By Joy A. Kennelly
Talking about beauty can go in so many directions. If you're a feminist, you're supposed to hate the superficiality of it all and look like Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem. Heavy sigh.
If you're a model, or an actress, that's all you're supposed to think about because that's how you make a living.
But if you're an ordinary woman, living a normal life, often times it's a way of expressing your femininity and simply enjoying the simple pleasures of being a woman.
In other cases, it's a matter of establishing a new path in life that signifies the end of something that hurt you, like ending a marriage in divorce and then cutting off all your hair to be or feel like someone new.
Or in my case, ending a 16 year relationship/friendship and adding extensions, like I did this summer.
I like entering contests because I read somewhere that not enough people do and as a result, you often have a better chance of winning that you think you do. That's how I won an iPad, tickets to the Hollywood Bowl and this summer, my long hair extensions from the Hair Dreams Makeover contest.
Now you have to understand, I'm not a long hair girl. Ever since I was a child with hair down to my elbows and got a snarl the size of a baseball near my ear, my Mom cut off my hair and from then on my hair has always been shoulder length or shorter.
Thinking back, I wonder how my Mom let my hair get that tangled without knowing it and making it stop sooner, but that's neither here nor there. I also will always wonder why she liked cutting all our hair really short like boys leading an African we were traveling near to think I was a boy while living and traveling in Africa. Thanks Mom. LOL I also had another African offer to buy me in marriage months later so there you have it.:)
Now I've known Danny and Aubrey of Studio DNA since the day Yelp launched in Santa Monica near their former salon and had my hair done there during Yelp's block party open house of all the businesses along the block; which was a whole lot of fun by the way. Yelp was clever at building community then and they're clever now.
Same with Danny and Aubrey - brilliant business men and lovely friends I adore. Visit their salon! http://studiodnasalon.com/
But I digress.
In any case, I had an absolute blast having my hair professionally extended by the wonderful David Matthew Reid over at the Santa Monica Dove Salon, their sister salon location.
Before, immediately after (felt like an Atlanta Housewife in that one!) and then after we styled it more.
You can see all the pix and story here: HairDreams Hair Makeover Contest Winner Event and here: Hair Dreams Makeover Part II Very fun experience and really lifted my spirits which I totally needed at that time.
My hair extensions became like a new pet I needed to take care of which took my mind off a lot of difficult things I was dealing with. I learned you're not supposed to wash it every day (like I was used to, having fine hair), and had to learn how to take care of coarse hair which felt sometimes like an alien object attached to my head.
I was given this wonderful Swim Spray by a publicist which helped make sure the chlorine didn't turn my hair green or make my skin smell which I'm sure avid swimmers will enjoy. It also helped my skin not be itchy. No wonder it won a Bronze award from the National Parenting Publications Association (NAPPA)
Here's the official pitch: "Invented by a swimmer, SwimSpray is a 100% natural Vitamin C-based technology which solves the problems chlorine leaves behind – strong chlorine odor; dry, itchy, and irritated skin; bleached, straw-like hair; etc. It was developed by a swimmer for swimmers." Read the inventor's story next.
"'I was ready to give up swimming because of the post-workout chlorine smell I always had,'" says Andrew Chadeayne, PhD and inventor of SwimSpray. After trying three or four other products in the market, Dr. Chadeayne, who holds a PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University, was determined to solve his problem. After months of research, he developed the all-natural formula used in SwimSpray to neutralize the chlorine hair and skin.
Dr. Chadeayne, a former Princeton University swimmer, was able to regain his collegiate form and become the 2011 U.S. Masters Swimming National Champion in the 200 Backstroke. "'SwimSpray allowed me to swim as much as I wanted with none of the usual chlorine-related side effects. I invented the product because, like many swimmers, I was tired of smelling like chlorine all the time.'"
To be honest, with the summer being hot into September, so was I and was very happy with this product. You can buy it yourself here: www.swimspray.com and at select swim shop partners.
Now the next thing I had to deal with with my new extensions was my hair not feeling clean when I didn't have the 30 minutes or more it would take to dry it afterward and had to leave the house hoping it wasn't too noticeable.
This too was solved by a fun publicist who sent me this pitch initially.
"Showering is so last year! Who needs water and all that hassle, when you can just as easily spritz on some dry shampoo and be on your way. Save water for the fishes."
She nailed it so well I immediately asked her to send me samples and soon was experimenting with dry shampoos from RUSK, Marc Anthony True Professional and Macadamia Professional. Now indulge me as I share the specs because a friend asked me and I didn't know, but since I know women care about this, here's the official information:
Deepshine® Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo instantly cleanses and revives hair between shampoos by absorbing excess oil and odor, leaving a fresh, clean scent.
HOW IT WORKS: Deepshine® Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo is formulated with ChromAveil™, a patented UV protection technology that helps preserve chemically-colored and natural hair color to extend the time between coloring sessions.
INGREDIENTS AND FUNCTIONS:
- ChromAveil™ features a patented blend of ingredients known to protect chemically-colored hair and natural hair color from the damaging effects caused by exposure to sunlight.
- Marine Nutrient Complex helps replenish hair’s natural balance using a unique combination of marine extracts, proteins and trace minerals.
- Tapioca Starch absorbs oil and cleanses hair to deliver a velvety soft texture.
- Prevents hair color from fading and extends time between coloring
- Invisible application
The RUSK Deepshine® Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo is available at ULTA, Cosmoprof, or select salons. See RUSK1.com for details.
RUSK Deepshine® Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo 8oz …..………...SRP: $19.00
RUSK Deepshine® Color Care Invisible Dry Shampoo 2oz…..………...SRP: $7.00
Travel size too people!
Now the next one, these are in no particular order by the way, is the 2ND DAY formula by Marc Anthony, developed with Nanotechnology and Zeolite to absorb oil without leaving a build-up or gritty texture. The highly porous nature of Zeolite acts as a filter, trapping excess oil on a molecular level so that your hair is clean and residue-free. (Don't you love the official pr language? So official!:)
A blend of Chamomile Extract, Stinging Nettle Extract and Pro Vitamin B5 offers added cleansing, conditioning and shine benefits so that your hair not only looks clean – it looks healthy. Plus, fewer washes equal richer color and less heavy oil equal extra volume.
Availability: $7.99 at Rite-Aid and Drugstore.com
And finally, my favorite out of all three, MACADAMIA PROFESSIONAL STYLE EXTEND DRY SHAMPOO, which of course is the most expensive, but when you see the ingredients you'll understand why.
- Absorbs excess oil, product build-up and odor
- Instantly refreshes hair, leaving it looking and feeling clean and fresh
- Blends with all hair colors, leaving no powdery residue
- Finish – Natural
- Macadamia Oil – Omega 7, 5 and 3 fatty acids provide weightless moisture
- Argan Oil – Omega 9 fatty acid repairs and strengthens
- Rice & Potato Starches – absorbs excess oils & purifies hair
- Volcanic Ash – absorbs and traps oils, debris and odors
- Passion Flower Extract – provides antioxidant protection, and protects moisture balance
- Aloe Vera Leaf Extract – hydrates, smoothes and nourishes hair
- Ideal for extending the life of your hair color or blow out and use instead of shampoo for the first few days. Shake can well. Spray 8-10 inches from hair, targeting the scalp. Wait a minute, then brush or work lightly into hair. Style as desired.
- Color safe, cruelty-free and free of sulfates, gluten and parabens
FRAGRANCE: Toasted Coconut Cream - really a big selling point!
TEXTURE: All Textures
I actually used each product and discovered that on different days different ones worked better, but have to admit, the scent of toasted coconut cream won me over and the ingredients of the Rusk one both left my hair feeling the best and garnered the most compliments. The other one I could tell my hair wasn't clean almost immediately which was very unpleasant when you leave the house early morning and then don't return home till late evening.
I would recommend the Macadamia Professional Style and the Rusk Dry Shampoo if you're really busy and don't want to have to worry about your hair once you leave the house. I also like the fact all three are available in travel sizes. I believe they fit within the airline parameters too so pop one in and go!
So thus ends our first soiree into my beauty firsts this summer.
Up next, Beauty and the Breast, otherwise known as my first visit to a plastic surgeon's office learning about breast surgery, vagina "enhancements" and my first spray tan. Oh, and my original breast cancer awareness effort with a photographer who shoots nude models and my inclusion in the Santa Ana Art Museum's breast cancer awareness exhibit featuring "Breast in a Bow."
Stay tuned. You won't want to miss this one.:)
(Author's Note: It has been pointed out that my reference to never being Jewish as referring to the feminists at the opening of my beauty article could be taken as anti-semitism, but that is wrong. It's simply stating that as a woman with Irish/German/Finnish genealogy who is a practicing Christian, I am not of Jewish lineage. This was meant simply as a joke. Nothing more, nothing less people.:)