Hair Health Tips

By Kirstie Boone

From hair dryers to curling and straightening irons, our hair takes a lot of heat throughout the year, not to mention the damaging hair products we often use. Summer is the perfect time to revamp your beauty routine and ensure your hair remains healthy all year long. There are many tips on keeping your skin safe from the sun, but how do you keep your hair healthy while lounging on the beach in the hot summer sun? How do you protect your hair from the chemicals found in chlorine pools? Refresh your beauty rituals this summer to have healthier hair. From hats to hair masks, we’ve got tips from the experts on the most effective ways to protect and rejuvenate your tresses.

Sun Safety

Like your skin, your hair can be easily damaged in the sun. According to Blair Wessinger at Studio SB, the best way to keep your hair safe from the sun is “hats, hats, hats!” Wearing a hat while lounging on the beach or by the pool protects not only your face from harmful UV rays, but also your hair. Hats will also protect colored hair from being tinted to undesirable shades.

Kelly Odom, owner of Kalikō Salon, advises the use of leave-in repair serums. “I always have one in my beach bag,” says Kelly. “The heat from the sun actually helps open the hair cuticles for better penetration.”

While many people use products such as lemon juice to “naturally” lighten their hair in the sun, this can actually be very harmful. I’ll never forget the summer my younger sister opted for “natural” highlights from the sun and sprayed a product called “Sun In” in her hair before we went to the pool. She continued this ritual for an entire month, but her hair turned more of a brassy orange color as opposed to the soft blonde she was hoping for. It also became very brittle and began breaking off around her roots. She quickly made an appointment at the salon, and to her dismay, learned that the product she was using to “naturally” lighten her hair was actually a combination of bleach, hydrogen peroxide and some other not-so-natural ingredients. Combined with the harmful rays of the sun, these ingredients temporarily ruined her hair. She was forced to cut the dry, brittle patches out, but her hair thankfully grew back healthy and in a natural color.

While results of using such products may vary from person to person, it is strongly encouraged that you check with a trusted salon before using any product. Everyone’s hair is different, so making sure you’re using products that are safe for your hair is key.



In addition to the sun damage that occurs while you lounge by the pool, the chlorine in the water can also be harmful to both your skin and hair. Wearing a swim cap is one way to prevent hair damage, as is fastening your hair in a high pony-tail or bun before taking a dip.

However, if there is no way around getting your hair wet, there are some options to reduce the damaging effects of chlorine. One way to minimize damage is by wetting your hair before getting in the pool, says Lex Moore of OCCO Luxury Spa + Salon. If your hair is dry when it comes into contact with pool water, the chlorine has a better chance of soaking into the strands of hair. By wetting your hair pre-swim, you’ll minimize the amount of chlorine that soaks in.

Another helpful tip is to rinse your hair as soon as possible after you come into contact with chlorine. Even if it’s only in a poolside shower, it’s best to rinse as much of the chlorine out of your hair and off your body as soon as possible. Later, to make sure all chlorine has been removed, you can use natural remedies such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water for an at-home remedy. Or mix one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water to create a natural method for removing the chlorine post-swim. Lex suggests using L’Oreal Professional Nutrifier Series after swimming. This is a new formula that’s silicone-free and contains glycerol and coconut oil. Its lightweight texture is perfect for dry and undernourished hair.

Also, hair masks are great for repairing hair after exposure to pool chemicals. Lex suggests doing a hair mask at home once a week to keep your hair healthy and stronger between salon visits. Blair also encourages the use of hair masks as a source of extra conditioning, but advises users to get the right mask for your hair type. “With fine hair especially, you don’t want to get anything to heavy,” says Blair. Many hair masks can be applied in the shower after, or in place of, your regular conditioner. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing it out, or for hair in dire need of repair, leave it in for longer. Others should be applied to washed and towel-dried hair and left in for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.

beauty-15932_1920Hair dryers, straightening irons, curlers, oh my!

When using styling tools, it’s important to be mindful of the heat setting. Kelly advises you to consider the texture of your hair when choosing the temperature for styling tools. Blair says that you get what you pay for when it comes to choosing styling tools. It’s worth it to spend a little extra to get high-quality, salon-brand tools. Joye Fowler of Ashley’s Alley recommends only purchasing ceramic hot tools that have the capability of exceeding 400 degrees, and the higher above that the better — even if you don’t need that level of heat, it ensures that the ceramic is high-quality and thus safer for your hair. Lex advises her clients to go no higher than 410 degrees, however it’s best to stay around 350 degrees. “Play it smart. Start lower and, if you feel like you need to go up more, slowly turn your iron up. This keeps your hair from getting singed!” Lex also says it’s best to use a heat protectant, such as the Infinium 3 spray, when using styling tools.

The possibility of avoiding heated styling tools completely isn’t a realistic option for most. However, summer is an excellent time to take a break from the nonessential tools. There are many fun, summer up-dos that don’t require styling. After drying your hair, hairstyle-1473541_1920try braiding it or putting it in a chic bun for the day instead of using a straightening iron. Bonus points if you can avoid the hair dryer all together for a day or two. Blair suggests using a sea salt spray like R&Co Rockaway when your hair is wet. After using the spray, scrunch your hair to give it a nice “beach wave” without having to use styling tools. When you’re on vacation, give your hair a vacation as well. Ditching the styling tools for a bit will give your hair a much-needed break, and the time you’d normally spend styling your hair can be spent enjoying a vacation. It’s a win-win situation!


Kelly says that the amount of time between washes will vary from person to person. However, washing your hair every day prevents your natural oils from doing their job. If you find that you have an extra oily scalp, try a hydrating shampoo instead of stripping the natural oils with harsh shampoos that often cause your scalp to overcompensate from being stripped and produce even more oils. Kelly also suggests using dry shampoos between washes. They absorb oils and add texture! Blair suggests only washing your hair two to three times per week. In regards to the application of dry shampoo, Joye says the best way to use the shampoo is to shake the can before spraying at the roots. Massage the dry shampoo into your hair, then lightly blow dry on low to get rid of the dry shampoo residue.


The frequency with which you get a haircut usually depends on your styling methods. If you use heated styling tools or chemicals in your hair, Blair suggests visiting the salon every six to eight weeks. Lex says that although it is often assumed that getting your hair cut makes your hair grow faster, that’s not necessarily the case. Getting you hair cut on a regular basis keeps your ends healthy, which makes your hair grow longer and healthier because it prevents splitting and breaking. In the long run, if you don’t maintain a regular haircut routine, you have to cut your hair shorter to get rid of more damage.

Follow these easy tips and hints to ensure your hair stays healthy all summer long. Whether you plan on spending the summer by the pool, on the boat or on the beach, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect both your skin and your hair. Now let your hair down and enjoy our beautiful, South Carolina summer!



New Year, New Us

By Kirstie Boone

The large meals and long naps have finally come to an end, and it’s time to get back on track. We’re sharing our top five New Year’s Resolutions with you. Even more, we’re sharing how to keep those resolutions. Join us in making healthful and smart choices this New Year!

Workout: One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to begin working out or workout more frequently. Although many people make this resolution on January 1st, most of us lose focus of this goal rather quickly as the weeks and months go by. This occurs for multiple reasons, one of which is the motivation factor that must accompany any workout routine. It’s often difficult to find the motivation to go to the gym, but finding a gym that you enjoy visiting can be one way to maintain motivation. There are a plethora of gyms to choose from throughout the Midlands area. Anytime Fitness, for example, is located on Devine Street and open 24 hours a day. If you are a night owl or an extremely early riser, this could be a great choice. Doctor’s Wellness on Beltline offers group workout and yoga classes, as well as “Healthy in 12®”– a 12 week medically based lifestyle program targeting overall nutrition and physical fitness. Another option is 9 Round Fitness on Forest Drive. This gym offers a 30-minute workout consisting of nine rounds of intense stations that work each muscle in your body. Personal trainers are on site to encourage and push you to reach your goals.


Where and when you choose to workout depends greatly on your goals, personality and schedule. The most important tip is to have a steady workout routine. Your routine may be waking up before the sunrise and heading out for a quick morning run, an intense 30-minute gym visit, or relieving your stress from a long work day at the gym in the late evening hours. No matter what your new workout routine is, take it slow and enjoy keeping the healthful resolution all year long.

saladEat Healthful Foods: Another popular New Year’s resolution is to eat better, more nutritious foods. To live a healthier lifestyle, working out goes hand in hand with eating healthy. Although this resolution is made every year with good intentions, it’s often difficult to stick to when it’s been a stressful day and you’re ready to go home, order takeout and catch up on your favorite television shows. The positive effects of working out on a regular basis will quickly diminish if you don’t follow a healthy diet. The good news is that following a healthy diet is easier than it ever has been. With websites such as Pinterest full of healthy recipes as well as restaurants like Good Life Café with many organic, healthful choices, the options for healthful eating are endless. Find recipes you enjoy cooking and eating. Prepare food in advance and treat yourself occasionally after a week of good decisions. Read our article from last January on how to follow a natural detox to get your healthy eating started.

Lower Stress: Stress levels seem higher today than ever before. We stress about work, family, friends, the economy, politics … the list goes on and on. Believe it or not, there is a healthy level of stress. Healthy stress makes us work harder, perform better and often accomplish things we never thought possible. However, when stress gets in the way of our goals, causing us to begin to break down, it becomes a negative factor. Often, the holiday season is a negative stress inducer. In our Happy Holidays article, Thomas Barbian, Ph.D. explains that the holiday season can often add stress to an already stressful life, taking away the joy and gratitude that should be associated with this special time. To manage stress during this time and throughout the year, Dr. Barbian suggests exercising regularly, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, refraining from the use of alcohol, drugs or food to ease stress, and breathing well. From a lifestyle perspective, Dr. Barbian suggests managing time wisely, making time for hobbies, learning to say “no,” and spending time with people you enjoy and love. Follow these tips to prevent stress in 2017.

Volunteer: Investing your time into an organization that is making a difference is one way to give back to your community. Finding something that you are passionate about and feel you have a lot to contribute toward is the key to sticking to this New Year’s resolution. If you are devoting your time to a cause you truly care about, it will be easy to devote time to the cause as the days, weeks and months go by in 2017. Volunteering at a local organization not only helps the organization and the community, but it also can be extremely beneficial to your own well-being. Helping others is one of the best ways to better yourself, and volunteering is a wonderful resolution to make and keep in 2017.


Save Money: After the gift giving that goes along with the holiday season is over, the resolution to save money in the New Year is always a top priority. One way to keep this resolution throughout the entire year is to make and stick to a set budget. Accounting for every dollar you spend will help you see where you are wasting money and what areas you can cut back on to save money. If you have credit cards, make sure they offer rewards that suit your lifestyle. For example, if you are constantly on the road, open a credit card that gives you cash back for money that you spend on gas. If you frequent the grocery store for your family, a credit card that offers points or cash back for groceries is a great option. If you enjoy traveling via airplane, research credit cards that will give you points toward plane tickets. Talk to local banks and credit unions such as AllSouth Federal Credit Union and First Citizens Bank about what the best options are for your finances. Also, talking to a financial advisor about the best way to invest and save may be a great way to start your 2017.

Happy New Year from all of us at Columbia Metropolitan. We wish you a wonderful 2017!



Sun-Safe Skin Care

By Kirstie Boone

With Labor Day weekend just around the corner and many of us preparing to escape to the coast for the long weekend, it’s time to talk about sun-safe skin care. Even as summer comes to a close, dangerous UV rays still beam down on your skin. If you are not careful, these UV rays can cause sunburn and an increased risk of getting skin cancer or melanoma. If you plan on soaking up the last little bit of summer outdoors, the only way to protect yourself from this vicious, ultraviolet radiation is by using sunscreen and covering up!

  • Cover up! Whether you are going to be outside for 30 minutes or 3 hours, always grab a hat to cover your face. The best way to keep your face looking youthful is by protecting your skin from the sun when you are outdoors, and the easiest way to do that is with an adorable floppy hat or a stylish baseball cap, both of which you can easily find in Columbia! Even while driving, sun can still creep in through tinted windows and damage your skin, so it’s best to cover up as much as possible.
  • Know your SPF! SPF, short for sun protection factor, shows how strongly a sunscreen protects from UV rays and how long you can be exposed to the sun before burning. If you use 30 SPF, which is the lowest level of sunscreen you should apply, it means that you can be in the sun without burning 30 times longer than you could without sunscreen. Be cautious when it comes to sunscreens that claim to have unusually high SPF numbers though, as some products might not actually give you as much protection from UV rays as you think. It’s best to reapply often, no matter what strength of SPF you use.
  • ALWAYS wear sunscreen! And be sure to give your skin enough time to fully absorb the sunscreen before taking a dip into the pool or ocean. Thankfully, society seems to become more aware of the dangers of not wearing sunscreen when spending time outdoors, so applying sunscreen isn’t as much of a problem anymore. The problem lies in not allowing enough time for the sunscreen to soak in or not reapplying the sunscreen after a few hours in the sun. Besides the obvious plus of protecting you from harmful UV rays, sunscreen can also keep skin from drying out in the scorching summer heat. The popular sunscreen company, Hawaiian Tropic®, makes a lightweight, moisturizing sunscreen that I’ve used all summer long. It’s SPF 30, and called Hawaiian Tropic® Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue that some sunscreens leave behind, and it works great!
  • Reapply! Even if you don’t feel like you are getting a sunburn, it’s best to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Yes, even if you are nose-deep in one of Mary T. Dial’s amazing garden features in the latest issue of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, you should still take a break long enough to reapply that sunscreen! Recently, watchdog Environmental Working Group submitted a letter to the Food and Drug Administration commissioner regarding sunscreen with outrageously high UV protection numbers. Their concern is that these unusually high numbers could be giving users a false confidence that they can stay in the sun for longer amounts of time. Higher SPF protects from skin redness but not necessarily UV damage, thus the redness associated with damaging amounts of sunlight is not present while UV rays still are. Whether you are applying SPF 30 or SPF 100 sunscreen, you should still reapply after two hours. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sun-safe skin care.
  • Wear sunscreen during every season! Even if it’s the middle of winter, it’s important to always apply sunscreen if you are heading outdoors. In winter months, our skin is mostly covered by boots, pants, scarves and long sleeves, but our faces are typically exposed. This means that when choosing a make up for winter months as well as summer months, you should look for products that have sunscreen in them such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. This cream is an advanced anti-aging moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 30. This product, like many others, moisturizes while protecting your skin from the sun.
  • Don’t even think about a tanning bed! There is so much research proving that tanning beds cause irreparable damage to skin. Fortunately, as we become more aware of the dangers associated with tanning beds, more and more sunless tanning products arrive on the market. One of the most popular products is Jergens® Natural Glow®. There are numerous choices within the Jergens® sunless tanner product line, which is all the more reason to stay away from tanning beds. Somewhat new to the sunless tanning scene is Rodan and Fields’. The company’s Essentials Foaming Sunless Tanner claims to create an even, natural-looking tan.

So whether you are heading to the beach this Labor Day weekend or working in the yard during the cooler fall and winter months, it’s important to follow all precautions when it comes to sun-safe skin care to make sure skin stays clear and youthful for years to come. What are some sun-safe skin care tips you have learned while living in our famously hot city of Columbia, South Carolina? Comment on our Facebook page with a favorite tip that you’d like to share!

Five Ways to Wear a White Button-Down

By Kirstie Boone

It may seem like a trend from the past, but a classic white button-down blouse is still a must have for every woman’s closet. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe all owned and loved this timeless, versatile piece. And who can forget Jennifer Grey’s twist on the classic white blouse with her tied up button-down as Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing? Despite the growing popularity of geometric patterns and fresh, bright colors, the white button-down is one piece of clothing that has stuck with us through the ages. At CMM, we put together a list of ideas on different ways to wear a white button-down in today’s world!





1. When you’re looking for the perfect outfit to wear to an interview for your dream job, you can’t go wrong pairing a white button-down blouse with a blazer, slacks or a pencil skirt and pumps. A professional, yet sophisticated outfit isn’t complete without a crisp white button-down shirt.






2. When the work day is over and it’s time for a night out on the town with friends, simply pair a white shirt with a scarf for a fun, playful look. Adding a pop of color to your outfit is easy with a beautiful silk scarf and a colorful handbag or bright shoes. Pair with dark or black jeans and your favorite pair of heels. This look is the perfect transitional day-to-night outfit because you can wear a sleeveless button-down under a blazer, and the scarf if it matches, then simply take the blazer off when work is over and it’s time to play!




3. Who says a white blouse is too plain? Pair that classic white button-down with a tea length or floor length skirt and amazing jewelry for a dressy occasion such as a wedding or party. Whether you dress the outfit up with a stunning statement necklace or sparkly earrings, a white button-down can be the perfect option for a dressier outfit.




4. A white button-down is the perfect solution for when the hot summer sun is beating down on you. Our fourth option is perfect to wear in these last few months of summer in South Carolina. Pair a white button-down blouse with scalloped or seersucker shorts and your favorite sandals or summer flats for a classic, southern style and a look that will keep you cool throughout the summer months.



5. Lastly, we can’t forget about fall outfits, as cooler weather is (hopefully) right around the corner. For a look specific to fall, pair an oversized white button-down blouse with skinny jeans and ankle boots for a cozy yet trendy outfit. Whether you are running errands on a Saturday or taking kids to and from school and extracurricular activities during the weeks, this outfit centered around a white button-down is sure to keep you looking fabulous all day. Add gold accessories, a neutral tote and a hat for the perfect fall outfit.

Jewelry How-To.

We sat down with Jewelry Designer Tiffany Anderson of Pixie Belle Jewelry to learn how she makes her beautiful, feminine pieces as well as how to fix common jewelry dilemmas.

A few things about Tiffany:

She loves to create pieces using greens, blues and earthy tones.


Her resource in Columbia is Swift Water Beads (you can take classes on beading, buy tools, beads and leather)


Tiffany says, “There is so much people can do on their own. I started doing this just for fun and read a book and just figured it out!”


How-To Make Gold-Fill Wire Hoops: 


  1. Have a thick layer of 14 carat gold wire
  2. Wrap wire around some sort of container-sized object
  3. Use “needle-nose” pliers to shape wire around for the hook
  4. Use “flat-nose” pliers to mash the wire down flat
  5. Use sharp cutters to remove extra wire

For creating more intricate designs:

  1. Use a thinner gage wire for wrapping around the hoop
  2. Keep threading and wrapping the wire
  3. You can create different patterns, around the edge or bunch multiple wires together to hang from bottom, etc



Why 14 carat gold-fill wire?

  • It lasts longer than gold plate
  • 20 percent thickness of real gold
  • It’s affordable, but high quality
  • It leaves no residue on your skin


How-To Make a Necklace:DSCN6139

  1. Measure out jewelry wire. A good place to start is 18 inches on the design board
  2. Stick jewelry wire through crimp bead (what attaches the chain to the wire). Loop in and around and put the wire back in the crimp bead. Clamp what attaches crimp bead onto wire and to the chain.
  3. Thread big beads through the wire
  4. Use crimpbead and fasten it again
  5. Clip extra wire as close as possible
  6. You can do a double or triple layer using the same technique (you have to be patient!)

Another technique: Silk knotting which uses no clasp. Simply knot after each bead. This lies a little differently.

How-To Make a Bracelet:


  1. Use stretchy wire
  2. Measure out 5 1/2 to 6 inches of beads
  3. String beads
  4. Knot the end and clip as close as possible. Test before you clip!

You can even make a little set of layered bracelets if you like! This is a very basic way to do bracelets, Tiffany usually creates chain or leather bracelets.

How-To Hammer:


  • Place wire shape on metal block to hammer
  • Creating matching earrings from wire can be challenging to design. You have to make sure they are the same size before hammering.
  • One end of hammer flattens metal while the other end creates a bubbly, hammered look (this requires special bars).
  • Tiffany’s most popular hammered pieces are leather bracelets with hammered metal and magnetic clasps


How-To Fix a Clasp:

  1. Cut off the broken clasp
  2. Use a medium size gold-fill wire
  3. Make a loop with needle-nose pliers and tighten
  4. Add a new clasp onto loop
  5. Wrap wire to close loop
  6. Clip extra wire and use flat-nose pliers to make sure it doesn’t irritate the skin

How-To Re-Wire a Necklace:


  1. Buy small delicate gold-fill chain
  2. Clip when desired length of chain is met on the design board
  3. Simply remake the clasp

How-To Make a Necklace with a Pendant:



Tiffany goes to markets in Charlotte, Atlanta and Charleston and visits various websites to get suppliers

  1. Measure beads out on the design board (24 inches is great for a pendant piece)
  2. Take a bead and slip onto a small wire
  3. Wrap the wire to keep the beads in a specific place on the chain (or to add color in between)
  4. Use needle-nose pliers to wrap the wire
  5. Create loop on top, then snip the end of the wire
  6. Hook the pendant and wire through the chain and tighten with needle-nose pliers (Make sure to put it on where the pendant lies right!)
  7. Can mix up colors and go all the way up the neck
  8. Use needle-nose pliers to loop wire onto chain and twist it

How-To Use Jump Ring for Clasp:

The jump ring comes in all different metals (use wire on thicker chains)

  1. Grab the jump ring with both pliers to open it
  2. Attach to chain
  3. Thread clasp on to jump ring too
  4. Use pliers to close

If earring comes off of the hook… just tighten with pliers!

20 in 30.

So it’s June 1. It’s a Monday and it’s the beginning of a new month. Why not start something new?

That’s what we’re doing here today at CMM.

We fuel ourselves with coffee, work behind computer screens too many hours a day and don’t take in enough sunshine. Therefore, we are challenging ourselves, and you, to get up, out and exercise 20 out of the 30 days of June. While doing so, we believe that we will feel better, look leaner and, in line with all of these positive feelings, eat healthier. We will be sharing healthy recipes, inspiration, tips and tricks, how-to’s as well as struggles and truths throughout the month. To kickstart this wellness regime, we are sharing an article we did last year on fitness technology to get you started on tracking your results. (A personal favorite is the Fitbit Flex.) Best of luck!



Share your goals, your triumphs and your battles by commenting below or sharing your thoughts with #CMM20in30.



Spring Forward.

By Abigail Thielke

Some of us realize the turning of seasons by the smell in the air, the changes in the weather or the strike of the alarm at what seems an hour earlier for about a week. Yes, we lost an hour early Sunday morning. And YES, spring is right around the corner! In the spirit of that, we want to share some behind the scenes photos from our spring fashion photo shoot.  Enjoy!


Our fabulous makeup and hair designers: Keri Bailes (Ashely’s Alley Salon) and Kevin Daniel Price (Bombshell Beauty Studio) beginning the morning with model Kiersten Chow.


Look who else has arrived! Bella Currie begins her hair and makeup.


Cheese! Photographer Jeff Amberg and his assistants.


A look behind the lens (and the iPad).


Model director Sheilah Dixon of Millie Lewis of Columbia.


Margaret Clay (publishing associate), Natalie Meggs (style director), Sheilah Dixon and Jeff Amberg making sure every detail is in place.


Remember this shot? Page 64. Kiersten and Bella.



The people that make the magic happen.