This mask is ideal for those with color treated hair, since dyes leave hair dull and dry and the banana mask helps hydrate those colored locks. Mash a very ripe banana until it's a smooth consistency and add a teaspoon of almond oil to the mixture. Apply the mixture to hair, concentrating on your roots and split ends, wear a shower cap and let sit from 20-30 minutes. Shampoo, condition and rinse well. Style as usual.

 

Peach Mask

Peaches and Yogurt

Peaches are great to treat an itchy or dry scalp. Since peaches have Vitamin A, C and B, it's great for cleaning your scalp and treating your roots. Peach hair masks will allow your hair to be hydrated and healthily. Mash 2 ripe peaches until it's a smooth consistency. Mix in a cup of yogurt and apply on your hair, concentrating on your roots. Put on shower cap and let it sit for 20 minutes. Shampoo, condition and rinse well. Style as usual.

 

Strawberry Mask

Strawberries

Strawberries are great for your hair, it leaves it with less frizz and more shine due to its high content of Vitamin C. For this you will need a handful of ripe strawberries (enough to cover roots and most of your hair), mash or blend them well and mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Apply on your hair, concentrating on roots, wear shower cap and let sit for 20 minutes. Shampoo, condition and rinse well. Style as usual.

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20 Jun '15

How To Protect Your Hair From Chlorine Damage:

Avoid Pool Hair

 

With the high temperatures we've been feeling lately, it makes anyone want to take a dip in the pool to cool off. Some may choose to go to a public pool and some may choose to enjoy their pool at home, but if you aren't careful, there can be some serious damage to your hair. While pools have chlorine to help disinfect the water and help you not get sick, those very chemicals can also harm your hair. If you are a regular pool swimmer, there are steps to take to ensure your hair doesn't suffer. Swimming is a great workout with almost no joint impact, making it an ideal sport. Swimming will make you feel better about your health. With these tips, you won't have to worry about your hair getting damaged in the process.

 

 

Always Wet Your Hair And Apply Oil Before A Dip In The Pool

 

If you just get into the pool with dry hair, you are allowing the chemicals from the pool get absorbed quicker into your hair. This is especially bad if you have color treated or highlights since they run a risk of being turned green because of the presence of copper in pool chemicals. By wetting your hair with tap water beforehand, you allow the oxidation to happen at a slower rate, since the water is already absorbed in your hair follicles. You should also apply an oil or serum product before getting in; this will help protect your hair and color even further. I like to use 100% argan oil, which is my #1 go-to oil in both my hair and body routines. Another option is to use a swimming cap after you soak your hair in product, this is highly recommended if you are a daily pool user.

 

Immediately Rinse Chlorine From Hair After A Dip In The Pool

 

The faster you rinse the chlorine water out of your hair and body, the better. If there are no designated rinsing areas where you swim, bring a bottle of water with you. By rinsing out as much chlorine as you can with clean water, you aren't allowing the chlorine to do any further damage. If you plan to get into the pool again the same day, just keep rinsing your hair every time you get out. This keeps your hair almost chlorine free while out of the pool.

 

Avoid Chlorine Smells and Buildup With Specialized Shampoos

 

There are plenty of specialized shampoos and body washes to choose from to help you get rid of the chlorine deposits and smell in your hair. Try to use it as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more damage can occur. These shampoos are a priority for those who plan to swim daily, since the smell of chlorine is very difficult to get rid of with just soap and water.

 

Deep Condition To Keep Hair Hydrated

 

This is true even if you aren't a daily pool swimmer. I like to deep condition once a week (twice if I went swimming), to keep my hair healthy. Afterwards, I keep it shiny and straight using my Victorya by ISA Professional flat iron, then apply argan oil to help keep the moisture at bay. Hydration is key in having healthy, shiny hair.

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