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Are you considering getting a permanent? A permanent wave can be a quick way to add wave or volume to lackluster hair. It can be particularly helpful for the woman who spends inordinate amounts of time trying to coax her naturally flat hair into wavy ringlets only to have it fall flat in two hours. If you’re spending more money on hair spray than you are on shampoo, a permanent may be your answer. Of course, as with anything, there are pros and cons to this procedure. Should you take the plunge and perm your hair?

It may reduce the amount of time you spend on your hair.

If you’re tired of firing up the curling iron every morning and polluting the house with hair spray chemicals to get your hair to hold a wave, you may want to think seriously about perming your hair. When you perm your hair, it can be a real time saver. Who knows? You may even be able to sleep an extra thirty minutes with the time you save not having to wrestle with your hair.

It can add volume to fine hair.

If you’ve always had flat, lifeless, fine hair, a perm can really pump up the volume. It may be your one opportunity to have “big hair”, if that’s your goal. On a humid day, you’ll no longer have to worry about your hair collapsing like a wet dish rag.

It can be a fun change.

Who doesn’t want a little change in their hairstyle every once in a while? If you’ve had stick straight hair since your high school yearbook picture, now may be the time to find out what it’s like to perm your hair and get oodles of volume.

It’s damaging.

Of course there are drawbacks to any chemical procedure. When you perm your hair, you break protein bonds which can weaken the hair shaft. If you get perms too frequently or continue to use heat on your permed hair, you can end up with an overprocessed mess. If you decide to get a perm, be prepared to do regular deep conditioning and don’t plan on perming too often.

It can make it difficult to color your hair.

Unless you want seriously damaged hair, it’s best to choose between the two treatments. Although you can perm colored hair, over time damage will build up. If you have bleached or double processed hair, perming can be a disaster and should be avoided at all costs. Decide which process is most important to you and nix the other one if you want shiny, healthy hair.

It can be expensive.

Perming your hair adds another ongoing expense to your budget. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be done more than every four to six months, in most cases. Factor in the time you’re spending styling your hair and the cost of hairspray and it may be a wash.

It can be restrictive.

When you have straight hair, you have more options in terms of how you can wear it. It’s difficult to pull permed hair back into a ponytail for the gym or into an elegant updo. You may be stuck with a single look which could get old after a while.

Some people have reactions to the perm solution.

If you perm your hair, there’s a chance you may have an allergic type reaction to the perm solution resulting in an intensely itchy scalp, redness, and rash. Sometimes this can happen when the perm solution is left on the scalp too long. If you develop these symptoms, it can be unpleasant enough to make you wish you’d never seen a bottle of perming solution.

The bottom line? If you decide to take the plunge and perm your hair, be sure to get a professional consultation and go to someone who’s qualified to give you the competent treatment you deserve. Don’t try to do it yourself if you’re not a hairdresser. Some things are worth the price.

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How Journaling Can Help Your Emotions

People are emotional creatures. You can be happy, sad, angry, confused, scared, excited, and everything in between. Managing your negative feelings can be incredibly difficult. Your bad moods will hamper your productivity and even health as stress compromises your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to high blood pressure, obesity, migraines, heart problems, and more.

Talking to a friend, family, or psychiatrist can help, but you sometimes need to rely on yourself. A journal can work as a personal therapist. It will always be there to listen whenever you need it. Just taking a few minutes each day to jot down your feelings can significantly improve your mood and mental health.

One of the most extensive studies on journaling, conducted by University of Texas professor James Pennebaker, describes how he started to experience turmoil in his marriage and fell into depression. He began writing out his feelings on a typewriter. Soon enough, his mood improved, his relationship blossomed, and he was able to get a better understanding of his life goals.

Pennebaker conducted experiments where participants would spend 20 minutes a day writing about emotional experiences in their lives. These entries ranged from sexual abuse to guilt over accidental deaths. Months later, the journalists began to show signs of improvement. They had better mental and physical health, lower blood pressure, and fewer doctor visits.

Pennebaker’s method is to just write non-stop for 20 minutes. You could write about something that happened today or even something that occurred years ago. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling don’t matter; just get your thoughts out. Then, delete the document or throw away the paper. Rip it up and toss it in the fire if you wish. These ideas and feelings are no longer a part of you.

Another method is to use an emotional journaling technique divided into four steps:
• Write down an emotional experience you’ve had
• Say how you responded to the situation
• Write down your analysis of the situation, digging deep to determine the causes of your emotions and reactions
• Conclude with self-reflection. Ask yourself what you learned and what you would do if you reencountered the situation.

Journaling also helps when trying to make decisions. You might feel conflicted when deciding to start a new class, move to a different country, enter a relationship, or make a significant purchase. Writing down your multitude of thoughts can help organize them into coherent statements. You can quickly weigh pros and cons of each decision.

Writing is an incredibly therapeutic process. Taking a few minutes each day to jot down your thoughts help put them into words and distance yourself from your emotions. It helps you critically analyze yourself and your feelings. Once you start journaling, you’ll notice significant differences in your mood and health.

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