Articles By YouBeauty.com

YouBeauty asked cosmetic chemist Mort Westman, president of Westman Associates, an Oak Brook, Illinois, skin and hair care consultancy, to tackle the question we've all asked ourselves: does hair get used to shampoo? Here's what he had to say...

It’s definitely a bummer: You find a shampoo that totally works for your hair, and then one day, it doesn’t. Instead of bouncy, your locks are limp. Instead of sheen, you get puff. Many women experience the heartbreak of their hair getting used to a shampoo, nixing its effects. Although it’s yet to be proven in the lab, the phenomenon is probably more than a perception bias.

Before you start pouring your favorite shampoo down the drain, eliminate confounding factors. Moving to a new city or going on vacation can expose your hair to harder (or softer) water, or an uptick in damaging sun exposure, which can change the way your coif looks and feels. In the winter, all that dry air from heaters on overdrive can also fry your strands. If none of these situations applies, your problem might be buildup.

Conditioning ingredients, such as quaternium and polyquaternium, that make hair silky and manageable target areas of damaged hair. Quats, as they’re called, and similar compounds, such as silicones, found in just about every conditioning product on the market, are positively charged and are attracted to the negative charge of these damaged spots. They are “substantive,” which means that they are designed to seek out these sites and stay behind, even after rinsing, to provide lubrication and reduce static flyaway by sending a positive charge through the length of the hair shaft. The flipside of being substantive is that it can result in unwanted buildup that weighs hair down. The sudden return to lifelessness gives you the feeling that your hair is no longer responsive. The genie has left the bottle.

Fortunately, the answer is simple: Take a break. Switch shampoos for at least another week or two. You can try a clarifying shampoo or anything that is either deep-cleansing or made for oily hair. (Clarifying is basically just a fancy word for deep-cleansing anyway.) Above all, choose a product that’s made by a different company. Manufacturers tend to use the same ingredients across formulas in their various product lines, so to effectively eliminate the culprit you want to veer to a separate brand entirely. After your time apart, go back to your old love. Its effects should be as apparent as they were to begin with.

MORE: Myth or Fact: Does Hair Build Tolerance to Products?


New York Fashion Week brings its own unique set of stresses and preoccupations—some ridiculous, some totally valid (Where’s my iPhone? Will the show start on time? Did I print the most recent backstage lists?). But one thing’s for sure—everyone looks good. This week we were picking the brains of hard working industry ladies to unearth their streamlined hair routines, sure to be helpful when you too are short on time.

As I waited for a table at the Standard (alongside Rachel Zoe’s fashionista son Skyler) I got the lowdown on Urban Bush Babe Cipriana Quann’s sculptural bun.

She has a lot of hair and swears by SheaMoisture Reconstructive Finishing Elixir applied to damp hair. She then separates her hair into EIGHTEEN individual twists and creates this amazing dual chignon. She loves using 100 percent extra virgin coconut oil or 100 percent extra virgin olive oil as a finisher in lieu of silicone-based serums. Get this girl and her mad skills backstage!

For more Fashion Week hair routines, head over to YouBeauty.


Picture a typical hair salon: rows of chairs lined up with big mirrors positioned on the wall in front of each. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But imagine if those mirrors weren’t there and instead, you settled into your chair and let your hairstylist do her thing while you waited blindly to see the finished product.

Are we giving you anxiety yet? Trusting someone with a pair of scissors anywhere near your head is a big feat. But a new salon in New York City, O&M.nyc, the first U.S. salon by Australian-based Original & Mineral, takes that notion of trust to a new level by removing the mirrors from the equation. Instead, clients sit around a custom-built wooden table where they can converse with others or watch a black and white movie projected on the wall.

MORE: Change Your Hairstyle Without Cutting It

Janelle Chaplin, creative director for Original & Mineral, says that going mirrorless is meant to create a more relaxed feeling for clients. “It’s a more personal experience and not as awkward as talking to someone through a mirror,” Chaplin says. “There are less boundaries for conversation about your styles,” she notes, which allows the stylist to better match the exact cut and color that clients are asking for.

But are most women really willing to fully trust a hairstylist with such an important part of their appearance? Vivian Diller, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in NYC and author of “Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change,” is a little skeptical, considering how important hair is to most women.

MORE: Why Hair Is So Precious to Us

Our attachment to our hair, Diller says, "goes back hundreds and thousands of years to an association with being an attractive, fertile woman.” Now, our roles are more numerous than just attracting a mate, she says, but having hair that we feel in control of is still an important part of our female identity. Unlike other aspects of our appearance, we can easily change our hair and choose how we want it to be cut, what color we want it to be. Relinquishing that control to a stylist takes serious trust.

“So I think the whole notion of sitting around a table and handing your style or your beauty over to someone is great in theory, but the fact is you have to have a strong sense of yourself and you have to have a good bond with your hairdresser,” Diller says. “I think to make that concept work,” she adds, “it would mean hairstylists developing the kind of relationship with their client that’s based on knowing their client.”

MORE: What Your Hair Says About You

Although it could be scary, she does note that giving up control can also be refreshing and eye opening. “The liberating, relaxing feeling that you’re handing something over that matters to you to someone else, that’s a wonderful feeling,” she says. “And it may be a good experiment to recognize how dependent you are on a mirror.” But realistically, she doesn’t see most women being brave enough to give up that control.

So far, according to Chaplin, reactions from salon-goers have been very positive. “We have hand mirrors available; however, most have loved not looking at themselves during the process.” "It is wonderful for networking," she adds, but "the table is large enough that you still have privacy if you want. It is like having your hair done in a chic loft. The very modern concept empowers women, as they do not have look at themselves for two hours during the process."

MORE: Beach Wave Tips, Straight From Surfers Themselves


“Brittle hair can be a combination of dry, dull, frizzy, broken, split-ended, shedding and lackluster hair. In a way, it parallels dry skin in that there is a spectrum of presentations, from mildly dull to full blown breakage and hair loss,” says Dr. Francesca Fusco, a Manhattan dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Assistant Attending Physician at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

MORE: Tried-and-True Frizz-Fighting Strategies

So, what brought on this brittle hair mess? There are a few serious medical causes, such as malnutrition, hypothyroidism and having a biotin deficiency. If your brittle hair is chronically awful, your first course of action should be to check in with your doctor.

But the most common culprits of crispy, fragile hair are excessive exposure to UV rays, heat styling, chlorine, and chemical processes, like dyes and bleaches. Guilty as charged? Then a few tweaks to your styling routine could quickly get you back on track to healthy, shiny and strong healthy hair. “Hair is not living, so it can’t heal itself once it’s damaged. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it by using the right products to add shine and strength,” says Fusco.

First, cut down on heat styling. “Heat damage is a huge culprit. I’m seeing increasing numbers of women with damaged hair as a result of regular styling routines that include using a blow dryer, flat iron and/or a curling iron. Hair dryers that heat up to over 175°C and curling irons applied for one minute or longer at 125°C can induce water bubbles inside your hair, damaging the shaft. Extreme heat essentially cooks your hair,” says Fusco. This terrifying condition is known as "bubble hair" —it makes strands feel rough to the touch and keeps them from sliding off each other in a uniform way, aka, no more bounce.

QUIZ: Do You Have Bubble Hair? Find Out.

Make sure your hot tools have temperature controls and stick within the low to medium settings. Also, be sure to use a heat-protecting styling aid to buffer the damage caused by hot tools. In fact, try skipping a day or two of heat styling entirely each week to give your haystack a much-needed rest.

Next, switch to using moisture-replenishing shampoos, conditioners and styling products. The newest formulas actually deliver hefty doses of hydration without making your hair feel greasy or gunky. (See our editor’s picks below). “You have to use conditioner every time you shampoo,” says Fusco. If you’re scared that it’ll weigh down your hair, then just apply it to your ends, which are usually the most brittle. Look for styling aids that contain shine-enhancing and hair-softening oils, like sunflower, soybean, argan and sweet almond oils. “They’re wonderful at increasing shine and also benefiting the scalp,” explains Fusco. A weekly intensive moisture-boosting hair mask or scalp treatment will also help rejuvenate fragile, weak hair.

MORE: Get Beachy Waves That Are Soft, Not Crunchy

Post-shower, resist the urge to rip through tangles, which can seriously destroy your weakened strands. "Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle. Start at your ends and work your way up to prevent tearing through big knots," advises celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel, who works with Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried and Isla Fisher.

Finally, avoid tight hairstyles and metal hair accessories which could stress and tear your already fragile hair. “Use very soft hair ties and well padded ponytail bands,” advises Fusco. Also, keep a humidifier in rooms that are highly air-conditioned or overly heated, both of which deplete air and hair of moisture.


Cosmetics companies bedazzle their products and packaging with seals that proclaim their green credentials. Since there’s no one organization regulating organic standards within the beauty industry, in the United Stated or internationally, keeping up with the myriad acronyms can make your head spin.

MORE: Are You Using Toxic Cosmetics?

We’re here to help. Flip through the gallery for the seals you’re most likely to see on store shelves, and exactly what they mean.


Beyoncé sure knows how to captivate an audience, whether at the Super Bowl, the White House or in concert venues around the world. So it’s no surprise that Queen Bey’s new hairstyle—a short pixie cut and blonde color—has everyone talking.

Naturally we’re wondering: Why did she do it? Unfortunately it’s a little difficult to get penciled into Ms. Carter’s schedule, so we can’t ask her ourselves. But we did get some insight into how a drastic haircut could give you a little extra confidence and make you feel, well, pretty darn Sasha Fierce.

YouBeauty Psychology Advisor Art Markman, Ph.D., says making a big change like Beyoncé’s can help you better understand your influence on others and give you a stronger sense of self.

“When you make a big change in your appearance (hairstyle or color, new glasses, new fashion look), you become more aware of the impression you make on other people for a while. You are a bit self-conscious about the change,” he adds, “and so you spend more time paying attention to how you influence other people. That can be refreshing, because it helps you to see the positive ways that you affect the people around you,” Markman says.

MORE: The Psychology of Hair

Of course, someone like Beyoncé already knows her influence on her fans, he notes, “so her radical fashion changes are generally a way to provoke others into writing about her and getting her back in the public eye.” But hey, we won't begrudge anyone (even a celebrity) a little extra confidence boost.

Rita Hazan, the hairstylist who gave Beyonce her beautiful golden color, adds that a bold beauty change can be very empowering. "I love a dramatic change. It shows that a woman is fearless and confident—it's a very strong statement," she says. "A big change changes a person completely—they have to change the way they dress and makeup. It's a full package."

For some more short hair inspiration, check out some other celebrities whose bold cuts have really made an impression.

 


We all know the first rule of wearing curly hair is to shampoo less. But what's a curly to do in between washes, especially in the summertime? We suggest dry shampoo to tide you over.

Klorane was the first dry shampoo invented, so that's a good place to start. YouBeauty reviewed the Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle and here's what they found.

What it is: 

Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle, $18

What it does: 

Absorbs excess oil and minimizes scalp oil over time, while adding volume.

Why it works: 

While there are a bazillion products out there for dry hair, gals with oily hair aren't given many options other than shampoo, and then they feel the need to wash their hair constantly to get rid of the grease. Dry shampoo can be a lifesaver, and this new one is specially designed for oily hair. Company tests show that the product absorbs sebum within 25 seconds, thanks to ingredients silica and a corn derivitive that together trap dirt and oil so you can brush through and actually clean the hair. (Klorane would know—the company invented the first dry shampoo in 1972 for hospital patients who couldn't wash their hair).

But the real kicker with this dry shampoo is that it has cumulative oil-control results. Nettle, an herbaceaous plant grown in Portugal, has a compound in its roots that regulates the enzyme that produces oil in the scalp. A company study shows 100 percent of subjects with seborrhea (extreme oiliness often caused by a hormonal imbalance) had reduced sebum after three months. To treat this kind of oil overdrive, spray directly on the roots, leave on for two minutes, and then brush through.

MORE: Brass-Reducing Mousse for Faded Color


Thick, shiny, healthy-looking hair is one of the gorgeous perks of pregnancy. You can thank estrogen, the master pregnancy hormone, which extends the growing phase of the hair-growth cycle so fewer hairs fall out than normal.

Usually we lose about 100 hairs a day, which shed naturally after they’ve finished their normal growth cycle. In pregnancy, with the extended growth phase, hair becomes fuller.

Estrogen helps produce shine-enhancing sebum, the natural oil that comes from your hair follicles. After birth, you should expect to clean a ton of hair from your drain. Hair drops from your head once your estrogen level drops.

You may be wondering whether it’s safe to dye your hair during pregnancy. About half of all moms-to-be do. Hair color is not recognized as a danger during pregnancy. The research linking cancer to hair dyes remains fairly weak. Some chemicals in hair dye can be absorbed through the skin via the scalp.

QUIZ: How Healthy is Your Hair?

Streaking or highlighting involves less direct contact with the scalp. Temporary dyes applied at home are less toxic than permanent. Make sure you wear gloves and use them in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in fumes.

Another option is to use pure henna. This is a semi-permanent dye that’s been used over thousands of years. It has to be left on for four to eight hours. It also gets messy, but it’s safe and will leave an orange-red hue. The other shades of henna may contain potentially risky metallic compounds.

While the hair on your head grows thicker, your body hair will follow suit. This is probably due to an increase in androgens, or male hormones (yes, your body also produces these!). This comes in the form of stray hairs on your breasts, belly and back.

You also may notice more facial hair. Most hairs will be gone three to six months after giving birth. In the meantime, feel free to tweeze, shave or wax as you wish.

Permanent hair removal treatments are probably safe, but don’t you have enough discomfort to deal with already? It’s also a waste of money, since this hair will fall out on its own.

MORE: The Psychology of Hair 

To find out more about how pregnancy affects your hair and skin, head to YouBeauty.


You probably exfoliate your face regularly—and completely neglect your scalp. By whipping up this sweet, sugary treatment every few weeks, you can easily revitalize both your scalp and your hair.

“Sugar acts as an alpha hydroxy acid, which exfoliates by penetrating the hair’s cortex and stimulating cellular activity of the follicle,” explains Sam Brocato, owner and stylist at Sam Brocato Salon in New York City. “It also moisturizes and exfoliates the scalp leaving hair soft manageable.” Almond oil provides moisture and facilitates the work of the sugars while also delivering vitamin E, which is essential for hair and scalp health, according to Brocato. “Folic acid is also prevalent in almond oil, which is proven to stimulate hair growth, and lemon juice helps add shine.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ Tbs turbinado sugar
  • 2 ½ Tbs white sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbs almond oil
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon or chopstick.
  2. Gently massage into freshly shampooed hair for five minutes, concentrating on the scalp.
  3. Allow it to absorb for five minutes.
  4. Rinse out treatment with tepid water, then dry and style as desired.

For more Homemade Beauty Recipes by YouBeauty, click here.

Few things are as startling as spotting your first grays. But while we associate silver strands with older age, on average, women gray from age 25 onward, and top stylists say they’re seeing more women in their 20s and 30s coming in to the salon with gray hair these days.

“I think women are more stressed out than ever, and that’s likely accounting for the younger and younger clients I see with gray hair,” says Lisa Stephenson, creative director for Sassoon Salon NYC Uptown.

In short: More of us than ever are dealing with those first grays at all stages of our lives.

Yet when you have just a few strands of gray, a full head of color correction is too much of a time (and money!) commitment. Fortunately, leading stylists have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to make emerging grays look stylish and chic. Here are their top tips.

Do NOT Pluck!

Apparently, this is as close to a cardinal sin as one can get. Sure, when it’s just a stray strand or two, grabbing the tweezers can feel super tempting—but experts say you may live to regret the shortcut. “Plucking can damage the hair follicle and the strand may never grow back—and as you age and your hair naturally thins, you’ll need every strand of hair you can get,” warns New York City salon owner and stylist Mark Garrison. “Gray hair is perfectly good hair—it just needs pigment. Never under any circumstances pluck perfectly good hair from your head!” adds Adam Livermore, celebrity colorist and Oribe Hair Care educator. OK, OK, we promise not to pluck!

Play With Your Part Line

For many women, grays often grow in more heavily on one side of the head than the other. “If grays are more prominent on one side, try switching your part to the other side,” says Mike Petrizzi, AgeBeautiful artistic director. A zigzag or diagonal part may also help conceal grays that are growing in more scattered around the head.

Clip It

Try styling with barrettes and pretty hair jewelry clips (we love the selection on Etsy) to neatly pin gray strands beneath colored locks in a very intentional-looking way, suggests Petrizzi. A simple half-up style clipped at the back of the head without a part can adeptly disguise stray grays growing at the crown that can otherwise stand out like a spotlight.

Get the Right Cut

For clients whose first grays are around the face or on the sides of their head, Stephenson designs hair to disguise the grays. “I cut layers shorter in the back and longer in the front so that hair falls forward,” she explains. A blowout with a brush that accentuates the forward-falling motion can help cement the clever style.

Go For Gloss

“For clients who are beginning to gray and don’t want a huge change, I use gloss to camouflage the grays and make them look like natural highlights,” says Livermore. Gloss (sometimes also referred to as glaze) adds a sheer touch of semipermanent color to strands that washes out in a couple to a few weeks, and also comes with the benefit of adding beautiful glass-like shine to strands.

Turn Grays Into Highlights

If grays are numbering more than just a few, you can paint highlights directly in small sections to turn those wiry strands into a face-brightening effect. “Stick to a highlight shade that’s close to your base color, and it’ll look very natural,” advises Garrison.

Try A Root Concealer

The popular root cover up category that has exploded in recent seasons is chock full of products that work brilliantly on gray strands, too. Livermore is a fan of Roux Tween Time Temporary Hair Color Touch-Up Sticks and Jerome Russell Temporary Color Sprays. Petrizzi says that hair powder and root mascara are excellent temporary solutions for random gray strands that may pop up here and there.

Sweep On A Single-Process

When those few gray strands turn into more than you can handle with tricks, or you’re spending too much time obsessing over concealing them, going with a simple single-process color is an easier route than many women imagine. “Cost and maintenance with single process color are low, and the opaque color erases them completely,” says Livermore. And if it’s literally just a few strands that are gray, there’s no reason you can’t just color those pesky few. “You don’t always have to do your whole head,” says Garrison.

Embrace The Grays!

Attention aging gracefully advocates: Stephenson says that sharp haircuts with confident angles can make gray strands look incredibly chic. “I have a client whose gray grew in a streak on one side of her head, and I made that side longer and the other side shorter so that the gray streak was actually a focal point—and she loved it!” shares Stephenson, who adds that the client even felt her special streak imbued her with a feistier attitude.

 



Total 3 results.

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Shannon from Curly Deviants shows us how she uses the Lush Caca Brun Henna to add luster to her 4c coils.
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