hair lossThe technical term for hair loss is alopecia and there are records of this occurring as far back as 4000 years BC ` mankind forever searching for a cure.


Reciting a magic spell to the sun, followed by swallowing an extraordinary concoction of onion, lead, alabaster and honey was one such ritual, another common one being the rubbing of fats from crocodiles and serpents onto the bald areas.

With baldness regarded as shameful in ancient times, men and women would place any number of bizarre items on their heads.



With ample knowledge today one can feel quite sympathetic to these folk for their perseverance none of which had any positive results at all.


It may be of no consequence that Julius Caesar wore a laurel wreath on his scalp but was apparently a way of disguising a bald patch.



This famous character went even further by growing his hair long at the rear of the scalp then bringing it forward to conceal the baldness.



Yes readers, does this “comb-oversound familiar !!


Finally, as for ancient history there is a passage in the old testament and I quote “ Elisha went to Bethel and as he walked along the road some youths jeered, “ go on up you baldheadand he cursed them in the name of the Lord !



Weird potions, applications and curses aside, dermatologists offer precise knowledge of the diverse causes of baldness, permanent or temporary.


Across the spectrum hair loss can generally be attributed to disease, damage to follicles, chemo therapy, malnutrition, thyroid imbalance and many other reasons. Those affected are briefly discussed below and any of the above mentioned can apply :


Women  physiologically are complex creatures being most susceptible to hormonal imbalances. In certain cases these can be corrected provided that the oestrogen levels can be tolerated. The thinning of hair is mostly seen towards the rear of the scalp. 



It is also evident that race can play a role as premature thinning is apparent in some Asian women.


Men tend to have a receding hairline commonly termed MPB [male pattern baldness]  most likely genetically related.



The male sex tends to be more neurotic regarding hair loss and the ultimate solution is a hair transplant.



Elton John and many others went this route and it works !


On the other hand, the trend nowadays is to shave instead of saveIs the saying  “bald men are sexyencouraging this action?


Children too can experience hair loss, due to malnutrition, cancer and a most common cause Tinea Capitis ` ringworm of the scalp.



There is much confusion as Tinea in its various forms is fungal in origin and has no connection to a worm. The complaint manifests as ring-like bald patches with stump-like hairs apparent.  Tight pony tails and extensions are often a cause due to the excessive traction on the follicles.


Congenital  alopecia occurs due to genetic malfunctioning. At birth and throughout life there is an absence of hair on scalp, genital areas and on the eyelids. This is a strange irreversible condition.


Whatever form of baldness occurs, it can be a devastating condition. Elimination of stress is important which goes hand in hand with relaxation. The calm ambience of a health spa with a therapeutic massage using one of Matsimela’s massage oils is a must.  Click on ‘Into Spa’ on our website and find a spa near you.



Bizzare Cosmetic IngredientsAlthough I have touched on this topic previously, new readers may find the contents interesting.


Assuming that one is fairly aware of components in toiletries, some discussed below may appear to be “creepy”  and yet they are in fact quite commonplace.


However anti-cruelty consumers may well like to question and avoid certain products.


Polystyrene micro-beads 


Classified as plastic, these were previously included in toothpaste to allow for that polishing effect. However it was discovered that the beads could lodge in a users gums, setting up inflammation and even infection.  These inclusions have generally been banned.


Embalming fluid 


Formaldehyde is a most effective preservative and is after all used to embalm and preserve bodies !

It is to be found in a wide array of cosmetics like nail enamel, body washes. Shampoo & certain soaps.

Known as a carcinogen ` small quantities do not actually pose a threat.


Crushed bugs


Female South American insects feed on cactus berries, the outcome being carmine ` a red dye.

This rosy colour enhances lip and cheek cosmetics but skin reactions are rare.


Electronic cigarette liquid


Anyone puffing on an electronic cigarette should be aware of propylene glycol providing the liquid base for the vapour.

This chemical is much used in fragrances and moisturizers as a stabilizer but can trigger allergic reactions.


Snail slime


This is the latest innovation in anti-aging products and an extensive process is involved. One environmentally aware company initiates a sanitation process, showering with water and ozone, a natural method which stimulates slime secretion is harmless and maintains the health of the molluscs.




To obtain this ` the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals are boiled to obtain the end product.

Gelatine can be spotted hiding in creamy cosmetics.

However, readers can scan labels as Kosher and Hallal gelatine does exist.

Continue Reading



Heritage Day ArticleThe word “braai” probably originated from the Dutch word Braden, meaning to roast, which is logical as Dutch evolved into a sister language known as Afrikaans.


Besides being very local, this sociable cooking method is also to be found in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.  The word “braai” is truly South African in this beautiful country not only because of the food but the vibe brought about by the union of friends and family.


Historically some time shortly after humans took control over fire, cooking meat commenced in this way, probably by accident when raw chunks fell into the fire.These primitive folk then realized that meat was far tastier, easier to chew, more easily digested than in the raw state and had a higher nutritional value.

According to the “purists” braai’ing is not a simple process, even an art form and that it is sacrilege to omit meat from the fire. Those cooks under scrutiny might have to endure comments such as “OH boy, does he need some lessons on how to braai !”


However, a large number of people have opted to become vegetarians and this by no means excludes them as many non-meat foods are quite suitably cooked on the coals.


Certain braai etiquette should exist, the host normally letting the invitees know what to bring such as snacks, salads and alcohol. Much of the gaiety arises from the initiation of cracking open beers, pouring of wine and passing around biltong - the experience truly begins !


Much chatter then ensues which often progresses to inebriated blabbering by late afternoon with all and sundry having the solution as to how the country should be run !


But dear fellow South Africans whatever activities are on the agenda or how you intend to braai, have a wonderfully , peaceful and happy well deserved Heritage day this Sunday the 24th !



Repercussions“If only” is such a powerful phrase that can distort one’s judgement regarding future choices made in life.


It is inevitable that some choices will result in painful experiences but regret can make a bad situation even worse and blame, guilt and punishment are frequently unwarranted.


As the famous late comedian Robin Williams said  “if you are gonna make bad choices, rather earlier than later in life.”


Or “I have a good memory. I wipe out the memory of bad choices fast !”


Crucifying oneself for having “travelled down the wrong road” only provokes more negativity.


Certain outcomes can engage readers in thought provoking exploration as to what might have been prevented had a second decision been considered. Yet what was previously considered disastrous may be beneficial in the future. In many instances, regret can deter opportunities for future growth and renewal.


Yes indeed, life is intricate !!


Historically, how different would the world be today had Hitler won the war, JFK decided against a visit to Dallas or Mahatma Ghandi been assassinated ?


There is much exposure in the media right now covering the death of princess Diana whose life came to a tragic and abrupt end. “What if” she had kept to her original plan to leave Paris a day earlier to be with her boys. Is it possible to envisage what future events she may have had to face up to?


She has now forever been captured in her beauty and youth. Youth that all women aspire to attain.


Lastly dermatologists are generally of the opinion that after the age of 30 years one’s skin will start to deteriorate and therefore more attention should be given in attempting to arrest the aging process.


Having said this, there are many competing products on the market and unwittingly bad choices can be made.


To mention just one example, an unsuspecting woman bought an imported night cream having such high levels of vitamin A resulting in her skin reacting so violently with flaming red patches as is seen with the condition shingles.


Matsimela has a reputation that cannot be compromised



springSpring is an exuberant time, the very word has a “Bounce” to it, a season of renewal and even hope.  It is uplifting to know that Winter is on the retreat and for some that the gloom of Winter is no more.


Many changes occur such as fresh, greener grass sprouting, birdsong on the rise, the sap rising and an increase in colours and aromas.


As for “falling in love”, Scientists put this down to increased levels of the brain’s dopamine, the feel good hormone!


Some countries have their unique traditions of celebrating this season. In our beautiful, diversified country there are umpteen reasons why Spring offers a unique ambiance. Visits to reserves will reveal wildlife nurturing and caring for their fluffy young offspring, whales in cold waters can at times be seen with young calves alongside their giant bodies and magical floral carpets appear in the western Cape.


As for other activities, many will welcome the traditional outdoor Braai,  picnicking, wine tasting crisp blends in our famous vineyards, surreptitiously testing the temperature of the ocean or digging into fresh turf; planting with anticipation, the fruits of one’s  labours.


It must be said that many will experience some not uncommon bodily experiences manifesting as allergies, simply reactions to pollens, grasses, moulds and mildews which thrive in these warmer periods. No wonder Spring is often called “the itchy, sneezy season”.


Readers may come  across promotional displays of bottles containing thermal water with minerals,  intended via a fine spray of mist to hydrate the skin.


Many experts are dubious as the skin with an impermeable membrane does not have much ability to absorb much moisture in this manner or act as an organ of excretion.


However, whatever the season, moisturizing creams are an essential beauty item.


MATSIMELA body butters are rich and soothing, creamy and buttery. They have a 10% Shea butter component, making them not your average body butter. They are excellent for dry skin that needs quenching. Look out for the very popular Ginger and Lime range which has just surfaced in stores it is our seasonal range available from September to March. The range consists of a Hand cast soap, fizz ball, salt scrub, bath soak, body crème and palm soap.