Cleanliness

The starting point of cleanliness is the daily bath . A thorough scrubbing with a stiff, sudsy brush, a wash cloth or a one of those nylon nets tunes up the skin's color and clarity. It's better not to use the loofah unless you can change it often, because it accumulates bacteria if not washed well before drying.

To make your own homemade body scrub mix sea salt with a few drops of olive oil, then gently rub the grainy substance over your arms, legs and midriff to stimulate circulation.

To slough off rough, dry dead skin- particularly on the feet- apply glycerin to the area, then rub gently with a pumice stone. This works better and faster than either moisturizer alone or pumice alone. When you have towel-dried, apply moisturizer all over to seal the moisture in. You may also use a mixture of 1 tsp. Olive oil and 1 cup baby oil. After your bath, the use of an underarm deodorant or anti-perspirant is more than necessary.

I remember this one guy I knew who told me something I've never forgotten. A lot of men, he said, look at women's feet to find out if she takes care of herself. If her toes are clean, then you know she takes care of the rest of her body. To take care of your feet, you can massage 1 cup sea salt mixed with 1/4 cup water for about 15 minutes then after rinsing it off, follow up with petroleum jelly for the cuticles and baby oil or lotion. For hands and nails, you can also use petroleum jelly both for the cuticles and for the skin. To condition your skin, like if you think it looks dry, chappy, you can apply petroleum jelly at night and sleep with your hands inside a pair of gloves

HAIR

The best way to take care of your hair, is to know your hair condition. Is it dry, oily, normal? So you can choose the correct shampoo to use to care for your hair, and you know whether you need condition or not. There are really no guidelines on this, except by trial and error.

How to shampoo : Before shampooing, brush your hair to dislodge all the oil and dead cells at the roots. Your hair will be cleaner for it. Then while shampooing, massage your scalp from the top of your head down to the nape of your neck. A relaxed scalp produces healthier hair. All the articles I've read about hair emphasized that you should rinse, rinse and rinse again to remove all residue. Rinsing time should be 5 times the length of lather time. According to some hair experts, 70 % of the public think they have dandruff, but it's actually a result of not rinsing well enough.

If you use conditioner, do not apply it on the scalp, just on the hair. Ironically, dandruff is usually a condition of an oily scalp, not a dry one.

Dandruff is a sign that your hair follicles are clogged with dirt and oil, and thus you will have dull, lifeless hair. Here's an anti-dandruff rinse you can use: Boil 4 heaping teaspoons of thyme in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Pour one cup over shampooed hair and refrigerate the remainder. Massage into scalp and do not rinse. Use this 3 times a week. According to Louis Gignac, author of Everything You Need to Know to Have Great Looking Hair: If your scalp is dry, not oily but you have dandruff, saturate a cotton ball with Listerine or white vinegar and water (1:1) and rub into your scalp. If you're really serious about this, deep condition the ends of your hair, roll hair on top of your head and wrap hair in plastic, then a hot towel. After ten minutes remove towel and plastic, then shampoo.

For dry, brittle hair, the super conditioners you can use are found in your kitchen : olive oil, mayonnaise or egg yolks. Leave on for twenty minutes and rinse out with white vinegar diluted with water (1:2). I remember I used to do this and the rinsing took some time but it's worth it. You can also leave olive oil or baby oil on overnight and sleep in a shower cap or a towel. This is something you can do when you're single. Repeat this once a week until your hair loses its dryness . For shinier black hair, a teaspoon of molasses added to your conditioner can do wonders.

Oily hair is usually inherited and it is often found in relation to oily skin. Aside from genetics, there are two other factors behind oily hair and skin: stress which can make oil glands work overtime, and the other is our sex hormones. A woman's hair can be oilier near the beginning and end of her period. The treatment for oily hair is to shampoo often and with a mild shampoo. Most shampoos made for oily hair are too strong and in the long run, provoke more oil production. After shampooing, you can also apply calamansi or lemon juice to your hair and let it stay for 5 minutes or longer before rinsing depending on how oily your hair is.

I think the problem we usually have with our hair is: what cut would most fit us. Our lifestyle, our budget, the kind of hair we have, the shape of our face, and whether we wear glasses or not, all are factors which would determine the style and cut of our hair. There are rules about this but most hair experts would tell you this will really require experimentation. A good lead is really to ask someone with a haircut you like and with similar hair to yours, where she got her haircut. The basic thing is if your face is long and thin or rectangular, you will want to add fullness to the side of your face. If it is round or square, you should minimize the sides. Long hair is fine for young women. If a woman looks about 35 or older, it is best to keep her hair shoulder length or swept off her face. As gravity tends to pull the face down, an older woman needs to keep hair on the "up" side.

There are many ways to style and give body to your hair and I'd like to give you some simple tips or tricks. If your hair is limp, with no body, you can give it some stiffening or standing power by applying setting gel just at the roots after towel-drying. Or you can also give body to thin hair by making the final rinse with beer and not washing it out. Another way is with the use of a plastic headband. I learned this when we attended the wedding of Mike and Geo Paderon and the girls were fixing their hair. I forgot who did it at first but eventually everyone was trying it. You need a plastic headband with no teeth and setting lotion. First you spritz the top and sides of your hair with water, then you spritz again with the setting lotion. Then you comb your hair and sides back, and slide the headband on. Wait five minutes then remove the headband. Brush gently for texture. When using a blow dryer, use your fingers to add fullness and body. For short curly hair you take sections of damp hair and twist into individual curls and release. For straight hair, you blow dry sections of hair in direction opposite to the way hair falls.

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