Sunday, 25 October 2009

Things fiber arts have taught me about haircare

Hair and wool are both protein fibers. Many remarkable similarities there!

-Moisture plus heat plus agitation equals fulling. Remarkable how similar that list of no-nos is to blowdrying hair, isn't it?

-Blocking (ie soaking and pinning into place, then allowing to dry) gives wool a specific shape until the next time it gets wet. My beautiful plait-induced waves will do the same, I just need to remember not to visit the waterpark.

-When wet-blocking a wool garment, many patterns recommend soaking it for at least half an hour before washing so that the fiber is fully saturated and gets properly clean. 5 minutes is really not long enough to have saturated hair when taking a shower.

-If one strips all the oil and lanolin out of a fleece while washing, it's a good idea to oil one's hands before carding so the fiber doesn't get all static-y and jumbled. Must remember to condition my hair regularly.

-Longwool breeds tend to have extremely oily cut ends and dry, brittle exposed tips. Spinning longwools is much easier if they have been trimmed first. Hey, just like styling waist-length hair!

-Wool always takes longer to dry than I think it's going to, but it drys faster if it's spread out flat rather than clumped together. I really shouldn't be surprised when the plait of wet hair I went to bed with is still wet in the morning.

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