Special ingredients! What are they? Should you care?

“New hydrating ultra moisture honey, olive, coconut, argan Madness Shampoo and Conditioner”

Gosh I would love to try a product made out of those 4 ingredients exclusively, if you know about it please let me know.

Shampoos and conditioners have all sorts of chemical components (yes, all natural brands are also created using chemistry) that make or break a product, but what really matters is the base ingredients, how they mix together, the molecule size, how big or small an ingredient is can determine how it will be absorbed in the scalp and hair shaft and off course the pH, a pH balanced shampoo is so much better for the hair than a natural alkaline “cleansing agent”.

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Source: Google Scholar

Special ingredients are what each cosmetic product has as a unique individual characteristic, and also a powerful marketing tool.  They can improve the quality of the product to another level; but they can also increase the price either because they are rare ingredients, they are costly to produce or because it is a hype and it sells well.

How to invest wisely? How to know the difference, quality vs hype? The simple answer is with science.

The base of every product is more or less the same, so once you have found a mix of base ingredients that work for you usually ( for simplicity lets say the first 5 ingredients) you can look for add on special ingredients.

Lets try it with shampoo, because we have this great info-graphic available. If we have a good base of detergent, conditioners, sequestering agents and thickeners we are highly likely to get good results regardless of it having or not the most precious golden oil from a beautiful country, off course if its a good product and has the special additive it will be an even better product.

A good add on special ingredient, with a good base will certainly increase the quality of the product, and is worth the price tag; but a good add on with a bad base means money wasted in developing the product and by the final consumer.

A good base for curly hair in terms of shampoo has only 1 detergent if you see 2 types of deep cleaning agents in a “moisturising shampoo” do not buy it, it will dry the hair out and eventually will make you believe that all shampoo is bad for curly hair when the problem was a bad mix.  Always use pH balanced shampoos, any shampoo with a pH above 5,5 will highly likely irritate and dry out the scalp. I am aware we can not check the pH of products on the hair care aisle but some state it in the label and we have no choice but to believe.

Special ingredients should be high on the list if the product claims to be made exclusively or mainly out of that ingredient, but if the product only states that it contains the ingredient and you like the first ingredients lets say 5-10 and then see a special additive you would like to try that is also fine.

The idea is to shop wisely and to not fall for misconceptions or marketing tactics either in favour or against certain products.

What_Is_Argan_Oil

My favourite Special ingredient: Argan oil  Source: pinterest

 

Prisma, AI for the People

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Photo Credit: The Hair Lab

 

 

Prisma is a russian app created by Russian developer Alexei Moiseyenkov released last month that uses neural networks and artificial intelligence  (as other applications before it) to create “paintings” from your pictures. What makes it different, and maybe the reason for its popularity, is that it mixes well with current social media instant usage because it is remarkably faster than its earlier more customizable counterparts, which I also like very much and will write about soon.

How to use Prisma:

Basically take any of your iPhone pictures, choose your “filter” wait a few seconds and you get you AI customized photo painting. It has a set amount of filters from which your photo will be repainted, not just a filter on top but a new creation. So far the tech community and selfie instausers are equally excited. The app for android will be launched this month.

Some critics say it distances people from art, but I think I gives art to the people with the help of science.

I know you do not know 

That is the basic premise people have when engaging in conversations quite often.

That saying “waiting for your turn to talk” or so it goes, is ever more so true for social media interactions covered by anonymity.

I don’t want to read and understand what you say, I do not care about your opinion I already know you do not know any better than me, in fact my opinion is better than yours because it is mine after all and hence I do not have to learn anything from you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were willing to spend more time listening and reading critically what others say or write and then evaluate the quality of the information we were provided with serious sources instead of preferring always to offend, get offended, ignore and get ignored by others?

Laurel and Hardy

This is my response to my first prompt a

prophecy

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/prophecy/”>Prophecy</a&gt;

Respect to all bloggers out there!

I never imagined I would start a blog, but since I already was working in academic writing content creation and editing I thought why not document my hair journey and add a few sciency ideas along the way.

I am currently editing a botany book and realized academic writing could not be more different from blogging and while both tasks are challenging,  I find blogging harder than academic writing in some aspects specially the topic selection and content creation for blogs.

When presented with a task in academic writing, you can either document your own results, write the results of your group or create a manuscript for a third party. Editing jobs are even better because a raw version of the material is already available and depending on the request you have more or less involvement in the structure of the final product. All these tasks have in common a set of guidelines, a predetermined topic and a structure that should be followed; it might seem like a difficult endeavor to comply with all those requirements but at the end of the day it makes the job clear.

Blogging on the other hand is completely free and unguided, so what do you follow to create content? Creativity is definitively central, but how do you cultivate it?

I have so many questions that I have not been able to write anymore entries to The Hair Lab, it is a Hair blog in theory, but sometimes I feel like writing about other things for instance The floating Piers installation by Christo in Lake Iseo, Italy  because I just don’t know what to write about hair that has not already been covered.

The main questions I would like to find an answer for are:

What makes a blog interesting?

How can a blog be used for educational purposes among a certain group?

Can you have a central topic on a blog and then post unrelated commentary on other subjects, or should the central topic be modified accordingly?

Well that’s it for now, if I manage to find my answers I will definitively continue blogging if not we will see. I am not sure how long I will be able to blog, but I have a great appreciation for everyone capable of creating great content in a regular manner and in such a massive media form as blogging is.

Cheers

Is “No Poo” healthy? A medical opinion

One thing that is extremely popular on the internet are mentions to the “No poo”method and products.

The methods:

1. Only water cleansing: Only water

The purest variant is to wet your hair with spring water. Advocates say that, although your hair gets greasy in the first few weeks, its appearance subsequently improves greatly because sebum production eventually regulates itself.

I have nothing to say about this except that water is not a cleansing agent and even if you never use hair products, you are exposed to pollutants, your natural oils or sebum and sweat which water does not have the ability  to cleanse.

2. Baking soda/ apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Natural is not always better. Just because it is in your pantry it does not mean it should go on your hair and skin.

Baking soda has a pH=8, ACV has a pH=2-3 one is too alcaline and the other one too acid.

The alkaline pH causes hair shaft swelling. This swelling loosens the protective cuticle predisposing the hair shaft to damage. It can also cause irritation of the scalp, hair loss and bleaching.

Don’t do it.

Even if it “looks good” a few times, it will eventually have a rebound effect and even increase the production of sebum, defeating the purpose of being a cleasing agent.

ACV is not as harmful as baking soda but still is not a good idea if you want tight curls.

3. Cleansing conditioners or cowash products and regular conditioners:

They contain cationic (positively charged) surfactants such as stearalkonium, cetrimonium, behentimonium chloride, behentrimonium methosulfate, and stearamidopropyl dimethylamine which soften the hair and stick to it (because hair has a slight negative charge), which in theory could lead to more buildup. But at the same time, they do possess some capacity to gently lift dirt and oil.

*Also another worthy molecule included in cowashes is cocamidopropyl betaine (amphoteric), but this one deserves it’s blog post.

My opinion as a medical doctor:

The no poo trend is probably not what it is hyped out to be and can be harmful, but using conditioner or cowash products to cleanse the scalp can be an aid to refresh hair in between shampoos, that can be as separated as 4 weeks depending on lifestyle and baseline dryness of hair.

In fact there is an old “guideline” from the american asociation of dermatology for afro hair care recommends washing it every 1-2 weeks, with the option to cowash you can still enjoy the benefits of cleansing your scalp and hair without drying it out more.

Natural is NOT always better.

Please don’t put baking soda and apple cider vinegar (undiluted) on your scalp and hair, it may look good at first but you will in general have problems down the road and it will take a while to solve it.

They may be in the pantry but they are not good for the hair or scalp.

Water never hurt anyone but all it can do is hydrate, it really does not clean properly.

In principle it is not harmful to only use conditioner (regular or the more expensive cowash products) and they can mildly cleanse the scalp and hair if left on and massaged in the scalp and then rinsed out as any other shampoo would be, yet eventually you should shampoo (succinates are a great alternative to sulfates, if you dont like sulfates look for this) for clarifying.

If you want to “no poo” prefer cowashing with products (I cowash sometimes because I work out regularly), either with high end cowash products, if you have big pockets or an ecofriendly condish (like the one From bodyshop) or a good ole cheap condish like Aussie and shampoo at some point.

A mix of dedicated cowash & conditioners

Is it necessary to buy a special cowash product?

Probably not, I compared a few cowash ingredients on various products and the cleansing agents are the same the difference are the specialty ingredients and the formulation (cream, foam etc) same as in any cosmetic product a part of the effective marketing, and better performance.

You dont need to buy a conditioning cleanser, but if you can afford it and want to do so you totally can.

Conditioners that work well as cowashes ingredient wise and that I have tried:

Aussie Moist, Tresseme Naturals, rainforest coconut oil by the bodyshop. The absolute on a budget condish with great smell the white rain Coconut or even better the lavender one, I cant get it in Germany but its so good.

Cleansing conditioners I have tried:

Macadamia cleansing cream.  I liked the fact that it is a foam and smells so fresh but the price of about 20 euro for a 100ml flask it’s not worth it in comparison to less than 10 euro for 400ml of aussie or 200ml of coconut rainforest for the same results.

Trying this product will be my guilty pleasure

What do the experts say about shampoo?

The Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV)

“… shampoo removes the oil produced by the sebaceous glands that traps dead scalp cells, dirt and other substances we apply, such as sprays, gels, etc. This oil or sebum must be removed periodically for reasons other than the merely aesthetic, as it is an important source of microorganisms that could induce infections.”
The Dermatolology times Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos (she has written really good scientific review papers about hair care products)

“The frequency of hair washing depends on the sebum and sweat production of the individual and the geometry of the hair. Hair that is straight will rapidly wick the sebum and sweat from the scalp while tightly kinked hair wicks very poorly. For this reason, individuals with very straight hair usually prefer to shampoo daily while individuals with kinky hair shampoo once every one to two weeks. It is likely that most Americans shampoo their hair too much, accounting for the huge sale of hair conditioners designed to replace sebum with a more cosmetically acceptable synthetic ingredient.”

Dr. Robert Dorin, a board-certified hair transplantation surgeon in New York City.

“the scalp beneath the hair needs to be regularly cleaned of oil, dried sweat, dirt and dead skin cells, Those using “no-poo” products “aren’t really cleaning their scalp,”.  “They’re not taking off the environmental impurities.”People who don’t use detergent shampoo to clean the scalp run the risk of developing fungal and bacterial infections”

Stop using too much shampoo😂😂😂

The bottomline:

Eliminating shampoo from the hair care routine is probably a bad idea, but reducing its frequency of usage (instead of eliminating it) might be beneficial and all you need to do.

Choose the right shampoo for you (even if it has sulfates a pH balanced for dry hair shampoo can be good, the mix of ingredients is more important, don’t like sulfates then use a different surfactant)

Shampoo correctly with small amonts of product also, only your scalp needs a cleansing massage, the hair just gets cleansed with the foam.

No poo in its purest form( all natural no product)is unhealthy, since it can lead to sebum, dirt, oil and environmental pollutants build up which then can lead to scalp diseases such as fungal and bacterial infections or can cause damage to the hair shaft by exposure to caustic agents such as baking soda ultimately causing breakage.

Earth Day 2016: Let’s go green!

Celebrated every year on April 22, Earth Day aims to encourage people across the world to be more environmentally friendly. Today, leaders from over 150 countries will officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day 2016. The deal was thrashed out in Paris last December in order to stem global warming. The signing makes this year’s Earth […]

http://indroyc.com/2016/04/22/earth-day-2016-lets-go-green/