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Various Issues of the Head Area

By Amalah

(A couple more short ones. Less words for you, plus a wicked case of topic whiplash. Bonus!)


Is is true that your hair becomes “immune” to a shampoo after you use it for awhile? I freaking love my shampoo (Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing), but my hairdresser says I should alternate shampoos to get rid of the build-up and keep my hair from getting immune to the volumizing. I don’t think I have a problem with build-up…or do I??? Is she just trying to sell me more shampoo or is she right?


Obviously, I’ve used a LOT of shampoos. Just take a stroll through the archives here and you’ll see that I change things up fairly often. But it’s more because I get bored and curious and oh! Look! That bottle is pretty. I’m going to try that now. Not really because I’ve observed my hair becoming “immune” to the effects of a shampoo.

I do alternate, however, to fight the build-up. About once a week I use a different shampoo. I have no idea if this really works or if it’s my imagination, but I do it anyway. (By the way, if you DO have product build-up in your hair, it’s your styling products that are to blame waaaay more than your shampoo. If you don’t use many styling products, you probably don’t have a problem and can just smile politely at your hairdresser.)
Here’s the thing, though: I never go out and buy a separate shampoo for this once-a-week usage. I borrow Jason’s or even Noah’s baby shampoo. Or I use a bottle of something I have floating around in a cabinet that I liked but didn’t love. Then the next day I use my regular shampoo, and ta-da! Absence makes the hair grow fonder, because I fall in love with it all over again.


I’m not sure whether to thank you for recommending the Philosophy products, or blame you. Once upon a time, I only ventured into Sephora for Laura Mercier lipstick. But now it looks like I’ll have to take in piecework and ironing and extra freelance assignments just to get the scratch for my Philosophy habit.

On A Clear Day serum is as miraculous as you say. I’m holding my breath that the Hope in a Bottle moisturizer continues to be as good to me as it has been over the past few weeks since I started using it.

Also thanks to you, I tried Rosebud Salve – which, mmmm, I think I’ll go put on some more. It is, as the little tin promises, “A reliable family salve.”

Since you are so wise, maybe you can help me with my foundation dilemma.
For many years as an adult, I struggled with acne problems. A few years ago, I found a dermatologist who prescribed the right combination of things to clear up my skin.
Further complicating my skin issue is that I entered abrupt, surgically-induced menopause three years ago at age 35 (Thanks, Ovarian Cancer!). Menopause does ugly things to a gal’s skin.

The problem is that my skin has little to no tolerance for foundation. I had decent luck for a while with Origins, but wasn’t a big fan of their colors. I’m fair with freckles, and nothing they had was perfect.

Right now I use Bare Minerals when I absolutely have to put something on my face. But I can still count on getting a blemish afterward. Hence my need for the Clear Day serum.
Most days I just don’t use any foundation, but I would love to find something that worked.

Hmmm. Tough one. On one hand! Yes! I have blemish-prone skin as well! Fought acne and blackheads for years! Have found a foundation that works great!

On the other hand! No! My skin is not your skin, and I’ve already cost you way too much money to suggest an expensive foundation that might not work!

But on the third mutant freak hand…Sephora has a great return policy, so just save the original packaging if this doesn’t work for you.
I use and adore Sue Devitt’s foundations. They are an absolute godsend for oily complexions. For you, I’d recommend the 70% Triple Seaweed Gel Foundation. This stuff is 70% water, completely oil-free and the gel-like texture goes on thin and even and breathable. (God, I hate it when I start talking like a damn Cover Girl commercial.)
And judging from the fact that all my local Sephoras are ALWAYS SOLD OUT OF IT in my color (Tanami), I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so. I actually put my name on a WAITING LIST for it so they could call me when it was in, but by the time I stopped by two days later it was sold out again. So I decided to try the whipped version instead and treated myself to a lip gloss to ease my suffering.
(The whipped stuff is great, by the way, but is definitely better for combination skin or for anyone who wants more coverage than the gel foundation. For me, it’s perfect for winter, but once my cold-weather dryness goes away I’ll definitely be stalking the aisles for the gel again. Back off, betches.)

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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