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How to get more mmmm from your massage

Posted on November 07, 2017


With more than 200 different types of massages out there, how do you decide what you need or want? Here’s how to tell your Swedish from your sports, your Thai from your reflexology, and when to book which.

Massage is the practice of working on the body with soft, medium or deep pressure. Techniques are commonly applied using hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a device. The different types of massages can be categorised into medium/oil based, non-oil based and aqua/water-based massages.


When do you get which type of massage?
Massage styles tend to go in and out of fashion, but you can decide which one is best for you by asking two simple questions:

  • Do you want a massage for relaxation or stress control?
  • Do you need symptom relief and/or help with specific health condition?

Once you know what you want, let the therapist know. So, when you book your massage, be clear about what you are looking for and ask which style the therapist uses. Many therapists have been trained in more than one style and can therefore customise your massage according to your needs. Don’t be shy either; the more information you give the better your massage will be.

For what reasons should you get a massage?
We have come to associate massages with indulgence and pampering, but there are some very good health and wellbeing reasons for them.

  • Massage reduces anxiety and stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body. It simultaneously increases levels of serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones), promoting perspective and clarity.
  • Pain caused by musculoskeletal issues can be addressed through regular massaging, and it doesn’t even have to be a deep-tissue treatment. Any form of touch is healing.
  • Massage promotes the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defence system that enhances immunity.
  • Athletes benefit from regular massages in preparation for and recovery from events.
  • Coupled with regular exercise routines, massage reduces the effects of long hours of sitting at a desk or driving, and keeps postural deviations in check.

Frequency is the secret to getting the most therapeutic value from massage. Once you have had three or four massages with the same therapist, the dynamics change from pure relaxation to therapeutic input. The more the client trusts and appreciates the therapist, and the therapist understands and feels committed to the client, the more benefit both parties derive from the massage experience.

What information should you give your therapist?
A massage therapist worth his or her salt should ask you these five questions, so have your answers ready:

  1. What do you want out of the massage? We all look for something different from a massage. It’s important to be clear about what your specific goals are.
  2. What are your preferences?This relates to the pressure you prefer, ie, soft to medium, or medium to deep. Armed with this information, the therapist can adjust movements and pressure during the treatment.
  3. Have you had a professional massage before?This answer helps to determine what the client expects from the therapist, and to manage expectations as it sets the massage etiquette.
  4. Are you taking any medications (such as anticoagulants or blood thinners) that may be a contraindication to massage?Be honest about your health history. We are not just being nosy. Medication information allows the therapist to adapt the type of massage and/or select essential oils that are appropriate to your condition.
  5. What is your job and/or daily activities?Based on this answer, the therapist could advise on activities or habits that should either be changed, stopped or started to help heal an injury or prevent it from happening again.

How clean is your clean-up?

Posted on October 24, 2017


When you’re being groomed and pampered, hygiene is not necessarily top of mind. But if this behind-the-scenes detail is not in place, what should be a great experience can end in discomfort.

For establishments that work with many people every day, cleanliness has to be next to godliness. Here’s how we do it at Hines & Harley..

The general cleanliness of our premises is a priority. The floors are regularly swept and washed, and all surfaces dusted and cleaned. We wash and sanitise our hands continuously throughout the day.

Our guests often ask about how we keep our tools clean. We wash them in a mixture of water and general disinfectant to remove debris, and then sterilise them with clorhexidine. This is the spray that hospitals use, and that the dentist asks you to rinse your mouth with. It's more powerful than iodine and can be used on skin, implements and work surfaces. We rely on clorhexidine to destroy all possibility of fungus, bacteria and viruses on the equipment we use.

You will spot two UV heat cabinets in our lounge. In these we keep the metal tools for extra sterilisation. Barbicide jars with disinfectant are also visible at various stations.

When we disappear to the back of the shop, it’s for a squirt of the sterilising spray that we use on absolutely everything – hands included. Even our clippers have their own special spray, formulated to clean electrical equipment that cannot be rinsed.

We clean and sterilise between each and every guest, which is why we book longer appointment times. We never use dirty tools on our guests. Cross contamination is not an option.

Hygiene and the prevention of cross-contamination also extend to the creams, oils and waxes we use. Most of our products come in vacuum or pump-action bottles that protect the product from contamination, oxygenation and degradation. For products in tubs or tins, we use disposable spatulas to scoop out and apply the product. Our fingers never come into contact with any of the contained products. We will never use expired products during treatments or sell them as retail.

In many of our treatments, almost everything is disposable. We use, for instance, a brand new, fresh blade for every shave. Our files and sanding boards have disposable grits and are cleaned and discarded between manicures and pedicures. Some files can be cleaned and re-used, which we do but only when a guest doesn’t have any afflictions. During a waxing treatment we use disposable strips and disposable spatulas that are discarded after application so that there is no risk of the wax becoming contaminated. We will also never ever re-use wax.

A further hygiene habit of ours is fresh towels. After each treatment they are washed and treated in the UV cabinets.

A hugely important consideration to our general hygiene are contra-indications. We ask for your details and relevant medical history because diabetes, epilepsy or even recent surgery can affect your treatment. We modify our treatments accordingly.

We also have allergy and medication alerts. If you are, for instance, allergic to iodine, certain products will never be used on you. Retinoids like Roaccutane thin the skin, meaning that you cannot have any waxing treatment as that will remove skin and create an access point for bacterial infections.

Similarly, we cannot work on hair with any traces of lice. What we will do is give advice on how to cure the condition. This applies to fungal infections as well, as they are also contagious. When we can treat the area we will do so and give you homecare advice. In such cases all our tools are immediately discarded afterwards.

All Hines & Harley’s somatologists are trained in anatomy and physiology, as well as hygiene and sterilisation. We are therefore competent to recognise external afflictions, and offer advice on treatment. However, only a medical professional can diagnose and prescribe medication. If one of our therapists note a problem, they will tell you immediately and refer you to trusted professionals.

Finally, it is also good to know that we have a basic first aid kit on the premises, and that all our staff have received first aid training.

At Hines & Harley our guests are truly in save – and sterilised – hands.

Yes, mister, waxing can work for you

Posted on October 10, 2017


Man getting face washed

Are you ready to ditch the clippers and try waxing on your face and body? Summer is the perfect time to make the switch and enjoy (and show off) the results. Let’s answer your questions, so you can make an informed decision.

How does waxing work?
The wax is sticky and warm, so it opens up the pores and envelops the hair. It is then removed either with a strip of paper or, in the case of hard and sugar wax, with the aesthetician's fingers.

We use pre-waxing products to clean and dry the skin, perform the wax while you are covered with towels (to keep you warm and protect your modesty!) and then apply a post-wax cream or oil to soothe the skin and prevent irritation.

If you do have a tendency towards irritation or ingrown hairs, we apply a serum to the skin that clears and seals the pores.

You should not be sticky afterwards, though some redness and sensitivity is normal.

Exfoliating 3 days after your wax helps clear dry skin and allow the new hair to grow smoothly. Moisturiser is a must as any hair removal dries the skin out.

Why do men wax?
The first reason is to tame bushy eyebrows and stray ear and nose hair. We remove these hairs quickly with hard wax, and never over shape the brows (the goal is to look neat and well groomed, not feminine). A facial wax is a great add-on to your routine haircut or shave.

Body waxing is an increasingly popular treatment for men. You sweat less, have less irritation and feel smooth (which your partner will love as well!). Waxing is a fantastic exfoliator too, as it removes dry, built-up skin with the hair.

We do body waxes in a private room with only one aesthetician present. She or he will explain the procedure to you and give you homecare advice to keep your skin healthy.

Our most popular body waxes are back waxes and Hollywoods (that means all hair removed from the genital area).

What kinds of waxes are there?
The waxes we use on bodies usually consist of beeswax, rosins, minerals and oils. Sugar waxes, hard waxes and strip waxes are the most common.

How painful is it?
It is painful, but the pain is bearable. Waxing becomes less painful the more you do it, as the new hairs taper and become less stubborn.

Does waxing influence hair growth?
It does, yes, because waxing removes the entire hair from its follicle. As a result, the hairs tend to thin over time and become sparse. When you begin waxing you might need to come in every 4 weeks to maintain it, but as your hair growth slows it can last as long as 8 weeks.

Hair grows in three different cycles, so you might have short hair growing back soon after your first waxes. DO NOT shave or use depilatory creams between waxing sessions. It is important to keep a routine and not wax too soon, as we try to remove all the hair at the same point of the cycle. Be patient and let the hair grow to at least 1cm before your next wax.

What are the risks?
Some medications, notably retinol (think Roaccutane), make your skin unsuitable for waxing and can cause your skin to react unfavourably. We can always do a small patch test with two different kinds of waxes on your skin to see how it reacts to waxing if you are worried about any allergies.

Give your therapist a medical history and medication list as well as an aesthetic treatment history. This way we can ensure that you have a good post-waxing experience.

The most usual reaction to waxing is a light rash of small pimples. This is the follicles reacting to the forced removal of the hair. Exfoliation and moisturiser heal this very quickly, but it's important not to pick. Ingrown hairs also need to be removed by your aesthetician to prevent scarring.

All our aestheticians are trained to wax you professionally and quickly. They can also answer any questions you might have and advise you on the best treatments to achieve your hair removal goals.

professional skin treatment

Posted on September 26, 2017


Man getting face washed

For the gent who doesn't mind spending extra time on his skin, a toner can be great for minimising pore size and an oily sheen. We have spray-on varieties that are easy to apply.
H&H recommends:Theravine for Men active Daily Spritzer
Then there’s eye gel to help ward off signs of ageing. The skin around the eyes is thinner, and thus shows tell-tale lines earlier than the rest of the face. A light formulation gel moisturises and reduces puffiness, while keeping the skin taut and wrinkle-free for longer.
H&H recommends: Theravine Hydrating Eye Gel

For hard hitting anti-ageing, a serum is the best choice. It is a non greasy, light fluid that is applied under your moisturiser (preferably at night). Serums contain anti oxidants which protect your skin from harmful free radicals, and even out your skin tone while enhancing collagen production - keeping your skin smooth and firm. H&H recommends: Theravine vitavine anti wrinkle skin booster
If you travel alot, gym regularly, or just want a product to cool and refresh your skin, then try a revitalising skin gel. This can be used on the whole body, is non oily and soothes tired muscles. Plus it gets your circulation pumping! H&H recommends: Circulavine refreshing gel
Salon treatments will really put the care into your skincare routine. A men's facial treatment includes a skin analysis and consultation, and the somatologist will remove blackheads and impurities for you without damaging your skin. (We have secret ways of making it less painful!)

The barber will shape your beard for you, making it easier to maintain, and perform a cut throat shave for the smoothest skin.

Hair that can't be shaved is easily tamed with waxing. It is a quick process whereby warm wax is applied to messy unibrows, flourishing ear hair or noticeable nostril hair. Removing hair this way lasts much longer than trimming or shaving, and keeps you looking immaculately groomed without looking feminine.
H&H recommends: H&H of course!

To recap: cleanse and moisturise every day, exfoliate once a week, and add beard or shaving products that suit your needs.

Men's products are designed to be quick and easy, and once you know what your skin needs it's easy to maintain it. If you need a relaxing hour off of work, or want an expert analysis of your skin's needs, you know where to find us, don’t you?

A man and his skin

Posted on September 14, 2017


Man with beautiful beard Be beard wise

Exfoliate before shaving, or on the days when you don’t shave.

Depending on what you prefer, use a shaving soap that lathers or a shaving oil, and always shave with the grain. Shaving against the grain can irritate the skin, and is often the reason ingrown hairs appear.

Make sure that your aftershave does not contain alcohol - shaving dries out the skin and alcohol only makes it worse. Use a soothing lotion or oil, and massage it into the shaved areas before you apply your moisturiser.

H&H recommends:
  • London Grooming Company Aftershave and Skin Moisturi
  • London Grooming Company Shaving Oil

For beards, a beard oil is a necessity. Beard oil works as a moisturiser for the skin underneath the beard, and facilitates healthy hair growth.

For longer beards, or for hard, coarse hair, a beard balm will work wonders. It softens the hair and helps with styling (almost like a hair gel or wax).

Less is always more with beard products. A couple of drops of beard oil applied to the skin will be sufficient. Be similarly frugal with your balm, but increase the quantity as the beard length increases.

Specialised moustache waxes are available for classy, old school styles. They provide a lot more structure than balms and keep your style in place for longer.

Both oil and balms come in a variety of masculine fragrances that will definitely make you proud of your beard (and impress your significant other!).

Use a beard wash for longer, bushier beards. This keeps them clean, soft and moisturised. The build up from the oils and balms that are used on the beard need to be removed periodically. Use two to three times a week and apply fresh oil afterwards.

H&H recommends:
  • Duke of Beards Beard Oil
  • Duke of Beards Beard Liquid Wash
  • RB&Co Beard Balm
  • RB&Co Stache Wax

Skincare made easy

Posted on August 21, 2017


Man Washing face

Most women use scores of products to treat everything from chapped lips to pigmentation. They love the ritual of applying lotions and oils and treat their skin like a prized possesion. Men should also take care of their skin. It is, after all, the largest organ in your body, and the most visible one. But what is the best way? Where do you start? Fret not. We have put together a short series of blog posts that will tell you all you need to know.

For our first post, we take you through a simple, no-nonsense routine that will keep your skin looking and feeling great.

Male skin is different to female skin, and thus has different needs. Male skin is thicker and contains more lactic acid, but our harsh climate and shaving can dehydrate the skin quickly. Shaving can also result in ingrown hairs and irritation.

The first step is to find a skincare brand that suits your skin. A somatologist can ascertain your skin's specific needs and recommend products accordingly. A big plus to having your skin analysed is that you won’t end up buying the wrong products for your skin (and then leave them to expire in your bathroom cabinet).Your skincare therapist can also show you exactly how and when to use them, as well as answer any questions you might have.

The three products every man should use are a cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturiser with sunscreen. Here is some information on each and why they are important.

Men's cleansers generally come in gel or foam formulation, which removes excess oil and provides a deep cleanse. Normal soap is a big no-no. Soap is extremely alkaline and strips your skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to dehydration. Do not wash your face more than twice a day (morning and evening). A rinse with water is fine if you need to quickly freshen up during the day.

H&H recommends:

Theravine for Men Active Daily Face Wash

An exfoliator will gently remove dead skin and blackheads, as well as promote circulation. Most exfoliators today have a combination of small beads and alpha hydroxy acids. The beads rub off surface debris, while the acids break bonds between dead skin cells and helps dislodge blackheads. The acids do not burn or sting at all, and are much gentler than a rough scrub which creates micro lesions on the skin. Exfoliate once a week for normal maintenance, and twice a week if there is serious congestion present. Don't use any cleanser and scrub combos – they overstimulate the skin.

Simply apply the product to skin, rub it in, and leave it on for a couple of minutes before rinsing. Lastly, exfoliate before shaving, not afterwards!

H&H recommends:

Theravine for Men Energising Exfoliating Gel

Moisturise every day, in the morning and the evening. Men's creams are light on the skin and don't leave a greasy, shiny residue. A lot of creams contain sunscreen so that you don’t need to apply an extra layer on top of your moisturiser. Sunscreens have also improved drastically, and no longer contain zinc and titanium dioxide, which used to leave you with a white, ashy residue. Remember to apply sunscreen to the back of your neck, as well as your scalp if you shave your head.

H&H recommends:

Theravine for Men Intensive Hydrating Day Cream

QMS Active Day Cream


Why the shaving brush matters

Posted on March 26, 2016


Assorted shaving brushes

In the age of disposable and electric razors, a proper wet shave is often a treat rather than a regular routine. Sadly, many men find the “treat” to be more of a nightmare – itchy, prickly and less smooth than what they can do at home. Why is that? The answer probably lies not in the sharpness of the blade, the steadiness of the barber's hand or the quirkiness of how your beard grows. It might have everything to do with the shaving brush and what it's made of.

A shaving brush's primary job is to hold water so that the shaving soap can be whipped into a rich lather that will moisten and soften the beard. Without sufficient moisture your razor will drag and pull, causing an uncomfortable and none-too-close shave. The water and lather also serve as a lubricant that allows the razor to glide over the skin effortlessly, rather than skipping and hopping and missing hairs. Without sufficient moisture or a proper lather consistency, a quality shave is simply not possible. Hence the importance of the shaving brush.

Centuries ago, men used sea sponges to lather up. Fortunately the French came to mankind's rescue and invented shaving brushes in the 18th century. These days, men can choose between a wide variety of brushes, featuring either natural or synthetic hair

Although synthetic brushes have a number of advantages, shaving aficionados agree that natural is still best. And although boar and horse hair are options, badger remains the king of the shaving brushes.


The case for synthetic
The main advantages of synthetic shaving brushes are that they are PETA (vegan) approved and provide an alternative for men allergic and sensitive to the use of animal hair brushes. Morden advances in the field have led to bristles that are fine, soft, long lasting and fast drying. Synthetic shaving brushes furthermore require less maintenance and half the amount of shaving cream or soap compared to animal hair brush. They are also generally more affordable. However, price should not be the deciding factor. The pure synthetic materials used in widely available inexpensive brushes do not load and hold sufficient water to produce the moist lather needed for a consistent, quality shave.


The brilliance of badger
Nothing comes close to natural badger hair's ability to absorb and hold water. In addition to doing an excellent job of whipping hot water and shaving cream or soap into a thick and emollient lather, badger hair softens and lifts facial hair, resulting in a luxuriously smooth and super-close shaving experience. The tips of the badger bristles also do a very good job of gently cleansing and exfoliating your skin.

Badger brushes come in several grades of softness, namely pure, best, super and silvertip. The latter is considered the ultimate shaving brush.


Coffee unlike anything you've tasted before

Posted on March 12, 2016


man with glasses pouring coffee

The cold brew procedure filters cold water through your favourite coffee grounds over a period of 18 to 24 hours. By using cold water for an extended period of time, a richer and smoother taste is drawn from the coffee grounds. Served over ice and sipped like a whisky, cold brew lets you savour a true coffee experience.

Hot water leeches out of the more acidic and bitter compounds in coffee, as well as more caffeine, giving hot coffee that all too familiar “bite” that most people tend to soften with milk and sugar.

Cold brewing, in contrast, gives you the true taste of the beans and doesn't leave you feeling jittery hours later.

Why did we pick cold brew coffee for Hines & Harley?

Well, you could go practically anywhere for a cup of hot coffee, but the decadence that is cold brew is a far more exclusive experience. Just like you could practically go to any barber for a haircut and shave, but you won't get the experience that is Hines & Harley.

We aren't your quick cup of instant bitter coffee.

A cup of boiled muddy water may perk you up or get you through the day, but you don't necessarily look forward to the next cup.

Your first sip of regal cold brew, however, is something you will remember.

It's unparalleled.

And so are we.


Are massages good for kids?

Posted on January 26, 2016


Child getting massage, smiling giving a thumbsup

Without making it sound like the solution to all children's problems, the answer is an unqualified yes.

Apart from the fact that they really enjoy the experience, massage therapy eases hyperactivity, depression and anxiety, and counters the detrimental impact of stress.

We think of stress as an adult condition, but children – even infants – can suffer from stress. A young child starting school, or changing school, will experience stress. Family illness or financial problems, divorce, peer pressure and even happy events, like vacations, can produce emotional strain. Under these circumstances, a massage can be a wonderful stress- buster for children.

Massage as a routine event can help children to develop a healthy relationship with touch, which supports them to grow into adults with healthy self-esteem and the ability to develop long-term relationships.

For infants, gentle, gliding strokes with oils is the best form of massage therapy. As children grow older, the massage can include separate work on hands and feet, concentrating on the fingers and toes. Massage sessions should not last more than 45 minutes and should be gentle enough to not strain the joints.


How to treat teenage skin

Posted on January 23, 2016


Teenager washing face in mirror

Zits. Pimples. Acne. Call it what you like, problem skin is the bane of most teenagers' lives. Is it something to just put up with, or should you subject your young skin to products and treatments?

Somatologists agree that your skin care routine is determined by your skin type and condition, not your age. And as the skin is your largest organ, it makes sense to start taking care of it sooner rather than later.

While it is true that your hormones are largely to blame for the state of your skin, a good cleansing and moisturising routine will do wonders towards maintaining its pH balance, oil and moisture levels.

And this is where professional consultation comes in. You can use the most expensive or highest quality products, but if you use a combination that's not right for your skin type, you will do more damage than good. Teenagers, especially guys, often end up not cleansing at all, or they use overly harsh products in an effort to obliterate oiliness or acne.

In contrast, a somatologist will do a skin analysis, recommend the right type of product and show you how and when to use it. This education is vitally important, as it helps protect the skin and saves you from buying 20 products that will clutter your bathroom but never get used.

But if you cannot be bothered to spend much time on your skin at home, then a regular facial treatment is a good way to ensure it gets the care it should.

Professional facial treatments control blemishes as imperfections are removed quickly and without scarring the skin. The risk of cross-infection or damage is far less when a trained professional extracts blackheads or pimples properly, instead of you pressing and prodding at your face. Remember, scars are difficult to deal with, so avoiding them altogether through a good skincare routine, is first prize.

Proper skincare is an investment. You can't go wrong when you use gentle, age-appropriate products in professional treatments and at home (as recommended by a somatologist).



If not your teeth, why your skin?

Posted on January 21, 2016


It&s laughable to think that you'd allow an untrained person to work on your teeth. But somehow we don't think about our skin in the same way. This is more than slightly alarming, given that aestheticians regularly use strong chemicals, blades and electric currents when doing treatments.

You could end up with burns, cuts, permanent scarring, skin lifting, infection, gangrene, paralysis... The list goes on, and gets worse when the client is pregnant, has diabetes or use medication that could react to the treatment. It may sound extreme, but it is a terrifying reality. More and more spa and salon injuries have been reported in recent years, and there are now law firms that specialise in these cases.

The reason for this is a lack of qualified practitioners and, in South Africa particularly, a lack of a regulatory body controlling the industry.

Somatologists need to know more than how to tweeze an eyebrow or clip a toenail. They study anatomy and physiology, basic health and safety, and hygiene and sterilisation before they are allowed to begin practical work. Then follow years of practical hours and examinations at a registered tertiary institution, culminating in national and international examinations.

In recent years, the beauty industry has moved towards medical aesthetics. You can now have teeth whitening, botox injections, chemical peels and waxing all done at one venue. Considering these advancements, one would expect the practitioners to be highly trained and confident in their abilities.

South Africa has many good training institutions and several bodies, such as CIDESCO, that provide international accreditation. All of them follow the SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) guidelines, designed to ensure a high quality of treatments.

Why then do we still have the problem of improperly trained therapists? Mainly because somatology is an expensive course. Many people opt to do a weekend workshop instead, despite the fact that it won't give them an accredited qualification. Sadly this works well for the industry employers. Unqualified aestheticians earn less than their qualified colleagues, allowing employers to keep their bottom line looking healthy in the context of the current financial climate that has everyone hunting for the most affordable treatment. A R150 pedicure sounds much better than a R250 one and, after all, it is just a pedicure.

In the interest of offering the best-priced treatments, many businesses provide in-house training and leave it at that. The guests will be none the wiser and there is no watchman to enforce standards in the industry.

Does this mean the industry is doomed? Absolutely not. When consumers push back against poor service and demand quality from qualified therapists, the industry will have to up its game.

An aesthetician is in in a position of trust. As the client you should be able to trust your therapist to know what he or she is doing, and that they have your best interests at heart. Ask questions about your treatment, and ask the establishment to give you proof of its certification if you are unsure. You have the right to understand all aspects of your treatment. After all, you aren&t just paying for a treatment- you are paying for quality, and the therapists' skills, knowledge and expertise.


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