Maybe you’re lucky. Maybe you don’t have a tummy that protrudes a bit more with each passing year, no matter how often you go to the gym and how faithful you are to the south beach diet. If you’re not one of the lucky ones though, you might consider abdominoplasty, otherwise known as a tummy tuck.

It’s a surgical procedure which means there are the risks associated with it. But the wisest thing to do is to look at your situation carefully and see if the benefits outweigh the risks. Because of new developments in the procedure, the benefits are considerable.

What exactly is a tummy tuck? Abdominoplasty is the reduction of excess skin and fat from the abdomen and the tightening of muscles of the abdominal wall. Depending on the needs of the patient and the methods of the surgeon, a tummy tuck can vary in scope and process. Some doctors combine abdominoplasty with liposuction, for example, while others do not.

Why have a tummy tuck? It reduces the normal sagging that is part of the aging process. For women, childbearing can accelerate this sagging. Pregnancy stretches the abdominal skin which loses its original elasticity. A tummy tuck can get your tummy closer to a youthful, flat state. For many, this provides not only a physical lift, but a mental lift as well. The results can be dramatic.

This procedure is especially appropriate for middle-aged women and men who are in good health and who have tried diet and exercise but have not been able to reduce the fat deposits and loose skin around the abdomen. If you’re in the process of losing weight, it’s better to wait until you’ve reached your goal before you have the procedure. Look at the tummy tuck as that extra bonus you give yourself for reaching your weight loss goals.

And if you are indeed considering the procedure, read as much as you can about it before you make the decision to go ahead. Are you willing to risk side effects and even death (extremely rare) to look better? Many of us are. But if you are not, then forego the decision or wait until you can better assess the situation. If you feel that looking good is vital for you, then you need to consider the selection of the surgeon. This selection of a competent surgeon is critical to your successful outcome. Interview several candidates and ask for references. You need a surgeon who is not only highly skilled and experienced, but who makes you feel comfortable, answers your questions–someone you have confidence in. And there’s no substitute for talking with other people who’ve had the procedure.

Financially, you’re probably going to have to foot the bill yourself. For most people, tummy tuck is an elective procedure not covered by health insurance policies. It’s always wise to check with your insurance companies because your doctor and insurance company may deem the procedure necessary for special reasons. If, for example, your overall weight threatened your health and you had stomach reduction surgery, then tummy tuck is necessary because now your body needs some toning and tucking due the results of the reduction surgery. Checking out with your insurance company is worth a try.

One final word of advice: make sure that you have tried the diet and exercise routines and that these routines are a regular part of your lifestyle. A tummy tuck should not be a short term solution; it is part of a long term solution that you already have in place for yourself. My friend looks wonderful; she has continued her exercise regimen; she eats well; is active and vibrant in the community; she continues to be part of weight watchers and has become a prominent example of healthy living for all of us.

Do a practice run

Try out the hairstyle in advance, before your wedding day. Schedule the “practice run” with your stylist. If the hairstyle that you envisioned does not look as good on you as you had hoped, you’ll be glad you found that out before the big day!

Take pictures

At the “practice run”, bring a Polaroid or digital camera to take instant pictures. Ask the stylist to take pictures from the back and other angles. The pictures will give you a better idea how the style would look to others (as opposed to just looking in the mirror).

Matching with your dress

Your hair style should go well with your wedding dress and headpiece. Classic dresses go best with classic hairstyles. Non-traditional dresses might look odd with the formal updos. Buy the dress before you select a hairstyle. Bring your headpiece and the picture of your dress to the stylist, so the stylist can evaluate whether it’s a good match.

Watch out for chemicals

Don’t have any coloring or chemical treatments done right before the wedding – these can go wrong, and there won’t be time to fix them! Do them several weeks in advance.

Stay consistent

Don’t make drastic changes. Your wedding day is not the time to color your hair in a completely different color or cut off long locks. After all, you would still want people to recognize you at your own wedding!

Beware of the height effect

Be aware that updos will make you look taller. Depending on your situation, it might work for you or against you. If you are already taller than the groom or are the same height, don’t do an updo. If you are short, use the updo to your advantage.

  • First, find a conditioner that works for your hair type. Search online for keywords “hair types” and narrow your hair type down to one or two close categories. You may be a combo 3c and 4a. This will help you better understand which type of conditioner to purchase among the many available.
  • Get to know your ingredients. The long, hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the label can be overwhelming. But with familiarity, you can learn to spot which ingredients you want to keep and which you want to avoid. Ingredients like propylene glycol, cetyl alcohol and panthenol are common. Search online for ingredients lists. One such list can be found at http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/ingredients.html.
  • Recommended: Purchase an extended shower head/hose. Handheld shower heads with variable sprays offer the best control for rinsing the hair and are often well worth the investment.
  • Rinse the hair with warm water. Avoid water that is too hot (if it initially stings your back, it’s too hot). Cleansing results from the action of water plus cleanser (shampoo and/or conditioner) and agitation (hand movements through the hair). Warm water will clean hair well while hot water can be damaging. While rinsing with water, gently comb your hair with your fingers.
  • Apply your conditioner. This can be done in several ways.
  1. (Pour a line of conditioner into your hand (as opposed to pouring a dollop) and apply each line onto parted hair sections. Work the conditioner from the roots to the tips. Continue until all the hair is covered.
  2. Squeeze your normal amount of conditioner into a large bowl, preferably plastic. With the shower head, add water to the bowl and mix the water and conditioner well with your hands. Bend your head over the bowl. With a cup or other small container, scoop up some of the mix and pour it onto your hair. You can then lean further over into the bowl and wash your hair with your hands directly over the bowl if you’d like. This allows for even coverage, but note that the conditioner will be more dilute.
  3. Squeeze your normal amount of conditioner into a large clean spray bottle and mix with water. Shake well and spray liberally onto the hair. Again, this mixture will be more dilute than a direct application. This method is great for those who only have minutes to spare in the mornings. Make a large batch of diluted conditioner, spray your hair and rinse out after bathing.
  • Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb with rounded-edge teeth. This step is optional, as there remains a debate as to whether combing while wet does more damage to hair than combing while dry. It has been said that combing while wet can stretch the hair past it’s longest point, thereby causing breakage. However, many who wear their hair natural report that combing while the hair is fully conditioned is the best time for them, as the hair is soft and pliable, leading to less breakage. In either case, comb hair gently by grabbing one small section at a time. Comb from the TIPS first, ensuring there are no snags then work your way to the roots. It’s OK if you cannot comb from root to tip in one stroke. The main idea is to ease tangles and distribute the conditioner evenly.
  • Allow the conditioner to set on your hair for at least a few minutes if possible. Both steam from the shower and the conditioner itself will work on your hair during this time. Give yourself a nice salt or sugar scrub while your hair is being conditioned.
  • Rinse your hair well, again with warm water. Ease your fingers through each section while the water flows through to remove any remaining conditioner.
  • Optional: Apply your hair products at this step — while your hair is dripping wet. Many naturals swear by this technique and believe the best absorption is gained at this time. At the least, your product(s) can be more evenly distributed throughout your hair while it is sopping wet.
  • It’s time to dry. Just as with the application, there are several ways to dry your hair.
  1. Dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing your scalp and hair with a towel at all costs! Instead, simply dab and pat your hair dry, or grab sections and squeeze excess water into the towel.
  2. Shake and go. Lay your towel across the back of your shoulders (lengthwise shoulder to shoulder). Grab the bottom corners of the towel and raise it up to your head, almost over your head. Think of Batman’s cape raised up as he jumps off a tall building! With the towel raised, shake your head from side to side (ear to shoulder) and left to right (like saying no), shaking excess water into the towel. This is what I call the “no touch” method. Sometimes drying the hair directly with a towel can remove products you’ve just applied, even helping to separate your freshly-formed coils and spirals. You want your coils to group together to avoid the frizzies. This method is perfect for the warmer months when you possibly can afford to go longer periods with damp hair.
  3. Blow dry, but with care. When blow drying, the use of a diffuser is best. A diffuser will spread the heat from your dryer more evenly and minimize potential heat damage. You can find diffusers at most beauty supply stores at a minimal cost. If you do not have a diffuser, use the low heat or cool setting and blow dry from at least six inches from the furthest part of your hair. Remember, you are not trying to get the hair bone dry — just dry enough to style and go out.

Now, not everyone has the time and the patience to go to the spa to get a body wrap done. This is when you should give yourself a partial or full body wrap in the privacy in your home with the help of home body wraps. Not only do you save time in this way, you also save money as the kit basically costs about 1/3 of what a salon may charge for the same wrap!

When applying a body wrap at home, it is necessary to choose a place in your house where you will not be disturbed for an hour. You need some space where you can lie down comfortably. To do this, you can put a camping mattress on the floor, or a plastic sheet to avoid any. Once this is ready, keep some towels handy to wipe yourself after the body wrap and a blanket to wrap yourself warm, if needed.

The next step lies in mixing the body wrap and smearing in onto the body, as you would a suntan lotion. Then the blankets have to be wrapped around your body. Sit in this wrap for half an hour to one hour, and then when you wash yourself, you are sure to be happy looking at your body that has become more slimmer and compact. However, there are some tips to be kept in mind when applying a body wrap.

It is always better to have a warm shower before applying the wrap as this opens the pores of the body and facilitates better absorption of the body wrap. The thermal blanket can be used to keep yourself warm if you feel cold with the body wrap on. It is always better to drink lots of water both before and after the body wrap helps in flushing the toxins out. It is also advisable to stay away from caffeine, soda drinks, sugar, fried fatty foods and alcohol for 48 hours after the body wrap, to experience a better effect from the body wrap.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional body wrap advice.

In olden times people use to color their hair by using plants extracts and many people still do. These are natural agents which are very good for your hair without any side effects. The other things which changes color of your hair are vinegar. The shampoos which have come in the market are very harmful as they are chemical based making your hair brittle and hard. Many have allergies from some of these shampoos. So something herbal would be very helpful.

Many brands are available in the market which is used for temporary coloring of your hair. Many of your gray hair are removed by doing the temporary hair coloring. There are different ranges of color and according to your body and hair the color would be used. There are ways of doing it at home as you get color packs which can be self-used. But sometimes such kind of work should be done by professionals who can give more justice to your hair.

You can also get streaking done to your hair which means your entire hair won’t be colored but parts of it. There are things which are like markers and can be directly applied to your hair. These are one wash coloring markers which is very popular as it quick and easy to use.

Just like when you are feeling tired you reach your kitchen’s cabinet to grab some of your favorite tea brand and relax, the same should your reaction be in case you wake up in the morning and witness the symptom of puffy eyes in your bathroom’s mirror. Chances are that if your body is tired your eyes will show it. Swollen, red or puffy eyes are indicators of fatigue and it is important to be aware of the fact that the black tea bags you place into your favorite mug can also offer your eyes immediate relief.

The restorative effect of black tea is so apparent that it will surprise you how quickly this simple process can reduce your problem and its occurrence. From the night before, you should boil water and put two tea bags in it like you would if you were going to make tea. After brewing for 5 minutes, take the tea bags out and ring out the liquid. Next, place both tea bags into your kitchen’s freezer. You need to have them cool, but not frozen. Keep them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and then take them out, lay down, relax and put the tea bags over the puffy ears over your eyes. Leave them there for approximately another 10-15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Afterwards, remove the tea bags and dispose of them. Then rinse your face with cool water to remove any tea stains. Make sure you rinse off any residue carefully with a cold damp tissue or face cloth.

In addition, warm tea bags might be more relaxing on a cold winter day, and it has been found to reduce under eye puffiness just as well as the cold tea bags. If you do drink tea often you can begin saving the two wet tea bags from your tea pot while they are still warm -careful, not hot! Then you should again select a comfortable spot in your home, be it the bed, the couch or the floor. Place a towel where your head will be resting to prevent leaking and staining. Lie down, place one black tea bag over each eye after closing your eyes first and relax for just five minutes. Deep breathing will increase your oxygen intake while you rest and promote increased energy levels.

Diet

Yes, it is an old cliché, but you are what you eat. Your skin, eyes, weight, looks and even your emotional state are influenced by what you eat. Eat rubbish, and you’ll feel like rubbish, and that is what you’ll project to the people around you. This sounds hard, and many of you will not believe this to be true, but the fact is that if your diet does not consist of a well rounded, nutritionally balanced intake of good quality food, sooner or later your body will reflect this.

Diets come in all shapes and sizes. Everyday we read or hear about another miracle diet that will loose us those extra kilos, make us look a million dollars and so on… Unfortunately, most of these diets do not work, at least not for the majority of people who try them. This is not always the fault of the diet, but often this is due to the fact that the celebrity who is promoting this diet has a completely different lifestyle to the one we have. They can afford to spend hours in the gym, have personal trainers and have the cash to buy the high quality foods, vitamins, herbs, etc.

Another aspect is time pressure. Often it is a lack of time that prevents us from doing what we know we should be doing, but simply do not have the time to do. Or do we?

According to the AC Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day! Now that is a lot of time that could be invested into more productive activities.

So let’s look at what you should be eating.

The first thing is, do not go on a diet. Yes, that’s right, do not go on a diet. Rather look at what you are eating and make better choices. First, stop purchasing highly processed foods like TV dinners and the like, stop buying junk food during the day to have a quick lunch or even to substitute a sound breakfast. It does not take any longer to cut up a banana and add it to some natural yogurt together with some oats, nuts and grains, than it does to get into the queue at your local fast food outlet. The quality of food however is as different as day and night. The natural breakfast will provide you with much higher nutritional value than anything you can get from a fast food outlet.

Secondly, when doing your shopping, focus on buying fresh fruits and vegetables, organic if you like, but that’s not necessary. Focus on making meals rather than buying them already made. Ready made meals have preservatives and other additives you do not need and that may not be good for you. Stick to making the meals yourself. Take some of the TV time and invest it in your health.

Thirdly, it is better for your body to eat small meals frequently rather than one large meal at night, as so many of us do. Remember that you do not need a lot of energy to sleep, but you do need energy to tackle your day-to-day activities. It is therefore best to eat the largest meal of the day in the morning and decreasingly large portions subsequently during the day. Use fresh fruits and nuts to provide you with healthy, quick little snakes that will sustain you during the day. Come dinner-time, make meals that are light and easy to digest. There are hundreds of books out there that will provide you with recipes that are easy to make, healthy and of high nutritional value.

Finally, keep this in mind when preparing meals. Use small quantities of many foods. For example, try to exceed 15 different fruits and vegetables every day. This does not mean you need to eat 15 pieces of fruit/vegetables, but rather small portions of more than 15 wholesome foods. In a muesli for instance, use rolled oats, dried or fresh banana, apple, pears, berries, add different nuts such as almonds, pecans, hazel nuts, walnuts, add a handful of pine seeds, raw oats, raisins and sultanas. Then, when making your salad use lots of different vegetables, don’t be afraid to experiment. You see how easy it is to achieve variety of over 15 different foods in anyone day. In addition, don’t forget to have fish 2 or 3 times a week.

Yes, it’s a change in the way you are used to doing things, but these sorts of changes are exactly what is needed if you want to achieve that ‘body beautiful’. Are you prepared to pay the price? If not, don’t bother reading on. If yes, then there are some additional steps you can take to bring you closer to where you want to be.

Exercise

Err, I hear you say. Not that again. I don’t have time to go to the gym… I hate going to the gym… Well, so do I, but exercise is the one thing that will keep your body fit and help you to achieve the physical well being. Don’t go to the gym unless you feel comfortable in that environment and you like being there. There are equally good ways you can get exercise all the way through your day, without necessarily taking time out to go and do exercise.

How? Easy. Park your car a block or two away from the office, shops, or where ever you’re going and walk the extra distance. You’ll probably find it easier to find a parking spot and that is reducing your stress levels already.

At the office, walk over to a colleague instead of sending them an email or texting them. Take the stairs to walk up to your office. When it comes time for lunch, take it, go outside and take a little walk.

At home, maybe you could go for a walk after dinner instead of watching the box or sitting in front of the computer. Not 3 hours, 30-40 minutes is all you need to help strengthen your cardio-vascular system. Your skin will look healthier, your body will feel healthier and guess what, you’ll actually start to look healthier too. This is all you need to do to get started. If you want to get fitter and maybe increase your muscle tone, you might want to re-think the gym idea, or some other form of exercise you enjoy. This is the key YOU MUST ENJOY THE EXERCISE other wise you will not continue to do it for very long and any little reason not to do it will be good enough.

It may take you a bit of experimenting to find out what form of exercise you do like. Maybe it’s riding a bike, swimming, yoga, tai chi, bush walking or mountain climbing. Or maybe it is playing a sport such as tennis, squash, football or what ever. They key is to find something you like doing, that way it is no longer exercise it’s become a hobby.

At this point there is another sub-key, if you like and this is the adequate intake of water. Our bodies require 2 litres of water each and every day to function normally. If the body does not get 2 litres of water, it will start to become de-hydrated. Dehydration is very subtle at times and may be not obvious to you, but you will start to get dry skin, possibly become constipated and the body will not like you for neglecting its needs. Sooner or later it will let you know one way or the other. So, don’t tempt it, give it what it wants and make sure you consume at least 2 litres of water daily, more if you do physical work or exercise vigorously. Remember that water helps to flush out toxins from your body, which are better off out than in and you will feel better for it.

Skin care

Yes, skin care is important. Your skin is the defence between your external environment and the inside of your body. It performs a vital function in protecting you from harmful substances and microbes and it help in the elimination of toxins as well as in temperature regulation.

A daily skin care regime is vital for a healthy, vibrant appearance and should be followed by men and women alike. I’ve covered this topic in detail in an other article, which is entitled ‘Daily Skin Care Regime – Why is a Daily Skin Care Regime Important?’ however, let me reiterate the most important steps. The key steps in a daily skin care regime are: Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising. On a weekly basis you also need to include exfoliation and possibly using a deep cleansing clay mask to rid your skin of excessive dead skin cells and remove the deep seated dirt lodged in the pores of your skin.

A smile makeover is the process of giving you a new smile through the use of porcelain veneers, dental bonding, dental implants, dental crowns, tooth whitening, or dental bridges. Cosmetic dentists like Dr. Kodish in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can employ any number of these techniques to give you the dazzling Hollywood smile that you have always wanted.

“I perform smile makeovers to not only provide my patients with a great smile, but to improve their self-confidence as well,” says Dr. Kodish. Since your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, having a bright new smile can boost your self-confidence.

When having a smile makeover, the cosmetic dentist will not only evaluate your teeth so that any restorations that are performed will work well and look good. Cosmetic dentists like Dr. Kodish evaluate the shape, size, and color of each of the teeth in your mouth. By doing this, the cosmetic dentist can determine exactly what restoration or combination of restorations will provide you with the results that you want.

Once the cosmetic dentist has determined what restorations they feel will accomplish you goals, they should discuss with you about the extent of the work you want done. By informing you of everything that will be done to your smile, you can make better decisions about what procedures you want to have done.

Also, your cosmetic dentist should provide you with financing options, so that when you do decide to have a smile makeover, money is not the biggest determining factor. “At my cosmetic dentistry office, I provide patients will affordable financing options so that money does not stand in the way of the smile they have always wanted,” says Dr. Kodish.

The first step to having a smile makeover performed is scheduling an initial consultation with a cosmetic dentist near you. At you initial consultation, you can discuss with the cosmetic dentist about the goals you want to achieve through a smile makeover, and they can tell you what procedures could be performed to give you those results.

Several women experience hair loss after pregnancy. Hair loss also occurs as a symptom of certain diseases such as diabetes or anemia; in such cases, the hair loss can be corrected or stopped by treating these diseases.

A clinic in America claims that excessive sebum is the single biggest cause of 99 per cent of all hair loss in men and women. Sebum tends to clog the pores of the scalp and hinders follicle growth. In time, the hair root is asphyxiated and it is impossible for new hair to grow.

Hair loss shampoos help in rectifying the problem of hair loss by providing proper nourishment and vital proteins and nutrients that food supplements may not provide. Check the label on the shampoo bottle to see what it contains. Proteins, keratin and amino acids all bond with the hair shaft to fill-in the cracks caused by poor treatment of the hair. They strengthen and protect the hair. Vitamin B5 or Panthenol has the ability to penetrate hair and is highly recommended for strength and healthy growth.

The type of shampoo that you use is purely one of personal choice. Cosmetic companies that produce shampoos spend millions of dollars on research and you can be sure that just about any shampoo will provide effective cleansing for your hair. However, you should try and identify the shampoo that suits your specific hair type. Each individual’s hair is unique and what might work for others might not work for you.

Spider veins, so called because the “arms” of these tiny dilated blood vessels appear to project outward from a central denser area like the legs of a spider from its torso, are also called sunburst varicosities, for a similar reason, or telangiectasias (“broken” blood vessels). In fact, they are simply diminutive, thick venules (literally: little veins) that lie close to the surface of the skin. And because they principally carry deoxygenated blood (blood that is not saturated with oxygen needed by the tissues) they actually serve no useful function. Even nutrition-wise, it is the function of the the blood vessels hidden below the surface, within the dermis, that carry nutrients to the skin. In short, spider veins are just a plain, disfiguring nuisance.

The precise cause of these unwanted vessels is still the subject of investigation. However, we believe that they develop as a result of a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. There is often a strong family history for their formation. You might find, for example, a mother, daughter and sister suffering the same problem. Elevated estrogen levels appear also to aggravate the problem. You might find that the condition worsens, for example, during pregnancy or while on birth control pills. It is also more common in people whose jobs require them to be on their feet a great deal, in overweight individuals, and in those who have sustained some kind of injury to the area, including blunt trauma, cuts, lacerations, or even surgical procedures.

Whatever they are called and however they come about, countless numbers of women and men want them gone. Despite the advent of lasers, sclerotherapy is still considered the gold standard treatment and the commonest method for getting rid of them. Sclero, literally means “scar,” and sclerotherapy works by irritating the lining of the unwanted blood vessels to such an extent that they collapse upon themselves and eventually scar over and disappear from view entirely. For this purpose, your doctor can choose from a number of different sclerosing agents, including super concentrated salt solution (hypertonic saline).

Very tiny, dense “mats” or conglomerations of red blood vessels, known as telangiectatic matting is difficult to treat with sclerotherapy and may respond better to laser therapy. On the other extreme, larger varicose blood vessels are best treated by such procedures as venous stripping and ligation, ambulatory phlebectomy and the newer radiofrequency surgical technique.

One of the major advantages of sclerotherapy is that it is fast and simple. A typical treatment session may take only about fifteen to thirty minutes depending upon the size of the area to be treated. A very tiny needle, smaller than most sewing needles, is inserted into the venule and the sclerosing material is then injected until it and the vessels in the region immediately surrounding it fade from view as the solution courses through. Each subsequent site is injected in a similar fashion until the entire area to be treated is completed. No anesthetic is typically required, although occasionally a topical anesthetic cream, such as EMLA or ELA-MAX may be applied. Some pricking, stinging or burning may accompany the injection. Doctors frequently cover the sites with compression bandages consisting of cotton balls that are taped in place and left for three days. Others also recommend that support hosiery be worn for several days or weeks afterward. A soothing anesthetic, moisturizing cream, such as Lida Mantle cream, may also be prescribed.

While some patients obtain satisfactory overall improvement after one treatment session, it is more common to require two or more treatments, spaced at four to six week intervals, to the same area in order to obtain a satisfactory cosmetic result. Each session can be expected to yield a 50 percent improvement in appearance, but of course the results are highly individual. And, unfortunately, eliminating existing blood vessels does nothing to prevent new ones from developing at a later date requiring additional treatment sessions. Individuals with diabetes, heart disease or circulatory problems are not considered good candidates for the procedure.

Some mild leg cramping, bruising or redness may occur following treatment, but patients typically return to work or social activities right away (ie. no “down time”). Clots that may need to be drained and temporary coffee-colored skin staining also sometimes occurs. Rare, but more severe reactions include the formation of clots, local or systemic allergic reactions, to the sclerosing solution, skin ulcerations and scarring. Thankfully, the latter complications are uncommon.