How to Fix Hair Disasters

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A stylish new hairdo can do wonders for one's self-esteem. Conversely, a poorly shorn or styled head can make even confident, self-assured people feel sheepish. While it might take Sigmund Freud to explain the reasons for this, these remedies may restore your lovely locks--and perhaps your self-esteem.

If you got a bad haircut, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Return to the salon or barbershop and demand a new haircut by a different stylist or barber free of charge. Or go to a reputable salon, explain your dilemma and request a remedial haircut. Or consider using a wig, hair extensions or hair additions while you wait for the haircut to grow out.

Bad dye job. If hair is under-colored because you panicked and rinsed too early, reapply dye and leave on for time required minus time you already had it on. If you chose the wrong color or over-colored your hair, consider using a color-removal product, available at salons and beauty supply stores. Understand that hair-coloring professionals recommend visiting a reputable salon that specializes in hair coloring to correct bad dye jobs.

In the case of a botched perm, follow this advice. If your home perm did not take, wait three days before you visit a salon to have a professional stylist perm your hair. If the perm is overdone, apply a deep conditioner to hair from scalp to the ends. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse and set hair in large curlers. If that doesn't fix it, have a professional stylist relax your over-permed hair.

Chlorine-green hair is not something you want to experience, to get rid of it, use a hair product designed to remove green from hair, available at salons, beauty supply stores and drugstores. For swimming, apply leave-in conditioner to hair and wear a swim cap to prevent further greening. Shampoo and rinse hair immediately after swimming. Monitor and reduce copper levels in pool water, which cause greening. If hair is dyed or permed and turns green, visit a reputable salon to have it corrected.

Wet down hair with warm water, add styling mousse or gel, then restyle.

If restyling is not an option, cover hair with a hat or scarf.

Opt for the slicked-back look if a hat or scarf is unsuitable. Wet hair, add gel or mousse, pull hair into a ponytail. Allow to air-dry.

To get rid of dandruff, wash your hair with an over-the-counter shampoo designed to fight dandruff. Switch brands if the shampoo becomes ineffective after several weeks of use. Consult a dermatologist in extreme cases.

If you get head lice, cover your work area with towels to prevent contamination of upholstery or carpets. Working under bright light, partition hair into sections and comb through hair with a fine-tooth comb (ideally a lice comb, available at drugstores). Remove lice (reddish-brown) and nits (white or clear) as you comb. Use mayonnaise to smother lice and nits while you comb. Repeat combings for two weeks. Boil the comb after you use it to sanitize it for future use. Wash towels, sheets, pillowcases, hats and other contaminated clothing in the washer with hot water. Use a hot setting to dry the items in the dryer. Vacuum contaminated fabric, upholstery or carpeting. Use an anti-lice shampoo if you prefer, but remember that these products contain pesticides. Consult your doctor before using anti-lice products if you are pregnant, allergic or have pre-existing medical conditions. Avoid treatments containing lindane, which has caused neurological damage in children.

Should you get gum in your hair, rub peanut butter into hair and around gum and slowly work gum out of hair. Oil counters gum's stickiness. Shampoo thoroughly afterward. Mayonnaise and butter also work, but not as well as peanut butter.

Understand that there is little one can do to prevent hair loss if it's hereditary.

Use hair products for sensitive hair to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

Visit a dermatologist to learn about cosmetic options, including toupees, weaves and transplants.

Remember that stress, lack of protein, medication, hormones, pregnancy, disease and poor hair hygiene contribute to hair loss.

Be wary of products claiming to stop hair loss; results vary widely.

Sudden, smooth, round bald spots on scalp or beard are called alopecia areata. Wait for them to disappear (usually 6 to 12 months) or visit a dermatologist for treatment.

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