Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shrinky Dinks may be harmful to your hair!

Today was an accident prone day, the kind of day when I should really stay home because I'm a serious menace to anyone who might come near me. I'm not really sure why I have these days, when I drop my iPod touch on concrete, walk into closed doors, or spill Slurpees all over the counter at the gas station. It was craft class day at the library, and that's not a great day to be a walking cautionary example!

We made Shrinky Dink jewellery with the tweens and teens in two different groups. I managed to drop pretty much every split ring I picked up and couldn't seem to make a pair of earrings without one of them ending up on the floor. But that's not the story...

We were using the Dremel sander to make pins and stud earrings...and a ringlet of my hair became tangled in the machine and twisted my hair up to about my ear! (My hair is waist length, so I had about 24 inches wrapped around the shaft of the machine!) It took about 5 minutes to get it untangled and Raymond finally had to trim off the end to extract it! What I ended up with was something akin to a dreadlock, and I was convinced the only way to fix it would be to cut it. EEEK! (I also managed to cut my hand and crack the corner of my nail at the same time. I did mention I was accident prone today, right?)

When I came home, I immediately went into the bathroom and sprayed my do-it-yourself-by-accident dreadlock with my favourite leave in conditioner (Wedding Cake scented) and muttered a little prayer to the Gods of Hair that it would work. I left it for a minute or so, then brought out the brush. It took a little more work than normal, but I'm pleased to say I managed to save my hair!

What did I learn today? I really should have my hair up when crafting, but I've been suffering from horrible muscle spasm based headaches for just about a year now and I can't put my hair in a ponytail or bun without causing some serious no muscle relaxant can help and even Botox is kinda ineffectual type of head pain. So what I really learned is that cetrimonium chloride can handle the knottiest tangles!

For some reason, cetrimonium chloride is getting a bad name right now. Whole Foods won't allow it in their products and the Swedish department of the environment (can't remember the name - I did mention I have a wicked headache, right?) seems to have issues with quaternary compounds and the environment. But I have to say, after today's experiences, cetrimonium chloride could punch me awake every morning square in the face and steal the spare change out of my car and it'd still be welcome in my home!


Tara said...

Maybe you're pregnant, lol! I get really clumsy when I am ;-P
What is there to remove tangles without quaternary compunds?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tara! Definitely not pregnant! I think it's lack of sleep coupled with not concentrating on what I'm doing but thinking of other things...or just lack of sleep!

Nothing. You need quaternary compounds to condition your hair, and you can't detangle without them! So you need something like Incroquat BTMS, Incroquat CR, cetrimonium bromide, or cetrimonium chloride! Cetrimonium chloride is the best detangler I've found. 2% is enough to get my frizzy, coarse, thick, waist length hair under control. Such a small amount, too!

Becky said...

LOL! My long lost twin! :)) I have long hair also and have certain days that it's just better to stay in bed. I accidently caught my hair up in the motor of a shop vac. Who knew they had a hidden air intake? I used store bought conditioner at the time as I didn't make any of my own yet.

kontakt said...

"Coming out firmly against any quaternary compounds" is a bit of an exaggeration, IMHO (perhaps intended)?

Sleep indeed is a good thing.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi kontakt. Based on what you interpreted from Swedish for us, they are saying quats have "high toxicity" and they call the cetrimonium cation "toxic". I think saying they came down against them is slightly exaggerated, but I think it's safe to say the Swedish government don't appear to be fans of the products. I've altered the post to reflect that it seems the Swedish government have issues with cetrimonium chloride.

I don't think I was exaggerating when it comes to Whole Foods. If you look at this chart - Whole Foods unacceptable body care ingredients - it pretty much lists every quat available (at least to us homecrafters). For some random reason, behentrimonium chloride is allowable, but otherwise everything we use is on there. I think it's permissible to interpret that as being against quats.

kontakt said...

Oh, I didn't touch upon the Whole Foods thing. I'm sure you're right there. I just felt slightly guilty if I provided a skewed picture, and felt I should correct that.

Highly toxic should be a fact, really, from experimental data - not provided by Lakemedelsverket but from scientific literature. Then there's also biodegradability, etc. Toxicity isn't everything. The overall judgement was that environmental risk could not be excluded, or something like that. *checking*

"The risk quote for cetrimonium salts is slightly over one, and therefore it can not be excluded that this group of substances have negative effects on the environment locally in the recipient." (repost from that thread on the Dish) "Recipient" should be the water body where the waste water ends up - not sure if they are referring to all situations, or if they are only talking about waste water not passing sewage plants here.