There are a lot of hair and nails products on the market, both oral and topical. No matter what they claim, it is important to not just take the manufacturer's word for it, you need to pay attention.

One of our weekly OXX Salon clients with beautiful skin, showed up the other day with patches of pimples on her face. It was rather alarming and she was quite stressed about it. Knowing that every reaction is linked to a cause, I respectfully asked relevant questions to see if both of us could "knock heads" and find the answer to her frustrations. Let's face it...not every issue needs a medical professional, so why not give it a try. Apparently the only new addition to her regimen was a bottle of "Women's hair and nails" one a day tablets. Hmmm...that was a start.

Now, I have tried taking one of those type brands before and sometimes it is not the product that wreaks havoc but how it is taken. I cannot say enough, there is a reason for "Directions". Many times, persons disregard whether to take on an empty stomach or with food and that can be quite harsh on the stomach. Some things just need that buffered effect. The client was following instructions so that was not the problem. I recommended she discontinue usage immediately, which she did.

Within a week there were no new breakouts, and after two weeks she started looking more like herself. As simple as that! We have to remember a lot of these tablets have fillers and other ingredients that some persons bodies can either not assimilate, or is allergic to. Of course, her situation turned out to be a no-brainer, but it is not always that easy. Regardless, always remember to start with the process of elimination, with the newest addition to your lifestyle being the first to take away.

Until Next Week,

The OXX Family

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Ohhh, the dreaded toe issue. Many have suffered, or are still suffering from ingrown nails. Usually it is the big toe and finding an answer can be daunting if a podiatrist is not seen.

There are many reasons why persons get ingrown toenails...tight shoes and vigorous exercise in compact sneakers being two of the most common. Regardless, no matter the cause, the condition is most uncomfortable and extremely painful at times. There are some nail technicians who make decisions to clip the nails by the problematic area, which is not advisable as it can prolong the situation. It just seems as if the nail just has a mind of its own and no longer follows the normal growth pattern and instead chooses to broaden its horizons and become a little too friendly with the skin beside it...or should I say become enemies and puncture the poor skin. Oh yes...I have been there before.

I remember one day, umpteen years ago, wondering why my Grandmother's toes were free of any polish, as this was quite uncharacteristic of her. Upon further investigation, I realized that one of her big toes had an unusual shape at the top. Typically persons have a square, or rounded shape but that toe's nail had a "v" formation in the middle of the free edge at the top of the nail and for the life of me, it just seemed to be the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Why would someone do that to themselves...from fab to flop! But when I asked her, she said that was the best non-medical and simple treatment for an ingrown toenail. Sounds strange right? Well, not exactly.

Yes, it looks weird, but is incidentally far from being weird. So I go on with my life, minding my own business and one day I feel this sharp pain in the side of a big toe...the dreaded ingrown toenail. My first solution was to cut the nail away from the skin for instant relief and although it worked, what a mistake. That nail grew back like a vengeance. I could not bother to see a Doctor and although I thought of trying the little "trick" from my Grandmother, it was too unflattering. Instead, I just kept cutting away at the nail until I realized that process was literally putting on a band-aid instead of eliminating the issue. Something had to give.

The decision to either seek medical help or have a silly looking shape nail came one day when every step was a wince. At that point, it did not matter who wanted to glare at my toes, so I went for my nail polish remover and nipper. After removing the polish from all my toes, I proceeded to cut a small "V" shape right in the middle of the top of the free edge of the big toe with the issue. No polish would draw less attention and I had nothing to lose with an ill-shaped nail.

The first couple of days felt the same, which was expected, as the nail needed time to grow. But after a while I realized the pain was diminishing and then finally went. I do not like long toenails so if you are like me, just allow a little growth in order to have enough "edge" to cut the "V". Now, I have never researched why it works but it would seem as if the nail grows away from the sides, trying to join itself in the center. Please do not "hold" me to that explanation and honestly, I really do not care the scientific reason why...all I know is that it works! Not only is the "V" effective, it eliminates the possibility of infection or any other complications that could happen by treating it another way without a Doctor.

Unfortunately, an ingrown toenail is like a diet. You watch your calories for a while, lose the weight, get lax and the weight is put back on. The same with an ingrown toenail...I do the "V", no pain, and even when I cannot figure out why...another ingrown nail. The good thing once again, just as we have control over what we eat, I can cut another "V" and rest easy.

Until Next Week,

The OXX Family

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We all know hot oil treatments help to boost the hair while offering more sheen and strength, but do not over-do them. Less is yes!

It goes without say that all hot oil treatments are not created equal. I have used so many different types throughout the years and can honestly say there were no great positive changes for the most part. On the other hand, our "In-House" OXX Oil Treatment truly does work. Our special Blend of natural Oils are able to effectively penetrate the cuticle layers, resulting in more beautiful tresses. We apply our OXX Oil and have clients sit for 10 to 15 minutes with a saran wrap wrapped around their head. The wrap generates and increases the heat level naturally, thereby reducing the discomfort from sitting under a dryer.

On the other hand, with respect to afro-textured hair (more so when relaxed or processed) it is never wise to do hot oil treatments every week as the texture cannot handle too much stress. I know it sounds a bit contradictory, but experience has taught just how fragile and delicate afro-textured hair is. An example of how this hair type is, is to compare it to a scenario of lugging a heavy knapsack on your back and adding more heavy knapsacks until you fall over due to all that weight. The difference is where your body will fall, afro-textured hair will break. And it breaks more easily when processed.

For this reason, be very wary of doing too many hot oil treatments in a row. We have proven it over and over again that less is more. We advise our clients to have it done once every two weeks the most. Anything sooner than that is unnecessary, and as stated before, if the hair is processed, it may start having negative reactions.

Until Next Week,

The OXX Family

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