The Three Cheap Products and 1 Free Action that Saved My Hair

I read this story about a traumatic hair dye incident and there’s a point in the story where the woman is unsure if she would end up bald. She’s mad at her stylist and near a panic attack and I don’t blame her. Obviously her stylist did a terrible job, and, for women, our hair is such an important part of our identity.

That’s why there are approximately a million products targeted for our hair and we women are only too willing to down hundreds of dollars on our hair. I totally understand the impulse.

My hair has been really dry and broken ever since bleaching it. I had read tons of blogs and magazine articles that advocated keratin treatments but no matter how many treatments I tried, my hair was brittle and dry. But after much trial and error, four things helped me fix my hair and they were, luckily, not that expensive.

1. Castor Oil
I learned from Reddit that hair needs a balance of moisture and protein. Only using keratin treatments made my hair drier and more brittle. There were a number of oils recommended for optimal moisture content but castor oil was the cheapest and most readily available. Once a week my hair soaked up a ton of castor oil and my hair steadily improved. After a few weeks, my hair didn’t look or feel as parched. It still wasn’t that soft yet though, which led to:

2. Nuance Buriti Oil Hair Mask
I’d been trying to find a product that would impart softness and shine back to my hair without silicones. Silicones coat your hair shaft with their plastic-y shine-y sheen but they don’t actually repair the hair. Further, removing the silicone takes different and harsher products. I wanted something fairly natural but silicones are everywhere, even in the so-called miracle hair products that cost an arm and a leg. After searching far and wide, I found this Nuance Hair Mask. I only used this specific one though because the other masks had silicones. This hair mask made my hair unbelievably soft. It was also incredibly cheap, didn’t require that much product and the texture of the product was pretty fun.

This is currently on clearance at CVS so I would grab it as quickly as possible. I cleaned out my local CVS as they were less than $3/pop.

3. Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in Conditioner

This product was invaluable for protecting my hair from the change in weather, from the sun and wind when I ride my bike or walk outside and just kept my hair safe and manageable while it was still healing with the castor oil.

4. Wearing my hair down

Even after my hair got much softer. I noticed that it was bent at the ends. I did some research online and discovered it might have to do with my hair elastics. Whenever I take a hair elastic out, it always takes a fair amount of hair with it. So I decided to wear my hair down for a few days and sure enough, the kinks in my hair disappeared. Now this isn’t necessarily a forever situation – I will probably need to get hair elastics in the future. But for now I’m using more gentle barettes, hair claws or just leaving it down. It also gives my scalp a rest.

What tips and tricks do you have for healthy hair?

Why Everyone Should Learn to Cook

I have such beginner’s luck with cooking and baking. The first time I cook or bake something, it comes out pretty well. So I get cocky and the next time I don’t check the recipe as well and it turns out much worse.

I baked some bread tonight. I used the wrong oven temperature. I put the lid on at the wrong time. I used a different kind of flour and didn’t adjust the recipe. It came out flat and weird.

But I was kinda excited about this bread. I mean it’s a Monday and I failed at something. But I’m safe. I’m in the safety of my own home. No one knows except me (and now all of you). I’ve learned several lessons for the future. And it’s fun and creative. When else do we get to try something new, fail, learn and feel ok about it?

It makes me sad when people don’t try to learn how to cook because they think it’s hard. Learning to cook can be hard. But learning everything can be hard. The difference with cooking as opposed to many other hobbies is that you lose so little when you fail at cooking. I mean, I lost 3 cups of flour, a pinch of yeast and salt and some water. And I got to experiment. I got to try to do something. I got to be creative. And I get to fail and try again. And I get to do it again tomorrow.

Why You Should Live Below Your Means

One of the many life skills that you want to learn at a fairly young age is the skill of being an ultra-thrifty, minimal kind of little wisp that’ traveling through time . . . in the sense of learning how little you actually need to live, not just in a survival mode, but in a contented mode . . . . That gives you the confidence to take a risk, because you say, ‘What’s the worst that can happen? Well, the worst that can happen is that I’d have a backpack and a sleeping bag, and I’d be eating oatmeal. And I’d be fine.’

-Kevin Kelly as told to Tim Ferriss in “Tools of Titans”

 

What I’ve Learned from Eating One Meal a Day

I’ve tried Gen. McChrystal’s one-meal-a-day diet for two weeks. For me, it hasn’t been that difficult a transition. I had already started an intermittent fasting regimen a month or so earlier. I have learned a lot about my eating habits from this little experiment – that, spoiler alert- I think I will continue.
1. I am not in tune with my hunger or my body.
So many diets come up with newfangled ways to keep you from being hungry. This diet also kept me from being hungry – by not giving me any food.

Continue reading What I’ve Learned from Eating One Meal a Day

A Controversial Way To Save Money on Groceries

Back in the heyday of my student loan paying off blitz, I would sometimes, as people do, forget my lunch at home. Or forget to make one. Now, a periodic $10 is not a big deal when you’re paying off tens of thousands, right? Right. Logical. But the hunger and the deprivation were making me illogical. On many of those days, I skipped lunch. I was cutting back on everything, and I didn’t want stupid mistakes to derail me.
Since that time, I have reversed course into thinking, yeah a $10 lunch here or there is going to delay your loan payoff by a literal minute, if that. Health is more important.
Now I still believe health is more important than money but I may be revisiting the idea that skipping meals is a bad thing.
What I had found when skipping lunch was that it was unbearable for about an hour but after the pangs stopped, I was basically cured. I felt no ill effects. I didn’t eat a giant dinner to compensate. I wasn’t consistently hungry for hours. I wasn’t irritable. But I still felt guilty for skipping a meal and treating my health so flippantly.
After reading about it in a few publications, I decided to take the plunge.  I’m starting a diet whereby I only eat one meal a day, typically dinner. 

Continue reading A Controversial Way To Save Money on Groceries