A little off the top

Solutions for when you are at a loss about hair loss

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A beauty issue that many women don’t want to talk about, or even acknowledge, is thinning hair and balding; and because so many sufferers keep this problem under their caps, the beauty industry has been slow to find solutions. Women usually will only wear wigs and hair pieces or turn to prescription remedies as a last resort and in the case of extreme hair loss, but for those who have a mild to moderate hair shedding, which can be due to age, medications, hormone levels, genetics, and other health or lifestyle issues, fill-in powders may be a suitable option.

Products like Fill-in Powder from Cover Your Gray can help reduce the appearance of thinning hair.  The matte powder can be dusted on with a brush to conceal thinning around the temples and cover graying or balding spots. Cover Your Gray’s formula contains Procapil, a natural botanical that promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss, so while camouflaging thinning areas it can help thicken hair and protect against further loss. The powder comes in four shades for matching, and it stays on through rain, sweat and normal daily activities.

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While many other similar cover-up hair products are designed for touching up hair color between highlights or color styling, they can also be used to cover thinning hair and boost volume, such as sprays to cover thinning spots; permanent or wash-out root touch up designed to cover grey close to the scalp; touch-up sticks for around the hairline, side burns and roots; and brush-in wants for broader cover-up for scattered gray hairs throughout the head.

These are all affordable options, usually around $6 to $16. Look for brands that are waterproof, do not flake or rub off, and in shades that match as closely as possible to the rest of the hair, or slightly lighter. Powders and other topical solutions for thinning hair are generally the most efficient way to treat this beauty concern, and they are the safest and most economical, not to mention they can help extend time between salon visits.

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Fast facials at Skin Laundry

IMG_1630Skin Laundry is an apropos name for a new breed of salon that offers the latest laser technology facials. As the name promises, the treatments clean the skin, at a deeper level than possible by other traditional  facials, and without the downtime of redness and breakouts. The treatments take about 15 minutes and are done by a facial technologist who zaps your face with a laser, while you lie on a memory foam padded lounger – which by the way is stylish enough I wouldn’t mind it in my home – in a small brightly lit treatment room, that looks part doctor’s office part massage room.

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My only hesitation about this treatment came upon confirming my appointment online, when I received a number of health forms to review, including a laundry list, pun intended, of contraindications. While I did not have any of the contraindicated health concerns listed, such as precancerous skin, facial scarring recent Botox or tanning bed use, it did give me pause to think that some of these common things could cause a predisposition to a complication. The fact that I was asked to review the contraindication list at least three more times before the treatment further made me nervous, but as I said, I had none of the conditions, so I proceeded with the treatment.

The therapist was thorough in explaining the procedure, and she started slowly and told me each step what she was doing. She explained, “I am starting here in the middle of your four head, and I will move to the right.”

She explained that if I smelled any unpleasant odor it might be the debris from under my skin vaporizing. She assured me it was not my skin burning. As she began to move the laser across my face I felt a hot pin prickly feeling, similar to if you were frying oil on a pan and small amounts of oil were popping and landing on your skin.

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The therapist did one side of my face, then began the other. I asked for a short break before she completed the other side, to momentarily rest, because of the slight discomfort. The therapist explained that most people tolerate the procedure very well, though a few do not. Being a pretty big wimp myself, who fainted when I got my ears pierced, I figure if I could tolerate this procedure, then most people can.

After the laser treatment, the therapist did a second treatment, where she spread a gel across my face and used a very large flashing light laser to treat all areas of my face. Under the goggles I could see about 10 bright flashes of light as she went all over my face.

After the treatment, an assistant took over to clean the gel off my face and apply a toner and moisturizer. She also explained to me all the other products skin laundry carries that would be suitable for my skin.

In the end I felt no pain as I left the salon. I looked in the mirror and saw my face only slightly pink, as if I was flushed from a brisk walk. I noticed one small reddish blemish on my cheek that I had not noticed before, but it was very slight. Otherwise I did not notice any change to my skin. The therapist told me to avoid harsh cleansers and the sun for the day. Otherwise, she said I could carry-on as usual.

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My skin is in the normal range, and I don’t have any major skin issues, so I didn’t notice a significant improvement. I could see how this treatment would be beneficial for those with acne and blotchy skin. In fact the slideshow on the large TV screen in the lobby area showed the before and after pictures of women with severely damage skin who, after a number of treatments, had remarkable results.

I left with a number of products as recommended by the therapist, including a hydrating mask and an antiaging mask, as well as an advanced protection daily moisturizer with 35 SPF, a gentle washing foam with green tea cucumber and chamomile extract, and a nourishing cleansing oil that the therapist highly recommended. All of the products are carried at the salon under their own brand name of Skin Laundry.

While for myself this is not a treatment I would need very often, I can see the benefits for those with more severe skin problems, and it is great for busy women like myself who need a quick facial don’t have and hour or more for a treatment, because we are all pressed for time, and we hardly have time to do our jobs, meet family commitments and of course housework, including regular laundry!

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