Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beauty tip

Prevent Split Ends, Banish Stretch Marks
By eDiets Staff

Split ends are a problem for most women, particularly if you have fine hair or if you color or heat-style your hair daily. They are the result of the hair's cuticle being stripped away from the ends, resulting in a splitting of the fibers.

Prevention of split ends is key. Your hair is fragile, so treat it gently. Don't brush hair when it is wet, which can damage it and lead to breakage. Another big no-no is to pull your hair back with an elastic band while it is still wet. Not only will the pulling of fragile, wet hair lead to breakage, but so will the elastic band itself.

Try to minimize using hair dryers, curling irons, hot rollers and flat irons if possible. Also, use a deep conditioner regularly to keep hair soft and supple and temporarily seal the cuticle. When you apply your conditioner (deep or daily), concentrate on the ends as opposed to the scalp, which won't weigh your hair down.

Regular hair maintenance is also very important, even if you are trying to grow out your hair. Schedule a "mini" trim with every four weeks with your hairdresser. If you can't make it to the salon that frequently, you can snip away at home; just don't get too carried away.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks occur when the tissue under the skin is stretched rapidly, due to quick weight loss or gain. Depending on skin tone, stretch marks can be pink, red, purple or brown in color, and they are a concern for many people, including expectant moms or people who have lost a lot of weight.

While stretch marks usually fade over time, you may want to try products containing Retin-A, which penetrates the skin to the layer where stretch marks occur, increasing collagen production and improving elasticity.

However, Retin-A is NOT recommended for pregnant women, so do not use these products during pregnancy. New moms should also talk with their doctor before using any type of Retin-A product.

Another, safer alternative is to use a good moisturizer or one that has Vitamin E to improve the condition of the skin and aid in elasticity. Once you start seeing signs of stretch marks, use a cream regularly to prevent their appearance. Cocoa butter has also been effective in the fading of stretch marks. Try Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion ($4.50), available at most drug stores.