Friday, October 31, 2014

20 Healthier Halloween Candy Choices!

1. Hershey’s Special Dark
2. Twizzlers
3. Peanut M&Ms
4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniature
5.Tootsie Rolls
6. 3 Musketeers
7. Tootsie Roll Pop
8. Payday
9. Mounds
10. Almond Joy
11. Raisinetes
12. Kit Kat
13. Jolly Rancher
14. Dum Dum Lollipop
15. Nestle Crunch
16. Air Head
17. Mike & Ike
18. SweetTarts
19. Heath Bar
20. Smarties

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe for Breast Health

Raw kale greens are really delicious in salads. Because they are not as tender as softer greens like lettuce, they actually improve from sitting in this citrusy Southwestern style vinaigrette. The citrus ‘cooks’ the kale, very much like ceviche, adding tremendous flavor. Creamy avocado brings smoothness, roasted corn sweetness, and black beans protein. This is one tasty, easy meal.

3 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
Juice from 2 limes
2 cups washed cilantro leaves and tender stems
¼ red onion, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon grape seed or canola oil
1 cup frozen corn
4 cups chopped kale
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (see Ann’s Tips)
1 cup quartered cherry tomato
½ avocado, diced
Baked Tortilla Chips or warm tortilla

1. Blend the oil, lime juice, cilantro leaves, red onion and salt until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. In a wide skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is well browned, about 5 minutes. Tip into the dressing.

3. Add the kale, black beans and cherry tomato to the bowl, and mix well until well coated. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Just before serving top with diced avocado and tortilla chips, if using, or serve with a warm tortilla.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nominate Women in Cancer Treatment to Receive Free Wigs

5 more days to enter Wigs for Wonderful Women! 

Read what the daughter of our client said about our work in creating a customized wig for her mom while she was going through chemotherapy treatment:

"THE BEST! Words can not describe the expierience we had with Ricky and Kristen. Hearing the words cancer and chemo are devastating. The first thing my mother thought about was loosing her hair. As her daughter I did the research and Ricky Knowels kept on coming up. So we traveled to Houston. WOW, what a great decision!! In 2 days Ricky ordered, colored, and cut a beautiful new wig. He spent so much time talking and listening. And Kristen, well what can I say, the patience of a Saint. always talking about the health side, what to look out for, how to manage much that the Dr never covered!!!

I am filled with Gratitude that we have Ricky and Kristen in our lives they are truly ANGELS!!!" - Debra

Friday, October 24, 2014

10 Tips for While Going Through Cancer

10 Tips for While Going Through Cancer

1. Adopt a fighting spirit.
2. It's okay to discourage false cheerfulness and to share how you're feeling.
3. Seek support from your family and friends.
4. As a member of your health care team, learn about your disease and ask questions.
5. Be an active participant in your treatment and recovery efforts.
6. Make positive changes in your lifestyle that will improve your outcomes, such as quitting smoking, incorporating exercise and getting good nutrition.
7. Find something to laugh about each day. Good humor is healthy for the body and soul.
8. For safety's sake, when not feeling your best, ask for transportation assistance to your medical appointments.
9. Participation in a support group can help you learn from others.
10. Pay attention to how you are feeling and get plenty of rest, good nutrition, and take time for personal care.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Enter Our Free Contest for a Chance to Win Wigs!

A Houston-Area woman with any type of cancer can enter by writing about her personal journey with cancer, or a friend or family member of a Houston-Area woman with cancer can share how their loved one inspires them. 

All stories must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2014. 

Stories can be submitted via email to, or by US mail to: Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness 4141 Southwest Freeway, Suite 315 Houston, TX 77027 

Contestants will have a chance to win several great prizes, including: 

The grand prize of a completely customized human hair wig, beautifully designed and styled by world-renowned hair duplication master stylist, Ricky Knowles. 

Two (2) - second place winners will receive a completely customized synthetic hair wig, beautifully designed and styled by world-renowned hair duplication master stylist, Ricky knowles. 

Ten (10) - third place winners will receive a beautiful pre-tied head scarf and Neuma travel size shampoo, conditioner and organic scalp treatment. 

Grand prize, second and third place winners will be announced Friday, November 7th at 

Grand prize, second place and third place winners will be chosen by an independent judge. 

Every contestant will be automatically entered into a special weekly drawing for a chance to win a beautiful pre-tied head scarf. 

The weekly drawings will be announced every Friday on from Friday, November 7th through Friday December 19th for a total of 7 weekly winners. 

For more information about the contest, visit: 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Most Important Breast Cancer Findings Of 2014

The Huffington Post | By Anna Almendrala

It's estimated that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes, and about 40,000 American women are expected to die from the disease this year.

Learn more about the potentially life-saving research that has been published from research centers around the world.

The "Angelina Effect" Is Real
Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie made waves in May 2013 when she opted to have preventive double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, a mutation that greatly increases one’s chances of developing breast cancer in the future.

This year, a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research reveals that Jolie’s announcement may be responsible for inspiring a wave of requests for genetic counseling and tests for breast cancer risk. In the U.K., referrals for genetic testing more than doubled after Jolie went public with her surgery, and they were mostly women who had a good reason to be concerned; many had a family history of breast cancer, just like Jolie. It was no one-time spike, either -- data from 12 different clinics and 9 genetic testing centers in the U.K. showed that a doubling of genetic test referrals for BRCA1 lasted from immediately after the announcement through October of that year.

A Simple Blood Test Could Soon Predict Breast Cancer Risk
Testing for the BRCA1 gene mutation isn’t the only way to test for elevated breast cancer risk. A simple blood test is currently being developed by researchers at University College London that will be able to predict a woman’s likelihood of developing the cancer by testing for a certain epigenetic signature -- the way certain genes express themselves, or the way genes are turned “on” or “off” -- that is present in women who had breast cancer but didn’t have the BRCA1 gene mutation.

"The data is encouraging since it shows the potential of a blood based epigenetic test to identify breast cancer risk in women without known predisposing genetic mutations,” said lead researcher Prof. Martin Widschwendter, Head of University College London's Department of Women's Cancer. The test was already being evaluated in human trials back when it was announced in June.

3-D Imaging May Be The Future Of Cancer Detection
A new kind of 3-D imaging technique called tomosynthesis could make the tumor search more accurate. A study published in JAMA found that in over 170,000 examinations that used both digital mammography and tomosynthesis, doctors were able to increase cancer detection rates while decreasing the amount of times they needed a patient to return because of an inconclusive reading (referred to in the study as “recall”).

Researchers found that using mammography and tomosynthesis together was better able to detect cancer than just mammography alone (the norm) at a rate of 5.4 per 1,000 vs. 4.2/1,000. The combined detection technique also detected invasive cancer at a rate of 4.1/1,000 vs. 2.9/1,000. As for recall, which wastes time and resources, mammography and tomosynthesis reduced the rates from 107/1,000 to 91/1,000.

Certain Birth Control Pills May Increase Risk
Women who had recently taken certain kinds of oral contraceptives -- specifically high-estrogen pills -- had a 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who had never taken birth control pills or who stopped taking birth control pills. But the results should be interpreted with caution, said lead researcher Elisabeth F. Beaber, PhD, MPH of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in a press release about her study.

"Breast cancer is rare among young women and there are numerous established health benefits associated with oral contraceptive use that must be considered,” Beaber said. "In addition, prior studies suggest that the increased risk associated with recent oral contraceptive use declines after stopping oral contraceptives."

Instead of asking women to report how much birth control they had taken, which is the norm in these sorts of studies, Beaber culled information about pill brands, doses and length of time taken from pharmacies. She analyzed data from 1,102 women with breast cancer and compared them to 21,952 control women and found that pills with high estrogen increased breast cancer risk 2.7-fold, while pills with ethynodiol dictate increased risk 2.6-fold. Low-estrogen pills did not increase cancer risk. The study was published in the journal Cancer Research.

Common Fertility Drugs Do Not Increase Risk
Women who take the common infertility drug Clomid or gonadotropins (e.g. Pregnyl, Novarel, Profasi) needn’t worry that their quest for a baby opened them up to increased breast cancer risk. A study that followed women over 30 years finds that taking those drugs did not increase breast cancer risk, except for a very small amount of women who took Clomid for 12 or more cycles, who had more than 1.5 times the risk of contracting breast cancer as women who had never taken fertility drugs. Women who weren’t able to conceive after taking Clomid or gonadotropins had almost twice the risk of breast cancer as those who have never taken either medication, which suggests that the conditions that made them infertile could also have contributed to their eventual breast cancer diagnosis.

Doctors today recommend taking only six cycles of Clomid at up to 100 mgs per dose before moving on to other fertility strategies. In the past, Brinton pointed out, doctors used to prescribe up to 250 mgs per dose, and for many years. The research analyzed data from more than 12,000 women being treated for infertility between 1965 and 1988. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Diabetes May Increase The Size Of Breast Tumors
Adult onset diabetes could be making breast cancer tumors grow bigger, faster. A study presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference found that patients with Type 2 Diabetes were more likely to have advanced tumors when doctors first diagnose them with breast cancer.

"We think that hyperinsulinemia -- where there are increased levels of insulin circulating in the blood -- may encourage the growth of tumour cells by providing them with large amounts of glucose, said lead researcher Dr. Caterina Fontanella, MD in a press release. "We therefore believe that strict control of blood sugar levels is essential to the successful treatment of breast cancer."

Skirt Size Is Linked To Breast Cancer Risk
It turns out that a growing “skirt size” makes women more likely to be diagnosed with post-menopausal breast cancer, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Analyzing results from almost 93,000 women, researchers found that going up one skirt size every 10 years was linked to a 33 percent greater risk of breast cancer, while going up two skirt sizes in 10 years was linked to a 77 percent greater risk. Measuring “skirt size” isn’t really a proxy for weight gain; instead, think of it as a gendered way to describe waist circumference. Researchers already know that bigger the waist circumference is, the higher the risk for cancers like colon cancer and cancer of the uterus, as well as health risks like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study doesn’t establish cause and effect, but researchers speculate that because abdominal fat is more “metabolically active” than fat in other parts of the body, it could be increasing estrogen levels, which can fuel the grown of breast cancer cells.

Good Quality Sleep Is Really Important For Recovery
Not only will being well-rested keep your immune system stronger, but it may predict a better recovery for breast cancer patients. Researchers at Stanford University found that “sleep efficiency,” or the ratio of actual sleep compared to total time spent in the bed, predicted survival time for patients with advanced breast cancer. Adjusting for factors like age and treatments for a pool of 97 women with advanced breast cancer, they found that efficient sleepers survived an average of 68.9 months, while inefficient sleepers survived an average of 33.2 months after studying them for six years.

"Good sleep seems to have a strongly protective effect, even with advanced breast cancer,” said researcher Oxana Palesh, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in a press release.

Another sleep study demonstrated how melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy at night, is absolutely crucial to the success of tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug. The only problem is that exposing yourself to light from your TV, mobile phone or computer at night shuts off that melatonin production, which in turn could weaken tamoxifen. To show this, researchers from Tulane University implanted rats with human breast cancer cells and then regulated their light to alternate between 12 hours of light and 12 hours of total darkness for several weeks. Then they repeated the light/dark cycles, but this time they shone a very dim light during the dark portion, which suppressed melatonin production. Tamoxifen was most effective in rats that had 12 hours of unadulterated darkness, or rats who received melatonin supplements.

"High melatonin levels at night put breast cancer cells to 'sleep' by turning off key growth mechanisms,” explained researcher David Blask of Tulane University in a press release. "These cells are vulnerable to tamoxifen. But when the lights are on and melatonin is suppressed, breast cancer cells 'wake up' and ignore tamoxifen.”

Vitamin D Levels Predict Breast Cancer Patient Survival
Patients with high levels of vitamin D were more than twice as likely to survive breast cancer than women with low levels of vitamin D, according to a study published in the journal Anticancer Research. Researchers from University of California, San Diego analyzed five past studies of breast cancer patients, which altogether had data from 4,443 people. Women who had a greater chance of surviving breast cancer had an average vitamin D level of 30 nanograms per milliliter, while the women who had less chance of surviving had an average of 17 nano grams per milliliter. Unfortunately, the average breast cancer patient in the U.S. has vitamin D levels that mostly resemble the latter, not the former.

Because this was an observational study, the researchers recommended randomized clinical trials to confirm the causal relationship, but added that there’s no harm in adding vitamin D supplements to strengthen a breast cancer treatment regime now.

Breast Cancer Vaccines Could One Day Be A Reality
An experimental breast cancer vaccine called GP2 is showing a lot of promise in human trials and could one day be an important option to prevent recurrence in breast cancer survivors. Researchers divided 190 breast cancer survivors into two groups: a control which received only an immune stimulant and an experimental group which received the immune stimulant and the vaccine. The group which received the experimental vaccine had a 57 percent reduced breast cancer recurrence rate as compared to the control group.

"The ultimate goal is to develop a preventative tool that will minimize the risk of recurrence in women who have already had breast cancer and for whom standard therapies have failed,” wrote principal investigator Elizabeth Mittendorf, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Texas.

It’s Never Too Late To Make Lifestyle Changes
Two studies from Yale Cancer Center find that breast cancer survivors who start regularly exercising and eating healthier can decrease their risk for breast cancer recurrence and death, as well as improve overall quality of life.

The first study divided obese or overweight female cancer survivors into two groups: those who got help and counseling about weight loss, and those who received simply a brochure. In addition to losing more weight, the women who got help with weight loss experienced a decrease in C-reactive protein, which is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence.

The second study divided breast cancer survivors into two groups: those who strength-trained twice a week and did 2.5 hours of aerobic activity per week, and those who did not exercise. After a year, the exercisers had also experienced a significant decrease in C-reactive protein compared to the control group -- as well a decrease in body weight and body fat.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Women's Cancer Wig Giveaway!

Are you or do your know a wonderful woman going through cancer treatment? Then enter our giveaway contest by emailing Kristen at and tell us your story or your loved one's story. We are looking to give away a free human hair wig like the one our client, Rosemary is wearing. She loved her fully customized wig so much that she named it "confidence!" Our world-renowned hair duplication master stylist will color, cut and customize your new hair to give you extra confidence while going through cancer treatment. Our contest is open to women with any type of cancer. We are thrilled to give away "Wigs for Wonderful Women!" For more information, visit

Friday, October 3, 2014

Spotlight on Trichotillomania

October 1-7 is National Trichotillomania Awareness Week

Did you know that over 100 million women worldwide feel the urge to pull their hair out?

Here is a wonderful testimonial about the work that we do for our clients who are affected by trich:

"Ricky is an absolute godsend! Words cannot express the gratitude I have for what he did for my daughter and how he has given her back her confidence to attend her high school graduation with a beautiful head of hair. Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness has an incredible team that works miracles." - Kathy Simons

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wigs for Wonderful Women - A Women's Cancer Wig Giveaway

In observance of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness, the leading master stylists of high-quality, natural and synthetic wigs and hairpieces, is hosting “Wigs for Wonderful Women” a Women’s Cancer Wig Giveaway throughout the month of October.

Participants from the Houston-area can write a story about their personal journey with cancer, or a friend or family member of a woman with cancer can share how their loved one who has cancer inspires them.

The grand prize winner will receive a completely customized human hair wig, beautifully designed and styled by world-renowned hair duplication master stylist, Ricky Knowles. Two (2) second place winners will receive a completely customized synthetic hair wig, beautifully designed and styled by world-renowned hair duplication master stylist, Ricky Knowles. Ten (10) third place winners will receive a beautiful pre-tied head scarf and Neuma travel size shampoo, conditioner and organic scalp treatment.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Submit stories via email to

For more information about the contest, visit: