ULTIMATE BEAUTY DARE: The Placenta Challenge!

Would you wear your own afterbirth? Say yes. GRAPHIC MEDICAL IMAGE INSIDE! Seriously, don't click if you're squeamish.
Publish date:
November 22, 2011
shoppables, hair, babies, disgusting DIY

AUUUUUUUUUGGGHHHHHHH! I know! I hate it too! Avert your eyes (but keep reading somehow). My friend Krissy from this article from a few weeks ago had her baby Brubeck. She also gave birth to this hideous placenta. Obviously she sent me a picture of it before she’d even sent me a picture of the baby.

Speaking of which, here is Brubeck! Isn’t he to die?:

But back to the placenta. Why am I running a disgusting picture sure to horrify and alienate readers? Because I’m the fucking heath director, goddammit! [Health Critic! But if you want to call yourself heath director, go for it. I love you, honey. Carry on. --Jane] And when that Plan B article exploded, everyone was all critical of me being squeamish about talking about the female body. So HERE. I’m not anymore. Happy?! No, I didn’t think so.

Krissy, mother of Brubeck, is all about the DIY beauty recipes. She was drinking Vitacoco back when it was still hard to find -- like seven years ago -- and loved the stuff so much that she wrote the company fanmail (they sent her a T-shirt!). She used to live out on Long Beach here in New York and would make me sit with her in the sand and exfoliate our legs. She also wanted to bathe in bleach like she was a fine set of china, if you recall from the last article about her. Pregnant. I talked her out of it (yet she still insists peroxide baths are the thing).

Anyway, given all this, I thought that Krissy would be the perfect candidate for the ultimate beauty dare: PLACENTA MASKS. Her own placenta. And she was totally down! But the dumb hospital tried to charge her! For her own placenta! What is that about?

So she didn’t take it home. I guess there’s some nurse at home wearing it all ground up in her hair like I wanted Krissy to do. So unfair.

Now placenta as a beauty product is not something I am making up. Check it:

At least three companies currently sell hair or skin treatments which contain extracts of animal placenta. The most common type of placenta used is sheep. Allegedly the placenta extract serves as a source of protein and hormones, predominantly estrogen and progesterone in the cosmetics in which it is used. Data on the exact purpose of the placenta extract is sketchy and hard to find.

In fact there is a definite sense that manufacturers avoid claiming that it does anything particularly. For example Alleghany Pharmacal Corporation, manufacturer of the Hask brand of hair conditioners which extensively use sheep placenta extract, maintains no brand website for their Hask brand and the parent company website is a blank construction page.

The FDA maintains that placenta extract may be potentially hazardous and its use is subject to restrictions and requirements of warnings in at least some products. In one study, four girls between one and eight years of age developed breasts or pubic hair two to 24 months after starting the use of estrogen- or placenta-containing hair products. Their breasts and pubic hair regressed when they stopped using the products. No other cause for early sexual development was found. (Wikipedia, “Alternate Uses For Placenta)

Sketchy! Scary! And not really too vegan. (But maybe if you use them, your boobs will get bigger! Ignore the extra pubic hair part. But who were these poor kids whose parents volunteered them for this study?!)

That said, I’ve definitely conditioned my hair with cheap over-the-counter placenta treatments purchased from ghetto beauty supply places in my neighborhood (the same place where I bought my tub of "whale sperm," if any of you ever read this old article of mine). And they totally work! I love placenta conditioner!

Do I endorse it? No, because that wouldn’t be ethical. Fine, I endorse it! My inclination is that anything scary, beauty-wise, has gotta be good. I mean, Demi Moore leeches herself and look how fantastic-looking she is.

Here is the stuff the article was warning us about:

Hask Placenta No-Rinse Instant Hair Repair Treatment for Extremely Damaged Hair Hair And Scalp Treatment! It's a leave-conditioner, and it's only $4. Awesome! You could also get this box of packets of deep conditioner treatments for $14:

I have only used the deep conditioning treatments -- they work! I mean they condition beautifully. These very ones. I do it properly, too: apply to damp hair, wrap that shit up in a turban, chainsmoke for an hour in a bathrobe, then rinse. You'll see a softer, silkier effect for a while -- placenta definitely gets results. Buy this box and give all of them to your friends for Christmas! Surely they want bigger boobs, too.

So what do you think? Would you ever try such a thing (or have you)? What's your favorite disgusting DIY, or have you tried anything that REALLY didn't work? Discuss!

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