A blog for the thoughts, theories, and ideals you never knew you had. Updated weekly.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the websites that I reference. They do, however, offer some amazing advice on the chemistry of carrier oils and hair care. Please feel free to read further and enjoy the knowledge!
As I (once again) get into the flow of posting regularly, I’ve decided to start on a lighter note. That means announcing a major change in my hair regimen.
After an exciting three-month run with Curlformers, I finally gave the “plastic crack” a break and refamiliarized myself with my hair texture. Coupling that with my seasonal trim and the onset of warmer weather means also reevaluating the products I use on my hair.
I have low-porosity hair. What that means is my hair cuticles are naturally closed tight. That’s good as far as locking in moisture; but getting moistureinside can be a little more difficult. What works for me includes conditioning for 30 minutes and using indirect heat (like steam treatments) to open the cuticles and get that moisture inside.
What moisture is that? Water.
How do I help hold that water in?
Well, oils are a major part of that.
Different oils have different benefits. They mix together fluidly, giving you multiple combinations and powerhouses with the nutrients they contain.
That’s great, right?
But, what if you’re allergic to certain oils?
What if you’re allergic to a lot of oils?
“What if,” indeed…
To make a long story short, I have sensitive hair and even more so ridiculously sensitive skin and scalp. From the neck down, this is termed atopic dermatitis. From the neck up, it is a lovely combination of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
And I am a triple threat, baby.
(Sigh; that sounded cooler in my head...)
Both dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are fueled by a fungus genus known as Malassezia (m. globosa, primarily). This lovely little fungus (thank you, Wiki and the World Wide Web!) not only eats the fatty acids in oils (namely, oleic acid), but it also expels a slightly mutated version of these acids back onto the scalp. Too much oleic acid can cause multiple problems for someone trying to grow thick, healthy hair:
So, what does this mean for my hair regimen?
Simple: I cannot focus any oils onto my scalp. If I do, that oil had better be low in oleic acid.
I’m ashamed to say that my original list of oils were not the best candidates for low-oleic properties. Add that to the fact that I had a lot of them, and…well…just bad decisions all around.
After much research and a wonderful chart of chemistry, I have revamped my list of oils and am determined to keep that list within 5 products. The following is my original list of items and how I’ve swapped them out. Notice the difference in the percentages of oleic acid:
As you can see, none of my new oils exceed an oleic content of 25%. I have worked for years with all of these oils (except jojoba and cranberry seed oil), and so far, their isolated applications have caused me none of the dreadful itching and flaking fits that, say, neem oil (49 – 62%) and olive oil (65 – 80%!!!) have.
As for jojoba and cranberry seed, I’ve been hearing for years how much people love jojoba oil and only avoided it due to its price. Cranberry seed is chock full of vitamins E and A and so naturally assists in extending product shelf life and—reportedly—UV protection.
I’m a bit bummed that I am so sensitive to oleic acid, as there were a lot of oils that I wanted to test out: baobab, babassu, tamanu, and argan oil, to name a few. Reducing the quantity of oils I purchase at once saves me money for more expensive options, but I can no longer deny what my body just doesn’t like. So, all four are out:
Wait. Hold up.
Looks like Boabab is still a contender.
I might have to keep that in mind. J
One final note: Many oils out there are reputed to work for the very conditions that it aggravates in me. So please don’t cut out any staples that have worked for you and your hair health.
And so the hair journey continues!
As an introvert, I pride myself on seeing things about people that they may have never even noticed about themselves. Little habits that they do when they're nervous, the way their look when they're secretly pleased, realizing that someone's not nearly as cruel as you thought.
Unfortunately, as wise and all-seeing as you feel, this people watching gift isn't always as cools as it sounds. On the next few pages, I list why.
I could have very easily written a blog post on what I saw at the Barber Motorsports Museum this last weekend during my trip to Birmingham, Alabama. I love writing...but I love taking pictures, too. So, see what I saw! Enjoy what I enjoyed! And come out of this with one simple, clear message...
Motor vehicles are pretty.
Please view and enjoy!
Well, here we are again.
New Year’s Day, 2014.
It’s a time for perspective and a time for looking into the future.
What resolutions will be broken by the end of the summer? Of this month? Of this weekend?
What will change in our lives that we never could have expected?
I began this post fully expecting to write a list of what I intended to focus on this year. I intended to detail things like my intention to take Contortion classes, take ballet classes, dive into my “Year of Music,” finish writing that durn Blackwell fanfiction before the real game comes out in early spring, gain the gusts to travel with friends/family/on my own for vacation, fulfill my annual quota of two separate dating escapades, learn Japanese fluently by the end of the year, expand my knowledge of a personal hair care line, and successfully test for my second degree black belt in Taekwondo.
But that’s just selfish.
Instead, I would rather ask a question.
Who is tired of how their life is going?
About two weeks ago, I had an epiphany about making my twist outs and Curlformer sets last longer.
I was staying with family out of town and was so exhausted one night I didn’t even bother pulling my satin cap out of my luggage. Instead, I merely pineappled my freshly Culformed hair and went to sleep. In my drowsy state, I was faintly nervous about how messed up and frizzy my hair would be in the morning—but not nervous enough to get up.
The next morning, I took my hair down to check it and was absolutely shocked at how straight and clean my roots were. I flipped my hair back—and forth—much to the amusement of my family, then pinned it back up and went along my way. That evening, I drove home and put on my satin scarf and bonnet as usual, turned up the heater in my apartment as usual, and went to bed.
The next morning, my roots were puffy and fused together with frizziness.
An annoying conundrum, you say? You bet. And I intended to get to the bottom of it immediately.