Sunday, March 29, 2009
Be a smarter curly
Although it is true that I am no scientist, I do have a healthy respect for research. And as long as a person has access to the Internet, it amazes me that they would prefer to post a question to a discussion board before or instead of doing a little prowling around the Web to find some answers.
I see this laziness at NC.com quite a lot, and I don't mind telling you that it irks the crap out of me. We all have questions. Curiosity is good. But get off your ass and poke around the Internet (even do a search on the very same discussion board you're posting to, for crying out loud) to see if the answer is already out there before posting a question that's been posed by several dozen people before you.
Bring something to the table, is all I'm asking. Next time you have a question, do some research and if that doesn't fully answer your question -- or better still, if it raises further questions -- then post a question to the discussion boards and see if you can't elevate a mundane, common inquiry into something that a wider range of people could benefit from.
I posted this thread to NC.com last week. It promptly died. Why? My theory is that most of the folks there would rather just talk about products. They wear they PJism (that's Product Junkie-ism, for those of you who aren't in the know) like a badge of honor, and while that's often fun (who doesn't love trying new products?), I feel that if we don't evolve beyond that stage of willy-nilly product experimentation, we never get any smarter. How can we outsmart the beauty industry if we don't try to educate ourselves?
So, how about I post the list of sites I frequent to learn more about ingredients and chemicals? If you have sites to add, by all means, please leave a comment with your favorite link.
Wikipedia. It's my first stop for any undecipherable, unpronounceable ingredient. It almost always gives me a good basic understanding of what an ingredient does, and sometimes will offer links I can follow to learn more.
Cosmetics Info. This site is great. It tells you what it is, whether it's safe, and how and why it's used in products.
Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. This compendium of ingredients, compiled by beauty expert Paula Begoun (author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me), is comprehensive yet boils things down to their essence.
The Beauty Brains. Though not a glossary or dictionary or encyclopedia, the breadth of no-nonsense information on this site is impressive. Using the search function on even the most seemingly esoteric word often yields useful results. I love this site and refer to it often.
Naturally Curly ingredient list. This article lists some of the most commonly found ingredients in hair products. The headings may or may not be helpful to you in some cases, but if you just need to know whether something is an emollient or a silicone, this could be a handy page to consult. (This site has quite a library of ingredient information on it, but navigating your way through it and finding paths to it can be frustrating. Their internal search function is not reliable but sometimes you can find what you're looking for by typing "naturally curly" and the ingredient in question into Google.)
CurlChemist articles. Tonya, aka Curl Chemist at naturallycurly.com, has written some informative articles that the site hasn't gotten around to formally archiving yet. I highly recommend her articles if you want to know how something works in a chemical formulation.
So, that's a start. What sites do you use to look things up?