summer skin care

Surviving the Summer Sun

Keeping your skin safe and clear should be a top priority.

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As a beach lifeguard, I've spent a good amount of time in the sun. While I can't think of a better job than sitting on a beach all day, there are definitely some drawbacks; one of them being the toll the sun can take on your skin. After suffering from numerous sunburns after making the rookie mistake of not reapplying my lotion and breaking out from using the wrong products, I have finally got summer skin care down to an exact science. Despite the misconception that skin care routines have to be complicated, keeping your skin healthy can be quite simple with these tips.

1. Change up your skin care routine for the summer months.

Especially in a heat wave, your pores can easily become clogged. A moisturizer you typically use in the winter may be too thick for your skin in the summer. Consider switching over to a lighter, water-based moisturizer that will allow your pores to be hydrated but still keep your complexion clear. You can even keep your moisturizer, alone with other products such as toner, in the refrigerator. Cool products feel great when applied to the skin in the midst of a heat wave.

2. Always apply sunscreen before leaving the house.

Even if you are not going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, sunscreen is a must. Any amount of time in the sun can do damage; applying a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against harmful UV rays will benefit your skin in the long run. If you are worried about the sunscreen causing you to break out on your face, there are many companies (e.g. Neutrogena) that make sunscreen designed specifically for the face. These will still protect your skin, but are often oil-free and do not cause breakouts.

3. Cool off in the shade.

Obviously the sun cannot be avoided at all times; who doesn't love a nice day at the beach? But, you can help your skin by taking breaks in the shade or indoors. This will allow your body to cool down a bit and give your skin a break from the sun for awhile. This would be a good time to reapply sunscreen as well.

4. Do NOT use tanning beds.

As appealing as it may be to walk into a salon pale and walk back out bronze thirty minutes later, it can be dangerous. Tanning beds expose you to UV rays at a high power and in a small time interval. This winds up doing considerable damage to your skin and is more harmful than tanning naturally. If you have awkward tan lines you want to fix or don't like hanging in the sun, try using a self tanner. This alternative is much safer and can be quite effective.

5. Reapply your sunscreen!

I cannot stress enough how important reapplying your sunscreen is. If you are out in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you apply every two hours to ensure that you are fully protected. If you happen to go in the water, apply every hour or after you exit the water and dry off. Sunscreen is your best friend during the summer.

6. Sunburn after care is a must.

Despite doing everything you can to prevent getting burned, it still happens sometimes. Make sure that you take care of the affected skin by doing things such as taking cool showers and applying aloe vera. A few other things that have been proven to help are applying cool milk to the area, soaking in an oatmeal bath, and applying witch hazel. These should all reduce inflammation and prevent peeling from occurring. Most importantly, protect the affected skin from the sun if you are out in it again.

7. Wash your face.

Amidst summer activities, it can be easy to forget to do simple things such as washing ones face. However, this is one of the most important things you can do. The constant application of sunscreen to your face as well as potential exposure to ocean or pool water can cause acne flare-ups. To prevent this, wash your skin every morning and night. This will remove all the product placed on the face during the day and keep your pores clean.

8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Drinking water will keep both you and your skin hydrated. Being out in the sun all day makes it easy to become dehydrated. Do what you can to make sure you get enough water; carry around a pretty water bottle, infuse your water with fruit, or eat your water. There are plenty of fruits and veggies that contain high water content (e.g. cucumbers, celery, watermelon, strawberries). Hydration is key to maintaining healthy skin.

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Things You Should Know About Undercuts

Bonus: See the journey of growing out an undercut
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Undercuts are fun, man. They allow you to play with your looks and they can be extremely beneficial to some. But of course there are people who are scared to go for an undercut because it’s shaving a part of your head off. And the longer your hair is (and/or the more attached to it you are), the more frightening it is to think about shaving your beloved locks off.

If you are toying around with the idea of getting an undercut, here are some tid-bits of info that people don’t really tell you about undercuts.

People who can pull off undercuts best are those with thick hair. People with thick af hair use undercuts to take some weight off of their head, and when your hair is down, it looks like you have normal, “I-totally-didn’t-shave-my-head-mom” type hair. People with thinner hair sadly do not have this sort of luxury. If you have thin hair and get an undercut on both sides of your head or all around your head, you might end up looking a tad bit like Gollum. If you have thinner hair but you really want to try an undercut, I recommend only shaving one side of your head instead of both or all around.

If you are genderfluid/genderqueer/non-binary (or anything on the transgender spectrum, really), getting an undercut is really helpful with easing gender dysphoria. I personally had all of my head shaved except for the top part (which I always keep above shoulder length), and it was perfect because I could just put it up or down depending on where my dysphoria was at on certain day.

Undercuts do in fact make you feel badass af. When you look badass, you tend to feel badass. However, do not be tricked that the undercut life is a breezy one (actually, jk, when your head is shaved, it will be very breezy up there). What I’m trying to say is, is that undercuts require maintenance. It can be annoying because you need to get your head re-shaved about every 3-5 weeks. If you end up getting an all-around shave (like mwah), than it can start becoming a nuisance because, if you are anything like me, I could not shave my head myself and I did not have the tools to shave my head and I did not trust any of my friends with my hair. That meant hiking up to a barber shop and shelling out $10-$25 on a simple shave every month (with money I probably should have spent on food). If you stick to side shaves or only one side shave, then investing in a razor is not a bad idea. This way you can easily save yourself the trip and the extra money on getting a pro to renew your shave. However, whenever getting a normal haircut, do let your barber/hairdresser shave your undercut. They may suggest doing cool patterns and such and that is always a fun idea.

Growing out the undercut. Dun dun dunnnn. Because undercuts actually require more maintenance than normal hair, I threw in the towel after four months of having an undercut and decided to grow it out. In university, I’m not picky about my looks like 80% of the time, so the less effort the better. Having an undercut was fun while it lasted, but I did miss having a full head of hair from time to time. I personally thought the outgrow was going to be an ugly, itchy mess. I even bought a wig. I was surprisingly wrong. Fortunately for the most part, when growing my hair out, I actually liked the look. During the middle months was definitely not the highlight of this time, but I got through it and it wasn’t terrible. I really got into wearing hats, though, but it was also the summer time so I could totally get away with it.

As someone whose hair is somewhere below the chin and above the shoulders, as of today, my undercut has still not completely grown out. It has been about 9 months since my last shave and it’s almost done growing. The most annoying part about it is not how it looks, but rather at a certain point it does become kind of itchy. You may want to get the tips cut or the hair on the back of your neck to be taken care of by a professional (if you don’t know how to do it yourself) so it doesn’t bother you very much.

Here are some photos of my ~transformation~ if you are interested in seeing the grow out process of an all-around undercut looks like. Please do not be alarmed by the makeup selfies, they are just photos with good representation of the stages of my under cut.


These first 3 photos were before I started growing out my undercut, to show you how versatile an undercut can be.

This was taken after a month or two of letting my undercut grow out. I was so worried it would look horrid for a formal, but it looked fine.

This was taken in late July (about 4 months into my growout). You can also see how my undercut was around my entire head.

This was my hair down with the growout. You can't tell I have an undercut with my hair down at all.

This picture was taken today, 9 months into the growout. The hair at the very back of my head is longer and needs to be cut. The grown-out undercut is almost chin length.


Like I said at the very beginning: undercuts are fun. If you want one and you are willing to keep up with its maintenance, go for it. It's just hair, it'll grow back, trust me (even if the grow out can be painstakingly long).

Cover Image Credit: http://www.fiftytwothursdays.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/PicMonkey-Collage1.jpg

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.

nadoty
nadoty
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In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!

nadoty
nadoty

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