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    Free Virtual Makeover iPad Review

    Screen Shot of Instyle Virtual Makeover App

    The newest hairstyle virtual makeover tool!

    If you’ve found yourself in a hairdo rut and have a hard time making a change, hairstyle virtual makeover software may be just what you need!

    Every hair stylist will tell you they have more than a few clients who struggle with making changes to their hair style.  I know it well, not only working behind the chair but I did virtual makeovers with the very first hair styling computer imaging systems way back in the 1990’s. For nearly 10 years I worked with thousands of clients who wanted to see what they might look like before committing to a new haircut or a different hair color.

    Styles on Video, was the first virtual hairstyle makeover tool I’m aware of. We snapped pictures of clients and superimposed hair styles on the image. Users could bring photos with their hairstyles and hair color changes to their appointment to consult with their hairdresser. Before hair makeovers, the only tool available for describing a style or hair color to your stylist came from magazines or salon style books.

    The Internet soon embraced the concept and all sorts of online makeover sites started popping up.  If you’re interested in checking some out, we did a broad, comparative review of “Face in the Hole” sites. These sites vary in quality and ease, some are free and some will cost you.

    The newest tool in hair makeovers is the iPad InStyle Hairstyle Try-On App, introduced last month as a free iPad app. I tried it out and decided to do a review, so here are my thoughts on it.

    It takes some time up-front to get the hang of how to fit the hairstyles to your face shape . . . so give yourself a break and have some patience.

    • The iPad has its own camera so your picture is instantly uploaded . . . a great feature. I needed to take the picture a number of times to get one that was centered and where I was looking straight into the camera (an important issue in getting the virtual hairstyles to fit right.)  Tip:  get a picture you like!


    • It has a feature that determines your face shape. It was wrong on the first outline I did, it told me I had a square face shape and I’m a long oval. Outlining is done by adjusting dots to determine height, width, jaw line and width at temples. It got my face shape right after I readjusted the dots to add height and taper more at my chin. It’s touchy.


    • Don’t expect the hairstyles to fit when first placed on your image. You will need to adjust the width, length and height of the style by clicking and dragging a number of dots strategically placed on the hairstyle. It also lets you adjust up, down and sideways.  Give yourself some up front time to play with it and it will pay off.

    Celebrity Hair Style Virtual Image on Instyle customer photo

    You can save your favorite celebrity hairstyles and bring them in to consult with your stylist, or send them to friends for their opinions.  The 16 different hair color try-on feature is also easy to use.

    I’m a big fan of virtual makeovers. Sure, it’s not your hair but neither is the picture you point to in a magazine.  Find a good stylist and this tool will be invaluable for making good hair style and hair color choices in the future!

    Barb Quinn on Google+  


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    African American Hair Products and Tips that Perform!

    Black Woman With Healthy Hair


    Black Hair Needs Moisture and TLC

    Has finding the right African-American hair product been difficult?  It doesn’t have to be.  If you know the texture of your hair and how to make it more manageable, it’s actually pretty easy.

    Bristle brushes should never be used on curly or tightly coiled hair or you’ll end up breaking the hair shaft – not a good idea.  A wide-tooth comb or better yet, your fingers will make a better tool for combing through your Type 4 hair. Work from the ends of your hair to the scalp, when combing through tangles.  This will make it much easier and less painful when it comes to detangling your curly natural hair.  And maybe more importantly it will prevent your hair from breakage.

    Does your hair tend to knot and tangle up?  If so, it’s a good idea to find a good natural African-American hair product that is designed to detangle natural kinky curly hair before combing.  A product like a water based hair lotion or hair butter works great.  Can’t afford one?  The best natural black hair care product you can use to moisturize your hair is … you guessed it . . . water!

    Oil, Water and Natural Hair – Can you mix them?

    It’s been said that oil and water don’t mix but if you add a little oil to your moistened hair, it will make the comb through a lot easier.

    Wet your hair, and then apply an oil-based moisture sealant to keep the water in your hair.  I personally use jojoba or olive oil based moisture sealants.  They seal the moisture in without leaving my hair greasy and heavy.

    Water leaves natural hair soft, allowing your products to work their way down your hair shaft, instead of pooling or settling near your scalp.  It allows the product to spread around more, protecting your hair from damage and continuous breakage.

    If you’re the “wash-and-wear” type, dampen your hair before you apply any natural black hair care products to it. Use your fingers to comb and massage any products into your hair instead of using a comb.  Using your fingers also helps train your hair to do what you want it to do.

    How often should you wash African-American Hair?

    Depending on the type of shampoo you’re using, you should most likely shampoo at least once a week. You’ll want to wash your hair once a week, not only to keep it clean but, also to keep your hair moisturized. Wetting down your hair in-between shampoos will help moisturize it and help to keep it from drying out.

    Certain shampoos contain dimethicone.  Just in case you’re not familiar with the “cones”, they are silicone based oils, dimethicone, simethicone and cyclomethicone. Some say that they’re bad for your hair, while others sing their praises. You’ll have to make your own decision on this one.

    These “cones” which are usually found in African-American hair products, is what makes your hair look shiny and keeps it from having that dull lack luster appearance.  For those of you that add heat to your hair, they help protect it from heat damage.  The down side, they keep the water out and this dries your hair out.

    I’m definitely for the natural side of things but not everyone is going to go that route, or can afford to.  So do what works best for you.

    Protecting your hair doesn’t end when your day ends.  Bedtime protection is just as important when it comes to black hair styles.  Covering your hair with a silk or satin scarf before you go to bed, will keep it from breaking while you sleep.  It will also save time in the morning – and who doesn’t want a few extra minutes of beauty rest?

    Want a little more hair styling inspiration? Check out these black hair styles from the North American Hairdressers Awards!

    Juliette Samuels Black Hair Products Expert

    Author’s Bio

    Juliette Samuel is a person who definitely knows great African-American hair products when she sees them. Juliette has had a very eclectic career working in and around the beauty industry. She has worked as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has also been a Professional Image Consultant.

    Currently Juliette works as a Skin Care Therapist, acting President for NYRAJU Skin Care. As such she is in charge of formulation and development of all products – skin, hair and body – for the line.

    Juliette is also a member of NAHA-The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, The Society of Cosmetic Chemist and is the Fragrance Editor for BellaOnline.

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    Get Healthy Hair

    Healthy Hair, Thicker Hair

    How To Get Healthy Hair

    by Elizabeth Passarelia Real Simple Magazine

    A little extra effort pays off when painting a living room or baking a birthday cake. But when it comes to getting healthy hair, it’s better to do some strategic slacking. Experts refreshingly suggest: Stop trying so hard. In turn, you’ll have hair that’s in top condition (not to men­tion extra time in the morning and money in your pocket-book). Here, six no-nonsense tips for cutting back.“How to Get Healthy Hair”


    Prevent post-shower snarls before you step under the water by using a wide-tooth comb on dry hair. (Wet hair is more fragile and prone to damage.) Then don’t pick up a comb or a brush again until your hair is partially dry.


    “People who have dry hair can easily go four to five days between shampoos,” says Harry Josh, a New York City hair stylist. Oilier hair may need lathering every other day. Consider subbing in a dry product, such as Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray, to break a daily-shampoo habit. If you develop greasy bangs or a limp-looking hairline, pull your hair into a shower cap but leave out the hair around your face. Then wash just that area, suggests Mandie Joslin, a hairdresser at the A Line Salon, in Corte Madera, California. Otherwise simply restyle between shampoos by wetting hair and drying it.


    If your conditioner bottle is empty before the shampoo bottle, chances are you’re using too much. A dime-size dab of conditioner suffices for most people, says Michael Jacobson, a co-owner of the Michael & Michael salon, in Chicago. Applying more than you need not only costs more but also creates a dirt-attracting residue that necessitates more shampoo­ing (and the vicious cycle begins again). Use conditioner from midshaft to the ends only, and rely on your scalp’s nourishing oils to keep the hair closer to the roots healthy. (Occasional strokes from a natural-bristle brush will help distribute these oils.)


    Trying to dry sopping-wet hair can take forever and invites heat damage. Speed things up by blotting hair with an absorbent towel (no rubbing, which roughs up strands). Next, gently wrap your hair turban-style until it’s 80 percent dry and move on to other tasks, like apply­ing makeup or getting dressed, while your hair dries naturally. Then enlist a dryer.


    Try to give hair a break from heat styling at least three mornings a week. When you do wield a tool (be it a dryer or a curling or flat-iron), stick to a medium-high setting. “If your flat-iron has a temperature gauge, never turn it past 410 degrees,” says Chrystofer Benson, artistic director for Logics, a hair-care line. “Many irons go up to 450 degrees, but that setting is only for pros giving Japanese straight­ening treatments.” Before heat styling, apply a protec­tive spray, like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat. Then slowly run or roll the tool over each section of hair once or twice (instead of doing it quickly three or four times). “This is more effective, reduces damage, and lasts longer,” says Josh.


    Your fingers deposit debris and oil, so mindlessly stroking, tucking, or twirling your hair during the day is one of the quickest ways to dull it down and dirty it up. Always style hair with clean hands, then do your best to keep your paws off.

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