Flat Iron Tips and Tricks

Shannon Smyth
Flat iron tips from Sam Villa hairstylist People love the polish of flat ironing, but sometimes it can create hair that doesn’t want to move, hence the term “broomstick ends.” Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa, suggests using diagonal sections, a low and slow pass and a slight bevel for polished hair that is shiny and bouncy.

Diagonal Sections

Using diagonal sections helps to create a very polished finish while maintaining movement in the hair. Horizontal sections create flat sheets that lay over each other, where as diagonal sections (especially with a bevel) create sheets that fall on a diagonal so they move much better.

Low and Slow Pass

Low temperature with a slow pass or high temperature with a fast pass? Low and slow will produce more even results because it allows the heat to distribute more thoroughly throughout the section.

Flat iron tips and tricks #haircare #hairstyles


To avoid broomstick ends or a deflated look, create a slight bevel through the hair with the Sam Villa Signature Series Sleekr Professional Straightening Iron. Comb through hair and insert comb at the top of the section and trail it with the iron closed while creating a “C” shape through the midstrand straight through the ends. This slightly bevels the hair and closes the cuticle creating nice movement with polished ends.
Flat iron tips and tricks from Sam Villa hairstylists #haircare #hairstyles Make sure to check out the other posts on our blog with hairstyle tips from Sam Villa hairstylists! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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5 Hair Subscription Boxes Worth Checking Out

Shannon Smyth

Let’s face it. There is something incredibly exciting and fun about subscription boxes. Ipsy and the Target Beauty Box are extremely popular options, but what if you're more concerned about haircare? There are, believe it or not, some amazing hair subscription boxes out there.

Let’s take a closer look.

1. eSalon Custom Hair Color Subscription Box While this box isn’t full of surprises, it is filled with hair color that is customized just for you. Hair color experts will create colors just for your hair type. Best of all, it’s only $25 for a single order, or $10 for your first order on the Color Plan.

The color is made using high-quality ingredients. If you want to color your hair, why not do it with color that is blended by true professionals personalized just for you? Check out our review of eSalon if you're on the fence.

2. Hairbox Hairbox is great if you love surprises. You start by choosing how often you want to receive your box, which can be monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. You then fill out your hair profile and sit back and wait for your package to arrive. Products will be picked based on your hair type. The best part is that you get full-sized professional salon products! The price is only $39.99 per box and shipping is free.

3. CurlKit If you have natural hair, CurlKit is a must. You receive 6-9 samples per month that are made specifically for natural hair. The products may be from well-known companies or emerging brands. Each month, for only $25 and free shipping, you’ll receive a variety of products ranging from conditioners to tools to help you embrace your curls.

4. How to Be a Redhead (H2BAR Box) Were you blessed with fiery red locks? Embrace the beauty of being a redhead with products made just for you. We love this box because it was launched by fellow beauty bloggers, Adrienne and Stephanie. Each month, for only $20.48, you’ll receive samples and full-sized products that are tested and approved to be redhead-friendly.

5. Shtrands This hair subscription box was created by cosmetic chemists and includes 4 full size professional hair care products. The team can curate a box for all types of hair and textures. It's $59 per month, but if you sign up for their mailing list, you'll get a discount.

If you love trying new hair care products, try one of these hair subscription boxes. There are so many to choose from. Whether you want a specialized product or want to be surprised, you can find a hair subscription box that works for you.

5 hair subscriptions boxes worth checking out. #hair #haircare

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Is Your Hair Falling Out? This May Be Why:

Shannon Smyth

How many times have you been combing your hair, only to pull out more than a "few" strands of hair? It's common to start noticing hair loss a bit more as you begin to age, and it can be from a variety of reasons. Sometimes losing hair can cause for concern, like signs of Alopecia or health related issues, but typically there are explainable reasons to why your hair is falling out. If you've been searching for a few possible reasons why you have hair fallout, here are some possibilities:

a girl's gotta spa

Potential Reasons Why You Are Experiencing Hair Loss

Human hair goes through a normal shedding process.

Animals aren't the only ones that shed and lose their hair. Humans go through a shedding process as well. There are three main stages of hair growth that every hair follicle on your head goes through. They are the anagen, catagen and telogen phases. Once your hair starts the telogen phase, your hair is released from your head and falls off. Then, the hair growth area remains bare for three months, until the hair growth cycle starts all over again. Hard to believe that process happens for each and every hair on your head! No wonder it seems like you are losing hair every day...you are!

Vitamin deficiency can lead to hair loss.

If you are lacking the proper amount of Vitamin B or D, it can result in hair loss. The good news is that there are certain foods that you can eat that can actually help to reverse your vitamin deficiency. Orange juice, egg yolks, mushrooms, and salmon are all excellent sources of Vitamin D. For Vitamin B, consider eating red meats and plenty of broccoli and spinach. It's possible to help slow or reverse your hair loss if you start eating healthier.

Stress levels contribute hair loss.

Hard to believe that your own stress level could be causing your hair to slowly shed, as well. If you've been feeling overly stressed lately, it may be time to take a step back and give yourself a bit of a rest. When your hair starts to fall out because of stress, that means that your body is trying to tell you that it needs you to take a break!
Hair falling out? Here are some reasons why that might be happening. #hairloss #haircare #health

Dry hair leads to increased breakage

This can happen more in the winter than other seasons due to the lack of moisture in the air. Make sure you are using a protein-rich shampoo and conditioner to strengthen your hair. Cut back on the hot tools (or at least use a thermal protecting hair product) and use a wide tooth comb or finger raking versus brushing.

Hormones Can Contribute to Hair Loss

If you've just had a baby and you're noticing what seems to be an abnormal amount of hair loss, this is completely normal. When you are pregnant, your hair cycle remains in the catagen (resting) phase due to increased levels of estrogen. You won't lose hair and therefore your hair appears to be much longer throughout the nine and a half months.

About 3 months postpartum, you'll begin to notice your hair begin to shed with it really picking up by the 6th month postpartum when your hair has resumed its natural hair cycle.

It's important to remember that the human body is quite amazing. When you start to notice something like your hair falling out, more times than not there is an explanation that can be fixed with just a little bit of processing and digging around. Of course, if your hair fall out seems excessive, consider talking to your doctor. 

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Renpure Coconut Water Hair Care Review

Shannon Smyth

A Girl's Gotta Spa!

Coconut is my favorite fruit. The scent reminds me of sandy beaches and its benefits, from the water, milk and oil, are all-encompassing. I was recently sent Renpure's Black Label line of hair care - Coconut Water - to try out. This collection features extra virgin coconut oil and natural coconut water in each product. Both ingredients promise hydration, shine and overall healthier hair.

Renpure Coconut Water Shampoo review via @agirlsgottaspa #shampoo #coconutwater

Renpure Coconut Water Hydrating Shampoo: Both the shampoo and conditioner come in 16oz bottles. They are both safe for color treated hair and are free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, and phthalates. What's interesting about the shampoo is that I expected it to smell like coconut. But it smells like citrus (at least to my nose.) I do like citrus scents, so it's no big deal, but psychologically I was thrown off.

Without the sulfates to create lather, it can be a little difficult to determine how much you need to cleanse your hair. The first few times I overdid it and my hair felt very heavy afterwards. I have fine hair, however, I have a lot of it giving it the look (and feel) of much thicker hair. It's always a fine line for me between using products that give me the right amount of hydration without weighing it down. Once I figured out the right amount of product for my hair, it was a much better experience and I ended up really liking this shampoo.

Renpure Coconut Water Conditioner review via @agirlsgottaspa #haircare #coconutwater

Renpure Coconut Water Hydrating Conditioner: Like the shampoo, the conditioner has a bit of a citrus fragrance to it. It doesn't have any coconut scent at all. Do not get me wrong, scent has nothing to do with how the product works, but I'm still scratching my head as the label's ingredients are chock full of all variations of coconut oil and coconut water, and I can't figure out how it is giving me citrus vibes. There wasn't any trial and error with the conditioner, as it worked perfectly from the start. My hair felt smooth, it had a less brittle feel to it and frizz was diminished.

Renpure Coconut Water Replenishing Treatment Mist: It just takes a few spritzes of this mist to add some extra moisture to your hair. I found it very beneficial over the summer in-between washings and I plan to use it again once the thermostat gets turned up and my hair begins to dry out again. It's lightweight, but definitely delivers on its claims. Have you tried any of these products from Renpure? Questions and comments welcome! 

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Try These Hair Products for Volume, Curls and a Frizz Free Look

Shannon Smyth
Try this Sculpture Foam from @pearsonknight for hair volume and natural waves via @agirlsgottaspa We're big fans of celebrity hairstylist, Pearson Knight, around here. He's styled hair for New York Fashion Week, is at the beckon call of A-listers and most recently can be found at Russell + Hazel in Minneapolis. So when he launched his own hair care line, I knew I had to try it. Pearson sent two of the four products from his line that he felt would best suit my hair type. The line is comprised of Sculpture Foam, Beach Grit, Straight Shine and Texture Mud.  Sculpture Foam: This curl and styling elixir also gives you volume. I have naturally wavy hair that I tend to flat iron and blow out, since the waves are never really uniform and make me look more like I just rolled out of bed (less in a sexy way and more in a messy way, on some days an 80's way.) PK's Sculpture Foam is lightweight and has a pleasant scent to it. It took some trial and error to figure out that 1-2 pumps is all I need for my fine hair. It's easy to think you need a lot more of this frothy foam than you do because it feels like there is nothing to it. But trust me, a little works! I apply it at my roots to get lift and volume when blow drying, but the best curls actually come from applying the elixir before bed. If I shower in the evening and apply it while allowing my hair to air dry, I wake up to soft, wavy volumized hair. Our editor, Gail, has naturally curly hair and it made her curls look sooooo good!  
This Straight Shine from @pearsonknight creates frizz free locks that'll make every day a good hair day. via @agirlsgottaspa Straight Shine: This blowout lotion can be used on its own or paired with the Sculpture Foam, as it's main objective is to decrease frizz and increase shine. It's texture is literally like a creamy lotion, but it isn't heavy. Again, since I have fine hair, that is a really important attribute for me. It has the same fragrance as the Sculpture Foam, but with both products the scent disappates once in your hair. The one thing that immediately caught my attention with the Straight Shine is that it helped my round brush grip my hair better. Usually I am fighting with my hair dryer and round brush so that the hair doesn't lift and cause frizz. With the Straight Shine my hair actually stayed on the brush from beginning to end. This made my blowout look so much smoother and meant less work for my flat iron. Used together, you get volumized hair with soft curls without the frizz. Isn't that every girls dream, or just mine? You can find Pearson Knight's hair products online at www.pearsonknight.com Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Why I Love This CHI Air Flat Iron

Shannon Smyth
CHI Pro Air Tourmaline Flat Iron review via @agirlsgottaspa When you have frizzy or thick hair, flat irons are a necessity, not a luxury. There's a lot I expect out of my flat iron - it needs to provide shine, flatten the frizz, straighten with ease and heat up quickly. Believe it or not, I had never been able to find a flat iron that does all of those things. I'd use one that would provide a great shine, but I'd have to work over the same strands just to get it to 100% combat frizz, which resulted in so much damage to my hair. And none ever heated up fast. Having to straighten my hair became a chore and not one that could be done quickly.
CHI Pro Air Tourmaline Flat Iron review via @agirlsgottaspa Then last year I came across the CHI Air Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Wand, which heats up in 60 seconds. Essentially - something you plug in before you put on your mascara and it's heated up to temperature by the time you've applied your second coat. It also gives my hair an amazing shine. I then wondered if CHI had a similar flat iron... and oh yes they do, but the best part? The CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic flat iron heats up in 30 seconds! CHI Pro Air Tourmaline Flat Iron review via @agirlsgottaspa This flat iron: distributes heat evenly eliminates frizz adds shine has automatic shut-off (after one hour) has 410 degrees max temperature has curved floating plates (eliminates snagging on your hair!) heats up in 30 seconds The size of the plates are 1", which makes it manageable when creating waves versus straightening. While I have thin hair, I have a lot of it giving it the appearance of being thick. It gets tricky to straighten, but most of my hair only needed me to go over a section once. The very front is where I would go over it twice in order to get the slight curve I like. CHI Pro Air Tourmaline Flat Iron review via @agirlsgottaspa I'm really happy with this flat iron and it's affordable, too! Do you own a CHI flat iron? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Get a Fresh Blowout at aer Blowdry Bar

Candyce Ross
aer blowdry bar review via @agirlsgottaspa There’s no better feeling than a fresh blowdry and aer blowdry bar is just the place if you’re in need of a quick spruce up. Natural fibre brushes, quality products, experienced stylists…this is hair heaven. Located in south-west London’s suburb of Fulham on Old Brompton Road, is the stylish, bright and airy aer blowdry bar. Blowdry bars are all the craze in New York and it seems the trend is finally hitting London. aer blowdry bar in London, review via @agirlsgottaspa I must say, the idea of a blowdry bar had me puzzled – could a hair dryer really make that much of a difference? I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re like me, whilst the idea of luscious curly locks might sound divine, you probably can’t be bothered going to all the effort yourself to get the look. Besides, most times I’ve tried this before a night out and it has ended disastrously with me racing against the clock before it’s time for me to leave whilst frantically trying to undo the catastrophe that half a can of hair spray and heated hair rollers have left me in. Ugh. aer blowdry bar London via @agirlsgottaspa Trust me, walking into aer blowdry bar and leaving 30 minutes later with perfectly styled locks was worth it. Effortless, efficient and effective! My stylist was able to recreate the look I had in mind – soft, bouncy, natural looking curls – and the best thing was all I had to do was sit back and relax! A blow dry is the perfect way to get through those annoying last few weeks before your next hair cut – you know, when you’re not quite ready for a chop but are in desperate need of something to sort the situation out? London blowdry bars - aer review via @agirlsgottaspa aer is not your average blowdry bar. There are a range of services to choose from, making it a ‘one stop’ shop for pampering. Services include lash tinting and extensions, eyebrow threading, manicures and pedicures. The salon is open from 7.30am Monday to Friday and until late in the evening most nights. This makes it possible for all of you busy bods out there to pop in before work for a morning pre-meeting ‘wake me up’ for your locks (plus an expresso to go with it!) or a quick evening pamper sesh before hitting the town. blowdry bar review - check out aer in London via @agirlsgottaspa It’s no doubt that the salon won The London Hair & Beauty Awards best blowdry bar in London for 2016 and has been featured in Vogue, Tatler and Elle as a must-visit. It’s always a sign of a successful salon when clients leave feeling happier and prettier than when they arrived. I’m glad to say that I had a little bounce in my step and a big smile on my face after visiting aer blowdry bar! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Lemon Hair Clarifying Treatment

Shannon Smyth
Lemon clarifying rinse from Beautiful Nutrition review via @agirlsgottaspa As I've gotten older, and my scalp and hair continue to change (for what most days, feels like the worst), I've really had to think beyond just shampoo and conditioner. At 42, my hair has less movement due to the changes in sebum production and all of that other fun stuff that comes with aging. Getting older simply means (for me, at least), having to work harder at the things I took for granted in my youth (like flowy, bouncy hair.) Since I have to put more things in my hair and on my scalp to combat so many issues, I then have to undo all of the buildup they leave behind with a clarifying treatment twice per week. There are two things I am currently using, one of which is Lemon Rinse from Beautiful Nutrition. Hair clarifying treatment with Lemon Rinse from Beautiful Nutrition via @agirlsgottaspa It's no secret that I have a love for lemons. It's a magical little piece of citrus. I drink lemon water daily to ward off blemishes and lemon essential oils are found in A Girl's Gotta Spa! bath and body products. What's so amazing about lemons is that it pH balances the skin and acts as an astringent (when applied topically.) This Lemon Rinse Gentle Clarifying Treatment doesn't have an overwhelming scent, and is thinly textured. You're supposed to apply it from root to tip after using shampoo and conditioner, but I found that it worked better for me when I used it after shampooing. If I used it after conditioner, my hair felt a bit stripped. Now this could be due to the decreased amount of sebum and moisture to my hair to begin with, but I found what works for me. I can't say that I saw a decreased amount of frizz or shinier hair as they claim, but I did notice that my scalp was more balanced (not overly dry and itchy, but not super greasy after a day.) So if you are looking for something to smooth your cuticle and decrease frizz, this may not be the right product for you, but if you are looking to clarify your scalp and pH balance it, then definitely give this treatment a try. Have you tried it? What were your results if you did? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Vole Hair System Review

Gail Lewis

Don't miss the 20% off promo code below!! Vole Hair System review via @agirlsgottaspa

My hair has not been at its best this summer.  Sun, salt water, humidity and heat, plus constant styling to battle the heat and humidity all tends to strip my hair leaving it looking and feeling dry and dull. This may sound a bit dramatic, but when I do not feel good about my hair, it can ruin my outlook on life...not kidding....and like I said, somewhat dramatic. Due to sweat and product build-up, I try to use deep cleansing shampoos in the summer, but while they do cleanse my hair, they also strip it of moisture.  What my hair required to battle summer damage was a deep cleansing shampoo that removes product build up and pollutants, but does not strip my hair, followed by a conditioner that is deeply moisturizing and repairing, yet does not weigh my hair down. Vole Hair Care System review plus 20% off promo code via @agirlsgottaspa I found the perfect shampoo and conditioner combo to battle my summer damaged hair woes with Volé 's Revitalizing Shampoo and Volumizing Conditioner. The Revitalizing Shampoo contains a combination of moisturizing, nourishing, gentle cleansing and rejuvenating ingredients such as coconut-derived cleansers, eucalyptus, menthol, and avena sativa (wild oats). Thanks to the menthol, washing my hair with Volé 's Revitalizing Shampoo is incredibly invigorating and I absolutely LOVE shampooing in the morning (it's a lot more effective than a cup of coffee at waking me up.)  The Revitalizing Shampoo effectively cleans my hair and rids it of build-up without leaving it feeling like straw. The Volumizing Conditioner is now my absolute favorite hair product and is honestly the perfect conditioner.  It is deeply moisturizing without leaving my hair feeling weighed down, adds a lot of shine and leaves my hair soft and also really bouncy. I have also been trying Volé 's Regen Serum, which is supposed to promote hair growth, improve strength and rebalance the hair's lifecycle.  It's too soon to tell if it's working, but if the shampoo and conditioner are any indication of the Volé Hair System's effectiveness, I'm sure I will be more than happy with the results of the Regen Serum. Vole Hair care review via @agirlsgottaspa I feel as if I've finally found the perfect shampoo and conditioner combination for not only my summer hair concerns, but all of my hair concerns in general.  Thanks to Volé, I have a shampoo that effectively cleans my hair without leaving it dry and more damaged.  I also found a conditioner that actually repairs and improves the condition my hair.  The only thing I can ask from Volé is that they create more hair products with the same incredible performance as the shampoo and conditioner! Give it a try and treat yourself with this 20% off promo code at www.volehair.comGirlsspa20 Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: press sample

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Customized Nexxus Hair Care at Sam's Club

Shannon Smyth15 comments

Sponsored by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

nexxus-youth-renewal-elixir Lately I've been on the hunt for products that aim to treat my skin and hair for the issues I'm having as I age (not just things to make me look younger.) Being in my 40's comes with a plethora of issues that are both as a result of my actions when I was younger (or inaction in terms of taking care of my skin and hair) and the normal course of getting older. Yay me. I've used Nexxus hair system products in the past and I've been really happen with the results. So when I learned that you can get a 3-product full size set from Sam's Club for just around $26, I was game to check it out. While Sam's Club may be associated with large bulk items, it's also a great place to generally save on items that you love. nexxus-sams-club There are 6 different sets of Nexxus products that you can choose from that include a shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment. Or if you don't want all of the same products from the same collection, you have the ability to choose 3 different Nexxus items for the same price through their customized regimen. For example, you could purchase the Color Assure Vibrancy Shampoo and Conditioner, but then select the Promend Split End Binding Cream. The 6 systems are: Emergencee Damage Recovery System: for weak and damaged hair Oil Infinite Frizz Defying System: for frizzy or unruly hair Diametress Luscious Volume System: for flat and fine hair Color Assure Vibrancy Retention System: for color treated hair Youth Renewal Radiance System: for fine and weakened hair Promend Split End Bonding System: for hair prone to split ends Nexxus Hair Care Customizable Regiment Pick 3 Sam s Club3 If you type in Nexxus in the search bar on the Sam's Club website, each system will show up, as well as a way to customize your set. Choosing begins with conditioner, then shampoo and then a hair treatment. For this review, I chose the Youth Renewal Radiance since my hair is weakened from coloring and heat styling my hair. And while I have a lot of hair giving it the appearance of being thick, it's actually pretty fine. Nexxus Youth Renewal Radiance Shampoo, Conditioner and Elixir smell and feel incredible. The only way I can describe the fragrance is like a creamy, comforting lotion. The texture of the 3 also align with this as well - most especially the Elixir, which is a white serum that is dispersed through a dropper. Nexxus Youth Renewal Radiance Shampoo and conditioner both have ingredients like coconut oil, hydrolyzed elastin, keratin, pearl and wheat protein. The Elixir is also enriched with liquid pearl and concentrated 100% pure elastin protein. After use, each strand feels plumped up, incredibly soft, hydrated and shiny. Something I noticed after using these products, is that my thermal brush grips my hair better without ripping and breaking any strands as I am drying my hair. This means frizziness has decreased considerably and breakage from styling is way down. My hair looks great and I really love this hair system. sams-club-savings There's definitely a Nexxus hair system to solve your hair woes, and to save $16 on a bundle, head over to Sam's Club website to create yours now! Leave a comment and let me know if you've tried any of these products from Nexxus yourself! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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