Brow Shaping 101

March 30, 2017

Nios clients come in seeking permanent hair removal treatments that range from the tiny to the transformative.  There’s one beauty treatment in particular that falls into both categories, making it easy for many to overlook until they give it a try and never look back: eyebrow shaping!  Eyebrows frame the face, and taming unruly brows can have a dramatic effect on the overall picture.  If you’re curious to see what we mean and try some temporary shaping at home, read on for a few brow-shaping guidelines to follow.

Don’t overdo it!!

Done correctly, brow shaping works with your natural brows, not against them.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, and doing so will only make it harder to maintain your brows once the hair starts to grow out.  Before removing any hair, let your hair grow so that you can best determine the natural shape of your brows.  This will give you a good foundation from which to start crafting them into the shape that’s right for you.

Map your brows

Before removing any hair, it’s important to map out the shape that works best for your face.  Doing this is easy; all you really need is a brow pencil.  There are three main points to map on your brows – the start, the arch, and the end.  To find the ideal starting point for your brows, align the pencil with the outside of your nostrils and follow the straight line up to your brow area.  Mark the spot where the pencil intersects your brow line; this will be your starting point.  To find your ideal arch, keep the bottom of the pencil next to your nose, but tilt the pencil so that the top aligns with the outside of your iris.  Just as before, place a mark where the pencil crosses your brow to indicate the highest point of your arch.  To find the end of your brow, continue tilting the pencil until you reach the outer corner of your eye.  Follow the pencil to your brow and mark the spot that will serve as the end (or “tail”) of your brow.

Prep your brows

Since the goal is to create brows that appear naturally sophisticated and groomed, you’ll want to prep your brows so that it’s easy to spot the hairs you should snip or remove and those you should leave alone.  Use a small makeup brush to sweep the hair upwards, and using tiny facial grooming scissors trim any super long hairs so that hair is all more or less the same length.

Get grooming!

Avoid removal methods like waxing that remove more than one hair at once, as precision is key here, and removing too much hair in one fell swoop will make your brows look too unnatural. Instead, grab a pair of tweezers and position yourself in front of a normal (NOT magnifying!) mirror in a place with plenty of natural light.  Using the guide you drew with your brow pencil, pluck hairs that fall outside of the areas you mapped out, leaving the light, fine baby hairs alone to maintain a natural look.

Soothe and smooth

As soon as you’re done removing hairs, apply a calming agent like aloe to calm redness and decrease your chances of developing ingrown hairs.

Once you’re done, you’ll notice the big impact that this seemingly small alteration makes.  If, like many of our clients, you want to cut down on the maintenance necessary to keep your brows looking perfectly coiffed, schedule a consultation with us to see how electrolysis can give you the brows of your dreams – permanently!

THE MAGIC HAIR OIL

April 14, 2016

I’m sure you’ve heard of MoroccanOil or Argan Oil. In the past few years, it definitely has been gaining hype for its great conditioning properties for hair. We are here to dive a little deeper and find out what it’s all about!

 

  • Where does it come from?

Argan oil is native to Morocco, and comes from the Argan Tree. Nuts from the tree dry in the sun, and then stones are used to crack them open to retrieve the seeds. Then the seeds are roasted, water is added, and it is ground into a paste. The thick paste is then squeezed by hand to release its oil. This oil is very rare because the trees grow in small areas, and there is little supply.

  • Benefits

Originally, argan oil has been used for cooking. But because it’s so rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenes, it has been found beneficial for the hair and skin. The fatty acids in the oil are a wonderful moisturizer, and also help with shine. It can be used for the face, body, hair, and cuticles. Argan oil  can help prevent split ends, and thanks to the vitamin E, treats skin problems like acne and scarring. Even more great news, there has been a study showing that argan oil can possibly help with psoriasis, but we still need a little more research on that one.

  • Moroccan vs. Argan

MoroccanOil is indeed argan oil. The difference here is that MoroccanOil has additives. These other ingredients can include silicones, aloe vera, and synthetic fragrances. Both oils are beneficial and give results, but argan oil is the purest form. The real deal!

 

Have you used either MorrocanOil or Argan Oil? Try adding it to your beauty regimen and tell us what you think in the comments below! We’d love to hear what you think!

TAKE IT OFF

December 15, 2015

Fact: clogged pores lead to breakouts. The common cause of this can be from makeup and the environment (pollution, etc.) But what about your sunscreen? Not too many people consider this, and it can be just as pore-clogging. Physical sunscreens tend to be even harder to remove, so if your sunscreen contains the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, pay attention to the following tip!

Oil is your friend! Oils are an effective, economical way to cleanse the skin. Oils effectively remove makeup, sunscreen and the daily grime that tends to builds up on the skin. Plus, they can easily be purchased at any local pharmacy or supermarket. You can use oils straight up or look for an oil based cleanser. Some oils that work well include mineral oil, olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, hemp seed oil and sunflower oil. If you have sensitive skin and are worried about taking the plunge, start out with a fragrance free, non-comedogenic oil (like mineral oil) and try out a patch test first.

The bottom line? Just as important as it is to put sunscreen on at the beginning of the day, it’s just as important to take it off at the end of the day. Start including oil in your skincare routine and notice if you see any positive effects.

How to stay sun safe year round

September 10, 2015

 

fall-leaves

We know, we know – you’re bemoaning the passing of summer and trying to enjoy last warm days as much as you can, so are we! But with the days getting shorter and temperatures dropping, sometimes we get a little lazier, especially when it comes to protecting skin and hair against nature’s elements. Just because the sun is out a little less doesn’t mean it’s rays aren’t as harmful. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, clouds block only about 20% of sunrays, so we must remember to protect our skin with adequate spf protection. While we have products such as Nios Shield for our hair coverage 😉 and other sunblocks for skin here are some extra tips to ensure your skin and hair do not suffer through frigid temperatures.

Modify Your Use of Coconut oil

For those of you who are coconut oil aficionados, remember that this magic do-it-aller should be used properly. Since coconut oil tends to adapt to whatever the current temperatures are (solidifying below about 23 degrees and liquefying above it) when applying coconut oil to your tresses you must do so at a time when it will be able to set in and absorb into scalp. This means that applying it to your hair 10 minutes before you rush out the door into the frigid weather might not be the best time, but leaving it on overnight will allow heat to transfer and allow the coconut oil to do its job!

 

Silk is your friend

While silk may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a warm weather fabric, this loose material goes hand in hand with hair protection. Most beanies are made from wool and acrylic, which are not good for your hair as they cause breakage and static build up. Try to look for cotton beanies, or if you’re in a pinch just layer a silk scarf underneath your beanie to ward off hat hair!

 

Most beanies are made from wool and acrylic, which may not good for your hair as it they cause breakage and static build up. Instead, try to look for cotton beanies, or if you’re in a pinch just layer a silk scarf underneath your beanie to ward off hat hair! While silk may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a cold weather barrier, this loose material goes hand in hand with hair protection.

 

Hydration isn’t just to keep cool

While we tend to associate an increase of water intake with the amount of water we’re sweating out, H20 is one of  our biggest friends in the winter. Even the best over-the-counter products won’t fully help combat chapped lips, brittle hair, and dry skin if you’re not staying hydrated from the inside. Remember, your skin and hair are the biggest reflection of what’s going on inside!

Don’t forget your hands and feet

Hands and feet tend to get a little more neglected in the winter, but those callouses will come to light during your first spring pedicure – ward them off! A quick tip to give some TLC to those extra digits is so easy you can do it while you’re sleeping…literally! Before you go to bed, slather on your regular moisturizer or one of your go-to oils and put on a pair of cotton or terry gloves and socks. While you sleep, the heat will help your skin absorb all the moisturizing goodness, and when you wake up the next morning…well, let’s just say you won’t want to keep your hands off of yourself (or at least off your feet)!
To sum up, summer might be gone, but there’s still so much you can do to keep yourself looking and feeling healthy! Stay hydrated, use sunscreen when outside, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Have an awesome fall everyone!  

What damage is pollution doing to my skin and what can I do to stop it?

July 10, 2015

It’s no mystery that too much sun is bad for your skin, but did you know there’s another major environmental threat to your skin out there? And by out there, I mean everywhere. Air pollution. Skin is the largest organ in the body and its job is to protect you from the outside world. It keeps the good stuff in place (vital organs, blood vessels, hair follicles)  and keeps the harmful stuff out (ie extreme temperatures and harmful bacteria). Or in other words, if your body was a night club, your skin would be the bouncer and pollution would be the guy that drank too much and tries to start a  fight. Your skin has kicked out pollution a bunch of times, but pollution just doesn’t know when to call it a night.

 

Although your skin tries to do its best to protect you, pollutants still sneak their way inside. When your skin absorbs these impurities from the environment, the result can be troublesome. When it comes to pollution, there are two threats you have to look out for: one is visible and involves particles you can see (particulates)  and the other includes the gasses in the air (ozone). Particulates sit on the surface of your skin. If you fail to properly cleanse your skin at night, it makes it more difficult for your skin to do it’s job of regenerating and repairing itself.

 

To remove this pollutant from the surface of your skin, wash your face using the double cleansing method. And no, cleaning your face is not the same as double cleansing! If you aren’t practicing this method, it’s time to start. The double cleansing method isn’t a new system by any means, it traces back as far as 14th century China. The first cleansing step is to clean your face with a cleansing oil. Be sure to gently rub your skin in small circles for about a minute, then remove the oil with a warm washcloth. This step removes dirt, pollutants, sunscreen, and makeup at the superficial level. After that, a foaming cleanser is used to refresh the skin. This will help to get your skin clean at a deeper level, helping to dislodge impurities from the pores. Double cleansing helps to remove any pollutants from the surface of the skin first and then cleanses the skin itself second. Using gentle methods of cleansing helps to keep your skin clean without aggravating it too much.

 

Since you can’t see ozone pollutants, they’re a bit trickier to avoid. I can’t exactly recommend you to stop going outdoors, can I? But there are a couple of things you can do that will help. Physical activity is a great way to help toxins leave your body via perspiration. When you sweat, the pores on your body open up and give impurities a chance to exit from the surface of the skin. In fact, estheticians use steam during treatments to help open up the pores similar to the way perspiration opens the pores when exercising. Just make sure that following physical activity you cleanse your skin. If you don’t shower after working out,  clogged pores may become worse.
Try to give your skin a helping hand and implement some of these tips into your daily routine! Thanks for reading.

June 24, 2015

hair damage shower   Google Search

Hair is at it’s most fragile state when wet, so it’s no wonder that a lot of damage starts in the shower. Here’s two ways you can be (unknowingly) damaging your hair and, more importantly, how to fix it.

 

The Mistake:  Brushing your hair straight out of the shower

Why it’s bad: When your hair is wet, water breaks down the hydrogen bonds in your hair, leaving it extremely vulnerable to damage. In fact, brushing is one of the roughest things you can do to your hair in this  state, besides blow drying (but we’ll cover that topic later). Brushing leads to stretching and breaking of the individual strands, frizz and split ends. Yeah, no thanks.

 

The Fix: Use a wide tooth comb, not a flat or round brush. A wide tooth comb won’t snag your hair like a traditional brush. To give your tresses some additional TLC, use a leave in conditioner and comb slowly starting from the bottom of your hair, gradually working your way up to the root.

 

Do yourself a favor and put the brush down (you’ll thank me later).

 

The Mistake: Blow drying your hair

Why it’s bad: It’s no secret that blow drying isn’t the best thing for your hair. The heat emitted by a blow dryer removes surface moisture, causing the cuticle to crack. The result of this is dry and brittle hair. I don’t know about you, but the words dry and brittle are not how I’d like anyone to describe my hair.

 

The Fix: Towel blotting is a great way to cut down on blow drying time. And no, it’s not the same thing as towel drying 🙂  Try separating your hair into sections, squeezing your hair, then moving on to the next section. It’s important to avoid rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel since that too can cause damage. Note that you can also try this method with a t-shirt or pillowcase to significantly cut down on damage. Be sure to only rub your hair with gentle strokes and blot with a super absorbent towel.

So please, for the sake of your hair, avoid these two post shower no-no’s!

UV protection vs. SPF: What’s the difference?

June 10, 2015

The sunscreen aisle can be a confusing place. With every brand competing for your attention with different health claims about sun protection, it’s hard to know what’s right for you. And when you venture into the world of sun-safe hair care products, it gets even trickier. No need to worry, here at Nios Shield we’ve got your back. Or scalp. Whatever 😉

 

So you’re probably asking yourself what’s the difference between SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and UV protection and why should you care?  Well, products can claim their product has UV protection when it may have little to none. UV protection is more of a general term indicating that there is some protection from harmful rays, but the exact amount isn’t specified.  For a product to label itself with SPF it must pass the regulation trials to prove its ability.

 

SPF is the measurement of a product’s ability to block out UVB rays, which are the causes of sunburn and skin cancer. It measures the theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. If you wear a product with SPF 15, you would be able to stay in the sun for 15 times longer than you would be able to with nothing on your skin. In contrast, a product claiming to have UV protection gives the wearer protection but the amount of time you are protected is unknown – it is often in the range of 0.5 SPF. Now, you’d probably never put 0.5 SPF on your skin, so why put it on your hair? Ahem, that’s the reason Nios Shield came to be in the first place!

 

Another misconception surrounding SPF is the number. A consumer browsing for sun protection may think a product with SPF 30 has twice the protection of a product labeled SPF 15, but that just isn’t the case. An SPF of 15 blocks about 94% of the sun’s UVB rays while a product labeled SPF 30 blocks about 97%, just 3% more.

Thanks for reading, we hope this article helped to shed  some light on the myths surrounding sunscreen!

Bad-ass Bald Guys

July 31, 2014

A bald head can be hot; just look at The Rock, Chris Daughtry, and John Travolta–even Megan Fox and Kira Knightly have gone there! Ditch the regrowth foams and comb-overs because it’s totally acceptable (and sexy) to embrace the bald!

Speaking of bald, at 40, my dad finally decided to ditch the toupee (he started getting male pattern baldness at 21) and shaved his head. Well-la! He looked so much younger! He also learned that he had acquired some new responsibilities:

1. When going outside in a sleet storm, always wear a hat. Ouch!
2. When it comes to shaving, take your time because bleeding from the head ain’t pretty.
3. DON’T forget sunblock!

Dad learned #3 the hard way:  His first summer as a bad-ass bald guy, he was in for a rough ride. His first scalp-sunburn turned into a second degree burn. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just it wasn’t pretty – talk about scary (and scary-ugly)! Dad looked like Disney’s Quasimodo (except he was bald).

What’s the moral of the story? To the bald and the balding, unfortunately, skin cancers are more commonly diagnosed on the scalps of those who are bald than those who have hair. And for those who wish to prevent hair loss: unprotected sun exposure of the scalp may be harmful to hair follicles.

The scalp is the #1 forgotten area when it comes to applying sunscreen. Even a full head of hair isn’t guaranteed to protect us from precancer-causing sunburns of the scalp!  Yes, dark, thick, hair can give greater sun protection than thinner, lighter, hair, however, nobody is fully protected.  Learn from my dad – protect your noggin!

Hair Loss: 4 ways to “Shield” yourself

June 27, 2014

What do Vin Dissel, Dalai Lama, and Dick Cheney have in common? They’re all bald[ing]! It seems natural to see men lose hair as they age, and male baldness is no secret. However, what is less talked about is that nearly 40% of females suffer from hair loss at some point of their lives. Hair thinning among women can cause serious emotional distress but often goes undiscussed. Help prevent hair loss and thinning naturally with these four tips:

1. Scalp Stimulation: Not only are scalp massages super relaxing, they also increase blood circulation which can stimulate hair growth. Even better — massage a product with vitamin E onto scalp for a vitamin boost.

2. Proper Nutrition is a pivotal part of preventing hair loss. If our hair isn’t getting the proper vitamins and nutrients it craves to grow and strengthen, it can become brittle and break or fall out easily. Biotin, Zinc, Vitamins A and E, and protein rich foods supplement a strong, healthy mane.

3. Shield from the sun. Our scalp is even more sensitive than the skin on the rest of our bodies, so don’t neglect to use sun protection on your scalp! When a scalp gets sunburned its protective oils and cellular structure are damaged. This can prompt the production of superoxides, potentially damaging chemicals that can cause hair follicles to switch from the growth stage to the shedding stage, increasing the likelihood of hair loss. It can also cause skin elastosis, degenerative changes in the dermal connective tissue. Excessive sun damage can also lead to frail, dehydrated, brittle hair. So make sure to use SPF sunscreen on that think tank of yours!

4. Slow down. Both physical and emotional stress can cause an increase in cortisol levels, which can trigger hormone fluctuations and cause air loss. Try to relax with a new hobby, a good book, or a glass of wine.

All in all, simple changes to your daily routine can greatly aid in hair loss prevention. Get a massage, eat right, wear your sunblock, and stop to take a breather once in a while

Comment below and tell us what you do to keep your hair strong and healthy!

“Undone” Healthy Hairstyle Tips!

February 12, 2014

If you take a look around the beauty and fashion scene right now you’ll notice quite the trend in undone hair.  There was definitely a similar scene in the 90’s (Cindy Crawford) but recently the easy, confident, undone hairstyles are back.  As awesome as these hairdos look, they require a tad more than just waking up and rolling out of bed in the morning. Keeping your hair healthy and moisturized makes it much easier to achieve this look.  Detailed below are some of the best ways to maintain moisturized hair that makes it a cinch for you to rock that effortlessly-chic, undone hairstyle with confidence!

Wash-off conditioners – These are very important to achieving a nice and shiny finish.  Most hairstylists don’t recommend shampooing everyday but they do suggest at least conditioning.  Try using a wide-tooth comb as you condition in the shower, it makes it much easier to get the brush through during that fabulous blow-dry!

Once a week deep conditioning treatment – These bad boys are awesome and are like hydrating facials for your hair.  Spending an extra 15-20 minutes leaving some conditioner on your head during your shower or bath is well worth it for the repairing, restoring, and moisturizing these treatments provide for your locks.

Leave-in conditioner/shine – A good leave-in conditioner is amazing for so many reasons other than just protecting your hair from the damage caused by styling.  The leave-in conditioner also provides an additional glossy shine that helps your hair look and feel softer afterwards.

Keeping your hair moisturized and protected makes it easy as pie to get the look you’re trying to achieve. When you wake up in the morning you can of course decide to put in a tad more effort and style your hair, but if your hair is conditioned properly, you’ll also be able to opt for doing nothing and rock that naturally undone – but healthy – look!

Brow Shaping 101

Mar 30, 2017

Nios clients come in seeking permanent hair removal treatments that range from the tiny to the transformative.  There’s one beauty treatment in particular that falls into both categories, making it easy for many to overlook until they give it a try and never look back: eyebrow shaping!  Eyebrows frame the face, and taming unruly brows can have a dramatic effect on the overall picture.  If you’re curious to see what we mean and try some temporary shaping at home, read on for a few brow-shaping guidelines to follow.

Don’t overdo it!!

Done correctly, brow shaping works with your natural brows, not against them.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, and doing so will only make it harder to maintain your brows once the hair starts to grow out.  Before removing any hair, let your hair grow so that you can best determine the natural shape of your brows.  This will give you a good foundation from which to start crafting them into the shape that’s right for you.

Map your brows

Before removing any hair, it’s important to map out the shape that works best for your face.  Doing this is easy; all you really need is a brow pencil.  There are three main points to map on your brows – the start, the arch, and the end.  To find the ideal starting point for your brows, align the pencil with the outside of your nostrils and follow the straight line up to your brow area.  Mark the spot where the pencil intersects your brow line; this will be your starting point.  To find your ideal arch, keep the bottom of the pencil next to your nose, but tilt the pencil so that the top aligns with the outside of your iris.  Just as before, place a mark where the pencil crosses your brow to indicate the highest point of your arch.  To find the end of your brow, continue tilting the pencil until you reach the outer corner of your eye.  Follow the pencil to your brow and mark the spot that will serve as the end (or “tail”) of your brow.

Prep your brows

Since the goal is to create brows that appear naturally sophisticated and groomed, you’ll want to prep your brows so that it’s easy to spot the hairs you should snip or remove and those you should leave alone.  Use a small makeup brush to sweep the hair upwards, and using tiny facial grooming scissors trim any super long hairs so that hair is all more or less the same length.

Get grooming!

Avoid removal methods like waxing that remove more than one hair at once, as precision is key here, and removing too much hair in one fell swoop will make your brows look too unnatural. Instead, grab a pair of tweezers and position yourself in front of a normal (NOT magnifying!) mirror in a place with plenty of natural light.  Using the guide you drew with your brow pencil, pluck hairs that fall outside of the areas you mapped out, leaving the light, fine baby hairs alone to maintain a natural look.

Soothe and smooth

As soon as you’re done removing hairs, apply a calming agent like aloe to calm redness and decrease your chances of developing ingrown hairs.

Once you’re done, you’ll notice the big impact that this seemingly small alteration makes.  If, like many of our clients, you want to cut down on the maintenance necessary to keep your brows looking perfectly coiffed, schedule a consultation with us to see how electrolysis can give you the brows of your dreams – permanently!

THE MAGIC HAIR OIL

Apr 14, 2016

I’m sure you’ve heard of MoroccanOil or Argan Oil. In the past few years, it definitely has been gaining hype for its great conditioning properties for hair. We are here to dive a little deeper and find out what it’s all about!

 

  • Where does it come from?

Argan oil is native to Morocco, and comes from the Argan Tree. Nuts from the tree dry in the sun, and then stones are used to crack them open to retrieve the seeds. Then the seeds are roasted, water is added, and it is ground into a paste. The thick paste is then squeezed by hand to release its oil. This oil is very rare because the trees grow in small areas, and there is little supply.

  • Benefits

Originally, argan oil has been used for cooking. But because it’s so rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenes, it has been found beneficial for the hair and skin. The fatty acids in the oil are a wonderful moisturizer, and also help with shine. It can be used for the face, body, hair, and cuticles. Argan oil  can help prevent split ends, and thanks to the vitamin E, treats skin problems like acne and scarring. Even more great news, there has been a study showing that argan oil can possibly help with psoriasis, but we still need a little more research on that one.

  • Moroccan vs. Argan

MoroccanOil is indeed argan oil. The difference here is that MoroccanOil has additives. These other ingredients can include silicones, aloe vera, and synthetic fragrances. Both oils are beneficial and give results, but argan oil is the purest form. The real deal!

 

Have you used either MorrocanOil or Argan Oil? Try adding it to your beauty regimen and tell us what you think in the comments below! We’d love to hear what you think!

TAKE IT OFF

Dec 15, 2015

Fact: clogged pores lead to breakouts. The common cause of this can be from makeup and the environment (pollution, etc.) But what about your sunscreen? Not too many people consider this, and it can be just as pore-clogging. Physical sunscreens tend to be even harder to remove, so if your sunscreen contains the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, pay attention to the following tip!

Oil is your friend! Oils are an effective, economical way to cleanse the skin. Oils effectively remove makeup, sunscreen and the daily grime that tends to builds up on the skin. Plus, they can easily be purchased at any local pharmacy or supermarket. You can use oils straight up or look for an oil based cleanser. Some oils that work well include mineral oil, olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, hemp seed oil and sunflower oil. If you have sensitive skin and are worried about taking the plunge, start out with a fragrance free, non-comedogenic oil (like mineral oil) and try out a patch test first.

The bottom line? Just as important as it is to put sunscreen on at the beginning of the day, it’s just as important to take it off at the end of the day. Start including oil in your skincare routine and notice if you see any positive effects.

How to stay sun safe year round

Sep 10, 2015

 

fall-leaves

We know, we know – you’re bemoaning the passing of summer and trying to enjoy last warm days as much as you can, so are we! But with the days getting shorter and temperatures dropping, sometimes we get a little lazier, especially when it comes to protecting skin and hair against nature’s elements. Just because the sun is out a little less doesn’t mean it’s rays aren’t as harmful. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, clouds block only about 20% of sunrays, so we must remember to protect our skin with adequate spf protection. While we have products such as Nios Shield for our hair coverage 😉 and other sunblocks for skin here are some extra tips to ensure your skin and hair do not suffer through frigid temperatures.

Modify Your Use of Coconut oil

For those of you who are coconut oil aficionados, remember that this magic do-it-aller should be used properly. Since coconut oil tends to adapt to whatever the current temperatures are (solidifying below about 23 degrees and liquefying above it) when applying coconut oil to your tresses you must do so at a time when it will be able to set in and absorb into scalp. This means that applying it to your hair 10 minutes before you rush out the door into the frigid weather might not be the best time, but leaving it on overnight will allow heat to transfer and allow the coconut oil to do its job!

 

Silk is your friend

While silk may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a warm weather fabric, this loose material goes hand in hand with hair protection. Most beanies are made from wool and acrylic, which are not good for your hair as they cause breakage and static build up. Try to look for cotton beanies, or if you’re in a pinch just layer a silk scarf underneath your beanie to ward off hat hair!

 

Most beanies are made from wool and acrylic, which may not good for your hair as it they cause breakage and static build up. Instead, try to look for cotton beanies, or if you’re in a pinch just layer a silk scarf underneath your beanie to ward off hat hair! While silk may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a cold weather barrier, this loose material goes hand in hand with hair protection.

 

Hydration isn’t just to keep cool

While we tend to associate an increase of water intake with the amount of water we’re sweating out, H20 is one of  our biggest friends in the winter. Even the best over-the-counter products won’t fully help combat chapped lips, brittle hair, and dry skin if you’re not staying hydrated from the inside. Remember, your skin and hair are the biggest reflection of what’s going on inside!

Don’t forget your hands and feet

Hands and feet tend to get a little more neglected in the winter, but those callouses will come to light during your first spring pedicure – ward them off! A quick tip to give some TLC to those extra digits is so easy you can do it while you’re sleeping…literally! Before you go to bed, slather on your regular moisturizer or one of your go-to oils and put on a pair of cotton or terry gloves and socks. While you sleep, the heat will help your skin absorb all the moisturizing goodness, and when you wake up the next morning…well, let’s just say you won’t want to keep your hands off of yourself (or at least off your feet)!
To sum up, summer might be gone, but there’s still so much you can do to keep yourself looking and feeling healthy! Stay hydrated, use sunscreen when outside, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Have an awesome fall everyone!  

What damage is pollution doing to my skin and what can I do to stop it?

Jul 10, 2015

It’s no mystery that too much sun is bad for your skin, but did you know there’s another major environmental threat to your skin out there? And by out there, I mean everywhere. Air pollution. Skin is the largest organ in the body and its job is to protect you from the outside world. It keeps the good stuff in place (vital organs, blood vessels, hair follicles)  and keeps the harmful stuff out (ie extreme temperatures and harmful bacteria). Or in other words, if your body was a night club, your skin would be the bouncer and pollution would be the guy that drank too much and tries to start a  fight. Your skin has kicked out pollution a bunch of times, but pollution just doesn’t know when to call it a night.

 

Although your skin tries to do its best to protect you, pollutants still sneak their way inside. When your skin absorbs these impurities from the environment, the result can be troublesome. When it comes to pollution, there are two threats you have to look out for: one is visible and involves particles you can see (particulates)  and the other includes the gasses in the air (ozone). Particulates sit on the surface of your skin. If you fail to properly cleanse your skin at night, it makes it more difficult for your skin to do it’s job of regenerating and repairing itself.

 

To remove this pollutant from the surface of your skin, wash your face using the double cleansing method. And no, cleaning your face is not the same as double cleansing! If you aren’t practicing this method, it’s time to start. The double cleansing method isn’t a new system by any means, it traces back as far as 14th century China. The first cleansing step is to clean your face with a cleansing oil. Be sure to gently rub your skin in small circles for about a minute, then remove the oil with a warm washcloth. This step removes dirt, pollutants, sunscreen, and makeup at the superficial level. After that, a foaming cleanser is used to refresh the skin. This will help to get your skin clean at a deeper level, helping to dislodge impurities from the pores. Double cleansing helps to remove any pollutants from the surface of the skin first and then cleanses the skin itself second. Using gentle methods of cleansing helps to keep your skin clean without aggravating it too much.

 

Since you can’t see ozone pollutants, they’re a bit trickier to avoid. I can’t exactly recommend you to stop going outdoors, can I? But there are a couple of things you can do that will help. Physical activity is a great way to help toxins leave your body via perspiration. When you sweat, the pores on your body open up and give impurities a chance to exit from the surface of the skin. In fact, estheticians use steam during treatments to help open up the pores similar to the way perspiration opens the pores when exercising. Just make sure that following physical activity you cleanse your skin. If you don’t shower after working out,  clogged pores may become worse.
Try to give your skin a helping hand and implement some of these tips into your daily routine! Thanks for reading.

Jun 24, 2015

hair damage shower   Google Search

Hair is at it’s most fragile state when wet, so it’s no wonder that a lot of damage starts in the shower. Here’s two ways you can be (unknowingly) damaging your hair and, more importantly, how to fix it.

 

The Mistake:  Brushing your hair straight out of the shower

Why it’s bad: When your hair is wet, water breaks down the hydrogen bonds in your hair, leaving it extremely vulnerable to damage. In fact, brushing is one of the roughest things you can do to your hair in this  state, besides blow drying (but we’ll cover that topic later). Brushing leads to stretching and breaking of the individual strands, frizz and split ends. Yeah, no thanks.

 

The Fix: Use a wide tooth comb, not a flat or round brush. A wide tooth comb won’t snag your hair like a traditional brush. To give your tresses some additional TLC, use a leave in conditioner and comb slowly starting from the bottom of your hair, gradually working your way up to the root.

 

Do yourself a favor and put the brush down (you’ll thank me later).

 

The Mistake: Blow drying your hair

Why it’s bad: It’s no secret that blow drying isn’t the best thing for your hair. The heat emitted by a blow dryer removes surface moisture, causing the cuticle to crack. The result of this is dry and brittle hair. I don’t know about you, but the words dry and brittle are not how I’d like anyone to describe my hair.

 

The Fix: Towel blotting is a great way to cut down on blow drying time. And no, it’s not the same thing as towel drying 🙂  Try separating your hair into sections, squeezing your hair, then moving on to the next section. It’s important to avoid rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel since that too can cause damage. Note that you can also try this method with a t-shirt or pillowcase to significantly cut down on damage. Be sure to only rub your hair with gentle strokes and blot with a super absorbent towel.

So please, for the sake of your hair, avoid these two post shower no-no’s!

UV protection vs. SPF: What’s the difference?

Jun 10, 2015

The sunscreen aisle can be a confusing place. With every brand competing for your attention with different health claims about sun protection, it’s hard to know what’s right for you. And when you venture into the world of sun-safe hair care products, it gets even trickier. No need to worry, here at Nios Shield we’ve got your back. Or scalp. Whatever 😉

 

So you’re probably asking yourself what’s the difference between SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and UV protection and why should you care?  Well, products can claim their product has UV protection when it may have little to none. UV protection is more of a general term indicating that there is some protection from harmful rays, but the exact amount isn’t specified.  For a product to label itself with SPF it must pass the regulation trials to prove its ability.

 

SPF is the measurement of a product’s ability to block out UVB rays, which are the causes of sunburn and skin cancer. It measures the theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. If you wear a product with SPF 15, you would be able to stay in the sun for 15 times longer than you would be able to with nothing on your skin. In contrast, a product claiming to have UV protection gives the wearer protection but the amount of time you are protected is unknown – it is often in the range of 0.5 SPF. Now, you’d probably never put 0.5 SPF on your skin, so why put it on your hair? Ahem, that’s the reason Nios Shield came to be in the first place!

 

Another misconception surrounding SPF is the number. A consumer browsing for sun protection may think a product with SPF 30 has twice the protection of a product labeled SPF 15, but that just isn’t the case. An SPF of 15 blocks about 94% of the sun’s UVB rays while a product labeled SPF 30 blocks about 97%, just 3% more.

Thanks for reading, we hope this article helped to shed  some light on the myths surrounding sunscreen!

Bad-ass Bald Guys

Jul 31, 2014

A bald head can be hot; just look at The Rock, Chris Daughtry, and John Travolta–even Megan Fox and Kira Knightly have gone there! Ditch the regrowth foams and comb-overs because it’s totally acceptable (and sexy) to embrace the bald!

Speaking of bald, at 40, my dad finally decided to ditch the toupee (he started getting male pattern baldness at 21) and shaved his head. Well-la! He looked so much younger! He also learned that he had acquired some new responsibilities:

1. When going outside in a sleet storm, always wear a hat. Ouch!
2. When it comes to shaving, take your time because bleeding from the head ain’t pretty.
3. DON’T forget sunblock!

Dad learned #3 the hard way:  His first summer as a bad-ass bald guy, he was in for a rough ride. His first scalp-sunburn turned into a second degree burn. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just it wasn’t pretty – talk about scary (and scary-ugly)! Dad looked like Disney’s Quasimodo (except he was bald).

What’s the moral of the story? To the bald and the balding, unfortunately, skin cancers are more commonly diagnosed on the scalps of those who are bald than those who have hair. And for those who wish to prevent hair loss: unprotected sun exposure of the scalp may be harmful to hair follicles.

The scalp is the #1 forgotten area when it comes to applying sunscreen. Even a full head of hair isn’t guaranteed to protect us from precancer-causing sunburns of the scalp!  Yes, dark, thick, hair can give greater sun protection than thinner, lighter, hair, however, nobody is fully protected.  Learn from my dad – protect your noggin!

Hair Loss: 4 ways to “Shield” yourself

Jun 27, 2014

What do Vin Dissel, Dalai Lama, and Dick Cheney have in common? They’re all bald[ing]! It seems natural to see men lose hair as they age, and male baldness is no secret. However, what is less talked about is that nearly 40% of females suffer from hair loss at some point of their lives. Hair thinning among women can cause serious emotional distress but often goes undiscussed. Help prevent hair loss and thinning naturally with these four tips:

1. Scalp Stimulation: Not only are scalp massages super relaxing, they also increase blood circulation which can stimulate hair growth. Even better — massage a product with vitamin E onto scalp for a vitamin boost.

2. Proper Nutrition is a pivotal part of preventing hair loss. If our hair isn’t getting the proper vitamins and nutrients it craves to grow and strengthen, it can become brittle and break or fall out easily. Biotin, Zinc, Vitamins A and E, and protein rich foods supplement a strong, healthy mane.

3. Shield from the sun. Our scalp is even more sensitive than the skin on the rest of our bodies, so don’t neglect to use sun protection on your scalp! When a scalp gets sunburned its protective oils and cellular structure are damaged. This can prompt the production of superoxides, potentially damaging chemicals that can cause hair follicles to switch from the growth stage to the shedding stage, increasing the likelihood of hair loss. It can also cause skin elastosis, degenerative changes in the dermal connective tissue. Excessive sun damage can also lead to frail, dehydrated, brittle hair. So make sure to use SPF sunscreen on that think tank of yours!

4. Slow down. Both physical and emotional stress can cause an increase in cortisol levels, which can trigger hormone fluctuations and cause air loss. Try to relax with a new hobby, a good book, or a glass of wine.

All in all, simple changes to your daily routine can greatly aid in hair loss prevention. Get a massage, eat right, wear your sunblock, and stop to take a breather once in a while

Comment below and tell us what you do to keep your hair strong and healthy!

“Undone” Healthy Hairstyle Tips!

Feb 12, 2014

If you take a look around the beauty and fashion scene right now you’ll notice quite the trend in undone hair.  There was definitely a similar scene in the 90’s (Cindy Crawford) but recently the easy, confident, undone hairstyles are back.  As awesome as these hairdos look, they require a tad more than just waking up and rolling out of bed in the morning. Keeping your hair healthy and moisturized makes it much easier to achieve this look.  Detailed below are some of the best ways to maintain moisturized hair that makes it a cinch for you to rock that effortlessly-chic, undone hairstyle with confidence!

Wash-off conditioners – These are very important to achieving a nice and shiny finish.  Most hairstylists don’t recommend shampooing everyday but they do suggest at least conditioning.  Try using a wide-tooth comb as you condition in the shower, it makes it much easier to get the brush through during that fabulous blow-dry!

Once a week deep conditioning treatment – These bad boys are awesome and are like hydrating facials for your hair.  Spending an extra 15-20 minutes leaving some conditioner on your head during your shower or bath is well worth it for the repairing, restoring, and moisturizing these treatments provide for your locks.

Leave-in conditioner/shine – A good leave-in conditioner is amazing for so many reasons other than just protecting your hair from the damage caused by styling.  The leave-in conditioner also provides an additional glossy shine that helps your hair look and feel softer afterwards.

Keeping your hair moisturized and protected makes it easy as pie to get the look you’re trying to achieve. When you wake up in the morning you can of course decide to put in a tad more effort and style your hair, but if your hair is conditioned properly, you’ll also be able to opt for doing nothing and rock that naturally undone – but healthy – look!