Saturday, 13 April 2013

My gift to myself

After trying in various ways to motivate and reward myself for going to the gym, I have come to the conclusion that I simply don’t like going.
Part of the issue is that amount of transportation it requires. Not very motivating when I spend almost as much time on getting there than on a lifting-session.
Then I tried running again, thinking it would work when I just have to change clothes and shoes and get out the door. Also didn’t work: My ankle is still pretty shot.
I would really like to exercise, but I need to find something I enjoy and don’t get irritated with.
(Funnily I find it a lot better as motivation to know that “It’s good for your hair and skin!!” than “It will lover your blood pressure and boost your immune system and statistically it will lover your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, apoplexy…”)

So, now I’m trying with this thing:

I haven’t even owned a bike for a couple of years, but I used to love mountain biking. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Scarf style attempt

I tried copying the first style here, only with the intention of wrapping the scarf around my bun a couple of times:

It worked sort of okay, except that it would have looked a lot better if I had more scarf around the bun.
The purple scarf is 190 cm long, so holy crap, how long a scarf would I really need to get a good amount around the bun? 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Conditioner only wash

When I first started getting serious about my hairs health, I tried the CO wash method. Transitioning from 3 shampoos per week to 2 CO washes a week took me around a year. My patience was so worth it!
My scalp is happier, my hair feels wonderful and the winter static electricity issues have decreased a lot.

Why shampoo sucks
Shampoo strips the oils out of hair and then conditioner replaces them. No matter what clever and flashy commercials tell you, shampoo is damaging to hair.
The harsh surfactacts present in shampoo like sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate tend to overcleanse the scalp. These detergents also dry out the hair.
To compensate for the drying out, the scalp produces more sebum to protect itself and restore the natural state. Skin and scalp needs both a certain pH and natural oils to stay healthy.
This tends to put you in a cycle where you overcleanse to get rid of the greasy hair and your scalp produces more grease to compensate. Some link the overcleansing to dandruff and scalp issues.
For those who are familiar with the oil cleansing method for skin, using CO washing is a lot like that: Instead of using harsh products for cleansing and the putting the back moisture on, you can clean with a product that adds moisture.

Going conditioner only
If you are interested in going conditioner only, you should know it isn’t suitable if you use styling products (Not counting leave in conditioner or natural products like aloe vera and oils)
Of course you can always use the CO method as a supplement to shampoo or other cleansing methods. If you can substitute one shampoo for one CO wash a week, you are still doing something good for your hair and scalp.
Conditioners contain cleansing agents, surfactants and ingredients such as glycerin or glycerol, which are able to dissolve sebum, grease and dirt on your scalp. Cetyl and cetearyl alcohol are thickening and emulsifying agents are used to make a conditioner rich and creamy. Because they’re oil soluble help lift some of the sebum of your hair and scalp.
Conditioner will admittedly take longer to cleanse the scalp than shampoo does, so you need leave it on your scalp for a while before rinsing it off. Of course if you follow shampoo with conditioner, this adds up to about the same time spent.

Transition period
If you cut the shampoo out of daily use, initially your hair will feel very oily and dirty. This is because your hair is used to produce an excessive amount of oils as a defense against the daily oil stripping from shampoo. In some time, this balances out and the scalp adjusts to the new regime, resulting in less oil being produced in the first place.

You shouldn’t attempt going conditioner only if you’re not able to accept that you have a transitioning period where your hair won’t look so good!

Disguise greasy hair with a variety of braids, or hide it under a hat or bandana. It could be a good idea to look ahead in your schedule and avoid trying around major events where there will be pictures involved.

For those who suffer from dandruff, this might not work for you. Since the CO method doesn’t fully have the same cleansing properties as shampoo and dandruff thrives on excess sebum and oil, the method can make you itchy or uncomfortable.
Cool water rinses and ACV may however reduce the itching.

  • It may be a good idea to brush or scritch to loosen the sebum a bit first. It makes it easier to dissolve and wash out.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly. You can pre-scrub your scalp gently with your fingertips to dislodge dirt and oil from the scalp.
  • Apply a generous amount of conditioner to hair. Take a big handful of conditioner so everything is covered and feels “slimy”. Ignore what the bottle recommends.
  • I find the best way is to bend at the waist and let your hair hang down when you apply conditioner so you don’t get conditioner all over your skin. I have sensitive skin and my skin doesn’t appreciate too much contact with conditioner.
  • Massage the conditioner into your scalp.
  • Comb conditioner through your hair from the root to the tip using a wide-tooth comb.
  • Leave the conditioner on your hair for some minutes.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly. Comb while rinsing and use your fingertips to scrub your scalp.
  • I find the best way is to bend at the waist and let your hair hang down when you rinse. If you stand up and rinse downwards, the water seems to “bounce off”, where when you bend and rinse up, the water can penetrate the mass of hair better and you can direct and focus the water.
  • Make sure all conditioner is rinsed from your scalp and roots.

Tips and tricks
  • Some people find using cone free conditioners better than those that contain cones. It doesn’t include me, but now I have passed the advice on.
  • Personally I find that conditioners containing protein are good for washing. There might be some scientific reason for this, but I haven’t found one yet.
  • Be prepared to stick with this for a long time. Change comes slow and gradually. Try replacing one shampooing per week with one CO wash, and then some months later replace yet another shampooing with CO etc.
  • Related to this is of course that you should ease into the CO wash method. You can’t go straight from shampoo to CO washes. Alternating them is a good plan.
  • Try finishing with an ACV dip or rinse after CO washing. It normalizes the scalps pH, closes the hair scales and makes your hair feel great.
  • Pick the right conditioners for trying: Sauve Naturals, VO5 (Alberto Balsam in Canada), White Rain and Tresemme Naturals are famous for being good for CO washes.

Of course then there are all the hybrid methods like low-poo and baking powder and various herbs for washing, but I will leave it to the reader to look these up if you’re interested.
I’m aware of, but not familiar with these methods. Since CO washing works for me, I haven’t experimented with them. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Fabulous fruit!

Finding this product delighted me like crazy. Seriously. I was cracking up in the middle of the hair product isle. Unfortunately I wasn’t out with any of my girl friends, but with Hubby. He definitely didn’t get it. Instead he gave me that look where I suspect he is weighing my good sides against the most recent outburst of the crazies.
But seriously. Look at it:

It is so blatantly copying Fructis.
  • The name: Fabulous fruit! I mean, not only does it lean against the Fructis name, but I just can’t help but imagining it being said with overly excited jazz-hands: Fabulous! Fruit!!
  • The colour: That migraine inducing glow-in-the-dark green.
  • The claim: “With fruit extract”. (Which I feel requires an exclamation point and some gesturing as well)
  • The scent… Wow, the scent took gave me an honest to goddess flashback to the mid 90s. I remember being off at boarding school and this girl in my class told me her new shampoo smelled delicious and I stuck my nose in it and felt the explosion of sour green apple bubblegum up my sinuses. It was so absolutely over the top. Fructis really toned that scent down since then. Maybe they had too many allergic reactions to the ridiculous over-perfuming on their hands?
The ingredient list is simple:
Aqua. Water. H2O.
Cetyl alcohol. It keep an emulsion from separating into its oil and liquid components, are also used to alter the thickness of liquid products, to increase foaming capacity or to stabilize foams.
Cetrimonium chloride.  Helps to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances. says “… safe for use in rinse-off products and were safe for use at concentrations of up to 0.25% in leave-on products.”
Vaccinium myrtillius extract. This is the Latin name for bilberry.
Saccharum officinarum extract. This is the Latin name for sugar cane. Also something found a lot in Fructis products (Never got why it was supposed to be good for hair)
Acer saccharum extract. This is the Latin name for sugar maple. Hah, this could easily have been in a Fructis product too.
Citrus aurantium dulcis fruit extract. This is the Latin name for oranges. Oranges have many uses in cosmetics, but the fruit extract in particular seems to be used for fragrance only.
Citrus medica limonum fruit extract. This is the Latin name for lemons. Lemons have many uses in cosmetics, but the fruit extract in particular seems to be used for fragrance only.
Parfym. Hah, I would have thought this one would be higher up with such a dominating scent!
Phenoxyethanol. Prevents microbial growth and prevents product from spoiling.
DMDM hydantoin. Is a formaldehyde-donor preservative that prevents or retards microbial growth.
Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. Prevents or retards bacterial growth. says “…safe as a cosmetic ingredient at concentrations less than or equal to 0.1%.”

Except for the Cetrimonium chloride so high up the list, this seems to be a nice product. Of course this leaves me with a dilemma: I really want to try this happily green product but then it wouldn’t sit there on my shelf anymore and make me crack a smile every time I look at it…