Hair And Etc

Hair extensions 101 and Health and tips for a healthier you.

“This soap is one of my favorites. Its made with honey & milk, which makes one of the most gentle soaps around. The scent is a perfect marriage and reminiscent of richly blended oatmeal, fresh milk and honey. Its mellow, soothing, not too heavy on the honey with just a hint of sweetness. “

“This soap is the comfort food of soaps. Finely ground oatmeal is added for gentle exfoliating properties. You’ll absolutely love this soap!” Its great for sensitive skin. This soap also comes unscented for ultimate gentleness!

  • At bath time, nothing is more luxurious or nurturing for your skin than an all-natural bar of Oatmeal Milk ‘n’ Honey
  • To place an order for this wonderful inexpensive product.

Do not sleep on loose wet hair. You may braid the hair prior to retiring for the night to create waves and a curly texture to our natural straight hair. C omb out all tangles prior to wetting or washing hair. C ondition hair after every wash. Take care of your remi hair and be gentle with it. It is very sensitive to the environment. Use a large toothed pick or comb to style your remi hair by starting from the bottom and working your way up. Keep your hair clean and conditioned at least weekly. O nly use warm or cold water. Keep your hair in its natural direction when washing to prevent tangles. Start at the top (near the scalp) and gently squeeze hair in a downward motion. Do not wring or rub the hair in the opposite direction.

Wear a swim cap or plastic cap to protect your hair while swimming. Chlorine and other chemicals can damage the hair. Lightly spray your hair each morning with a hair oil/water mix or moisturizing lotion to maintain a fresh look with wavy or curly hair. Be sure that it does not contain alcohol so that your hair will not dry out. Apply conditioners sparingly.

14 Mar 2005

True Colors For Women Of Color
by Cheryl Duffey

Women of color have often felt ignored by cosmetics companies. Many ethnic women have had trouble finding foundation and makeup colors that are flattering . African-American women usually have sensitive, oily skin that scars easily. Products that are powdery can look ashy and chalky on darker complexions, and pink pigmented products are unflattering to ethnic skintones.

In the beginning, there was Fashion Fair. Founded in 1973 and aimed at African-American and Carribean women, it offered darker colors, not available at the time. It is still around, and can be purchased at a handful of stores across the country. The line seems a bit old-fashioned to me. There is a skincare line that includes bleaching cream and oil reduction products. Color choices are conservative, and I could not find a product with a sunscreen (we should all wear sunscreen) . Still, it is a no-frills line for dark- skinned women.

In 1994, fashion model Iman, tired of mixing her own colors and formulas, started her own cosmetics line. I-man is geared to all women of color, and it really succeeds in its goal. It is a line with multi-cultural appeal, and no unnecessary products. She has pared it down to a wonderful range of essentials.

The products are creamy, and blend well. I like the pressed powder, which leaves a dewy finish. The skincare line is excellent. I recommend Hydrator SPF 15, and Drench, a rich but light moisturizer. Both are $35.00.

Iman has two websites. is her personal site with info about the products, and her makeup philosophy. It projects the image of a funky urban drama queen, fitting for the wife of David Bowie. Her line can be purchased at, a very user-friendly site with descriptions of all the items, and easy checkout. I-man is also available at most JC Penney’s.

For women who want a large line with many flattering color options, I suggest Nars, and MAC. Nars has dark lipsticks in lovely shades of brown and burgundy. Nars is available at and at major department stores. At the MAC shop I visited recently, there was a lovely dark-skinned makeup artist, with her brushes in a large tool belt around her waist. She was willing to take the time to assist customers with their choices, and she knew the line well. MAC uses women of color as models. Go to for store locations.

I am a multi-racial woman. I am not Asian, but with my very yellow undertones, I find that Shiseido works well for me. I have always been drawn to the dramatic palettes and unique products. I have been wearing makeup since I was 13, and when I want color, Shiseido has never let me down. Find Shiseido products at most major department stores.

Women of color now have more options, as companies realize the potential of a powerful consumer base. Ideally, cosmetics companies should consider the ethnic market. Most women are willing to pay for quality products and good service, especially if the products are tailored to her needs. A woman of color wants to feel welcome at the cosmetics counter. Consultants should be aware of her needs, and the company should feature ethnic faces in their advertising.

by Cheryl Duffey

14 Mar 2005

Beauty Tips For Eyebrows

Your eyebrows add strength and definition to your face. Well groomed eyebrows enhance your beauty.

You should pluck eyebrows before bedtime so any redness will disappear overnight. In shaping your eyebrows use your facial features.

Use a pair of slant edge tweezers which grip hairs easily. Comb hairs one way and then the other to remove loose hairs.

You should pluck hairs between the brows and any stragglers. Never remove the hairs from above your eyebrows.

Pluck each hair individually close to the root. Work in the direction of the growth.

Always avoid over plucking. In defining your eyebrows choose a shade similar to your natural hair colour.

When using a pencil you should apply in small, feathered strokes. Starting at the inner corner work outwards.

Blend the colour with a brush. To tame stray hairs just use hair gel and comb through to neaten.


14 Mar 2005

Firmer Breasts

To firm breasts and tighten the skin, mix one teaspoon of vitamin E oil with one tablespoon of yogurt and an egg.

Massage this mixture into breasts and wear an old bra over the mixture for at least twenty minutes.

Rinse off with warm water.


14 Mar 2005

Wrinkle Removal Recipe

Banana is wonderful as an anti-wrinkle treatment.

Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy. Spread all over face and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water followed by a dash of cold.
Gently pat dry.


14 Mar 2005

Combat Dark Under Eye Circles

Treatment for Dark Under Eye Circles

Grated potatoes can lighten under-eye circles. Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is used in cosmetics as a human skin lightener.

Run one spud through your food processor and stuff the raw mash into a piece of cheesecloth.
Apply to the area directly beneath your eye — don’t let the potato juice come in contact with the eye itself — and leave for 15 to 20 minutes.
Wipe away the starchy residue


14 Mar 2005

Make Your Own Shea Butter Soap
By M.S. Beltran

At bath time, nothing is more luxurious or nurturing for your skin than an all-natural bar of Shea butter soap.

The Shea (Mangifolia) tree is a wild tree found in Western Africa that produces a tasty fruit. The fruit contains large seeds with oils that can be extracted to produce shea butter, a white to light yellowish color cream with a similar texture and consistency as butter.

Shea butter has been utilized by native Africans for more than a millennia. Shea butter contains unsaponifiable fats, which do not turn to soap and retain their moisturizing properties. It is completely non-toxic (in fact, unprocessed, it can be used in cooking) and gentle enough for use on the face, for babies or people with skin conditions. Shea butter is a natural moisturize, offers UV protection, and is even thought to help the skin make its own collagen by stimulating the tissue. It has been long used by healers for things like skin cracks and ulcers, small wounds, dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, and to sooth aching muscles. Because of the way shea butter restructures the skin, it has even been used to help with stretch marks, and in anti-aging formulas.

Because of the natural latex found in shea butter, people with latex allergies should do a test patch on the skin before using any shea butter products. Many people with latex allergies are not effected by shea butter, but some are, so it is better to be safe than sorry. But other than that, shea butter is a wonderful product to use on your skin. And the best way to take advantage of all-natural shea butter is to create your own home-made shea butter soap.

Shea butter is available in some craft stores that sell soap-making products, as well as many by soap and cosmetic supply companies. It is relatively inexpensive, as you can obtain an ounce for only a few dollars, and need only a couple of tablespoons in order to create two to four bars of soap. It also keeps well; refrigerated, it can last more than two years. But not all products are created equal. Many companies refine shea butter, or extract it chemically, which essentially takes out many of it’s beneficial properties. Other companies bleach it, or add coloring and fragrances. For the best product, try to obtain shea butter that is all-natural and without additives. The more pure the product that you work with is, the better your results will be.

In order to make your own shea butter soap, you will need:

* All-natural Castile (olive oil based) soap
* distilled water
* 2 tbsp all-natural, unprocessed shea butter
* 1 tbsp finely ground almonds (optional, but a nice addition for a gentle exfoliating soap with a nice scent)
* A grater
* A double boiler, or a small pot that can be placed inside of a bigger pot
* Small plastic food containers for molds
* A mixing spoon
* A drying rack

Begin by setting some tap water to boil in the double-broiler or big pot. Grate your castile soap until you have two cups full. Add this to the inner double-boiler, or the small pot, with ½ cup of distilled water. Melt it over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the soap is completely melted and stringy when you pull up the spoon.

Remove it from the heat. Add the shea butter and almonds, stirring gently until the mixture is well blended. Pour into small plastic food containers and let dry and harden for several hours. They should pop out when completely hard.

Place on the drying rack and allow soap to set for 3 weeks, turning regularly throughout the day to prevent the bars from warping. Then, simply wrap them in plastic wrap to preserve them, or use them in your next bath.

By M.S. Beltran

14 Mar 2005

Problem Hair

Is your hair dry and brittle? Is the color dull and lackluster? Forget expensive commercial products that can do more damage than good to your hair; treat your hair yourself, using all-natural ingredients found in your own kitchen.


Would you believe that most commercially bought cholesterol hair conditioners contain alcohol– the very thing that dries out hair? Instead, grab a cup full of mayonnaise, some plastic food wrap and throw a couple of towels in the drier on high.

Work the mayonnaise into your hair, starting by massaging it into the scalp and roots. Then draw it through to your ends until your hair is thoroughly coated. Pile the hair on top of your head. Take a couple of feet of saran wrap and wrap it around the top of your head to contain the mayo.

Take a pre-heated towel from the dryer and wrap it around your head over the saran wrap. The heat will aid with deep conditioning. After about 10 minutes, change to another heated towel and leave that on for another 10 minutes.

Remove the towel and plastic wrap and shampoo your hair as usual. Done once a month, this cholesterol treatment will keep your hair soft and shiny.

* Tip: if your hair ends are very damaged from chemical treatment, you can do this once a week. If your scalp is naturally oily, you might want to only add mayo to the hair ends for weekly treatments.

Natural Treatments For Problem Hair

14 Mar 2005Make Your Own Hair Perfume
By Beverly Smith

It is pleasant to perfume the hair after washing it when the hair is half dry. The following ingredients are required to make this fragrant perfume.

* 6 tablespoons powdered charcoal
* 5 tablespoons powders myrrh
* 1 tablespoon powdered benzoin
* 1 tablespoon potassium nitrate
* 2-3 drops oil of bergamot
* 2-3 drops of sandalwood
* mucilage of tragacanth

Mix the powders together and sieve, and then add the oils. Add the potassium nitrate, and then sufficient mucilage of tragacanth to make a stiff paste. Heat the mixture over a water bath and then make into little cones and dry. Just light one of the cones and let the smoke go into the damp hair. The smell is highly aromatic and exotic.


14 Mar 2005

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty – Enhance The Looks You Have


You need to visualize the specific changes if you truly want to change your look. What will any improvements you make look like? See yourself with a streamlined body, healthier hair, clearer skin, majestic posture. These changes are realistic and attainable. Stay away from goals you’ll never reach.
Don’t compare yourself with someone you’ve seen on the TV or movie screen or on the cover of a magazine. Accept your uniqueness and capitalize on it.

Mirrors Boost Attitude

The quickest attitude adjustment is through reflection. Women who have low self esteem often avoid mirrors like the plague. However, mirrors can become a big ally.
Mirrors can tell you how you’re progressing, in those little ways that may not be noticeable to the casual eye. It is the ultimate objective eye.

Do Everything Better

The way you use your beauty products will make all the difference in results.
For instance, try to duplicate what you see and feel your hair is shampooed at a salon. The product is always handled, never poured directly on hair.
Add a massage to your scalp when washing. While rinsing, lift your hair away from your scalp for about two minutes until it squeaks.

Discover The Virtues of Vanity

Confident women enjoy experimenting as a way of relieving stress and boost morale. Women who care about how they look are fascinating to watch, and teach us about taste and glamour. Vanity is a positive virtue, allowing us to fix our heads as well as our looks.

Look Pretty Amazing

Don’t worry about looking pretty. Look pretty amazing show the world you care about yourself. Real beauty celebrates individuality. Rather than running around looking for beauty in pricey external products, discover within yourself. Make the most of what you have. You’ll learn to like yourself and that will spark a light within.

Do One Thing For Yourself Everyday

Make yourself do it. It’s the ultimate act of self-respect. Soak in the bubble bath or read an inspiring book. These little pleasures allow you to feel special. You can fake it if you, until you actually feel deserving of it. Whatever you choose, follow the action by writing down waht you did and how it made you feel. Make it your own “attitude file”. Include stories, quotes from friends and photographs that have made you feel good about yourself.

Project Beauty

Feel good, feel pretty and that’s just what the world will see. If you feel ugly, that’s what the people will see. Try to look as good as you can. There are ways to live in beauty without being obsessive about it.

Find Supportive Friends

What people say, whether intentional or not, make us feel good or bad about ourselves. Look for people who make you feel good when you’re down. This person will give you compliment. If you’ve done something different or if you’re wearing something new, they will notice it. Keep this compliments and they will build your self esteem.

Listen To Your Inner Voice

Each of us has a voice inside our head that will give us advice. This is like a therapist. It will guide us in the right direction. It will calm us down, cheer us up and even help us figure out why we’re overeating or not bothering to iron our clothes. The problem is that we often don’t take time we need to hear this important information. Schedule some quiet time in a leisurely bath or walk, or even while putting on your makeup. Treat this intuition as an inner cheering section.

Take A Break

At least twice a day, set aside five minutes to recheck your make-up, hair, posture and clothing. No matter how impeccably you started out your day, a touch is both necessary and warranted. Take some deep breaths to renew and restore your appearance.


Determine your size

1. Measure around your head 
Starting at the natural hairline in front, follow the hairline to just above the ear. Measure around the back to the bend in the neck, just above the other ear, then around front to where you began. 
2. Measure front to back 
Measure from the natural hairline in front, back over the crown to where the head meets the top of the neck. 

3. Measure ear to ear 
Starting in front of one ear where the hairline ends, bring the tape measure up and over the crown to the front of the other ear. 

13 Mar 2005

Determine your size

1. Measure around your head 
Starting at the natural hairline in front, follow the hairline to just above the ear. Measure around the back to the bend in the neck, just above the other ear, then around front to where you began. 
2. Measure front to back 
Measure from the natural hairline in front, back over the crown to where the head meets the top of the neck. 
3. Measure ear to ear 
Starting in front of one ear where the hairline ends, bring the tape measure up and over the crown to the front of the other ear. 

Your face shape
Stylists will tell you that it’s important to choose a style that flatters your features, and that means finding one that suits the shape of your face. Wigs can always be thinned out or trimmed around the edges to suit your particular features.

Below is a guide for determining which styles will work best with your particular face shape:

Narrow forehead, round chin.
Frame the face with bangs and full layers on the sides and on top, with hair falling below the chin. 
Wider at forehead than at chin, tapers from cheeks to chin.
Try a short style that is angled at the jawbone to accentuate the cheekbones.
Wide, short forehead with full cheeks, small chin.
Try a short style that adds height to the face without adding extra width.
Wide forehead, high cheekbones, narrow chin.
Try a style that minimizes the width across the forehead with soft curls or bangs and adds fullness at the jawline.
Angular jawline, same width as forehead.
Styles that lengthen the face and add fullness on top work best. Avoid styles that add width at the jawline.
High forehead, long narrow chin.
To create an oval appearance, choose a face-framing style with bangs and full sides to add width to the cheekbones. Avoid styles that add height on top.




13 Mar 2005


Length refers to the length of the hair of the wig or extension when you receive it. Wigs and extensions may be cut to suit your personal taste, but it is best to start with a one that is closest to (or perhaps a bit longer than) the length you are looking for. The length categories listed below offer a general idea of the length of the hair products we carry. Many of our products include detailed length information on the different areas of the wig or extension. Read on for a brief description of each length we carry.

With a chin-length wig, the longest part of the wig will reach to about the chin.

A long wig will flow past the shoulders and come to somewhere between just below the shoulders and the middle of the back. These length wigs are best for styling in ponytails, buns, french twists and other upswept styles. The wig detail page will give you the exact length for a specific wig.

A short wig will stop above the chin. Short-style wigs range from very short boy-cuts to bobs and similar cuts. The wig detail page will give you the exact length for a specific wig.

A shoulder length wig will flow to just about the top of the shoulder or right to the shoulder. It is similar to the long length, but, generally, is not long enough for an upswept style.

Very Long
A very long wig will flow to the lower back or even longer. Very long wigs are generally too long for an upswept style. The wig detail page will give you the exact length for a specific wig.


12 Mar 2005

How To Choose A Wig

One of the ways we recommend first-time wig shoppers choose a wig, is to make a selection that best complements their facial shape. While some facial shapes look good with any wig, most must be carefully matched to a wig. By following these simple guidelines below, you’ll be able to find the wig that brings out the true beauty in your face.

Please remember, these are merely general guidelines. They may or may not work for you depending on your features, coloring and personal style. As you become more comfortable with what works with your face, body and style, you’ll be able to make even better choices in wig and hair styles. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Oval Face

Oval shaped face is considered one of the most versatile because almost all wigs will look flattering. Any style, be it long, short, curly, or straight will look natural and pretty.

Round Face

Neat bobs are not recommended for those who have a round shaped face – it will only make your face look fuller. The goal is to slim your face. Some of the styles that you should look for are wigs that will frame your face and have height at the crown.
Suggestions: Beyonce, Vivica.

Square Face

If your face is square shaped, blunt-clipped bangs should be avoided because it will make your face look even more angular. If you want to wear bangs, try the wigs that have wispy or fringed bangs. If you don’t want to have bangs, a side part will suit you best instead of a center part. The key is to soften the edges of your face – this can be done best by wearing a style close to your face (i.e., soft layers in the front).

Heart-Shaped Face

Your shape is an upside down triangle, meaning there is very little of your face at the jaw line and more at the brow line. You want to look for a wig that doesn’t have height at the crown and the sides (area around your ears) but have fullness at the bottom. Chin length with bangs swept to the side will look perfect.

Oblong Face

Your shape is long and thin with a narrow chin. Avoid wigs that are long and hanging, or those that have a layered cut. It will only make your face seem lengthier. The aim is to add width to your face. Curly or wavy wigs will do just that. Hair length that reaches to the middle of your neck will look best on you.


12 Mar 2005

Not much to say about this style except that it is straight. No curls, but if you wet it, it becomes wavy.

A wavy wig has hair that has flowing waves in it. Not as curly as a curly wig, not as straight as a straight wig… wavy wigs tend to give a more natural and less heavily-styled look.

A curly look wig is usually a curly style wig designed to look wet, as if a sheen spray had been applied.


Human or Synthetic
12 Mar 2005

Hair Types
Wigs are available in two different types of hair. A summary of these types and the advantages and disadvantages of each is listed below.

Human Hair
Human Hair is just that, 100% natural human hair. Care of a human hair wig is similar to that of your own hair. It can be styled, blow-dried, curled, straightened and more. Just as with human hair, once a human hair wig is washed, it will usually need to be re-styled. For complete care information, check out our online Wig InfoCenter. Human-hair wigs are generally more expensive than synthetic wigs.

Synthetic Hair
Synthetic hair wigs vary slightly from company to company. The fibers are designed to closely match the texture and consistency of natural human hair. Synthetic-hair wigs are generally less expensive than human-hair wigs.

IMPORTANT: No heat can be applied to synthetic hair wigs as this will damage the fibers. This includes curling irons and blow-driers. Heated steam curlers can be used, but only at a lower setting.


Indian Hair
12 Mar 2005

Extension Care (Indian Hair)

PLEASE NOTE: We recommend consulting with a hair care professional for care and use of our extension products.


Prior to applying hair extensions, it is recommended that both your hair and the extension should be cleaned with shampoo and conditioner in cool water. This will remove any remaining residue from our extension manufacturing processing, help prevent tangling and help ensure a proper application of the extension.

For wefted hair extensions, double check for loose hair wefts. If any loose sections are found, repair by sewing or adding the proper adhesive to the loose parts. This will help to prevent any hair shedding.


Hot tools may be used on human hair extensions. Hot blow driers, curling irons, flat irons and similar tools may be used in the same way as they would on your regular hair. However, care should be taken to avoid touching the weaving thread or glue with the hot tool.


Mataining your wig as home
12 Mar 2005

Wig Care (Human Hair)

Our wigs made from human hair are of the highest quality and, when properly cared for, will give you plenty of enjoyable wear. Just follow the instructions below to get the maximum life-span and performance from your wig.


Human hair wigs should be washed in cool to luke-warm water with a mild shampoo and conditioner. (Using conditioner is highly recommended to reduce tangling.) Do not scrub the wig, just swish it from side to side and dunk it up and down. Wigs should be hung to dry. (Human hair wigs may also be set when wet. See Styling below.)

Once dry, spray sheen or detangling spray onto the wig and comb or brush depending on the type of wig you have (See Combing and Brushing below).


Human hair wigs can be set quite easily by following these instructions:

After washing, comb the hair (as instructed below) then set in rollers with rolling papers and setting lotion
Put the wig under a sitting hair drier on low heat for 40 to 50 minutes. If you do not have access to a sitting drier, the wig may be left on a wig stand or styrofoam head overnight or until completely dried.
Once dry, take out the rollers and style the wig as desired.


Hot tools may be used on human hair wigs. Hot blow driers, curling irons, flat irons and similar tools may be used in the same way as they would on your regular hair. Most wig caps are designed to be unaffected by heat. Additional care must be taken when styling a wig with a skin-like cap as the plastic in the cap material can melt under heat.

If wig hair gets frizzy, try any sheen spray or wig spray to calm the frizziness and then comb. If not, wash then set with setting lotion to get the frizziness out. When wigs are tangled, use any detangling or sheen spray then comb the hair.

Combing and Brushing

Comb or brush your wig using the following guidelines*:

Length Style Style With
Short Straight / Wavy Any combs or brushes
Short Curly Wide-toothed comb or brush out with fingers
Chin Length Straight Any combs or brushes
Chin Length Curly / Wavy Wide-toothed comb or brush out with fingers
Shoulder Length Straight Any combs or brushes
Shoulder Length Curly / Wavy Wide-toothed comb
Long / Very Long Straight / Wavy Wide-toothed comb
Long / Very Long Curly Brush out with fingers

* Important Note: Spiral curl and dreadlock wigs should not be combed or brushed in any way, as this will undo the curls/dreads.

Hair Products

Any hair products can be used on wigs, such as hair spray, mousse, gel, etc. since the wigs are washable and reusable.

Wig Storage

While wigs are not in use, they may be stored in a hair net and plastic bag or on a wig stand, such as styrofoam head.

When traveling, a styled wig may be carried in a wig box to prevent flattening.


9 Mar 2005

PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome

Try These Herbs for Fertility, Periods, Libido, and Avoiding Conception
Homeopathy for PMS
10 Tips for Women With PMS


Sage: More Than Poultry Stuffing!
The wise gardener who planted salvia officinalis has an abundance of sage for valuable medicinal use. Prepared as an infusion (1 teaspoon of the herb steeped 15 to 30 minutes in a covered cup of boiled water), sage has a multitude of applications.

Power Surges: Homeopathy and Menopause
As with many women’s health issues like pregnancy, labor and delivery, menopause is viewed by mainstream science as a disease, not a natural progression in a woman’s life. Science goes out of its way to suppress the symptoms of menopause.

Minerals Make the Difference
By 2015, half of the female population of the United States will be post-menopausal. But this group of post-menopausal women won’t be old fuddy-duddies with broken hips, heart attacks and failing memories. Women of today expect to emerge from menopause energetic, zesty and passionate!

You Must Be Pregnant, Right? Not Necessarily
Pregnant? Or not? You’re nauseous, fatigued and plagued by strange dreams. Or maybe you are experiencing strange cravings or food aversions. Your period might be late, spotty or seem completely absent.


Try These Herbs for Fertility, Periods, Libido, and Avoiding Conception
For thousands of years, knowledge of herbs and wild plants that could increase fertility were the secrets of the village wise women. But after the holocaust against European wise women (the “burning times”) and the virtual extermination of Native American medicine women, this knowledge virtually disappeared.

How do we know if we’re ready to have another baby?

Pregnancy Nutrition Starts Before Conception!
There are certain things to ask yourself before considering having a child. Whether you discuss these matters with your husband or other partner in life, there are certainly things to consider.

Fertility – Natural Family Planning

Try These Herbs for Fertility, Periods, Libido, and Avoiding Conception
So you want to try natural family planning
Fertility awareness: We’ve come a long way since the rhythm method
Fertility After Childbirth: When You’re Ready but Your Body’s Not (and Vice Versa)
Red Light, Green Light: Let Your Computer Do the Analysis
Natural family planning: A man’s perspective


Black Tea Beauty Tips
9 Mar 2005

Black Tea isn’t just a Natural Remedy:
Black Tea Beauty Tips
By Cait Johnson

Most of us know all about the health benefits and pleasures of drinking black tea. What you may not know is that tea is also a fabulous beauty aid.

When applied to skin, black tea’s strong antioxidants, along with vitamins E and C, fight the free radicals that can cause premature aging. And tea is also an astringent that will help with puffy eyes and blemishes as well as toning lips, perking up the complexion, highlighting hair and making your feet smell sweet. Its tannins are great at soothing sunburns.

Find out all the fascinating ways that black tea can help you to look and feel more beautiful, right here:

Quick fix for puffy eyes and dark circles
Make two cups of tea as usual, using two teabags. Place the used bags in the fridge. When needed, simply lie down and place one teabag over each eye. Allow to remain for 10 to 20 minutes.

Blemish control
Next time a blemish makes an unwelcome appearance, simply place a warm teabag on it for several minutes. Remove the bag, but don’t rinse off the tea.

Simplest astringent ever
Just splash your face with warm or cool black tea, and don’t rinse.

British witch astringent
Boil 1/4 cup water and add 2 teabags, steeping until cool. Remove the teabags, then add 1/4 cup witch hazel. Pour into a clean container and keep in refrigerator for up to 10 days. Soak a cotton pad with this astringent and apply to clean skin as often as needed.

Lip toner
Tea will help your lips retain moisture and appear smooth: just apply a warm teabag to clean lips for 5 minutes. Don’t rinse.

Sunburn relief compress or bath
Boil 2 cups of water, add 4 teabags and steep for one hour. Refrigerate until cool. Soak a clean cloth or cotton ball with the cool tea and apply to affected area, holding it in place for 15 minutes. Do not rinse. Repeat up to four times a day. Or, allow 5 or 6 teabags to steep in a tub of warm water. Soak in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bug bite zapper
To reduce the swelling and itching of many insect bites, just apply a cool used teabag to the affected area for several minutes.

Highlighting hair rinse
This rinse darkens hair while it adds shine and pretty highlights. Simply brew two cups of strong tea and use to rinse damp, shampooed hair.

Sweet feet
The tannins in tea help to fight odor-causing bacteria. Simply soak feet in strong tea for several minutes, then pat dry.

With all of these ideas, do be aware that very strong black tea can cause tan-like staining of skin. (In fact, if you want a tan without sun exposure, strong tea can give it to you!)

© Cait Johnson

By Cait Johnson

Secrets that work!
21 Jan 2005

Eliminate Cellulite

It’s that lovely lumpy, dimpled, irregular fat that can be found on the hips, thighs & buttocks of 85% of women…skinny women, obese women, young women, and old women – as well as a small percentage of men. Cellulite can occur at any time from puberty through old age, and most of us are already well acquainted. Since cellulite is composed of fat it is the belief of many women that getting rid of that fat is the only way to make it disappear. You might be surprised to find that losing weight isn’t necessarily going to help you in the battle against cellulite.

Cellulite Theory 101
Here’s what the experts can agree on…there are two opposing forces that produce the final appearance of cellulite: weakened connective tissue pulling down and excess fat and fluids pushing up. However, the experts most always disagree on the root cause of this condition.

The first theory states that cellulite is the result of an estrogen imbalance. Estrogen, which happens to play a number of other roles in the body, is the hormone responsible for softening the fibrous tissues of the womb right before birth. It has the same effect on the connective tissue that anchors the skin to the muscle. This tissue forms the compartments that store fat directly under the skin. Weakened connective tissue from excess estrogen production pulls down on the skin and causes the stored fat to push up, resulting in the irregular appearance of cellulite. Now, it may be perfectly normal for women to have an excess amount of estrogen, but when this is complicated by bad circulation the result is an increased appearance of cellulite.

Poor circulation of the lymphatic system is at the root of the second theory concerning the cause of cellulite. The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting toxins found in the body to the liver and kidneys where they can be processed and excreted. When this route is slowed or halted excess toxins are deposited in the fatty tissues under the skin. A build up of these toxins results in a higher fluid density of the fatty tissue. This fluid blocks the reabsorption of fat into the blood stream to be used as energy.

Getting rid of that cursed cellulite is an area with many self-proclaimed experts. Numerous health spas and beauty cream companies will preach the wondrous effects of herbal wraps and cold creams in treating cellulite. However, this condition can only be diminished by hormone therapy and proper exercise & nutrition.

Hormone therapy is very tricky because it can have a lot of complicated side effects. This is due to the fact that when you adjust the balance of a hormone to treat one symptom you may cause an imbalance of that hormone for another area. Estrogen plays hundreds of different roles in the body, thus the possibility of affecting hundreds of different functions. A skilled endocrinologist or gynecologist should be consulted when considering hormone therapy.

The best way to treat poor circulation of the lymph is with exercise and good nutritional habits. The average American diet is filled with junk food and complimented by a variety of fast food choices. These types of foods have little nutritional value and overload the liver and kidneys, becoming toxic waste. Excess waste slows down movement of the lymph causing a build up of waste materials as well as fat.

Cut down on the fast food and visualize eating fresh fruits and vegetables! Make sure you are getting the proper nutrition you need every day to supplement your healthy eating, and consider supplementation with a daily multivitamin. LifeScript’s Scientific and Medical Advisory board can create your own Free Personalized Vitamin Profile for a great supplement program.

And we all know that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise increases the metabolism, helping your body to burn fat efficiently for fuel. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises should be included in your daily routine. Aerobic exercises include activities such as walking, jogging and swimming, while anaerobic exercise refers to weight-training exercises that focus on the hips, butt & thighs, helping to convert fatty tissue to lean muscle.

Reducing the amount of fat in the body, increasing circulation of the lymph, smart supplementation and treating unbalanced estrogen levels can all contribute to helping you finally be free from the bonds of cellulite.

Your guide to beating the bug
21 Jan 2005

Cold Season Cautions
The common cold – it can run you down and keep you suffering for weeks, with no end in sight. The worst part of getting sick is that life doesn’t stop just for you – chores pile up, work doesn’t get done, and playing catch-up is far from enjoyable. Upwards of 1 billion colds plague American’s each year, and the cold season covers half of the entire year: October through March. Protect yourself against illness with these 7 simple steps, and keep yourself out of the infirmary…

Don’t Touch
Keep your hands off of possibly germ-infested surfaces (which is just about everything), and off of your face. Direct contact with sick people, such as touching or kissing them, is the #1 way germs are transmitted – 80% of colds are spread by direct contact. Indirect contact, such as handling a doorknob which a sick person has touched (unbeknownst to you), and then spreading it to your face by touching your mouth, nose or eyes, is the other way you can transmit disease. It’s impossible to stop touching everything, but you should be minding where your hands have been, and be sure to clean your hands regularly.

Wash Up
Proper hand washing is especially important during the cold & flu season. Especially when you use the bathroom, you need to wash with warm, soapy water for at least 15 seconds – the time it takes to sing the ABC’s. After washing, don’t touch the faucet, paper towel dispenser knob, or door handle on the way out. Use your forearms or elbows to turn off the faucet and to dispense paper, and if possible, carry your used paper towel to the door and use it to open it up, throwing the towel into the garbage afterwards. These simple hand washing techniques can keep germs where they belong – down the drain and off of you.

Stop Stressing
You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it twice – stress weakens the immune system. You also know that stress is an inevitable part of our world, but there really is a balance that you can achieve – it’s called learning to unwind. Leave stress behind, whether at work, school, or other places, and incorporate some peace into your day to help you de-stress. Take a walk mid-afternoon to clear your mind, join a yoga class, or close your eyes and just going blank for a few moments. Whatever it is that helps, do it often.

Fundamental Fluids
Drink up! Drinking water should be part of your regular routine, but it’s also very important during the cold & flu season. Liquids keep things moving, and keep you hydrated. An especially powerful fluid during cold season is hot tea, especially peppermint flavors, which clears nasal congestion and open up your airways. Hot soup also warms the heart and soul and provides a lot of nutrients in just one bowl. In fact, soup is a great place to get a full serving of phytochemical-rich root vegetables and protein-rich meats or beans.

Smart Supplementation
Three supplements in particular play a vital role in bolstering the immune system during cold season: vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. Zinc is absolutely essential for a healthy immune system – no way around that! Echinacea is an herb that has been used for centuries to bolster the immune system, and studies show it really does shorten both the severity and duration of colds, if taken at the first sign of sickness. These three supplements should be a part of your infection-fighting formula, and you can find them in the LifeScript program when you take your Free Personalized Vitamin Profile.

Get Fit
It’s true; people who exercise regularly really are less likely to get sick. In fact, studies have highlighted the fact that exercising daily and maintaining a healthy body weight helps you fight infection. Walking just 30 minutes every day can help you on your way to a healthier you, and is part of a healthy routine.

Eat Right
Getting the right nutrition fuels your body and keeps your health in check. Eating lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and lean meats gives your body every food source it needs to maintain a healthy immune system. Fruits and vegetables also contain disease-fighting phytochemicals, which should be an integral part of your infection-fighting diet. Check out this week’s Science of Beauty article – Fabulous Fall Phytonutrients.


Try these remedies
21 Jan 2005

Stains & Stinky Breath – How’s Your Smile?

Bad breath and discolored teeth are definitely not your friend! You can lose weight, get dressed up, do your makeup and hair all fancy, but once you open your mouth to smile or talk with someone, and your teeth are yellow and breath smells rank – your entire effort to look your best will be lost. Learning what stains your teeth and causes bad breath will help you to maintain your beautiful smile and always look your best.

Stained Teeth
Teeth stains can be extremely embarrassing, and also very hard to avoid. Stains can develop from two different factors, either intrinsic or extrinsic:
Intrinsic factors are those things that you don’t have total control over, such as: being administered tetracycline, an antibiotic that stains teeth either a mild yellow-orange color, or bluish gray in more extreme cases; or fluorosis, a condition which develops from a high fluoride concentration in drinking water, causing yellow discoloration of the teeth.
Extrinsic factors on the other hand, encompass things that you do have control of, such as: discoloration that results from foods, such as red wine, tea and coffee, or tobacco; if the food is also either highly acidic or the temperature changes from hot to cold, pores in the enamel open and close, trapping particles under the surface; poor brushing techniques or lack of proper care; and bacteria and fungus build up on the surface of the teeth that causes yellow and green stains.
So, what are your options for getting rid of stains?
Brushing your teeth at least once a day, or even better, after every time you eat, can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, and also cleanse food particles away.
If you are a frequent coffee or tea drinker, drink through a straw, which bypasses the front of the teeth.
Never swish staining drinks around in your mouth, and consider brushing your teeth after drinking them.
If your teeth are already stained and you’re looking for a brighter smile, you can seek assistance through your dentist for bleaching, micro-abrasion or veneer treatments.
Whiten your own teeth! Check out this week’s ‘A Beautiful You’ article: Achieving Pearly White for more information on how to do it yourself.
Bad Breath
Also a very embarrassing condition, foul smelling breath is no way to make friends! Bad breath can come from eating pungent foods, such as garlic or onions, drinking alcohol or smoking, which is usually a temporary situation. Bacteria can also multiply in the mouth, causing the bad odors. Odor-causing bacteria can hide in cavities and between teeth and result often from dry mouth, bacteria collection on the tongue, or even from a bacteria-infested toothbrush. Here’s how you can avoid these problems:
Avoid strong-smelling foods & drinks – it’s the easiest way to get around bad breath! Also, avoid sweet and sticky foods that cling to teeth and chomp on raw veggies that scrape away buildup while you chew.
Brush your teeth regularly, especially after eating pungent foods. Brush, rinse and floss every day, and don’t neglect your tongue. You can either brush it with your toothbrush, or buy a tongue scraper (not as scary as it sounds). And, sanitize your toothbrush regularly with hydrogen peroxide. Buy a new toothbrush at least every 3 months.
Make sure your mouth isn’t dry. Dry mouth can be the result of crash dieting, which produces a lack of saliva as little or no food is eaten, breathing through the mouth, and even some medications. Drink water regularly, which is good for you in more ways than one.
Chew on sugar-free gum, breath mints or one of these to freshen your breath: anise or fennel seeds, cloves, or parsley.
Caution: bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be an indicator of a more serious, chronic condition, such as gum disease or chronic sinus infections. If using these tips doesn’t get rid of your bad breath for good, it’s time to talk to your dentist or doctor about decay or disease.

Try these tricks of the trade
21 Jan 2005

Hair is a woman’s crowning beauty – long hair, short hair, curly hair or straight hair. It is usually the first thing that other people notice about you, and it’s also the most versatile beauty tool you have to spice up your looks. Thinning hair and hair loss can put a stop to great hair, and can change how you feel about yourself. These topics are also rarely talked about, which is surprising because of the fact that it’s a real issue that affects millions of women. There are many different things that can cause you to lose extreme amounts of hair, including diet quality, hair styling, chemicals, medications, illness and stress – but there’s also something you can do about it.

Diet Right for Healthy Hair
Nutrition is the first thing that should be examined when addressing thinning and balding hair. The nutrients we get from the foods we eat affect how well our hair is nourished as it is formed in the hair follicle. For a complete overview of the nutrients your hair needs, check out this week’s Science of Beauty article, Full Silky Hair.

Refine Your Beauty Routine
After you’ve decided whether your diet could use some fine tuning in order to nourish healthier hair, the next step in determining the cause of thinning and balding hair is how you handle your hair. Something as small as how much you brush your hair or how tight the bristles are on your comb or brush can affect hair loss. Use wide-toothed combs in place of tight-toothed combs and brushes, which make it more difficult to comb out wet or tangled hair. Don’t wash your hair too many times in a day, which can strip hair of its natural oils. Use a leave-in conditioner daily or deep condition once a week. Reduce how often you blow-dry and use hot curling and flat irons on your hair, as they also dry out hair and can cause lasting damage. Don’t put hair in tight braids, ponytails and buns too often, and try to rotate with loose flowing hair styles.

Be Careful with Chemicals
Overdoing chemical treatments, such as dying, bleaching, perming and straightening hair can damage both the hair and scalp, resulting in overworked, brittle, dry hair and flaky, itchy scalp. If you must chemically treat your hair, don’t leave chemical solutions on for too long – check the manufacturers suggested timing for home hair dyes, bleaches, straightening or perming products, and make sure you set a timer. Don’t use chemicals on hair too frequently. Leave a few months in between treatments, or longer if possible. Also, be aware of chlorine in pools and spas that can cause damage to hair. Wear a swimming cap or keep your head out of the water for better protection.

Look Closer at Medications
If you’re taking prescription medications, you might want to check out the contraindications on the label. Birth control pills and certain medications, such as those taken for arthritis, depression, heart disease, hypertension, or blood thinning can all produce hair loss. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about your options if you are experiencing hair loss while taking any of these medications.

Avoid Stress & Illness
Stress and illness can both contribute to hair thinning and hair loss, especially depending on the level of trauma experienced. Certain conditions, such as radiation therapy for cancer treatment, can actually halt hair growth and cause extreme hair loss, although hair will re-grow within a few months after treatment is stopped. Hormonal conditions, such as thyroid disease (whether hyper- or hypo-) can also be the cause of hair loss. If you aren’t already diagnosed with an illness that may be causing your hair loss, be sure to set up an appointment with your doctor to run different tests and get diagnosed. Being aware of how illness can affect your entire body, learning to handle stress, and keeping up with a proper diet will help your hair will grow back healthy.

With all of this advice comes a lot of responsibility, but in the end, it is ultimately you who has total and complete control over your hair, and thus how you feel about yourself. Keep yourself in good shape, and keep your hair in good shape – for a more beautiful you

Help is on the way
21 Jan 2005

Beating The Winter Blues

With all the joys of the holidays come a lot of stress, and in some people, depression. It’s not uncommon to feel blue once or twice a month, but if prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness are getting you down, it’s time to take your winter back! There are a few things you should understand about the Winter Blues, and there are a few things you can do to reclaim feelings of joy now, and all throughout the long winter ahead of us.

Lighten Up
Just a few hours a day of intense bright light can wipe away feelings of sadness, experts say. Researchers have found that bright sunlight actually plays an important part in the chemistry of the brain. Without it, important hormones are altered leaving behind a feeling of drowsiness and depression. This form of the winter blues is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, and affects an estimated 10 million Americans each year. Treatment includes keeping bright lights on in your house, taking walks outside when possible to catch some of that lingering sunlight, vacationing in a sunny climate, or painting your walls a bright color. If these don’t seem to work and you find that the sadness is lingering, your physician can prescribe phototherapy – an intense session with therapeutic bright lights for a few hours each day.

Be Realistic
While lack of sunlight may be playing a role in seasonal sadness, the winter blues can stem from holiday stress and being burned-out! The winter months are full of holidays, one right after another, demanding you to keep up. Set your sights a little lower this year! Instead of volunteering to host Thanksgiving, Christmas or Chanukah, and New Years, offer to help out as an assistant to another friend or family member. It’s important to remember that the holidays are not all about the glitter and gifts, it’s also about being with loved ones, remembering those that have passed away, and giving support to those who need it…including yourself!

Don’t Rush Into Your Future
With the coming of the New Year many of us strive to make life altering changes – finally determined that we will reroute the course of our lives. Let’s say you want to lose weight, become a better person, find a better job, start being nice to your spouse, take the dog for daily walks, and start eating healthy. Whoa! If you were realistic with yourself you’d find that that’s quite the list of “To-Do’s” all in one day! Keep your New Year’s resolutions practical. You can’t focus on all the things that aren’t right in your life and expect to fix them over night. Set yourself realistic goals and give yourself a big time frame to achieve them in. A favorite quote of mine is: “You can’t win if you never start!” Makes sense – doesn’t’ it? Start slow and work your way up.

Lend a Helping Hand
There’s no better way to stop feeling down in the dumps than to help another person in need. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen if you have the time. If you can’t do that, call a friend and ask what you can do to make their day a little easier. It’s easy to get caught up in the woes of “Me-Me-Me,” and forget that you’re not the only person in the world with needs. Lend your time to someone else and you will know that your time was better spent than if you had stayed home and slept in all day.

Be Adventurous
Bored with the same-old, same-old? Go out there and try something new! Getting stuck in the same old routine day after day accomplishes nothing but monotony. Add some spice to your life and you might find that you look forward to waking up and starting your day. Find a new way to celebrate the holidays, join a class at your community center, or take up painting as a new hobby. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you’re enjoying yourself and not adding another “To-Do” chore to your list.

If your winter blues are severe or persist beyond the holidays, consider seeking professional help

21 Jan 2005

Word Power

As one of thousands on a personal quest to be the best person, companion, friend, lover, colleague, etc., you are profoundly affected by the way you use and choose words.

From the early times of our childhood – when we grapple with our first words – to the days when words flow so freely onto a high school term paper or to our defense during an argument, the effect of our words on ourselves as well as others can contribute or detract from our overall health.

One such study on the effects of words can be found in a wonderful book written by Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto entitled: The Hidden Messages in Water. In this book, Dr. Emoto reveals his personal, scientific study into the relationship between words, thoughts, music and pictures, and the health and harmony of water at the molecular level. According to Dr. Emoto’s findings, we start our lives as fetuses, existing as 99 percent water, and being born retaining 90 percent of that. At adulthood, we drop to 70 percent and can decline to 50 percent water at the time of our death. What does this mean and why is this important? Keep in mind that we, as humans, from a physical perspective exist mainly of water.

This realization propelled Dr. Emoto onto a path that found him conducting several experiments such as his infamous photography exhibit where he took several bottles of distilled water and taped different words to them. Leaving the words taped to the bottles and, at times, having the word read aloud to the water produced an amazing reaction in the water. After photographing molecules of the water, he discovered that positive words like “love” and “thank you” produced delicate and beautiful formations, while negative words like “you fool” and “I hate you” produced violent, scattered images.

The Hidden Messages in Water then continues on to reveal the effects different types of music, pollution and technology have on water as well. It’s a truly interesting perspective that will – should you take the time to indulge in this fascinating read – shed a whole new light on what it means to choose your words wisely.

As human beings who feel a great deal, it’s not always easy for us to censor ourselves in the heat of a moment or when physical pain is involved. But, here’s something to try the next time you are in a heated discussion with a loved one or involved in a meeting that causes you some stress:
If you feel the urge to blurt something out, pause and take a deep breath
In your mind, recite this simple thought: “I know that there is a wonderful being in each of us, and I want to see it in you and I want you to see it in me”
Take another deep breath
The above exercise was passed onto me by one of my mentors and continues to work wonders in my life today. From here, you can go a step further and examine any negative speech patterns you may have and develop alternative phrases that have a more positive impact. It may be as simple as not using the word “stupid” in reference to yourself or anyone around you. Keep in mind that covering your emotions with “happy” words or suppressing your feelings in any way will not make your troubles miraculously disappear, it’s more that doing little things to ease tension in yourself will – as Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of the masters of the intention behind words, so eloquently puts it – “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” All of which contribute, in the long run, to a healthier you.

E. Wayne Askew, PhD

17 Jan 2005

Celebrities, like Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, whose film and television roles call for many different head-turning styles may wear hair extensions to prevent damage and to take the styling pressure off their own locks. Bonding is a popular temporary weaving method and a great way to add volume or vibrant streaks of color to your natural hair. Tracks of hair are glued to the roots of your own hair with a special adhesive. To prevent damage to your natural hair, tracks shouldn’t be left in longer than a week or two. Experts recommend removing extensions carefully by soaking hair with a bond remover or oil sheen for a few minutes to prevent damage to your natural hair follicles. Prices can range from $10 to $15 per track.

If you want a show-stopping new look, like City High’s Claudette Ortiz, check out the track method. First, natural tresses are braided around the head in concentric circles. The braids are sewn down, then extensions are sewn to the braids. Eight to fifteen tracks are needed for a full head. Gray recommends replacing this weave every two months or every time you get a relaxer, since it will loosen up as your hair grows out. Care for this style as you would your natural hair, washing at least once a week. Prices range from about $15 to $35 per track.

If you’ve got a cute Toni Braxton look and want to go from a closely cropped cut to free-flowing tresses, the fusion method delivers one of the most versatile and believable weaves on the market. With this technique, a machine similar to a hot glue gun is used to adhere human hair extensions to individual strands of your natural hair (about the same size as a micro braid) for a truly authentic look. With a fusion weave, you can wash your hair every week and use products like gels and mousse to style. This is one of the most time-consuming (8 to 16 hours) and expensive methods (prices range from about $800 to $1,800).

If you want flowing locks like Trina and Kelly Price, ask your stylist about netting. This technique involves braiding natural tresses under a thin, breathable net that serves as a flat surface onto which stylists can weave extensions. Netting provides more flexibility than track placement because the stylist is not limited to sewing extensions to a braid. This style can last for up to three months if properly maintained. To care for your hair, wash it once a week and invest in a hooded hair dryer or heated cap for at-home maintenance. “You want to make sure your hair is completely dry so it will not mildew under the net,” advises hair experts from around the world. Prices range from $150 to $350.

Maintenance Tips
Don’t let your good weave go bad:


  • Start with good-quality human hair. It is best to choose tresses that most closely match the length, color and texture of a client’s natural hair. Synthetic hair melts if it’s styled with a curling iron or a blow dryer.


  • Maintain hair with a detangling shampoo like KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner such as KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Moisturizing Conditioner.


  • When it’s time to remove your weave, seek out a professional to prevent damage to your natural hair. Also, visit your stylist to get the weave tightened and to ensure your hair is growing properly.


  • Before sleeping, cover your hair with a satin scarf.

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