Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. ~Leo Tolstoy
I've been working on an exciting new project - a new popcorn company called Pop Karma - so I haven't written as often as I'd like. I promise I'll provide more details on Pop Karma soon.
In the meantime, my dear cousin asked me what I used to dye my hair with since she didn't want to use something really harsh and chemically. Oh no, clearly I've gotten to the age where I should be dying my hair! But I'm not. I have some stray grays, and sometimes when I see them I'll pull them out. Sometimes I leave it in because I think it looks distinguished.
I expect the grays will start coming in quickly and then who knows what I'll think. While I haven't tried dying my hair, I have been using camellia oil for years. My friend started making it around 2004, and I started using it to support his entrepreneurial spirit. One of the properties it claims is that it has reversed graying in some people.
Camellia oil has been used as a beauty product for generations in Asia, and when I told my mother about it, she had vague memories of her grandmother using it. She remembered her as always having black hair, so she called her brother for confirmation. He remembered her having black hair too.
So what is this stuff? Let's start with the facts. Camellia oll is made from the seeds of tea trees. It is rich in Vitamins A, B, C & E and various minerals. It's composed mainly of oleic acid (80%), one of the most penetrative oils, which allows it to hydrate and clean pores and follicles without greasy residue. It allows oxygen and nutrients to penetrate. Camellia is a natural antioxidant that helps protect from UV exposure. It was used for centuries in Japan and Taiwan as a mositurizer and revitalizer. It fell out of favor with more recent generations since it was pungent and greasy.
When my friend first started the company, I told my mother about it, and she spoke to his father, Dr. Michael Liau, one of the founders. He is a retired professor of pathology that specialized in oil at Columbia University. She was impressed and started using the scalp oil. My mother said her hair and eyebrows started growing in thicker. My aunt noticed and she started using it too. I'll note that they think it has grown more hair, but they are still dying it.
I use it, and my cousin frequently observed over the years that my hair seemed fuller. I never really thought about it until recently, when she asked me about dying my hair. Maybe it's working. I thought I should do more investigative reporting so I called Dr. Liau.
Dr. Liau specialized in lung cell research, and specifically, the oil that covers your lungs. He became interested in camellia oil when he noticed how similar a structure it had with lung oil -- about 34%. He recalled that it used to be used as a beauty treatment in Asia, and this sparked his interest. He started working with camellia oil, and purified it to remove natural impurities and odor. Then he began blending it with other oils to provide greater benefits.
Of course I asked him why this stuff works. According to him, the key to healthy hair is healthy follicles. Shampoo is alkaline, which is bad for your hair. Age and environmental dirt clogs your follicles and makes them unhealthy. Camellia oil deeply penetrates and cleans your follicles, removing dirt and other impurities. This stimulates increased hair cell activity and hair cell division. The end result is that your hair grows more quickly, it is healthier and stronger, and inactive hair cells become "awakened" and active again. There is also increased production of melanin which reverses the grayng process, and the slightly acidic pH of camellia oil helps neutralize the alkalinity of shampoo to prevent further damage.
The results of all this is that hair loss and graying is reversed. In some cases.
One interesting thing I learned is that creams are over 50% water, so oils are more effective. Your skin understands and absorbs oils more readily since it naturally oily. It's speaking the same oily language. Oil is more effective even if your skin is "oily", since the oils you are adding penetrates the pores to clean better, rather than sitting on the surface to clog more.
I haven't used the skin version of camellia oil, so I can't really comment on it. I've been using argyn oil on my face, which seems to work, but that's another post.
What to do: Try Camellia Oil for the Scalp
- Buy camellia oil. You can buy it from different places. I buy Dr. Liau's oil, which is under the brand name Purity. The Hair and Scalp Oil is $25 and available here.
- Massage it into your hair one to three times a week before you go to sleep. I try to do it twice a week when I remember. It's a little bit of a pain. Wash it out in the morning. It makes your hair more full when you wash it out, which is nice.
What I ate: two lattes, pineapple, whole wheat spaghetti + Rao's Siciliana sauce, hard boiled egg, quinoa, salad, pad see-ew, 3 dark chocolate squares, 45 oz water
Exercise: jogged 5.5 miles