Monday, June 9, 2008

Ah Hah! Say No To Head Buzz

Just recently I did a quick review of Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercream after shouting, "Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!" In that post I praised the results I got from the product and how much I liked it. At the end I did mention one Caveat - I kept feeling slightly light-headed.

Light-headed. Let's explore this sensation for a moment. Walk with me...

Light-headness - a common and often unpleasant sensation of dizziness and/or feeling that one may be about to faint...feeling as though his or her head is weightless. Wikipedia.
After applying the Baby Buttercreme this is how I felt but without the fainting spell. I constantly felt like I was withdrawing from caffeine. You know, that slightly buzzy feeling? Not a tingle ladies. A warm but bearable buzz. But that's just the tip of it. The skin on my forehead started to become inflamed. I also started noticing breakage and more shedding just from touching my locks. A small patch of my hair in the nape area is missing. Yep, just vanished! I know the trees were there because I have pictures and because there is STUBBLE!!! Stubble can only mean breakage. Breakage in an area that I touch a lot (at times I have recurring Hand-In-Fro disease. It's terminal). I haven't had breakage like this since I gave up the relaxer 3 years ago. Now mind you, my hair looked fabulous but at what cost? I had to research this. I also immediately stopped using the product.

The beginnings of my natural hair journey didn't start with the easing in of transitioning. No, I wanted the full trial by fire experience that only comes with the BC. Considering this, I had no problems chucking a product that kept my hair glossy and made my hair appear more acceptable to the masses. NO! But I digress.

After careful research I believe I found the problem. Acetylated Lanolin! Damn Damn Damn! WOOL!!! I'm allergic to pure wool!! **This is going to be a little exhaustive.**

Acetylated Lanolin, also called Sheep/Wool Alcohol or even Wool Oil, is a thick waxy sebum(oil) secreted by sheep to give there coats a glossy sheen and keep the skin underneath soft and supple. When the sheep are shorn the Lanolin is extracted from their coats, cleaned, and processed for use in all kinds of products. Like most other oils commonly used on hair, when applied after moisture, Lanolin will lock the moisture in making your hair feel softer and more moisturized. It's non-drying and the animal variety can be pretty anti-allergenic. You can find it in lotions, lipsticks, lip balms, shampoos and conditioners, and hair products et al.
So you say, "What gives? Lanolin is found in at least 1/3 of the beauty products out there." True, but it's usually found in smaller quantities closer to the end of the ingredients list and only used as filler or an emollient. Acetylated Lanolin is the second ingredient in this product which means there is a high concentration of it. Behind water it's mostly wool oil.

As stated earlier, Lanolin softens, soothes, and nourishes skin but coats and potentially suffocates hair because of it's thickness and binding properties. (The picture to the left is lanolin on a pole) It becomes wax and we all know what happens to wax after it has cooled. It becomes hard and non-porous which means no water escapes it but none gets in as well. Regular use of Lanolin rich products will ultimately cause build-up resulting in hair that drys in on itself because no moisture can enter in to replenish it. The wax attracts dirt and dust to each strand further clogging the hair follicles. Dryness, dirt, and dust are a proven recipe for tangling and hair breakage.

Another major problem. Acetylated Lanolin is slightly different than natural Lanolin in that to be acetylated certain natural molecular properties of the Lanolin are exchanged with Acetic Acid and LYE. Acetic Acid is a mild acid that is corrosive and prone to causing skin burns, eye damage, skin irritation, etc. It descales like Lime A-Way. Naturally found in vinegar it causes the pungent smell and sour taste we are all familiar with. In and of itself Acetic Acid is not really harmful when used in small doses but overtime regular use of it on your hair can be harmful. We all know what LYE is and what harm it can do.

Thirdly, Acetylated Lanolin is highly comedogenic. Meaning it clogs pores and has a tendency to produce or aggravate acne. When using products that contain this ingredient you must be careful to not allow the hair to hang in your face. Nuff said!

So I found my devil in the details. Wool in the form of Acetylated Lanolin. I can't wear pure wool without rashing so obviously the use of it in my hair is no different. My research explained the buzzing sensation and the hair loss I've been experiencing. Since I stopped using it 4 days ago the sensations have left. The remainder of the jar will be put in the "outbox" to be given away to those who are not allergic or trashed.

Baby Buttercream and it's sister Curly Buttercream are useful products, but I don't believe they are for me. I strongly suggest to anyone who may have wool sensitivities or allergies, avoid this product and any product for that matter that has Lanolin in it. If you are prone to acne or facial irritation, avoid using this near your face or placing your hands in your face after touching your hair. If you have found this to be one of your Holy Grail products, I highly recommend incorporating a regular clarifying treatment into your weekly hair regimen followed by a deep moisturizing treatment before reapplying this product. Oddly enough when I started using the product I was cowashing every day to every other day. Cowashing is not recommended with this product. You will only further add to the build-up on your tresses. You need to shampoo.

So there it is. Another Miss Jessie's product bites the dust for me. I'm truly not out to get them, I promise. I've just found that there product line doesn't work for me. I hope this review will be found helpful especially to the product junkies that are fiending to buy these cremes. I will try to find a comparable replacement and if I do I'll post it here. Currently I've gone back to using my Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Creme. It has "Lanolin" in it but it's #14 on a list of about 22 ingredients. As soon as I'm done with this I think I may not purchase it again. Even though I like it a lot, there has got to be something out there that doesn't have Lanolin and a whole bunch of chemicals in it.

Kamika Inspector #32


Knitaholictoo said...

Daaang! I am feelin' your pain! Years to grow, days to destroy! *Sigh* Thank you for sharing the info. Been having weird problems with new products...Will definitely check the ingredients!

Nettie said...

Wow! That is quite the reaction. I'm impressed with your research skills. I had a huge problem with some Carol's Daughter products when I wore my hair natural, I've never figured out what the problem was.

NikkiJ said...

Wow, Whoa! I mean, Kamika, I was ON MY WAY to go get some of this stuff to put on Teddy Bear's hair and she has exema. You're a life/hair saver today, girl.

If you should one day have a child, and decide to breast feed said child, pure lanolin can be your life saver. I put this directly on my breasts after EVERY feeding or suffered the consequences of chapped nipples. Start searching for yourself a suitable, edible substitute now.

Harlem Purl said...

Dang, I'm so sorry to hear about your hair woes. I actually have the curly buttercream and I use it every once in a while but I wouldn't call it a holy grail. My holy grail is actually MoeShaeLoe which is a mixture of Aloe Vera Juice and Shea Butter. If you need more info I suggest you check out the boards at n.appturality.

Pajnstl said...

omg! I cant' believe that happened to you. Glad you caught it before you lost all your hair

Virtuous said...

I am glad Inspector #32 did research all of her details!

Marty said...

Really sorry to see you had this awful experience. And thanks for all your research. I don't have a wool allergy but now I'm nervous. I have to keep an eye on the build up.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That's pretty scary. I guess I better keep searching for all natural products; but you know even things that claim to be all natural have a boatload of chemicals in them.

nywele said...

thank you for the great review:)
I've never tried Miss Jessie's due to her prices..