Tag: Science explained

Do you know your hair?

As a teenager, I had pretty thick, long and healthy hair. All I did then was to use a shampoo that my mum bought and oil the hair pretty often. But as the years go by, I have lost quite a bit of it, and also the texture has changed; Oiling is not that frequent anymore. The only positive change is, now I pay attention to what hair products I use.

However, I recently realised that when I say ‘pay attention’, all I have done is read the labels and not really think about if that hair product suits my hair. So I did some research on how to make an informed decision about which hair products to use for my hair. Let’s start with the basics;

Let’s start with the basics;

Hair Type:

There are three main hair types – Oily, normal and dry. To check you hair type all you need a little tissue test. On the second day after washing hair, place a tissue paper on the scalp and press lightly.

  • Oily hair – There are oil patches on the tissue paper. Oily hair usually makes the strands to stick together, is always looking dull and flat, and is prone to dandruff.
  • Dry hair – Tissue paper is dry. Dry hair types also are frizzy and have split ends.
  • Normal hair – May show some oil patches on the tissue paper but the true test for normal hair is through an inspection. Normal hair stays fresh and manageable even after a few days of washing.
  • Combination hair – Some hair types tend to be oily at roots but dry through the length, sometimes with split ends. Longer hair lengths are prone to such types of hair conditions.

Porosity

Porosity refers to the hair’s ability to absorb water. Check your porosity by putting a few hair strands into a bowl of water and let it sit for about 2-4 minutes. If the strands are floating, your hair has low porosity, and if they have sunk, you have high porosity.

Now that your know your hair type and porosity (it helps to know your texture and density too, but that is for another day!), let’s see how you need to care for them.

How to care for your hair

from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-morning-bathrobe-bathroom-4614/

Oily hair: The important thing to maintain oily hair is keeping it clean. Even though I do not recommend washing your hair every day, doing it quite often with a shampoo designed for oily hair helps adequate sebum removal. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, oiling the scalp at least once or twice a month helps the health of the hair regardless of the hair type. Before washing your hair, apply lightly heated coconut oil all over the scalp and length of the hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash off.

Dry hair: Dry hair needs a lot of conditioning. Oil treatment mentioned above is an ideal option for dry hair and may be done once a week at least. Deep conditioner and leave-in conditioners are also friends of people with dry hair. Please remember to keep heat away such as curling irons and flat irons to avoid further damage. If you really need to use them, use a heat protecting spray with moisturising properties to avoid drying.

Normal hair: Normal hair needs the least attention regarding hair care. But a healthy diet and using shampoo and hair care products that are free from sulphates help maintain the health of the hair.

Low porosity: Low porosity requires assistance in retaining moisture. Use hair products with humectants (a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture) in them. Some common humectants found in hair care products are glycerine and Silicate. If you have low porosity, check if your hair care products include these or any other humectant listed here. Deep condition with some heat preferably sourced from above (like holding a dryer above the head) helps with moisture as well.

High Porosity: If you have high porosity, it means your hair absorbs water and is prone to frizz in humidity (If you are a huge ‘Friends’ fan as I am, imagine Monica Geller in Barbados). Products with protein help to minimise the pores. Tracy recommends products with aloe or whey protein.

Combination hair: Depending on the combination you have, use the appropriate tips from above. For example, if you have oily roots with dry lengths (the most common type of combination), deep condition the lengths but avoid the scalp. You may also need to use light oils or elixirs on the length of the hair to tame the frizz and maintain moisture.

In a future post, I will suggest some recommendations of brands and products to use for each hair type. Stay tuned for it!… Please comment below your suggestions, questions.

See you in another post!

Cheers

Sithru

Nail polish 101: which base coat & top coat?

Hello! So before posting about my nail polish hoard, I thought I’d cover the basics: the basecoat and topcoat.

I’m a bit old school so I haven’t shifted over to UV gel or dip gel or any of the multitude array of more permanent solutions.

It was a frustrating (and expensive) process but I found a combo that works for my nails. If your nails are very bendy or flaky – dip gel might be best for you if you have a spare 45 mins and want them up to last 6 weeks.

So my combo is Revlon Colorstay Base Coat/ Gel-Smooth Base Coat and Essie Good to Go.

So…what’s the problem with this combo? Revlon a couple of years back discontinued their Color Stay Base Coat! They bought out a line of polishes called Gel Envy that had the basecoat already included in it instead.

But apparently a good replacement is Orly Bonder which you can get from Farmers NZ.

If you want to try something other than Essie, a good swap out is Sally Hansen Insta- Dri.

So choosing the best base coat/top coat (if you even want to use them) is based on a couple of things for me,

  • Does it work? I can get about a week without chipping with most polish brands/types with this combo.
  • Does it bubble? Not too much, but they all do when your fingers are too hot from the heat and humidity.
  • How shiny is it? Shiny! The base coat also acts as a nail ridge filler which helps.
  • How hard is it to apply? Well they can get gloopy – so I normally add a drop or two of some Orly Nail Lacquer thinner when that happens (which I also get at my local Farmers NZ).
  • Smell? They stink! But nail polish tends to have chemically smell anyway. It fades within an hour of application for me.
  • Brush? This made a difference for me in terms of frustration. I have a strong curve in my nails – they certainly don’t lie very flat!

The brush on the Revlon base coat is good for me because it covers a lot of surface area. It’s different from most because Revlon appeared to just have doubled up on a typical thin brush (?!). Weird but it works for me. Press harder and I get lots of coverage, flip it to the edge and I can get around the end of the nail without having to load my brush up.

The Essie Good to Go top coat has a thicker brush – a little thicker than the original ones thank goodness. It let’s me glide over the nail without having to do more strokes and run the risk of adding bubbles (never shake your nail polish – bubbles galore! If you have to, shake and leave for a 30 mins).

I’ve used a number of base coats and top coats over the years (like Seche Vite, OPI RapidDry, INM Out the Door) but because I’m in NZ, I found a combo that was easy for me to get a hold of. All three products are found in my local Farmers NZ (Albany in Auckland). Ranges can be regional so please check!

You can go without, but this combo helps me with staining and chipping. In the future I hope I can trial and post on the newer technologies in nail polish.

Is your foundation looking ashy?

We all have been there at one point. The picture below shows one of my many, many, ashy-looks! However, the question is why does this happen, especially on darker skins?

 

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Somewhere in 2009…!

 

There are several reasons;

  • Wrong foundation shade: It’s either we don’t get out colour matched before buying a foundation or just using the lighter shade hoping that it would lighten the skin (I have been a culprit too!). In the case of the picture shown here, I was in Thailand at the time, and used the darkest foundation I could get hold of; but it was still too light for me as well the was the wrong tone (next point). So always, always get your shade matched before buying a foundation.
  • Wrong undertone: A big reason for ashy looks. As you may know, shade and undertone are two different things when it comes to makeup. Your shade can be light, dark, brown, fair, porcelain, chocolate, espresso and endless other options; but your undertone is basically one of three – Pink, yellow or neutral (I know, I know, it’s not that simple. but for the sake of simplicity, let’s go with these three). A simple google search will teach you how to check your undertone. Once you know it, match your foundation with your shade as well as your undertone. As I mentioned above, the problem with my look in the picture is, not only the lighter shade but I wearing a foundation with a pink undertone. In reality, I am a neutral leaning towards yellow.

When your shade and undertones do not match with your foundation, they appear to be sitting on top of your skin as a filter. This also emphasises that you are not wearing foundation on your neck. In the end, you end up looking like a clown; A pretty one, though :D.

  • Using foundations that contain Zinc Oxide: Zinc oxide is the main ingredient in physical sunscreens – which means, it’s actually good for you. ZnO tends to sit on top of the skin providing a protective barrier as soon as you apply it. This good for a sunscreen, but when you apply foundation with ZnO, it does the same thing – sits on top of the skin giving you a white cast and an ashy look. Unless you are planning on staying out in the sun for prolonged hours (in which case you should wear a physical sunblock), wear a foundation without it and use other ways to protect your skin from the sun such as wearing a chemical sunblock.
  • Layering incompatible products: Which means, you layer oil based, water based, silicone based or gel based products together. Not that it cannot work.  There are several articles (One here, and another here) that tell you exactly how to layer your products based on their chemical compounds. Again, if not done carefully, they tend to separate from your skin and sit on top like a filter rather than creating an integrated, put together look.

For further reading, BeautyBytes and Allure Magazine showcase good articles explaining how to avoid ashy looks.

My final tip is, when buying a foundation, get it professionally colour matched and wear it for a few hours before purchasing. If possible, ask for a sample to try out a few times. Also, try to find reasonably priced foundations rather than going for the cheapest. Could be worth the ‘splurge’.

Hope this helped!

Cheers,

Sithru