In my quest to eliminate unnecessary products and waste, I have tried to cut down on shampooing. I’ve actually tried to stop shampooing altogether (google “no poo” and you’ll find tons of testimonials from those who have successfully stopped shampooing; there’s even a “no poo” Wikipedia entry), but I lost patience during the dirty, greasy hair phase. So now I try to shampoo once or twice a week and get through the in-between days with corn starch. There are plenty of dry shampoos on the market and I tried a few from the beauty closet when I worked for a fashion magazine, but most of these products contain artificial fragrances and other ingredients I won’t use. I read that straight-from-the pantry corn starch could be used and I’ve found it works just as well. I keep it in the bathroom and dip my fingers in the jar to apply to roots on non-shampoo days. Hair maintains its natural shine from healthy hair oils, while roots get a quick de-greasing. Until I try quitting shampoo again….
I have already phased out cosmetics and personal care products that contain harmful chemical toxins in favor of safer alternatives. Recently, my green beauty experiments have led me to the kitchen, to use pantry ingredients that are actually good enough to eat (see previous post on olive oil). For a facial exfoliator, I’ve begun to use baking soda weekly or as needed, simply blending about a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with water and gently rubbing the paste on my face using a circular motion. It’s safe, easy, effective—and a lot less expensive than other facial washes and scrubs. I’ve also filled an empty shampoo bottle with distilled water (DIY distilled water: boil filtered water, let cool, use) and a tablespoon of baking soda and use it instead of traditional shampoo a few times a week.
(Public service footnote: Learn more about this from the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics and find out what’s in your products from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website).
I saw a post on a style blog yesterday about a new product available: an anti-frizz comb infused with olive oil. Infused with olive oil! To that, I say this: Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. There’s no need to buy a new comb or product—simply use olive oil. I keep olive oil in a vintage glass bottle in the bathroom. Usually I take a few drops and rub it between my palms and then gently run my hands through my hair, away from the scalp. When hair is very dry, I use olive oil as a deep conditioner, soaking the strands with the oil and twisting it into a ponytail knot for an hour before shampooing it out in the shower. Hair is softened and frizz-free—and I take great comfort in using a product that’s safe enough to eat (and already in the house). Photo note: I keep the olive oil away from the light to keep it fresh, but it’s photographed in the window here to catch the pretty morning light.
Red Flower hair clip from Kocajo on Etsy
Red flower from Hot Pink and Sequins on Etsy
Flower headband from Rockstarlette on Etsy
Last week’s “Glee” featured a tango version of “Kiss,” with Matthew Morrison dancing with guest star Gwyneth Paltrow. Good song, good dance (and good show), and all I could think about was how I loved the red flower in Paltrow’s hair. Flower clenched between the teeth? Not practical in everyday life, but a flower in your hair can be either sweet (flower child) or sexy (tango dancer). A halter top or dress with a red flower in your hair and dainty earrings and you’re good to go. The flowers above come from Etsy sellers who use recycled materials for their handiwork; the real hibiscus flower on top was spotted in the neighborhood.
My goddaughter Mary, 9, is a girl who likes to have fun with fashion, often putting together outfits that are unexpected and bold (and not just when she’s playing dress-up). For this look, her equally stylish mom braided her hair before bedtime to give her soft, natural waves and then added a few braids to her ponytail, using hairbands I sent her that have pieces of recycled fabric scraps tied to the band (leopard, grey fleece, camouflage).