Magus (marcmagus) wrote,

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Hair Experiment

Thank you all for your supportive and helpful comments yesterday.

While doing some web research on hair care this morning, I realized something frustrating but true: I don't know as much about what kind of hair I have as I think I do.

Much to my father's disappointment, I never did become a research scientist. I think there's something in my nature which wants the answers to questions to be right there in text somewhere if you just look in the right place, and never had the patience for research. That said, I have learned some things from him, and one of them is that you generally get better results if you make a decision based on data than if you make it based on what you think is happening/should happen.

Toward that end, I'm going to attempt to gather some data about the reality of my hair. This is going to be rather uncomfortable, not only because it's challenging suppositions about my reality, but also because it means sitting around all day in the heat of my Florida apartment wearing a heavy bathrobe.

The good news for this experiment, if not for my recent happiness: my hair has been product free for at least a year now. I try to brush regularly when dry: once to detangle and once with boar-bristle to smooth and carry oil from my scalp. Every couple of weeks I'll wash with vinegar, which definitely makes things happier when I do so. When wet, I use my fingers or a comb. [I'm sure people are screaming at some of this.] I generally put my hair up before it dries, and probably don't get it wet more than once a week. I last did a vinegar rinse yesterday and braided it wet, which made it quite curly when I let it out a little while ago. Which was when I realized that could interfere with my knowledge.

So here's the test. I've just showered, and thoroughly rinsed my hair with water. I've combed through with my fingers. After showering, I squeezed it dry with my hands root to tip, then gently with a towel. That's it. The goal is to see what it looks like in something close to its natural state, and photograph it. Foolishly, I started writing this before taking the first set of photographs...let me go correct that.

Extra sources of frustration are that my digital camera, while quite good, isn't really designed for self-photography, and is incapable of operating on battery power. Also, I've apparently misplaced my little table-tripod. The good news is that the camera can apparently be instructed to take photos remotely from the computer, which helped a lot. Also, crawling around on the floor with wet hair draping across my face when I lean down is annoying. This is why I put it back, it gets it out of the way.

Anyway, here we go:






Please don't mind the random background of the corner of my office. It's at least pretty neutral.

The thing I notice right away is that even when wet/damp, my hair is much curlier than I think it is. Much curlier. I think that's because I'm rarely looking at the ends, or the back, or indeed most of my hair at all. That alone means doing this was a good idea. We'll see more when it's dry (however long that takes), especially if I get to learn anything more about the different layers that seem to exist.

In the meantime, I get to sit around and overheat, but at least I don't have water dripping down my back.

Originally posted at (comment count unavailable comment[s]|comment there)
Tags: hair, science!
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