A non-toxic beauty blog focusing on botanical ingredients, honest reviews, affordable options, lifestyle musings, and more than a touch of humor.
"I now look back fondly at those being the most constructive years for preparing me for life in the real world...You have to have pretty thick skin and you have to have big shoulders." - Tom Curley

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

There's a lot of talk about how great vinegar rinses are for your hair, and I'm here to tell you it's all true. Why? Well, your hair is made up of layers and layers of protein. The gentle acid in apple cider vinegar smooths those layers, making hair shiny and tangle-free. I've always had serious issues with tangles because my hair is so fine (and crazy-looking), but for the first time EVER, I don't have tangles! It's true that the smell is not great, but adding essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, lavender, or whatever strikes your fancy really helps. Once your hair dries, the smell will dissipate. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than nasty conditioners. Here's my recipe for an easy vinegar rinse:

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

1/4 c organic apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp organic honey
1-2 drops of tea tree oil
1-2 drops of peppermint oil

Combine ingredients well. Mix with 3/4 c water before use.

It's very easy to make this in larger batches. I usually just estimate by filling a small squirt bottle (a Go Toob, for example) with vinegar and a big squeeze of honey with enough essential oil to make me happy. I keep a big plastic cup in the shower and just do a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of vinegar mixture to water when I rinse. It's super easy!

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes

When I began my green journey, one of the first things I did was switch my shampoo. I'm sure that everyone's heard of the "no poo" movement by now, so I don't feel the need to go into it in detail. Suffice to say, due in part to the modern convenience of a hot shower, most average shampoos are detergents. That's right, the same stuff that goes into your dishwasher and washing machine. It's pretty rough stuff, and not good at all to your hair.

Completely ignoring the dangerous chemicals and petroleum derivatives in most products, there is a fundamental problem with the way people wash their hair. We basically get trapped in this cycle where hard detergents strip our hair of nutrients and healthy oils, then we have to use heavy conditioners that coat our hair in silicones and other nasty stuff to calm it down, then it gets greasy from the conditioner, then we have to shampoo again... Not good at all.

I'm not cool enough to go completely no poo, so instead I switched to a safe (or "clean," as the No More Dirty Looks girls say) shampoo bar from A Wild Soap Bar. Let me just say that this stuff is awesome. Here are my reasons:

#1 - The company is local. I've even met the lovely woman who started everything at the Pecan Street Festival.
#2 - All of the ingredients are safe, effective, and natural.
#3 - It works! My hair has never felt softer, it's growing out more quickly, and when I use the recommended apple cider vinegar rinse, it's very shiny and not tangled at all.

I like to use the Yucca Root Shampoo & Body Bar. I've also used the Carrot Complexion Soap, which is very nice. I like the Yucca bar because I can use it on my hair and body and it smells very fresh and invigorating. It's also helpful if you're traveling... No worries about tiny travel bottles or liquids to declare to the TSA.

I shampoo my hair every day because I'm a crazy person. I like to condition with an apple cider rinse or Aubrey Organic's Green Tea Rinse. My hair is fairly oily, so I don't like to use heavy conditioners on a regular basis.

So that's that!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The beginning...

Hello, lurking denizens of the Blogosphere! This blog is primarily for my own benefit (keeping tracks of all of my thoughts and experiments), but who knows? Maybe it will be helpful for someone else, too.

With the help of information from green beauty blogs like No More Dirty Looks (and the fabulous book by the same name, which I highly recommend), Gorgeously Green, and Angry Chicken (okay, so not really a beauty blog... but you get the picture), I have decided to embark on a quest. A quest to find the perfect green beauty regime for me, whether using products from reputable, clean, organic brands, my own recipes and concoctions, or a mixture of both.

This may seem like a rather vain, insignificant quest, but it's really just the first step in a much larger project to improve the way that I interact with our environment by reducing waste, the amount of chemicals I use, and other behaviors that are harmful to the planet. I urge everyone to do more research about the dangerous ingredients in cosmetic products from the blogs above, or from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. You can easily find better, safer, greener products from books, blogs, the Skin Deep Database, or Good Guide.

So why choose something like cosmetics to kick off my quest to become a a better individual? Well, for one thing, it's easy. For another, it's fun! For another... Sophie Uliano told me to. Let's get down to it!