Saturday, August 25, 2012

The best way to wash your hair: safe, frugal and effective!

Dear readers both ladies and gentlemen:
After you have read the previous notes on the poisons in your typical shampoos and conditioners, you may be looking for a healthy alternative. There are plenty of homemade natural and organic products for sale, but since those tend to be pricey, I am glad I can offer you a frugal method which you can use daily without harming your budget! Simply: 

Baking soda and vinegar- healthy hair, healthy bodies!
I switched over to using strictly baking soda and vinegar over a year ago now, and haven't touched shampoo or conditioner since! Although each person is different, I have had satisfactory results with this method. There are a few benefits to using these items in for your hair
1) None of the poisons or harmful ingredients listed in the previous post
2) Cheaper than most shampoos and conditioners, especially cheaper than all-natural ones!
3) Gentle on all types of skin, scalp; will not harm your eyesight if you get some in your eyes. 
4) Both ingredients known to heal dry skin, sunburns.
5) Extremely speedy to use: cleans quickly and effectively and rinses out in no time at all!
6) You've seen it written on dozens of shampoo ads; people are always searching for products to
  deep-clean their scalp and to restore health and shine to their hair: here it is! The two most cleansing ingredients. 

So, let's get started! I originally heard about this method long before I actually tried it. The only reason why I waited so long was because the original post said you needed a small spray bottle in which to mix the baking soda and water...and I didn't have one. So it took me a little while to realize I could come up with my own ways of doing the preparation! Below, I have many pictures to illustrate the variety of ways you can have a quick and easy cleansing shower!

All you will need is a tablespoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of your choice of vinegar: white distilled or apple cider. Although both kinds are suitable, I have heard that apple cider enhances the color of dark-haired folk. So I now usually use white vinegar.

The photo below explains all that a beginner may use for a washing: 
*A tablespoon measuring spoon
*A 1 cup measuring cup
*A plastic cup (photo shows 3 for varieties' sake)
*Box of baking soda
*Jug of vinegar

(see end of post for instructions)

Or, for a more manly look:
 your preparation might look more like this:

Or perhaps you prefer a dark green measuring cup:

Okay, enough of that :)

Here's what you need to do: 
1. Measure 1 TB of baking soda, dump it into your choice of cup or small plastic container for mixing.  Leave measuring spoon in there. Set in a corner of the shower where it won't too filled with water from the shower.
2. Grasp a jug of lidded vinegar and place it in the shower as well. 
3. Place your empty 1-cup measuring cup in shower too.
4. Moisten your hair, then add 1 cup warm water to the baking soda in the container; turn off shower and mix baking soda and water with spoon. 
5. Slowly pour on your scalp and hair while rubbing and scrubbing or massaging it in with the other hand. (Vary your energy from wash to wash; you only need to do a major scrubbing every two weeks, otherwise: massage it in)
6. Let it soak into your scalp/hair for 5 minutes. (Again, although this is idea, it is not necessary every wash.)
7. Simply rinse it out! Comes out like a dream, in less than 1 minute! 

Ideally, you will want to finish with a vinegar rinse. 
8. While still in the shower, turn off the water. Pick up your cup and measure 1 Tablespoon of your choice of either white or apple cider vinegar into the mixing cup; add 1 cup water. No need to mix. 
9. Slowly pour mixture onto your scalp and comb through your hair with your fingers! You will be pleased at how slick this makes your's amazing how the tangles disappear! Add more vinegar and water if your hair is super-tangley. 
10. Option 1:  Leave it in. However, apple cider vinegar leaves a slight residue of smell....not the best thing if you're attending a wedding or the like. Also, if you are planning on doing up your hair while it's wet, if you don't rinse out the vinegar it will smell pretty strong when you let your hair down at the end of the day....kind of fermented. ;)

Option 2: Rinse briefly.This is accomplished in a minute or that to how long it takes to rinse out commercial conditioners!

Option 3: What I generally do is to rinse it out completely. Takes a couple minutes.
Vary from time to time!

I want you to encourage you to try this. If it looks complicated, that's my fault for writing out the instructions to long. In reality, it's simple, Read the instructions above a few times and then write out your own condensed ideas. By the way: I don't use measuring cup for water measuring, since I know by sight by now. Besides, it's rather flexible. For myself, I use 2 Tablespoons of baking soda to 2 Cups of water ever other wash, too. It's all about variation, and finding your best method. 

Lastly, be patient! You may not love your hair until you have consistently used this method for over a few months! But I can say assuredly, I have used it over a year: And I'm sticking with it! 
This is important! This is health for the future. Ladies: Do not ruin your health as future mothers by using poisons on your body....keep your body safe for your future as mothers!!!

Who will join me in using simple baking soda and vinegar? 

I've seen some really beautiful results on other ladies who are using it! (links to come in a future post)

I wish I had some incredible ''before and after'' pictures of myself.... but I DO still have plenty of hair. :)
2013 UPDATE: And it's getting easier and easier to keep my hair clean and lovely! :) Yay! Now 5 of my 7 sisters are using it as well. It REALLY works. Never has my hair felt so clean.... :) 

Ladies....I encourage you to join this ''club'' of people switching to better things for their bodies! And encourage your brothers to do so as well. It's important. And actually, I think it will be easiest for the boys to switch since they don't have a love for sweet-smelling shampoos anyhow! ;) But it's obviously ESPECIALLY important for the ladies to not use reg. chemical-laden shampoos.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shampoo....the truth behind it!

Dear readers both ladies and gentlemen! 

Do you know what is in your shampoo? You will be absolutely shocked to see some of the blatant poisons with which you are lathering yourself every week! Dr. Mercola states: ''The truth is, while you wouldn't ever eat your shampoo, you may actually absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than you do when you apply it to your skin!''
Do you know what is in your shampoo?- Dr. Mercola (this link is for ladies only, please!)

5 Common -- and Toxic -- Shampoo Ingredients
  1. Diethanolamine or DEA
    In a recent FDA report, approximately 42% of all cosmetics were contaminated with NDEA, with shampoos having the highest concentrations. DEA also readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.
    This is a big problem because DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus.
    An associate dean for research at the UNC School of Public Health mentioned that choline is necessary to help provide proper nutrients for  a healthy baby; stating that, "At this point it is a caution. But it would probably be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until we know more."
  2. Dioxane
    1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, received a "high hazard" rating from EWG's Skin Deep, and it is commonly found in shampoo and other personal care products. Even baby shampoo often contains this cancer-causing toxin.
    On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.
  3. Parabens
    Parabens, which are used as preservatives, may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216. They have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.
    Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and cancer.
    The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.
Your Skin Readily Absorbs Shampoo Toxins

When you put shampoo or conditioner onto your scalp, the 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings soak in the toxins.
The truth is, while you wouldn't ever eat your shampoo, you may actually absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than you do when you apply it to your skin!
According to evidence presented at 1978 Congressional hearings, the absorption of the carcinogen nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA), which is commonly found in shampoo products, was shown to be more than 100 times greater when exposure came through your skin than via your mouth.
The truth is, when you consume toxins in foods, such as pesticides in fruit and vegetables, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach often break them down and flush them out of your body. Food also passes through your liver and kidneys, so the toxins that make it through are detoxified to varying degrees by enzymes before they reach the remainder of your body.
However, when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues -- with absolutely no protection whatsoever.
Even "Organic" Shampoos May be Toxic

Cosmetics and their ingredients do not have to undergo any type of approval process before hitting store shelves, and the terms "natural" and "organic" have no definitions. In other words, when it comes to cosmetics labeling, it's a free for all.
Some products may include a few organic ingredients along with several chemical ones -- and still claim to be natural or organic on the label.
In fact, in a report released in 2008, the Organic Consumers Association found at least one toxic, cancer-linked chemical in over 40 percent of products that call themselves "natural."

POSITIVELY, there are alternative routes to your hair-cleaning routine, my readers! I will share some of those healthy and safe ways within the following week! Stay tuned. 

-Miss M.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Giveaway on my other blog

On my other blog, I am doing a giveaway 'in honor of' my blog's second year of being a blog and because September is coming up! So please visit the giveaway here!

cherry, fuchsia and gold blossom notecards - set of four

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In which I 'ruin' your life....and save it! ;)

Dear readers, both ladies and gentlemen,

I have been wanting to share certain interesting (to put it mildly) health truths with you for a while and it has been hard to choose just one subject a week! 
 I shall begin with one of the most crucial.....the truth behind most of your skin care, hair care and for the ladies: your beauty care products! 
Including many 'natural' or organic items. 

Of course it's not the most comfortable thing to read about, 
since you will have to do a major clean-up of your home; 
but if you heed the warnings you will be able to drastically help your health. 
Most of the items listed below have been proven to be linked to cancer, and several other problems. You will be absolutely surprised if you start reading the ingredients labels on even your 'natural' products. A few years ago my mother printed out a list she found on Dr.Mercola's site, and I threw out several items which were too much in collusion with the following items. But over the recent years, several things managed to creep back into my drawer/purse. Well. I found the following list again this past week: And out to the garbage went many little items again! I know many of you girls already by really natural items. We have found a few good sites featuring truly natural and safe items.
 I will share them with you in the next post! Feel free to also pass on your suggestions. 

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:
(Thanks to Dr. Mercola for compiling and explaining them!)

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there's an oil spill in the ocean, don't they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
Parabens- Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities.....
Phenol carbolic acid- Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure. 
Fragrance:Fragrance is present in most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby care products. Many of the compounds in fragrances are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most or all of them are synthetic. Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Clinical observation by medical doctors have shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.' Home Safe Home

Propylene glycol (PG) – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation. As a 'surfactant' or wetting agent and solvent, this ingredient is actually the active component in antifreeze. There is no difference between the PG used in industry and the PG used in personal care products. It is used in industry to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of) yet is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shaves, deodorants, mouthwashes and toothpastes. It is also used in food processing. Because of its ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with this toxic substance. The Material Safety Data Sheets warn against skin contact, as PG has systemic consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Consumers are not protected nor is there a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than that in most industrial applications. 
This active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.
And guess what? Despite the fact the material safety data sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage, it's more than likely in your shampoo.

Acrylamide- Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to cancerous tumors in lab research!!!

Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)- Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners......and in over 90 % of personal care products! 
SLS becomes a ''nitrosamine'', a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling ''comes from coconut'' or ''coconut-derived''. Although SLS originates from coconuts, this chemical is anything but natural!
Used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. Yet both SLS and SLES are used more widely as one of the major ingredients in cosmetics, toothpastes, hair conditioner and about 90% of all shampoos and products that foam.
 Mark Fearer in an article, Dangerous Beauty, says " tests, animals that were exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, along with depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and corrosion and death." According to the American College of Toxicology states, "...both SLS and SLES can cause malformation in children's eyes. Other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties. It is possibly the most dangerous of all ingredients in personal care products. Research has shown that SLS when combined with other chemicals can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens, which causes the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-contaminated food." According to the American College of Toxicology report, "SLS stays in the body for up to five days...Other studies have indicated that SLS easily penetrates through the skin and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain. This poses serious questions regarding its potential health threat through its use in shampoos, cleansers and toothpaste.

Toulene- Poison!Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. 

 Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include 
benzoic and benzyl.

Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.
    Dioxane's carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by "vacuum stripping". Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as "comes from coconut"

*I suggest that you print out the above list, or jot down all those chemicals so you can make sure your home is poison-free as well! *

Dr. Mercola says: ''We believe containers when they show a "danger" warning, or a "skull and crossbones" to warn of toxins in a product. And we respond by not applying them to our skin or eating them!
   Yet many skin care products use ingredients with unrecognizable and unpronounceable names.

   Personally, I rarely put anything consciously on my skin that I wouldn't be willing to put in my mouth.
   It is well-proven that when you apply these chemicals to your skin, they enter your bloodstream and become integrated into your body tissues, In fact, it is probably safer to eat these ingredients than to rub them on your skin (although I strongly recommend you don't do either!).
   However, if you do happen to eat these chemicals, your digestive system can produce specific enzymes to break down these toxins and excrete them… something that doesn't readily occur when you absorb them through the skin.
   Potentially harmful ingredients continue to be used. Why? Because they are cheap, readily available, and easily diluted.''

I close with the promise that in the near future I will share some resources and ideas to replace some of the products which I hope and trust you are going to make haste to throw away now....!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Re-opening of this blog!

Hello readers!
I know you aren't exactly reading this blog yet....but I don't blame you, because there isn't much on it yet! In fact, although I have millions of ideas racing around my brain, I haven't yet decided in what order I will share them all with you. Therefore, the quiet blog. But I would LOVE it if you would start following, sharing your thoughts on life, health, etc.

Thanks, and have a great day!

-The blog author
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