Friday, 10 August 2012

Weird malls and creepy walls

Chemist friend and I went shopping today until it was time for yoga class. She just moved into a bigger apartment in Malmö and the funniest thing is that her usually mean kitty is all sweet and cute now. So strange. Guess the cat is happy with the new place and getting all “her” stuff moved in?

Hard to believe this is the same fluff-ball that had me genuinely scared of touching her!

We went to check out a mall none of us have been to before: Mobilia. Weird place! It looked huge on the outside but was bizarrely small on the inside. I wanted some new jeans, an epilator and a good hair trimmer for Hubby but didn’t find anything I liked and ended up leaving with…

A refill of the day cream even though I’m not entirely sure what to think of the Eucerin line.

And an impulse buy of a mini massager. I’ve been considering getting some sort of massager for my scalp on and off for ages but since I have a stiff and sore neck from last yoga lesson, I got one this time. It was 99 kronor at Elgiganten for those interested.
I had a laugh at myself for taking a minute to figure out how to turn it on. Yep, it was in fact as super duper easy to operate as the package bragged about: You just press it on your skin. Typical that something that is really so simple confused me!

The area where Chemist friend have moved is full of small, charming old houses. Really cute area!

However, one of the houses really freaks me out.

First, let me point out that yes, this is indeed a painting of a house on the house’s wall. And it’s weird that instead of painting a more interesting house on the house, they only painted a single window on the side.

But let’s zoom in a little and focus on the cat and creepy girl in the window... Waving at the passer-by’s.

But it gets worse. Look what happens when you see the thing from the side...

Yes, that is actually a creepy hand coming out of the panting!

Of course when I came home again after shopping and yoga, and showed Hubby the pictures he decided to freak me out even further by speculating about the connection between the year 1866, the creepy painting of the girl and the even creepier hand. Bastard. He singlehanded made sure I will rather take a detour over walking near that house once the sun sets!  

Igor’s reaction to the most definitely ominous wall painting and most definitely haunted house:

And Igor’s reaction to her very, very mean Hubby who knows just how to push her buttons.

Maybe I should just generally wear my brand new, just arrived today sunglasses every time I get even remotely near the place? 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Fitness for hair growth

Just like with growing your hair, getting fit is a matter of doing a little bit the right way instead of overdoing it or doing it wrong.
I find one of the best arguments for working out is that it’s good for your hair. Such a simple but understandable reason to get off your ass and move!

Do something you enjoy
It doesn’t matter what your thing is. Walking the dog or training for an ultra marathon. As long as you get some air and blood flowing through your body, it’s good for your hair. Increased circulation and release of happy-hormones is all good for your body and good for your hair growth.
I like this motivational picture:

Get gadget-y
Even though you would wish the endorphins and general wellbeing after working out should be reward enough and motivating enough to get you going, we all know that’s not how it works.
“Silly” gadgets and tools can really help with the motivation. In the end, who cares what motivates you as long as it gets you moving?
Depending on what works for you, look into mini trampolines, the various Wii fit’s or the Nike+ fuelband.
Personally I use fitocracy.I find it has a lot of problems but it still motivates me to work out for my points. (My problems with fitocracy are that I find it extremely free-weight-centric, not always obvious or user friendly and it seems to me they’re not actually improving on the things that has been missing or not working for ages)
I downloaded the apps Runkeeper and Zombies, run! mainly for my Hubby to use on my new phone for when he runs. I recommend Runkeeper but not Zombies, run! I found Zombies, run! To be too expensive for something that will only be a supplement for running (I think the huge minus with it is that you can’t plan your runs or pick one for a length that fits your time schedule. It seems the app itself decides how long your run should be based on your playlist, which I can see is a good way to push yourself to run fast and run longer. But it seems incredibly stupid that you have to fail missions because you’re simply tired or run out of time to actually run in. Also, as my hubby put it: “So I’m just supposed to run around in circles until the program is over once I get to the end of my usual running track??” I would also really have liked to see a history or compare-option so you can see if you’re getting better or not. )

I will probably only repeat what you already know, but to make it short: Lifting builds muscles which burns more calories, lifting enhances your performance at every other sport you do, you gain strength without becoming bulkier (Unless you start *really* bodybuilding and even then you probably need some more or less illegal stuff anyways to get really big) Lifting decreases your risk of suffering from osteoporosis, reduce your risk of heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and joint pains.
Also, and I say this as a woman: I find a feeling of comfort in knowing I’m a lot stronger than people assume when they first see me.

People, even in the longhair circuit tend to treat sweat as an enemy to their hair. The reasoning given is that since sweat contains salts, it is drying on the scalp and hair. Of course that is true, but as long as you don’t leave the sweaty residue on for a full day, it shouldn’t be worse than being in a dry climate for some hours. It certainly isn’t a reason to not work out!
But let’s take a look at some numbers:
  • Normal pH of sweat is 4.3 to 4.7.
  • Human skins pH value is somewhere between 4.5 and 6.2 with the average pH being 5.5
  • The pH of the scalp is normally between 4.5 and 5.5

Sweat lands pretty accurately in the middle of the range for skin and scalp pH, so that is just fine.
Some shampoos however will be either alkali or very close to a neutral pH. Every time you use a high pH shampoo, you push your scalps natural balance a little further away from its natural and beneficial low pH value that protects it from fungi and malign bacteria.
Conditioners on the other hand are almost all acidic and will not interfere with the natural pH as much. (On a geeky note: The low pH value in conditioners will add a proton to the amino acids they contain which results in a positive charge that will form more hydrogen bonds in the keratin scales. This is the basic “flattening of the hair scale” that is desirable to people who care for their hair.)
I found a couple of links to nice lists that have pH values listed for shampoos and conditioners for those curious:
To make a simple conclusion here: Don’t shampoo your hair after working out (Unless you finish with an ACV rinse) Go for either a simple WO or if you must, use conditioner.


If you’re growing or maintaining long hair, chances are you are already obsessed with getting protein in your diet. When you are working out (At least if you lift as well) recommendations for protein intake seems to be between 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight and 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
But even if you’re not on a diet, you probably don’t want to add a bunch of extra calories to your diet just for extra protein. The easiest way to get extra protein is simply taking protein drinks. Divide the calorie content with the protein content to get an idea how many calories your protein will “cost” you.
As a general rule of thumb, it seems to me the protein drinks that are clear are lower in calories than those that are opaque. Avoid anything that boast of “recovery” as they will contain lots of carbohydrates.

And finally, a picture that really speaks to me:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The quest for yoga-hair continues

I had an idea of doing a quick variation of a crown braid where I would start a Dutch braid in one side, braid it down to the neck and then add the other sides hair in one go before wrapping it all the way around my head and secure it with a braided-in scarf.

Basically it would be the lazy, quick version of my double Dutch braid wrap.
This is how it looked from the back. Not as pretty and structured as the double Dutch wrap.

It looked good on the right side.

It looked pretty okay from the side too

It was ridiculously asymmetrical and the left side was huge!

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I felt that my hair was actually heavy and the whole construction felt very unbalanced.
Also, I felt it just looked weird and lumpy.
I was running low on time before the class, so as a last minute solution, I slapped a pre-tied bandanna around it and pulled the tassels up in front of the lumpy braid wrap.

Everything I’ve written so far aside, I actually quite liked it.
At no point during the class did I feel my hair got in my way and I enjoyed knowing I didn’t have my hair directly on the mats. I guess it would be different if you practised yoga at home, but I don’t know how clean the mats are…