Making a Non-Toxic Life – Part 3: Going Deeper: Hair Care

So you have an overall plan and some resources to use. Here are some things to do in further support of a non toxic life specific to hair care. We don’t know very many people who can do all those things. The point is to consider and incorporate what you can. Every little change brings incremental benefits to your health, and the health of those around you.

Use unscented products or products scented with essential oils. The terms Fragrance or Parfum mean chemical blends. Essential oils have qualities that can help scalp health.

Use a mild shampoo. Avoid shampoos containing anything Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate.

shampooingShampoo as infrequently as possible. Even the mildest shampoo strips oils. If you have dry hair, you don’t need more drying. If you tend toward oily hair, frequent shampooing creates a cycle in which the scalp increases production of oils in response to every wash. Then you feel like you need to wash more often!

Keep conditioner off your scalp and wash it off your body. Conditioners are true chemical soups, and any way you can avoid letting it in through your skin will help.

Instead of conditioner use Frizz Tamer on ends, or a Vinegar Rinse for detangling. Then use an oil treatment bi-weekly for deep conditioning. Commercial conditioners give great short term results, and you may need that. But over the long haul, they are damaging to both you and your hair. If it’s possible to do without the chemicals, you’ll benefit.

When you buy hand made products direct from the maker, you can also avoid chemical preservatives. (Herbaliz of course!)

Herbal Vinegar Hair RinseComb or brush out hair from the ends up. If you start to the top of your head and pull down, you create snarls. For some people, starting at the ends and moving the brush up an inch at a time can eliminate the need for a detangling product.

Avoid hair spray and styling products, if you can. If you can’t, use as little as possible and be sure to read the labels to find the least toxic option.

Surrender to the hair you have and find the best style it can provide. Coloring, permanents and straightening all have negative side effects. And all kinds of hair can be beautiful. We know not everyone is willing or able to do this, and that’s fine- it’s our hair!. Seek the “least bad” versions of products or methods for doing these things. But not doing them at all can save time, money and improve your health.

Even doing one or two of these things can make a big difference.

Moving into Fall with Herbaliz

As we transition into fall and cooler weather, it’s time to take stock of how to best adjust our body care from the hot and lazy days of summer.

The pace quickens with work and back to school schedules, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on self-care.

Herbaliz Lip BalmMy suggestion for a basic one-two-three skin care regime is a facial cleanser, a moisturizing lotion, and lip balm (Full disclosure: I always have lip balm with me!) All of our products specify which skin types they are best suited for, and that should be noted when making a choice.

Depending on your home environment, you can start thinking about adding in some specialty creams which address drier air and nighttime skin therapy. Real Green Cream is perfect for this purpose.

When we start to add back more clothing, skin has less opportunity to breathe. Our shower gel is non-drying (and now comes in a 16-ounce size), and can be followed up with the Aloe and Shea Lotion.

The start of the academic year can be stressful. For those teens who have (or are beginning to have) acne, our moisturizing gel is an excellent way to enhance the health of skin. It features antiseptic properties and an organic aloe vera component.

New beginnings can promote anxiety, so I am a big fan of our lavender products. Lavender is recognized for its calming qualities. Aromatherapy is one of Herbaliz’s specialties, so don’t forget to check our on-the-go diffusers that can help with mental clarity.

traditional-sachetHomes need a fresh start as well! Open up the windows! Indoor air pollution is a source of numerous problems. Our antibacterial soap is great for the whole family. Consider placing some herbal sachets in rooms, or dressers and closets as you begin to switch from summer to fall clothing. After changing the sheets and pillow cases on your bed, try a linen spray to give your bedroom a special ambiance.

Echinacea in the garden.I’m looking forward to observing the changes in my garden. The echinacea is hanging in there, as you can see. Calendula has already given up because of the heat, while sage and oregano are expanding with vigor.

That is the beauty of the seasons!

Hair and Skin Care to Survive the Heat

August can be a challenging time to stay fresh and keep our skin and hair looking great. Customers often ask me if they should change their beauty routines during the very warm weather.

Here are some suggestions and guidelines…

moisturizing gelFirstly, if a cream feels too heavy during this time of year, switch to a lighter moisturizer like our Moisturizing Gel. It has an aloe base and won’t clog pores.  If you are sleeping in an air conditioned room, you may be fine with a richer product at night.

Our Facial Cleanser can be used several times during the day if you feel your skin is dirty or grimy from perspiration and sweat. Cleansing Grains can target the T-zone, which may be more prone to blackheads and breakouts.

To refresh during the day, an occasional spritz with a Moisture Mist is a must. A rose version if your skin is usually dry; the skin refresher option if you are prone to breakouts.

If you have only tried one of our shampoos, now is the time to check out the sampler. I particularly like the “Cedar and Sage” when it gets warm.

Our “Frizz Tamer” will help those fighting the impact of increased humidity. The Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse is a cleansing detangler after a day at the beach or the pool, especially nice if you would rather not shampoo again.

sunburn reliefIf you have overdone your time in the sun, we have a Sunburn Relief product that will come to the rescue. As for pesky insect bites, help is on the way with our remedy of undiluted essential oils.

I find that I need to exfoliate more during the warm months. Our salt scrub gets the process going. Finish off with the Herbal Silk Body Powder made without talc or GMOs.

Then sit down with a long, cool drink and a great book!