Reflections - Is It Your First Time?


If you haven't previously dyed your hair, colouring it for the first time can be pretty intimidating. With so many options and variations, how can you be sure that you will end up with the look you want? This month Jonathan reveals how to achieve (and maintain) the perfect colour.

The colour virgin

The truth is, having your hair coloured for the first time can be nerve-racking. Most colour technicians recommend that you wait until you're 15 or 16 years old before you touch your hair, which I tend to agree with. Though, saying that, I did highlight the front of my god-daughter's hair when she was eight, but only because it really did enhance the curl.

Basically, I think you should be of an age where you can afford to maintain the colour or, if it’s down to your parents, you need to be realistic about how much it’s going to set them back. Coloured hair takes a lot of upkeep and you need to be mature enough to handle that (and some of my adult clients haven’t even reached that stage yet, bless them!) Be realistic about how much maintenance you can handle. If you know it will be difficult (or expensive) to get to the salon every six weeks, stick with a shade that’s close to your natural hair colour.

Do your research

The best way to find a good colourist is through recommendation. If you are in your local area and see someone with a hair colour that you like, ask them who their colourist is. If you stick with it, you will find the same names keep popping up. Do remember that, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you are led by special offers – well you’re going to get ‘special results’.

Communication is vital. Great colour is gained through teamwork between you and your colourist. Make sure you know what you want to achieve and what you are trying to avoid. Be specific. It's absolutely essential to bring in pictures of the looks you want as long as it's not a bloody collage! A good colourist can match the shade or steer you toward a colour that will be more flattering for you

When changing your hair colour you are governed by your skin tones and natural eye colour. Follow these rules and it makes choosing shades much easier.

Damage limitation

Hair always gets a little damaged when applying colour. Invest in your colour by investing in your 'at home' regime. You’ll have to switch your shampoo and conditioner, so get a specific product recommendation from your colourist. Different dye jobs require different types of care.

You can never over-treat your hair. Your hair regime should ALWAYS include weekly treatments. I love the the Redken Real Control Intense Renewal Mask, which when used at least once a week moisturises dry hair and restores shine. The mask aids in repairing damaged hair and fortifying strands, so they resist further breakage.

What NOT to do

Please, please, please not sit on your phone the whole time. It makes our job so much harder. I DO have a great trick though, and I only have to do it once. I tend to dab a little colour on the client's phone and then coyly say, “Oh! I wonder how that happened?” Honestly there are only a few reasons you are allowed to be on the phone when having a beauty treatment -  someone has died, it’s Louis Vuitton and they are calling you to say your much coveted bag is on sale or your ex-husband has been found in bed with Pablo, the next door neighbour's gardener.

And while we are on the subject of what annoys me, stop moving your bloody head! Honestly, I need a head brace for some of my regulars. My auntie had cerebral palsy and managed to keep her head still more effectively than some of my clients. In fact one of them could give the girl out of The Exorcist a run for her money. If you want perfect highlights sit goddamn still, woman!

What went wrong?

When colour goes wrong, don’t always look at it as a negative, as it can be part of the journey to getting the colour you actually wanted. Colour is part of a journey. If you don’t like the result, tell your colourist. It’s no good saying everything is fine and then going outside and screaming from the nearest rooftop and slagging me off in three different languages. As good as I am, I am not psychic and I can’t put it right if you don’t tell me. Most of the time the colourist will be able to fix the problem.

A lot of my work is correcting mistakes made by other hairdressers but sometimes even I can’t even work my magic. One of my clients, on a recent trip back to the UK, had booked in for her colour to be done at her local salon. Her usual colourist was away and for some reason, God only knows why, the replacement colourist mixed up her record card and obviously didn't have the common sense necessary to realise that what the card was saying and what she needed didn’t match. So he slapped bleach all over her roots. This then took the top section of her hair off leaving her short on top, very much in the style of of the lead singer of the 1970s glam rock band, Sweet. Now I know I can fix most hair disasters but, as I couldn’t pull a time machine out of my backside, all we can do is wait for it to grow back.

Are you on the Appreciation Diet ?


Relationships that incorporate frequent appreciation and recognition tend to be happier, healthier and closer.

Do you show as much recognition and appreciation as you could of all the things, big and small, your partner does for you and your family unit? Do you continue to let them know what a positive difference they make to your life and your mental state?

By eliminating complacency and reintroducing the simple relationship habits we used to implement naturally at the start of our relationship, we can get our spouse/partner to engage more within the relationship. After all, we know from behavioural psychology that reinforcing good behaviour means the person is more likely to repeat it. By recognising and showing appreciation for something someone has done, or regularly does, they are naturally inclined to continue this behaviour.

Even in the business world, research into business relationships shows similar outcomes because we are, after all, human beings. In the 2008 “Global Recognition Study” the research conducted by the firm Towers Perrin for the O.C. Tanner company interviewed 10,333 people from different organisations in 13 different countries and found that increased appreciation led to a significant increase in engagement which they identify as the amount of a person’s “effort, energy, and imagination” they’re getting.

How much of your spouse’s (partner’s) effort, energy, and imagination are you currently getting? Is it in direct correlation with the amount of appreciation and recognition you’re currently giving?

If you have stopped showing your spouse or partner appreciation and recognition, is it because you don’t care about the relationship being successful anymore or is it because you have lost touch with the simple daily actions that shape the happiness of your relationship long-term?

If you need to reignite the passion, or even the actual love, in your relationship, begin a daily diet of appreciation and recognition. It will make you both feel good and you’ll both reap relationship rewards. Do this consistently and persistently for at least four weeks and see where your relationship is after the four weeks compared with where it was before you started.


Every morning, before you part company for individual commitments, tell your spouse or partner something you appreciate about them. This will start their day well, as well as yours.

When you come together again in the evening, verbally recognise something else you appreciate about your partner.
At bedtime, show your partner verbal appreciation for something else.
Adding non-verbal recognition to your verbal one, like a touch, hug or kiss, also helps reinforce the message of appreciation.
Remember, the appreciation can be about them as a person, how they make you feel, how they help you, or about something they have done or something they regularly do. If it makes a positive difference to your mental well-being, your life experiences, and/or your relationship, tell them.

Over time, not only will your partner be more inclined to repeat such behaviours or retain such traits, they will also associate you and the relationship with that wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling they get inside when you recognise the things (big and small) that they contribute to your life together.

Yes! Early Detection of Breast Cancer is Vital

2016-09HCOctoberSymptoms of Breast Cancer

Initially, breast cancer may not result in any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel manually or cause any unusual changes. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a mam-mogram, which then leads to further testing.

There are symptoms that could be suspicious:
A physical change in the breast, such as a lump, a thickening or a change in its size or shape.
Changes in the nipple such as retraction (pulling in of the nipple) or fluid that comes out on its own without squeezing.
An inflammatory change, such as redness or hardening of the breast.
A lump in the underarm lymph nodes.

You should see a doctor right away if any of the previous sign occur

Increased breast cancer risk if:

The risk increases with age: About 80 per cent of all breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50.

Factors that slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer:
Previous Breast Cancer
Early Menstruation or Late Menopause
First Pregnancy after the age of 30 or never having had children
Benign Breast Disease
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Oral Birth Control
Being Overweight or Obese
Exposure to Radiation
Family History or BRCA Mutations

It is always possible that even though your breast feels normal, a screening test will show an abnormality. These tests are designed to find hidden diseases.

If any of these apply to you, discuss your situation with your doctor.

Reduce your risk of Breast Cancer - early detection saves lives

Our doctors recommend the following breast cancer screening guidelines

A monthly breast self-examination (BSE) beginning at age 20.

If you are at average risk:
• Annual clinical breast examination (CBE) beginning at age 25
• Annual mammography beginning at age 40

If you have a family history of breast cancer:
• CBE every three to six months starting at the same time as the earliest diagnosis in your family.
• Annual mammography starting no later than ten years before the age of the earliest diagnosis in the family (but not earlier than age 25 and not later than age 40).
• Consider annual MRI and mammography at alternating six-month intervals

Screening mammography remains important for the early detection of breast cancer and women aged 50-74 should participate in regular screening every two years.

A Breast Cancer Surveillance Plan Customized for You

If we find that you’re at increased risk for breast cancer, we’ll develop a long-term plan cus-tomized specifically for you. Depending on your risk factors, the plan may include:

• Screening you for breast cancer at intervals that make sense for your level of risk.
• Depending on your situation, we can use ultrasound, digital mammography, contrast enhanced mammography, and breast MRI, if it’s determined that these might be valuable in identifying very early tumors in your breasts.
• Educating you on how to check your breasts properly for changes (self-examination).
• Discussing with you the role of chemoprevention, or medications available to help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
• Advising you on other risk factors for breast cancer, such as lifestyle choices involving things like diet and exercise.

Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths steadily has been de-clining, which is largely due to earlier detection.

Many times breast cancers are discovered through routine screening of peo-ple who have no symptoms or outward evidence of disease

Breast Cancer, and how HC Oncology can help.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer or learning you’re at high risk for it can be life changing. In a flash, you’re faced with questions, concerns - and the unknown. That’s where we come in. We give you answers that can relieve your fears and help you make the right plan. Our specialists assess your condition and treat you with the best tools available. Why do we do all this? Simple. We want what you want: the best possible result.

HC Marbella International Hospital
Ventura del Mar, 11
952 908 628

Cryotherapy Arrives in Marbella

2016-11ChryotherapyAre you a sports person who needs to repair damage or fitness levels? Or, are you looking for a method of reducing muscle pain and inflammation, or a condition such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma or a sleep disorder. Cryotherapy, which professional athletes have been using for years to get back on track quicker, is now available to everyone, and it has arrived in Marbella.

Cryotherapy Marbella opened this summer offering many health, performance and beauty benefits. This is Marbella’s first Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber, but the technology has been popular for many years for its effective treatment of sports injuries, arthritis and muscle pain, as well as a host of inflammatory health conditions. Advocates of cryotherapy include: NBA superstars such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Jamie Vardy and the whole Leicester City football team, boxer Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, golfer Padraig Harrington, the Irish and British Lions Rugby teams, not to mention stars Justin Bieber, Demi Moore, Daniel Craig, Kevin Bacon and Ben Stiller.

What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), is a technique of exposing the body to very low temperatures of between -140°C and -160°C for a period of 1 to 3 minutes in order to trigger self-healing mechanisms, boost metabolic processes, decrease anxiety and fatigue, improve sleep and stimulate the immune system. The extreme cold triggers the body’s fight or flight response, which produces endorphins and redirects oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to the vital organs. Once out of the cryo chamber this oxygenated blood and endorphins are released back to the peripheral tissues, decreasing inflammation and helping to mend damaged muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

How will it benefit me?

Research has shown that cryotherapy effectively improves physical performance and helps to speed-up recovery time. Additional benefits include burning up to 500 calories following a single treatment, increased skin tone due to collagen deposition, and a decrease in skin blemishes. It is used to help atopic dermatitis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic disorders, as well as speed up post-surgical recovery.

“It may seem strange that the cold can do so much, but think of the concept of an ice bath, or putting ice on a bump or bruise - we know that the cold works to reduce inflammation. Cryotherapy is a dry technique which reaches much colder temperatures, so a short session can achieve much better results and is much more comfortable than a prolonged soak in an ice bath. Since we opened we have seen amazing results from people suffering from psoriasis, sports injuries and even chronic fatigue, and people love the energy it gives them and how soft their skin feels when they come out of the chamber. We’d encourage everyone to come and give it a try!” enthuses Ludmila Morozova of Cryotherapy Marbella.

Where can I find Cryotherapy Marbella?

You can find Cryotherapy Marbella, managed by Ludmila and her team of professionals at the Dynamic Gym in Le Village Commercial Centre just off the Golden Mile.

Sessions start from 60€ and a course of 10 sessions is recommended to see lasting benefits from skin or health conditions, or to start a health and weight loss programme. Athletes should use it before or after their training sessions to train harder and recover quicker.

Facebook: Cryotherapy Marbella

A 'Do' For All Seasons/A Seasonal Change


Whether you want a whole new hair look or just a subtle update, get a head start as   Jonathan takes us though this season's hair trends. From ultra-voluminous hair and finger waves to dark moody hues and creamy blonde tresses.

Raise the volume

History repeats itself throughout life, it always has done and this season's hair trends reflect just that. Autumn/Winter 2016 is officially the season of the curl; throw in texture and volume and we have been taken back to the 1980s (not that I ever really left). I don’t think we are in the zone of scrunched nightclub glam but - be warned - we are not too far from it. Hair at Vivienne Westwood was voluminous and wavy, Diane Von Furstenberg featured disco waves and Alexander Wang channelled 80s rock. To achieve a similar result to Wang, emphasize the natural hair by letting it air dry, then spray hair once dry with Redken Wax Blast 10 €16,88.

Isabel Marant brought back the perm, much to my delight. You see the big curly blow dry that everyone is currently requesting would last much longer with a perm as a base; I like to call it ‘style support’. Yes, I know - when wet you tend to look more like a King Charles Spaniel, but when blow dried out and smoothed you will get the look that you are after and it will last.

Come to think of it I would like to request a meeting with all the big colour houses so we can discuss inventing some kind of technology which would allow me to perm EVERYONE'S hair without them looking like the back end of a tram smash. As I have spent the last 20 years bleaching the hell out of my clients' hair, the damage that perming would cause is just not worth the result. I need a perm solution which gives the results I am after but doesn’t damage the hair. Is that too much to ask? I often think when I see all these girls wandering around with curlers in their hair, in the words of my mother, “if you added a bit of a perm in that love, it’s going to last a lot longer”.

Riding the wave

Finger waves popped up in all four fashion cities and in varying guises - from lacquered curls to gently undulating fringes. At Stella McCartney the waves were soft and gentle, Blumarine opted for a deep side part, lots of gel and a comb shaped S formation. At Marc Jacobs the finger waves were super defined and glossy. They had a distinct gothic-meets-1920s flapper feel. What was sleek and centre-parted on top was modernised by leaving the length of the hair loose so you’re left with these two very different, very sculptural textures. If you want to try this at home, good luck! Start with Redken Hardwear Gel to create the waves and Redken Forceful 23  €14,25 hairspray to set them.

Going long

Shiny and smooth long hair was straightened to the extreme on the catwalks this season, an ethereal allure created using super-realistic extensions that is set to be a sure fire hit. Please do not try this look if you only have about three inches of hair, as no amount of clever hairdressing is going to hide that telltale line. Make sure you invest in the best hair extensions out there or you will end up looking like you have knitting wool in your hair. imagesEllie Saab H and m aalto

Such a Wannabe

I have spotted hints of the 1990s popping up here and there, such as Spice Girl double buns, which make you look like you’re an extra in Star Wars and basically a silly bugger. Oh and crimped locks of hair are back on the scene. If the 90s are coming back I am NOT doing bloody tiger stripes again.

To dye for

What's a change of season without a hair colour refresh to usher it in? After a few years of cool blonde shades popping up all over, warm blondes are making a comeback. Think more buttery and sandy blondes, less icy blondes. I am also loving  rose gold hair, a pretty shade of pink-tinted blonde that's being worn by celebs like Emma Roberts. It's so radiant, it lights up your whole look - even if you're not wearing any make-up!

Deep brown with hints of red was seen on Kim K and we all know what happens with the Kardashian effect. I have been doing this look for years and it’s actually one of my favourite colour combos. If you want to ease yourself into this trend, think fine clarity red woven through dark brown. Don’t go too mad and let the red take over though as you start to resemble Kat Slater from EastEnders.

Cinnamon strands are having a moment. They are a fabulous way of toning down over sun-beached tresses as currently being sported by most of the Costa del Sol who frequent the likes of Nikki Beach and Ocean Scrub. Sorry, but it needs to be said.

A big, fat NO

None of my clients will be getting the following from me. Beige-blonde! The only thing that should be beige-blonde is walls. Bronde – I am soooo over it. It’s been a laugh but now it’s time to just pick a side and stick to it. Oh, and when is this trend of light hair with dark roots going to crawl back under the rock it come from? It's just lazy. I am sorry but it will only make you look like a day walker at best, crack whore at worst. However, if you are going to go through with this diabolical look make sure that you keep your make-up light and fresh. If you start going for dark colours you will look even more like a corpse. Image Kirsten stewart



Acupuncture for the ONCOLOGY patient

2016-09HCThe combination of complementary and traditional western medicine is increasingly used in health care sectors across the world and is known as Integrative Medicine. In Integrative Oncology, mainstream treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, is used in conjunction with complementary therapies to treat side effects brought on by these treatments and to treat the overall well-being of oncology patients. The Integrative Oncology Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York states:

“Integrative oncology combines the best of mainstream care and complementary therapies to control physical and emotional symptoms, to improve quality of life and to speed recovery.”

 Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine frequently used in conjunction with mainstream medicine for cancer care.  Its role includes:

  • Supportive Treatment
  • Symptom Management
  • Preventive Care

Acupuncture can be used in all phases of cancer treatment. 

For the pre-surgical patient, acupuncture promotes relaxation, prevents side effects and alleviates symptoms.  The optimum time for treatment is two days before surgery.

Post surgery, acupuncture helps with pain control, decreases swelling, helps to prevent scar tissue contraction and shortens the recovery time.

Radiation and Chemotherapy are standard treatments in cancer care as they are very effective in the destruction of cancer cells.  Unfortunately, these treatments also destroy fast reproducing healthy cells in the skin, bone marrow, intestines, hair follicles and the reproductive system.  Acupuncture may improve immune function and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Acupuncture should be given the day before Chemotherapy or Radiation treatment. The following side effects of radiation and chemotherapy can be alleviated with acupuncture:

  • Fatigue
  • Anaemia
  • Low White Blood Cell Count
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vertigo
  • Sensitivity to Cold
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Toxicity
  • Hepatic Dysfunction
  • Neuropathy

For patients who are having a Bone Marrow Transplant while undergoing Chemotherapy, Acupuncture helps the immune system to prepare for the transplant and relaxes the patient before the procedure.

How does Acupuncture work?  Specific point combinations have been shown to increase antibodies, T-cell count, haemoglobin and red blood cells, white blood count (especially neutrophils), normalize irregular heartbeat, regulate blood pressure, improve peristalsis of the oesophagus and the intestines, regulate stomach acid secretion and help to stabilize peripheral nerve damage.  Acupuncture modulates the sensory pain centre in the brain by producing an analgesic effect.  Acupuncture helps release neurotransmitters including Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine.

Rachel Cohen

Oncology Unit

Learn more about the Acupuncture and ONCOLOGY by calling 952 908 898 or visit

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