Hairpins: What they are and how to use them

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We all know about bobby pins, but what about their U-shaped cousin, the hairpin?

Hairpins

Like the bobby pin, the hairpin is double pronged, but its prongs are open, making a shape like the letter “U,” which is why it is often called a U-shaped pin. Both prongs of a hairpin have ribbing to help it stay in the hair and keep the style in place. If your hair is extra soft and fine, look for hairpins that have textured prongs instead of the traditional sleek metal prongs.

Hair Styles Using Hairpins

Hairpins are great for styling delicate updos because they are light and disappear into the hair better than bobby pins. Their open shape means they won’t flatten your bun like a bobby pin can, while still holding your style in place.

How To Create a Messy Bun with Hairpins

To create a modern, messy bun with hairpins, first gather hair into a pony tail anywhere on on your head. Keep in mind that your ponytail placement will determine where the centre of the bun will be.

Next, divide your ponytail into sections and lightly backcomb. The texture will help the hairpins stay in place.

Wrap your backcombed ponytail around the base and pin in place by holding the hairpin perpendicularly to your head and catching about two centimetres the hair that’s in the bun.

To secure, flip the pin flat against your scalp, and push in toward the centre of the bun.

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How To: Fix Brittle Nails

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image via Instagram/Opi

Dry cuticles and brittle, weak, or peeling nails can be frustrating to deal with, and can make your polish chip prematurely.  If this sounds like something you’re dealing with, here are the three major causes and their corresponding solutions.

 

Problem #1: Mineral Deficiencies
Zinc, Selenium, Iron, and B12 are common mineral deficiencies that can affect nail growth and health.

Solution: Take a daily multivitamin. You can also discuss your diet with your doctor and check your levels of many of these minerals with an easy blood test.

 

Problem #2: Too Many Manicures                                                                                       

That’s right, there is such a thing as one too many manicures.

Solution: If you can, let your nails breath for a couple of weeks, sans nail polish. Keep moisturiser on hand and routinely use cuticle oil.

 

Problem #3: Harsh Chemicals
Tidying up around the house and washing the dishes can truly affect your nails. Frequent hand washing or cleaning with harsh chemicals can cause your nails to weaken and even peel.

Solution: Slip on a pair of rubber gloves before you start your housework.

Our Top 3 Tips for Dealing With Oily Hair

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image via Instagram/busterproducts

1. Choose your shampoo and conditioner carefully

First off, it’s essential to select your shampoo and conditioner carefully. Avoid any shampoos and conditioners designed for dry hair.  These products are often too heavy for oily-prone hair and may cause your hair to become dull and oily looking. Instead look for a product designed to add strength while not weighing your hair down. We love KEVIN.MURPHY’s Balancing Wash, an antioxidant rich shampoo for everyday washers that strengthens the hair and protects against colour fade. A fresh blend of botanicals makes this the perfect daily shampoo for hair strength and vitality.

 2. Add a purifying shampoo to your beauty arsenal

If you suffer from greasy hair, it’s likely to be because of oily buildup at the scalp. Consider using a purifying shampoo as this is a deep cleanser and will help remove any excess oil build-up. KEVIN.MURPHY’s Maxi Wash is a great detoxifying shampoo that breaks down fatty acids for a clean, clear scalp. The balancing essential oils penetrate the scalp to brighten hair and purify an oily or flaky scalp. It contains anti pollutant ingredients that remove build-up of unwanted products and chemicals. We recommend using a purifying shampoo on a weekly basis, followed with your usual shampoo and conditioner.

3. Don’t overdo it with the conditioner

When washing your hair, it is very important not to use too much conditioner as it can weigh down hair. Generally speaking, applying a 10 cent piece size amount of conditioner after two shampoos works best.

Pro Tip: Don’t use water that’s too hot when washing your hair as it will strip the natural oils off the cuticle and stimulate the scalp to replace it immediately, leaving hair greasy. Instead, use warm to tepid tepid water for your wash and cool water for the last rinse to add shine.

Fine Hair Doesn’t Have To Mean Thin Hair: How to Care for Fine Hair

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Instagram/annamilaofficial

Contrary to popular belief, fine hair does not always equal thin hair. Fine hair is generally defined as a head of hair in which the diameter of each hair is smaller than usual. This means that you can have fine-thick hair, fine-dense hair, fine-thin hair and everything in between. Because there is such a broad range of hair types even within the fine category, it can be difficult to definitively talk about how to care for them all. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, though, if you’ve got fine hair in any capacity, there are still a handful of general tips you can use to care for your mane.

Cleansing

Fine hair tends to get greasy easily. This is because the shaft of the hair tends to be smoother and less porous than coarser hair types, so the oils sit visibly on top of the hair. That does change depending on the level of texture; fine hair that’s also straight can look greasy hours after washing, while textured fine hair can last a few days between washes. But generally speaking, it can be washed a little more frequently that coarse hair types.

Regardless of how often you wash it, in terms of keeping it healthy, where you shampoo makes a big difference for fine hair. We recommend shampooing the top where it’s dirty and not on the bottom where it isn’t. If you’re looking for volume, don’t use too much conditioner, especially at the scalp – this will flatten your hair out and leave it looking limp. However, if your primary goal isn’t volume and you do like your hair to feel a little softer, it’s OK to use a bit more conditioner, but be prepared to wash more frequently to avoid looking oily.

Cutting

Since fine hair is sensitive to the way that it’s shaped you’ve got to be careful—all the details, good and bad, show up in fine hair when you get a trim. But that fact can also be your hair’s greatest strength if it’s done right. Soft, subtle layers will look good on most people with fine hair. This style will give movement and texture, while still keeping the volume.

Styling

Because all people are different, the best way to find out what works for you is by experimenting.

Generally people with fine hair should look for styling products, which provide hold and volume rather than oil-based products which can weigh your hair down and make your hair greasy. Look for products like sea salt spray, dry shampoo, mousse and texturising mists. These products coat the hair, which helps to expand it and create volume and texture.

That doesn’t mean you can never use oil-based products. Oils, creams and serums can be applied to the ends of fine hair to create shine and nourishment.

With a little bit of trial and error and some advice from your Reds stylist you can find a product combination that works for your fine hair.

Teeth Whitening: What’s the best method?

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image via Instagram/everybody_skin

From whitening toothpastes, to over-the-counter whitening strips, to dental office procedures, all tooth-whitening measures contain hydrogen peroxide to lift away stains. The real difference is the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide used in each product and how it is applied to your teeth. And of course, cost is also a factor. Read on to learn more about the different methods available.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are the cheapest tooth whitening method and contain 1% to 1.5% concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Those concentrations are adequate to clean surface stains but won’t penetrate your tooth enamel. The enamel tends to hold the deepest, hardest-to-remove blemishes—that black coffee or red wine gradually accumulates on your smile and leads to tooth discolouration. So if your teeth are seriously stained, a whitening toothpaste alone won’t get the job done, no matter how hard you brush. (In fact, brushing forcefully can damage your gums and tooth enamel, so is never advisable.)

Gels and Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter gels and strips are the next level up on the hydrogen-peroxide and price spectrum. They usually contain 6% to 10% concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and at these concentrations can penetrate microscopic holes and fissures in your enamel to bubble away stains.

While over-the-counter options can be very effective, the key is to apply gels and strips evenly and keep them on as long as directed. If strips or gel are applied incorrectly, your teeth could look unevenly white and gum irritation is also possible.

But there is an important caveat: whitening agents do not work on caps, crowns or fillings. If you’ve had some dental work done, you should speak with your dentist before you whiten your teeth to be sure the results will look uniform.

Dentist-Supplied Tray & Gel Systems

Another step up in both cost and potency is dentist-supplied tray and gel systems, which contain hydrogen peroxide in the 10% to 15% range and can cost several hundred dollars. They require a trip to the dentist, where a custom fitting of your mouth is made with a mold.  With this mold your dentist creates a tray to use with a whitening gel for you to use at home. The custom tray ensures the gel is evenly applied, and it can produce some pretty impressive results, but requires leaving the trays and gel on for several hours at a time.

Dentist Whitening Treatments

The final and most expensive option is settling into your dentist’s chair for a series of 10 to 15 minute whitening treatments. With hydrogen peroxide concentrations as high as 35%, these treatments can quickly make your smile a dozen shades brighter. They can also run you more than $1,000.

So how white should you go?

That’s really a personal preference. While some people want their teeth as white as possible, “natural” looking teeth are often just as attractive as ultra-bright white smiles.

 

Want your New Year’s Resolutions to Stick? Phrase them differently

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The majority of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions, but there’s a simple way to keep on track.

What are the most common New Year’s resolutions?

The most common New Year’s Resolutions are health-based, including giving up smoking or alcohol, and getting fit. Other common resolutions include getting organised, setting aside more ‘me time’ and learning a new skill.

How long does the average person keep their New Year’s resolution?

A 2007 study from the University of Bristol found that 88 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail, with 66% failing in a month or less.

How can I stick to my New Year’s resolutions?

While most people fail to keep their resolutions, don’t let this put you off! Instead of giving up on resolutions all together, just tweak how you phrase them.

For example, instead of “I will make a budget and stick to it,” say, “For an hour a week, I will sit with the frustration of learning how to budget.” Instead of “I will quit alcohol,” you could say “Instead of having a glass of wine, I will take the dog for a walk every night.” or “Three times a week I will go to the gym, even for just twenty minutes.”

This rephrasing has two immediate benefits: First, you don’t have to master your resolution in the first month, you just have to commit to dedicating some time to getting better. And second, it acknowledges that many resolutions are difficult to keep because they can feel bad – especially at the beginning. This means that you won’t feel bad about feeling bad, which can make keeping a resolution even harder.

You can also do a couple of other things to up your chances of success. The first is to take a cue from people who study exercise motivation, and enlist a partner to commit to your resolution with you. Second, link your resolution with a nice task, like listening to podcasts on the treadmill or audiobooks while you cook healthy meals. Doing these things make carrying out your resolution easier and can only increase your chances for success.

Instagram: Tips for Beginners

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It’s visual, it’s quick, it’s mobile and it’s simple to use.

There’s no better time than now to get started with Instagram. These tips can help you make the best out of your Instagram experience.

Post Colourful, Interesting Photos and Videos

Instagram is all about providing interesting content, especially if you want more followers and likes. To increase engagement, try to post photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion – happiness, humour, motivation, nostalgia, love or anything else. High-quality photos with a lot of colours tend to get the most action on Instagram.

Don’t Overdo it with the Filters

Instagram provides a number of filters that you can apply to your photos to automatically enhance the look and style, but that trend seems to have already hit its peak. People want photos and videos that are colourful, but relatively natural looking. Although filter effects may be tempting, try to limit your use of them to keep the colour and contrast normal in most of your photos.

Use Hashtags Sparingly

Using hashtags is a great way to increase you reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement and even attract new followers. Unfortunately, some people take it way too far. Their captions are often filled with hashtags – many of which aren’t even relevant to the topic of their photo. If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep it to a minimum, and only use keywords that are relevant.

Use the Explore tab (popular page) to find great new content

The Explore tab on Instagram is where some of the most popular photos and videos get featured. The photos that are shown here are tailored to you according to the photos and videos that have been liked or commented on by people you follow. You can find new users to follow or engage with by checking out this tab regularly.

Post often to keep followers interested

If you want to keep followers engaged, you need to post new content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day. In fact, posting once a day – or at least once every other day – should be frequent enough to keep your current followers interested. If you go long periods of time without posting, don’t be surprised if you lose a few followers.

Interact with your followers

Never ignore your most loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos!  You want to make your followers feel valued. To do this, reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like a few of their photos.

Don’t be tempted to purchase followers

There’s a lot of hype around buying Instagram followers. And it’s true that you can get some big numbers for pretty cheap. The problem with buying them is that they’re often mostly fake and inactive. Your account may look a little strange to users who see that you have 15K followers, but almost no likes or comments on your photos and videos. Stick to real engagement. It’s not all about the numbers.

Our Timesaving Styling Tips

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Instagram/lovekevinmurphy

Are your mornings feeling rushed? Try these easy time saving tips.

PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE

Not everyone is a morning person and the same is true about hair. If you have hair that’s stubborn and frizzy in the morning, start with prepping the night before. For a wavy, textured look, apply KEVIN.MURPHY Motion Lotion to damp hair. Braid your hair in two plaits and leave until the morning. In the morning shake out with your fingers and apply a little Bedroom Hair for soft and flexible hold. Hairstyling done.

WASH YOUR HAIR WITHOUT WATER

No time to wash your hair? Dry shampoos like Eleven’s Give Me Clean Hair and KEVIN.MURPHY’s Fresh Hair remove excess oil from your hair and scalp, leaving your hair looking and feeling fresh. The dry shampoo also doubles as a styling product. By adding a bit of texture to the hair, you can create a whole new look.

 

DETANGLE HAIR IN SECONDS

Dry, damaged hair is almost always the cause of hair tangling. Using a leave-in treatment like Miracle Hair Treatment will not only get rid of knots and tangles but also promotes healthier hair. Simply apply to damp hair and comb through.

KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY

Healthy hair is always easier to style. Adding an effective treatment to your weekly regimen can dramatically improve hair health, leaving it more manageable. Eleven’s 3 Minute Repair Rinse Out Treatment is a blend of protein and shea butter to strengthen and hydrate hair. Simply use instead of your regular conditioner once a week and leave in for just three minutes to see dramatically healthier, more manageable hair. No time to rinse? Try KEVIN.MURPY’s Leave-In Repair to add strength, reduce breakage and replenish damaged hair.

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: How to keep your skin damage-free this summer

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image via Love Kevin Murphy

Just like any skincare product, when it comes to sunscreen there are dozens of different brands, SPF ratings, ingredients, and formulas that claim to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Despite the huge array to choose from, finding the right sunscreen can be as easy as choosing between two simple sunscreen categories: Physical and Chemical. If you don’t know the difference between the two, don’t worry, here’s our rundown on physical vs chemical sunscreens and which one will best keep your skin damage-free this summer.

What are chemical sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like octinoxate and avobenzone. These are organic compounds that create a chemical reaction, changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.

Chemical sunscreens are generally very lightweight and blend-able, and can layer seamlessly under makeup for daily wear.

It is important to not that while chemical sunscreen may offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens, they can take up to 30 minutes to start working. For everyday use chemical sunscreens are perfect for layering with other skincare products and will offer a good amount of protection.

What are physical sunscreens?

Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both) will be two of the first ingredients listed on the product packaging of physical sunscreens. In basic terms, these ingredients sit on the surface of the skin, forming a physical barrier, reflecting incoming UV rays.

Physical sunscreens work immediately after applied, are good for sensitive skin, and effectively protect against both UVA and UVB rays. However, the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in physical sunscreens have a white-ish tint, and tend to be thicker and more apparent on the skin, which means they might be better for beach days and not-so-great for layering with makeup.

Which to choose?

Both sunscreen kinds are effective when applied correctly and safe. Whatever your personal preference, the experts agree that what matters is ensuring broad spectrum protection (from both UVA and UVB rays) and using whatever you choose diligently. One last tip? Never underestimate the sun-blocking power of a summer sunhat!

How To Wash Your Hairbrush

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Instagram/saratess

No matter what kind of brush you use, it’s important to take good care of your tools. Hairbrushes are often full of product, oil and often even dirt and dust, which can transfer onto your hair and affect your style. So today we’re sharing five tips for keeping your hairbrushes in their best condition.

1. Remove hair.
Removing hair from your brush is simple, and it’s the best way to keep it clean and free of any dirt or dust that will gather. Our advice? Simple take the pointy end of a hair comb and run it between the bristles of your brush. It should loosen, and you should be able to “peel” the hair off the brush. Keep repeating the process if you don’t get it all the first time.

2. Wash with shampoo.
Just as you wash your hair to remove product and oil buildup, it’s important to do the same for your brushes. Once hair is removed from the brush, use your favorite shampoo to gently wash the base and bristles of your brush. Remember: anything stuck on your brush can be transferred to your hair while brushing, so it’s important that it stays clean!

3. Air dry or blow dry.
To avoid damaging your brush, don’t try to dry it with a towel. Instead, let your brush dry naturally in a dry, bright place. If you’re in a hurry, use your blow dryer on a medium heat to effectively dry your brush.

4. Stay away from sprays and creams.
Although product will inevitably get in your brush through use, it’s important to avoid  applying sprays and creams directly onto the brush. It may seem like a good way to evenly distribute product, but it can cause damage to the brush itself.

5. Repeat every 1-2 weeks.
A clean brush is the secret to beautiful hair, so be sure to take great care of yours often!

How do you care for your hairbrushes and other hair tools?