How To Get Luxurious Hair



FROM THE INSIDE:

Do you have dry, brittle hair? Chances are, your diet is low in biotin, which leads to brittle hair as well as brittle nails. I have taken biotin supplements for the past twenty years, and strongly recommend this supplement for optimal hair health. Take 5,000 mcg daily. If you prefer to obtain biotin naturally from food, then incorporate eggs and nuts into your meal regimen each day.

If your hair complaint centers more around thin, dull, lifeless hair, or slow growing hair, I strongly advise increasing your protein consumption. As long as you don’t suffer from kidney disease, you should be able to safely boost your protein intake daily.

On a personal note, I had a dramatic experience with increased protein consumption and hair growth rates when I began competing in bodybuilding back in 2009. My hair has always grown rapidly, about 1/2 inch per month (average for most people is 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month). Then when I began competing, I more than doubled my protein intake, consuming 120 to 160 grams of protein daily. By coincidence, I had shaved the nape of my neck to thin out my very thick mane of hair at the same time. In eleven months, the shaved portion grew TEN INCHES. Talk about a boost in hair growth!

FROM THE OUTSIDE:

Stop washing your hair daily. When you wash your hair frequently, you strip your scalp of the natural oils which nourish and soften your hair. Trust me, your hair doesn’t get that dirty from sweat, dirt and pollutants in one day. I also strongly recommend the use of conditioner every time you shampoo. A good conditioner will nourish the hair and seal the cuticle to prevent damage from heat styling tools. Apply conditioner to your ends first, then work it up until you are almost at the scalp.

Rinse your hair with cold water after shampooing and conditioning it. Cold water smoothes the outer cuticle, sealing in moisture.

Are you desperately trying to grow your hair out, and just can’t seem to get past a certain length? Do you avoid getting trims in an effort to reach your hair growth goal sooner? The solution is to trim your hair. Why? Because regular trims rid your hair of the split ends which always have an insidious way of creeping up your strands and causing breakage.

If you really want to boost your hair health, consider applying a hair mask or oil every week. You can use a prepared hair treatment, or turn to coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or mayonnaise to treat thirsty hair. I recommend applying your substance of choice on damp hair, leaving in for 15 minutes (you can wrap your hair in a special microfiber hair towel or use a plastic bag or hair cap). Wash hair thoroughly and condition.

Summer is approaching, which means that ponytail and man bun season will be in full effect. If you tend to use thin, elastic hair bands for your updos, consider switching to a soft, fabric headband which can easily do double duty as a ponytail or man bun wrap.

Proposed Event and Shoot Schedule For 2017

It looks like the remainder of 2017 will be very busy indeed. Here is my tentative event and shoot schedule for those of you who are interested. My work schedule as a physician is steady, so whenever I am in Los Angeles, I work Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please go to http://www.drstaceynaito.com to schedule a medical appointment.

July 29th-30th: San Jose Fit Expo

early August: Shoot in San Francisco
mid August: Shoot in Tahoe
August 26th-27th: Anaheim Fit Expo

Monday, September 4th: Joe Wheatley’s Muscle Beach in Venice
second week of September: Shoot in Calgary
September 14th-17th: Olympia in Las Vegas
September 22nd-27th: Shoot in Utah

early October: Shoot in Indianapolis
mid October: Shoot in Reno
October 21st-22nd: Fort Lauderdale Fit Expo
late October: Shoot in Las Vegas

early November: Body Painting/Shoot in Phoenix
November 18th-19th: Ferrigno Legacy in Rancho Mirage

Vino D. Utah Shootout Survival Guide

If you have been fortunate enough to get an invitation to the Vino D. Utah Shootout which occurs in June of each year, congratulations! The event is truly amazing, and affords models the opportunity to work with top photographers and videographers.

This guide is filled with tips and guidelines on how to have an enjoyable experience. A little preparation goes a long way!

PACKING FOR TRIP:
I always advise packing a couple of days beforehand so you make sure you have everything you need. It’s actually better to pack more wardrobe than you think you’ll need, because you never know what photographers want to shoot you in. You can never go wrong with brightly colored bikinis (red, orange, yellow, purple, etc.) and lingerie. Gold and silver wardrobe items look amazing out on the Bonneville Salt Flats too! Long slinky dresses, robes, and colorful scarves also look incredible when the wind is blowing.

FOOD:
Make sure to submit your food requests in advance to Vino so that he can make a grocery store run. I also strongly advise bringing a box of your favorite snacks to have on hand. Put your name on your personal food items so that others don’t eat it!

I think it is in very poor taste to booze it up while at this event. Some girls in the past have started drinking as soon as they awoke, continued their drinkfest throughout the day, and repeated the process every single day they were in Utah. It’s HORRIBLE for your skin, and if you are hungover, you won’t take pretty pictures! Save your partying for your last shoot day, after you wrap.

TOILETRIES:
Vino usually buys body wash for the bathrooms in the house, and towels tend to be pretty plentiful as well. However, you might want to pick up a bag of Epsom salts from the store to slough your skin in preparation for the shoots.

GENERAL ETIQUETTE:
Typically there are a lot of people packed in the house, so be sure to have a good attitude, and be nice to others. A bitchy and entitled attitude will only win the hatred of others in the house, and may push you off the invite list for future years. Keep noise levels down, especially late at night and in the early morning when others are trying to sleep.

Also, please don’t be a slob! There are so many others in the house that everyone needs to clean up and keep their items out of the way. Be considerate of the others who are sharing a room with you, and keep your suitcases in one small area.

MAKEUP AND HAIR:
If you decide to get your makeup and/or hair done, make sure to tell Jamie the day before so she can coordinate her work schedule and ensure that all you ladies are ready when it’s time to leave the house.

LEAVING THE HOUSE:
Be ready to go when Vino says so! He runs a tight ship, and when he says we’re leaving the house at 2 pm, we really will leave the house at 2 pm. Make sure you have your wardrobe, accessories, food, water, and wallet packed and ready to go. All of the luggage is transported in a pickup truck, while the models (and some photographers) will ride in the van, so if you need to have any items on hand while en route to the shoot location, put them in a smaller bag which you can bring on the van.

TIMETABLE:
We usually leave the house at 1 pm or 2 pm. It typically takes anywhere from 2-/12 to 3 hours to get to Little Sahara or the Bonneville Salt Flats with the stops we make. If we travel to the marina, we’ll arrive about 1 to 1-1/2 hours after leaving the house. Once we arrive at a shoot location, we will shoot until sundown, which is around 9-9:15 pm. Be prepared for a mad scramble at sunset, because the best lighting occurs then.

We will pack up pretty quickly once we wrap at a shoot location, then head back to the house. Typically we will return to the house around midnight.

EN ROUTE AND ON LOCATION:
Use the restroom whenever you have a chance to do so, because Vino only stops 2 or 3 times while en route to a shoot location. I also recommend taking a toilet seat cover (take the second one in for hygiene reasons) for blotting oil from your face while you are at shoot location. Little Sahara has restrooms, but the other shoot locations (Salt Flats, marina, ruins) do not. You’ll have to get accustomed to finding a secluded spot in the bushes for your potty breaks. I always recommend carrying some tissue or a roll of toilet paper with you for those situations.

You might be thinking that it would be better to avoid drinking any fluids, just so you can minimize your restroom breaks, but with the hot weather, you should hydrate throughout the day. Bring water with you to drink while traveling in the van. Every day that I was in Utah for the 2017 Shootout, I drank close to a gallon of water. My skin looked great as a result, and I didn’t have any issues with belly bloat.

It’s also a good idea to carry some extra water which you can use to rinse your feet and legs when at the Salt Flats or Little Sahara.

The Salt Flats, Little Sahara and the marina can get VERY windy. If you have long hair, I recommend shooting so that you are facing the oncoming wind. This way, you’ll avoid having your hair whip in your face and ruin the shots. I also recommend putting your hair in a very durable style, such as crimped waves which won’t unravel when the wind blows. Use a good setting spray to hold your hairstyle in place.

The sun’s rays can be brutal on location, so make sure you slather on sunblock, and use sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun. If you shoot without sunglasses, and you have difficulty with squinting while facing the sun, close your eyes and have the photographer count to three, then open your eyes for the shot.

SPECIFIC LOCATION HAZARDS:

BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS: The Salt Flats provide a spectacular location for photo shoots, so it’s worth the pain of dealing with the elements there.
The wind can be brutal out there, so hang onto any lightweight clothing items, or they will be swept up by the wind. The mercury can also drop dramatically, so bring a warm sweatshirt or coat for that location. Perhaps the greatest hazard at the Salt Flats is the salt itself. The mineral deposits, while beautiful, are very abrasive, and when covered with water, the minerals turn razorblade-sharp. Many of the photographers will ask you to get on your knees, to sit on the salt, or to lie on it. Make sure to put something protective down as a cushion between your skin and the salt! I used white kneepads to kneel on while there in 2017, and they saved my knees from lacerations and rashes which are the inevitable consequence of exposing skin to the salt. Next year, I plan to cut a white tarp down into sections so that I can lie on that without having to worry about being all cut up. You may think it’s not a big deal to lie on the salt, until you do it. Those cuts and rashes are brutal, and they’ll make your subsequent shoots difficult because your injuries will need to be Photoshopped, and you’ll also be in pain.

LITTLE SAHARA: The sand dunes present a different set of challenges. If there are sand storms, the sand can actually abrade your skin, and if that sand gets in your eyes while you are wearing contacts, you’ll be miserable. For this reason, I strongly recommend wearing sunglasses whenever you are on the sand dunes. Another issue on the sand dunes is the incredibly hot sand. You will burn your feet if you try to walk on the sand barefoot, so I recommend wearing water shoes or sneakers to protect your feet while walking.

MARINA: The marina offers dazzling sunsets which make for some amazing images. In addition, the reeds can be quite nice to shoot in when the sunlight has softened a bit. However, the marina stinks, there’s a sludge-filled area which is full of bugs, and the large rock formation smells like urine and is plastered with ugly graffiti.

RUINS: It is astounding how much broken glass is at the ruins. It is imperative that you wear shoes while walking around the ruins! In addition, there are lots of bugs such as mosquitoes in the ruins, so make sure to spray yourself with bug spray before shooting.

When you are at a shoot location, be proactive about seeking out photographers to shoot with. There will be intervals in which you have to wait your turn, but for the most part, you should be able to shoot almost nonstop. Conversely, don’t hog time with a particular photographer. Remember that other models want an opportunity to shoot with all of the photographers.

Above all else, be THANKFUL for experience. It is an honor to be a part of the group, and wonderful friendships are forged from the experience.

Vino D. Utah Shootout Packing List

The Bonneville Salt Flats are amazing to shoot at, but there are hazards there. Be prepared and pack well!

After attending the Vino D. Utah Shootout event both last year and this year, I felt compelled to compile a survival guide for fellow models who intend on coming to future events. The Shootout is a stellar event, and everyone who attends has the potential to create amazing content which can either be used for portfolios or submissions to publications. However, there are hazards to shooting at the chosen locations, and if you aren’t prepared, your body can get pretty battered.

I paid attention to some key issues which arose last June while on location in Utah, and as a result, I was much better prepared for this year’s event. In an effort to pass some tips along, I have compiled a packing list, with explanations as to why most of these items should be considered essential for the Shootout. Some are pretty obvious, while others may seem strange before you read the explanation.

Sweatshirt or jacket (It can get COLD on location, and the evenings are also brisk.)
Beach towel (This can be used to wipe off sand and salt, and can be rigged up to change wardrobe.)
First aid kit (You can get scrapes, cuts, etc., while on location, so a small first aid kit is definitely good to have.)
Bug spray (There are insects at the ruins and at other locations, and they bite!)
Sunblock (The sun’s rays are BRUTAL on location.)
Sunglasses (Most days are sunny, so you will need shades. Also, the sand dunes are very dusty, so the sunglasses will protect your eyes from flying sand.)
Double-sided tape (This is great to have for those outfits which threaten to create a wardrobe malfunction when the wind whips up.)
Trash bags (These are great for throwing wardrobe in and carrying around while you shoot on the sand and salt.)
Water shoes (These are INDISPENSIBLE for walking on the hot sand of Little Sahara, the salt flats, and the broken glass-littered ruins. Trust me, for less than $10, you can get a pair and protect your feet, while also saving your better shoes from being completely destroyed by the elements.)
Safety pins (Have these in your travel bag in case a clothing item rips or a bra strap breaks.)
Knee pads (These are fantastic for that standard bikini model pose on your knees, especially on the Salt Flats. You can also cushion other body areas, such as your booty and your hips if you are lying on your side. I recommend getting WHITE since it will blend in better with the salt and sand.)
Body wash (Body wash tends to disappear in the house, so I advise packing extra, or a bar of soap, so you aren’t forced to take a shower with no soap!)
Muscle rub like Biofreeze, Tiger Balm or Icy Hot(Not a bad idea, especially considering the pretzel poses we are often asked to hold!)
Lotion (Choose an emollient lotion which really hydrates your skin.)
False lashes and lash adhesive (Pack extra sets…the windy conditions can literally rip the lashes off your lids!)
Scarves (Pick large, flowy scarves which can pick up the wind and make a nice shape behind you.)
Extra hold hairspray (The wind threatens to undo any hairstyle, so if you use hairspray, get the kind that is maximum hold.)
Hair styling tools (Blow dryer, flat iron, waver, curling wand)
Makeup
Sharpie marker (This is for marking your food items so that no one else eats them!)
Phone charger
Battery charger for cell phone
Earbuds (If you want to listen to music in the van, or if you want to wind down at night and shut out extraneous noise, these are good to have.)
Earplugs (The house can be NOISY all hours of the night, so these are also a good idea to wear while you sleep.)
Eye mask for sleep (Since people fly in at all hours, you may be interrupted in the middle of the night by a new roomie, so an eye mask can ensure that your slumber is relatively undisturbed.)
Brimmed hat (This is for the brutal sun’s rays.)
Small scissors (Good to have if you have tags to remove, etc.)
Hydrocortisone (Bug bites and random rashes respond well to this.)
Advil or Tylenol (You never know if you might develop a headache, muscle ache, etc.)
Panty liners and tampons (You never know when Aunt Flow may make a sudden visit.)
Chapstick (The windy conditions really dry out your skin, including your lips.)
Lots of bikinis, lingerie, etc.
CHEAP shoes and boots (Ladies, please don’t take expensive shoes and boots with you to shoot in. The salt from the Salt Flats will DESTROY them. Pack cheaper options which won’t upset you when and if they get chewed up.)
Jewelry (Once again, cheaper options are better than expensive pieces you may lament the loss of. Bold pieces can look amazing on location. Hit places like Forever 21, H and M, Amazon, and the stripper stores for items.)
Body jewelry (This kind of embellishment looks so beautiful when juxtapositioned against the sand or salt flats. I’ve found nice pieces at Aldo, Forever 21, and H and M.)
Tote bag or backpack (A nice, rugged, water-resistant tote bag or backpack is great for carrying your wardrobe items with you on location. You can use the trash bags to carry a few items to a specific shooting spot once you are on location.)
Snack bars (I suggest packing a box or two of your favorite snack or protein bars. Food availability is quite unpredictable on location, en route and at the house. Be prepared!)

If you are flying on Southwest Airlines, take advantage of the two bag allowance and pack a LARGE suitcase with all wardrobe items, and a second medium to large suitcase with your essentials, regular clothing, and any overflow of wardrobe.

Sequential Compression Devices For Recovery

I’ve been using the Air Relax sequential compression device for a couple of months now, and have incorporated regular treatments into my post-workout regimen. Whenever I train legs (three days a week), I make sure to do a 15 minute treatment at some point during the day. For the most part, it feels fantastic, like a therapeutic massage, but every now and then, the leg sleeves will clamp down like vice grips on a strained area like my calf and inspire me to chant, “ow, ow, ow, owwww!” in quick succession. Despite these isolated moments of torture, I always feel better after the treatment is finished, and my limbs don’t feel as heavy or as cramped as they usually do post-lift.

There are two types of individuals who can benefit from using sequential compression devices. The first group consists of sedentary or bedridden patients who run the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis. The second group consists of athletes, ranging from weekend warriors to elite Olympians. The benefits of sequential compression include enhanced lymphatic drainage, improved blood circulation, enhanced mobilization of lactic acid and other waste products from muscle tissue, and a massage component which is rather pleasant.

If you decide to purchase a sequential compression system for home use, I heartily recommend the Air Relax version, because it is quite affordable for under $400 (versus $1,500 for one major competitor’s version), and it inflates to pressures over 200 mm Hg, qualifying it as a FDA 510K Class II cleared medical grade device.

The Fifty-Something Zone

 

Today I transition from being a 50 year old to being a 50-something.  It’s such a strange reality for me to move past the half-century mark, despite the fact that my joints ache more, my skin is losing its firmness, and rogue gray hairs threaten to disrupt the mass of dark brown hair on my head.  My mind and spirit are stuck in an early 30’s zone, so I am constantly in a strange disconnect between how I feel mentally and where my body is chronologically.

Since my 50th birthday last July, I have received promotional mail from AARP and Forest Lawn Mortuary, which is extremely disconcerting.   In valiant protest, I have increased my involvement in aerial arts, dabbled in other pursuits like fencing, and have maintained a 5 to 6 day weightlifting schedule each week.

To be honest, turning 50 caused me to fret a bit about my overall health, so I decided to obtain a full medical workup, including bloodwork, MRI’s of my injured left shoulder and neck, a mammogram and colonoscopy.

 

These were the results:

  1. Bloodwork results were completely normal, and as always, my HDL was over 70 and my LDL was under 100.
  2. MRI of my left shoulder revealed moderate bursitis, widespread inflammation, severe biceps tendinitis, and widespread tendinopathy.  The good news is that my shoulder issues don’t warrant surgical intervention.
  3. MRI of my cervical spine revealed dessication of multiple intervertebral discs and osteophytes at multiple levels.  Basically, my neck reveals that I am a dried up old bitch.
  4. Screening mammogram revealed a suspicious 5mm mass on my right breast, which was further evaluated with more views.  It turned out to be a small cyst.
  5. The colonoscopy prep was definitely not enjoyable, but my days of water loading for contests made drinking the vile electolyte prep solution (bastards gave me the unflavored version…blech) a bit more tolerable.  Aside from a small polyp, my colonoscopy was unremarkable.

Evidently, my body is doing a pretty good job of fending off aging.  With a clean bill of health, I will continue to engage in my physical pursuits, eat clean food, meditate daily, and be thankful.