I don't usually take pictures of my standard, braided Nautilus bun.
But I somehow managed to make my ends hang out over the bun and I thought it looked pretty cute. I might do it intentionally next time.
As pretty as the mornings are when I'm waiting for the bus, it felt good to get out of it today.
I've been doing some overtime the last two weeks, almost a 60 hours work week last week. So I bet accounting doesn't complain either!
Speaking of work, my coworkers told me the buildings have a lot of ghost stories and cold spots, so I've been a "little" on edge when people start clearing out and going home in the evenings. I was warned about how the lifts "have a life on their own in the evenings and nights", going up and down and opening and closing at nothing, but it still scared the crap out of me every time.
That's one thing I definitely won't miss! Brr.
Hubby an I went to Malmöfestivalen, mostly to try some different foods, haha.
Malmö is a really strange town: Some parts of it is beautiful and really picture-worthy, other are concrete hellholes filled with people who will obviously never pay taxes.
My poor skin was definitely happy to get a day off from work too. It will probably take it a few more days to recover.
The air there is super dry from the A/C, so once I noticed, I figured I would take one of the heavy hitters from my stash: COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence. But, my skin seemed less and less happy. It made me confused, because it didn't just seem like "dry and unhappy", but "reacting to something"-unhappy. Since I knew it was aloe vera free, it made me extra confused (Some blogger complained that it didn't contain aloe vera). A few days ago I looked it up on COSDNA, and there was the problem: Hippophae Rhamnoides Water as ingredient #1. Aka. sea buckthorn. Aka the ingredient I'm the most allergic to.
Some 10+ years ago I used a Dr Hauschka vitamin C mask that really burned. It left my face so red and swollen that people could tell from my voice over the phone (I refused to leave the house until it had calmed down again). That's when I learned sea buckthorn is murder on my skin.
Fortunately it's super rare to find in skincare. In fact, I've only seen it in the Dr Hauschka mask and the COSRX essence. So I stopped looking for it in my ingredient lists.
Well, live and learn.
Speaking of skin stuff: I've signed up for the Asian beauty geekage! in Malmö on the 27th. Just in case any of my local readers would be interested too.
I don't really have a lot of stuff I don't use, or a lot of samples around any longer, but I packed up what I could find...
Good old Chinese bun held with an Elk And Iron stick. The non-braid based updos have a tendency to slip from my style rotation because I'm lazy and would rather not have to redo them into a braid in the evening...
When it comes to hair in a professional environment, it seems people either believe it needs to be cropped short or kept in a "librarian" type bun. So I'd like to talk a bit about my personal observations and recommendations...
Be aware of your signal value
First of all, you need to realise there is a signal value in what you wear and what you do to your hair.
You want to look professional while maintaining your unique personality. Beware your brand!
That means you should avoid anything that looks "trendy", "young" or something "statement"-looking.
When in doubt, go by the most basic military rule
If your hair is long enough to reach your collar, keep it up and keep it neat!
Definitely avoid the long, flowing hair everywhere. It sends a signal of someone who is more busy with her hair and might want to avoid stuff like faxes, plotters and copy machines, or other things her hair can get stuck in.
I generally find the military regulations for your hair to be very good to follow: Keep your hair clean, contained and neat. Never do purposely messy styles.This also falls under the next rule:
Avoid the obvious trends
So granted, it's highly unlikely that people in an office know or care that the current trend for hair dye is more of a cool purple than a warm burgundy. But, most people will know and recognize those very popular hair trends like the top knot that was everywhere some time ago and the boxer braids that are everywhere now.
Use the "subtle" trends to play around with, flatter your face with or express your personality.
Avoid the trends that people will actually recognize. Avoid sharp tools
You probably won't come within arms reach from your coworkers except when you stand over someones shoulder to look at the same monitor. But, avoid objects that are obviously pointy or sharp in your hair. A rounded Ron Quattro is good, a pointy stick isn't. It sends a certain signal, even if it's not a safety issue.
Cycle your styles!
One general truth to everyone who isn't in the longhair circuit is that they can't see the difference between near-identical styles. A Celtic knot looks the same as a Chinese bun, which looks the same as a regular Cinnamon bun, which looks the same as a regular Nautilus bun. People just can't tell.
The same goes for coworkers. Wearing too many vaguely different buns can make people think you're frumpy, unkempt or just boring. You want to look like you care about your signal value, not necessarily about your looks.
What people can recognize though, is things like "Today she is wearing two buns, yesterday it was one" or "Today her bun is braided, yesterday it wasn't".
So this is where you can play around with your hair and express your personality.
Try to cycle your styles according to what is obviously different to the uninitiated.
To repeat myself a bit: Inositol or vitamin B8 or benosine monophosphate is no longer classified as a vitamin because it is synthesized by the human body, just like the other vitamin B's B4 (Adenine) and B7 (Biotin, also known as vitamin H). It is necessary for hair growth to keep follicles healthy at the cellular level.
Inositol has showed beneficial effect in studies on dermotillomania and other OCD or anxiety issues.
It has now been two months since I started taking inositol and as per the plan, I've been upping the dosage with 1 gram per week. Which means that as I write this, I'm taking 8 gram a day (4 x 2 gram).
And... Yes, I'm seeing an effect. Definitely.
The last week or two, it has come to my attention that I have two kinds of picking:
The conscious one: Something irritates or tickle my skin and when I move to scratch it, it turns into picking if I can get my fingers into something.
The unconscious one: I don't even know I'm picking because my attention is at something else. I don't even notice until I feel blood under my nails.
The unconscious one is definitely the one I do the most: Maybe 90-95% of the picking happens like this. My most common trigger for this behavior is when I'm trying to relax in a situation but I'm stressed or mentally occupied by something else. So I unconsciously pick to try to relax myself in the situation.
The last week or two, I haven't caught myself unconsciously picking. Like, at all. If I do pick unconsciously, I don't pick to a point where I draw blood.
It might not sound dramatic to some of my dear readers, but this is an enormous difference to me. I've struggled with this for at least a decade, and inositol has really helped me.
So I'd like to officially recommend anyone who struggles with OCD and/or anxiety to give this a try.
The other day when I was rinsing conditioner out of my hair, it occurred to me that I was basically going through some yoga poses!
Of course mostly I will use my hands to scritch, massage and comb my hair while rinsing, so these aren't completely identical. But the realisation still made me smile.
This is usually the one I start off with: Bending forward, dumping my hair into the bath tub and using the shower head to rinse the length and scalp.
It's great for rinsing out the bulk of conditioner without getting wet all over, which can make me cold before I've gotten anywhere with the rinsing.
When I get into the tub after rinsing the bulk of the conditioner out, I like having some water in the tub. I then switch back and forth between this position and sitting upright. It allows me to soak my hair in the water while using the flow of water to clean my scalp.
This is especially good for cassia-treatments where you want the bulk of grains out of your hair with as little rubbing and scrubbing as possible.
When I'm sure my hair is getting close to clean, I start sitting up and using the flow of the water to gently roll my hair back. This makes excessive combing and handling unnecessary.
Hair is fragile and stretchy while wet, so making a habit out of limiting handling is a good thing!
You should always focus on cleaning your scalp, but not comb your wet hair unless it's necessary for tangles or shifting it from one pose to the other.
This is my final pose in the cleaning process: I like to sit back, relax and give my scalp the last bit of attention. Leftover product on my scalp can make me break out. I comb, scritch and massage the scalp. Then I let the water gently rinse my hair backwards to prepare to braid it or put it up after.