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Knowing your ingredients

Hey curls! Miss me?

OK before I get into the point of this blogpost. Lemme side track for a fashion moment. Had to share I got some really cute silk scarves for the spring and summer. Here are some headscarves I picked up at this great thrift shop, Beacon’s Closet near Union Square (13 St between 5 &6).

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There’s also one in Williamsburg if you’re an inhabitant of “Hipsterville.” One in Park Slope as well. The orange one was cheapest because it had a tear, which I can easily hide, The printed one is a raw silk from Liz Claiborne and the light blue is Givenchy. Each for $10 or less!

Anyway back to my original topic-

Hair product ingredients. One of the most controversial ingredients commonly found in hair products has to be mineral oil– or more generally, anything petroleum based like petrolatum or petroleum jelly. Is this product the demon that organic hair companies say it is? No but it’s tricky: It blocks moisture from both entering and leaving the hair. It can make a great sealant because of this and can work to keep moistened hair moist. It is NOT to be used as a moisturizer on dry hair, which people commonly do. The problem arises when you want to wash it out. It attracts dirt very easily and dulls the hair and it is impossible to wash out without a surfactant (foaming agent) like Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate and those are no bueno for hair health.

That brings us to sulphates (sulfates for the Yankees). I strongly believe that using sulphate-free shampoo was the best change I made for my hair. Sulphates don’t do anything special except make suds. If bubbles are what matter to you in a shampoo– foam away! But if you want stronger, healthier hair take the sulphates out for your regimen- they strip your hair of the oil it desperately needs. Curly hair needs the most oil because its complex structure makes it difficult for oil to travel from scalp to ends. Sulphates are among the first ingredients found in dish soap and laundry detergent (think about all those soaps that boast “grease-cutting power”) The most common sulphates are sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate but another equally bad alternative is ammonium lauryl/laureth sulphate. Avoid this too. Lastly, don’t be fooled by the simpler sounding name of Sodium Coco Sulphate. It’s pretty much the same as the SLS, just a less refined version. Think of it this way: it’s like saying you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and then eating brown sugar. It’s healthier than white, yes. But it’s still sugar. I fell for this one myself when I didn’t have my phone on me to google ingredients and saw the ingredients list boasted SCS which is “coconut derived” In truth- SLS is coconut derived as well. Remember that just because something is natural does not mean it’s good for you. Fire is natural. Lions and tigers are natural. You see what I’m saying?

This list is to be continued. Ciao Curls

Daria and Angela

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About Daria-Ann

Daria-Ann Martineau was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She received an MFA in poetry writing from NYU. She is an alumna of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, The Saltonstall Arts Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her work has been published in The Collagist, Narrative Magazine and Kinfolks Quarterly, among others. In 2014, she was named one of Narrative's "30 below 30" and her poem, "Mine" was chosen as one of their "Top Five Poems of the Week" for 2013-14. She lives in Washington, DC.

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