Healthy Ways to Clean Your Hair and Scalp: Shampoo Bars

After many years of using conventional shampoos and hair styling products, I was left with hair that felt dry and resembled straw. And the super sad thing about it was, I spent a lot of time, money and energy to create beautiful, healthy hair, and it still managed to be that way!  At one point, I had enough, and was fortunate enough to be led to some novel hair care ideas, and eventually learn the proper ways of maintaining and loving my own, unique hair.

Any of you fit in this category??

Let’s first talk about shampoos.

One of the most important pieces of advice that I can pass onto you is that most shampoos are entirely too harsh for your hair. Textured or curly/wavy hair types in particular need to hold onto their natural oils (or sebum) to add to its weight and hold onto proper moisture levels.

One method of cleansing is called conditioner washing or co-washing. In Lorraine Massey’s book, “Curly Girl” she recommends limiting or eliminating the shampooing step altogether. Instead of using a regular shampoo, she claims that a conditioner has enough surfactants to effectively wash our hair and scalp. By using a water-soluble silicone based conditioner, you can wash your hair with conditioner, and she termed this process CO-washing. By co-washing, you can effectively clean your hair and not strip the living daylights out of it!

But another idea is to use a gentler form of washing. With a gentler natural shampoo, one that can mildly cleanse without stripping.  I suggest to look for shampoos that contain moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil, babassu oil, olive oil, or mango butter. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

I have come across a few gentle emollient shampoos, and this particular one doesn’t come in a bottle. Termed a Shampoo Bar, it offers a novel approach to gently cleansing your hair and scalp.

Herbaria Soaps: Traveler’s Choice Shampoo

Traveler's-Choice-shampoo-soapPros:   It cleans your hair without removing its natural oils and leaves hair manageable.  Super gentle on the scalp, this soap is a multi-tasker (thus being named “Traveler’s Choice”) and can be used as a body soap, while its rich lather can also serve as your shaving cream!

Price:  $5.95 for a 4.5 ounce bar (should last you a month), and if you purchase 6 bars of any Herbaria soaps, you will get the 7th  free.

My 2 cents: Using a shampoo bar as an alternative to regular shampoo is something you will have to experience. While using traditional shampoos my hair would generally feel squeaky clean, no bueno! This bar has a lot of natural ingredients including Jojoba Oil, which is actually a natural wax. After using this shampoo bar, I definitely noticed a different feel to my hair.  It felt clean, but mildly coated and slightly tacky when wet, but completely soft and manageable when dry.

As a shampoo, Traveler’s Choice lathers copiously and leaves any kind of hair easy to manage. It contains no detergents, phthalates or synthetic fragrances, so common in other shampoos.  The light scent comes from essential oils of rosemary and petitgrain, which also benefit hair and scalp. Jojoba oil makes hair lustrous. These ingredients are kind to your complexion and clean your skin (and scalp) without drying it out.”

Feel free to comment or share about alternative hair washing methods or products that have worked for you!

Jen <3

November 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Drink up! Rooibos Red Tea for Beautiful Skin

Looking for a natural beauty boost? I’ve got a simple, super healthy (and inexpensive) way to do it.

Rooibos tea.

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Drink Up! Skin and Health Benefits from Rooibos Red Tea.

Since the cooler temps have arrived, nothing is better than sipping on a warm mug of an organic Rooibos tea, either blended with natural chai spices, vanilla, almond, or even on it’s very own. Great for overall skin and health, by aiding digestion and hydration. What got me excited, is that in a few weeks, I have noticed a nice improvement in the clarity and appearance of my skin. Being such a small thing, it scores big on the beauty boost scoreboard.

Get these skin-tastic facts!

Rooibos tea – pronounced Roy-boss, is indigenous to South Africa. Derived from the red bush, it is not considered a tea, but is part of the legume family. In nature, Red bush appears green, but then turns red (like our blood) through oxidation during the tea-making process.

Naturally caffeine-free, Rooibos is loaded with antioxidants which help protect from free radicals – those toxic by-products of normal cell function- which can contribute to aging and weaken the immune system. Rooibos contains many minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium, making it very beneficial for healthy bones and strong teeth.

Rooibos can also be applied to the skin topically to help relieve itchy dry skin like eczema, sunburns, and diaper rash. In fact on a recent visit back to South Africa, I noticed that more and more skin care products feature Rooibos as one of their ingredients. Alpha hydroxy acid and zinc both found in Rooibos, are great for promoting healthy smooth skins.

And even more health benefits are listed on Dr. Lipman’s webiste.

Drink up!!

-Jen <3

November 12, 2014 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Please Help ME! Making Peace with your Hair

Last week I received an email and the subject line said, “PLEASE HELP ME!” and read as follows:

Hi Jen,

I really need some help and I was wondering if you could help me out. I have really REALLY thick curly hair. It’s longer than shoulder length (about half way down my chest). I am so sick of looking at my hair this way. I was never taught how to manage my hair properly because my mother has the exact opposite of what I have (so I blame my father for my torture. haha.) I’m so sick of looking at it that I want to cut….I want it all done. I want to do a short hair style but is there one that you would recommend? (pictures would be helpful so I can take it to a salon) Thanks so much for your time. – S

Oh S you are not alone.  This is my response to her:

Dear S,

I just got your message and would love to help you.  Have you spent any time on the naturallycurly.com website?  If not, if you could go to the http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types page and tell me what kind of specific hair type you have.

I am a 3A, and it sounds like you might be a 3C or possibly a 4A.  There are a lot of wonderful techniques and products that I would love you to try.   If you can, visit your library and check out the book, “Curly Girl,” by Lorraine Massey, the curly girls BIBLE!

And just hold off for a bit on the haircut until you have researched this out and found a hairstylist that really understands curly hair (not many do).  You will want a dry cut, not a wet one, you need someone who spends time to see your curl pattern and can enhance what you have, and no razors allowed, ever!!!

I grew up in a family where everyone had “normal hair” except me, so they were all as bewildered as I was!  It took me 38 years to discover the curly girl method, and I am so happy you are going to learn to love your own hair, you really will.  Curly girls are IN, we are what is hip and what everyone wants right now, so by learning how to work with it is going to be an amazing experience for you.

I have a ton of articles on Mythbuster Beauty, including the post where I worked with Tracy and she took the three week naturally curly challenge:

The Three Week Naturally Curly ChallengeOn this post, you can read where we talk about specific curly hair rules, like no brushing, no shampooing, no blow frying, I mean drying!

Most importantly, learning to accept and embrace your hair is probably one of the most important and difficult things you will face (hopefully) :).  Thank you so much for trusting me and sharing this part of your life with me.  If you can give me your hair type information then I can search for some photos and continue on this journey to fabulous hair.

Best,  Jen

*This is a picture of a rose in my garden, it is the “Love and Peace” rose, which I think is an appropriate theme to making peace with your hair!

November 6, 2014 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

Face forward! It’s about Progression

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“Wherever you are right now, with anything and all things:  your health, family, relationships, career, hopes, dreams, and searching for the answers to the questions that lie in the deep recesses of the cosmos… ;) Respect the process. We are all on this journey, and hopefully making some progress, perhaps slow, but making it.”

One of favorite friends Rai, who continually lifts and bolsters me, reminds me of this phrase whenever I feel like I’m sliding:

“It’s about Progression, not Perfection.”

I’ve done some shifting in the past years because of new informa325894_3248034639346_1531166434_otion, and it changed the way I look at things. This perspective is like polishing the glass in my mirror, and the result is having a clearer, better focus. It’s not like what I did before was “bad” or “good.” I grew up categorizing things like that a lot. Oh yeah, and mix that in with a sizable measure of “guilt.” You know that one too, eh?

I hope to share articles and posts that illuminate, providing new insights into the concept of beauty.

Truth is beauty!

Jen <3

P.S.  To meet up with some of my personal besties, join us on Facebook!!

 

November 5, 2014 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

Beauty and the “Big Green Purse”

Jen Hill:

Bringing back an eco-principled beauty post this Throwback Thursday!!

The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles:

1) Buy less.
2) Read the label.
3) Support sustainable standards.
4) Look for third-party verification.
5) Choose fewer ingredients.
6) Pick less packaging.
7) Buy local.

Originally posted on Mythbuster Beauty:

Tuesday April 22nd has been designated as Earth Day for 2008. Thousands of individuals and organizations will be taking action to a make positive, healing impact on our world.

This past January, I was able to meet a fascinating and extremely smart woman named Diane MacEachern. Diane MacEachern is the author of, Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World.” Her book discusses the fact that women make the majority of all purchases, and by their purchasing choices, can make a significant difference in what is being manufactured and protecting our environment.

The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles:

1) Buy less.
2) Read the label.
3) Support sustainable standards.
4) Look for third-party verification.
5) Choose fewer ingredients.
6) Pick less packaging.
7) Buy local.

Diane asks women to take a $1,000 green spending challenge; shifting the money we already…

View original 407 more words

October 30, 2014 at 6:31 am Leave a comment

Question your personal beauty regimen.

While some may view me as a bit extreme, I really don’t feel that way. I still think I have a long way to go when it comes to natural, healthy living, and do my best. Looking at things honestly and challenging our current beliefs is where I think real progress is made.

Then and Now: so… what changed?

My work and personal interests have led me to seek natural, alternative solutions for my health and beauty concerns. For a few years, I was hired as the Marketing Editor for a top online skin care and cosmetic retailer. While I enjoyed this work and had a passion for the industry, I became a bit jaded. Often times I felt like the copy I directed and also personally wrote misrepresented how I actually felt.

As much as we all know this, the simple fact is, the main objective of any online retailer, good or bad, is to get you to click onto the “buy now” button.

So, I have some simple homework for you. Ask yourself these questions about your personal beauty regimen:

  1. How’s it working for you? Are the products you use serving the purpose you bought them for?
  2. Do you know that these products are safe for your short and long-term health?
  3. Ideally, what is your biggest beauty challenge, and what would be the ideal solution if it existed?

Share away!

Jen <3

October 27, 2014 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Then and Now: so… what changed?

So… a new mantra of mine is, “it’s progression, not perfection.”

Here is a list of some of the changes that have directly/indirectly affected my beauty regimen:

  • I became a vegetarian.
  • I stopped drinking diet soda.
  • I went back to work full-time.
  • I started working out regularly at a public gym, and eventually earned my certification to become a Pilates instructor.
  • I bought myself a bicycle.
  • I stopped using conventional mass-market underarm deodorants.
  • I stopped watching t.v.

and most importantly…

Because of these changes (just a start), stopped focusing so much on makeup, skin and hair care, and spent more time on natural, healthy living!

Jen <3

 

October 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm 1 comment

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about.me

Jen Hill

Jen Hill

beauty buster a;-)

Yes, I have been described as a social butterfly. Those strong, beautiful wings can really take you places!

What sets me off? Seeking out emerging trends in the marketplace and finding clever ways to fill it.

I enjoy hanging out with my homies, cooking/baking yummy food and laughing, More often than not, you can find me outdoors, without shoes, and my hands in the dirt!

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