Stretching can give your muscle the flexibility to prepare for exercise and is especially useful for dealing with joint stiffness. There are many stretching exercises that you can follow, “hamstring stretches” is one of them that you may want to try...


What is your Beauty IQ?

Are you damaging your looks for good? Go on test yourself.

When talk turns to beauty, there are times I want to run for cover. It's not that I don't love talking about all things "make-upy". I do, really do. But it pains me to hear crazy kind of beauty myths that get thrown about. So I jotted down some of the almost believable and some of the downright crazy myths and set to work sorting out the truth from the lies.

Myth 1 - Brushing your hair 100 times a day will make it much healthier

Not so, in fact over-brushing is the leading contributor to split ends and hair breakage. It's even more damaging to brush hair when it's wet, as this is when strands are in their weakest state, so major breakage will occur. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle the hair and a brush to style, but don't overdo it. Once it's done, stop!

Myth 2 - Cutting hair makes it grow faster

It's hair and - like your grassy backyard lawn, i.e. cutting the bottom has no effect on the root. It does, however, get rid of weak, damaged ends, so it'll definitely feel healthier. The same goes for leg hair, i.e. shaving will make the ends feel prickly but your hair won't grow back thicker.

Myth 3 - Pluck one grey hair, and two grow back

"I think not," says Wayne Lewis from Atlantis Hair, Sydney. "Grey hair occurs when the body no longer produces enough pigment. So when you pull out a strand, just like eye brows, it grows back. But it won't grow back if you pull the same hair out often enough.

"If two hair grew back, people with fine hair would pull it out to end up with thicker locks!"

Myth 4 - Dandruff is caused by dry scalp

Dry scalp can flake but the worst cases of dandruff are usually found on oily scalps. Crazy but true. Large flakes form in certain areas of the scalp (not all over). It's a natural condition so it can't be eliminated, only controlled or managed using special oil-balancing or anti-
dandruff shampoos and treatments.

Myth 5 - It's okay to trim split ends at home

The hairdressers I asked about this shrieked in horror, but one finally confessed to me that it's perfectly fine to trim DIY-style as long as you use good quality, or professional scissors. Dull blades will only make split ends worse.

Myth 6 - Wearing tight buns causes baldness

Believe it or not, it's true. The condition even has a name, i.e. Traction Alopecia, hair loss condition that can become permanent from wearing tight hairstyles like buns and braids over an extended period of time. So, make sure you mix up your dos and opt for looser versions.

Myth 7 - Lemon juice bleaches locks blonde

Partly true. It will lighten and destroy it at the same time. Deidre Jacklin, from L'Oreal Professionnel, says: "Lemon juice will bleach hair to a degree because it's acidic. If you put it in your hair and go out in the sun, it's a process of oxidation, which is what colour does when you're in a salon. But in order to bleach it, this would have to be done over a period of time."

Myth 8 - Sharing a hair brush spreads scalp disease

Gross (tick). True (tick). It's a fact that lice and other parasites can be transported from scalp to scalp through sharing of combs, brushes and other hair care tools. If a friend wants to borrow your brush, just make sure you wash it with regular lice shampoo to kill any nasties.

Myth 9 - Hair can "get used to" the same shampoo

Many people swear their hair becomes "immune" to using the same shampoo over time. However, there's no specific evidence to prove this. The immunity here most people refer to is most likely product build up. You can avoid this condition by using a cleansing shampoo once a week for squeaky clean hair, then go back to your favourite shampoo.

Myth 10 - Chlorine can turn hair green

True! Frequent swimmers with light hair may develop a greenish hue over time. For a quick emergency fix, try rinsing your locks with diluted cranberry juice to eliminate the green tinge.

Myth 11 - Leaving mascara on makes lashes thicker

This is true to a point. Short-term: lashes will look thicker
because you're building layers of mascara. Long-term:
applying coat after coat of mascara without fully removing it will make brittle lashes prone to breakage.

Myth 12 - Washing hair regularly is harmful

False. Your scalp sweat like the rest of your body plus it produces oil. If you don't wash your scalp, bacteria will thrive in the warm or cold atmosphere. Washing your hair with good quality shampoo and conditioner improves its condition - no matter how often you do it.

Myth 13 - If you wear blue contacts, you can't wear blue eye shadow

I've seen blue eye shadow work on blue lenses many times. The trick is choosing a blue that's either lighter or darker than your contacts. You also need to give the eyes definition by lining them with deeper blue or black pencil, otherwise you can end up looking washed-out.

Myth 14 - Lining the inside rim of eyes makes them look bigger

Applying black eyeliner on the inner rim will help "close" the area, while applying a white/flesh colour will open it up more. This doesn't mean you can't wear black liner at all. Just wear it slightly smudged into the lash line instead.

Myth 15 - Women over 30 should stick to matte eye shadow

So not true. A little bit of shimmer gives skin luminous quality that's flattering for any age. Matte eye shadow, on the other hand, can make lids look flat and lacklustre. Steer clear of very frosted shadow though, it draws attention to fine lines.

Myth 16 - Only one feature should be emphasized

Generally, this is true, however, in the evening I think you can afford to go heavier on more than one features. For example, a subtle smoky eye can look great with red lipstick or stain.

Myth 17 - Skin needs to "breathe"

"The only way oxygen is delivered to the skin cells is from the blood supply," says Debbie Dickson from Danne Montague-King skincare. While heavy moisturisers or foundation can hinder elimination and absorption function to a degree, they don't inhibit actual oxygen nourishing the skin. Stick to a good cleansing regimen and try not to sleep in your make-up.

Myth 18 - Visible lip pencil makes lips look larger

Pamela Anderson is the only person that believes this (I hope). Lip liner should never be seen. Full stop. The best way to wear lip liner is to choose the closest colour to your natural lip colour, then fill in the entire lip. The perfect shade allows you to softly colour the outer lip line creating an even fuller pout. No dark lines, girl - they should he illegal.

Myth 19 - Foundation should be darker for evening

You should always try to match foundation to your skin tone or you'll end up with a completely different looking skin colour from face to neck. In fact, for evening events, you tend to show more skin, so it becomes even more important to get the right match.

Myth 20 - Lip balm contains addictive ingredients

Balm and glosses don't contain addictive properties. What can be addictive is the smooth feeling of the emollients used in balms. Once worn off, your lips may feel drier, so it's more likely you're hooked on the feel. Also, beware of lip products containing petroleum; it draws moisture from your lips causing them to dry out.

So what’s your beauty IQ result revealed?

The beauty brainiac! Not only do you know the difference between a dry scalp and dandruff, you're also cluey enough to know how to wield eyeliner for bigger eyes. Well done!

You're a beauty learner, but that's okay. Try to take your gran's beauty advice on board, I know you'll now think twice before spinning off split ends with the office scissors!

Beauty school drop-out!
You believe the one about addictive ingredients in lip balms…..

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