Tag : vitamin-e

Adventures in Hair Care Products

Life is ever changing.  We have to adapt.  We have to be willing to make necessary changes in order to grow.  Right?  My career, what I do 40 hours a week to keep Goldie in doggie kibble, is all about change.  I never get too attached to a process, policy, law or procedure because it will change.  Quickly.  In my personal life, I am the queen of routine.  I find something that works for me and I stick with it.  My furniture has pretty much been in the same place since I moved into this house.  I do the exact same thing every night, before I go to bed.  I get up at the same time every morning. I get dressed in the same order every morning.  I take the same route to work everyday.  In my blog Suddenly Sensitve Skin I talk about how I decided to change things around with skincare.  I’d used the same skincare products for years and years.  But, as I aged, my skin had changed and I knew that I had to make some changes with my skincare routine.  Let’s face it.  What works in your 20’s for your face does not work in your 40’s.  Change!  Scary for skincare, right?  Guess what?  Your hair changes too.  I know. I know.  You young’uns probably did not want to hear that but it is true.  My hair is so different now than it was in my 20’s that it’s like it came out of a different head!  I know that this blog started out all philosophical and you probably thought that I was about to go somewhere super deep.  And, maybe it’s not deep, but your hair is important.  I’m going to talk to you about the changes that occurred with my locks over the years, what I have done to adapt my routine and the products that I am using currently that I think are working for me.

First a bit of background. My whole life my hair has been long and classified as oily.  I was an every morning shampooer.  I have never been one to use a lot of product.  My hair product list consisted of shampoo that had conditioner in it, a dot of gel in wet hair before styling and a few pumps of non aerosol hairspray.  Eventually, I even dumped the gel and the only thing that I was using was shampoo and hairspray.  That’s what I had done for years.  Pantene.  It had always worked just fine for me.  Then, it happened.  The hair change.   Suddenly, the texture was quite different.  It was not as thick.  Downright thin, even.  Brittle.  It was dull.  Frizzy.  I knew it was time to do a product search.

I started with shampoo.  A friend recommended this shampoo that she had gotten from QVC.  She said it was different from anything she had ever used and she loved it.  At this time, I’d not heard of it.  Now, it is all over late night infomercials on TV and you can even buy it at Sephora.  Wen Cleansing Conditioner.  She brought me a bottle to try.

Wen Cleansing Conditioner

Wen Cleansing Conditioner

If you have seen the infomercials on this product you probably know that it is not a normal shampoo. It is a “cleansing conditioner.” That is a pretty accurate name for it. When you pump it out in your hand, you are going to notice that it feels like conditioner. When you goop it on your hair, you are going to be weirded out by the fact that it does not lather. At. All. I pumped a few pumps in my hand and slathered it on while in the shower. As you work it through, your hair feels like silk. You are supposed to leave it in a for a few minutes before you rinse. So I kept a clip in the shower. I’d clip it up after I got it on my hair, and then continue with my showering routine. When I was ready to get out I rinsed and I rinsed and I rinsed. I wanted to make sure that all this product was out of my hair. It felt all wrong to have no lather.  It all just felt weird.  As I combed through my wet hair, there were practically no tangles.  When I dried and styled, my hair was soft and smooth and shiny.  My boyfriend even noticed.  So, I thought, this is a winner!   I will never use anything but this stuff!  Then….the let down.  My hair looked fabulous for about a week or two.  After that, it started to feel oily faster.  It was so silky it wouldn’t hold a curl.  It had no body to it at all.  And my hair is typically full of body and is naturally wavy.  So, I realized, this is not a miracle product.  It is a great thing to use occasionally.  But not great for daily use or regular shampooing.  It is also expensive, for daily use. Very expensive.  You have to use a lot.  Several pumps. At Sephora, $32 for a 16 ounce bottle.  Ouch! You can get it through the Wen website for $29.95, with free shipping and handling on the first order. But they are going to make you enroll in auto-ship.  The website says they will send you an “extra large supply” every 3 months after the first order. They do not say the number of ounces of the “extra large supply” only that they start adding $8.99 in shipping and handling after the first month.  I’ve mentioned before my loathing of auto-ship.  It is an underhanded way to make you order more product and get you locked into something, most of the time.  If you don’t mind the $32 and you are desperate to try something that might help your hair, go to Sephora and buy a bottle.  It could help.  You might fall in love.  Or, it might be good as an occasional treatment. Or you might hate it and use it only for the dog.

So, when things didn’t work out with me and Wen, I went back to my Pantene and I just added the separate Pantene conditioner to the shampoo.   Last year, I started having a lot more thinning and it was a lot dryer.  I stopped washing every day and became an every other day girl.  I started my quest again to find something…a shampoo, a conditioner, a spray, a gel….something.  IF you are reading my blogs regularly then you have probably figured out that I love Walgreen’s.  I could spend hours there browsing.  I love drugstore products.  Skincare, haircare, cosmetics…I just love looking at all the things that I could try.  Ok.  I don’t just look.  I buy.  And one day, this shampoo and conditioner caught my eye:

 

OGX thick & full biotin and collagen shampoo and anti-breakage keratin oil conditioner

OGX thick & full biotin and collagen shampoo and anti-breakage keratin oil conditioner

OGX Beauty Pure & Simple is a brand that has been around for a while, I guess. It says on the back of the bottle “formerly Organix Beauty Pure & Simple.” Like “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.” Weird. Biotin, collagen and karatin oil are all supposed to be good for your hair…right? So I decided that, even though I had never heard of this product or brand, I was going to give it a whirl. The shampoo smell was not great but tolerable. Lathered well. Rinsed well. Then, I opened the conditioner, dumped some in my hand and put it on my hair. I was enveloped in what I can only describe as “old man cologne” smell. And it was not just a little “old man cologne.” It was “Grandpa has a hot date” smell. It filled the bathroom. As I dried my hair, the smell did not subside. I mean…it’s a big smell. But I continued on. I liked how my hair felt, I liked how my hair looked. I used it a few times because I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. My hair seemed soft yet it still held a curl. I did have a few people remark that my hair smelled good, so I know that the scent was sticking with me. I just couldn’t take it. I had to stop with the conditioner. I continued to use the shampoo and reverted back to my Pantene conditioner. When the shampoo was gone, I went back to Walgreen’s. I remembered that they had many different formulas of this brand. This time I sniffed before I bought. This is what came home with me:

OGX repairing awapuhi ginger conditioner and shampoo

OGX repairing awapuhi ginger conditioner and shampoo

I should probably tell you that I have no idea what awapuhi is but it smelled nice, both the conditioner and the shampoo. No old man smell here. And as you can see on the bottle of conditioner “50% more FREE.” I’m in!! By the way, at Walgreen’s the shampoo and conditioner costs about $7.49 each for a 13 fl oz bottle. It has an odor but it did not offend or attack me in the shower. I really liked how it lathered and rinsed. My hair feels clean but never loaded with product. I don’t feel the need to use some sort of stripping shampoo with this. My hair was getting healthier as I used it. But I have to be totally honest and tell you that at the same time that I started using this shampoo I also started taking these:

Sundown Naturals Prenatal Vitamin & Mineral Formula

Sundown Naturals Prenatal Vitamin & Mineral Formula

WAIT!! PLEASE KEEP READING! I am not pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant nor will I ever be. I just want to make that clear. But, I saw a friend that I had not seen in a month or so and her hair looked beautiful. It seemed to have grown a foot since I’d seen her last. Well, not really a foot. But it was very definitely longer, shinier and more healthy looking. I told her as much. She said that she had been taking prenatal vitamins, and then, immediately, informed me that she was not pregnant. She said that they had done wonders for her skin and nails within a couple of months. That was all she needed to say. I went to the drugstore and tried to sneak out without anyone seeing that I had these in my shopping cart. I live in a small town and that is how rumors start! The texture of my hair has changed, yet again. It is softer, fuller, shinier and I am having less go down the drain during my shampoos. I’ve been taking these since the end of summer and only in the last month or so am I noticing a huge difference in my hair. I have still not seen any improvement in my nails but here’s hoping that change is a-coming! As always, you should check with your doctor before you start or change your vitamins. And when a medical professional asks you what medications you are taking, include these. It’s just a good idea.

So that is what I’m using as far as regular shampooing but I do have another product to talk to you about today. Dry shampoo. Have you used this stuff? I had never. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I’d always thought of dry shampoo as something … well….weird. But, these days, all the YouTube beauty and hair gurus are talking about it. It can bring life back to your hair in between shampoos. But the thing that had my attention was giving your hair texture, to help with volume and styling. I looked at some brands in Sephora but I just couldn’t commit, at the time. Once again, I was in Walgreens and I saw this:

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing dry Shampoo

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing dry Shampoo

It was $5.79 for this 7 oz aerosol can. So, yet another Walgreen’s impulse buy. I had no intel on this brand. I didn’t use it for a while because, frankly, it scared me a little. Finally, I did it. First, I used it as it was intended. To…umm…refresh my hair. Now, we all know that is a sweet way of saying my hair was dirty and I overslept. So, I sprayed a couple of spritzes. Conservatively at first. Then I became bold. The directions say to spray generously at the roots and through out hair and brush through to diffuse the powder. It really did, absorb any oiliness around my scalp, It seemed to give me great volume. My hair really did look…well…refreshed…if not clean. It lasted throughout the day. Oddly, what I did like about it was the same as what I didn’t like about it. My hair felt…well…dry. It dried the oil, but it also made my hair look dry. It took the shine out along with the oil. I have since used it on clean hair to volumize. I used it sparingly on the underside of my hair, to give it some lift. You know, as a southern woman, I like a little height to my hair. Overall, I like having the option of a dry shampoo, when it’s necessary. It is not something that I care to use often. However, this brand is the only brand that I have experienced. Is there a brand that you use? What has been your experience with dry shampoos. Please comment. I’d like to know more about this!

The last thing that I’m going to discuss has absolutely nothing to do with hair products or hair care. It’s just something that I can’t do a whole blog about but I wanted to share with you. In my Skirt Girl Super Lotion and in Suddenly Sensitive Skin  blogs we discussed Vitamin E cream and oil. I use both in my lotion. And, at night, I put vitamin E oil around my eyes. Many of you have made comments in those blogs about Vitamin E and how you use it and many other things. I have loved hearing from you. I wanted to share something that happened to me last week. We’ve had several days of cold and windy weather here. I felt like my lips were getting chapped. In Favorites I talked about my EOS lip balm. I love it. But something wasn’t right. I woke up on the second day of 2015 with what was the beginning of a fever blister. I have never had a fever blister in my life. It was just a dot on my lower lip that felt dry chapped and tingly, but it was definitely becoming a fever blister. Never having had one before I had nothing in the house to treat it with other than my EOS lip balm. But on a whim, I decided to put some of the Vitamin E oil on my lips. I kept applying that over the EOS all day and then right before going to sleep that night. I am not even kidding when I say that when I woke up the next morning that dot on my lip was almost gone. The tingly feeling I had was totally gone. My lips still felt chapped but what was, the day before, definitely the beginning of a fever blister, you could barely see. I just had to share this with you. I don’t know that it will work for everyone, but it sure worked for me.

Thank you again for reading The Skirt Girl. I appreciate when you stop by my blog. If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy Suddenly Sensitive Skin or The Skirt GIrl Super Lotion or perhaps Favorites. Just click on the links and your computer will whisk you right away to read them! Please feel free to comment on any of my blogs. I welcome your comments, suggestions and experiences. We can all learn from each other! Please subscribe and share The Skirt Girl with your friends on social media. All those buttons are located below to help you do that. Thanks again! Y’all are the best!

The Skirt Girl Super Lotion

I have had numerous requests, over the years, for my lotion recipe. I’m going to put it out there once and for all today. But I need to give credit where credit is due. In the interest of full disclosure I need to tell you how I came to it and let me warn you this is going to sound like a commercial. About 10 years ago a friend of mine told me that her daughter had a skin issue as a child and the dermatologist had told her how to make lotion. It had helped and she gave the recipe to me. It was incredible. I started making it for friends and family. I give it as gifts, occasionally. I have searched for something on the market that was as good but I always end up coming back to this. It keeps my skin super soft even in winter. I’ve had hives a couple of times and each time it was the only thing that would sooth my skin. A sweet, older lady was telling me about her dry, cracked heels. She had tried everything and had even gotten a prescription cream but nothing worked. I made her a batch and told her to use it each night before bed and when she got out of the shower. She came back to me within two weeks and said that her heels had not been that smooth in years. I have many friends with sensitive skin that love it. I am very sensitive to smells, so this is perfect. It has a very light scent. This past summer I decided to experiment with a high end face cream. It gave me such a rash!! Everything irritated it. I had to stop using all my normal products. I switched to a super gentle moisturizing cleanser. I needed some moisturizer on my face but couldn’t stand the thought of experimenting with another product. (You can read more about some of the products that I have tried, and what worked or didn’t work, here: Suddenly Sensitive Skin ) So I turned to my Super Lotion. It is a little heavy for my face, but I used it while my face was “healing” and it made my skin soft again so quickly. My mom uses it as a face cream all the time. I could probably tweak the recipe a bit more and make it lighter for a face cream, but usually I just use it as a body and hand lotion. I told you. That totally sounded like a commercial. It is not a miracle potion. It won’t promise to take 10 years off your face, brighten, tighten or plump. But it is good stuff. And before anyone goes off on telling me that any of the ingredients are bad and shouldn’t be used on your face or skin or whatever… I’m just saying this is what I use. I love it and I have loved it for 10 years. So…here’s what you’ll need: Plain Johnson’s Baby Lotion (the pink kind), Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E oil and Vaseline. Like this…

15 ounce bottle of Johnson's baby lotion, Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E Oil, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

15 ounce bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion, Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Cream, Vitamin E Oil, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

Before we begin, a few words about these ingredients…I have tried different scents of the Johnson’s Lotions for the base. I have tried store brand baby lotions. I have tried the Calming Lavender & Chamomile. It did not calm me. It stunk. Literally. I tried the Shea & Cocoa Butter. No. I tried Aloe & Vitamin E…it was okay. I used the white Johnson’s 24 Hour Moisturizer…eh. Let me just say, nothing works as good as plain old pink Johnson’s Baby Lotion. The Fruit of the Earth brand Vitamin E cream is just what is readily available to me. It was what was recommended to me in the original recipe. I have used Gene’s Vitamin E cream in the past. Gene’s is yellow but it works well. It comes in a much larger container so make sure you measure it out and save the rest for the next batch. In this picture I have a store brand petroleum jelly. I, typically, get Vaseline but it wasn’t available at the dollar store that I was in at the time I was buying these ingredients. Did I tell you that I get all this stuff at the dollar store? Or WalMart? Or Target? Or Walgreens? Anyway, this no name petroleum jelly works just fine.

This next part is complicated…not really! Squeeze every drop of the Johnson’s into a mixing bowl. Then add the whole 4 oz jar of vitamin E cream in. Add about a cap full of the Vitamin E oil. DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH VITAMIN E OIL IN!! It will cause your concoction to separate. Honestly, this is something that I have added to the recipe that wasn’t called for in the original. So, you could do without it if you don’t have it. I just think it makes the mixture a little more velvety. As for the Vaseline…this is a judgment call. I use 3/4 cup, usually. If your skin is really dry and you are going to use it mainly at night, go ahead and use a full cup. Or if you try the 3/4 cup and it’s still too heavy, reduce it for you. This is YOUR super lotion. Don’t be scared to tweak!

Doesn't look like much yet, does it?

Doesn’t look like much yet, does it?

Now you are going get out the mixer. I have a Kitchen Aid and I use the..ummm….whipper thingy. Am I being to technical? Okay…here’s a picture:

Whipper thingy

Whipper thingy

Next you do what you do with a whipper thingy. You whip the daylights out of it.

And...we're whipping..

And…we’re whipping…

It’s going to start to fluff up.

Don't forget to stop it periodically and scrape up from the bottom with a spatula to get it all incorporated.

Don’t forget to stop it periodically and scrape up from the bottom with a spatula to get it all incorporated.

This next part is crucial. It is VERY important to remember. Do NOT lick your fingers or your spatula. By now this is going to look like the prettiest, fluffy, pink, birthday cake icing you have ever seen. It’s not. Fight the urge.

IMPORTANT! THIS IS NOT CAKE ICING!!

IMPORTANT! THIS IS NOT CAKE ICING!!

 

I know what you are thinking. “I have this giant bowl of lotion. What am I going to put it in?” Again…I have tried many options. You could use the lotion container that you just emptied, but it would be a bit small. You could use old Softsoap containers, but the pump on those can be contrary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put this stuff in a repurposed pump bottle only to have the pump not work. So…my perfect vessel?

Ketchup bottle is perfect!

Ketchup bottle is perfect!

 

After you have washed out ALL of the ketchup, you are going to need a large freezer bag. Dump all the lotion into the freezer bag, zip it up and squish it down to one corner.

1 gallon size Ziplock freezer bag

1 gallon size Ziplock freezer bag

With scissors snip the very tip of the corner of the bag off. Carefully, pipe the lotion into the ketchup bottle.

Be careful to not cut too much of the tip of the bag or you will have a big mess!

Be careful to not cut too much of the tip of the bag or you will have a big mess!

 

I am sure that you could put a cute label on the bottle. In retrospect I wish I’d done that for you here. You know…The Skirt Girl logo on the front? Wouldn’t that be cute? Oh well, you get the idea. And it’s just us here, right?

The Skirt Girl Super Lotion (pretend there is a cute logo)

The Skirt Girl Super Lotion (pretend there is a cute logo)

 

If you like this post here are some others you might also enjoy:  Suddenly Sensitive Skin and Favorite Products or perhaps The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie

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