You have discovered that you or someone in your family is infested with head lice. What do you do?
Don’t panic. Be thorough in following these directions and those on the packaged head lice treatment that you will find at the pharmacist. Paying careful attention to directions will eradicate the lice and prevent them from returning.
Caution: These medicated products are insecticides and should not be used on children under the age of 2.
Be sure to check with your physician or pharmacist before using them on anyone who is pregnant, nursing, or has asthma or other medical conditions.
Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that like to live among human hairs. If you are a parent of school aged children, you may know that head lice are epidemic in schools today. If you or your children have experienced being in infested with them, you may take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Every year, 6 to 10 million people in the US have head lice. Three quarters of those are school children under the age of 12. As you can see, this is a very common problem. While very annoying, they are not dangerous. They don’t spread disease, and contrary to popular belief, they seem to like clean hair as opposed to dirty hair. Head lice cannot live on animals. If your animals have lice, they will not infect you. – (Those are different lice.)
What do they look like? Adult lice are usually reddish brown in color with no wings and are about the size of a sesame seed. Females lay from 50 to 150 eggs that appear as shiny white, yellow, tan or brown dots. Empty eggshells are called nits. (Sometimes the word nit is used for both the egg and the empty shell.) Eggs are about half the size of a pinhead. Individual eggs are glued to hairs close to the scalp and hatch after 5 to 10 days.
What are the symptoms? The first indication of an infestation is itching or scratching, then, there may be small red bumps. Sometimes children will develop some swelling of their lymph glands.
To check for lice, use a bright light and look closely for adult lice and for eggs. Look from different angles since newly laid eggs are almost transparent. Adult lice will move quickly to avoid the light. Eggs and nits will be seen on the hair shaft. They can be distinguished from dandruff because they stick to the hair and are not easily removed.
Are lice contagious? Lice are highly contagious. They spread from person to person in group settings, such as schools, playgrounds, and slumber parties. They don’t fly or jump but they do crawl and they cling to hair shafts. They spread when children, or adults, get their heads together. They also spread from sharing combs, brushes, hats, clothes, even bed linens.
The Dreaded Age of Night Sweats
This is an aggrivating side effect of menopause. Many women will experience waking up in the middle of the night soaked with perspiration. Excessive perspiration is not always confined to the evening hours, but can surprise you at any time during the day. This problem is not only uncomfortable but will ruin any hair style.
Speak to your doctor or your natural foods adviser about controlling the symptoms.
Reduce the room temperature to 68 degrees or lower while sleeping.
Hair Styling: The fist thing women, with medium to long hair, will feel is hair clinging to the back of their neck. The best thing to do: get the hair up and off ther neck. Covered bands, scrunchies. clips, barrettes and bobby pins can be used to create ponytails, French rolls and other updos.
Shampoo with a good quality shampoo as often as necessary. Speak to your hairdresser about hairstyles that are easy, since you may be styling several times a day.
Hair color and permanent waves can be affected.
The salt from perspiration may affect the chemical processes of hair color and permanent waves. While a shampoo is customary before permanent waves, it is not often done before applying permanent hair color. If heavy perspiration is a part of your life, shampoo your hair with a cleansing shampoo before every hair color application as well as permanent wave. This will remove any salt residue and provide more satisfactory results.
Threading is an ancient method of hair removal. It is still used in many countries in the Middle East as well as India and Pakistan and in parts of the United States where residents of this culture are found. It is used to shape eyebrows and remove hair from the upper lip and other facial areas.
Cotton thread is twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin. This action entwines the hair in the thread, which is then lifted out from the follicle. This method lasts between three to eight weeks and is less invasive than other hair removal methods such as tweezing, waxing or sugaring. Only a slight pinch is felt when a relatively large area is covered each time. There are still cosmeticians skilled in the art of threading in certain areas and can often be found your local Yellow Pages.
I've become aware of a problem with this form of hair removal. Generally the practitioner controls one end of the thread in her mouth. This is very unsanitary. Bacteria and germs are transferred from the mouth, to the thread, and to the sensitive skin around eyes and face. There is the possibility of disease. For instance herpes virus may be spread in this way.
Are you overwhelmed by the business of life? The stress of it causes you become tense and even your scalp becomes tight. That tight scalp inhibits circulation and is hindrance to healthy hair growth.
For years hairdressers have known the best way to relieve stress and to relax the scalp.
That’s why every salon visit starts with a shampoo and thorough head massage. This massage increases circulation, stimulates nerve endings, frees knots of muscle tension, relaxes connective tissue and feels great. Professionals are trained in the pattern of manipulation for the most beneficial massage, however, it is a simple process to perform on yourself with almost the same relaxing and healthful results.
Using the following technique will get you started on taking better care of your scalp. You can create yourself by using a good conditioner and adding a few drops of essential oil. Try using lavender oil, chamomile or jasmine for anxiety and stress relief, or use grapefruit to uplift the spirits. Be aware that the essential oils are too strong to be used alone so be sure to mix them with the conditioner.
Use slow, steady movements for enhanced relaxation or vigorous massage for more energy.
Rinse your hair with warm water, and then wrap the hair in a warm towel to remove about 50% of the water. Loosen the hair and apply a massage lotion.
All of the manipulations will be performed with the pads of fingers and under the hair.
Start by placing both hands at each side of the back of the head, fingers pointed up. Slide the fingers firmly upward until they meet at the top at the head.
Next, repeat the movement, except move the fingers in one-inch rotations as they slide towards the top. Repeat this several times.
Now, place your hands in the front, palms on the forehead, fingers toward the top of the head and repeat the rotating motion while sliding the fingers toward the crown. Repeat this motion several times.
Next, place the fingertips at the sides of the head just above the ears. Use the same circular motion as you move your fingers toward the top of the head. Repeat several times.
Finally, place the fingertips at the temples and massage in slow circular movements.
Finish by firmly running the fingers of both hands from the front hairline to the back. Repeat this several times.
Remove the oils with a shampoo and condition to leave both scalp and hair in top condition.
There is no need to wait for a trip to the hair salon for all the therapeutic benefits of a wonderful scalp massage. All you have to do is spend a little time pampering yourself.
Many women notice increased dryness, decreased shine and dry brittle hair or a straw-like texture in the years after the age of 40. The body's natural oil (sebum) production slows down as we age. It is said to decrease about 10% for every 10 years of life.
Nutrition: Assess your eating habits. Certain nutrients help the body to create natural moisturizers.
Drink water. It is suggested that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day. If that seems impossible, start slowly with whatever increase you can handle and build up. Carry bottled water with you wherever you go.
Scalp Massage can help encourage oil glands to produce. Read about Scalp Relaxation.
Change your styling processes: If you use both hair color and
permanent waves, think about giving up one of them. Aging hair is often not strong enough to withstand more than one chemical process. The result of using permanent wave and hair color being dry, dull hair. I have found that unless your hair is beautiful snow white or silver, it is wisest to give up the permanent waves and keep using hair color. A soft, flattering hair color and natural styling is a much more youthful look which in turn adds to any woman's sense of well-being. When giving up a perm, try a short, layered style that is slightly disheveled and not over-done. Use mousse or gel and a minimum of hairspray for body.
Styling products: Use good quality products on your hair. Lesser quality shampoo, conditioners, etc. may be fine for hair that is youthful, strong and full of natural oils, but not for aging hair. Look for products that are conditioning (moisturizers and protein ), mild in strength and that contain protection from the elements (such as sunscreen.)
If you are age 40 or older you may be experiencing some unwelcome changes in the thickness, texture, condition and styling needs of your hair. If so, you are not alone. Many women start noticing significant changes as they age. In most cases these are from menopausal symptoms. You may be seeing all of these changes or indications of several.
I'll address some of the more obvious problems and recommend some remedies.
Lets Start with Changes of Thickness
This may be a drastic and frightening thinning of your hair. Some women may even be able to see their scalp through their hair especially in the bang area.
The most frequent cause of hair loss is low thyroid function, which is common among menopausal women. Other causes include changes in hormone levels and increased stress, either emotional or physical - also common among women entering menopause. To add to the problem, hair growth slows down as we age so that your hair does not replace itself as quickly after natural shedding.
Speak to your doctor about possible thyroid medication or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Speak to your natural foods advisor. Soy products have been known to help hormone levels without the risk of synthetic HRT.
Speak to you hair stylist. Shorter, layered cuts provide more body and easier styling in thinning, lifeless hair. Learn how to style hair to produce more body and fullness.
Reduce heat styling so as to reduce the risk of breakage. This includes: Blow-drying with a brush. Curling irons. Flat irons. Hot rollers that get too hot. Even round brushes with a metal core. Any of these has the possibility of over heating your hair so that any amount of stress can cause it to break.
Make your hair appear thicker with hair color. Multi-colors rather than one solid color will make your hair appear thicker. Using a color-blend technique, such as foils, your hairdresser will add 3 or 4 shades to your hair. (your own shade, 2 or 3 lighter and possibly 1 deeper) The hair color will also swell the hair shaft slightly, making it appear and behave thicker. And lets not forget the added benefit of camouflaging gray hair!
Sometimes hair products designed for curly hair aren’t what a curly haired person needs or wants.
My hair is very curly and has uneven texture. I’ve used gels, mousse, curl creams—everything on the market created for curly hair. I hadn’t found anything to give me the look and feel I wanted. I’d use a product for a day or two and invariably return to blowing my hair out. Smooth styles worked best until the weather was such that my hair wanted to be bouffant.
Finally, one day, fed up with blowing out my style and knowing I would fight the fullness for two days before it got into a shape I liked—I applied my smoothing cream, left the bathroom, and let my hair dry on its own. The result was the best curly style it’s ever been in. The curls were separate round curls, soft and springy. I could play with my hair. My curls looked good even after I slept on them two nights. I haven’t used my blow-dryer or flat iron for an entire month.
Finally! I love my curly hair.
This is how I do my hair. Keep in mind, you may have to adjust product amount and styling technique to fit your individual curl. We curly girls know what works perfectly for one may not work for another.
You want to stop using hair color. Either you’re tired of it, or for various reasons it is healthier for you to stop. Yes, you can simply stop using artificial hair color. With this option, you will have to deal with the new growth or “roots” showing in progressively greater amounts while the ends remain tinted.
There are other options:
These ideas are for going back to natural from blond. If your hair color has been covering gray or white, use the low-lighting method—adding dark strands to camouflage the gray until the tinted part of the hair grows out and can be cut off
A short haircut:
Cut your hair into a short trendy style that is about one to one and a half inches long. This is often called a pixy cut—stylish and feminine. Some, brave individuals may opt for a clipper cut in the back and sides with a bit longer hair on top.
With the short haircut, the new growth needs only to be an inch or so long. The hair color will be on the ends of the hair and looked ‘tipped.’ While being very stylish, this length is not for everyone
A Tint Back:
This is accomplished by applying a tint of your natural shade over the entire body of your hair. If you aren’t accustomed to dramatic change and your natural color is dark, this can be a shock. Even if the tint back is a perfect match, your hair may appear to be too dark. It’s wise to consul a professional colorist in choosing the shade to be applied.
Lightened or bleached hair may require preparation before it will accept the tint. Sometimes it will require a shade with more red or gold pigment than your natural to achieve a natural look. This is because red and gold have been removed when bleaching the hair.
Adding Dark Strands or Low-Lighting:
Like highlighting in reverse, this is putting darker strands through the lighter tinted or bleached hair to blend in the new growth. It often gives the effect of highlighted hair. The tinted strands and natural hair blend and can be grown out painlessly. This technique is done by applying a tint using a highlighting cap, foils or other method. The hair color you put in may fades over time, so you may want to use a tint in a slightly darker shade than your natural color.
Taking it Slow:
Begin by applying a slightly darker shade or "toner" such as medium blonde over your hair. When retouching the new growth, you will not have to lighten it as much. The next month apply a darker shade. Depending on how much darker your natural color is than the blonde, this will take three to twelve months. This is one way to avoid the shock of being blond one day and dark the next.
One More Thing
If you have worn your hair light for a number of years, take into account your skin color may have lightened. This happens when hair turns gray. You may not look the same as you did as a child with dark hair.
Learn to do your own hair color with these professional tips. On Kindle for only 99 cents,
Do you have flat hair? These tips will get you on your way to luxurious hair style.
4. Toweling your hair damp-dry before you apply the styling products will increase their effectiveness.
5. Use Root Lifter.
It is a firm hold spray gel that is sprayed at the base of the hair shaft – the root area. Used in this way, it will cause extra body and lift.
6. Next, use a styling foam or styling gel formulated for fine hair.
Emulsify the product in your hands and work through your hair from the roots to the ends.
7. Blow drying: The effectiveness of any product you use will depend on how you dry your hair. As you blow-dry your hair, lift it up off the scalp. Using a vent brush to lift the hair up, rather than brushing it down, will achieve the best result.
8. Fullness can also be achieved by brushing the hair in the opposite direction from which it falls. If your hair naturally falls forward, blow it back as you dry it. When it is dry, comb it into place.
9. Finally, and probably the easiest if you have long hair is to turn your head upside down and dry the hair until just the ends are damp.
10. In all of these techniques, dry the root area of the hair first and then the ends.
11. Use a large curling iron for extra body.
When using a curling iron on your hair, form the curl, and then carefully remove the curling iron. Hold the curl up and spray the base of it (next to your head) with flexile hold hair spray. Allow the spray to dry and place the section of hair where you want it.
12. After you have achieved fullness. You may need something called back-combing, teasing or ratting to keep it from falling flat again. This is the art of tangling the hair to create a cushion of lift. When the back-combing is in place and then smoothed. The effect should be that of naturally thick hair or hair that has lots of body.
Lynne Chapman served as Hair Site Editor of BellaOnline.com for fifteen years. She is a professional stylist and colorist of more than forty years.