By Virginia Sole-Smith
When Alexandra Spunt went for a keratin hair treatment at a Los Angeles salon two years ago, she hoped to walk out with two months' worth of silky-straight locks. What she didn't expect: two hours of burning eyes and a sore throat. "The stylist offered me goggles because my eyes stung and I couldn't stop coughing," says Spunt, 32. She was shocked to learn that the treatment likely contained formaldehyde-deemed a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
You've heard that pedicure tubs are teeming with fungus. And you probably know that your waxer shouldn't double-dip. But new dangers have been popping up at salons, and it's hard for clients, regulators, and even salon owners to keep up. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a limited ability to regulate cosmetic ingredients, says Claudia Polsky, a deputy attorney general in California's Environment Law section. For instance, "the FDA cannot require ingredient labeling on
Blog Posts by Health.com
By Virginia Sole-SmithRead More »from How safe is that salon procedure?
Getty ImagesBy Aviva PatzRead More »from How healthy is your bedroom?
We spend roughly a third of our lives in our bedrooms. So it's not surprising that the state of your boudoir can affect not just the quality of your sleep and your sex life (duh), but also your stress levels, your allergy symptoms, even your exposure to toxins.
Like a lot of us, I suffer from allergies, I don't sleep as well as I'd like, and I'm definitely always looking for ways to improve my health. So I invited five healthy-living pros-an allergist, a sleep doc, a green-lifestyle specialist, a stress expert, and a sex coach-into my house to assess the state of my bedroom. Turn the page for the surprising health and happiness hazards the experts uncovered, and their tips for turning my bedroom (and yours!) into a truly restorative retreat.
First visit: the allergist
Make mold history My house was built in the 1880s and has suffered water damage over the years. One leak in particular is ongoing-no one can seem to fix it! And sure enough, there are telltale signs of
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Tue, Mar 15, 2011 7:04 PM EDT
Getty ImagesBy Matt McMillenRead More »from For mental health, a bad job may be worse than no job
With unemployment still high, job seekers who have been discouraged by a lack of work might be inclined to take the first opportunity they're offered. That will help pay the bills, but it could cause other problems: A new study suggests that some jobs are so demoralizing they're actually worse for mental health than not working at all.
The findings add a new wrinkle to the large body of research showing that being out of work is associated with a greater risk of mental health problems. In the study, which followed more than 7,000 Australians over a seven-year period, unemployed people generally reported feeling calmer, happier, less depressed, and less anxious after finding work, but only if their new jobs were rewarding and manageable.
Health.com: 10 careers with high rates of depression
"Moving from unemployment to a poor-quality job offered no mental health benefit, and in fact was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed," says the lead
Getty ImagesBy Lisa ZamoskyRead More »from A parent's guide: 12 vaccines your child needs
Children get as many as 25 shots and boosters in the first 15 months of life alone. When you combine the sheer number of vaccines with an alphabet-soup-like jumble of acronyms it's hard to keep track of what a youngster is getting-and why.
Here's a rundown of 12 vaccines that help protect against potentially life-threatening germs. Most are required for school attendance, while some are not. (Legal requirements can vary from state to state.)
Health.com: 8 ways to make shots easier for kids
Your newborn should get this shot even before leaving the hospital, and receive another dose at 1 to 2 months and a third at 6 to 18 months. The vaccine protects against an incurable, liver-infecting virus, hepatitis B, which can be passed to a baby during childbirth if the mother is infected.
This virus spreads through contact with blood or other body fluids (sharing toothbrushes and utensils can put you at risk).
Soreness at the site of the shot, or a slight fever,
Istock PhotoFrom Health magazineRead More »from How to live to 100
There was big news recently for anyone born after the year 2000: They'll probably live to 100, according to new research from Denmark. That's roughly 20 years longer than the life expectancy of the rest of us. But we could live that long, too, says Walter Bortz II, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University: "What's holding us back are bad habits."
Luck and genetics play roles in longevity, of course, but you can't control that. To hike your odds of hitting 100, focus on what you can do, like loading up on fruits and veggies (add five years), working out five days a week (add two to four years), and cutting down on stress (may add up to six years).
Health.com: Your Secret to Happiness at Every Age
Get a hobby
Having a pastime reduces stress and provides a sense of accomplishment.
Removing harmful bacteria that can cause inflammation cuts the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Take a Vacay
+1 to 2 years
Getty ImagesBy Susan ToepferRead More »from Thinner by dinner: how to dress 10 pounds lighter
Sure, many celebs start off with better bodies than the rest of us mere mortals. (They have personal chefs and trainers on demand, after all!) But even the fittest stars still deal with figure challenges, so they turn to stylists who are geniuses at putting together outfits that hide flaws and play up a star's best assets.
To help you do the same, we turned to two of those gurus-Nicole Chavez, whose clients include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Scarlett Johansson; and Phillip Bloch, stylist to such stars as Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry, and author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More. Use their insider advice to master your top dress-slim challenges.
Health.com: Slimming Style Secrets
What's the best way to hide a less-than-flat tummy?
One word: shapewear. "It smooths and reshapes, but also helps you stand taller," Bloch says. "Shapewear makes you more conscious of your posture."
Invest in a high-waisted shaping bike short, Chavez advises: "It's one-stop
CorbisBy Julie Upton, RDRead More »from Distracted dining may double intake
Between texting, "liking," and tweeting-and everything else we do to keep our minds off what we're supposed to be doing-it's not surprising that the American multitasking lifestyle is wreaking havoc on our diets and waistlines.
It's well known that people who log the most screen time (whether on TV, computers, or smartphones) are at higher risk for health problems. New research is showing it's not necessarily due to a lack of exercise, as most of us may think. Research suggests that sedentary Web and channel surfers are at risk for being overweight because they eat while doing these other activities.
Health.com: Too much TV time may hurt your heart
"Eating while doing something else is like speaking to someone on the phone who you know is doing something else at the same time," explains Evelyn Tribole, a registered dietitian and co-author of Intuitive Eating. "They're not really present with you, and it's not a very satisfying conversation." When
With plenty of cash to hire personal trainers and private chefs, Hollywood's hottest have all the tools in place for perfect health. But if you judge celebrities' fitness only by BMI, or body mass index, the numbers tell a different story.
BMI looks at height and weight to measure a person's body fatness, placing them in four broad categories: underweight (18.5 or lower), normal weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25 to 29.9), and obese (30 and up). Some life insurance companies look at BMI measurements in considering the cost of coverage. But is this really an accurate measure of body composition?
For athletes with loads of lean muscle mass, BMI measurements can be misleading because the scale doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat. That means that the world's top sports stars are often classified as overweight. But even the trimmest actors-particularly the shorter ones-aren't immune to confusing BMIRead More »from Surprising celebrity BMIs
Getty ImagesBy Matt McMillen
Thanks to our BlackBerries, iPhones, and iPads, the line between work and family time is getting blurrier. But a new study suggests that women feel 40% more distress than men when family life is frequently interrupted by these electronic devices or other types of contact, despite being under the same amount of work pressure.
In fact, when co-workers contacted them at home, women felt guilty about it twice as often as men, even if the communications didn't actually interfere with family life. The survey, which included more than 1,000 U.S. workers, was published this week in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
According to lead author Paul Glavin, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Toronto, the researchers were surprised by the differences in how men and women responded emotionally, even when they were equally adept at managing home and work. The guilty feelings may explainRead More »from Women feel more guilt when BlackBerry buzzes
Getty ImagesKnown for its hearty fare, Irish cuisine also offers vitamin-packed cabbage and fiber-filled potatoes. If you make these six recipes, you'll be lucky, because you'll get the savory flavors of Ireland without all the calories.Read More »from 6 lucky Irish recipes
Cabbage and scallions give this soup its green hue, plus a boost of vitamin C.
Ingredients: Olive oil, unsalted butter, savoy cabbage, scallions, garlic, chicken broth, potatoes
Try this recipe: Potato-Cabbage Soup
You'll never guess that this creamy, calcium-packed soup-made with low-sodium chicken broth and 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese-is healthy.
Ingredients: Olive oil, yellow onion, garlic, carrots, celery, flour, chicken broth, milk, bottle of beer, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, whole-wheat bread
Try this recipe: Cheddar-Ale Soup
Ploughman's Lunch Platter
Get your greens-literally-with this hearty salad. Save calories by going heavy on the lettuce and light on the sausage and cheese.