When it comes to our hair and what looks and feels best to us, there’s rarely one fit-for-all, especially when you’re experiencing hair loss. Finding a hairstyle you feel confident in can be a trying experience. Where and how much your hair may be thinning can also be a touchy subject to bring up with your hair stylist. Obstacles like these can make it hard for you to determine what hairstyles might work best for you. So, here are a few tips about different hairstyles for thinning hair to help you avoid an uncomfortable conversation next time you’re at the hair salon.

There are lots of reasons people may experience hair loss. But some types- and their location, are very predictable. Female pattern baldness, for example, tends to start at the crown and spread along the hairline, while Alopecia Areata can occur in patches or areas where hair loss may or may not regrow overtime. Luckily, there are just as many solutions for managing thinning hair as there are reasons and degrees of hair thinning! Determining the cause of hair loss ahead of time, however, can help guide the decisions you make going forward. 

Making the Cut

 If you’re just beginning to see signs of thinning, there are a few simple ways you can make your hairstyle work for you. A shorter haircut can add more volume and fullness, for example, while bangs can sometimes draw attention to thinning at the crown. Understanding how to enhance your look and downplay troubled spots is half the battle. So, here are some basic cuts and styling techniques that can make all the difference. 

Short Cuts & Texturing

An A-Line bob, or blunt cut that frames the face can hide signs of a receding hairline. But, for a softer look that still adds body, try texturing rather than layering. 

Straight hair that’s all one length can pull and weigh down your hair, making it appear even thinner and limper than before. However, too many layers can also take away needed volume when you’re trying to maximize the fullness of your look. Texturing adds interest and bounce at the ends of your cut while keeping the fuller appearance when going for a shorter hairstyle. This also holds true for wavy or curly hair that’s thinning at the crown. 

Another trick to de-emphasizing thinning on top is to change your part. Switch to a side part, or move one to the opposite side, and keep the strands longer where it flips. 

Tips to Give Thinning Hair a Boost

Color & Styling

To create the look of more volume with your hair, try adding a slightly darker color at the roots. This is an easy way to mask thinning at the scalp and create a more even, fuller look all around. Stick with natural hair dyes that wash out when shampooing. This will help to avoid damage from toxic chemicals that can also cause more thinning.  

Volumizing Conditioner 

Steer clear of over-moisturizing conditioners that can weigh your hair down, clog follicles, and lead to more hair loss. Try a lighter, all-natural conditioning spray to use instead. These can be applied after shampooing to detangle and moisturize your hair away from the roots, where it’s needed the most. A gluten and sulfate-free moisturizing mist conditioner works best for all types of thinning hair. 

No Heat Blow-Drying

If you blow dry your hair, try using a no heat setting. Blow dry hair from the back forward, and from each side starting at the base of your hairline. This will create more volume and body without needing to use hair sprays or gels that make thinning hair go limp and flat quickly, while also causing unnecessary damage.  

Using topical hair thickening or regrowth products can help stimulate new hair growth and increase the density and thickness of thinning hair. This is a great enhancer for women who want to keep their natural hair without using weaves or other hair additions. There are numerous products on the market that will strengthen and bolster the fullness of natural hair that’s thinning.  

To learn more about different types of topical hair products available, we recommend consulting a hair specialist, or hair restoration clinic. Some of their salons offer free one-on-one consultations to assess your hair needs, and often have the most up-to-date products available for their clients.  

Extensions and Integration Systems to Enhance Your Natural Hair

Hair extensions can add length as well as body to fill in thinning places, while hair integration systems can offer a more permanent solution that doesn’t require surgery. Whether using a synthetic extension that mimics the look, feel and weight of your real hair, or a real hair extension to add volume and durability, there are multiple options available with hair extension products these days. 

Some hair extension lines can even match the color, texture and length to your current hair, add highlights, or simply more volume or coverage in thinning patches. 

These can be a great bridge between mild thinning and permanent hair loss, so well worth keeping in mind if your hair loss is progressing. 



The Kitchen is often the central hub of activity in most homes today. Whether you’re a family on the go or one that frequently entertains, it’s often the most used room of the house. Preparing meals for friends and family, playing host at social gatherings, or simply a space to reconnect with loved ones at the end of the day, the kitchen is often where we come together and spend the most time.

It’s also one of the first places homeowners look to make improvements. If you’ve decided your kitchen needs an update and you’re ready for a remodel, there are a few key factors to consider before choosing a design team. Identifying and understanding your needs will help to make a decision that you will be happy with for years to come. Here is what to consider before choosing a design team for your Kitchen Remodel.


1. Match the Designarchitecture-backsplash-cabinets-279648

Chose a design concept for your kitchen that matches the design and flow of the rest of your home. If changes to the layout or placement need to be made, consider those factors as well. Even if a remodel consists mostly of replacing old appliances or upgrading kitchen cabinets, the type of design should still match the aesthetic and flow of the rest of the house.

Since the design should always be what you and your family need and not just what looks good, it’s important that you and your kitchen contractor be on the same page about your design and build. Pick a designer or design team who will match your design concepts.

2. Consider Function

Since kitchens are often the center of a home, function is vital. It’s important to make note of all the areas where function is a concern and address them with your design team prior to installation. Understanding the type of design and quality needed and answering key questions about function and flow will help to insure your overall satisfaction when the remodel is complete.


Identify problems: 

Decide what isn’t working in your kitchen and needs to be changed. Identify what features would make your life easier. Do you need more useful and functional storage, for example? Or a different placement for major appliances, more space between your cabinetry and countertop, or a different layout that includes an eating area?

Keep what works: 

Make a list of what you like or love as well. These features should stay! Be sure to let builders know what to change and what elements should remain. It will save time and costly mistakes down the road and give you the ease and comfort you need without sacrificing function and flow aspects you like and want to keep.

Examples of questions to ask & answer:


  • How much space is needed for a chef’s grade kitchen stove or similar model? Will it fit the area that holds my current stove?
  • How much room do I need for a double-door stainless steel refrigerator with a bottom freezer?
  • In which direction will the refrigerator need to doors open to access food items from the fridge?
  • How much surrounding area can I sacrifice for new items that will still leave enough space to move around the kitchen freely?
  • Is there enough counter space or storage to prepare and store food items easily?
  • Is there enough space between the cabinets and countertops for additional appliances?
  • Is there existing space for an eating area? If so, will it accommodate family seating or provide extra room for entertaining at holidays and special events?
  • How should the space be configured to maximize use and still easily integrate into the rest of the kitchen design?


3.  Construction & Installation

There are a lot of moving parts in a kitchen and all building materials and appliances are not created equal. Using high quality materials and hiring professional installers are key. Consider hiring a team with construction skills rather than just installers who may not know how to move a wall or reconfigure the plumbing.

Hire a team of experts:

Be sure your design team has experience in all the areas of construction and installation that you need, and includes experts in specific areas. For example, chose a team with professional carpentry skills or cabinetry professional concrete countertop installers, and tile experts who can design and install backsplash and install professional flooring.

Chose a custom design team: 

Custom designs allow the freedom to choose the materials and quality for your kitchen design to match your needs, rather than locking you into a particular design build you might not be happy with. Make sure you chose a custom-design team that allows the freedom to pick and choose the building materials and design elements you want.

4.  Set your budget


There are always surprises and unexpected costs that can arise during a remodel, so it’s important to have a realistic view of the overall budget. You don’t want to get halfway through a build only to learn there’s not enough left to cover the cost of design elements you need to finish the project.

Crunch the numbers: 

Decide what your low and high end numbers are and if you will be happy with the end result. Are lower cost options for materials or builds available that you will be happy with? Is there enough room at the top of your budget to cover unexpected costs, should they arise? Have you allowed yourself any wiggle-room for any unexpected changes?

Include the added value in your budget costs:

A kitchen upgrade will always add value to your home, so include the cost investment in the budget as well. Consider increasing the budget if you’ll recoup the cost in value for your home. Whether you plan on selling or just want to increase the value of your property, kitchens are an important area to invest in.

5. Do the research

It’s important to research design ideas you like and want to include, and gather information about the type of services you will need from your design team.


Get recommendations: 

Do you like the way your friend’s kitchen or bath turned out? Ask them who did it!

Look for reviews: 

Look into sites like Houzz for customer reviews.

Verify the work:

Check out your contractor’s previous work – if they don’t have photos of their own work, that’s probably a warning sign!

In-house contractors: 

Find design companies with in-house contractors, ample pictures and reviews, offer custom designs and set pricing. It will save time and money and leave you with the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.


Review of the 2015 Documentary Starring, Amy Winehouse,
Directed by, Asif Kapadia

When someone burns as bright as Amy, sometimes their flame is too intense to sustain itself. Inevitably they’re snuffed out, always blazing brightest just before they’re singed down to the quick, leaving nothing but an empty pang of ash and smoke in their wake. That was how it was with Amy. She tried to  keep that wick alight, to stop from stuttering and fading. But in the end, there wasn’t enough left to keep her going. Isolated and alone, having alienated most of her friends and broken just as many bridges, she remained only a commodity. A musical novelty to her recording label. Their last-ditch attempt to exploit her notoriety, before cashing out, rather than getting her the help she so desperately needed. A stark illustration of what happens when money and fame matter more than people, or art or music, or sometime even our humanity.

There were no advocates in her corner those final days, no one left standing by the feisty singer, now sad and diminished; like a frightened little bird already fallen from the tree. With broken wings still flailing, she struggled valiantly to get up. Then failed once more, while everyone stood staring,  gawking like vultures, at her futile efforts.  All silent, except for ridicule, til finally they stopped, all their frantic fluttering. Wings now clipped, fell soft and limp as she quietly slipped out, and faded  away.


One could argue she was too broken before fame to have ever survived it, and maybe that’s true; even if she’d received the help she needed when it mattered most. Certainly, the seeds of damage had been planted long ago. From her distant mother and absent father who left her feeling abandoned and alone, to the inability of Amy’s mom, and others, to set appropriate  boundaries, even when she asked for them herself.

Her bulimia, announced as a great new diet discovery, that goes unnoticed. Dismissed by both parents as anything serious until long after the damage had taken its toll. Her years of bulimia probably what hurt her most in the end. And then the alcohol and drug use, her refusal to go to rehab. Her father, the one person who might have convinced her to go- encouraging her to skip it, letting her down so profoundly, yet again. This experience, of course, the subject of her first big hit and cataclysmic launch to fame, is even more ironic.

And then came Blake, her toxic obsession. Their romance,  both volatile and codependent, fueled their drug abuse and excessive drinking. Two lost people spiraling out of control, an obvious ticking time bomb. One that Blake escaped and Amy didn’t.

Such a sad story, and much too quick an end to a voice missed but always remembered. Sweet dreams, dear Amy. Hope you’re singing with the angels now.


treasure-395994_1920“Ah, how can worldly things take the place of honor lost? Can they compensate for my fallen state, purchased as they were at such an awful cost?”

~ Quote from Leonard Bernstein’s musical adaptation of the Voltaire play, Candide.



The first connection that came to mind when I read today’s prompt was Cunegonde’s aria Glitter and Be Gay from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. The more I thought about the aria and story, the more I realized how fittingly it illustrated my state of mind as I reflect on this beautiful, yet magnificently flawed country of ours, and the Grand Experiment that attempted something better than what was.

For those of you unfamiliar with the convoluted plot originally created by Age of Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire in his 30-chapter play, Candide is the story of how we travail through life’s trials and what we do to adapt, and the traps we so easily succumb to that can forever compromise who we are. Most of us don’t start out as corrupt and conniving and some of us end up. It’s usually a slow progression into ruin. The character Cunegonde who sings Glitter and Be Gay, and also the love interest of title character Candide, is a great illustration of that progression. We see through Cunegonda’s eyes how easily seduced we are by life’s pleasures when we’re desperate and in need. The choices we make in those moments may not feel choices at all, but once we’ve slipped down those slippery slopes of compromise, it’s hard to slide our way back up.

~After escaping a war which suddenly broke out on her wedding day, Cunegonda and her mother, The Old Lady, flee to Paris. Finding her way through life without money or a  husband, Cunegonda is forced to become a kept woman. She finds a benefactor in an old, wealthy Jewish man with whom she begins an affair – but only on alternating, mutually agreed upon days. This stipulation somehow seems to lessen the blow.

Bedecked amidst all her newly acquired finery, Cunegonda reflects in sorrow on her fallen state. Though, the comfort she finds in these new distractions is a little too enthusiastic to truly believe her sorrow real. Surrounded by all her pretty jewels and clothes, Cunegonde distracts herself from the reality of how this refinement was obtained with the aria,

Glitter & Be Gay:

“Glitter and be gay, that’s the part I play; here I am in Paris, France. Forced to bend my soul to a sordid role, victimized by bitter, bitter circumstance. 

Alas for me! Had I remained beside my lady mother my virtue had remained unstained until my maiden hand was gained by some Grand Duke… or other.

Ah, ’twas not to be; Harsh necessity brought me to this gilded cage. Born to higher things, here I droop my wings,  Ah! Singing of a sorrow nothing can assuage.

 And yet of course I rather like to revel, Ha ha! I have no strong objection to champagne, Ha ha! My wardrobe is expensive as the devil, Ha ha! Perhaps it is ignoble to complain…

Enough, enough of being basely tearful! I’ll show my noble stuff by being bright and cheerful, Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!

Pearls and ruby rings…Ah, how can worldly things take the place of honor lost? Can they compensate for my fallen state purchased as they were at such an awful cost? Bracelets…lavalieres, can they dry my tears? Can they blind my eyes to shame? Can the brightest brooch Shield me from reproach? Can the purest diamond purify my name?”

And yet of course these trinkets are endearing, Ha ha! I’m oh, so glad my sapphire is a star, Ha ha! I rather like a twenty-carat earring, Ha ha! If I’m not pure, at least my jewels are!

Enough! Enough! I’ll take their diamond necklace and show my noble stuff by being gay and reckless! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!

Observe how bravely I conceal the dreadful, dreadful shame I feel. 

Ha ha ha ha!” (repeat, ad nauseum).

~ Not to be outdone, The Old Lady also entertains us with the ways in which she’s adapted to all life has thrown at her.  My favorite memory of this song is my own mother singing it when she played the role. I always hear her voice no matter what recording I listen to. It’s a role requiring a certain kind of irony that can’t be laid too thick or it falls into a campiness out of character with the serious, yet farcical undertones this story carries. To capture the right kind of humor you must walk a very thin line, one my mother was particularly adept at. ~The Old Lady’s Tango,

I Am So Easily Assimilated:

“I was not born in sunny Hispania; my father came from Rovno Gubernya. But now I’m here, I’m dancing a tango; Di dee di! Dee di dee di! I am easily assimilated…

 I never learned a human language. My father spoke a High Middle Polish. In one half-hour, I’m talking in Spanish: Por favor! Toreador! I am easily assimilated.

It’s easy, it’s ever so easy! I’m Spanish, I’m suddenly Spanish! And you must be Spanish, too. Do like the natives do. These days you must be in the majority.

Tus labios rubi dos rosas que se abren a mi, conquistan mi corazon, Y solo con una cancion. Mis labios rubi dreiviertel Takt, mon tres cher ami, oui ou, si si ja ja ja, yes yes, da da.

Je ne sais quoi! Je muero, me sale una hernia! A long way from Rovno Gubernya! Mis/Tus labios rubi dos rosas que se abren a mi, conquistan mi corazon, Y solo con Una divina cancion. De tus labios rubi! Rubi! Rubi! Hey!”


Candide is also a retelling of the Adam and Eve story, of falling out of blissful, idealistic naivete into the harsh realities of life and how to cope with what we see once we’ve fallen. It’s a story about the disillusionment we feel when our innocence has been spent, and we see the world, and all its false charms and pretense with unveiled eyes and look behind the curtain for the first time.

~ Upon discovering the two women who’ve just tried to swindle him out of his money are actually The Old Lady and his lost love Cunegonda, Candide retreats into silence for three long days. After spending a lifetime idealizing his love, believing her beyond reproach, Candide now realizes to his utter disappointment, that Cunegonde was just as human as he was all along. ~ Candide’s lament in his aria, Nothing More Than This:

“Is it this, the meaning of my life? The sacred trust I treasure, nothing more than this? All my hope and pleasure, no more than this? The love I dreamed and cried for, no more than this?

All that I killed and died for, no more than this? That smile, that face, that halo around it, that youth, that charm, that grace, behold I have found it. Is it this, the meaning of my life, nothing more than this, no more than this?

What did you dream, angel face with flaxen hair, soul as dead as face was fair? Did you ever care? Yes, you cared for what these purses hold, you cared for gold.

Take it for my kiss, my bitter kiss, is it this, the meaning of my life, the sacred trust I treasure, nothing more than this?”  

In the end, Candide is also a story of resigned hope. We’re reminded how to find beauty in all our varied flaws once we accept who and what we are, how much more resilient our love for one another is when we look unflinching into the light where all our dark secrets are laid bare. We see life for what it is and isn’t, and how heartbreakingly beautiful all of it is in the end.

(…at least, that’s what I got out of Candide. Others may have a different interpretation…)

~ After wallowing in disillusionment long enough, Candide accepts his plot and decides to forgive Cunegonde and start over. He settles into a little house outside of Venice where he asks Cunagonda to be his wife once more. The play ends with the two lovers reunited in marriage as they shed the chaos of their former lives and make plans for a fresh start.

This time, with the idea of building a  life deep with roots they plant and grow together. A simpler life, cultivated in the quiet, peaceful countryside where they’ll build their home.  ~ The finale of Candide, Make Our Garden Grow:

Candide:  “You’ve been a fool and so have I, but come and be my wife.  And let us try, before we die, to make some sense of life…We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good, we’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house and chop our wood and make our garden grow…”

Cunegonde: “I thought the world was sugar cake for so our master said. But, now I’ll teach my hands to bake our loaf of daily bread. Let dreamers dream what worlds they please, those Eden’s can’t be found. The sweetest flowers, the fairest trees are grown in solid ground.

Both: We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good, we’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house and chop our wood and make our garden grow…”

Yes, let’s all plant seeds and help them grow. Seeds that can create the world we know this could be but have just forgotten to tend for far too long…let’s hope it’s not too late to begin again.