From the top of Mount Crunchy: The gratitude thing? It totally works on the happiness front.

This little dude is a relative. (And a v sharp dresser!)

This Cali-based dude is a relative. (And a very sharp dresser!)

I’ve been reading about best SEO practices lately, and evidently I’m supposed to kick off every blog post with a super-focused lead sentence front-loaded with IMPORTANT KEY WORDS.

If only my Mommy Barbie brain worked that way…

When I’m writing for hire – and have a very specific word-count target I need to hit – I can focus like nobody’s business.

But here, in my Happy Place, I can take as long as I damn well want to get to my point.

And that’s how I get distracted, with what I like to label “SIDEBARS.”

Here’s an example:

SIDEBAR: Wait, I was doing so well with my embargo on public swearing! And now I just used “damn” up there a few sentences ago! Grrr…

So please excuse me while I do a “set-up” on the Core Thesis of today’s post:

How feeling grateful makes you happy 

Here goes:

After years and years of being a champion sleeper (please don’t hate me: I just got lucky), the Wee Lass has been experiencing several bouts of insomnia lately.

Especially on Sunday nights, which I’ll circle back to in a minute.

Alarmed at this new development, Hubby and I did a lot of sleuthing, and back-and-forthing, and finally landed on these probable causes for her newfound sleep issues:

1. She’d recently “discovered” Sweet Tea (a totally Southern thing), and had taken to ordering it at dinners out. Definitely not a great idea; not only does Sweet Tea pack as much sugar as a Coke, it’s laced with caffeine. Talk about a double insomnia whammy!

2. She’s becoming a tad attached to her devices. In addition to watching endless “Miranda Sings” videos on YouTube, she’s constantly texting and FaceTiming her pals up North and down here. On the one hand, I’m loving that she keeps in touch. On the other hand, I’m not loving that she’s dialed-in like El Presidente of AT&T.

3. She can be super lazy on Sundays. If she doesn’t have a playdate, she can often be found lounging on the couch, remote in hand, for hours at a pop. This is a big shift from her Monday thru Friday routine. During the week, she has tons of PE, tennis lessons and impromptu after-school swim parties with her pals.

So bearing all this mind, Hubby and I instituted the following changes:

1. No Sweet Tea. Ev-er.

2. No gadgets of any kind after 8 pm, and that includes television.

3. No excessive lounging on Sundays. Even if she’s by herself, she has to hop in the pool, run around, do stuff. Be active, get fresh air, etc, etc.

And guess what? She’s only been following this New World Order for a few weeks, and she is soooooo much more relaxed at bedtime. She sleeps like a rock – even on Sundays, even with her school week – and all the mental agita school and kiddie life can generate – looming.

Other bonuses: She’s been reading up a storm in the 8 to 9 hour before bed. And she’s even been organizing her clothes and school backpack. Before, she would device-it up until the last second before bed, and then, the next morning, be scrambling to get out the door in one piece.

But here – at the very tale end of this blog post – is when I finally get to my Core Thesis:

Last night, as I was tucking her in, she said:

“I’m so grateful for my friends, and my family, and everything I have.”

OMG OMG OMG, right? I get on her all. the. time. about not being appreciative enough of the general all-around awesomeness of her life.

And despite my countless sad “Mommy was poor when she was little” stories, and tales of how meticulously I kept my Barbies and my other (few) toys compared to the way she flings all her stuff around, she just wasn’t getting it.

So, to capitalize on this moment, here’s what I said back to her:

“I feel EXACTLY the same way. I’m grateful all the time for our life. Doesn’t that make you happy?”

“It does,” she replied. And then she went to sleep.

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Possibly the cutest trend ever: Dad + son modeling duos

Say hi to Parker and his handsome papa Andre.

Say hi to Parker and his handsome papa Andre.

Kaia Gerber notwithstanding, it’s the boy descendants of catwalk superstars who are getting all the props these days.

Cases in point: The lavish, Ingrid Sischy-penned piece on 7-year-old Hudson Kroenig in September Vanity Fair, in which we learn that the little dude literally travels the world to trot the runway for Chanel.

(Weird. I’m a VF subscriber, and I can’t get the link to that story for you guys. Apologies. But you chic-ettes probably have that issue already, anyway. For anyone who doesn’t, here’s Hudson. His dad Brad is a pretty much a legend of longevity on the male modeling circuit.)

In keeping with the thesis of today’s blog post, there’s also the gorge père et fils pictured here – Parker and Andre van Noord – whom I just learned about when I cracked open my digital edition of WWD this morning.

Trying to link to that tale here. If you don’t have a subscription to WWD, it may not open for you.

And while he isn’t (yet) a model, I’ve recently seen a few impossibly adorbs Instagram shots by David Beckham of his son Romeo sporting a version of Pop’s questionable man-bun. “Someone is trying to be like Daddy!” reads one caption.

Finally, just to circle back to the Gerbers for a sec, let’s not forget that before he married Cindy, became a bar / nightclub mogul and launched a tequila brand with his bestie George Clooney, Rande modeled. Why shouldn’t Presley get in on the family biz? He even has Mommy’s signature mole!

I guess I should get on my soapbox and shout that we shouldn’t be objectifying our kids – boy or girl – and placing so much value on what they look like.

And that is 1000 percent, unequivocally true. To survive and thrive in this cutthroat world, children need multiple arrows in their quivers: Academic excellence, tech-savviness, resilience, ingenuity…

It’s just that in the VF and WWD pieces – and even in David Beckham’s Instagram feed – you just feel how proud these dads are of their sons for following in their footsteps.

And for me, at least, it’s really fun to read these charming, way inside-baseball, fashion-industry stories.

Besides, my lovely Momoverettes: It’s. Friday.

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Beauty Armoire Monday: NeoStrata Bionic Eye Cream – Four-Week “Brighter Eyes” Challenge / Kickoff

A super-cute name, but will it work?

A super-cute name, but will it actually work? Let’s find out!

When I got back from our trip to the Pacific Northwest a few weeks ago, I looked pretty god-awful.

I’m sure there were several factors playing into that:

1) Lengthy flights from Tampa to Seattle, Vancouver to San Fran, San Fran to Dallas, Dallas to Tampa. (Please, that gross, recycled cabin air is a dehydrating, soul-sucking disaster for your skin.)

2) Dodgy sleep, fueled by time-change jet lag and a brewing sinus infection.

3) Generally drier climate in that neck of the woods. (We barely saw a drop of rain on our entire trip, which was a massive contrast to the literal flooding in certain low-lying pockets in my Gulf Coast FLA ‘hood.)

3) Too much booze for close to two weeks.

4) Zero meditation for close to two weeks.

So circa the first day I got home, and had a chance to really scrutinize the ol’ mug, I did NOT like what I was seeing: Major crinklies around my eyes.

Thus far, crow’s feet haven’t been a big issue for me. I have other eye woes, which we’ll get to in a sec. But for the most part, I’ve been pretty lucky in the fine lines and wrinkles arena.

Guess what? I think my luck may be running out. So alongside dark circles, puffiness and face dents caused by the fact that I’m addicted to sleeping on my left side, I now seem to be collecting a few crinkles too.

That’s why my electronic ears perked up when I saw an email in my inbox with the header: “Brighter Eyes in Four Weeks!”

The ostensible secret to that newfound brightness? NeoStrata Bionic Eye Cream.

Apart from the adorbs name, it aims to correct my two of my chief eye woes – dark circles and puffiness.

And speaking of adorbs names, several years ago, I wrote a story for Cookie mag entitled “Vicious Circles.” (I’ll add it to my danawoodwriter.com website archive later today, so we can refer back to it, as needed…)

As you can imagine, new moms – Cookie’s core audience – were obsessed with dark circles, largely because none of ’em got any sleep, poor things.

Wait – I forgot I was one of those sleep-deprived zombies, too; I had the Wee Lass a mere six months into my stint as Beauty Director there…

Anyway, in researching and writing that piece, I learned that a chief cause of circles – at least for older mama bears like moi – is structural. As you age, you start losing volume under your peepers, and it’s all starting to cave a little. The fastest, most effective Rx: Fillers.

As someone who has blogged incessantly about her FOF (aka Fear Of Needles), I’m a filler-free zone – despite the fact that I desperately need them. And not just under my eyes; I kinda need them everywhere.

That won’t be happening, however. Talk to me in five years, and I might be positively riddled with Voluma. But for now, I’m going the DIY route, starting with this NeoStrata number.

I’ll document my progress, and see if I look a little less puffy, a bit less dark circled. (Hopefully, because the NeoStrata isn’t really a corrective for crow’s feet, those minor crinklies I was just bitching about will hit the bricks as soon as I pound myself with H20 and immerse myself in the 1000 percent FLA humidity.)

To construct a proper Before & After scenario, I think we need some kind of visual jumping-off point, right? To see whether it’s working or not?

Even though I’m sooooooo not Selfie Girl, I’m attaching two Kickoff Pics – a full-face and a close-up on my eyes.

DWcloseup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eyes1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upfront disclaimer: Obvi I just woke up and don’t have any makeup on. And I had an especially rough go of it last night – the Wee Lass had Sunday evening insomnia, and Thunder, my boy cat, went on a 2 a.m. rampage all over the house. Grrrr…he’s horrible, albeit handsome.

But maybe all that negative backstory is actually good for Project Brighter Eyes. I have nowhere to go but up.

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Tennis self-harassment is not allowed. Even when you’re playing capital “t’ Terribly.

Three people, eight billion racquet bags...

Why do three people need eight billion racquet bags? Just asking…

Note to self: You’re not a good enough tennis player to take, ahem, several weeks off and then just blithely pop back on the court like you’re Vika or something.

So there I am this morning, at Cardio Tennis, playing so badly I think our coach was actually a little mad at me, lol.

Not that I blame him. It was as if I were holding my racquet horizontally; everything kept bouncing off the rim.

The rim? The rim shouldn’t even be involved in the situation.

Look, I love tennis. But tennis doesn’t always love me – especially when I’ve been AWOL for almost a month.

Sure, I have my excuses. Even borderline-decent excuses.

I was prepping like a mad woman for my Dali Museum Docent exam. We were traveling. I got a pretty vicious sinus infection. When we got back from vacay, I had a ton of work to take care of.

But here’s what you DON’T get to do when you take almost a month off from tennis and then play really, really badly:

You don’t get to berate yourself, either on the court or off.

On the court, no one wants to hear it. Maybe apologize once, then put a cork in it.

Off the court, you just gotta move on.

So this morning, as I hopped in my car to head home after my disastrous showing in Cardio Tennis, I literally said to myself: Shake it off. 

And I did.

 

 

 

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Pretty-mom + mega-colorist Sharon Dorram will now help you build a better “bronde”

Ageless and well-dressed, with seriously good hair.

Ageless and chic, with seriously good hair.

A model of multi-tasking, Sharon Dorram called me from a dusty, ol’ dirt parking lot in the Hamptons last Friday. The super duper superstar celebrity colorist was dropping her daughter off at surf camp – stuff was going ON in her world – but she kept her date with me all the same.

Our mission: To bring you the tips and tricks you need to maximize the “bronde” trend.

You know about “bronde,” oui? The gorge middle ground between blonde and brunette?

Fantastic.

Because I would now like to get serious about “bronde,” take it out of air quotes, and give it the respect it so deserves.

Why? Because bronde is beautiful. Because bronde is purrfect for shifting out of summer. Because bronde is not just the new fave hue of a slew of mama-hotties (Blake Lively! Beyoncé!), it’s here to stay.

So off we go on our whirlwind Q & A.

DANA: Would bronde work for a natural blonde, who’s never colored her hair?

SHARON: Yes. In fact, I like it best for women who basically have a lighter base color and are just going a shade or two darker. Most of the women I do it for are generally blondes who may have gotten light from the sun. They want to richen up their color, and bring it back to its natural state.

DANA: And what about your highlight clients? Do they get the lowlights? Wait, we can’t even really call them “lowlights” anymore, right?

SHARON: Bronde isn’t actually about lowlights. It’s more of a semi-permanent rinse that we use, which coats the hair. You’re not married to it. And it’s a really great transition from summer into fall.

DANA: So even on those individual pieces, you’re painting on semi-permanent color?

SHARON: Yes. But I really use it more as an all-over rinse. It luxes up the hair, gives it shine, makes it look healthy. And if you wear it for a month, or six weeks, and it fades out, you might say: “Okay, I’ve been dark for a while. Now it’s time to put a few more highlights back in my hair.’

That’s a better way of dealing with the transition into fall than just suddenly going darker.

DANA: A classic lowlight is actually permanent color?

SHARON: Well, it can be. When I do my blondes, I always add a few lowlights, so there’s dimension to the color. And when I do the lowlights, I paint them on, and I use semi-permanent color so it fades out over time and blends in with the blonde.

But bronde is just a different look altogether than lowlights.

DANA: To me, bronde looks like more of an overall look, and less chunky and piece-y.

SHARON: Exactly. That’s a perfect way to describe it: An overall look.

DANA: What’s the maintenance schedule like? How often would you need to get the re-bronded?

SHARON: I would say every six to eight weeks. But you could even go longer. It can hold for up to three months. So anywhere between six to twelve weeks.

DANA: So that’s pretty low-maintenance.

SHARON: Very.

DANA: Your technique at your New York salon is to add a warm rinse at the end. Should my readers ask their colorists for that as well?

SHARON: No, that’s only really necessary if someone has really faded blonde hair. Sometimes if you darken super-faded hair it can get ashy, almost green.

DANA: L’Oréal Préférence has a DIY bronde kit. Any tips about getting the best results from that?

SHARON: As always with at-home color, err on the side of caution and do a strand test first. And don’t do a strip in the back of your head that you can’t really see. Do a piece up front, near your face, so you get the full effect and can see what it looks like as you move.

DANA: Let’s say you’re happy with your little bronde test strip. Do you then have to wait 24 hours before you do your entire head?

SHARON: Not at all. If you like it, you can do the rest right away.

DANA: I saw a quote of yours recently that I thought was pretty genius: “Healthy hair is youthful.”

SHARON: Absolutely. So what does that mean? It means shampooing less often, definitely. It means using less mousse, less hairspray – anything that might have alcohol in it and could potentially strip the moisture out. And it means putting moisture back in, by maybe doing a vitamin E oil treatment once a month. That will help your hair look healthier, and younger.

DANA: Thank you lady!

SHARON: Any time.

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Taking a hot bath when it’s a 1000 degrees outside: Counterintuitive. Delicious.

Bora Bora: Totally on my bucket list.

Bora Bora: At the tippity top of my bucket list.

The French have a beauty term – sensorielle – that doesn’t, as far as I know, have an American equivalent.

Translation: Any product infused with sensorielle properties – and it can be anything, from a facial toner to a body lotion – is all but guaranteed to be lushly fragranced, heady and utterly relaxing.

When I got back from my recent vacation, jet-lagged, suffering from a maje sinus infection and staring down a crisp list of deadlines, this intoxicating Phytoceane Bora Bora Sensory Bath was waiting for me.

And despite the fact that it was roughly 800º in my not-so-little palm-treed hometown, I grabbed it and headed straight to the tub.

Laced with beaucoup vanilla and almond, it smells really incredible. And it bubbles a bit, too, which was a nice change for non-foaming salt-addict moi. Though the press release recommended using just a little, I kept adding more. More bath water, more Bora Bora, more bubbles.

I stayed in there a while, reading a very odd little number called “A Paris Apartment” (I kinda bounce between loving and hating it), and breathing in all that sensoriality.

And of course I slept like a rock that night.

While “proper sleep hygiene” dictates that you drift off in a fairly cold room (68º is ideal), what really helps with insomnia is if you raise your body temperature first before slipping into the deep freeze. This triggers the natural release of melatonin, and we all know how great that is for sound slumber.

Better to generate your own melatonin than to take it in pill form, as I’ve recently discovered. Wearing a sleeping mask also helps on this front.

My point, on this steamy, mid-August Friday afternoon? Don’t let the heat keep you out of a piping hot tub. Load it with something sensorielle and dive in.

 

 

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This collab between Pat McGrath and Kim West on Violet Grey is too stunning to not blog about

Perhaps the hottest of hot mamas.

Perhaps the hottest of hot mamas. And Pat McGrath? G-E-N-I-U-S.

Although I’ve never written about her here on Momover.net, I did recently explore the impact of Kim Kardashian West’s crazy-chiseled cheekbones in this story about contouring for The New York Post.

I’ve seen those cheekbones up close and personal, and I can assure you they’re quite maje.

But here’s what’s even more maje: Pat McGrath.

Oh my lordy. Pat McGrath. She’s up there – waaaaaay up there – in the pantheon of incredible makeup artists.

And she’s hilarious, and eminently quotable, and friendly and fun – always a plus for a Beauty Director on deadline.

Between KKW’s otherworldly bone structure and the major-league majorness of Pat McGrath, you can imagine my glee when an email landed in my inbox about the new cover story on Violet Grey.

McGrath took her paints and powders to Kardashian West, with a super-interesting twist: The inspiration was Cleopatra by way of Elizabeth Taylor, and the result is pretty astonishing.

Decades before I met Kardashian West at a beauty event, I met Elizabeth Taylor. This was in the 90s, when her White Diamonds fragrance was on fire.

But not only did I meet Elizabeth Taylor, I subsequently flew to her Bel Air home to interview her for W. We talked about her perfumes, about her tireless work for amFAR, about her many husbands, about…her incredible, one-in-a-million life.

Sidebar: Her living room was filled with gigundo, planet-sized Amethyst crystals. Suddenly, I want to do recon about the spiritual powers mega-chunks of Amethyst confer. What was Taylor’s trip with those babies?

Like McGrath, La Liz was hilarious, and eminently quotable, and friendly and fun. That interview was, without question, a highlight of my career.

The Violet Grey cover story is not only stunning, it does a really nice jobs of connecting the dots between McGrath, Kardashian West, Liz Taylor and Cleopatra. A pack of super-cool broads if ever there was one.

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In 12 short days of vacay, I undid several (many! beaucoup!) months of good habits

I didn't quite get to Alaska, but I did drink this amber ale.

I didn’t quite get to Alaska, but I did drink this amber ale.

Well alrighty.

I’m back from our massive trip to the Pacific Northwest, and I’m super-duper worse for the wear.

For starters, I’m almost positive I have a sinus infection. I’ll find out this afternoon, when I nip off to the doc for a little look-see. I got sick about two days into our 12-day jaunt, and I still feel really lousy. I’m not happy about that, especially given all the chores (both paid and not so) piled on my plate at the moment.

Before I get too whingey and whiny – and I’m sure as soon as I start pounding the Rx antibiotics I’ll feel brills again – I have to say that we had a fabulous, fabulous time. We really zipped around (Seattle, Vancouver, San Fran, Napa, back to San Fran) and I saw so much natural beauty I’m almost tearing up right now when I think about it…sniff sniff…

Now back to the bad stuff:

Are any of you lovely Momoverettes fellow readers of Zen Habits? If so, you know that my ultimate Crunchiness Hero, Leo Babauta, recently embarked on a whirlwind, four-week trip outside the U.S. – with his six kids in tow! – and documented his efforts to keep up with all of his good habits en route: Meditating, exercising, eating well, working a little every day, and not freaking-out on his many, many totlets as Team Leo trucked here, there and everywhere.

How’d he do?

Incredibly well, shocker of all shockers.

In a post entitled: “The Joyful Results of My Grand Travel Experiment,” Babauta details just how very successful he was in maintaining supreme order while globe-trotting with his troops.

He hit the floor for pushups, he steered clear of the vegan gelato, he even devised a little points system for rating his stellar self-discipline and all-around awesomeness.

Not me, man. I ate too much just about every day. I didn’t hit the gym once, and trust me, every one of our hotels had one, so there’s no excuse. I cocktailed religiously, at every dinner and many a lunch.

But it’s Babauta’s sticking-to-meditation that I am, by far, most envious of.

In his own words:

I remembered almost every day as soon as woke up. I did sound meditation, where I would try to listen to all the sounds around me. I also did sound meditation while out at busy squares and beaches in the different cities we visited. A few days I didn’t remember to meditate as soon as I woke up, but I would remember a little later in the morning and do a short meditation wherever I was. Overall, much better than any previous trip!

As I just cut-and-pasted that bit from Zen Habits, I got really sad. Why? Because despite my maje, MAJE progress with meditation this year, I completely and utterly dropped the ball on my vacay.

I gotta get back to it. NOW.

 

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Part 2 of my chat with hair whiz Doreen Guarneri, aka “Frizz’s Fiercest Foe”

While u r reading about frizz, I'm in Seattle.

While you’re reading about frizz, I’m on vacay in Seattle.

OMG times a billion. I’m supposed to be heading out the door for the airport, en route to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle! Vancouver! San Fran! Napa!) and I’m like craaaaaashing the second installment of my World Frizz Congress through the pipeline.

Off we go, hair-obsessed mamas…

Q. Simply Smooth Magic Potion NOT Shampoo was launched in tandem with Simply Smooth Magic Potion Curly, which is a leave-in. Is leave-in a “must” for frizzy hair? To weigh it down?

A. Following up with a hydrating leave-in conditioner with keratin and collagen will definitely help combat frizz as it helps seal in moisture. Your hair doesn’t have to be “weighed” down to combat frizz. Simply Smooth Magic Potion Curly is more specifically a curl shaping potion created in response to the huge curl trend. It helps with humidity control along with promoting soft curls.

Q. Over time, what does the use of heat styling devices do to naturally frizzy hair? Women use blow dryers and flat irons to smooth the hair, and reduce frizz, but can they actually expect a “boomerang” effect and wind up with MORE frizz?

A. Think of your hair as a natural fiber. You wouldn’t abuse a fine silk blouse by over-washing or drying it, and the same consideration needs to be applied to your hair. Over using heat appliances on all hair types can definitely result in dry, damaged hair with breakage which equates to frizz and the halo effect of cottony textured hair. That fact is increased if the hair is dry and/or frizzy on its own. There are many factors that need to be considered before deciding on proper use or how often you apply heat. First, if you have fine hair or over processed hair, you need to use a lower temperature than if you have coarse, thick hair, which can take higher temperatures. Pick and choose your battles and embrace your hair in all its differences. On the day you want your hair to be smoother or straighter, use more heat. However, when not needed, give your hair a break from the heat. Using hair products with thermal protection will also help. Look for products that are specific to heat protection.

Q. As a product creator, do you have “frizziness scale” that you measure hair by? Are there some women whose hair is so naturally frizzy nothing can smooth it?

A. When it comes to treating frizz, filling the “void” is what’s necessary. There are texture issues that are inherent in someone’s hair and then there are the season/climate factor that affects it. In order to combat frizz correctly, seek professional advice on what products will help at that time and for that specific need. In essence, to eliminate frizz, keeping the hair hydrated and the cuticle sealed is the goal. This will result in a smoother texture and a reflection of light off the hair.
My approach to frizz is what I call “texture management,” and when I evaluate a client’s hair, I look at the various texture issues. Simply Smooth has varied keratin treatments which allow me to personalize smoothing treatments to meet individual clients’ needs. If a client comes to me with highly textured hair and they desire wash and wear straight hair, a Simply Smooth & Straight chemical service is required to break the bonds and reshape the inner layer of the hair. Any result is possible with the right diagnosis.

Q. What’s the best way to care for hair that has been treated at the salon with keratin? Does it really have to “babied”? And how long do the keratin results typically last?

A. Maintenance with at-home keratin products is the key to success for durability. Depending on your lifestyle and use of heat, a keratin treatment can last anywhere from 2 l/2 months to 4 months. It’s a gradual change that comes out a little bit with each wash. But remember, not all keratin treatments are created equal. It’s a word used to describe a service in a salon. Do your research before you have a keratin treatment done on your hair.

Q. Who are good and bad candidates for a keratin treatment?

A. A bad candidate is someone who has great hair – they don’t need it! A keratin treatment replaces the loss of keratin in the hair. Virgin hair would not have a loss of keratin – so there’s nothing to replace! A good candidate is someone who has had any loss of keratin such as aging hair, color-treated, over-processed, over-heated, over-highlighted. My approach in texture management is to provide light results, strong results, frizz control, whatever is needed for that individual.

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Frizz happens. So I tortured a bonafide expert with endless Qs about it, and here’s what she said…

Some girls have all the frizz-free luck.

Some girls have all the frizz-free luck.

Frizz.

It’s the bane of very existence, my bête noir, le grand défi de ma vie…

Although I started my life as a people-person with perfectly smooth, shiny locks – much like the Wee Lass’s, here – something sinister happened circa age 15, and I’ve been struggling ever since. Hence the roughly $20k I spent on blowouts when I lived in New York.

Because I’m always on the hunt for great products and lifestyle tweaks to reduce frizz, I reached out to Doreen Guarneri, owner of The Look Spa Salon in Greenlawn, New York and Global Artistic Director of American Culture Brands. She’s basically the Queen of Keratin, and frizz’s fiercest foe.

I sent Doreen a lot of Qs. Doreen sent me a lot of As. And because there were so many Qs and so many As, I decided to break this epic discussion up into two blog posts.

Part Two will run tomorrow.

Hopefully.

I’m actually heading out for a massive vacay in about 2 hours – to the gorge Pacific Northwest – but I’m going to try to get over my technophobe tendencies and set the publishing date for the second installment of this chat for 24 hours from now.

Consider my fingers officially crossed.

On y va. Allons-y. Let’s go!

Q. What role do you think water quality plays in frizzy hair? I really think I should invest in one of those special shower heads that reduce mineral deposits, chlorine, etc. Could that help with frizz?

A. Hard water vs. soft water definitely plays a part, as hard water contains more minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can dry out the hair. Dry hair seeks moisture and when there’s a lack of it, there’s generally a rough cuticle, and frizz. Therefore, changing the water can help with frizz reduction and there are filter attachments that can be added to your shower head if you don’t want to invest in a totally new one. Before going that route, I recommend shampooing with a clarifying shampoo which will remove the mineral deposits. Simply Smooth pre-clean purifying shampoo is a good one, and has the added benefit of being sodium chloride free.

Q. If one of the key reasons for frizz is moisture-depletion, does it make sense to scale back on shampooing altogether? Say, from like 3-4 times per week to 2-3?

A. Reducing the amount of times you shampoo is certainly one alternative. What’s great is that there are now “shampoo” alternatives. Keeping the natural, beneficial oils in the hair is very important in keeping it hydrated. A cleansing conditioner is extra beneficial to traditional cleansing as it doesn’t contain harsh cleansers found in many other shampoos. Simply Smooth Magic Potion NOT Shampoo is an all-in-one cleansing conditioner that takes the place of shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioner. Or, using a dry shampoo is a nice alternative to wet cleansing and won’t dry out the hair.

Q. How long would you need to stick with a cleansing conditioner until you started to see results? And what might those results look like?

A. You’ll see and feel a difference in your hair in just one use. However, your approach to changing the texture and health of your hair should be a long term one. Once you start using a product multiple times you are going to gauge the real difference. The longer you stay away from harsh detergents that include ingredients such as sodium chloride and sulfates, the better your hair will become. The goal is to keep a healthy, flat cuticle. Using products with healthy ingredients such as botanicals, keratin and collagen will help to seal the cuticle and lock in moisture, thereby reducing frizz. As your “old” hair grows out and new hair grows in, the new hair will keep in good shape but the outgrowth will be tremendously better in just a few usages.  Results will be calmer, less bulky, less frayed, smooth, shiny, bouncy hair which is less reactive to climate and other conditions.

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