Sign in

Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Trends

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Illustration: Matija Medved for Elemental

The truth about the new class of hair care products

In 2006, Sachajuan, the cult Stockholm hair care brand, debuted a scalp shampoo, expecting it to be a niche product. But in recent years, the shampoo — made with a scalp-tingling peppermint and packaged in an apothecary-like bottle to evoke medicine for hair — has become the brand’s top seller, says co-founder Sacha Mitic. Little wonder, then, that Sachajuan subsequently released a scalp treatment, a scalp conditioner, and, last month, a scalp scrub and scalp brush, the latter of which sold out almost instantly.


A closer look at copper, cryotherapy, compression, and float tanks

Photo: jacoblund/Getty Images

Every year, it seems, something new comes along promising to decrease our pain and stress while improving mood and sleep. Almost as quickly as these magical fixes arrive on the scene, many of them disappear — either because they lose their novelty and notoriety, or because they are displaced by the next great hope.


1950s housewife chores have been rebranded as meditation and self-care

An illustration of three women characters cleaning, gardening, and doing other household chores.
An illustration of three women characters cleaning, gardening, and doing other household chores.
Illustration: Virginia Gabrielli

Fresh Roberson, a Chicago chef, kept hearing the same thing from her club’s newest members: Dough was their savior.


Wellness advocates say chelation works wonders. Doctors disagree. The truth may be somewhere in between.

Photo: Tridsanu Thophet/EyeEm/Getty Images

When former NHL player Chris Tschupp was first diagnosed with ALS last year and given two to five years to live, he went on a search for answers beyond his neurologist’s office.


The electrolyte-boosting tablets are an alternative to sports drinks for endurance athletes. But what do they do for the rest of us?

Photo: Nuun

Countless companies have tried to reinvent water. They’ve infused it with vitamins, electrolytes, or rock salt for “better body balance.” Most of these, as Elemental has previously reported, are plain old H2O in an overpriced bottle. But what about hydration that doesn’t come in liquid form at all?


Why therapists are worried that calorie restriction is now a productivity hack

Illustration: Nan Lee

In December, on the day after Christmas, an entire segment of Good Morning America was devoted to intermittent fasting.


Trading wine for weed is redefining society’s longtime relationship with alcohol — and possibly even sobriety

An illustration of many diverse characters standing in line at a wellness/cannabis store, while the line at the bar is empty.
An illustration of many diverse characters standing in line at a wellness/cannabis store, while the line at the bar is empty.
Illustration: Zack Rosebrugh

For Lisa (name changed), the decision to stop drinking was a long time in the making. Though she was only a social drinker, the 40-year-old freelance writer and mom found herself drinking more than felt healthy. In early 2019, she made a decision to stop.


Illustration: Kieran Blakey

The Nuance

There’s not much evidence that playing chemist with your body’s pH levels will do you any good

In the 1999 film Fight Club, Brad Pitt’s character dumps a skin-searing powder onto the hand of the character played by Edward Norton. “This is a chemical burn,” Pitt’s character explains. “You can run water over your hand and make it worse… or you can use vinegar to neutralize the burn.”


‘TikTok is our way to be accessible and transparent — to connect with people’

Photo: Peter Byrne — PA Images/Getty Images

Dr. Magnolia Printz, a 38-year-old Wisconsin-based anesthesiologist, stumbled across TikTok in late 2019. She’d always liked dancing, and karaoke was a big part of her Filipino culture, but she soon became strategic about using 15-second videos and trending soundbites to educate people about the world of medicine.


The science in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix series isn’t that bad—until you get to the exorcism

Elise Loehnen and Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

I’m going to be honest, I wanted to be outraged by this show. As Elemental’s senior staff writer, I’ve written about how the wellness industry, embodied by Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop, exploits people’s insecurities and very real health issues. I’ve nodded along and tweeted and ranted about the pseudoscience she and others peddle, selling people false hope in the form of useless overpriced devices and treatments, the best of which are a waste of money, the worst of which can cause very real health harms.

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store