Winter and Your Lovely Tresses

How Can Winter Affect Your Hair?

 

Humidity is a misleading number when dealing with hair care. First of all, 100% humidity in the summer and 100% humidity in the winter are clearly going to indicate different levels of moisture. This is because those numbers represent RELATIVE humidity. Also, 100% humidity in Arizona is very different from 100% humidity in Florida, even if we’re talking about the same time of year.

 

Dew point is the temperature at which water will condense to form dew or fog. Dew point will never be higher than the air temperature. If the air temp is 40 degrees and 100% humidity that means the dew point should be at 40 degrees or so (because the air is saturated). So dew point and humidity are related, but dew point helps you gauge how much moisture is really there more accurately. If it’s 90 degrees with high humidity, the dew point will often be in the 70’s.

 

The air can hold different amounts of water depending on the air temperature. Warmer air can hold more water than colder air. This is why 100% humidity on a summer day is so different from 100% humidity on a cold day. On a summer day, when there is a lot of moisture in the air, the dew point may be 60 or 70. That means that the water will condense at 60 or 70 degrees. Think about a fog at 70 degrees. Very oppressive isn’t it?! Now, the opposite scenario is that on a frigid winter day, the dew point may be in the teens or lower. This means that the water is not readily coming out of the air in condensed form, so the air is dry.

What does this mean for you and your hair? Does any of this meteorological jargon really mean anything when it comes to how your curls behave? You betcha!

 

A dew point of 30 and lower = low dew point. This is the winter. It is dry! If there is no moisture in the air, your hair cannot retain any. Your hair wants to be in equilibrium with its environment.  If there is no moisture in the air, and presuming your hair has some, it will give up its moisture to the air because your hair wants to have the same moisture content as the air around it. If the air around you has 0 figurative drops of water and your hair has 10 figurative drops of water, your hair will expel moisture until the air around it has 5 drops and your hair has 5 drops. This is the battle of winter. You have to continually replenish moisture because your hair will be continually giving it up to the dry air in low dew points. Deep treatments, rich conditioners, hair butters, creamy leave in-s, and humectant-free products will help you in winter. Some of you may also be able to use pure oils for lubrication and many are anti-humectants. Humectants are products which work to make that equilibrium between your hair and the environment happen faster and more efficiently. They are your friend in moderate dews, but your enemy in low dews, because they will just be pushing that moisture out of your hair and into the air! Common humectants are glycerin, panthenol, honey, propylene glycol, and vitamin B5. However, most people have more adverse issues with glycerin in winter than the other humectants.

If the dew point levels are 30 through 40 = in between, awkward transition. The air is neither moist nor super dry. It’s a toss-up, and will require experimenting. You may be able to use humectants here, and you may not. This range will coincide with seasonal changes.

 

At 40-60 = moist and happy! This is a favorite time for many Curlies. Humectants are welcome, as they will pull moisture into your hair instead of expelling it. The air is now comfortably moist, so say the air now has the 10 figurative drops, and your hair has 0 (well hopefully you’ve been taking better care of it than that so it isn’t that dry, but this is for illustrative purposes). Humectants will pull moisture into your hair to balance it out. Don’t ignore your moisture treatments, but you can now use lighter products.

 

Now if it’s 60 and up = muggy and 80s hair revival. Some Curlies will outright skip rinse out conditioners in these conditions. Humectants become somewhat dangerous here, because they’ll pull too much water into your hair, making it swell and poof. Here, you will want to use anti-humectants. These ingredients are water repellents. Castor oil, beeswax, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, and shea butter are natural anti-humectants instead of harsh “insoluble” silicones. The caveat with these ingredients is that because they are water repellents, they may build up on your with the CG routine. This is because in order to be water repellent, they must be at least partially insoluble in water. A hard hold gel will be your friend in these muggy conditions if you aren’t willing to try anti-humectants. Ultimately natural gels are better for you as many hair gels on the market contain triethanolamine and/or parabens. ;-)

-Placing a humidifier in the home can still help with the overall health of your hair. Not only will it eliminate excessive dryness and static for your hair, but also for your home.

Sleep On Silk / Satin


 

Silk and satin are wonderful for the body during sleep against the skin. When it comes to the face it actually helps to prevent wrinkles! Silk and Satin pillowcases are great for hair as it helps to hold your style longer, and prevent damage that can be done with cotton pillowcases. Cotton pillowcases can snag your hair while sleeping. Also, cotton pillowcases can draw moisture from your hair and skin. Silk and satin help the skin and hair to hold moisture thus preventing premature wrinkles and hair damage which I will go into more detail later. First, what is the difference between Silk Charmeuse and Polyester (Silk) Satin?

 

Natural vs. Man-made

To start, it is helpful to understand the difference between polyester and natural silk as fabrics. Satin silk from polyester is a man-made fabric produced from polymers. This satin silk from polyester is essentially a fabric created from oil and has the same chemical composition as plastic bottles. Silk, in contrast, is spun from the natural silk protein filament produced by the silk worm when forming its cocoon. Each silk fiber is produced from 3-5 of these silk filaments which are subsequently spun together to produce silk fabric in an assortment of momme weights.

 

What is a Momme Weight?

Momme weight is a way of measuring things developed by the Japanese. Momme weight is a standard way of measuring the weight of silk as well as a common way to measure pearls. Momme is pronounced similarly to the word “mummy.” So when it comes to silk sheets, a momme weight of 12-19 is considered good quality, with silk sheets in the range of 16-19 being very high quality. Anything lower than 12 will result in sheets that are not as durable as they should be which means they will be more prone with damage and tearing.

Basically, the best silk sheets are made from 100 percent mulberry silk; have a thread count over 400 threads per inch; have a momme count of about 19; and are woven in such a way that it gives the silk a satiny appearance that is pure luxury against the skin.

 

A Very Different Feel

Polyester silk and natural silk also have a very different feel against the skin. Polyester silk satin is slippery with a clearly distinct texture which you can feel. Natural silk in contrast is softer in feel and the Charmeuse weave affords a more subtle reduction in friction.

 

Benefits for your health

Both polyester satin silk pillowcases and natural silk pillowcases provide benefits to your skin and hair through reduced friction. This reduces split ends in your hair, pulling on your facial skin and both diminish crease wrinkles in the face. However, because silk is a natural protein, it also provides additional benefits for your health. For one, the proteins balance well with the proteins in your hair and skin. Second, silk pillowcases have very low moisture absorption rates, helping your skin and hair maintain its natural moisture levels. Third, natural silk is a very good thermal insulator, helping you to stay cooler during the summer months and warmer during the winter months, which supports healthy skin. Lastly, silk is naturally hypoallergenic and is resistant to mold, mildew, fungus and dust mites.

 

Inexpensive vs. Luxury

Perhaps the most obvious difference between polyester satin silk pillowcases and natural Charmeuse silk pillowcases is the cost. As a man-made fabric, polyester is easy to produce in large quantities from a relatively inexpensive source (Oil and recycled plastics) and as a result it’s generally cheap. Silk on the other hand is a luxury product and is very expensive to produce, since supply is limited and the process to harvest and spin silk is complex and labor intensive. This is one of the reasons the silk trade has more in common with precious metals and gem stones (such as being sold by weight) then other fabrics on the market.

Is man-made polyester satin (silk) BPA free??? Just a thought.

Silk sheets make a great gift too.  ;-)

BEER!


Pale Ale Beer Conditioner

Sorry if the pic seems a little “blurry”….I wasn’t drinking when I took the shot, lol. You can drink it, cook with it, but did you know you can apply it to your hair? Beer for the tresses…Yes! Beer is potent with B Vitamins and hops which are great for the hair. Besides nourishment, it provides volume and shine. I applied this Pale Ale conditioner after I shampooed my hair. This conditioner has great slip and makes my hair extremely soft upon contact! Despite having a citrus scent, it smells more like beer to me. But hey, it may be just as effective as pouring actual beer on your hair via leaning over the sink or tub. Then place a conditioning cap on the hair for a few minutes, and rinsing. After that I would probably run a good smelling conditioner through my hair. Anyway the product is good except for the fact that it has sodium benzoate in it. I was told from a scientist that it has been proven that sodium benzoate contributes to cancer, even very little of it. Of course, I was a little puzzle about that. Why? Sodium benzoate is a preservative and so are parabens. I am already trying to stay away from parabens. I am starting to feel that all laboratory synthetic preservatives contribute to cancer. Heeey, if you breathe wrong…you might get cancer. And this is what makes some people say why even try to be a naturalist. Well, it takes a little effort to get the best out of life. Personally, as I have stated before, I try not to be a fanatic when it comes to being natural. I appreciate the information I read or receive and if necessary limit my usage. Oh btw, many sodas (ex., coke) contain sodium benzoate. But I do not drink commercial sodas and haven’t for years, so I was not torn up when I heard that. My reasoning from staying away from it was high fructose corn syrup. My theory about most (not all) food and drink products are: if they advertise it on television, it’s probably not good for you.

But Anyway….back to my poisonous beer conditioner….that I purchased online.  I really like the way that it makes my hair feel and look. When I run out, I may “debate” about purchasing more; especially since I do not drink soda, I don’t see how it could hurt to apply things of that nature to my hair occasionally. I can always try regular beer. But if sodas have sodium benzoate in it, I am sure beer has to have it too. Many of the beers and even wine on the market do not even have a full ingredient list on the bottle. So, what are you drinking??? Does alcohol really cause cirrhosis of the liver…..or-is-it-Sodium-Benzoate?? This is probably one of the reasons why some folks enjoy making their own. And you can also purchase the organic varieties. Upon doing further research on the matter, I found that sodium benzoate can also cause hypertension, and ADHD. And if you combine ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate (another preservative), you get benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Meaning if you drink a soda and/or beer with sodium benzoate in it, you may need to look at ALL the ingredients in the other foods you are currently eating (ex., Fast food burger and fries), so that you don’t create an atomic bomb within your body! Coke may be removing this preservative from their recipe later this year. So this is like, Breaking News folks! Sodium Benzoate isn’t as safe as people once thought it was. Now you found out how bad cigarettes “really” are (though it came with a warning label) and that certain preservatives are bad etc….and then people stay away from them. And “this” is why people are living longer today! (But what took so long?) You know, I probably will not purchase any more of that conditioner because it has potassium and citrus in it.    Its’ Da BOMB!!! :-)

What are ANTIBIOTICS and how do they work?

 

The word antibiotic comes from the Greek anti meaning ‘against’ and bios meaning ‘life’ (a bacterium is a life form).’ Antibiotics are also known as antibacterials, and they are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria are tiny organisms that can sometimes cause illness to humans and animals. The singular word for bacteria is bacterium.

Such illnesses as tuberculosis etc, are caused by bacteria. Some bacteria are not harmful, while others are good for us.

Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms our immune system can usually destroy them. We have special white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria. Even if symptoms do occur, our immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. There are occasions, however, when it is all too much and our bodies need some help – from antibiotics.

The first antibiotic was penicillin. Such penicillin-related antibiotics as ampicillin, amoxicillin and benzylpenicilllin are widely used today to treat a variety of infections – these antibiotics have been around for a long time. There are several different types of modern antibiotics and they are only available with a doctor’s prescription in industrialized countries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How do antibiotics work?

Although there are a number of different types of antibiotic they all work in one of two ways:

  • A bactericidal antibiotic kills the bacteria. Penicillin is a bactericidal. A bactericidal usually either interferes with the formation of the bacterium’s cell wall or its cell contents.
  • A bacteriostatic stops bacteria from multiplying.

What are antibiotics for?

An antibiotic is given for the treatment of an infection caused by bacteria. Antibiotics target microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and parasites. However, they are not effective against viruses. If you have an infection it is important to know whether it is caused by bacteria or a virus. Most upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold and sore throats are generally caused by viruses – antibiotics do not work against these viruses.

If antibiotics are overused or used incorrectly there is a chance that the bacteria will become resistant – the antibiotic becomes less effective against that type of bacterium.

A broad-spectrum antibiotic can be used to treat a wide range of infections. A narrow-spectrum antibiotic is only effective against a few types of bacteria. There are antibiotics that attack aerobic bacteria, while others work against anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen, while anaerobic bacteria don’t.

 

What are the side-effects of antibiotics?

Below is a list of the most common side-effects of antibiotics:

  • Diarrhea (probiotics may help)
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Fungal infections of the mouth, digestive tract and vagina (probiotics may prevent this)
  • There are more common side-effects

Below is a list of rare side-effects of antibiotics:

  • Formation of kidney stones (when taking sulphonamides)
  • Abnormal blood clotting (when taking some cephalosporins)
  • Sensitivity to sun (when taking tetracyclines)
  • Blood disorders (when taking trimethoprim)
  • Deafness (when taking erythromycin and the aminoglycosides)

Some patients, especially elderly ones, may experience inflamed bowels (a type of colitis) which can lead to severe diarrhea. Clindamycin, an antibiotic used for the most serious infections, commonly has this side effect. However, although much less common, penicillins, cephalosporins and erythromycin might do too.
Allergic reactions to antibiotics

Some patients may develop an allergic reaction to antibiotics – especially penicillins. Side effects might include a rash, swelling of the tongue and face, and difficulty breathing. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic you must tell your doctor and/or pharmacist. Reactions to antibiotics can be very serious, and sometimes fatal – they are called anaphylactic reactions.

Use antibiotics with extreme caution and ensure you inform your doctor/pharmacist if:

  • You have reduced liver or kidney function.
  • You are pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding

Antibiotics may clash (interact) with other medicines

  • If you are taking an antibiotic do not take other medicines or herbal remedies without telling your doctor first. OTC (over the counter, non-prescription) medicines might also clash with your antibiotic.Penicillins, cephalosporins, and some other antibiotics may undermine the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. If the antibiotic has caused diarrhea/vomiting the absorption of contraceptives may also be disrupted. If you are taking any of these drugs you should consider taking additional contraceptive precautions.

How to use antibiotics

  • Antibiotics are usually taken by mouth (orally); however, they can also be administered by injection, or applied directly to the affected part of the body.Most antibiotics start having an effect on an infection within a few hours. It is important to remember to complete the whole course of the medication to prevent the infection from coming back. If you do not complete the course, there is a higher chance the bacteria may become resistant to future treatments – because the ones that survive when you did not complete the course have had some exposure to the antibiotic and may consequently have built up a resistance to it. Even if you are feeling better, you still need to complete the course.Some antibiotics should not be consumed with certain foods and drinks. Others should not be taken with food in your stomach – these would normally be taken about an hour before meals, or two hours after. It is crucial that you follow the instructions correctly if you want the medication to be effective. If you are taking metronidazole do not consume alcohol. Dairy products should not be consumed if you are taking tetracyclines, as they might affect the absorption of the medication.

It is important to understand that these meds are powerful even in smaller doses. They aren’t meant to be used like vitamins. “Antibiotics will mess you up!” which is what one doctor said after learning of my ordeal. He didn’t tell me anything new. But I couldn’t help but think, “Where were you in the beginning?” I could have saved myself so much heartache and pain. Some doctors just hand out meds like candy. A doctor will kill you. Beware.

And remember: antibiotics will temporarily change your hair structure also, into a frizzy mess, and can make it fall out. It could may it harder for you to get rid of simple colds and viruses, due to the role antibiotics play on the immune system! Antibiotics can do so much to the body. It is best to take antibiotics ONLY when necessary.

 

~BTW. Still hoarse.