10 March 2012

Fine Frizzy Hair

If you're like me, you have scoured the internet looking for tips on how to deal with fine and frizzy hair. It certainly is a predicament. Fine hair breaks easily (due to its fineness) and the frizz makes the problem even worse.I have spent a long time trying different serums and creams and product oriented solutions. I have read countless articles on how frizz gets started and what methods to employ to manage the problem. Finally, I found something that works for me that defies just about every trick magazines and discussion forums try to tell you. Ironically, I stumbled across this truth by accidentally clicking on a link for ethnic hair care.

First of all, you must unlearn everything you have previously learned about dealing with frizz!! Well, not everything. But there are two major lies they tell you that are just awful for fine, frizzy hair. Here are two major lies people try to tell you about your hair that just make things worse.

Lie 1: Frizz is caused by hair absorbing moisture in the air and so you must coat the hair with oils to keep the hair from absorbing the humidity.

OK, maybe this is only half a lie, but whenever I read suggestions like this, I got the impression that hair was moisturized primarily by oils as opposed to water. This is not true. Hair needs water. If it didn't, it probably wouldn't be trying to soak it up out of the air all the time.

Yes, you should use oil type moisturizers, but use them for the opposite reason, to keep moisture in, rather than trying to keep it out. I used to try let my hair dry almost the whole way before applying creams and serums to have the greatest amount of water moisture out of the hair before sealing water out.

By this time though, the damage has already started and you are dealing with frizzed, fragile and tangled hair that you are forcing chemicals lay on the hair and make greasy. Instead, try to apply them when your hair is mostly still moist, as moist as you can have the hair without dealing with the serum dripping off with the water.

Lie 2: Don't wash your hair every day.

As with the first lie, this assumes that hair needs oils to make it happy and frizz free. No, no no! Hair needs moisture, which means water! You don't drink vegetable oil when you are thirsty, do you? All washing my hair every few days did was make the ends horribly dry and static and the roots greasy.

Now that I think about it, most of the other suggestions are pretty legit. Blow drying everyday is still bad, excessive towel rubbing, constant hair straightener use, etc. However, the one about moisture meaning oil is always the one catching me up on the battle for smooth hair.


Here is what I do for my hair.

Start with a shower. Use a quality shampoo product and make sure you use conditioner. I use Redken Smooth Down.To help the hair, make sure the water is warm, not hot, and rinse with completely cold water if you can stand it.This closes the cuticle, locking in water moisture.

Once out of the shower, I gently dry the hair with a towel just until it is no longer dripping. Then, I immediately apply a frizz serum to the hair, mostly on the back where mine gets the worst. I am currently using Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm recommended by my hair stylist, but I think I like John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum better. Just be sure with the Frizz Ease that you use a tiny amount because it is super strong.

The type of moisturizer is not horribly important, I have decided. Just having something to keep the water from escaping seems to do the trick. I have also had success with a simple detangler. The one I have used is another John Frieda product. Cremes do not work for me, but they may be great for someone else. I have heard good things about them.

Then, I run a comb through it gently to get rid of the knots, and then apply a small amount of mousse to the entire hair. I have been using about a golf ball sized amount of Tresemme Naturals Lightweight Mousse. I have finally learned that mousse does not have to be all prickly if applied immediately after combing the hair. I'm not sure that it matters that Tresemme claims be lightweight, but it seems to work really well for that last bit of holding power without making your hair into a pokey concrete structure. I have hair about two inches longer than my shoulders. You might have to adjust the amounts, but I promise this works!

And that's it! I just let it dry naturally and the frizz doesn't seem to be a problem. I will use a flat iron fairly regularly through the front since I am trying to grow out my bangs and they love to do a goofy loop curl on their own right now, but I don't use it on the back where the hair gets the worst.

I hope this works for some of you, and that my advice was useful to someone out there. Maybe everyone else has figured this out or finds it obvious, but again, I say the water needs to be in the hair at least a little or else the hair is never going to stop trying to suck up those lovely and unavoidable water molecules in the air. Good luck, and let me know if this works for anyone else! :)

07 March 2012

Fancy Pants Oatmeal

Ahhh oatmeal. Warm and gooey, the epitome of breakfast comfort foods. For me, oatmeal was one of the first foods i was allowed to eat after overcoming the flu, the special treat my mother would bring to me in bed on special occasions, the promise of its tasty warmth warming me up from the inside got me out from under the covers on cold winter mornings. Though I have always enjoyed the tasty prepackaged Quaker Oats mixes, (Apple Cinnamon, Maple and Brown Sugar, etc) recently I have taken to buying the large tube at the grocery store. However, preparing the oatmeal according to the package directions can be boring and bland. As a result, I have been experimenting with various combinations of wonderful things to make oatmeal a bit more special, because lets face it, even if you grew up liking oatmeal, it can get boring. Here are some of the delectable combinations I have come up with.

Hot Cocoa:
 Mix about a teaspoon of cocoa powder, tablespoon of sugar, a dollop of butter and a wee bit of milk to turn a bland flavor into a magical burst of winter warmth.

Peanut Butter Nutty Goodness:
 My current obsession. Mix a spoonful of peanut butter, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a sprinkle of pecans to one serving of oatmeal. Easy, and oh so tasty! No worries if you don't have pecans, any nuts you like work, and sans nuts is tasty too.
Before you write this one off as a weight gainer that should be avoided, look at THIS study.

Pumpkin Spice:
 Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg over the oatmeal while cooking. Add sugar and a tablespoon of canned pumpkin.

Maple and Brown Sugar:
You can copy the maple and brown sugar flavor by simply adding brown sugar and some maple syrup. Shocker, right?

Apple Cinnamon:
Add applesauce and cinnamon or cinnamon flavored applesauce. Taste test before adding sugar, the applesause is already sweet.

Hearty Raisin:
Add brown sugar and a sprinkle of raisins or dried fruit of your choice. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired. This tastes absolutely divine if you have cream or whole milk to pour on top.

Berry Oatmeal: (pictured above)
While water is heating, microwave a handful of frozen berries to thaw them out to make a healthy breakfast full on antioxidants.Add honey or brown sugar and sprinkle granola on top for a finishing touch. Delish!

If you have granola, sprinkling a bit on top can enhance the oatmeal with a bit of crunchy sweet texture to any of these recipes!

Happy breakfast!

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