Last Call for Alcohol!

In honor of the new year, let’s chat about alcohol. Not the kind that will have most of you tipsy come the stroke of midnight, but the kind that is found in our cosmetics. Any sensible esthetician or beauty professional would advise you to stay away from products that contain “bad alcohol”, but upon reading your product ingredients, you’ll see that many of them contain an alcohol of some kind. How do you know what to avoid? I made a chart (but we will get to that later).

Alcohols are part of a group of organic compounds. They can be at higher and lower molecular weights. Higher molecular weights mean they are heavier in texture and work to hydrate/protect the skin. In other words, we like high molecular weight alcohols! The lower molecular weight alcohols are the ones that are more watery in substance. They dry the skin out and can sometimes create chain reactions of damage in the skin.

Check the ingredients of your fav products to see if they contain any bad alcohols. Sometimes you may notice a small amount of low molecular alcohols in your retinol or vitamin C products. They are there to help disrupt the top layer of the skin to allow the vitamin A (retinol) and C to absorb into the skin more effectively. This means if the bad alcohol is (very) low on the ingredient list, it may not exactly be harmful to you. Just use the product sparingly!

Good Alcohols

(high molecular weight)

Bad Alcohols

(low molecular weight)

Caprylic

Cetearyl

Cetyl

Decyl

Isostearyl

Lauryl

Myristyl

Oleyl

Stearyl

Ethanol

Ethyl

Denatured alcohol

Methanol

Isopropyl

SDA

Benzyl

Happy New Year to you! Always remember to Glow Responsibly! 🙂

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Healthy Hair Journey

One of my Beauty Resolutions of 2017 is to take better care of this hair of mine! My healthy hair journey is a little more complicated than most. I used to have shoulder-bra strap length (relaxed) hair for most of my adolescent, teen and early adult years. Due to my anxiety, I would pull at the hair in the back of my head constantly. To the point where i developed a bald spot. A little over a year ago, when I made the decision to cut off all of my hair, I was mentally in a place where I wanted to break my bad habits and start fresh. Having no hair freed me from the pulling. It made me feel beautiful. It forced me to face the issues and stresses that caused the habit in the first place. I began to work on creating the life I wanted. A life that allowed me to deal with my anxiety in a more healthy way.

Fast forward to the present. I am a fuxking mess lol. I’m dealing with imaginary stress I put on myself combined with real life stress and emotions. From loss of sleep to not being as strict with my diet as I would like to, my anxiety is pretty high these days. As a result of this, the pulling of the hair is at a disastrous level! People with anxiety tend to take part in self mutilation as a way of coping in times of emotional distress. This can be nail/skin biting, severe scratching and of course pulling of the hair.  So basically, I’m trying to have a luscious and luxurious afro but anxiety won’t let me be great!

Due to this, my TWA (teeny weeny afro) is damaged and uneven. But since I am always up for a challenge… especially a beauty related one, I’m going to fight this! I used the wonder that is the internet to look for a salon that suited me. I wanted one that specialized in natural hair, had a good product line and a treatment that offered steaming services. I found my perfect match in Ebony Styles Beauty Salon. The service I chose was called the Rescue Treatment which consisted of a Pre-wash condition, shampoo and deep condition under the hair steamer. I wanted a treatment that would help soften my hair and allow it to retain moisture.

I was taken care of at the salon by some lovely stylists. One of them being Ms. Merna, the owner of the salon. It has been around for over 15 years yet they maintain a standard of professionalism and artistry that businesses sometimes lose overtime. The patrons were women of all ages and backgrounds. The conversation ranged from legislation to self care. Ms. Merna was extremely understanding when I told her about my hair pulling. She offered me some helpful tips to overcome it. We also came up with an action plan moving forward. Even better, I am sooooooo so happy with the results. She trimmed the damaged ends and made my hair more even to promote healthy growth. It’s so moisturized and soft that all I want to do is touch it… but I won’t! lol

Hair Steaming Tip!!!

I am a big big fan of hair steamers! I once had a service at this posh salon in Buckhead, Atlanta where the stylist put me under a steamer and it changed my life! My hair was so much healthier following the service. No other salon I have visited since then had one so finding Ebony Styles Beauty Salon was a big deal for me. Hair steaming opens the cuticle of the hair, enhances curls, strengthens the hair and makes it more manageable to style. AKA everyone needs to get into this!

The Good Brow

Everyone has that one eyebrow that never lets them down… the one that doesn’t misbehave and let’s you fill it in perfectly (even on the days when you’re running late for work). Well this is an appreciation piece for that good brow. Let us take a moment to identify areas in which our not so good brow can learn and grow from the example that her sister (not her twin) sets. Let us learn to love and appreciate them as the individuals they are. Understanding that we must do our best to allow them to be themselves and not shape them into arches they are not meant for. This is not only unflattering to them, but also to the pallet that is the face. But in all seriousness-shout outs to the good brow! 

Here are a few tips for you to create the brows of your dreams:

1. Find the appropriate color and medium for the brow you want. For example, those who want a natural look should use a brow pencil as opposed to a powder or pomade. It creates subtle strokes that look like hairs as opposed to a harsh line. For more bold, dramatic brows, you should use a pomade to outline and the desired shape and a powder to fill it in. Some of my go to brow products are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade and Duo Brush #12. The angular brush helps me to create any shape I desire (bold or natural). Also, I could probably never do without my European Wax Center “Sucha Tweeze” Slant Tweezers. The quality and shape of the tweezers allow a more precise and effective grip. 

2.The most common thing I hear from my clients is their desire to grow out their brows. The best advice I can give for this is leave them alone! This means you’ll go through an ugly duckling phase when you have sparse little hairs that won’t look as polished as you’re used to. That’s part of the growing process you have to live with. Also, try to avoid putting heavy oils that you heard will help grow your brows back. They usually just create congestion and ingrowns in the brow area.

3.If you want good brows, see a professional. Every woman has an eyebrow horror story. Whether it was themselves or another (unqualified) individual who messed them up, it could’ve been prevented by simply booong an appointment with someone who can give you a proper consultation about the state of your brows and where you’d like to go with them.