Friday, August 31, 2018

Hair Korea

Is there anything different about the way Koreans view their hair? I've been wondering this lately; reason being, I'm off to South Korea for a visit soon, and thinking about how my hair will stack up to Seoulites.

A brief browser search reveals that, yes indeed, hair is a thing in South Korea, and Seoul in particular. The K-Pop Locks site proclaims in all caps: [KOREANS] MAINTAIN THEIR HAIR LIKE THEY DO THEIR LUXURY GOODS. In other words, they nourish their hair and, rather than practicing hair maintenance like most Americans, they practice prevention, including a hair regimen involving scalp massages and bedtime hair masks.

Plus (according to K-Pop Locks), they lead healthier lifestyles with an emphasis on fermented and nutrient-rich foods, and plenty of exercise.

At a website called The Klog, several posts cover K-beauty: The Difference Between American and Korean Hair Products, and The 5-Step Korean Hair Routine that will give you Glossy Hair

Wait, K-beauty? Yup, a new industry term for skin-care products that come from South Korea. It even has its own Wikipedia entry.

And here's something I'm definitely going to try. A scalp massager, which it's said (at can help you relax, reduce tension headaches, sleep better, and if used with oil, help eliminate dandruff.

Aaaahhh. Looks like I'll be coming home with a few new hair products.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Alpaca updos and llama tales

This morning I opened Facebook and happened upon this post:

At first glance, one might think this stylistic alpaca shearing is just for fun, not realizing the animals are sheared for their wool like sheep. A post on the Modern Farmer explains: "Alpaca fleece is practically water-repellent and, unlike sheep's wool, lanolin-free and therefore hypoallergenic." Native to South America, alpacas are used as pack animals, and also for their wool.

The photos reminded me of my distant cousin, Dick Snyder, who raised not alpacas, but llamas at his Foster Hill Farm in Milford, Pennsylvania. He told us during my family's 2003 visit that he bred his llamas primarily for their fiber, although he'd also sold some of his stock to farms around the U.S. He said llamas have very distinctive personalities. Also, the males have to be separated from the females except during mating, and are less friendly than the females since they're constantly vying for dominance with each other.

We stopped by Dick's farm in the summertime, but arrived a bit too early for Open Barn Day, a weekend every July when my cousin opened his farm to the public. He was an amazing philanthropist and community builder that way. Dick passed away in the fall of 2014, and I miss his intelligent, generous spirit and sense of humor. While thinking about him this morning I browsed the Internet for Snyder Quality Llamas and came across this Pike County Courier article about Open Barn Day at his farm.

Via the caption on the feature photo, I learned something I hadn't known before: "Lowering your head so the llamas can smell your hair is a way for them to get to know [you]."

Pictured: Dakota Steele. Photo by Anya Tikka