Monday, January 07, 2008

All I Need is a Miracle

Howdy! Back with a new entry and a big question: Why do people insist on rubbing spicy stuff into their scalps to encourage hair growth?

I understand the whole thing about stimulating the blood vessels under the follicles and all that, but some of the hair-growth "formulas" in the market sound more like ethnic-food recipes [edited 01/7/2008 for clarity] than viable alternatives to Rogaine. On one end, there's Lush, which has a solid shampoo called New that claims to restimulate hair growth with cinnamon, clove, menthol, and other oils. On the other hand, there's garlic shampoo, which isn't too expensive, and I know of one person for whom this has worked wonders... but, really now, I love garlic as much as the next person, but more often than not I would rather have the stuff on a plate (smothered all over chicken and hot bread, mmm-mmmm) than in my hair.
(EDIT: Don't get me wrong, though, because I'd love to try this one day. The garlic shampoo I posted claims to be "unscented," and the person who did recommend it to me is a family member who I love to bits. Sounds like it's inexpensive, too. Will let you know how this pans out when I come across the stuff.)
That said: I do have a thinning-hair problem - one that has been exacerbated by stress (yes, watching UH get steamrolled by Georgia at the Sugar Bowl did not help much) and not helped by my own thin, fine, straight Asian hair. So what's a girl to do when she's too freaked out to buy Rogaine, but absent-minded enough not to remember which salon on Oahu sells the miracle garlic shampoo?
All things considered, I did end up at Wal-Mart, where I went straight for the ethnic-hair aisle - socio-political (and aesthetic) ramifications notwithstanding - and emerged with a shampoo that sounded crazy enough to work:

Yep, I went for the Dr. Miracle 2-in-1 Tingling Shampoo and Conditioner. To be honest, the claims did sound very shady (should've read what Afrobella had to say about the brand before I did this) but I went for this primarily because (I thought) it had less Sodium Laureth Sulfate than the Lush shampoo I mentioned before. It's too bad the folks at Dr. Miracle's don't post their ingredient lists online, because I swear that I read the list they posted on that box and didn't see SLS on it until the last three lines or so. They better be truthful about that SLS, because the shampoo liquid itself looks pretty pearly to me.

(To be fair, I don't remember this shampoo having my other hair enemies: petrolatum and mineral oils.)

At the top of the ingredients, however, is clove oil - and beware: When you smell this straight out of the bottle, the clove will attack your nose first. And maybe it's because I don't mind the spicy stuff, but he scent did dissipate when I started using it in the shower, so any fears I had about smelling like a Christmas pomander/ ham factory/ smoking section from an Indonesian restaurant were put to rest.

What does linger is the notorious Dr. Miracle's tingle, which not only stayed in my scalp but also ran down my back and some parts of my face - including my eyes, which did hurt and itch a bit from the tingling. (To be fair, however, my eyelashes have never felt fuller.) In fact, some of the tingling did stay on my back even after scrubbing and rinsing - problematic if you don't like that sort of thing, but it's more like the soothing effect you'd get from Vicks VapoRub.

And what of the hair? Well, it's only been four days (and I'm frustrated that the Dr. Miracle's people can't decide whether or not this shampoo should be used daily or weekly... way to go with the credibility claim, folks) but my scalp isn't as flaky, and my hair does seem to have more bounce. I did notice that the bald spots I had over the Christmas break have become less noticeable - not so much proof of my hair growing back than a testimony to the aforementioned bounciness and scalp health. I also noticed that, despite the 2-in-1 claim, it's not as moisturizing as I would have expected an "ethnic" hair product to be - in fact, I still had to use conditioner to keep my otherwise fine, pin-straight hair soft and bouncy at the same time.

I'm at the point right now where I don't have to use the Dr. Miracle's every single day - not so much because of my hair but because I have to give my body a break from all the tingling - so I would use this only when I need the boost, and alternate it otherwise with my regular shampoo and conditioner to tone down the excessive spiciness.

No comments: