Saturday, December 28, 2013

Odd or Bad Odors Developing from Cosmetics

I keep getting email inquiries regarding this topic, I have replied to on Twitter as well because of their frequency.

Here are my Tweets today on the matter, expanded for this post.

Email reply: Odd odor cosmetics There is no reason a cosmetic should begin to smell odd except if it is going or has gone off, regardless of the expiry claims.

Cosmetic preservatives are supposed to accommodate consumer use, temperature fluctuations, and more. Cosmetics that contain water or infusions can go bad.

An odd or bad odor of any cosmetic can be the last sign something is wrong. Tossing it out is best, or a refund, or get a free replacement.

"When Should I Throw Out a Product?"
"And remember: If it smells funky, looks gunky or the texture has changed significantly—definitely toss it out!"

Within a reasonable time reputable cosmetic companies do not excuse, or refuse refunds, or free replacements over such matters.

I have had food well kept go off before a best before expiry date too. I have never had a problem getting a refund, or free replacement. The product was unstable.

2011 "Effective vs. Ineffective Preservation Using Water Activity*"
"This illustrates the need need to concentrate on controlling and preventing microbial contamination during manufacturing."

The point is that you should be able to count on a cosmetic not to go off well before keeping it too long becomes a hazard.

"Challenges Persist in Working with Green Materials in Beauty Product Development"
"Stability also is a major issue, with some green preservative systems leading to discoloration and/or odor changes."

"The preservative wars"
“No single preservative is equally effective against all types of microorganisms” ... Although synthetic preservatives bear the brunt of criticism from anti-preservative groups, natural preservatives are not free from controversy." 

The topic of "all natural" cosmetics and the preservation of cosmetics is not a simple one. What side of the preservative wars am I on? Cosmetics must be safe to use. I am on the side of reputable evidence-based information with history.

Email Reply: Why did I say with history? From
See the paragraph starting with "While consumers tend to view" and the one after it under "Going natural has its own challenges" To be clear, I side with the first of the two paragraphs.

Peer-reviewed evidence-based science is used to re-evaluate cosmetic ingredients and levels used in cosmetics as needed, with continuing research.

Note: the 2nd paragraph "some studies have reported adverse effects of natural preservatives, including allergic reactions, early puberty, and cancer".

Ongoing reputable scientific research "in context" is very important!

The 2nd paragraph comments make no sense to me without reputable, peer-reviewed, scientific evidence to support them. And by those same comments,
"The data haven’t been presented to scientific committees and papers haven’t been published"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

An Important Alert - Fake (illicit) Alcohol Consumption - Dangerous, Can be Deadly

It is potentially everywhere in the world these days, whether "imported" or smuggled, or homemade and it can kill! Fake alcohol needs publicity to warn potential customers of the risks. I Tweeted more about it, after reading and Retweeting the first article below.

"Fake vodka 'can kill you' warning"

Sometimes it takes a face and name to get the message across regarding how devastating, and serious this can be, anywhere!
"Cheznye Emmons: British backpacker, 23, dies after drinking poisoned alcohol in Indonesia"

"Seizures of fake alcohol increase fivefold in two years"

"New Jersey restaurants caught selling fake alcohol"

"Dangers of Illicit Alcohol, Canada"

"A Killer Hangover: China’s Problem with Fake Alcohol"

"methanol poisoning, 2013"

"Bootleggers sentenced to 90 years in prison in Turkey"

"Methanol poisoning claims 19 lives in central Europe"

Beer is counterfeited too but safety procedures for producing it are not observed.
"Heineken ‘absolutely on top’ of fake beer threat after Vietnam gang bust"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Update on Last Post Information

I Retweeted this today on Twitter.
"Cautionary reminder re: herbal supplements, Skip the Supplements, via , ,

New York Times Article, 2013, quote
"when parents in our hospital still want to use products whose quality can’t be assured, we ask them to sign a waiver ... the supplement may be dangerous, and that most have not been studied for their effectiveness."

My Tweet on it.

"Consumers & doctors not completely on their own. There is oversight w/limitations as stated. Many people take unneeded supplements."

The fact that many companies violate the regulations of what oversight there is and the statistics in that article are not heartening, makes the issue that much more serious.

Supplements may not be necessary. That is why dietary supplementation, or supplements used to medicate, should be discussed with a qualified medical doctor, especially where children are concerned. There can be risks, or side effects outside of those for dosage and other cautions, given what has been revealed lately.

The news on this topic is spreading. To me, it is not spreading fast enough!

Added: My response also in part to an email on natural product safety on Twitter, shortened there.

I think more people need to understand that: 1."Chemical-free" only exists in bad marketing. Everything contains chemicals.
2. By no means are natural products necessarily safer than drugs, especially with the amount of fraud, unproven drug claims, and mislabeling of products still happening now.

Added today, December 19, 2013, directly from my Twitter account:
Study finds vitamin pills have 'limited benefit' - Health News - NHS Choices -

"Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"

"Effects of vitamin D supplements on bone mineral density: a systematic review and meta-analysis", 2013
"use of vitamin D for osteoporosis prevention without specific risk factors ... vitamin D deficiency seems to be inappropriate."

The Mayo Clinic has been saying this for a while now. Current, (2014)

Note use of the word may regarding study conclusions. What are the health benefits of honey? - Medical News Today:

I am all for natural product use without hype or fraud or promoted "miracles". New and better research will validate some health claims made or not. It is about the quality of the research, and whether the risks outweigh any benefits of a specific product.

What I am against is false and misleading claims for: health products, systems, foods and cosmetics. There is lot of that in the marketplace today.

I will not support bad marketing that exists only to make money, and creates health risks. There are too many people who have too little money to spend as it is and need qualified medical help.


Regarding honey and infants, see the botulism links in this blog post,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What You can Read Here Too

From my Twitter account in paragraphs for easier reading as a blog post. Someone said they like the "activist" in me. I suppose I am one. I support a number of causes on Twitter: anti-human trafficking; no bullying; anti-abuse human, and animal; pro-education, human rights, and equality for all; accessible, affordable food, and medicine for all; and civility in all discussions. I debunk cosmetic, alternative products, food, supplements, and therapy marketing claims, and Tweet current, reputable source information on side effects, and precautions regarding products. I support all indie art forms. 

Note: The mention of animals dying is about rhino horn, and other animal parts erroneously used for medical applications, as they are unproven to work for such conditions but are claimed to in marketing. The animals are poached, and game wardens have also been killed in the process. What is relevant here is below, with correct grammar, explanation, and added quotes. To get everything within 140 characters on Twitter sentences get shortened. 

Most researchers are cautious in research conclusions because both safety and efficacy are important. A botanical may be safe but it has to work! Ethical researchers use and no doubt peer reviewers demand, use of words like may regarding conclusions for good reasons. Outcomes need to be repeated.

What started the above?

An alternative to statins in some treatments?, 2013 Not yet! "extensive clinical studies are required in larger numbers
Cont: of patients to establish the efficacy and safety of P. emblica in the management of endothelial dysfunction and hyperlipidemia."

From the full text,
"Quality control is one of the important factors during evaluation of any herbal product. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the bioactive ingredients of the product are intact. The test product used in the present study comprised a highly standardized ..."

And if botanicals do prove to be alternatives to established drugs, the constituents that are the mechanisms required will become drugs.

"New concerns about the safety and quality of herbal supplements", 2013
"number of drugs we use today are derived from, or based on, chemicals originally found in nature. ... The benefit of drug products over herbs is the reproducibility of effects, which starts with isolating and purifying the active ingredient. The next step is manufacturing a dosage that results in consistency in absorption and standard and predictable dosages."

Botanicals can have variances for a number of reasons. If it were as simple as some claim, illnesses and diseases still prevalent would not exist. New research can reveal risks, or side effects in both drugs and botanicals. There is ongoing science to make all proper medication safer, and work better. A number of alternative natural products can and do have serious side effects, and precautions you may not be aware of until it is too late.

I do not endorse any belief system or practice that precludes needed, qualified medical care. I do not support unproven medical claims. 
I do not support unproven cosmetic new drug claims that violate government marketing regulations, causing people to waste their money.

"Warning Letters, - Health Fraud", 2013

"DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products", 2013
"the industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers, which includes false advertising, product substitution, contamination and use of fillers." 

I am pro-consumer education, and that comes from reputable sources which I regularly Tweet, that I recommend be discussed with qualified medical doctors. I am disgusted by misinformation on the Internet, and elsewhere that is there only for profit but can harm people too.

People and animals needlessly die, and people can become ill and die, or 
have conditions worsen because of the greed of others. That is an affront to me. Wanting to believe in a romanticized past that bad marketing promotes does not make products, or systems, or beliefs work. Diseases from the past are still here today.

Reputable science will validate traditional therapies or not. Most are not validated. That does not mean botanicals are not good for some applications. Ironically, the same bad marketers are quick to use unsubstantiated scientific studies to promote their goals, yet rail against scientific study reviews, or better studies, that do not support their claims. You cannot have it both ways!

Many consumers are ignorant about products and therapies. They can be victims of unscrupulous, inaccurate, misleading marketing. I present current, reputable information people can read for themselves.

"Internet Marketing of Herbal Products", 2003, and still applicable today  
"Consumers may be misled by vendors' claims that herbal products can treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure specific diseases, despite regulations prohibiting such statements." 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Science and Natural Product Safety

I said it in 2009,

"Traditional use of a natural product does not signify its safety."

It still applies today. Tradition alone is not a test of product efficacy either. Topical use of natural products can affect health too, as toxic constituents can be absorbed in some cases by intact skin.

"Comfrey (Symphytum spp.)", 2013

The hepatoxic, carcinogenic "alkaloids may also be absorbed through intact skin" Note: Grade B uses require "further" or "additional" research to "confirm" results. See also this post.

"Hepatotoxic Botanicals - An Evidence-based Systematic Review", 2013 *Note: Margosa oil is Neem oil, bolding added by me
"The hepatotoxicity of herbs was extensively acknowledged. ... Further scientific studies with high and good quality are needed to identify toxic compounds and understand the exact mechanism of hepatotoxicity-induced by herbs."
Table 1 lists the botanicals discussed in detail, Pages 402-404. Just: control f, type 402, and hit enter to access it quickly (you have to scroll up a bit to start at the Table beginning). A control f keyword or number search is a great way to find, or check if something you are looking for is in a long document. If what you are looking for is in the document more than once, hitting enter repeatedly will take you to all locations.
*Update: For neem, (aka margosa, Azadirachta indica, A. indica), See also this post and this one.

If you use natural henna, it may be a good idea to keep it safe from your pets, to protect their health.
"Hemolytic anemia after ingestion of the natural hair dye Lawsonia inermis (henna) in a dog.", 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Research on Hair Restoration or Growth, 2013

I mentioned new hair growth research in my Update blog post dated November 14, 2013. I Tweeted about it that day. If you missed it, it can be a challenge to find now. I keep my own Twitter archive to access research I find, as well as keep separate files for it.

Here is the study abstract, - Full text is available too!

More about the study can be found here,

The study abstract was not available online at the time the above article and others about the study were written. I prefer to see what is written in a study or abstract, as well as what is written about it, before I comment on it.

The following is from my Twitter account, and expanded on here.

The new research explains a lot in my opinion, and why herbal products that seemed promising in rodent studies did not translate to human results.

I wrote about one such product in 2008, h but urged caution on results even then. And sure enough I have since heard from people who have tried the product in various versions and mixes with no hair growth results.

Eclipta alba showed promise after results on mice in 2009,

Eclipta alba has still NOT been proven to increase hair growth in humans. Animal testing continues. 


Email Reply: Eclipta alba study
Yes, it is often not noted. The studies are done on concentrated extracts of certain fractions of plants. And when and IF such extracts work - they will be regulated as DRUGS for human use - with safety protocols in place.

Ginger did not work on human hair growth here, just the opposite. 
There are those who sell herbal products based on early rodent studies, single human studies, and traditions which have not borne out in later research. That is purely about money! Cosmetic products enhance appearance, moisturize, condition, and can add color. Don't expect more because of misleading or false advertising, which are violations of marketing regulations.

It is not that some herbal products are not helpful used cosmetically. However, with no repeated reputable scientific evidence, marketing claims are restricted. That applies to claims about body functions like promoting or stimulating hair growth, which are drug claims. 

That also applies to anti-ageing cosmetic marketing claims,

2016, Bolding of text by me
"drug claims cited ... wrinkle removal, dandruff treatment, hair restoration, and eyelash growth."

Different countries have similar if not the same marketing claim restrictions, designed to protect consumers. They apply to natural oils said to promote, stimulate, or encourage hair growth too. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Curly Hair and Cosmetic Mineral Oil

Curly hair, and "African-American" hair in particular can be dry. Often, products marketed for the latter contain not only mineral oil but petrolatum and lanolin and sometimes vegetable oils. Petrolatum is greasy, sticky and contains wax [1], lanolin is a greasy, sticky wax and both can be difficult to remove from hair. Cosmetic (USP/BP) mineral oil used on its own can be lightweight, enhance curls and moisturize hair. It can be removed easily even with a sulfate-free shampoo or conditioner only, when used in small amounts. It is a non-drying oil, not a liquid wax like jojoba oil. A drying oil can leave “a dry, hard and tough film” on hair and have environmental consequences as well [2, 12, 15].

"African-American" hair is often said to be more fragile than other hair types, yet there are no actual differences between it and Caucasian and Asian hair to explain this, except as it has been shown in research, it has less apparent moisture, not less protein. It is believed that the difference in observed fragility is down to hair care practices. One of the hair care practices mentioned, aside from the obvious ones like chemical processing and combing and brushing, or a less obvious one like over twisting hair, is the manipulation of the hair when using styling aids [3].

With its emollient, moisturizing, and detangling properties, mineral oil may reduce or eliminate the friction and breakage manipulation can cause when using styling aids, and they may no longer be necessary. Better curl formation can result by using mineral oil alone. Unlike other natural products, oils, or butters, it does not make hair "stiff".

Mineral oil sold as baby oil is usually inexpensive, lightweight and can be fragrance-free. Lightweight fragrance-free USP/BP mineral oils are sold to keep wooden cutting boards from warping. Fragrance-free USP/BP mineral oils are sold as laxatives in different weights.

Mineral oil can rehydrate dry hair, and prevent unneeded trims of previously dry ends for those wanting to grow their hair longer. When a small amount (small drops) are evenly applied to damp to wet hair for hair lacking moisture, it can help keep moisture in the hair as it can in skin by slowing down evaporation "even under extremes of low humidity" [4]and allow good curl retention. It also slows but does not seal out access to the hair by atmospheric moisture [6], and help to, or prevent frizz. For hair with a good moisture level, it can be used on dry hair to help maintain that level.

There is no reason why mineral oil should not moisturize even severely damaged hair caused by chemical processing, or heat styling. Damaged hair can be very dry. Mineral oil is used for thermal protection in other applications [17], and USP/BP mineral oil is often added to thermal protection hair care products. It may be sufficient used on its own for thermal protection for hair, depending on the temperatures used for heat styling [18].

Mineral oil is not sticky. Used in small amounts it is not greasy, which can result in hair looking stringy. Mineral oil can reduce or eliminate tangles, and it is antistatic [7]. It can work effectively on hair that has been conditioned or unconditioned. It works most effectively when hair does not have a lot of conditioner on it at one time, or residue (build-up), and when it is not combined with other oils. Reapplication between washes is usually not necessary.

Mineral oil is known to moisturize skin more effectively than vegetable oils and silicones [4, 5, 20]. It is also known in the cosmetic industry for: ease of spreading; shine; and slip thereby reducing friction [5].

The best choice of mineral oil is one with the least ingredients because it is the mineral oil itself that is the effective ingredient needed. Other ingredients may cause build-up, or cause hair to look stringy. Baby oil is often sold with just two ingredients, paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), and fragrance. Sometimes tocopherol actetate (Vitamin E) is listed. It is used as a stabilizer for cosmetic mineral oil and is often not listed.

USP/BP mineral oil is safe [5, 7, 13]classified as natural [8], can be biodegradable [9], does not clog pores [13], has a very long shelf life, and is resistant to bacteria [5, 16]Unless there is a rare allergy to it, unlike other natural oils, or butters, mineral oil with its lack of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, is not known to cause issues, or make skin or scalp issues worse [13, 14, 20]. It is also used as a lubricant to manage wounds [19]. With such a small amount needed for great results, using mineral oil for hair and skin is managing a limited resource very well [10, 11]. There is no downside to it at all.

1. "Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly"

2. “Understanding the Drying Capacity of Oils”

3. “Hair Breakage in Normal and Weathered Hair: Focus on the Black Patient”

4. “Clinical Evaluation of Baby Oil as a Dermal Moisturizer”


6. “Effect of oil films on moisture vapor absorption on human hair”

7. “European Commission Health and Consumers Cosmetics – Cosing, Mineral Oil”

8. “Myths About Mineral Oil :: Part 2”


10.”Petrochemicals: Confusion and Hypocrisy”

11. "The oil industry" OPEC

12. “Vegetable Oils and Animal Fats | Emergency Response | US EPA"

13. “Truly Natural"

14. "Use of Olive Oil for the Treatment of Seborreic Dematitis in Children"

15. "LIPIDS"

16. "The Infant Skin Barrier: Can We Preserve, Protect, and Enhance the Barrier?"

17. "Heat Transfer Oils - Cutting & Grinding Fluids"


19. "A 10-Step Guide To Applying Split Thickness Skin Grafts"

20. "Moisturizers: The Slippery Road", India

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Due to a number of time constraints I have not been doing my usual full posts here. However, I am still replying to blog email inquiries. I have been and will continue to post new hair and cosmetic research, with my commentary, on Twitter. Replies on topics raised or inquired about through emails are also replied to in some cases on Twitter, minus any inquiry identification or personal details, the same way I have done so in blog posts. That is to help others, who may have the same or similar issues and questions.

The information here is current. I update links and information as needed. New research on hair restoration or growth is in the very early stages, and is the most promising yet.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Advantages Of Coconut And Argan Oils Over Other Natural Oils And Cosmetic Products

Coconut and argan oils are the best products to use (the pure oils) to protect hair from dye containing conventional peroxide, conventional peroxide, and bleach. They are best used on hair with limited to no residue, or a limited amount of a lightweight conditioner used. They can work even better when no conditioner has been used after washing hair, a day or so before processing. Details are in this blog. Argan oil has been noted to make skin sun or photosensitive, if it is used on skin during the day.


The 6 Discoveries I Developed That You Can Benefit From Through This Blog


Consensus On Favorite Hair Oils, From Emails I Received

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Advantages Cosmetic Mineral Oil Has Over Other Natural Oils And Cosmetic Products

1. It is safe to use (not all natural oils are safe, or good for skin).
2. It can moisturize hair and skin longer than other natural oils, silicone and natural sebum.
3. It does not contain fatty acids that can feed yeasts, and cause or make skin inflammation worse.
4. It can be very lightweight (baby oil) and it is a superb hair detangler - less stress = less hair damage.
5. It does not clog pores.
6. It is not a known allergen or sensitizer (people can be allergic to it but that is very rare compared to other natural oils and other cosmetic ingredients).
7. It can be washed out of hair easily (very little is needed for desired results without making hair look greasy or stringy) and it is not a drying oil (no build-up). 
8. It is INEXPENSIVE and readily available.

See Also

Understanding The Drying Capacity Of Oils

Current Mineral Oil Safety Links 2012

"The term moisturizer is a marketing term with little or no scientific meaning. ... The term "moisturizer" does not necessarily imply that moisture or water is being added to the skin. ... Petroleum jelly at minimum concentrations reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by more than 98% ... followed by lanolin, mineral oil, and the silicones, which are effective in the range from 20%-30%."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The 6 Discoveries I Developed That You Can Benefit From Through This Blog

2005 Catnip can prevent split ends, as well as stain grey or white hair with a light or pale blonde colour, and replace the need for conventional hair conditioner. I discovered that first previously unknown property, through my own experimentation with cut and dried catnip leaves and buds, used as a hair treatment. My catnip cosmetic journey began in September 2004. I still tweak my method. I started out looking for a natural hair colour and found much, much more from the plant. Research I read told me catnip can produce a light yellow dye. What it did not tell me was how, or whether it would work on hair. It can as I found out. Its constituents work in harmony to produce all of the effects, which do not come from one single part of it, although the colour is from its tannins.

2008 I created new honey lightening recipes that work faster and better than previous recipes used, following research I did on on the topic. I provide you with explanations of how and why the recipes can work based on that research. I created the term "honey lightening boosters" after researching the added ingredients used in the recipes.

2008 I developed a method for using coconut and argan oils, that can protect hair from damage by: conventional hair colour that contains peroxide, bleach, and other peroxide levels. It is about the ability of both oils to chelate iron and copper, which react with hydrogen peroxide, forming damaging free radicals. That directly followed my research on honey lightening. Honey chelates iron too.

2010 I created a method to use coconut and other oils in shampoo, that can replace the need for using conditioner and styling aids, based on research I read, my own experience with catnip, and product knowledge. I also created a treatment method using the oils. The latest shampoo method version, I created from doing more research, enhances the method, makes it more user friendly, and eliminates method issues that were difficult for some people. It is not available here at this time.

2010 Based on research on club soda, I recommended that it be used as a rinse to remove hard water mineral deposits on hair, and it can be as effective as vinegar rinses for that purpose, without the need for dilution. It can also be used as a rinse to reacidify the hair and scalp, following the use of an alkaline product. It is not the same product as soda water.

2011 I realized cosmetic mineral oil can be better used specific ways, outside of just as an addition to cosmetic products, and not as other people have been using, and recommended it be used previously. I created methods of use based on that information. It is about recognizing what it can do and why, from research on its known properties and results, including my own. Cosmetic mineral oil has been incorrectly categorized as synthetic, toxic, and a strain on ecological resources. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum production and is a natural oil. Cosmetic mineral oil has been purified and is safe to use. It is in direct competition with more expensive cosmetic products, which cannot do for hair and skin what it can, keep either hydrated for a longer period of time, and provide other benefits as well.

The information, recipes, methods, except for the advanced oil shampoo method are all here in detail for you to try, if you so desire. All can work extremely well. There are always variables with results. No cosmetic recipe, method, product or ingredient is a miracle. It is how they are all used and applied. With products and ingredients, there will be variations that include: quality, additives, species, or type with honey for example. My work is copyright protected.

Honey Lightening
How to protect hair from dye/peroxide/bleach
Oil Shampoo and treatment
Cosmetic mineral oil
See Also
Information on club soda

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anti-Ageing Hair And Skin Care

The advertising and marketing of cosmetic products needs a great title, one that grabs your attention.

Anti-Ageing cosmetics fits that requirement. However, the products need to work. They are usually in a higher price range. Can they deliver the results you want? Some of the products have claims made about them that are not allowed, according to cosmetic labelling regulations. See the FDA reference below. I have seen a number of anti-ageing hair care products come and go over the years. Most of them disappear.

There is no turning back time. You can take proper care of your hair and skin and that is by following basics. Skin needs to be kept hydrated and so does hair. Both need to be protected from the ravages of UV. Those two steps alone can work wonders and not cost a lot of money.

The reality is that for many women and men, hair thins with age. Some lucky individuals do not go through that but many do. What are the solutions?

There are thinning hair drugs in cosmetic bases for both men and women but there are simple solutions as well. Hair colour can add hair volume, natural colour like pure henna, which yields a red orange colour and can yield a deep burgundy colour with continued use, and conventional hair colour. Not overused, both can work well. Henna is in most cases a permanent hair colour. Another natural solution can be cassia senna, often referred to as "netural henna" although it is a very different plant, that can yield a pale golden yellow to no colour, and colour results can last a month or longer. It can also turn hair an unattractive brassy colour.

Cassia senna can be made to yield reddish tones by adding acidic ingredients to it, as the colour it imparts is pH sensitive. A number of herbal rinses used for hair colour are pH sensitive in terms of colour results.

Other herbs and plants used for temporary hair colour can add temporary volume as well. Like henna and cassia they coat the hair and the coatings wash out over time, between applications. These coatings are usually resins and mucilage.

Conventional anti-ageing hair products coat the hair to make it appear thicker with polymers and other ingredients, and some contain drying alcohol. While all of these solutions can work, there can be downsides. These include hair dryness, heaviness, split ends and breakage if the products are overused and the hair is not clarified at some point with conventional product use, to remove excess coatings, or enough time has not elapsed with natural product use, to allow coatings to be gradually washed out between reapplications.

A simpler solution to help thinning hair can be to use lightweight hair products for your regular hair care routine and not use too much of any of the products on the scalp area. I use a shampoo that does not cause build-up, catnip (it gives me gray coverage with a pale yellow colour as well) and mineral oil baby oil, which wash out easily with one shampooing, to not cause build-up problems. All of them are lightweight. My scalp is not nearly as oily as it once was but I still need to be careful with not overdoing it, when I apply anything to my scalp that contains, or is an oil. All have resulted in extra hair volume for me. It is a matter with any products of finding the right balance of amounts for you.

There are numerous lightweight shampoos and conditioners on the market that are inexpensive. They can be supplemented by using a lightweight, non-drying oil as a grooming aid, used carefully, for shine, retaining or adding moisture, conditioning and detangling, while not causing extra build-up.

The more lightweight the hair products you use are, the more hair volume you have.

You do not need to spend extra money on expensive hair care products with a catchy title. A number of products designed to add volume to hair often contain a high percentage of polymers too, and that means extra build-up. Uncomplicated products that are labelled for "normal" hair can be a better choice and milder.

Conventional hair colour can add volume to hair by leaving the hair swelled because of the pH needed, and the cuticles roughened. Shampoos and conditioners for colour-treated hair are usually more acidic to counteract that but they also often contain extra silicone, oils and other ingredients, which can leave your hair heavy and cause more build-up, than products for "normal" hair.

To give your hair more natural volume after such colouring, and deal with post colouring effects, you can use a well diluted, white vinegar rinse, which will not negatively affect your fresh hair colour, after shampooing with a shampoo for "normal" hair that is "safe for colour-treated hair" (read that as not too strong to cause dryness that can allow extra water to enter the hair and cause colour fading). Then condition with a lightweight conditioner if needed, and use a lightweight non-drying oil for extra shine, moisture, conditioning and detangling.

There is new follow-up scientific research, with the abstract included under the article, in "References", on "curing" gray hair. The operative word in the article is "may". No product based on the research is available yet. I Tweeted it recently and I have included it as a reference here, and a reference on anti-ageing resources.

Medical News Today, "Cure for Gray Hair And Vitiligo Found", with abstract, 2013
FDA, Import Alert 66-38, 2013
Fighting Ageing!, "Resources"
Mayo Clinic, "Medical Edge Newpaper Column", 2013
See Also

Monday, May 13, 2013

For Those Of You New To This Blog

The natural approach to hair and skin care is all the rage today. It has become a booming business. Just remember, that it is a business.

This blog is set up as a resource of reputable information on products, natural and conventional, that is referenced accordingly, to help guide you through separating fact from fiction. There is a post on organic food as well and information on organic labelling. Organic does not mean pesticide-free.

There are many ongoing scientific studies on hair and skin care products and ingredients. I have created ways of using some natural products differently than you may be used to, or aware of and have written about them here. There are no magic solutions to hair or skin recovering from damage, preventing all damage (there are variables including product overuse) or illness, or growing hair faster, as some online information and marketing hype would have you believe.

Often such information includes products for sale on the page, despite disclaimers stating that products are not being promoted. Advertising is carefully planned and placed, especially when an author has their own line of products, which are then marketed to become associated with specific text. That is how advertising is designed to work effectively. There is no advertising in this blog. That is a choice I have written about here too.

There are simpler solutions that are cost effective for dealing with all of the above except health issues (see a qualified medical doctor) but when it comes to stimulating hair growth and other misleading claims, the laws set up to prevent the advertising of cosmetics that state such, exist for a reason. No cosmetic, natural or otherwise has been proven to do so. Hair growth spurts can happen naturally and are affected by but are not limited to, diet and health. Hair growth can also be affected by prescription medication(s).

Cosmetics that are also drugs for hair regrowth, contain government approved drug(s) in a cosmetic base and are regulated.

My posts are copyright protected and I respect the copyright of others. The information here comes from online research and other sources, including my own experimentation. It is designed to help you avoid purchasing extra products you may not need, and discover others you may want to try, after reading about them in accurate detail.

Some people are genetically blessed with strong hair and great skin, they have taken the time to avoid damaging by not being rough on either, and staying out of the sun, a major cause of both hair and skin damage.

Other practices, like overdoing chemical processing and colouring, synthetic and otherwise, overusing cosmetic products in general, and making connections between some of the natural products you may be using and problems are addressed here too. I have debunked the hype with legitimate references, so that when you do make a product or ingredient choice, you can do so with the understanding of why products and ingredients can work better used certain ways as opposed to others.

Not every product or ingredient touted as being all natural is so. Not all ingredients demonized as being all synthetic, or synthetic are so. Everything contains chemicals. It is about which products or ingredients are safe, for how long, and in what quantity, that are issues as well. Not all sulfates or parabens need to be avoided. Not all sulfate-free, paraben-free products are the best choices. Not preserving cosmetic products properly or at all, that need preservation is unhealthy, and contravenes legislation many countries have on safe manufacturing practices.

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FDA, "FDA Authority Over Cosmetics", updated 2014