Home Sweet Home – Travel, Argan Oil, & My Bag

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The travel I recently mentioned has come to pass. Fortunately, my trip to Texas resulted in no major skin or hair crises with argan oil at hand

It did result in some good food-related things and some nice window-seat photos. I’m bad at Instagram, but cloud photos from thirty thousand feet get me inspired.

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Garnier Fructis Grow Strong

Garnier Grow Strong Shampoo and ConditionerGarnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo & Conditioner
photo from Target

Intended this for publishing on Monday, but apparently I’m awesome at WordPress and it came out a little early. Don’t worry, the schedule is correct for the rest of the week!

First things first: I received Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo and Conditioner for free to try courtesy of BzzAgent (and, of course, Garnier). I was not paid to create this content. Anyone can join BzzAgent for free and qualify for BzzCampaigns – you receive free product provided you agree to review it.

Even though my current shampoo and conditioner situation is working out, I’m open to trying products from brands I’ve had luck with. I used Garnier Fructis products with relative success for years when the brand was new-ish. Since then, the brand’s offerings have changed a lot and I’m less familiar with their landscape. Garnier Fructis Grow Strong, which is paraben free and vegan, claims to support hair by making it 10x stronger. I tried it to find out.

The two stars of the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong duo are (per Garnier’s label) Apple Extract and Ceramide.

Apple Extract

In reality, this means it contains malic acid, which is an acid produced by apples, but also all fruits (among other things). Along with glycolic, lactic, and citric acid, malic acid is a part of the alpha hydroxy acid family and is occasionally a component of skincare products.

Malic acid is part of why apple cider vinegar rinses are recommended for no- and low-‘poo regimens. Some people claim that malic acid (and ACV rinses) can stimulate hair growth. This skeptical jury of one is out on that; AHAs interact with living cells, so I suppose it is plausible that they could stimulate the scalp into doing what we want. Otherwise, applied to just the hair shaft itself, it isn’t going to promote hair growth.

Ceramide(s)

These waxy lipids help the hair (or skin, in the case of its natural presence in skin or in skincare) bind together. Think of those ultra-close-up views of what a strand of hair truly looks like: it is essentially a cascade of tiny scales. Ceramide helps them stick and lie flush to prevent damage to the hair’s cuticle. Their presence assists the hair in trapping and retaining moisture. Both of those effects result in stronger hair by:

  • directly reducing the likelihood of breakage
  • improving moisture retention (which also reduces breakage risk!)

Net result is you win because you have healthier, fuller hair. You can learn more about the interaction between ceramide and hair at Longing4Length, who has a nice article on it.

Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo & Conditioner

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Upcoming Travel – Quart Bag Packing Plans

It isn’t often that I have to travel for work. When I do, I find myself in a prep frenzy in the weeks prior; since it isn’t routine for me, I get a little neurotic about it. I’m attending a conference in Texas … so I need to survive Texas, which is contrary to my mid-Atlantic nature.

 

Carry On

I’ll only be gone for a few days, so I’m not checking luggage. My colleague is, but I can’t fathom checking a bag for a day to, two days at, and a day from. I’m fortunate to work for a company who will reimburse for checked baggage fees, but I don’t care for the hassle. You have to get to the airport earlier, you have to wait at the baggage claim, and there’s risk of loss when you have connecting flights (I do).

My last trip was the same duration and I got by with just my SwissGear laptop backpack and my purse. Granted, I had the backpack packed to the gills (laptop, tablet, surprisingly heavy tablet keyboard, clothing, shoes, toiletries, note binder, etc etc etc.) and it was a bit much to carry on my back for extended periods of time – but I did it. I knew this bag wouldn’t let me down; I carry this bag every day for work (with a lighter load, of course!). It has held up to almost eight years of abuse wonderfully, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to repurchase when I wear this one out.

This time, I’ll be bringing a small carry-on suitcase (this one is similar) and that same backpack. For a purse, I’ll throw this inexpensive Giani Bernini packable tote (I have a burgundy one) in the suitcase and pop it out for use between the to-and-from travel. The tote is big enough to carry my laptop if I don’t want to bring the backpack to the conference (jury is still out on that).

Disclaimer: None of this is “cute.” I work in a technical field and am utilitarian to (nearly) a fault. When it comes to bags (in general but especially for travel) if it isn’t practical, I don’t want it in my life. If you’re here for chic luggage advice, regrettably you’ve come to the wrong place.

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Still Love the Wet Brush

A few years ago I discovered the joys of The Wet Brush. This inexpensive brush is great for long and/or tangle-prone hair. Since I wrote that, the line has expanded considerably! They have so many fun colors and different brush styles now. I’ve gifted a bunch of them (and plan to gift more). Their original form-factor includes the original that I wrote about as a style with mixed bristles intended for improving shine.

Pop-Fold

My silver-haired friend (who showed me The Wet Brush in the first place) alerted me to the fact that they have a fold-up version. Using a gift card (and therefore not violating my No Buy), I picked one up. I love it!

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September 2017 Favorites

 

September 2017 Favorites
Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, $10 / Washcloths, $14 / La Croix Passionfruit, varies / Octopus Jaw Clips, $4

Details on my September 2017 Favorites after the jump.

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