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26 March 2013 @ 08:04 am
Data, damnit  
I have made two unfortunate discoveries this week:

1. My cat's cough returns when I don't keep the humidifier going.

2. My hair looks much better when I wash it in cold water.

I learned about the cat/humidifier connection when I let my humidifier dry out for a few days, thinking the spring air is moist enough that I can stop dealing with it for the season. (While not a huge hassle, it is slightly irritating to wash it between each use, so I'll be happy to have a break from it when the weather is even better.) It turned out to be fine for me, but after a couple of days, my cat started coughing a few times a day. Three days after reinstating it, she's back to normal. Great! And sigh.

I got my first inkling about the cold water/hair connection when I took a very tepid shower Saturday morning (our water heater is, evidently, not up for four showers in a row). My hair looked unusually good all weekend (I wash it every 2-3 days). So I tried cold water on purpose yesterday, and ... I'm very sorry to say it supports my hypothesis. More data will be collected over coming months, but preliminary data are very suggestive.
lazyzlazyz on March 26th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
I remember reading that a cold rinse at the end makes hair shape up.
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on March 26th, 2013 01:34 pm (UTC)
This. No need to spend the whole time cold.
blk: hairflipblk on March 26th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
That does sound unfortunate! I suspect results for me would be similar but I have so far been uninterested in testing for fear of being proven correct...
harimad on March 26th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re Part the First:
I know humidifier instructions say to wash after every use but my experience, have run years' worth (several at a time, full time, for 3-5 winter months, for years), is that washing & disinfecting once every 2-4 weeks (depending on room circumstances) was fine to prevent muck from growing.

Re Part the Second:
A. Cold water *rinse.*
B. At least you discovered this heading into summer. A spot of cold water can feel very nice during summer's heat. During January... not so much.
maebethmaebeth on March 26th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that I could make myself wash my hair in cold water even if it turned it into golden threads I could trim and turn into millions of dollars.
born from jets!!!catness on March 27th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
Usually I like science. :(
The Hebrew Hammercock: pic#820100hammercock on March 28th, 2013 06:41 am (UTC)
I endorse the aforementioned curly girl method suggestion. And as mentioned above, you don't have to spend the entire shower, or even the entire hair-washing portion of it, in cold water. Start off with warm/hot water to open up the cuticle, wash and/or condition it, then rinse in cool water to close the cuticle.

Caveat: Despite what the curly girl method sites say, some scalp conditions still require some amount of medicated shampooing to keep them under control. The Lush Soak and Float shampoo bar works just as well for that as your usual Head & Shoulders-type of shampoo (even if it is the worst-smelling product they sell), and is pretty gentle.