• Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Hair

    To make your hair soft and shiny, try rinsing it with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup of cold water.  Apply the solution by pouring it over the hair after conditioning and then rinse with cold water to help seal the cuticle.  Take care to avoid your eyes.  This is a really inexpensive way to clarify the hair and make it silky-looking.  Add a few drops of any essential oil if you like to help eliminate the vinegar smell, though it mostly evaporates after the rinse.  My favorite oils to use in the solution are either rosemary, lavender, or bergamot.  Try using a few drops of tea tree oil if you have any problems with dandruff.  You may find you don’t need to use conditioner on the days you do this.

    This is a trick I have been using for some time and my mom recently told me my grandmother used to use it as well.  She would wash her girls’ hair in the kitchen sink and rinse it with a vinegar water solution.  I love hearing about these tried and true simple tricks that have been passed down through the ages.  Apparently the hair and scalp are both slightly acidic so this rinse just helps to balance the hair to its natural pH.  Not to mention, you all know how much I love vinegar for consuming and for beauty!

    While I’m talking about hair and vinegar, I’ll use this post to tell you that I did try using the whole “no ‘poo” method.  Besides the name “no ‘poo” which really annoyed me, this method just didn’t work for me.  It basically consists of washing hair with a solution of baking soda diluted in water and using a vinegar solution as the conditioner.  If you try Googling this, you will see what a craze it is.  A lot of the people that have tried the method really rave about it.

    I loved the idea and always appreciate resourcefulness and anything that applies to the whole “want not, waste not” philosophy but I just couldn’t get this one to work.  I tried tweaking a lot of things throughout the process including the type of vinegar, the ratios, and the frequency but absolutely nothing worked.

    I feel like I gave it an honest try because I spent five weeks doing the method during which time I basically looked like a greasy drowned rat.  Normally I consider natural to be beautiful, but I felt like a little misfit throughout this whole experiment.  I think the way I felt was reflected in the way I interacted with the world and I was kind of moping around.  Even my mom admitted it looked terrible!  When your mom tells you a look/practice isn’t working, listen up people!

    The whole concept still makes a lot of sense to me.  That is, our hair produces extra oil to compensate from it being stripped of shampoo and that many of the ingredients in shampoos and conditioners are bad for the environment and unhealthy for us to absorb through our skin.  But I just wasn’t looking professional or feeling like a sexy bitch walking around looking like a well-fed meth head.  I am thinking I might give it a try one of these days again, especially if I go hang out in the wilderness for a couple of months!  I suspect I would have adjusted more quickly had I just completely quit washing my hair for a month and hardly used the baking soda shampoo.

    After the failed experiment, I did go out and find some sulfate-free, all-natural shampoo with argan oil and seaweed extract by the Seawood Bath Company that has a eucalyptus and peppermint scent that I am really loving.  Actually Chief found it at Whole Foods since I didn’t have any shampoo or conditioner in the shower for him.  I don’t think my hair has every looked better since I started using this shampoo and conditioner.  Walking around with it doused in natural oils for five weeks may have helped my cause though!  I am using the apple cider vinegar rinse 1-2 times per week.

  • Make your own body powder

    Kitchen Beautician: Make your own body powderYou can make your own body powder using very inexpensive ingredients that won’t irritate your lungs like talc can.  The best bases include arrowroot, white clay, rice flour or cornstarch.  For everyday use, I like to use a mixture of half a cup or cornstarch with half a cup of arrowroot (available at Whole Foods or somewhere similar).  Simply add 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oil and cover lightly and let stand 24 hours.  If you are going to be using the powder someplace where you want to absorb oil or odor (oily face, feet, or armpits- white clay or rice flour are slightly more absorbent).  Some ideas are listed below:Gym bag: Create a singular fragrance or a combination of peppermint, eucalyptus or an uplifting citrus scent (tangerine, lime, grapefruit, bergamot or some combination).  Try storing it in the Bare Escentuals travel case or something similar http://tinyurl.com/23xfztyIt’s nice to put on your skin after you’ve showered but are still warm from your workout or to put in your shoes after you remove them, or on your feet.Bedsheets: Add some of your favorite oils to a pretty glass jar and keep it by the bed to keep your sheets fresh and cool, especially during the summer months.  Cater your scent to whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in your bed.  If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, try a very relaxing and comforting potion of lavender, chamomile, neroli and geranium or any of these fragrances by themselves.  If you are trying to spice up your love life, add jasmine, ylang ylang, patchouli, and rose.  Note to men: women come most alive when they are relaxed so use the relaxing and comforting oils in addition to the sensualizing oils.  Note to women: Men get most in the mood when they feel they are being cared for and pampered and cinnamon and vanilla usually reminds them of being spoiled and baked cookies when they were little so try that!Mothers: If you look at your baby powder, you’ll see the ingredients is simply cornstarch and fragrance, so if you run out, or want to save some money, try making your own.  Children tend to love tangerine scent and you can find this essential oil for only a few dollars.  It’s also a nice fragrance to add to the bath at the end of the day and has the aromatherapeutic property of being “cheering.”  What mother doesn’t appreciate that?!  Of course, calming lavender and chamomile are always good bets too.

    You can make your own body powder using very inexpensive ingredients that won’t irritate your lungs like talc can. The best bases include arrowroot, white clay, rice flour or cornstarch. For everyday use, I like to use a mixture of half a cup or cornstarch with half a cup of arrowroot (available at Whole Foods or somewhere similar). Simply add 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oil and cover lightly and let stand 24 hours. If you are going to be using the powder someplace where you want to absorb oil or odor (oily face, feet, or armpits- white clay or rice flour are slightly more absorbent). Some ideas are listed below:
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