To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees


The various keratin products just might be something more than the latest fad in a parade of amazing hair products that come and go — relaxers, flat irons and the Japanese Hair Straightening Treatment, among them — except for one huge problem: health concerns over the best-known keratin treatment, the Brazilian Blowout, and one or two others.

Officials in Washington, as well as three states, including California, are investigating whether those preparations contain dangerous levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde.

Mousavi, like most clients who had the products applied at salons a few months ago, knew nothing about that health issue. They found the process well worth the $300-plus price and the three hours required for the full salon treatment.

Khiem Hoang, co-owner of the upscale Umbrella Salon on Market Street in San Jose, says, “Our clients really dig it,” referring not to Brazilian Blowout but the Coppola keratin product they use. He says Umbrella stylists have been performing “five or six” treatments a week for the past eight months.

{ Mercury News | Continue reading }

photo { James O’Mahoney }

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

Hair Conditioner

First she let her hair fal and down it flussed to her feet its teviots winding coils


When we change our appearance, for example, by getting a haircut, friends will often note that we look different, but they may not be able to pinpoint exactly what has changed. This may result from our tendency to process faces holistically rather than by individual features.

In a recent study published in Psychological Science, volunteers were shown an image of a face or a house, followed by a similar image that may or may not have changed [images]. The volunteers were better at detecting that a change had occurred in faces than in houses, but they were surprisingly better at identifying which feature had changed in houses than in faces.

These findings suggest that holistic and feature-specific processing may be both advantageous and disadvantageous, depending on the nature of the task.

{ APS }

related { Questions about the safety of the latest sensation in hair care, the so-called Brazilian hair-relaxing treatment | NY Times | full story }

When you knew that it was over, were you suddenly aware, that the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair?


The Windmills of Your Mind, music written by Michel Legrand, with Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman; lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman; from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair.

Noel Harrison performed the song for the film score. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1969 (Harrison’s father, the British actor Rex Harrison, had performed the previous year’s Oscar-winning “Talk to the Animals”).

The opening two melodic sentences were adapted from Mozart’s second movement from his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading | Lyrics and guitar chord transcription | Listen | Download }

The sun never sets. For the moment, no.


Tracking your internal clock may be as easy as plucking a few strands of hair, according to a new study.

The research found that hair follicles hold a record of the gene activity that influences when we wake and when we sleep. The results could be used to diagnose and study sleep disorders and conditions like jet lag.

Whether you’re a night owl or a morning lark, your sleep-wake cycle is controlled in large part by genes called clock genes. These genes vary their activity throughout the day, setting the internal clock that drives our circadian rhythms.

The first human clock gene was discovered almost 10 years ago, but isolating the genes efficiently enough to study sleep-wake cycles in real time has proved difficult. When the genes are active, they transcribe their DNA into RNA, the first step in producing various proteins that essentially carry out a gene’s instructions and, in this case, influence circadian rhythms. The RNA can be found in cells all over the body, from white blood cells to the lining of the mouth, but techniques for extracting it from these cells proved unreliable.

{ LiveScience | Continue reading }

Then feel all like one family party, same in the theatre, all in the same swim.


I forget where I read this tip, but I have used it many times with great success. It starts with the notion that most women change their hair all the time. You might not notice, but a woman is very aware of these small deviations in everything from highlights to length to fluffiness. I’m probably not using the official hairdresser terms, but you get the idea. It’s different every day, at least according to the woman who owns the hair. To me, hair is either brown or it isn’t, and you either have some or you don’t. The rest is beneath my radar.

So here’s the tip. When you see a woman who you haven’t seen for a few weeks, you can pay her this compliment, and it works every time. Say, “You’ve done something with your hair. I like it.”

The woman will feel flattered that you noticed anything beyond her hair’s very existence and its degree of brownness. She might even wonder if you can be her new gay friend. But she will confirm that something is indeed different and offer many details about how it got there. You can use that time to think about your hobbies.

So far, this idea isn’t mine. I just forget where I stole it from. But I did add a twist to it that I will claim credit for. You know how embarrassing it is when you introduce yourself to someone you think is a stranger at a gathering and the person says, “We met a few weeks ago.” This is a sure tipoff that you consider the person non-memorable. If the person is a woman, you can use the hair trick to save yourself. Simply look surprised that you have met before then pretend you are having a flash of recognition, and add “Of course! But your hair is different today. It threw me.”

Now you have flipped it from being the idiot who can’t remember a new person for a few weeks into a person who has such intense memory for detail that any deviation is the same as a mask.

Yes, I’ve used that method often. I can’t say it works every time, but it sure beats my old method of arguing that I must look like some other person and I just arrived in town an hour ago.

{ Scott Adams }

photo { Imp Kerr & Associates, NYC }

There are only three people in LA. Everything else is done with mirrors.


In the fall of 1996, a $30-million Hollywood production almost ground to a halt because of facial hair. As producer Art Linson recounted in his 2002 memoir, “What Just Happened?,” Alec Baldwin surprised everyone when he showed up to film “The Edge” (1997), a man-against-nature thriller, with an overgrown beard. A profanity-laced debate ensued between producer, star, agent and studio executives.

Finally it came down to this: The execs, who had already sunk millions into the production, wouldn’t shoot the picture with their expensive star acting behind a hairy hedge. The stand-off might have ended badly for the studio if the star had walked, but in the end he didn’t: Mr. Baldwin blinked, emerging from his trailer clean-shaven for the first day of filming.

Why risk so much money over a few whiskers? The answer to that question and other mysteries of modern-day film financing can be found in “The Hollywood Economist,” Edward Jay Epstein’s latest foray into the seamy underbelly of Hollywood spreadsheets.

{ Wall Street Journal | Continue reading }

‘It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.’ –Machiavelli


I used to think feminists had  a lot of things to worry about, such as the fact that even the most educated and capable of women still make 78 cents on a man’s dollar, that women are still subject to many more crimes of physical and domestic violence than men, and that hard-won reproductive rights are in danger of being systematically withdrawn without our consent. (…)

Who knew? Facial hair is, apparently, a feminist issue.

{ The Chronicle of Higher Education | Continue reading }