Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Darlene's Kosmetology Korner

So, let's talk about hair! I thought it appropriate to open up discussion on the subject as hair care is certainly part of being wicked pretty. I want to start with good shampoo. We all know if your hair is not healthy you cannot expect the best results. In all my years of doing hair I often said, I wish I could be the holistic hairdresser. Work with your hair, not against it. 

Well, it all starts with good products, and good products are all about pH levels (potential hydrogen). In a nutshell, the pH scale ranges from 0-14. 0 being really acidic and 14 being the highest in alkalinity. Our skin and hair are on avarage between 4.5 and 5.5. Pure water has a pH of 7! If you use products high in alkalinity the cuticle of your hair will swell, open up and allow oils and moisture to escape. In turn hair will become brittle and dry. Using a product that is acid balanced (we want shampoos around 5-5.50) it will actually close, harden and flatten the outer cuticle layers creating smoother hair. If your hair color is fading fast, the hydrogen is probably too high, causing dark hair to lighten.

So how do you know what the pH level of your shampoo is? Well, a few professional companies will state the pH, but most companies do not tell you. You can have some fun and do some testing of your shampoos and lotions with a visit to the drug store. Litmus paper or sticks will give you an accurate reading (we did this in beauty school). 

Unfortunately, most mass produced shampoos are made of the cheapest ingredients and won't list the pH. You can call the company to ask and also let them know that you want this information up front on the bottles! 

If you don't want to bother with this experimenting my advice is the same as I have told my clients for years. Go treat yourself to a duo of shampoo and conditioner from a professional line of products. Use these products exclusively until they run out. Do not use any other products during this trial. Certainly stay away from all those half used bottles of hair care products you have in the deep dark depths of your cabinet. For years the results have been the same... they always come back for more! 

You all know plenty of those professional products (Alterna, Pureology, Redken, Matrix, Paul Mitchell, Aveda, Nioxin, Chi, Bed Head) so wait for a sale and unless you have the strongest virgin, (un-chemically treated) hair I can pretty much guarantee you will notice a difference and you will be ready to learn how to get the perfect haircut...



  1. Thanks for the post, Noella's mommy! Maybe you can recommend a good shampoo for me? I have fine hair. A lot of it, but very fine. It is currently growing out from a super short cut, so half of it is healthy, and the ends are super damaged. the healthy part of my hair is prone to oiliness, so whenever i try to deep condition the ends, i look like a total garbage pail kid. can you recommend something that will help smooth and relax my frizzy, damaged ends without making my roots and bangs look greasy? Thanks!

  2. Well then, what are you using for shampoo? You probably won't want to hear this, but that bit of 'super damaged ends' would be better off on the floor... I firmly believe the first step to good hair is that it is healthy. Perhaps get it trimmed regularly until those ends are gone, that is unless you are looking for a new do and cut them off in one go! Meanwhile I can recommend Biolage Bodifying shampoo for fine hair.Try using a DROP of Paul Mitchel Super Skinny Serum on JUST the ends and that should keep the frizzy ends smooth. Basically everyones hair is different but I have found both those products to be worthy.Check out your JCPenney as they carry all those products and often run great sales. BTW if you make any purchase at Penneys keep your receipt, go on line and print your coupon for 15% off your next purchase... combine that with their coupons and your in! Good luck! --Darlene