Another Friday another hair and science inspiration
This Friday I have a pleasure to introduce you with Sasha from PhDenomenalPhDemale. I have been following Sasha’s account for a while and I absolutely love her Instagram stories, especially when she manages to play with her hair and have beautiful pig tails during busy days in the lab! Sasha certainly shows that women in science can be chic and do serious science. I am very happy that Sasha is sharing her hair story and I hope you all can get some useful tips from her!
Describe your research/what do you do?
My research focuses on studying how proteins can regulate the mechanism of bacteriophage assembly. Bacteriophage (or phage) are viruses that are specific to bacteria, meaning that if we can find a way to use them effectively, phage can work to kill bad bacteria that harm human health. This means I use techniques such as NMR to look at the intricate workings of a molecule. How a protein folds, what it binds to, the temperature it works at and so much more are tiny details that can have a large impact. For instance, the bacteriophage is the most abundant entity on the planet, they are invisible to the naked eye, but if you lined them up – end-to-end the phage could reach a distance to the moon and back. So it’s incredibly exciting that these small entities, and their even smaller proteins components can be understood and in doing so, their applications can have a serious (positive) effect on our health care.
What is your type and what do you love most about your hair?
My hair is rather fine and mostly straight. Naturally my hair is mostly not very exciting, but I do love the colour. I’ve experimented with bleaching, highlights, going very dark and now it’s mostly my natural hair colour. From there I can add a few highlights in the summer and have them grow out to more of a baylayage effect in the cooler months. I also recently got bangs (or a fringe), for me it was a fun way to change up my style and be a bit more trendy without colouring it. When I look back and think about it, each hair style or look holds a memory. Bangs as a young girl (and again now!), colouring when my mom first allowed me to do so and a drastic chop when that colour did not-so-nice things to my hair.
What is your current haircare routine?
I am by default very low maintenance with my hair. I try to wash it on days that coincide with my workout schedule, and have found that has prolonged time needed between cuts by making my hair a bit stronger feeling. I’ve learned though that bangs have to be washed and blow dried on the daily, whether in the shower or at the sink (LOL!), it has got to be done or my bangs just appear as greasy little wisps. I tend to use a ‘cleaner’ shampoo, with less harsh sulphates added and never go without conditioner on the ends. From there I have invested in a high quality hair dryer to reduce time the time it takes to blow dry. In the winter months here in Canada I always blow dry my hair because it’s just so cold! However, in the summer I like to sleep in a braid or loose buns to mimic a natural wave. Besides that – don’t laugh – I’m a fan of the ol’ cheap Velcro rollers for some volume and of course, dry shampoo! It may be silly, but a good hair day can make me feel more confident (Me: I am smiling and couldn’t agree more that good hair day gives a lot of confidence!)
What is your favourite/most common hairstyle you tend to have during crazy lab days?
On the average day I can have my hair down without annoyance, with ‘2nd day hair’ it has got to be a braid, bun, pony, half-up – I like to get creative, just as long as it’s out of my face. When my hair is longer I can get away with simple chic, what I hope are, adult pig tails. This can also be correlated with time though, as an inverse relationship with time ie. less time, more simple : more time, less simple. I feel bangs and a top knot is still quite stylish. When I have little time, and, as an added bonus I can end up with wavy hair when I finally ‘bun drop’ at the end of the day – perfect for potential post work outings.
Your top tip for good haircare?
I wish I knew! I do believe a lot just comes from good genes. I would have love to been born with thick strong hair of any colour really. Think Blake Lively, Kate Middleton or some of my eastern European relatives, gosh, I’m swooning now! But we have to happy with the hand we’ve been dealt, so mostly I follow the rule of a good trim now and then and minimal product/colouring/heat styling when I can.
Shop Sasha’s hair products
The most crazy hair fact/myth you have heard?
Hair care has always intrigued me and over the years I’ve heard much about getting shiny hair using natural remedies. The most common ones that come to mind are an egg white hair mask or a mayo hair mask. I have not been brave enough to try these at home science experiments (shall we call them that?). However, I am very curious as to the true outcomes. For instance – do they really make your hair shiny or just a greasy mess?
(My answer: I heard about mayo masks not that long ago and straight away I did not like the idea of that. As you may know mayo contains fats and if you apply that on your hair it will certainly add moisture due to fat content. However, would it make your hair stronger? I really doubt! I also think it would be an issue to wash it off because I can imagine that being pretty sticky…If you looking for something to add strength and shine for your hair go for products rich in hydrolysed proteins because those proteins are broken and can penetrate inside the hair fiber. Also, products rich in hydrolysed proteins will protect, add strength and provide more health to your hair! )
What are your overall thoughts about hair?
Hair is another fun way to be self-expressive! Looking back throughout time, so many moments, trends, statements were made with hair. The same goes for an individual, your hairstyle can be reflective of you at a given situation or moment. Your hair style can also give you the freedom to have fun. So much of our lives is dictated with schedules, routines and monotony, if changing up your hair or makeup or whatever, allows you to explore a creative outlet, I say, by all means – go for it! Makeup can be washed off, hair styles can be altered and haircuts can be grown out, so don’t be afraid to take a chance. To this I’ll take some wise words from Lady Gaga in her song entitled ‘Hair’: “I just wanna be free, I just wanna me / as free as my hair”.
Although it be deemed as too self-indulgent; getting your hair done, taking time for yourself – I disagree. I say to any woman (or man for that matter!), do whatever it is that makes you feel like your best self – so if waking up a little bit earlier to get your hair smooth or that cat eye just right, go for it (just don’t be too late for your experiments 😉 !
And always, remember that hair is simply the icing on the cake and the substance comes from the woman who was free enough to make whatever choice she wanted.
Thank you so much Sasha for sharing your hair story and being inspiring as always!
Check Sasha’s page: www.sashaweiditch.com
Follow Sasha: Instagram phdenomenalphdemale
I am Laura, 26 Lithuanian living in Manchester. I spend my days in the lab working on hair follicles and in the evening I share my love about hair cosmetics and how to have beautiful hair!