Saturday, 28 July 2012

Today’s hair

(Well yesterdays, but I came home late and just wanted to sleep)
Scorching hot day!

I can feel my poor pale skin begin to sizzle as soon as I step out of the shadows. Of course this means: Hair covering day.

I wore it to the gym like this:
A pre-tied bandanna covered with a real bandanna to match my gym outfit

Then later I changed the top bandanna into a sarong-kind of thing my mother brought home from Greece for me once. I never used it though. It’s a super short wrap around skirt meant to wear over your bikini, but I never got the point in wearing it. It almost reveals as much as the bikini bottom anyways, so why even bother?

Although I initially wore my hair covered to protect from the sun, I was really happy with it once it became cold outside during the night!

The extra “padding” makes my buns huge!

I was going out with Chemist Friend and Teacher Friend to the open air film festival in Malmö to see Hugo.

Chemist Friend and I had never been to an open air movie event before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but we thought it would be a mini version of a music festival. So we arrived early to make sure we could get a good spot. Chemist Friend had looked up directions how to get there, but as we were right where it should be, we were confused as we couldn’t find it. She consulted her GPS and we found we were pretty much looking right at it!

It was absolutely not what we had expected! I would swear I have seen home theatres around this size!
And that is Chemist Friend in the front.

The first 30 minutes to an hour of the movie was banalities on banalities and tired childish gags of the “He got hit in the groin! That’s so funny!”-type but it got a lot better. But even if the movie had been crap, the setting was great: Snacks, rosé wine and sitting outside with blankets watching a movie.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Today’s hair

(Well, yesterday but close enough)
Thursday I go to yoga with Chemist Friend in Malmö and I’ve been experimenting back and forth a bit to find a suitable up do for it. Braid(s) was irritating me and my usual braided nautilus was irritating me too, so it was time to try a top knot.

I violated my own three attempts or less-rule to get a good basic high ponytail going and my hair has a deep hatred for direction changes (Guess it comes with having coarse hair?) so I lost a scary amount of hair for this.

It started off as a regular Nautilus but after some fiddling and rearranging I’m not really sure what it could be called anymore. It’s not pretty, but it felt better than a regular height bun and a braid. It was actually only the hair sticks that turned out to get in my way.

I think I will try with a crown wrap of some sort next time.

Yoga was torture though. I covered the skinless areas on my feet with not one, but two of those shock absorbing anti-blister bandages but I managed to half scrape off the one on my right front foot and I had to pick it off in the middle of the class. Ouch and ouch!

Look how deep it is on my heel! I can feel my pulse in it at all times.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


I developed two big blisters from a hike some days ago. The one on my front right foot opened up tonight and I cut the dead skin off to keep it from flapping around and irritating me. I (The genius) figured that since I (The genius) had the scissors out, I (The genius) should just cut the other one on my left heel open as well. Of course it turned out the one on my heel was super deep and about one layer of skin away from bleeding.

So now instead of going to the gym tonight like I planned, I’m stuck here with 27 bandages on my sore feet. Fairly sure it’s not a good idea to wash my hair either since I will get the skin soft and fragile in water.

I (The genius) am now bored as hell.

However, it does bring me to a question. I’ve been generally avoiding too much non-hair stuff in general and life-stuff in particular (I think?) But I guess there is a limit to how much scientific, useful and enlightening hair stuff I have to post.

Of course the question is; what would have a reading value?
Would it be fun for my beloved readers to see some pictures from an event I go to with my friends? Would it be interesting to see some pictures from the area where I live? Would it be amusing to see some random hair-find from when I’m out and about? Would hair-of-the-day be fun in the long run? 

Thoughts on skincare

I’m not an expert on skincare, but here are my no bullshit allowed-thoughts…

Stop reading ingredients
I spent endless hours reading and studying on ingredients. Then spent endless hours worrying about the dangers of parabens, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, Polyethylene Glycol, Phthalates, Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine, mineral oil, Silicone derived emollients, alcohol, sulfates, Propylene Glycol and so on and so on.
Then after all my hard work studying and finding products that contained none of the evils, I found my skin freaking out on me anyways because the natural, organic cold pressed extra virgin oils and ingredients added to it were quite harsh and irritating anyways.
Save yourself the worry and hard work that might be for nothing and only read ingredients to scan for things you know you’re allergic to.

Count the ingredients instead
You don’t need a bunch of fancy ingredients to get a working product. After all, you can make perfectly functioning skincare products just using some know-how and a handful of ingredients from your kitchen.
Even if your extra ingredients are “natural”, “organic” or what have you, any extra ingredients increase your risk of reacting to the product.

Read the label right
Avoid everything to do with anti aging. Period. Avoid everything to do with oily or acne prone skin. Period. Anti aging products will “plump up” the skin to conceal wrinkles which is done with more or less nasty ingredients and isn’t a nice process at all. You can almost tell it’s a bad thing from the “plumping up” description. Products for oily or acne prone skin will usually just be extremely drying for a quick fix. 
The simpler your products “promise”, the better. The less fancy adjectives added to the product, the more you should consider it.

The right number of products
  • You need a simple cleanser in the form that appeals to you: Cream, foam, gel or what have you.
  • A toner to remove the last traces of the cleanser and restore your skins pH.
  • A moisturiser for the face.
  • An eye cream since the facial moisturiser is almost always too heavy for the sensitive eye area and will irritate it.
  • One or two moisturisers for your body. If you have drier areas on your body, it’s a good idea to have one lighter and one heavier moisturiser.
  • A hand cream to keep in your purse.

Go kitchen witch
So what about facial masks and exfoliations and stuff?
This is where you go kitchen witch. There are a bunch of simple and good recipes found out there on the web using common ingredients you find in your kitchen cupboard. I’m partial to a simple raw honey mask myself. Kitchen witch treatments are perfectly functional and if you can eat it without any ill effects, chances are it will work for your skin too.  
OCM can be wonderful too. Although it mostly works for whiteheads and blackheads, it can still be nice for skin without those problems. I like using half argan and half hemp oil with a few drops of tea tree essential oil.

Test your products.
A moisturiser should be absorbed within a few minutes. If it takes longer, it’s too greasy and if your skin feels dry during the day, it’s too light. The feeling of skin being too greasy or dry is irritating and encourages unconscious picking or touching.
I once read a pretty weird tip and although I’ve never tried it myself, I will pass it on: Test your products on the sensitive skin on your… Errh... Butt… area. Yea, it does sound weird but it makes sense. That area is very sensitive and if you have any weird reaction to a product, you will know faster than if you use it on your face.

General tips
  • If you have a bad habit of picking (Like me) keep your nails short and manicured so it’s harder for you to get a “grip” and you have less dirt under your nails.
  • Exfoliate once a week, or less if your skin is sensitive. Yes, you do get a beautiful glow from exfoliating, but it's part of your skins natural and healthy defence to be protected by the dead skin.
  • Disinfect or clean the surfaces you touch a lot such as phones and keyboards.
  • I subscribe to the idea that night creams are bad. They’re heavy and built on the theory that skin can super-absorb during the night. What actually happens during your sleep is that your whole body rebuilds and cleanses itself. This is where you actually want your skin to breathe and not have your pores clogged up. Wash your skin before bed and swipe toner over, or simply swipe toner over to remove moisturiser traces and dirt from the day and sleep with a "naked" face.

Of course I don’t mean that you need to smear a thick layer of makeup on, but used the right way, it can help you feel a lot better. Don’t go for “colour” such as lipstick and eye shadow; go for products that perfect your skin: Foundation, concealer, highlighter and blusher. You want to look natural, like you’re not wearing any makeup, but have your imperfections covered.
Don’t forget to tone out towards your ears and down your neck to spread the “good” skin area.

The stuff you’ve all heard a million times
Prioritise your sleep, get fresh air and exercise, drink water, change your pillow case often, avoid excessive sunlight, have a hobby or something that makes you happy and relaxed, eat healthy etc etc. I don’t think I need to go in details here.

My personal recommendations
  • I like the classic blue Nivea in the tin for the dry and damaged skin on my shins. My skin won’t tolerate it anywhere else, but it’s wonderful for the dry area.
  • I like Decubals original clinic cream for the rest of my body. I tried the facial line but can’t tolerate it. I doubt you can find it outside Scandinavia, but if you’re located here, take a look at your local pharmacy.
  • Some times I keep a kitchen witch spray in my fridge: Half green or white tea, half toner, a bit of lemon juice and a drop of honey. It has a refreshing yet calming effect on my skin. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Frustrating conversation of the day

Person: I heard mayonnaise is really good for your hair.

Me: Yes, because mayonnaise contains oil and whole egg which has protein in it. Of course you could cut out the middle man and eliminate the extra ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, spices and additives like emulsifier and simply try adding protein and oil to your hair. Most conditioners containing protein are called something with “reconstructing” but you can also simply add an egg yolk to your regular conditioner. Of course there are oils that penetrates the hair strands better than olive oil, such as coconut or camellia oil.

Person: *Blank stare* …But oil is really bad for your hair!

Me: Le sigh. 

Bit of Q&A

Just a side note, you can get replacement batteries on ebay for next to nothing for older cell phones...and new ones. :D 
I know, but I have wanted a new one for a very long time now. I finally managed to track one of the ones I wanted down and it should arrive later today!
(Although I have to admit I’m not pleased with the fact that UPS will be delivering. My experiences with UPS have not been good and that is putting it very, very lightly)

Reading your long and useful reply to the anonymous about the cystic acne due to biotin (btw when ppl tell me "omg I found the best thing to grow hair, taking shit tons of biotin!" I always send them to your rant, keeps me from having to rant myself) I actually wanted to know if you could write a little more about skincare. I know your blog is mostly hair-related but I find it really interesting to read your thoughts on skin-related issues. 
I will definitely consider that.

I was particularly wondering if you were going to review the Eucerin products you bought. I used to buy their special sunscreen for sun-allergic people until I stopped being able to find it and now I use their urea nightcream occasionally so I was wondering how you got on with the products you got. 

I was actually thinking about it, but I’m really not sure what to think of the Eucerin line!
The good news: The products seem to have a calming effect on my skin and reduce the redness and irritation I usually suffer from. They have the right feel of “effect” (As in the wash and toner aren’t too strong or too mild) and the moisturisers feels just right, not too heavy and not too light.
The bad news: I’ve had a few small whiteheads in the time I’ve used it. For someone who gets a whitehead maybe twice a year, this is a clear statistic abnormality and it worries me.
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a few whiteheads from time to time than the usual redness and irritation, but it still worries me that my skin has changed personality like this. No matter what I’ve tried over the (Many) years, the products have never before actually provoked this type of breakouts.
So… I’m really not sure what to make of it. What do you think?

I've been struggling with this weird skin problem lately, basically my cheeks are covered with these teeny tiny spot like things, and I can't figure out what they're caused by, and I can't see a dermatologist. I'm not sure what's going on but I'm freaking out a bit (and getting married in about 2 weeks so timing is really not good!) 

I’m drawing a blank of this, but your question is now put out in the open and I hope someone else has advice or suggestions!
Also RIP for your epilator, aren't they amazing though, lasting so long! I've used one since I was 16 and really don't get how any one would ever prefer shaving! 

Yes! I so agree!

Thank you Ida, for taking time and answering so thoroughly about my hair/scalp issue. You're right, I maybe should wash with colder water and see if it helps. Other than that, I'm going to get my hands on some cassia. I remember that I used it a long time ago and that it really helped with my itchy scalp, I don#t know why I tend to forget about it. Thanks for the reminder. 
I’m happy I could help just a little bit. I really hope you figure out what is causing your scalp problem and find a solution!