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.

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Chlorine  

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!

Washing

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.

haircut-834280_1920Cutting

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!

 

 

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Love Your Heart: Tips for Cardiovascular Health

By Claire Harvin

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According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the #1 cause of death and disability for all Americans — heart disease is responsible for an average 1,690 deaths each year in just the Midlands.

However, more than 80 percent of risk factors for heart disease and stoke are preventable through a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best and easiest ways to fight cardiovascular disease, and by making simple steps and improving your overall pattern of choices, you can create long-term health benefits for yourself.

Here are some tips to help you make cognitive choices for a healthy heart:

 

Make better food choices, making sure to include a variety of nutritious foods from different food groups. Nutrient-rich foods have minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories to help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Include a fruit and/or vegetable at every meal and snack.
  • Eat a variety of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars.
  • Replacing high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables can improve your health and weight.
  • Try to eat 8-10 servings, typically ½ – 1 cup, of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Increase your fiber intake.
  • Replace white breads, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice with whole-grain versions, which are rich in fiber.
  • Fiber is also found in the peels of fruits and vegetables.
  • Aim for skinless poultry and fish
  • Prepare them in healthy ways, without added saturated and trans
  • Eat a variety of fish at least twice a week, especially fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout and herring).
  • If you choose to eat meat, look for the leanest cuts available and also prepare them in healthy ways.
  • Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Replace these with the better fats, like monounsaturated fats (olive, canola, peanut, safflower and sesame oils) and polyunsaturated fats (soybean, corn and sunflower oils, as well as fatty fish).
  • If you need to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt.
  • To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day.
  • Reducing your daily intake to 1,500 mg is desirable because it can lower blood pressure even further. If you can’t meet these goals right now, even reducing sodium intake by 1,000 mg per day can benefit blood pressure.
  • Eat less of nutrient poor foods
  • You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.
  • Limit foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients.
  • Read Nutrition Facts labels carefully — the Nutrition Facts panel tells you the amount of healthy and unhealthy nutrients in a food or beverage.

Use up at least as many calories as you take in to maintain a healthy weight and help your overall health

  • This requires knowing how many calories you should be consuming, depending on your age, height, lifestyle and gender.
  • Don’t intake more than you use up if you don’t want to gain weight
  • Know your portion sizes and use portion control in all meals.

Prioritize regular physical activity — this can help you maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

  • Match your amount and intensity of physical activity to your daily calories consumed
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity – or an equal combination of both – each week:
  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 5 days per week, for a total of 150 minutes

OR

  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 days per week, for a total of 75 minutes

AND

  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
Choose a healthy lifestyle, not just in your diet but also your decisions.

 

·      If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.

·      Don’t smoke tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke

Inspired to make an effort to eat for your heart health? Here’s a Heart-Healthy Shopping List to help you achieve your goal:

Beverages and Treats

  • Coffee
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Red Wine (4 oz)

Breads, Grains, and Legumes

  • Dark Beans, such as kidney or black beans
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereals, like oatmeal
  • Whole grains, such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta
  • 100% whole-wheat bread

Dairy Products

  • Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat soymilk with calcium
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt (choose options with less added sugar)

Fats and Oils

  • Light mayonnaise
  • Margarine and spreads with no trans fats
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Salad dressings that are oil-based instead of creamy
  • Vegetable oil (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame)

Fruits

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Berries: Blueberries, Cranberries, Strawberries, or Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Pear

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts

Protein

  • Beef, at least 93% lean
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Pork, unprocessed
  • Tofu
  • Seafood (high in omega-3), such as Salmon, Tuna or Trout

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Red, yellow and orange veggies, such as Acorn Squash, Carrots, Red Peppers and Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

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.

running

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.

buget

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!