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A Few Quick Fixes for Your Relationship

One of my favorite articles as of late highlights the research of John Gottman. You can read Masters of Love in The Atlantic. If you want the cliff notes version, it compares successful couples with unsuccessful couples (masters vs. disasters). What the research found was that successful couples exhibit kindness and generosity towards each other while unsuccessful couples are critical and have outward contempt for each other.

Simple enough? Yes. It truly can be that simple for couples that have lost their way and possibly that spark that first connected them. If you find yourself feeling disconnected from your partner and wondering what happened to that amazing person you first fell in love with, try these tips to bring back the connection and love to your relationship:

1. Appreciations every day: Appreciating your partner is crucial to the relationship; so much so that I begin every couples session with the couple giving appreciations to each other! Unfortunately, after some time has passed in a relationship, many couples don’t verbally give appreciation. In fact, they may tell their partner what they are doing wrong instead of what they are doing right (see below for the next tip). This is totally counterproductive! Appreciations are actually conscious work. Make a point at the end of every day for you and your partner to give each other an appreciation (or two or three if you want!)

2. Tell your partner what you would like instead of telling them what they are doing wrong: Many couples like to tell their partner things like, “don’t do this, or, “I don’t like it when you ___.” Instead of keeping things negative, reframe it to a positive a”nd tell them what you would like them to do. So, instead of: “you never take out the trash,” tell them: “It’s really helpful when you take the trash out, would you mind doing that for me?” People respond much more favorably to positive statements.

3. Appreciate your partner in the moment: Did your partner do something nice or helpful? Make sure they know it! When they are aware of what they are doing that’s helpful to you and they hear it, they will want to do it more.

4. Set up a date night: Feeling disconnected? This is often a good indication that you and your partner need to get out alone and to do something you both enjoy. These are the moments where it’s important to get a babysitter (if you have kids). If money is tight, arrange to do something at home with no distractions, such as take out and Netflix.

5. Pick your battles: Figure out what’s important to you. If there are things you can let go, let it go. If it has a lot of energy and it’s hard to get past, bring it up in a constructive way instead of a critical way that might put your partner on the defense. Usually sitting on it for a while and letting your strong emotions pass before mentioning it is a good way to talk about something that is highly charged and contentious. A constructive way to talk about a topic that could bring about friction is to use “I” versus “you” statements and to avoid placing blame on someone else. For example, “I felt hurt when you were short with me last night.”

It’s OK to fight-all couples fight. It’s about how you “fight.” All couples get annoyed with each other. It’s about how you express the annoyance. There are also times when normal couples feel like they hate each other. Over time, all relationships go through peaks and valleys Remember that keeping positivity in a relationship is a conscious effort but it’s worth it.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Emergency Fixes for Even Your Biggest Breakouts

No one loves a zit. This is a fact. But while you might feel totally helpless when one pops up, you are, in fact, not. Use these five strategies to show that pimple who's boss….




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The 12 Most Annoying Thick Hair Problems (and Fixes!)

Our fine-haired sisters think we’ve got it easy just because we can do a doughnut bun without wearing a sock on our head, but having a mess of hair is sometimes, well, a mess. Here, finally, the solutions to the biggest thick-hair problems — except for clogging up your drain. Alas, we can’t help you there.

By Kate Sullivan, Allure

THE PROBLEM
No Comb Can Tackle Your Tangles

If the smell of Johnson’s No More Tangles triggers PTSD flashbacks to your childhood, you know what’s up. Thick hair means knots that are tied with Boy Scout-level strength. Forcing a comb or paddle brush through it is time-consuming and hair-ruining.

THE FIX
Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush

Try the Tangle Teezer once and you’ll never use a comb again. Short, flexible bristles have give to them so they won’t pull out fragile hairs, says hairstylist Mia Santiago of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger. You can even detangle wet hair: “If I used a paddle brush on my wet hair, I could make a voodoo doll of the hair that comes out,” she says.

2015-03-18-1426691613-5998854-tangleteezertheoriginaldetanglinghairbrush.jpg

THE PROBLEM
There Is Not Enough Conditioner in the World

We large-haired ladies run out of conditioner so much faster than shampoo. For every quarter-size dollop of shampoo you use on your scalp, you gotta use a palm-full of conditioner on your many, many ends.

THE FIX
A Conditioner That Works Better

It’s not the size of your conditioner bottle that matters, but its contents. “Choosing a highly concentrated conditioner means you won’t need gallons of product,” says Santiago. She likes Kératase Cristalliste and Kérastase Chronologiste conditioners, which are so rich that you only need a dollop. “Avoid any conditioners that say ‘volume’ on the bottle — they’re not for the big-haired,” she says. Adding a deep-treatment mask to your routine is also key. If your ends are extremely damaged, use a mask once a week or every third shampoo, depending on how often you wash, says Santiago. If your ends aren’t too damaged, once a month will do.

2015-03-18-1426691589-4501278-kerastasecristalistelaitcristalconditioner.jpg

THE PROBLEM
Humidity Makes Your Big Hair Even Bigger

The weather is warming up and the air is thick with the promise of summer — that’s great, right? Yeah, not for your giant-ass hair.

THE FIX
Keratin Products and Some Serious TLC

Keratin-based products fill out the hair cuticle and defrizz, says Santiago. She likes Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray for year-round use, plus a little extra styling time in summer. “I know that’s when everyone wants the ease of wash-and-go styles, but for women with thick hair, it’s worth taking the time to really work in the product to avoid a bad hair day.”

2015-03-18-1426691561-487999-sallyhershbergerhyperhydrationsuperkeratinspray.jpg

THE PROBLEM
Brushing Causes Next-Level Pouf

Headed to an ’80s costume party? Nope! You simply used a hairbrush on your already huge hair, thus making it…huge-er.

THE FIX
Add Hair Spray to the Brush Before Pulling It Through

“Just dampen it a little bit, not so much that it’s supersopping wet — you don’t want There’s Something About Mary stiff hair,” says Santiago. “But a small amount of spray helps seal the cuticles, takes away some of the static and keeps all the hair together. Start your brushing underneath your hair, as opposed to the top of your head — that will help you avoid crunchy-looking strands too.”

2015-03-18-1426691542-4014682-livingproofflexshapinghairspray.jpg

THE PROBLEM
Round Brushes Are Scary Hair Traps

In seventh grade, we had to go to a babysitting job with a round brush stuck to the crown of our head. The experience scared us off of using them for the next 15 years. But ladies, there is a way.

THE FIX
Take a Smaller Section

“You never want the section of hair you’re brushing to be wider than the brush,” says Santiago. A little serum — Santiago likes Oribe Smooth Style Serum — will also make the brush go through your hair more smoothly. “Apply it to the midsection of the hair, not at the roots.”

THE PROBLEM
Blowouts Take a Hundred Hours

If giving yourself a blowout works your arms more than kettlebell class, you probably have really thick hair. (We’ve considered buying the Blo and Go from that infomercial strictly because of arm fatigue.)

THE FIX
Rough-Dry First

“Rough-dry your hair until it’s about 80 to 90 percent done,” says Santiago. “That’s superimportant for people with really thick hair; otherwise you’re going to be there forever. Once it’s almost dry, then attach the smoothing nozzle to your dryer, making sure it’s always facing the end of your shaft to smooth it out.” Rough-drying does work better for straight- and slightly wavy-haired gals though. “If you’re prone to a lot of frizzing or your hair is supercurly, rough-drying can open up the cuticle too much. Get the nozzle on a little faster if that’s your hair texture.

THE PROBLEM
Your Hair Is Never Fully Dry

In your 9 a.m. meeting, you look like you raced to the office fresh out of the shower. Ditto at your 2 p.m. meeting, because fun fact: Your hair is always still a little wet

THE FIX
Shower at Night — and Fake a Morning Blowout

After washing at night no less than 30 minutes before bedtime, let your hair air-dry overnight. “In the morning, you can achieve a blowout-like effect using a half-barrel curling iron,” says Santiago. “Split your hair into 12 to 14 sections. When you quickly swoop the iron through them to the ends, it’ll look like a salon blowout done with a big round brush but takes way less time.” You’re not going to have the same volume as you would with a real blowout, but you will look polished. And not like you just got caught in a rainstorm.

THE PROBLEM
Your Bed Head Is Scary Big

When your baby niece wakes up from a nap with a cowlick, it’s so adorable. Your bed head looks like a tornado hit your sheets.

THE FIX
The Topknot

“There’s something magical about it,” says Santiago. Flip your head upside down and gather your hair into a ponytail, then twist into a coil. (Need more guidance? Check out these tutorials.) Santiago seals down flyways with Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother. “It’s so amazing and works on every hair type,” she says.

THE PROBLEM
No Elastic Is Mighty Enough for Your Ponytail

Your scrunchie-busting hair can be a hazard: One of our editors had an elastic fail dramatically while on a date. Her cascading waves would have had that sexy librarian-letting-her-hair-down vibe if the errant hair tie hadn’t ended up in the dude’s wine glass.

THE FIX
Up Your Hair-Tie Game

“Obviously, if you have thick hair, regular elastics aren’t going to cut it,” says Santiago. But you also need to stay away from anything with a grip or plastic that will get caught in your massive hair and pull it out. Thin and flat fabric hair ties, like Emi-Jay’s, are going to have more staying power and won’t break or dent your giant hair. “Those fat Heathers-style scrunchies would work too, and I wish they were cool — but they’re not,” says Santiago.

2015-03-18-1426692837-3541116-emijayblackleatherhairtie.jpg

THE PROBLEM
Heavy Hair Has No Bounce

Santiago puts it best: “If you have really thick hair and no layers, your hair can look like a blanket.” Not cute.

THE FIX
Lose the Weight

Talk to your hairstylist about a layered midlength cut that will lighten up the weight on the roots and add some movement. “Just don’t overlayer, then your hair will become a triangle,” she says.

THE PROBLEM
Midlength Hair Looks Like a Helmet

Thick hair looks luxe long and is great for a pixie, where a stylist has a lot to work with. But that of-the-moment choppy bob? Not so much. “Thick hair that’s shoulder-length can very easily get big,” says Santiago.

THE FIX
Again, a Lob With Layers

Layers on a chin-length cut will give dimension to unwanted fluffiness and a silky wax or balm, like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Touch of Gloss, weighs down the hair a little bit to anchor the pouf while still letting the hair move, says Santiago.

THE PROBLEM
Thinning Razors and Shears Damage Your Hair

Didn’t we tell you to be careful of layers? They can hurt as much as they help. Case in point: In an attempt to take out some of your massive hair’s weight and girth, a stylist chomped at your locks with one of these tools, leaving them frizzier and damaged.

THE FIX
Talk to Your (New) Stylist

“Your hairstylist has to have really good thinning shears to not cause damage,” says Santiago. Tell your stylist how your hair has reacted to thinning shears or razors in the past. Shears aren’t the devil, but if you’re prone to frizz, they’ll work best for you if used only on the ends of your hair. Your stylist can use a different method to thin out your hair that doesn’t scrape your hair shaft as much.

(Photos: Roger Cabello)

More from Allure:
50 Beauty Brands to Try Before You Die
35 Hairstyles to Try in 2015
Kim Kardashian’s Beauty Evolution
Find the Best Haircut for Your Face Shape
Top Anti-aging Products $ 25 and Under
Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Style – The Huffington Post
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The 12 Most Annoying Thick Hair Problems (and Fixes!)

Our fine-haired sisters think we’ve got it easy just because we can do a doughnut bun without wearing a sock on our head, but having a mess of hair is sometimes, well, a mess. Here, finally, the solutions to the biggest thick-hair problems—except for clogging up your drain. Alas, we can’t help you there.
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