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Oils for hair care and why use them?

Whoever said oils and oily products are bad for the skin was very wrong. Natural oils can actually be very beneficial for your skin. They nourish thanks to their property of penetrating deep into the skin and trapping water and moisture. Oils can also protect the skin from toxins and replenish it with vitamins, and because our scalp is just a continuation of our face, using oils as part of our hair-care routine is of most importance.

In collaboration with Alper Oils

If you don’t know Maddie & Alana Alper you are missing out! The two Montrealer sisters took their love for wellness and beauty to the next level by creating their own line of beauty oils. They are the masterminds behind six amazing oils from Alper Oils three oils for skin and three oils for the most perfect bath one could dream of. We had the privilege of talking to them and getting some insights on how they started the brand, which are the best ingredients, and even how to implement their products to complement your Hair Routine.

PHOTO CREDIT: ARIANE POULIN retrieved from Beauties and Co.

The inspiration behind the creation of the brand is “pretty obvious”, says Alana. 

“We’re obsessed with all things beauty and wanted to take our love for oils to create a product that heals our skin but also gives all the benefits of aromatherapy. Our goal is to combine beauty and wellness by creating clean and effective products!”

The sisters explain that the great thing about oils is that they help protect your skin and hair from damaging processes, dandruff and hair loss. They recommend implementing them to your routine to protect skin from environmental stressors and feed it with antioxidants and nutrients which ultimately aid with inflammation, strengthen the hair and keep it nice and shiny.

Use them in your Hair Routine!

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHÈLE LUSSIER retrieved from Alper Oils.

And here’s the amazing part: you can enhance your Hair Routine by placing a couple of Beard Oil drops, which is packed with oils specifically tailored for hair and scalp health, apply directly onto your scalp and gently massage it or use it to nourish and give shine by putting some on the length of your hair. “Right now we’re crushing on Camellia seed oil! It deeply penetrates the skin and hair but doesn’t leave an oily residue!”

Maddie and Alana are into self-care rituals and they admit that there’s nothing more satisfying than completing their night skin-ritual by gently massaging the face with their favorite oil and a jade gua sha. Another perfect use to the oils to treat yourself would be to take a bath with one of their new bath-oils and have the “ultimate treat-yourself moment”.

Needless to say, we are already in love with them and can’t wait to use them, especially with the colder months ahead. Alana stands for exfoliating as one of the most important steps in the routine. “Because our skin is a lot drier, if you don’t exfoliate dead skin your oils and moisturizers won’t be able to penetrate the skin properly…” After the exfoliation, you need to moisturize your skin again, use your favorite oil to do so. 

To finalize, I asked them what’s their life motto: “feeling good from the outside in!” Well, relatable!

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How to follow The Hair Routine?

Your hair needs a routine as well

If you are reading this, you want to get on top of your hair game and you want to start now. The Hair Routine is the method to recover the strands and maintain hair’s health by replenishing it with the only essentials it needs: – water, oil, and protein – within a personalized schedule.

Simple, unique and effective. The Hair Routine gathers information about your hair and your needs and uses it to create a personalized routine based on the method of the three essential elements.

Learn what is The Hair Routine and why to follow it, here.

Step 1 to following a Hair Routine – complete the test and get your results and routine in your inbox.

Step 2 – You will receive a chart that looks like this:

This chart shows the percentage of moisture, nurture, and repair that your hair needs.

Step 3- You will also receive your personalized Hair Routine, which looks – depending on your answers – something like this:

M is for Moisture, which makes the hair feel softer, more bouncy and elastic.

N is for Nurture; to help control frizz and make your hair look and feel lustrous.

R is for Repair; your hair needs protein to aid repair from all previous and future damage.

Start your routine on a day that you plan to wash your hair, and start off with the first treatment – could be Moisture or Nurture depending on what your routine shows – and move forward clockwise. Each bubble indicates the treatment you should be using on a 12 washing-day cycle. This means that from now on every time you wash your hair, and by wash I mean you cleanse it with water and shampoo, you will use one hair mask as well. Be aware that if you wash your hair daily, you should only treat it with a hair mask every 48 hours. Some times it will be Moisture, sometimes Nurture, and once or twice a month it will be Repair. Remember that the frequency and the order in which you apply these treatments will be determined by your answers in The Hair Routine test.

Complete the test and get your Hair Routine!

The beauty of having your personal Hair Routine is that you’ll be providing your hair with exactly what it needs.

To follow your Hair Routine, you can make your own hair masks or you can shop the three hair treatments: Moisture, Nurture, and Repair from The Hair Routine online shop.

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What is a hair routine and why follow one?

Believe it or not, your hair only needs three components to be healthy: water, oil, and protein. 

No matter if your hair is straight, curly, frizzy or kinky; all of them require these three elements working together in perfect harmony to make your hair look, feel and be fantastic.

How is a routine going to help my hair?

Let’s think and analyze those rare perfect hair days we get now and then. Those are not a coincidence of the Universe or your horoscope saying “you will get good hair days in the least unimportant dates”  These good hair days happen when there is a perfect balance of water, oil, and protein in your hair. 

Water replenishment in the hair is what makes it softer and more elastic. You will find moisture-locking ingredients in the Moisture Treatment, that will deeply hydrate the end giving the smoothness and definition.

Oil is the element that will make the hair grow healthy and keeping its shine from tops to bottoms. Our Nurture Treatment will rebalance the oils in your hair and control frizz thanks to the rich blend of eleven lustrous oils.   

Protein will make the hair regain volume and strength caused by everyday styling. The Repair Treatment will restore hair mass because it is made with regenerative ingredients such as keratin. 

You can find the treatments mentioned above here.

How to get a good hair day, every day, by using the three elements? 

That’s where it gets tricky; each person needs a specific amount of each of these…in order to achieve that perfect balance. 

For example, if your type of hair is (C  + ) kinky, and more porous, then your hair will need oils more often and in higher quantities than water and protein. If your hair is damaged from bleaching, dying, or constant burning, then your hair will need *more protein in a specific lapse of time. 

*Careful, don’t forget that too much protein in a short lapse of time will cause negative effects. 

The Hair Routine has created a test to deliver your personalized hair care routine. In addition to that, you can get the three hair treatments to follow it. 

If you want to get your own personal routine and start taking care of your hair properly (which FYI is the method women use in Brazil), click here and get started with yours. 

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Bleaching my hair, should I do it?

Yes, I wanted to bleach my hair because I wanted a change. I’ve never really done it though…I am scared I won’t like it or regret it and because it will leave irreparable damage in my hair. So, is it worth it? 

How does bleaching work?

Through the process of oxidation, bleaching will open the cuticles and remove the color from the hair. Ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are the ones that will strip the hair of its natural pigment. With just one application of bleach, your hair will go four or five times lighter. If you leave the application of bleach for too long, it will turn your hair almost white with a slight shade of yellow because that is the core color of hair’s protein. 

Is it dangerous to bleach?

No, not when done by a professional. But be advised that it could melt your hair or burn your scalp slightly if not done correctly. If your hair is already very damaged, you should go through an intense reparation process before deciding to bleach. 

How to prevent damage from bleaching?

Pro tip: the night before bleaching, apply organic olive oil or coconut oil all over your hair and go to your appointment like that! (Yes, with oil all over your hair). This will nourish it an extra bit more before the oxidation process. Wink wink! 

Final decision?

Not today. Damage from bleaching can be hard to repair and that includes dry, brittle and inelastic hair.  Even if I am following my Hair Routine to the dot, I am not ready to take the risk. When hair goes through the process of bleaching, the structure of proteins gets damaged and so it becomes more porous and vulnerable. If you follow your hair routine (GET IT HERE IF YOU DON’T) you will have a personalized routine with extra protein treatments to help restore all the keratin lost from bleaching. 

Will I ever do it?

Sure. Maybe when I will be between getting a haircut or bleaching. I will choose to bleach my hair, and if I regret it, I will opt for the haircut. No matter what, I always trust that The Hair Routine will save me. 

Religiously following a routine to take care of my hair has changed the way I think of it. I know that no matter what, being constant with my treatments and loving my hair… will overcome any past or future damage.

Still not sure? Hit us up at [email protected] with any questions you might have regarding bleaching or any other hair related subjects.

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Hair Care by the Pool

It’s boring to swim by the edge without being able to refresh and have some fun. Some of the most common reasons why we don’t like to fully submerge in the water are:

1. You’ll lose your hairstyle (if you blow dry, straighten, style it, etc.). There is no solution for this except to let your hair be and keep it natural. The best way to start is following a Hair Routine that is specific to your type of hair and lifestyle. Get your Hair Routine now. 

2.  The damage from chlorine or sea salt that will leave your hair dry and brittle. Good news, I researched and tested and there are is a solution!

Because I truly want you to enjoy your time in the water and at the same time feel confident that your hair will be protected, here are some of my best tips before and after swimming.

Before going swimming in the pool or the ocean:

Soak your hair. 

Get your hair wet before going for a swim.  Yes, this might sound weird but if the cuticles absorb clean water before… then there will be not much room left to absorb water from the pool or the ocean. Also, this will make it easier for you to apply a leave-in for protection.

Use protection.

Apply a silicone-free leave-in from your roots all the way to the ends evenly. It is important to use a silicone-free product so I highly recommend using the Balancing Conditioner from The Hair Routine because it has the ideal pH levels to close the cuticles and protect the hair shaft.  Another alternative to natural conditioner is using natural oils like Moroccan or Olive oil.

Keep it together.

Braid your hair or tie it in a bun to prevent breakage and additional damage from splashing around.

After the pool or the ocean:

Rinse thoroughly. 

If it’s a washing day, fantastic, do so with extra attention on the scalp. If it is not, go with co-washing to clear it from the chlorine or the salts and dirt from the ocean. 

ATTENTION! I do not recommend washing the hair with shampoo every day even if you went swimming. This will double damage your hair: pool/ocean + shampoo = damage for sure. Use the no-poo technique to get the job done! 

Clarify. 

Use a little bit of apple cider mixed with water to close the cuticles. You may also use carbonated soda to completely rinse off any chlorine left from the pool. 

Cold finish.

After cleansing your hair and scalp with a shampoo and/or conditioner, use cold water to rinse it off, this will leave your hair looking shiny and feeling extra healthy after all the environmental damage. 

Last but not least.

Follow your Hair Routine, and if you don’t have one…GET ONE!

’till next time,

Lucía.

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Top 5 Hairstyles for this Summer

The temperature is rising and my hair knows it. –Insert frizz here-

With the arrival of the summer, I can’t help but think about the cute outfits that I’ll be wearing paired with the freshest hairstyles of the season.  My hair is long so I type ”braided hairstyles” in the search-bar of Pinterest. I know what you must be thinking: Braids for the summer? So what else is new? Yes, I love braids and I can’t help it! But to be fair, I decided not only to include braids in this article but also some head scarfs and hairpins. Yay!

The 5 favorites

1. Hairpins

Hairpins are a successful comeback this season and you can get them almost anywhere these days, but if you are in Montreal, get the cutest styles at Elle and Jane. FYI they also sell The Hair Routine products and some beautiful items from Faithfull the Brand.

summer hairstyles, hair pins, hairstyles, beautiful hair

2. Head Scarfs

Personally, my favorite styles this summer are all the ones that include scarfs, they are great because you can tie them up in so many ways!

3. Scrunchies

Another great comeback from the good old days – yes, the 90s. – Tie your hair up into a bun or just a loose ponytail to avoid damaging the strands.

4. Braids

Classic. My forever go-to style during the summer. There are so many styles to choose from, but here are the ones we consider the favorites amongst The Hair Routine team members.

5. Tied Buns

Another way to tie up your hair without damaging the strands and looking super cute at the same time.

Try out this idea, it looks gorgeous!

Extra Tip

It is essential to protect your hair from the sunlight and the heat in order to avoid permanent damage. I highly recommend using a silicone free leave-in like The Hair Routine Conditioner – which can be used as the perfect leave-in after washing your hair. Just one drop or two, depending on your hair’s length, and WOOP WOOP good to go and conquer the summer!!!

Do you follow the Hair Routine Method? It’s the most effective way to maintain your hair healthy all year long. I highly recommend getting your diagnosis HERE to receive your very own Hair Routine!

’till next time,

Lucía.


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How to Know if My Hair Needs Nurture or Moisture

What’s the difference between Nurture and Moisture?

The first thing you need to know whether your hair needs nurture or moisture, is to understand the difference between them, and how they function in terms of helping your hair to be healthier.

Nurture

Nurture treatments contain the oils that the hair needs to balance the volume and control frizz. If you have oily hair, this treatment is still necessary to balance the oiliness and reduce the oil secretion from the scalp.

Usually, hair needs a nurturing treatment when it looks:

– Opaque
– Extra frizzy

READ HERE TO LEARN HOW TO NURTURE YOUR HAIR

Moisture

Moisture treatments contain help control the amount of water the strand absorbs and retains. Hair needs a certain amount of hydration to be soft and malleable.
Every hair type needs hydration to smooth out the scales on the hair cuticles.

Usually, hair needs moisturizing treatment when it feels:

– Brittle
– Dull

READ HERE TO LEARN HOW TO MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR

Both very different but very necessary

All hair types need both, moisture and nurture, because water is essential for carrying nourishing agents, and damaged hair will need to be hydrated before it is nourished. Generally speaking, thick hair needs more deep nourishing treatments than finer hair, but if you want to be completely sure I would recommend getting your personal Hair Routine. This will help you keep track of what your hair really needs every time you wash your hair.

’till next time,

Lucía

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How to reverse hair loss?

Hair Loss: How to reverse it?

We’ve established that everyone gets concerned about hair loss, right? If you don’t remember this go read Part 1 of this article…but hey, don’t forget to come back!

Now, I did mention that there are some treatments to slow down or reverse hair loss. You would think that by now, scientists would have found a cure for hair loss, but it is a very complex condition and “fixing it” is not that simple. So, I did some more digging and found some exciting products.

Minoxidil

A vasodilator that, in principle, was used exclusively orally to treat patients with severe cases of high blood pressure. Treatments based on Minoxidil usually have a concentration of 5% for men and 2% for women.

Pros

It is commonly used to stimulate hair growth and slow baldness. How? Well, it helps nurture the hair’s root, and it favors its growth.

  • It is commonly used to stimulate hair growth and slow baldness. How? Well, it helps nurture the hair’s root, and it favors its growth.
  • It is FDA approved.

Cons

  • Most common secondary effects include itchiness, dryness in patches, irritation and OBVIOUSLY hair growth in unwanted areas.
  • It does NOT cure baldness; most of the new hair will be lost again if the treatment is suspended.  

Tricomin Clinical

A multi-care health system that uses two main technologies ( which they’ve patented): Copper Peptide Complex and Triamino Copper Complex. Yes, the essential component is copper. It stimulates and nurtures the cells with oxygen and other nutrients. As we get older copper levels tend to decrease, but with this stimulation, hair follicles get thicker and healthier looking.

Pros

  • Tricomin Clinical claims it is “Deliberately and precisely formulated to work wellness wonders on stressed, fragile hair.”
  • It is one of the few treatments that have actually been shown to stimulate hair growth in intensive FDA trials.

Cons

  • Copper toxicity…it could be an issue. It is very important to ensure that your zinc levels are balanced if you use these types of products regularly.

Castor Oil

This viscous oil is full of omega fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-9 that help moisturize the scalp and stimulate blood circulation. In English, castor oil helps promote healthy hair growth. According to Google, its regular use can boost hair growth by three times the normal rate. Well, I guess I will have to test this one myself.

Pros

  • It provides conditioning that improves the flexibility of the hair fiber. It has antimicrobial properties, which are useful to fight off bacteria or any fungus growth. I think the most important thing to know about castor oil is that it will make your hair feel and look thicker.

Cons

  • There is still no scientific evidence that assures castor oil is effective for hair growth.
  • Castor oil penetrates easily and goes to our blood system through the scalp, which could cause some adverse side effects. It is not suitable for pregnant women or people with chronic diseases.  

Jojoba Oil

Did you know Jojoba is technically not an oil but a wax? Why is this important? Well, because they imitate natural body oils, so when we apply them to our skin, we can make it believe that it’s been produced naturally.

Jojoba oil is super moisturizing, but it won’t leave any residue (SCORE!). It stimulates hair cells to reproduce themselves. Adding 3 – 4 drops on your hand when you are conditioning your hair will help protect hair strands from drying up and breaking. Make sure you don’t add it to the bottle and just to the portion you will use as it may mess up the pH of your product.

Pros

  • It is a natural moisturizing ingredient. It is great for the skin because it contains most of the important vitamins and minerals required to maintain healthy skin, …and you know what they say: healthy scalp = healthy hair.
  • It doesn’t have any side effects, and it can be stored for a long time without conservatives.

ATTENTION!

Always choose organic natural oils, because those with conservatives contain ingredients that are not good for your skin and hair. An extra tip, buy it cold-pressed so that you really obtain all the benefits of the oil.

With that in mind, here’s a recipe from the master of hair masks.

Recipe to slow down hair loss

Disclaimer: our founder learned it from her Brazilian grandma, and she loves sharing it with E-VERY-ONE! So here it goes:

Ingredients

  • Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
  • Organic fresh or dry Rosemary
  • Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil
  • Organic Cold Pressed Tea Tree Oil
  • Fresh Garlic

In a small pot place 3 spoonfuls of the coconut oil, two spoonfuls of rosemary leaves, one teaspoon of castor oil and two drops of tea tree oil. Then squish one clove of fresh garlic and add it to the mix.  (Just make sure you don’t go on a date after).

Warm the mix in “bain Marie” until it becomes a little greenish.

Let it cool and filter it with a filter paper. Before using it, test it in a small area of your arm to make sure you are not sensitive to the garlic or tea tree oil. (These are very powerful ingredients)

When is it best to apply?

Wait for your washing hair day and apply it 2 hours before washing it. You should use enough to cover your entire scalp and massage, massage a lot. Save the rest in a sterilized crystal or glass jar and refrigerate for several uses. It might solidify, but it will melt in your hands.

Voilà!

’till next time,

Lucía

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Hair Loss S.O.S.

When will I start losing hair?

I once read: “hair growth is like a garden, how well it grows depends on what’s underground”.

FACT: Your scalp is a home for about 100,000 strands of hair.

Each one of them has its own life cycle. Like a plant, see? I told you.

To be honest, I usually link hair loss to men and not women. Or that’s what I used to do until my mom confessed to me she was having trouble dealing with hair loss. And not too long after that, I found a famous influencer from Montreal struggling with hair thinning as well…and she is my age!

There is really not a big difference in terms of gender. Most women start experiencing hair loss around their 50´s, but there are also thousands of younger women losing their hair nowadays.

FACT: Most of us lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair each day.

Oh, and on washing days you are supposed to lose up to 250 strands of hair. This doesn’t mean avoid washing just to keep your hair from falling out…because it will, eventually.

The 5 most common reasons for hair loss are:

1. Excessive Styling

Very tight ponytails or styles can cause your scalp to irritate and your hair to fall. Even hairstyling products that may contain chemicals will damage the scalp and cause the hair shaft to break, and your hair will start thining. Rock a relaxed hairstyle once in a while and look for products that are free of sulfates or any hard chemicals.

2. Medication

From birth control to cancer treatments (chemo) all of these can take a toll on your hair. Some other drugs that mess up hair growth are blood thinners and medicines that treat high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and depression. Damage is not permanent though, once treatment is finished hair grows back.

3. Significant Weight Loss

If you are lacking certain nutrients, like iron, protein, and vitamin B, which are essential in the production of keratin, get ready to lose more than a pound but also some locks.

4. Thyroid Imbalance

This is one of the most common reasons for “unexplainable hair loss” This is an autoimmune disease and it’s occasionally associated with alopecia areata, which causes hair to fall out in big patches. Your own immune system is attacking healthy hair follicles BY MISTAKE. Damage isn’t permanent and corticosteroids can help regrow hair for women with alopecia areata.

ATTENTION! See a doctor if you have this problem.

5. Traumatic Event

That stress can make women go through telogen effluvium, a temporary shedding because of nutritional deficiencies or hormonal changes. If hair falls out in clumps, better nutrition and lots of rest are your two best allies.

FACT: Hair grows about six inches a year…for most people. 

I think it’s safe to say that for EVERYONE hair loss is a difficult experience, but it’s inevitable as we age, and it’s ok to try to slow down or reverse this process. The real question is…

Can I grow my hair back?

Good news. Yes! There are treatments for temporary and even permanent hair loss. Some of the most common options are:

Medication**

Surgical Treatments**

Natural Solutions

These are all helpful and targeted to specific problems, but our expertise relies on natural cures and ingredients you should use.

’till next time,

Lucía.

**Don’t take any medication without a prescription.

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The 5 Scariest Ingredients in your Hair Care Products

Scariest ingredients in your hair products

They live amongst us, under the name of “fragrance” or other complicated ingredients. Names you don’t recognize and chemicals you’ve never heard of, or maybe you have. These are just a few of the ingredients that we use on our scalp daily without being conscious of the damage and consequences.

1. The twin sisters:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Sulfates are harsh detergents that work to strip the oils from the hair.
Both of them are surfactants and they are present in almost every shampoo, detergent, and soap you can think of.

Why you should be scared:

They are harsh and will eventually damage your hair, making it brittle and dry. They can also trigger allergic reactions on your skin and trigger a dandruff problem. Sulfates will surely deep cleanse your scalp and strands but they will also dry out your skin completely and are closely related to some diseases.

2. Para(normal)bens

Parabens such as methylparaben and propylparaben are creepy ingredients because they’re everywhere. They are used to preserve products preventing bacteria to grow in cosmetics and hair care products.

Why you should be scared:

We find them in 85% of self-care products and canned products, and they have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells. VERY SCARY!

3. Dr. Formaldehyde

This is not an ingredient that you’ll find often in hair products, and there’s a good reason for it: this is the scariest of them all. It is used as a preservative and most commonly activated by heat. It is so dangerous that The European Union has restricted its use in personal care products and in Sweden and Japan it is entirely banned from cosmetics and toiletries. You’ll find it under the name of quaternium-15.

Why you should be scared:

It is a known carcinogen proven to be absorbed by the skin. In fact, in 2013, hundreds of American women sued Unilever after experiencing hair loss, burnt scalps, and broken or discolored hair after using an at-home hair-smoothing product. (CNN)

4. Dimethicone

It is a silicone that makes your hair look nice and shiny, after cleansing it with shampoo. On the other hand, it’s the ingredient that contributes the most to build up and making your hair greasy and lifeless after one day of not cleaning it.

Why you should be scared:

It is basically plastic that can clog your pores, cause irritation and acne.

5. The one in disguise: Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are sneaky. Manufacturers don’t need to specify the ingredients under the term “fragrance”. Smart, but not OK for the rest of us.

Why you should be scared:

Some ingredients in products that contain synthetic fragrances can irritate the skin, cause hair loss, and even disrupt the reproductive system. They can also cause cancer, asthma, and make their way into women’s breast milk!!!

Horrifying, right?

’till next time.

Lucía.