Saturday, 12 February 2011


My first attempt with the CoverYourHair snood. It was kind of uncomfortable on the ears but I really don’t know what to think about it. Does this work? Does it look weird? What can I wear this with? How should I put my hair up under it? Bun or two braids crossed at the neck and then “dump” them down the back?
Maybe some fake bangs would be good with this…

Combs and sticks

From Ric the combmaker
I love the sticks, but I’m not a big fan of the combs. For such hyped combs, I find they needed a lot of extra sanding before I wanted to use them in my hair!

Hair tool

Some sort of stitching tool that I use to manipulate ribbons with

Broken hair stick

Horn stick that broke in my bun

I thought horn sticks were supposed to be stronger?

Leave in conditioners

Left to right:

Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair repair Shea cashmere

Makes my hair very soft and easy to comb and handle. The comb just slides through the length! Strongly perfumed flowery scent that hubby cant stand. Makes my hair very glossy. Texture is somewhat slimy and sticks on hands. I like the effect of it but since hubby makes a face when he comes near me, this is a fail :sad This one is also the most expensive one

L’Oreal Elvital night elixir

Hair is very slippery but easy to handle. The scent is like honey that later develops into a hay-like smell. Nice shine. Slightly slimy texture but easy to rinse off the hands. Good stuff, but more expensive than the Sulsilks (But still cheaper than the Schwarzkopf)

Sunsilk Care&repair

Hair is smooth and easy to work with. Creamy and “clean” scent. High shine. Deliciously creamy texture and non-slimy on the hands. A favourite especially for the price (cheap!) and availability at the local supermarket :lol:

Nivea Intense repair

Makes the hair very easy to detangle. Soapy scent that makes hair feel clean even on a dirty day. Good shine. Nice creamy texture

Sunsilk Passionate waves & curls

Contains aloe vera extract which I’m not very comfortable with since I’m allergic to it, even if it doesn’t come in contact with my scalp. Doesn’t make my hair as smooth as the others. “Green” scent. Good shine. Maybe a little runnier than the other ones when it comes in contact with wet hair? Cheapest one (A tiny bit cheaper than the other Sunsilk)

Mended hair stick

Look, I fixed a hair stick!
I got this cool hair stick from a friend and fixed the broken tip. I filed it back into shape, and then dipped it in jet black nail polish several times and voila! Will leave it overnight to completely harden before I play with it


My S&D scissor

It’s not as stunningly beautiful as it looked on the website but it’s still pretty. And sharp! I test-snipped a few ends and it feels absolutely perfect to work with: Tiny, agile (Can you use that word on a scissor?) and effective
It came with a little pendant thing and a differently coloured set of those things that goes in the finger holes

Here it is compared to my old, beat up scissor which has now been degraded to hubby’s hair cutting-scissor.

(Text in Danish) beauties

Left to right:
Authentic (Really authentic) Japanese camellia oil plus the pretty package
Chopsticks shaped like pens (Love!) I got the very last set or I would have ordered two so I had a blue and a red set
Two sets of chopsticks shaped like samurai swords (Replicas of some famous Japanese general’s swords?)
Three sets of chopsticks shaped like star wars light sabres plus packaging


The (in)famous biotin rant

Biotin, also previously known as vitamin H and B7 is a water soluble vitamin. In the human colon exists benign bacteria which produce biotin that the body will absorb. In the vast majority of people, these bacteria produce more than enough biotin to meet the daily requirement for the body and a lot of the naturally available biotin will be flushed out through the urine. Some countries and agencies doesn’t even have an externally recommend daily dose of biotin since the bacteria produce surplus biotin already. Deficiencies are extremely rare. Recommended daily allowance is no higher than 225 mcg… By people who don’t attempt to sell you biotin as supplement! Of course, if you ask the companies that actually sell supplements it’s a wonder we’re all not bald as eggs if we don’t take their amazing supplements. It’s called source criticism. It’s an important skill in life.

Biotin is necessary for a lot in the body: For all cell growth, for energy produced in the cells, the production of fatty acids and enzymes, transferring carbon dioxide and the metabolism of fats and amino acids.
Biotin is very important for hair too. It’s essential for the production of keratin and melanin. Some studies show it may prevent greying and hair loss in men. It promotes healthy hair growth since it increases the elasticity of the hair's cortex, thus preventing breakage and protects against dryness.

As you can read, it’s very important for hair growth. However, there are no studies that show any benefit in any case where the subject is not actually biotin deficient. And as previously mentioned, deficiencies are extremely rare.
Basically, if you are deficient, you will be sick in ways that can’t be ignored: Hair loss, depression, lack of muscle coordination, strange rashes of different kinds, pink eye, lack of energy, “swelling” of the face because of an unusual fat distribution, hallucinations and numbness and tingling of the extremities. There is no way you can ignore it or not know something is seriously wrong and you need help.

But because people know that A) its beneficial for hair growth and B) its water soluble, people will overdose on it. Not just overdose, but mega dose. Some people say it helps their hair grow faster, thicker and stronger. Actual medical studies seem to disagree. Of course it’s highly likely a lot of it is mental: If you’re taking a supplement and having a good hair day, its one of those conclusions us humans like to draw. Placebo is particularly effective if the pills are expensive, taste bad or have weird colours and shapes.
Doses happily and commonly mentioned are 5.000 mcg (22 times recommended daily allowance) 10.000 mcg (44 times recommended daily allowance) and I have seen several people taking 20.000 mcg (That’s 88 times the recommended daily allowance!)

If you take a biotin supplement and you get ½ inch a month with 5.000 mcg, it doesn’t mean you will get 1 inch at 10.000 mcg. Or 2 inches at 20.000 mcg.
It goes the other way too: If you get ½ inch with 5.000 mcg, you will probably also get ½ inch at 500 mcg. You are already overloading at those doses. They are unnecessary. Popping pills is not the answer to better hair growth.

But since biotin is “cursed” with being water soluble, it seems people believe its okay to eat it like sugar pills. Ironically, a lot of people would object to this, because sugar is bad, evil, unhealthy, addictive etc etc… Same with water: No one would think you could just drink as much water as you please, because that would be dangerous. But taking ridiculously huge doses of a water soluble vitamin? Oh, that’s completely safe!

Biotin is actually difficult to avoid in your diet: (brewers) yeast, (Fatty) fish, avocado, bananas, beans, breads, cauliflower, cheese, chocolate, dairy products, egg yolk, kidney, legumes, liver, meat in general, milk, molasses, mushrooms, nuts, oatmeal, organ meats in general, oysters, peanut butter, peanuts, pork, poultry, raspberries, soy, unpolished rice, wheat germ, whole grains and yoghurt contains biotin. You will have to have a very deficient and monotonous (And bizarre!) diet to not get biotin in your food.

So why do people mega dose on biotin?

My best guess is because of the A) and B) as mentioned before. People simply have no respect for the water soluble vitamins “because they just get peed out!”. Which is a statement that in itself makes no sense: Why would you buy a supplement that you know will just end up as expensive urine anyways?

But of course the truth isn’t that simple. Nothing is “just” done in the body. Thousands of chemical reactions and processes take place during the day; every nutrient is broken down, filtered and processed by organs. Nothing “just” happens. Nothing we eat or ingest is cost free. It affects everything in our bodies. It is processed in our internal organs. It changes the body chemistry.

Biotin overdose symptoms have been seen when people have been consistently overdosing on it. Some side effects have been reported as slowed insulin release, skin eruptions, increased blood sugar and increased vitamin C and vitamin B6 requirements. A study on pregnant rats revealed that shrinking size of placenta and increased chances of miscarriage were caused by the biotin overdose.

In one case, a woman who took a high dose of biotin (along with vitamin B5) experienced a life-threatening lung and chest condition known as eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion. However, this condition improved once she stopped taking biotin and vitamin B5. It is not known if the biotin, the vitamin B5, the combination of the two, or something else caused this problem.

Just on the hair forums I have frequented, members have had bad experiences with skin problems in general and painful cystic acne due to biotin overload. Light-sensitive migraines have also been reported.

But what goes on under the skin? The liver and kidneys still need to process it. Organs can suffer bad side effects neatly hidden under the skin. No one will know unless you develop kidney stones or ultra sound show damage to the liver. You can still get the toxic effect even though you “just pee it out”. It’s still in your body for long enough to affect it.

Those that experience acne because of the huge biotin doses will even happily ignore it or suppress it, which is an unbelievable attitude towards their body. Instead of responding to the fact that their body is reacting badly to it: “I’m just going to take some zinc to keep it down!”

Let’s imagine someone used a cream that made them break out. What would people do? Of course every normal, sane person would stop using that cream. No one would chose to keep using that cream and “I’m just going to use this serum to keep it down!”

People get their reply. Their body shows clearly and obviously it doesn’t need the biotin. It doesn’t want it. It doesn’t like it. It reacts badly to it. But it gets ignored or suppressed in the name of hair, even though it may not even have a beneficial effect on the hair.

Also baffling is when people scale the dose up gradually. Your body either needs it or it doesn’t need it. You cant somehow “condition” your body into learning to absorb more. It’s troubling when people without biotin deficiency treat biotin like its medication. There is good reason to slowly up a dose on necessary medication to protect you from side effects and get used to the dose.
But I repeat again; Biotin is not medication. You body needs it or it doesn’t need it.

Unfortunately science doesn’t move as fast with these studies as one could wish. Experiments are still being done. Research still goes on. Just think about how few years we have to go back when smoking wasn’t that bad. People didn’t know better for sure. Science didn’t have the numbers then.
Vitamin overdoses are generally difficult to study (Deficiencies are much easier: Too little will make you sick) and studies are still conducted. Maybe biotin is almost completely safe to take as much of as you want. Maybe not.

But it’s still unbelievably arrogant to think that just because you know something is water soluble, you are so much smarter and more knowing than the health care professionals who studied vitamins and reactions for decades. Especially when you don’t have any actual benefit from it.

The world isn’t against you growing a healthy head of hair. No, the scientists are not mean and jealous. As a matter of fact I will guarantee you they couldn’t care less about your hair unless they work for a company selling supplements.
The recommendations are there for one important reason: To guide and protect the general population’s health. It’s in the healthcare professionals’ interest to keep everyone healthy and safe.

It is okay to overdose on water soluble vitamins. They are, after all water soluble. They will be processed and filtered out if you are healthy and don’t suffer kidney problems.
Overdose, yes. Mega dose, no.
Different numbers on “okay” doses are out there on the internet. 1000 mcg seems to be pretty common as an okay dose. Of course this in itself is a dose used to treat legitimate biotin deficiencies. As in; The doctors and scientists that monitor and cure biotin deficiencies says that this is an okay dose to take… If you are deficient. 88 times the recommended daily allowance is not.
Most likely, even at a low dose you are not seeing any real, true benefit.

So my point is: Moderation. Moderation and actually study up on what you stuff in your body. (And please stop spreading “Its water soluble so you just pee it out!”. Thank you)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Feng shui for hair

It's one of those more obscure links I’ve had in my Hair-folder for a long time. There are a lot of “alternative” ideas for hair growth out there, but I tend to mentally sort them after what could be potentially be harmful and what couldn’t (But probably wont do anything and I can’t see how it would work. But hey, as long as it doesn’t do any harm in it, I’m okay with the idea that someone else might be right about something even though I can’t see how it would work)

The latter category includes things like:
Cutting by lunar phases (Which I follow on an off)
Meditation methods
Stones and gems for increasing scalp energy

Who knows, maybe the scalp-tapping method would increase circulation?

Some may also find this useful:

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Sunday the 6th of February

Yesterday was supposed to be a grape seed oil day. However, I was out of grape seed oil so I ended up giving the mane some of the mix in my oil spray bottle. I have a regular oil spray for cooking use that contains 1 part olive oil, 1 part grape seed oil and 1 part camellia oil. It gives the hair a really nice shine and should be pretty nourishing too.
I haven’t been able to find grape seed oil for a while although I must admit I haven’t been looking too hard. When I originally settled on the Project Hairy Health “Month” I decided on grape seed oil because it contains ceramides, but it seems the evidence I based it on might be wrong. Oils that do contain ceramides are wheat germ and walnut.
I was considering instead of always having a grape seed treatment that day, maybe try a new oil once in a while. It really seems like you can’t “calculate” if an oil works for you or not.
As I wrote before, I considered ordering some oils from a webshop, but didn’t get around to it. (Plus I already had a big splurge on clothes and beauty supplies in general this month, so I feel I have spent enough on myself already)
Hubby and I had a craving for burritos and went to the grocery store around the corner. It’s a tiny little store- I have honestly seen 7-11s bigger than it! To my surprise, it had a small selection of more “exotic” oils in the oil and vinegar section and among them a single bottle of walnut oil. And for one third of the price I found it for in the webshop. Score!