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Archive for natural solutions

Bee-utiful! Portland Bee Balm

I do love a good lip balm.

And I care about honeybees. The global epidemic of declining honeybee populations has serious consequences for the entire food chain, not just the supply of honey and beeswax.

And one way to support the honeybee cause AND protect your lips from chapping at the same time is to try Portland Bee Balm.

The balm comes in Oregon mint and unscented.

The balm comes in Oregon mint and unscented.

The good folks at Portland Bee Balm sent me a couple of samples to try and also 2 sets to share.

The ingredient list is super simple: Certified organic coconut and olive oil, Oregon beeswax, and Oregon organic peppermint oil. The unscented variety leaves out the peppermint oil.

The label is made from unpulped wood.  That’s right, it’s a very thin slice of wood instead of a paper label and the ink is sustainable soy ink. According to the website, their labels use fewer resources to create than conventional labels.  And they are also beautiful — the texture of the label begs to be touched.

The balm itself is basic and does a great job!  I use the Oregon Mint variety and it not only protects my lips, it’s a nice cuticle conditioner as well.

Hubby commandeered the unscented because it is the perfect balm for bearded gentlemen to use with snorkel masks — and we do hope to go snorkelling again, soon!

I have 2 sets of Portland Bee Balm (Oregon Mint and Unscented) to give away!

This is very quick giveaway since I leave for NY next Wednesday for a week of family wedding celebrations (sister-in-law is tying the knot!).

Have fun and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Make It Monday: Honey, Honey…

Honey

Honey is a wondrous substance.  It sweetens tea, soothes coughs, and can also be used as a burn dressing (keeps the area moist and kills bacteria).

It is also a great addition to homemade masks, can be used as a gentle shampoo and also as a skin cleanser.

I have been using plain honey on my face as a cleanser for the past 3 weeks and can attest that it leaves it feeling clean but not squeaky.  Other cleansers with harsh ingredients can trigger eczema flare-ups and even break-outs.  I had that experience recently with a new cleanser I tried.  But within just a few days of using honey, my skin has calmed down, cleared up, and started to glow again.

The method is super easy.  Massage on some honey, let sit while brushing teeth for 2 minutes, rinse off with warm water.

Other ideas for using honey:

  • Mix a bit with plain yogurt for a brightening mask.
  • Mix a bit with your spirulina-water paste for a super nourishing mask.
  • Mix a bit with pineapple or papaya pulp for a refreshing (and delicious) enzyme mask.
  • Add a smidge of coconut oil to honey for a deeper cleanse
  • Mix with ground oatmeal for a gentle, exfoliating scrub
  • Or, mix with sugar for a more vigorous scrub
  • Dilute with water and use it to wash your hair — this is easier done with short hair than the long stuff.

Have you used honey as a beauty treatment?  Please share your stories and recipes!

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Surfer on a wave statue at Waikiki Beach celebrates surfing culture in Hawaii

Surfer on a wave statue at Waikiki Beach celebrates surfing culture in Hawaii

There are a few things you cannot avoid in Hawaii.

1) The culture of the ocean — surfing, snorkelling, swimming, beaching

2) Palm trees and coconuts

I can’t go to the ocean every day… but I can enjoy the delights of coconuts!

Coconuts

Coconuts and coconut oil have gotten a bad rap over the years becoming stigmatized as the evil forces of saturated fats that will clog your arteries if you just look at them.

However, recently there has been a coconut revival and even Dr. Oz touts their health benefits!  It turns out that unrefined coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that actually helps you regulate your blood sugar and lose weight. Studies have shown that women who ingested about 2 tablespoons a day of coconut oil did not gain extra weight, but in fact, lost abdominal fat — the kind that is notoriously difficult to lose!

In addition, coconut oil is full of antioxidants which nourish the skin and hair when applied topically.

Coconut Oil for the Skin
I use coconut oil to soothe my dry cracked heels, as a shaving oil, and as a facial cleansing oil.  It leaves my skin super soft.  I have had no problems using it straight on my face — in fact, I think my face loves this stuff! I massage the oil in, use a hot washcloth to rinse it off and then I have clean and moisturized skin!  Add a dash of brown sugar to that coconut oil and you have a super gentle scrub.

Coconut Oil for the Hair
I was hesitant to put oil straight on my hair at first.  My hair is baby fine and gets greasy easily.  However, being in the sun as much as I am, I decided to give my frazzled locks a coconut conditioning treat.  I simply massaged raw coconut oil into my hair, let it sit while I caught up on email, then washed it out with my regular shampoo.  I used a tiny bit of conditioner on the ends, then let it air-dry as usual and voila!  Lovely, shiny, soft hair!  And no frizz!  It did relax my curl slightly, but the absence of frizz is worth wavy vs. curly hair! Now I use coconut oil as a deep conditioning treatment once a week.

Coconut Oil in my DietI have become convinced that getting more real fat in my diet is probably a good thing so I have started cooking with coconut oil and eating coconut butter (which is super-yummy!) instead of peanut butter.  It is too soon to tell what kind of effect this is having — and I don’t really expect to lose abdominal fat. But two weeks into the experiment, I feel good — energetic instead of sluggish and my skin is clear and glowing (probably also due to the Honeygirl Organics regimen I am following).

I decided that the Coconut Diet by Cherie and John Calboum was not for me.  It is a modified Atkins type diet that eliminates whole food groups. Of course you will lose weight if you restrict what you eat. But I have found that I end up craving those foods even more and when the diet is over, I binge on things like pizza… and that is not the balance I seek.

So, in the interest of balance, I eat whole grain breads, lots of local produce and fruits, meat, rice and use coconut oil for cooking. And then, for the other side of the spectrum, we eat out a few times a week — our local shopping center has Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hawaiian BBQ, Italian, Mexican and Pizza places! It’s not really a diet for losing weight… but I’m not too concerned about that right now since this is a time to try new things and enjoy our surroundings, including restaurants!

I still have yet to experience a fresh coconut… that is on the list!

 

 

 

Argan Oil: I’m a Believer thanks to Argawise (and KIOS Day 4)

Argan Oil.  It’s been a hot trend for a couple of years. And I’ve resisted for a couple of reasons: 1) my hair gets really greasy with oil treatments (even Camellia Oil which is really light), and 2) I have trouble trusting that what I’m getting is the real stuff and not some cheap dilution.

Then I met Hoda Ait Rahou of ArgaWise. She bubbles with enthusiasm for argan oil — which she sources from a women’s cooperative in Morocco.  She is Moroccan and has worked directly with the co-op to create her products. You can bet this argan oil is the real deal.

Hoda Ait Rahou with her booth at the Ellis Events Christmas Show on December 1, 2013.

Hoda Ait Rahou with her booth at the Ellis Events Christmas Show on December 1, 2013.

Hoda is passionate about the benefits of this amazing oil which  is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, ferulic acid, sterols, polyphenols. She points out that “It also contains remarkably high levels of vitamin E and Squalene. Argan Oil does not clog pores and has an amazingly diverse range of cosmetic benefits for the skin, hair and nails.”

Traditional argan oil extractor...

Traditional argan oil extractor…

Hoda recommends smoothing a bit of argan oil on your hands and then gently massaging it into the ends of your hair before washing as a quick conditioning treatment.  Just a smidge on your face absorbs quickly and helps fight fine lines and blemishes. Adding a drop to your favorite lotion will kick it up a few notches.

The ArgaWise kit -- a 2oz bottle of Argan Oil, a 3oz bottle of orange water spray and a uber cute tote.

The ArgaWise kit — a 2oz bottle of Argan Oil, a 3oz bottle of orange blossom water spray and a uber cute tote.

I purchased the kit which contains a bottle of Argan Oil, a spray bottle of orange blossom water in a super cute little tote bag Hoda had made the last time she went to Morocco.

And since Sunday, I have used Argan Oil on my face at night and just under my eyes during the day. I was amazed that the oil just sinks right in with NO residual oiliness.  And my skin feels soft and amazing!

I tried putting a bit in my hair and it didn’t weigh it down or make it look greasy.

And I used it on my cracked heels and now they are soft again!

I’m an Argan believer now!

Have you tried Argan Oil?  What do you think of this oil trend?

Kickin’ It Old Skool… In other news, it’s a lovely winter day in Lemon Grove…

Thanks to Weatherbug for the current conditions...

Thanks to Weatherbug for the current conditions…

Fresh as a Daisy… Lavilin deodorant cream

Earlier this summer, I had my first bout with an unexplained rash… hives or eczema. It coincided with two product changes: 1) switching from regular antiperspirant to a “clinical strength” waterproof one… 2) trying a shampoo sample.

I stopped using the shampoo and switched to a lower strength antiperspirant.

But then the rash/hives/eczema (Doctors do not have a definitive diagnosis) returned, so I decided to try something radical… a deodorant that has NO aluminium anything. And that is when I saw Lavilin Deodorant Cream at my local health foods store and decided to give it a try.

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Lavilin_deodorant

It is definitely different from any other deodorant/ antiperspirant I’ve seen!

What the Lavilin Website Says: One application provides under-arm odor protection for days. Effectively neutralizes perspiration odor in the underarm area without the use of harsh chemicals. Daily activities such as showering do not interfere with Lavilin’s effectiveness.

Product Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil & Hydrogenated Castor Oil & Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax,  Zinc Oxide, Potato Starch (modified), Talc (pharma), Triethyl Citrate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Glycine Soya, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lactose, Milk Protein, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Fragrance, O-Cymen-5-Ol.

What  I say: I have been using this for about 3 weeks. It is a thick cream and the instructions say to apply daily for about 7 days before you can reduce applications to once a week. I am a nervous nelly and have not been able to get myself to go for a whole week without reapplication.  Three days is my limit due to paranoia about stinkiness… I walk 3-4 miles most mornings and also haul equipment to and from gigs and I don’t glow, I sweat.

This product does not stop sweating, just the odor caused by bacteria feeding on that sweat… I have not put it to the summertime working outdoors sweat odor test because it is the wrong season, but so far I am impressed.  There have been no incidents of malodor, and even after 3 days without reapplying, I still smell neutral.

And neutral is what I want.  I don’t want my deodorant to compete with my perfume any more than I want to smell like sour body odor.

I wish it were less messy to apply.  The cream is thick and although it comes with a small spatula, I found the applicator too flimsy to use more than twice. Fingers are perfectly adequate to use, but then you have the added step of washing your hands after application… which definitely adds extra time to my morning routine, although I only need reapply every few days as opposed to every day…. so I suppose it all evens out in the end.

4stars

 Have you heard of Lavilin?  Have you ever tried a cream deodorant?  Thoughts on antiperspirants vs. deodorants? I am finding the switch to be a mental adjustment since I’ve been fighting sweat since I was 12… and now I am trying to embrace the sweat without getting paranoid about the scent… not easy for someone raised on Secret commercials…

Rejuvenating at Spa 33

I used to think that massages were just indulgences for wealthy people and that I could be totally fine with a basic yoga practice and a heating pad on occasion.

But I’ve come to learn over the years, that massage works on the muscles in a different way than just stretching… and that regular massage (in addition to regular exercise, stretching, and drinking enough water) can prevent migraines (I used to suffer), and keep me going during a physically demanding summer season.

According to the Florida State Massage Therapy Association,

“Massage Therapy is a proven and effective means of relaxation and stress relief. Therapeutic massage is increasingly being recommended by doctors and other health care professionals to complement traditional medicine as research proves its healing effects.

Here are some of the ways massage can help improve a person’s health:

  • Increases Blood Circulation and Lymph Flow
  • Reduces Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Stress and Tension
  • Relieves Chronic and Temporary Pain
  • Improves Flexibility
  • Increases Levels off Serotonin, Protecting Against Depression
  • Increases Endorphins, the Body’s Natural Painkillers
  • Strengthens the Immune System
  • Premature Infants Gain Weight Faster When Massaged
  • Prevents Sports Injuries And Increases Athletic Performance
  • Helps Relieve Tension, Sinus And Migraine Headaches
  • Alleviates Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis and more”

Following up a massage with a session in a dry heat sauna increases the benefits and also:

Increases blood circulation, stimulating the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins and wastes.

Pain Relief: Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm, for greater flexibility and range of motion.

Eases joint pain and stiffness: Radiant heat from infrared saunas is beneficial in the treatment of arthritis, sprains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, joint stiffness and many other muscular-skeletal ailments.

Reduces Stress and Fatigue: Just a few minutes in the gentle warmth of a sauna gives you an overall massaging effect, soothing jangled nerves and knotted muscles. You’ll feel rejuvenated and renewed, restored in both body and mind.

Improves Skin: The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in the sauna carries off deeply imbedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving the skin glowing and immaculately clean. Increased circulation draws your skin’s own natural nutrients to the surface. You’ll see improved tone, elasticity, texture and fresh color.

My muscles have been complaining.  Too much work, not enough stretching…”we need a massage,” they told me!  So I listened and booked a massage appointment at Spa 33, 275 W. Madison Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020.

I was greeted at the front and then shown to one of the massage rooms.

Spa33_front_desk_copy

After disrobing, I snuggled under the flannel sheets.  Janelle came in and deftly pulled and pushed and lightly pummelled away my aches and pains.  My stress melted and I nearly fell asleep as she massaged my trouble spots.

Afterwards, I put on a fluffy robe and was led to the Sauna.

Spa33_sauna1_copy

I was given a cup of water and went inside.

Spa33_sauna_copy

It was a comfortably warm 119F, and as I sat, my muscles relaxed even further. I left the sauna feeling rested, free from tension and light as a feather.

I drank more water and floated home. My muscles and my whole body thanks me.

In addition to therapeutic massages (all different levels and styles from a team of 6 skilled massage therapists) and use of the infrared sauna, Spa 33 offers facials, body wraps, reiki, an oxygen bar, and thermal imaging.

I see more visits to Spa 33 in my future…

 

 

A cuppa for me, and some for my face: DIY coffee mask

I love making my own facial masks… I like the thrill of taking ordinary ingredients and turning them into a beauty concoction. So I was very excited to read Gail’s post on A Girl’s Gotta Spa .

She heard about this mask recipe from her glowing sister, whipped it up and had to share the results. I read her post and had to try it…

face masks gone viral… gotta love it!

The ingredients

The ingredients

The ingredients for this mask are deceptively simple and probably things you have at home:

  • coffee grounds: drink your coffee, then use the grounds for a mask
  • honey
  • lemon juice
  • cocoa powder

The original recipe only called for the coffee grounds, honey and lemon juice.  My batch was a bit runny, so I added the cocoa powder to help thicken it up.

Beauty benefits:
coffee — has lots of antioxidants, acts as an anti-inflammatory and the grounds exfoliate away dead skin cells

honey — honey kills bad bacteria, has a lot of antioxidants and is a great moisturizer

lemon juice — in addition to its vitamin C, lemon juice also has antioxidants and is gently astringent to remove excess oil, its fruit acids are natural chemical exfoliants

cocoa — has more antioxidants than red wine and increases circulation to the skin

Puttin' on the mask

Puttin’ on the mask

I applied it after my morning walk and before my shower. The smell was delicious! Like a Mocha Java!  After about 15-20 minutes, I rinsed it off in the shower.  My skin looked quite happy… with the glow of just being thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated. And since I made about a quarter cup of the mask and it only took a small amount to cover my face, I still have plenty in the fridge to perk me up on dreary mornings over the next week or so. (After 2 weeks, I will toss whatever is left… not really keen on unplanned bacteria on my face…)

Happy, perky and glowing after my coffee-cocoa facial!

Happy, perky and glowing after my coffee-cocoa facial!

Disclaimer: the after photo is with my usual daily make-up: sunscreen, BB cream, a smidge of blush, eye stuff and lipgloss.

Do you like making your own masks?   Do you have a favorite recipe?  I’d love to try it!

 

A whole lotta pumpkin

pumpkins

Tis the Season… for pumpkins and spice and everything nice….

With Hallowe’en past and Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, my thoughts turn to pumpkins… in Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, in my pumpkin pie, and for a delightful pumpkin scrub mask.

In fact, my pumpkin pie recipe and my pumpkin pie scrub recipe are so similar, I make them at the same time and while the pie is cooking, I’m a scrubbing…

Both fresh and cooked pumpkin is full of vitamins C, s E,  A, potassium, carotene, zinc, and lutein.  It’s easy to add pureed pumpkin to your favorite baked goods and dishes during the colder months, and the vitamins and minerals can help keep your health in tip-top shape during the winter. Pumpkins are also full of fiber which is always a good thing.  (In fact, our vet recommends adding a tsp of canned pumpkin to our cats’ food when they’re feeling out of sorts.)

Since pumpkins are so filled with nutrition, it stands to reason that so is pumpkin pie:

Natasha’s Semi-Famous Pumpkin Pie

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tbl pumpkin pie spice
(or: 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 15oz can coconut milk
1 deep-dish 9″ pie shell (I like graham cracker)

Mix everything together except the spices. Reserve 1 tbl for facial scrub.
Add in the spices.  Mix well and pour into pie crust.
Bake at 350F for about 40min.  Test with a toothpick near the center;if it comes clean, then it is done.  Let cool and eat.

Natasha’s Super-Yummy Pumpkin Pie Facial/Scrub

1 tbl reserved unspiced pie mix
1 tsp honey
2 tbl sugar (brown or white)
dash cinnamon if you aren’t sensitive

Mix together and slather on your face.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then massage to scrub and exfoliate your skin.  Rinse with warm water.  Enjoy the glow!

Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as exfoliating enzymes (think fruit-derived AHA)  to make your skin smooth and soft.

You can even use pumpkin on your hair to nourish and moisturize.  Just mix 1 part pumpkin puree to 1/2 part coconut milk and add a dash of honey.  Slather it on your hair and cover with plastic.  Relax for at least a half hour (perhaps while eating pumpkin pie with your Pumpkin Spice Latte) then rinse for gloriously shiny locks.

Pumpkin.  It’s not just for pie, anymore… though there’s nothing wrong with pumpkin pie… in fact, I could go for a piece right now!

I'm part of Post A Day 2012

Yet more uses for the amazing multi-tasking baking soda!

Baking Soda

Baking Soda: It’s what should be in your beauty cupboard

Baking soda.  You use it to make biscuits.  It’s a gentle scrub for pots and pans. An open box in the fridge absorbs odors.  Sprinkled on the the cat litter, it keeps the box smelling clean and fresh.

But it also has a myriad of uses in the bathroom, too. I got some of these tips from the Arm & Hammer website and some from Prevention Magazine online.  All of them were ideas that I already knew and have tried, but haven’t used in years.  They’re oldies, but goodies.

Teeth: You can brush your teeth with it: just dip your damp brush into a small amount of baking soda, brush and rinse and your teeth are sparkly white.  It tastes a bit salty, but it’s actually good for your gums and its gentle abrasive quality helps whiten teeth.

Hands: This really works to clean out embedded dirt if you had a spontaneous gardening episode without gloves and need to get your hands clean again. Take 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and massage your hands, taking care to get the paste under your nails.  Rinse and your hands will be clean and soft.  You can also add baking soda to your regular liquid soap to make a paste for extra cleansing.

Bath Soak: Add 1 cup baking soda to your bath water along with a few drops of lavender oil and you have a skin softening, relaxing bath — for a fraction of the cost of most bath salts.

Exfoliant: Gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin with a paste of baking soda and water.  After washing your face with your usual cleanser, make the baking soda paste and massage into your skin.  Rinse with warm water and feel how smooth your skin feels!

Shampoo alternative: Put 1 tsp baking soda in a quart jar.  Fill the rest of the jar with water.  Once you have gotten your hair wet, pour the baking soda/water mixture through your hair, massaging your scalp to make sure it is even distributed.  Rinse well and condition as usual.  This removes product build-up and is a good shampoo alternative (although I find it too drying to use very often.)

Mild Acne Mask: If you have small pimples, cover them with a paste of baking soda and water.  Rinse after 5 minutes.  The mask works to dry up the oily spot and to help exfoliate the area.  It’s not really useful against deep, cystic acne, but for minor pimples, it works like a charm.

Brush and comb cleaner:  Remove oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a dish of warm water.  Rinse and let dry.

Time to steal that box of baking soda from the kitchen and put it to good use!

I'm part of Post A Day 2012

Why poo when you can no-poo?

Confession:

Hi I’m Natasha and I haven’t shampooed my hair in a little over a year.

Yes.  It’s true.  I occasionally have yearnings to try shampoos with exotic ingredients that promise to make my hair silky, soft and totally frizz-free… then I look at my hair: curly, shiny, and healthy, and I step away from the shampoo aisle and start looking at conditioners.

MyHair

My hair doing what it does naturally.

I am not a total naturalista.  But I do like to use fewer sulfates, parabens, and other nasty chemicals.  And, I just got tired of fighting my hair to make it smooth and silky because it never worked and by the end of the day it was fuzzy, frazzled and frizzy, worse than when I started.

Then I started researching hair types and decided to try to see what my curls could do if I encouraged them instead of trying to control them.  I found the naturallycurly.com website and located a hairstylist who specialized in curly hair not far from my home! I booked an appointment pronto!

Candy is a DevaCurl trained stylist with a minimal approach to curly hair. She gently cleansed my hair with DevaCurl’s No-Poo, then slathered in DevaCurl’s OneCondition and left some in without rinsing for added moisture.  After layering with MY curl pattern for maximum definition, she added a healthy dose of DevaCurl’s Light Defining gel and left me to air-dry.

DC_NoPoo

DevaCurl’s No-Poo

Candy educated me about the benefits of ditching the shampoo habit… or rather, the highly-sulfated, big suds, oil-stripping detergent-based shampoo habit. DevaCurl’s No-Poo has no sulfates and no lather, but still manages to cleanse the hair.  And even more endearing, although she used all DevaCurl products in the salon, she applied no pressure for me to buy said products, but told me to read ingredient labels and come to my own conclusions. Wise woman.

When my hair dried, it was curly and gorgeous — and heavy.  I was used to light, fluffy hair, not moisturized curls.  It took some getting used to — and a lot of experimentation with products to find the routine that was the right balance of moisture and soft.

I did more reading. I learned about the no-poo method, or co-washing as it is sometimes called. I did 2 things: 1)I started using conditioner instead of shampoo and 2) I stopped washing my hair every day and only co-washed twice a week. Within 2 weeks, a miracle happened. My hair was curlier AND less frizzy. Wow! I went out and bought that DevaCurl Light Defining Gel and started using it after washing — just a dollop worked all through the hair, scrunched and then left to dry.

I started getting compliments on my hair.

I read Diane Kidman‘s Hair Gone Wild and tried the baking soda method.  Other bloggers raved about the baking soda method, but I found it too drying.

The baking soda method is: 1 tsp baking soda to 1 quart of water, mixed thoroughly and massaged through your wet hair in the shower.  This is usually followed by a vinegar rinse (1 tbl vinegar to 1 quart of water).

It does indeed cut the grease… but I discovered that the more I used high quality, non-silicone conditioners on my hair, the less greasy it actually felt… I don’t NEED to degrease my hair anymore!

But I did like the vinegar rinse, and now I have a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar in the shower so I can add vinegar to my final rinse for a little extra shine.

TJ_NourishSpa_conditioner

Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner…it’s only $3! And it has only good stuff in it!

 

So my current regimen is: conditioner massaged in and rinsed out, vinegar rinse, followed by leave-in conditioner.

BeautifulCUrls_condiditoner

Beautiful Curls Leave-in Conditioner is wonderful stuff!

The final piece of the pie is: the very old t-shirt.  I don’t towel-dry my hair anymore.  I wrap it in an old t-shirt (which is super-absorbant) and squeeze most of the moisture out. Another tip from the wise and amazing hairstylist, Candy.

Then I massage in a dollop of gel, scrunch and I’m good to go.

Every now and then I like to do a deep moisture mask, especially in the summer when I’m working outdoors most days of the week and everything gets dried out and frazzled.

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment

SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque — I found it at Target! Love this stuff!

And I sometimes use the DevaCurl No-Poo, OneCondition regimen. I got a travel set just before we went to China this summer, and was very happy that even with the crazy Beijing heat and humidity, my hair behaved beautifully.

Oh yes, I also use a next-day curl activator based on a couple of recipes in Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey and Michelle Bender.

1 16 oz spray bottle
12oz distilled water
3.5oz organic aloe vera juice, unsweeted and unflavored
smidge vegetable glycerin
7 drops lavender essential oil

Shake before using and spray all over hair to rehydrate and revive sleep-smushed curls.  Also good at the end of a long day to refresh your hair.  It’s nice to spritz on the face as well.  In the summer I like to keep this in the fridge so I can spray it all over my face and hair when I get home from a crazy hot day of slamming henna and facepaint at the park. Ahhh!

What are your thoughts on going poo-less.  Have you tried it?

I still haven’t told my mother… but now the whole world knows!