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My Henna Mix

Continuing on the subject of hair care as I’ve been doing for the past few months, I thought I’d share the current henna mix that I’m using these days.

Of course, when you mix up your henna you can always just use the pure powdered henna leaf all by itself and that’s just groovy.

But I like to enrich my mixture with other Ayurvedic herbs as well. I think it really helps to strengthen the hair more, make it thicker as well as conditioning the scalp and stimulating hair growth.

But I wouldn’t know if that’s really true. However you can read up about how I’ve grown my hair back after postpartum hair loss…….. that never recovered.

I do experiment a lot. So three months from now I might not be stirring up the same mix anymore.

But today, these are the ingredients of my henna mix:

My henna mix Ayurvedic herbs

I have long, thick hair. So I need a total of about 300g of powder.

  • 200g pure henna
  • 50g cassia obovata

I use cassia because since my hair is black you can’t see the henna in it at all. Nope, none at all. Cassia helps to lighten the colour a bit, I don’t know how or why it works but it does.

I also use cassia so the henna doesn’t loosen my curls, because I love my curls!

  • 50g manjistha

Manjistha is an herb that dyes red. It turns my hair a brilliant ruby red. I love it!

Red hennaed hair
  • spoonful of brahmi
  • spoonful of bhringraj
  • spoonful of powdered hibiscus
  • dash of apple cider vinegar
  • a good squirt of aloe vera gel
  • hibiscus infusion
  • few drops essential oils

I mix all the powders together in a non-metallic pot except manjistha. I squirt in the vinegar and aloe vera gel.

In a saucepan I infuse hibiscus petals by boiling them in hot water. I can find these at any herb shop.

When the water is hot (but not boiling) I pour it into the henna and, using a plastic spoon (but any non-metallic spoon will do like bamboo, wood, porcelain etc.), I mix it up until it’s a smooth, dense paste.

Then I let it sit for dye release.

Different types of henna require different dye release times.

My trick for obtaining intense ruby red hair is to dye release for about 8 hours, then store the henna in the fridge until I’m ready to use it.

This seems to bring out intense tones.

Dye releasing for shorter periods of time seems to bring out a lighter, more coppery shade. Which is also cool, sometimes one does feel like a change after all.

An hour before I want to apply the henna, I pour manjistha into a small bowl. I like to add a pinch of baking soda, they say it makes for a bluer red. I don’t know if it’s true but it never seemed to hurt.

Then I add more of the hibiscus infusion I used in the henna. Manjistha only needs to sit for about half an hour to release its gorgeous, scintillating colour.

When I’m ready to apply the henna I mix in the manjistha and stir it all up together. Add a few drops of whichever essential oils I feel like.

I don’t use essential oils for the fragrance. Personally I enjoy the smell of henna. I’ve learnt to associate it with anticipating beautiful hair haha.

I use essential oils to help the henna stick to the greys which I unfortunately sport now. Fortunately, though, I don’t sport too many hehe.

And now henna is ready to apply.

And here is the result:

Hennaed red hair

Oh and by the way I purchase henna and Ayurvedic herbs from one of the many online shops that have sprung up since covid began. It has become a lot easier thanks to online shopping now to find these products than, say, 5 years ago.

You can just do a google search for these herbs. Or if you are in the US I have heard that Henna Sooq is a really neat online store where they sell everything mentioned in this post. I’ve never purchased from them before, after all I am not in the US. But if you are, I’ve heard that they are good.

So do you have your own favourite henna mix? Don’t hesitate to share it with me in the comments down below.

And while you’re sitting around waiting for the dye to act in your hair, why don’t you read one of my thriller novels? You can find out more about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

Hibiscus flowers

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Currywurst

How to Grow Your Hair Back

Look at what a wonderful hair part I’ve got now.

Dense hair part how I grew my hair back

I look at it and I’m so surprised myself.

For years and years and years I had such a sparse part. It was sooo wide and bare and bald and there was just a little bit of hair and the hair was soooo thin.

I think I’ve grown the part hair back so nice and thick and dense in just the short time since covid began, because that’s when it occurred to me to get proactive and actually actively do things to try and get my hair back, after sitting around watching hair vids all day long since I didn’t have to go out to work anymore.

So this is what I think helped me the most to grow my hair back:

I think what was most effective was taking hair vitamins.

If you want more hair and you only have time to do one thing, I would definitely recommend you take HAIR VITAMINS.

I shuffle my hair vits around all the time. I started with Phytophanère and it was good.

Phytophanère

Then I changed to biotin and niacin and it was even better.

Then I started taking a vitamin B complex that has all the B vitamins and that is even better.

I remember as a child I had suuuuch thick hair, and I took multivitamins every day.

I guess no matter how well they eat the average person just doesn’t get enough vitamins in their diet.

I’ve developed a habit of regular hair oiling.

Before, I did oil my hair occasionally. I knew it was good for hair but I could never find the time to do it. Sometimes I went months without hair oiling.

Now I do it every week.

I have a whole article on hair oiling. Basically I have my own homemade scalp oil. It’s made from macerating a spoonful of brahmi, a spoonful of bhringraj, a spoonful of alkanet root oil and a pinch of dried rosemary in olive oil. I combine that with castor oil and some essential oils and massage my scalp with that every week.

For the lengths I like to use just olive oil and coconut oil. Nothing fancy. I don’t go out of my way to dig up exotic oils I can’t get from my local supermarket.

I try to do this every week. Since I’ve started doing henna glosses I now oil my hair every 2 weeks. And the week I don’t oil my hair I either use a henna gloss or I henna my hair.

And finally I’m crazy about henna and I henna my hair a lot.

I see most people who henna their hair regularly usually have lots of hair. Even older people who would normally have thinning hair, frequent at their age, if they henna regularly they always have lots of hair.

Personally, I was always hennaing my hair regularly and still I suffered from the bald, thinning part. So I don’t think it’s the henna by itself that made the hair thicker.

But I’m sure henna helps. And combined with everything else I’ve been doing, well, it works.

Other than this I’m really not hiding any other secrets on how to grow your hair back. I’m still using the same solid shampoos I’ve been using for years.

And I almost always use a hair mask instead of conditioner after shampooing.

I do use leave-in’s and curling products, but that’s probably not necessary if you don’t have curly hair.

I started applying Ron Quina (more about this miracle product in a future post…… maybe) but I only started recently, maybe a month ago when I discovered it from a video. And I rarely ever remember to apply it so I don’t think it’s been able to do too much so far to help my hair grow.

Ron Quina

I did also start carrying out regular scalp massages, almost every night. I’m sure that helped. I don’t use any oil or products, just a massage. When I remember to apply Ron Quina I do the massage with Ron Quina. But I don’t apply Ron Quina very often.

My son Ermenegildo also uses Ron Quina, he hopes it will prevent male baldness.

Ron Quina has been around for about a century and many men swear by it, they say they never suffered from male baldness thanks to Ron Quina. So I think it is worth a try, if you are constant and consistent to use it.

So do you have any hair growth tips you’d like to share? Don’t hesitate to leave me some comments, I lurrrve (positive, non-spammy) comments.

And if you’d like to read about something more exciting than plain old hair, I’d love it if you’d check out my thrillers. You can do so at this website: Thrillers by Moi.

Henna 4ever T-shirt

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Some Ayurvedic Plants that I Use for Hair

So, if you’ve been reading the past few entries, I guess you’ve probably picked up on that I’m crazy about using Ayurvedic and plant-based stuff for my natural hair care routine.

Henna 4ever T-shirt

Here are some of the plants that I use and their main properties:

Amla: Emblica officinalis or Indian gooseberry, is a round green fruit with antioxidant properties. Ayurvedic practitioners swear by this plant and not only use it on the hair and skin but also eat it. I don’t eat it because it isn’t sold here as a fruit where I live. It softens hair and helps to fix the dyes of henna and manjistha to the hair. I personally don’t like to use this plant too much because it darkens my already almost jet black hair, and I don’t want that!

Brahmi: or Bacopa monnieri, is considered THE herb par excellence for hair care. Like amla, brahmi is also antioxidant. It thickens the hair thus making it stronger and less prone to breakage. It also strengthens the follicles, which prevents hair fall. I use this quite a bit and always put some in my henna mixes.

Bhringraj: Eclipta alba is supposed to be a real tonic to help your hair grow and you are supposed to be able to use it if you are having hair fall or getting bald spots. I also add this to henna. And I also make a hair oil using this. I simply put one spoonful of Bhringraj into a large glass jar, along with a spoonful of Brahmi, a pinch of dried rosemary and another spoonful of Alkanet Root, then top the jar up with olive oil. I take a little bit of this oil to use every time I oil my hair.

I like to nickname Bhringraj, Brahmi and Amla as the sacred Ayurvedic triumvirate haha. Just the 3 of them alone are so potent, you can do almost anything even if these are all you have. So Popeye’s spinach, move aside!

Shikakai: Acacia concinna contains saponins, which are like a natural soap and actually do foam up. I originally wasn’t too sure about using this in a hair mask and I also didn’t really believe it could really wash well. But after adding Shikakai to the hair mask, when I was rinsing it out without using any other products like shampoo, I noticed that the water was coming out foamy and sudsy. So it apparently helps to clean and purify the hair and scalp and lathers up really well too.

Hibiscus: I add powdered hibiscus to my henna, but I make the hot infusion that I mix henna with using dried hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus grows in wonderful tropical places like southern Spain, where I live. It also grows in Hawaii and people there use it to make garlands. Hibiscus imparts red hues to hair and also softens it.

Reetha or Aritha: also called soap nuts. You can buy them whole, as soap nuts. Or you can buy them powdered. If they are powdered you can add them to your hair masks. But they wash things really really well. I do my laundry with them — with the whole soap nuts, I mean, not with the powdered ones. You can use Aritha alone or combined with other plants to wash your hair.

Manjistha: Rubia cordifolia is one of my favourite plants because it imparts my all-time favourite ruby red shade to my henna mixes. It really does turn my hair ruby red.

Red hennaed hair

You have to dye release it separate from henna because it doesn’t work with acids the way henna does. I was releasing the dye using baking soda, which is alkaline, but I might stop doing that because they say alkaline substances dry hair out. But it’s been working fine for me.

Alkanet Root: Alkanna tinctoria is a little-known secret plant that is supposed to turn your grey hairs back into coloured hairs. I’ve been using it for a while, now I can hardly ever find any grey hairs on my head anymore. But since I also henna frequently, I don’t know whether this is because I don’t have any grey hairs anymore, or because I henna so often there isn’t time for the grey hairs to grow long before I cover them with henna again, so you just never see them hehe. It also grows in the Mediterranean, so you’re not shipping it over from the other side of the world. I put a spoonful of Alkanet Root in a large glass jar along with a spoonful of Bhringraj, a spoonful of Brahmi and a pinch of dried rosemary, then top the jar up with olive oil. The Alkanet Root turns the oil a gorgeous shade of deep red. But if you try to dye your hair red with it, it won’t work unfortunately. I take a little bit of this oil to use every time I oil my hair.

Sidr: I tried washing my hair with Sidr or Ziziphus Jujuba once, you can read about it here. Like Aritha and Shikakai, you can use Sidr to wash your hair. I found out you can also use it like Cassia, to combine with henna to make it a bit lighter. But for that purpose I personally prefer Cassia, because it’s easier to get a hold of, it’s a lot cheaper and it doesn’t suds up. After all I don’t really fancy sudsy henna.

Cassia: I like Cassia obovata, which scientists now prefer to call Senna italica just so that they can get us all mixed up and boast about how they know Latin and we don’t harhar. (Believe me they do like to boast about it, my parents were scientists and in their day science students were forced to learn Latin at university. So after all that hard work trying to master a language that no one speaks today, how would you not boast about it?) Cassia is great to combine with henna to make the shade lighter, which I do all the time because when you have jet black hair you always want to pull towards lighter, and lighter, and lighter. But if you don’t want red hair and you want the conditioning properties of henna, you can use cassia instead. It will give your hair all the shine, strength and thickness that henna does but without the colour. If you dye release it, it might stain your hair a little bit yellow, if you want to go blonde. But I don’t mean like canary yellow hehe, more like a golden blonde shade.

Henna: Lawsonia inermis. If I had a personalized T-shirt it would boast a pic of a henna leaf and the logo “Henna till the end of my days” haha. Because that is how much I love my henna. My house is filled with boxes of henna. I thought I was a weirdo but then I saw a video of a woman who was about to henna her hair and her cupboards were filled with bags of henna too! When you get into the henna culture you just can’t get enough of it. I apply henna once a month and halfway through the month I apply a henna gloss too. So you can imagine I use up a lot of henna.

I thought I’d mention 2 more plants as well, rosemary and nettle. Because I wanted to know if there were any locally available plants that could help with hair growth, as it’s more sustainable to purchase local plants rather than get them shipped over from the other side of the world. Well I could never find any local alternative to henna, but rosemary and nettle are pretty mean locally-grown alternatives that could probably put up a good fight with Bhringraj to help get your hair to grow.

I bought dried nettle as well. Well you certainly don’t want it fresh, it stings! I haven’t tried it yet though. But you can use it the same way as rosemary, that is, infused in oil to use as a hair oil or in hot water to add to your hair masks.

So these are the plants that I use on my hair. I might add that I don’t spend the whole day every day brewing up plants for my hair care, even though from these posts it might seem that way. Most of the time I use store-bought hair products filled with artificial chemicals because I’m lazy and busy.

But I try to put plants on my hair once a week or if I’m busy, once every 2 weeks or at the very least, once a month.

Red hibiscus flowers

So how about you? Do you use plants on your hair or in your skin care? Don’t hesitate to leave me some comments below, I lurrrve (positive, non-spammy) comments.

And while you’re at it I’d also love it if you’d check out some of my thrillers. You can find out more about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

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Washing my Hair With Sidr: Zyzyphus Jujuba

So I tried washing my hair with sidr today, so do I like it?

Noooooooooo!

Bowl of sidr powder

I do like the results. Well I haven’t taken my hair down yet, but while I was rinsing it out it did feel really really soft and smooth. And my hair doesn’t always feel soft and smooth. So it does seem to give ideal results.

However it took me AN HOUR to wash my hair!

It was the same as if I was applying henna, took just as long as it does to apply henna.

After all it is just like henna, it’s like a mud pack. The only difference is that it doesn’t stain your bathroom orange, so you don’t have to take as much care as you do with henna and it’s easier to rinse out of the shower.

And unlike henna you have the satisfaction of being able to rinse it out of your hair after 5 minutes and you don’t have to wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it on for 3 hours.

However, it’s very very very very hard to rinse out. It’s just like rinsing henna out, takes about half an hour to get all the little grains of sidr out.

With henna you’re willing to put up with a half hour rinse time, after all I only henna once every month and a half and the results are soooooooooooooooooo worth it.

But sidr? Not so much.

I think I’ll just stick with my solid shampoos!

Sidr is muuuuuuuuuuuuch more natural, it’s healthy, it makes your hair strong and thick and protects it, it doesn’t have harmful artificial chemicals and it makes your hair shine.

It’s also supposed to fix indigo to your hair to make it more permanent. I don’t use indigo, so I don’t have any need for this particular benefit of sidr.

It just doesn’t work very well for long hair. I mean, it works great for long hair but…… it takes an hour!

It’s the same as washing your hair with clay. I only ever ventured to wash my hair with clay one time and never did it again for the very same reason. I should’ve known sidr would be the same.

I mixed my sidr up by mixing about 75g of sidr with a couple of spoonfuls of clay (you can use any clay you want, I had Bentonite clay on hand, or you can skip the clay altogether) and a squirt of vinegar. Then I added as much sage infusion as needed to make a smooth mud pack of yoghurt consistency. You can use any infusion or just hot water, I happened to have sage at home.

Bowl of sidr with black cat

Sidr with cat paws, yep Cat went up on the table to scout out the sidr, he’s very curious.

It’s very easy to apply, I applied it strand by strand by hand like henna but you can just smoosh it on if you prefer and rub it around like liquid shampoo, but it STICKS, so then you can’t rub it around anymore.

Leave on 5-10 minutes, rinse out. It leaves your hair soft and silky and clean. Use a conditioner or hair mask afterwards if you have dry hair because it’s quite drying.

It’s very easy to use, just it’s very time consuming.

I think I prefer to stick to my solid shampoos. They don’t take any longer to use than liquid shampoos from a bottle.

And if you’re hennaing your hair and hanging around with nothing to do for 3 hours, why not check out some of my novels? You can find out more about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

Have you used sidr or clay to wash your hair? What did you think? Do leave me some (positive, non-spammy) comments down below.

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My Morning Routine — Slow Living

So, following up on my last post on how not to carry out your morning routine, this is what I actually do do every day.

Morning Routine With Cup of Coffee

Lately I’ve noticed that it’s become quite the rage on YouTube for everyone to vlog about their morning routines, especially the slow living ones.

Well, I don’t have a vlog or a YouTube channel. However I do have this blog. So I thought I’d share my morning routine here.

I’m not a morning person at all. I have a hard time getting up early, although sometimes I’ll suffer from the opposite problem and go to bed too early. Then I’ll wake up at 3 in the morning and I can’t get back to sleep.

Although I think perhaps the reason I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night is precisely because of the anxiety I feel about not being a morning person. Because of the pressure I feel — which most night owls like me would probably identify with — to get up earlier. Which makes me feel like I ought to wake up earlier. Then said anxiety makes me overdo it and I wake up too early.

Because let’s face it. We live in a society which tells us that morning people are overall BETTER and SUPERIOR to the rest of the mortals in the world: morning people are supposedly more productive, morning people catch the worm, etc.

Because since they get up so early supposedly they work more hours than night owls. Although if you stopped to actually calculate it, if you work 8 hours a day from, say, 5 o’clock in the afternoon till 1 in the morning, you’re still working exactly the same number of hours as someone who works from 9 to 5.

But it just feels like the person who started work earlier worked more hours, because he began earlier. Never mind that the person who started working later also finishes later. People still get the impression that the person who started work earlier, worked more hours.

But that’s getting off the subject, which is how I begin my day (regardless of what hour I actually begin it lol).

I recently took a meditation course. I would really recommend it, it’s called Sahaj Samadhi meditation and it is THE BEST technique of meditation I have ever tried, and I’ve tried many. But maybe I’ll write more about this in another blog post one day………….

So as I was saying, I recently learnt a new form of meditation. The teacher advised us to begin our day first thing with meditation. We should meditate as soon as we wake up, she said. Before our first cup of coffee. Before we even brush our teeth.

But I found that it just simply didn’t work for me. Because I usually wake up raging with hunger. So then I spend the whole meditation only dreaming about breakfast.

I guess you really just have to do what works for you. So I start my day by brushing my teeth.

After that I wash my face. I just use water, I find that works best for me. I usually take a shower the night before and do my facial routine at that moment, which includes moisturizing my face with oil. So by washing your face with only water you’re not removing the healthy oils you put on it the night before.

At least that is what works for me. If you’ve got an extremely oily face naturally though you might not want to do this. I have combination skin so it’s fairly dry except for my nose.

Next I need to have something to eat because as I said I always wake up raging with hunger. Something light, so I can meditate. I like to start with a glass of fruit juice supplemented with supplements.

After that, with hunger pangs appeased for a few minutes, I do indeed feel free to meditate.

After meditation I take a few moments for gratitude time. Then I envision what I want, or whatever I’m working towards.

I continue with a fairly long yoga routine and a workout. If I’m running short on time though I’ll usually postpone it till the evening.

After that it’s “official morning drink” time haha. I’m too lazy to boil water. I don’t have a kettle and even if I did I’m just too impatient to wait for the water to boil anyway. So I usually just prepare a cold drink such as a smoothie.

(Note: I’ve since then bought a kettle, best investment ever and it only costs around 20€. I now make about 3-4 cups of tea every day.)

Although most people start their day with hot chocolate — when I visited France I began each day with a croissant and a bowl of hot chocolate — I like to drink Eko. Eko is made of barley, malt and chicory.

When I lived with a family in Italy we began every day with a mug of Orzo and I loved it. Orzo is simply barley and you dissolve it in milk the same way you do hot chocolate or cocoa.

After I returned from Italy I searched everywhere for soluble barley and I couldn’t find any. But eventually I did discover Eko, which is nearly the same thing.

But as I said, I’m usually too lazy, too impatient and too hungry to wait for some frozen liquid to heat up and boil. So I just have Eko cold.

My breakfast changes every day and in accordance with my changing moods. I tried having the same thing for breakfast every day but I got bored. I need change!

If I had a shower the night before I just jump straightaway into my day. But if I hadn’t, because sometimes I’m just too tired and I conk out without taking a shower, this is the moment for a shower.

I talk extensively about my natural hair care routine in several posts on this blog, so if you’re interested you can check them out. Basically, I don’t use sulphate shampoo and I haven’t done so in about 3 and a half years.

If you wanna know what I use instead of shampoo (and no, it’s not baking soda and vinegar, ugh! Those left my hair drier than a broom!) do have a look through the blog posts in this category.

I know about some people who like to begin their days with a refreshing and energizing walk………… out in the middle of nature………. surrounded by birdsong and waving green leaves, the soft pounding of the ocean………..

But this is the view out my window, and when I go out the door of my high-rise apartment building.

Grey Skies and Highrise Buildings

So alas, faint little birdsong or waving green leaves to be had in my walk, I fear. Maybe the cooing of a few pigeons……………

And although I am indeed blessed to be able to go and listen to the waves pounding against the sand whenever I want, I have to walk half an hour in order to be able to do so. So unfortunately it’s not something I’m usually able to get around to on a typical, rushed and frenzied day.

After the shower it’s time to begin my day. I never do the same things from one day to the next. And because of this current situation I’ve been fortunate enough to now work partly from home. So I don’t have a fixed work schedule and it changes from day to day.

If you’d like to incorporate some relaxing reading into your daily routine, I’d love it if you began with some of my novels. You can check them out here: Thrillers by Moi.

So how do you begin your day? Have you heard about slow living? Don’t hesitate to leave me some (positive, non-spammy) comments below.

Adorable black cat

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Life is Complicated When You Use Natural Products

I wish my life could be as simple as that of “normal” people, like my ex.

Natural Red Flowers and Natural Products

My ex doesn’t use anything natural or ecological. He just goes to the supermarket and buys what everyone else buys.

He washes his laundry with any generic brand (supermarket brand) of detergent, whichever brand is cheapest, and uses generic brand fabric softener which in addition smells good. He doesn’t complicate his life.

He showers with regular shower gel and washes his hair (what little he has left) with regular sulphate shampoos. He doesn’t use conditioner, but then again he doesn’t have much hair to condition. (Har har I’m so mean aren’t I hehe?) He doesn’t use henna or colour his hair and it’s peppery hair.

But then again as they say I guess once you wake up (become aware) you can never UN-awaken again or become unaware again.

Unaware of all the harmful synthetic chemicals that they put in all the products that we use like in laundry detergent, fabric softener or shampoos.

Unaware of how harmful these synthetic chemicals are both for your health as well as for the environment. Unaware that going as natural as possible is the best thing you can do both for your health as well as for the world.

And you can see the results in the health of both my ex as well as his father. Ex has hardly any hair left. Of course I realize that is hereditary.

But maybe a healthier diet, lifestyle and healthier hair care might have made him go bald more slowly or even stopped him from going bald. I certainly know I DEFO have more hair and thicker hair since I started doing things to take care of it.

My hair has certainly come a long way since it was strawlike and fried years ago from monthly hair dyes dyeing it red. Before I discovered henna, I used to use a home hair dyeing kit in a box that was supposed to be more “natural” since it was supposed to be herbal. Well there was nothing herbal about it it was full of harmful chemicals. Maybe it had like a drop of herbs in it haha.

It just seems to me that my life is so much more complicated than my ex’s. He doesn’t wash his clothes with soap nuts, nor put baking soda, washing soda, ammonia and soap flakes into his laundry. He doesn’t wash his hair with solid shampoo, spend hours oiling it and whole days hennaing it.

I’d like to be able to live like him. I’d like to just throw the clothes into the washing machine, dump in some detergent pods and pour a bit of fabric softener into the fabric softener compartment and then just forget about it.

But I can’t do that anymore. Now I know all the junk that’s in laundry detergent, and that’s getting on your skin every time you put on your clothes washed in laundry detergent, and now that I know how bad laundry detergent is for the environment and how it’s killing fish and birds, I just can’t do that anymore.

I wish I could. It would make life so much easier, but I can’t. I wish I could continue to live in blissful ignorance.

But once you become aware you just can’t become UN-aware anymore.

Of course you could also not care. Ex probably sometimes hears about how laundry detergent is bad for lakes and fish and stuff, but he probably just doesn’t care.

I’ve been using soap nuts now I think for about 6 months. And it’s not as simple as using laundry detergent. I have to put the soap nuts in a jar of very hot water for about half an hour in order to activate them before doing the laundry. You can see already it’s more complicated using soap nuts than laundry detergent.

Then after half an hour, when the soap nuts have been activated and have started releasing soap, I throw the sack of soap nuts into the washing machine and also pour in the hot water that was in the jar with the soap nuts. Then I pour in a ton of water into the washing machine because I have a high efficiency front loader — the most popular type here in Europe I guess — and the reason it’s high efficiency is it hardly uses any water. But soap nuts need water to activate. So I have to manually pour in lots of water.

After that I just let wash as normal. But if the load is quite dirty and greasy then I do another cycle with ammonia before the soap nuts. Because soap nuts don’t work well with very greasy clothes. So you can see already that it’s more complicated than using laundry detergent.

But I think the results are worth it. Because then after that I know we are wearing clothes that have no harmful chemicals in them that can get into your skin. We didn’t throw anything down the drain that will later kill fish and birds. And it’s very cheap to boot.

And nothing feels like clothes that have been washed with only soap nuts. Clothes have a softness, mmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhh, like you’ve never felt before not even with fabric softener. They feel like LIQUID CLOTHES that is how SOFT they feel.

But once again if you are a normal person you probably don’t care if your clothes are soft or not. And you’re probably not thinking too much about wildlife and all these strange and unknown plants and flowers out there. After all, animals and plants you never see have nothing to do with you anyway, right?

I read somewhere that if animals died, humans would die too. Because we depend on them in order to stay alive.

And I’m not just talking about how some people can’t live without steak or lamb chops either haha. But I’ll get off the soap box now. I’m sure everyone already knows all about this stuff.

Moving on to the category of hair care. My ex has hardly any hair left, but you really can’t tell how much of it is due to heredity and how much is (slack) hair care and lifestyle. I told him there are things you can do to not go as bald but he said he’s just given up.

I know there is some medicine you can take that prevents going bald even if you suffer from hereditary baldness. I used to work at a hair clinic and the doctor told me that. He said he himself takes that medicine and he has some of the thickest hair I’ve ever seen on a man his age.

And I told ex that. But he said he’s given up on his hair.

And then people say when women get old they lose their hair too and it gets weak and fragile and thin and breaks easily and falls off. And so I am fighting against that. Genetics helps, I’m blessed with very thick coarse hair so it doesn’t get as fragile and thin as easily.

But you still have to WORK to have great hair, especially after a certain age or certain life events (ie. pregnancy haha).

I still look at the hair I have today and the hair I had before my oldest son “Ermenegildo” was born and really, there’s no comparison. It doesn’t even look like the same hair.

I did have pretty thick hair before Ermenegildo was born too. But it was so strawlike and dry and damaged and fried from using hair dye every month. It had no shine at all and it looked stiff and hard. It did have a nice colour, it was redder than it is now because you can get a stronger colour on dark hair with artificial dyes than with henna.

But it was so stiff and dry. Today I have such soft hair and it’s shiny and has big bouncy curls.

Big Bouncy Red Curls

But I do have to work harder than my ex to have that kind of hair. I have to henna every month because I do have grey hairs now, and also it is what I have to do if I want red hair and I am not a natural redhead.

I do try sometimes to go back to a simpler routine of just throwing in some laundry detergent into the washing machine and some fabric conditioner.

But then I KNOW all the gunk that is in the clothes, even if they come out soft thanks to the fabric conditioner and they smell nice. But I still KNOW all the gunk that is in the clothes and that will then go into your skin and then into your blood.

Laundry detergent is full of chemicals that can cause cancer and even if they don’t give you cancer they can still contribute to all kinds of medical conditions like heart probs, diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and a long list of etc’s.

Now that I KNOW what laundry detergent does to you when you wear it, well I mean when you wear clothes that have been washed in it, you just can’t NOT know about it anymore. And I KNOW what is in clothes that have been washed with laundry detergent.

And so on with everything else in life.

Which makes life complicated when you use natural products.

And I’d always wanted a simple life. But I guess we do not live in a simple world.

If you’d like to read about more complicated things in life, such as complicated and twisty plotlines, I’d love it if you checked out some of my thrillers. You can read about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

So do you use natural products? Do you find it complicates your life? Do leave me some comments down below. I LURRRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The New Mask-Filled World to Come

Soapmaking

Rain 

Harira Makin’

Daily Supplements

Everyone is always talking about the superfoods and daily supplements they take. I imagine the ones that work best for you would depend on what you are like, what health problems you suffer from, what health problems you’re more likely to develop and therefore would like to target the most, your age, etc.

I’m constantly changing around the daily supplements I take. But these are the ones I’m using as of this writing.

Daily Supplements and Vitamin Bottles

I discovered hydrolysed collagen from a video during lockdown so I started taking it. I also read some hysterical reports of people warding off COVID with massive amounts of vitamin C. So I started taking that too.

Eventually, when the panic died down, I realized I was taking just too much vitamin C! So I switched from the heavy duty brand I’d conjured up from Amazon to a more reasonable tube from the supermarket (Mercadona brand actually, if you’re here in Spain and you happen to be interested).

I’ve found it really helps me to take vitamin C. Since I started taking it I don’t get hungry as often and I have more energy. So I have no intention of giving this up!

I like to take the vitamin C with some fruit juice. I don’t really know if it makes any difference but I figure vitamin C is an acid so I s’pose it can’t hurt to take it with some acidic food like fruit juice.

I also take a multi-vitamin with the juice. Truth is I haven’t really noticed any effect from taking these multi-vitamins, but I figure it can’t hurt.

(I’ve since stopped taking these, because I didn’t feel any different from taking them. But I read a report on the news that multi-vitamins help to prevent Alzheimer’s. And my son still takes them.)

I like to put chia in my morning drink but I usually forget. So now you know, if you remember, throw a spoonful of chia seeds in your morning drink. And remember that chia seeds need to either be ground up or soaked in your drink for a few minutes for it to take effect.

After my second son, “Lucrecio”, was born all my hair fell out. Well, not all of it. But it seemed that way. But the worst thing was that it never grew back!

So I started a vigorous hair-growing campaign a few months ago and started bombarding my hair with every kind of daily supplement you can imagine. I upped my natural hair care routine and you can read all about it here.

But of course, I couldn’t improve my hair routine without taking hair vitamins. So I started doing that too.

I began by taking Phytophanère. You can get that at some pharmacies. They are little brown pills with a smooth coating and they taste just so delish, like chocolate candy. I think they’re mainly a vitamin B complex.

I didn’t notice a huge increase in the thickness of my hair but I did seem to get some moderately extra baby hairs. What did happen was that my nails started growing a lot stronger and faster.

I then switched to biotin, 5000 micrograms of biotin and 500 mg of niacin. That did make a difference!

My hair started falling out a lot less. I can’t really tell if a lot more has grown out because I only started taking these vitamins 8 months ago, so if more hair has grown out it’s not really long enough to notice yet. But I think it’s a tad bit thicker on top. Maybe?

And finally I also throw in some omega 3 capsules and a spoonful of brewer’s yeast in the morning drink. Don’t really know if it’s doing anything, but omega 3 is always good for ya, isn’t it?

Since writing this post a few months ago, I’ve since switched to a multiple-B complex. I got it on Amazon. It contains the complete range of all B vitamins, folic acid and a couple other stuff thrown in as well. This makes a huge difference in my life! I now have a lot more energy. Almost as much as a normal person hehe.

I’ve also started taking Lutein, after my ex sister-in-law praised the wonders of lutein to me. She’s selling herbal and vitamin supplements now since losing her job during Covid.

Incidentally, she started selling these vitamins when she found that she was suffering from “long covid”. That is, side effects that just wouldn’t go away.

A neighbour recommended vitamin supplements. She took them, and all her covid symptoms went away!

So now she sells these supplements herself.

So I looked lutein up on the internet. Turns out some sort of study somewhere — I didn’t take note so I can’t cite it — seems to show that people who took lutein after a certain amount of time were 100% free of degenerative eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

On the other hand, the control group, who didn’t take lutein, by the end of the study about 1% had developed some degenerative eye illness.

Degenerative eye diseases are fortunately not very common. Even if you do nothing at all, the chances are great that you will never develop such an illness anyway.

But it never hurts to give your probabilities a little push in the direction that you want, right, heehee?

So I started taking lutein as well, about 10 mg per day.

You can also get lutein from tomatoes. I don’t eat a lot of tomatoes, I’m not particularly fond of tomatoes (or anything acidic, I’ve always been known as the acid girl because I’m so acidic naturally I turn silver black within just a few minutes) and I don’t prepare pasta with tomato sauce nearly as often as I should. So I figure maybe I could be low on lutein.

And finally, because my cat is allergic to pollen, I started taking pollen too.

So, you say. If your cat is allergic to pollen, why do YOU take the pollen? Are you and your cat one and the same?

Well, since affirmations appear to be all the rage these days, we can all go around chanting — and I encourage you to do this every day:

“I and my cat (or dog, if you have a dog) are ONE! I and my cat (or dog) are ONE!”

If you do this every day you will probably start to find that slowly, day by day, you and your cat (or dog) will probably start to merge together into one single being.

Many people swear by this fix. Do try it out.

Cat Allergies

Well, as I was saying, since my cat is allergic to pollen, I started taking pollen every day.

The reason is because I started giving pollen to my cat, and then I tried it out and I loved the stuff!

(Dunno if it’s helping my cat, some days he appears to be free of allergies and other days he still wheezes. I don’t know if the pollen is doing anything or it’s just simply that some days there is less pollen in the air.)

So now I add half a spoonful of pollen to my morning smoothie every day.

And that basically is what I take every day.

I also try to sneak in some veggies into my diet, a little bit of yoghurt. You know, the usual kinda stuff that your mother was always preaching to you about.

And while you’re on this post, do check out some of my thrillers. You can read all about them here: Thrillers by Moi.

So, do you take supplements? Have you noticed any effect from them? Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment about this down below. I LURRRVE to receive (positive and non-spammy) comments.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

A Month at the Gym

Natural Skin and Hair Care Routine

Anti-Vaccinations 

Currywurst

My Thoughts on the Zero Waste Sustainable Lifestyle

I don’t know if you are aware that these days a new movement is starting to take the world by storm. It’s called zero waste, or a zero waste sustainable lifestyle.

Basically, what living a zero waste lifestyle means is using no packaging in all the products that you buy and use. Or at the very least only recyclable packaging.

Zero Waste Products

So people who have jumped onto this bandwagon usually use solid cleaning items such as solid soap, solid shampoos and solid conditioner.

They don’t buy or store food or anything else in plastic containers, preferring glass, wood, metal or any other natural material over plastic.

For the most part I support this movement.

Certainly I am all in favour of limiting your use of synthetic chemicals and plastics as much as possible. Not only are you reducing the toxic materials you bring into your home or consume, thus leading to a healthier lifestyle.

You’re also contributing to reducing all the garbage that spills out of our landfills and filling these landfills instead with organic materials that can actually decompose, rather than sitting there intact for thousands of years.

We all know that an excess of toxins is a scourge in our society and is one of the factors behind the growing numbers of cases of cancer.

I myself try to use glass, metal, wood and paper as much as possible. I go shopping with cloth bags. My all natural skin and hair care routines include mostly solid shampoos and natural plant-based oils.

I even make my own soap from scratch, by hand. Not a pour-and-melt affair but real, actual lye soap.

But sometimes I think this fanaticism for going all out zero waste just gets so absurd. And I got started thinking.

Why is a zero waste lifestyle supposed to be so good?

Is it only because it’s become fashionable and a lot of people are jumping onto this bandwagon now?

So many people do things, especially alternative things, just to be rebellious. Or just to look good in front of their friends. Or just because it’s what’s in at this moment.

So is a zero waste, sustainable lifestyle really so much better than a conventional one?

Or is it just some sort of hippie, rebellious, anti-establishment trend?

So many people do things without questioning them, just because other people told them it’s good, or that they should do it.

Why is it supposed to be more sustainable to use paper, wood or metal instead of plastic?

Of course it FEELS better, because it’s all natural as opposed to plastic which is not natural. Plastic is artificially created and comes from petroleum.

So I imagine it would be more HEALTHY, because you’re not using any kind of synthetic chemicals and thus you’re avoiding toxins.

But I don’t really see how it is more SUSTAINABLE.

For example, take metal. How is metal supposed to be more sustainable?

You have to send these poor, helpless men deep into these unhealthy mines where they risk their lives and sacrifice their health every day to mine metal.

What’s so sustainable, humane and healthy about that?

Metal isn’t recycled. Metal isn’t organic so it doesn’t degrade or decompose in landfills.

How about wood and paper? Yes they are healthier for you and they are all natural. And they do decompose naturally.

But think of all the trees you have to cut down to get wood and paper.

Although one YouTuber I saw said, “Actually, using wood causes MORE trees to be planted in my country, because in my country (which was of course some healthy Scandinavian country, Scandinavians are always ahead of the rest of the world, but I don’t remember which country it was) whenever a tree is cut down we plant TWO trees to take its place.”

Ok so maybe using wood and paper is sustainable in his country.

But so far this does not happen in the rest of the world, as far as I’m aware. And paper is recycled (in theory), but like everything else I doubt most of the paper is recycled here. Most probably just goes to landfills.

I do admit I haven’t done my research and I don’t have the faintest idea what happens to the garbage in my country or in my city. But I have seen in documentaries (vague documentaries that unfortunately I can’t cite because I don’t remember which documentaries they were, if you’re a stickler about people always revealing the source of everything they write about in blogs) that in most places around the world countries and municipalities don’t recycle.

(By the way if you’ve got some sort of physical evidence that I am wrong and that in fact most countries around the world do indeed recycle scrupulously, by all means, please, I’m completely open to you leaving a comment about it and showing me your evidence. If not, please refrain from leaving snide or picky comments about how I don’t document my blog posts accurately or cite the sources of my information. Your comment will not be approved. This is my blog and I write what I want in it. If you don’t agree with me you are free to not read it. Ok rant over.)

As I was saying, even if you do live in a country that recycles a high percentage of its rubbish, you still have to take into account the fact that the vast majority of the world doesn’t. So although as an ideal for a future utopian world, I don’t think it’s very sustainable or feasible at this point in time for most of us.

Then you could say that, well, paper is organic so even if it isn’t recycled at least it will biodegrade in landfills. Well I guess looking at it that way that could be true.

Still, when you buy something wrapped in paper, what do you do with the paper? You still throw it away, right?

I don’t think you’d reuse that tiny little piece of wrapping paper 100 times in order to be more sustainable, just simply because it wouldn’t last. It would soon tear or disintegrate.

Then how about wood? Wood is not recycled.

So if you throw away something wooden, which you will have to do at some point because wooden items don’t last a long time, at the most a few years maybe.

Maybe a wooden house can last several decades but in the end wood always deteriorates. So then what happens to the wood that you throw away?

Well once again zero wasters will say oh but wood is biodegradable so it will just biodegrade in landfills. Yeah but how long does that take?

So it is still not being recycled, even though it’s true it’s not as bad for the planet because at least it will biodegrade at some point.

But in the meantime, as you can’t recycle it, you still have to cut down more trees to create wooden objects to replace the ones that broke.

Then we’ve got glass. I like glass. I try to use it a lot because I like it.

Glass is recyclable and is probably one of the easiest things to recycle.

I don’t actually know the details about how glass containers are reused. But I imagine that the glass you throw away into the green coloured bins is being reused.

But most of the world doesn’t recycle. So you are only being zero waste by using glass if you live in a place where people recycle.

Or if you hoard up every single glass item that ever enters into your home in order to reuse it. But on the other hand, if you do that, you risk getting accused of suffering from hoarding disorder, as well as accumulating that other most undesirable scourge in life: CLUTTER! Gasp!

At any rate, even so, you are probably being more healthy if you use wood, paper, metal or glass, because you are not filling your home and your family with the toxic chemicals present in plastic. So you might want to say you are zero waste for health reasons.

But I don’t really see that it is more sustainable in the world we live in today. If the whole world recycled close to 100% of our waste and in every country they planted 2 trees for every tree that they cut down, then it could be sustainable.

In conclusion, much as I do in general believe in it and support it, I think it’s impossible to remove all the plastic from your life.

People say, well my ancestors lived for thousands of years without plastic.

Well, let me tell you, my parents were born over 90 years ago and they used plastic.

Just about everything that is essential in our lives is made of plastic. Most objects in our homes are made of plastic. Most of the things you can buy anywhere come in plastic containers.

Our food comes in plastic. Your mobile phone and your computer are made of plastic. The screen you’re reading this blog on is made of plastic or has a plastic support. You wouldn’t be able to read this blog if you didn’t use plastic at all.

Appliances are made of plastic. Medical equipment is made of plastic.

If you’re about to die from COVID-19 and the respirator is your only hope for survival you’re not gonna say, no don’t give me the respirator it’s made of plastic!

Buddhists say you should do everything in moderation. So yeah, I do think zero waste is good — in moderation.

And always respecting those who don’t agree with you.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The New Mask-Filled World to Come

Homemade Soap 

My Current Almost All-Natural Low Waste Hair Routine 

Shikakai: My Recent Experiment

Trying Out Solid Conditioner for the First Time

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been trying to transition to a more ecological, natural, zero waste (or at least low waste) lifestyle.

So today it was time to try out solid conditioner for the first time.

Solid Conditioner

I went no poo and have been using solid shampoo bars and all natural handmade soap for several years now. So I tried to create a zero waste routine with solid shampoo and solid conditioner.

Last week I discovered we actually enjoyed the great good luck of sporting an eco-friendly, zero waste shop right here in my city. So I bought a solid shampoo and a solid conditioner there.

I already have several solid shampoos, so in this case it was just sort of like a matter of trying out a new shampoo, the way most people do every once in a while.

Just as you might at some point wish to try out a new conventional shampoo — say Pantene, for example, or Elvive — so for me getting a solid shampoo was the same. Except these were shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoos in plastic bottles.

However it was the first time I’d ever used a solid conditioner.

So first impressions, what did I think?

Well, I liked the shampoo but it was nothing to write home about, a typical solid shampoo. I’m used to using solid shampoos so it wasn’t anything out of the usual for me.

However the solid conditioner was…….. an experience, let’s say.

I rubbed it on all over my hair like I saw in videos. You can’t just splash a little bit onto the ends the way you would with liquid conditioner. You have to rub it painstakingly into your hair from root to tips.

It certainly is time consuming, it’s not like slapping a liquid on quickly. Perhaps if you have thin hair or short hair or not tangly hair or greasy hair it would be quick. But if you have coarse, long, dry self-tangling hair like me it just does not work. I NEED about 5 litres of liquid conditioner every time to get enough slip to get a wide-toothed comb through.

I did eventually get it detangled. But I think solid conditioner only works for people with short, fine, greasy non tangling hair.

I do admit my hair is by nature more tangly than the average. Because the average person doesn’t need as much liquid conditioner as I do either.

Once I got it detangled my hair did feel good, soft and silky.

But after that I NEEDED styling product. Because if not my hair would be dry and flyaway and staticky.

And I don’t have any all natural zero waste eco styling products. I made flaxseed gel last week and I put it in the fridge but it still went bad. So that really isn’t going to work for me unless I make tiny batches and make up a new batch every time I wash my hair. Because I only wash my hair once a week.

So I just grabbed any old styling cream.

So I dunno. I think I will keep using the solid conditioner, see if I get the knack for it. But if not I will use it up and then I won’t get any more.

Update: After my hair dried I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how my hair looked with this new solid conditioner. It was soft, silky, shiny, with shiny, bouncy curls.

I might add that my hair is naturally coarse and thick, rough wiry and very rarely ever looks shiny or silky.

But the most incredible thing about the conditioner was the SCENT!

My hair smelled like perfume.

And not like some chemically, formaldehyde-filled perfume from the department store either.

It smelled fresh and sweet and natural. Like I’d picked up flowers in a field and stuck them into my hair.

The scent lingered.

I don’t know how long the smell will continue to last. But at least for one day, that’s for sure.

Hair After Solid Conditioner

But no, it’s not so shiny and well-defined without help. Here in addition to using solid conditioner I also used a gel.

So I thought I’d give you the details of the solid conditioner I used.

It’s a local brand, so if you live in the US or the UK you probably wouldn’t be able to get it. But then again in the US and the UK you can get about a gazillion other brands that aren’t available here in Spain. One brand I’ve heard good things about (but never tried) is Ethique. It’s from New Zealand I think.

But at any rate, the name is Balsámica Natural Cosmetics.

This conditioner in particular says it’s made with ashwagandha, amla, coconut oil, cocoa butter and essential oils of cedar and rosemary.

Its other ingredients include cetearyl alcohol (an essential ingredient for making conditioners, if you don’t include this the oils won’t wash out of your hair and your hair will be greasy). It’s not a drying alcohol like ethyl alcohol.

So yeah, I would defo try out other solid conditioners by other brands and maybe even other products in this particular range. It’s a Spanish company. They do have an online store, but when I tried to get onto it it was offline. They also have a Facebook page which doesn’t really seem to offer a list of their products anywhere.

However their prices are very reasonable. I don’t remember how much the solid conditioner cost at the store but it was somewhere in the range between 5 and 9 euros.

So how about you? Have you tried solid conditioner before? Or experimented with the zero waste lifestyle? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Do leave me a (positive, non-spammy) comment about it down below.

And if you enjoy reading, especially if you like fiction, I’ve got some exciting thrillers you might want to check out, here at Thrillers By Moi.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Homemade Soap

Bentonite Clay for Hair 

All Natural Skincare

Fried Aubergines Lite (Because eating is still fun)

My Current, Almost All-Natural, Low-Waste Hair Routine

Essential Oils for Hair

I thought I’d start off the new year with a new series on All-Natural Hair Care. So here is the first instalment.

I have been no-poo (that is, no shampoo) for about 3 years now. You can read about how I transitioned to no-poo here.

Recently I’ve also decided to add zero-waste to my hair and general routine as well. That is not the easiest thing in the world to do when you have dry, frizzy, curly hair.

Ayurvedic Herbal Powders

However, after about a full TWO YEARS! of experimenting and watching a gazillion YouTube videos, I think I’ve FINALLY found a minimalist, natural and low-waste (not zero-waste, however) hair routine that works for me.

It’s not the simplest, most minimalistic, most low-maintenance routine that’s ever existed but then again I figure girls with curly hair can’t follow the same routine as people with straight hair. Curly hair is drier so it needs more care. And my hair in particular is especially tangly (I’ve always called it self-tangling hair because it tangles around everything), with a naturally coarse, rough, wiry texture.

So here is my………

Complete All-Natural Zero Waste Hair Routine:

Week 1:

  • I begin by brushing my hair with a wooden brush. I brush it right side up and then upside down to get out tangles and stimulate hair growth.
  • Then I rub in hair oil. On the scalp I use a concoction that I made myself. In a jar I mix castor oil + olive oil + a teaspoon of bhringraj and let it sit. When I’m going to oil my hair, I just pour out the required amount into a small bowl and add a couple drops of rosemary and tea tree essentials oils. When it’s getting low on oil I simply add more oil. After a few weeks I throw out the bhringraj (I have no idea how long it would be good for though or if it ever goes bad) and add a new teaspoonful of this herb.
  • On the lengths I use coconut oil or olive oil. Then tie in a bun.
  • I leave this on for 2-3 hours. You can also leave it on overnight and sleep on it if you prefer.
  • Wash with solid shampoo or all-natural handmade soap.
  • Condition with solid conditioner.
  • Style as usual.

Hair OIling

Oiled Hair

Notes:

*I’ve been experimenting with solid conditioner for a few weeks now and I’m a bit on the fence about it. On the one hand, I like that it’s zero-waste, all-natural and silicone-free. And it smells fantastic.

But on the other hand, it takes forever to rub it through my extra-tangly, self-tangling rough, coarse hair. It also doesn’t leave my hair feeling as soft and hydrated as a cream conditioner.

I’ll be putting up a separate post soon all about solid conditioner. So stay tuned for it!

Since my hair is so naturally rough and coarse, I have a hard time trying to make it soft. If your hair is fine and naturally soft, it might work better for you though.

For this reason, even though I love the concept, I find that every now and then I still need to fall back on a creamy, liquidy conditioner in a plastic bottle, or my hair gets very dry, frizzy, flyaway and extra tangly (and it’s already tangly enough as it is!).

Week 2:

  • Don’t oil hair. But do brush it.
  • Wash with a mixture of aritha + sidr or shikakai and methi (ground fenugreek), mix with lemon juice or flaxseed gel or warm water to form a dense paste similar to shampoo. Apply like shampoo, leave on a couple minutes and rinse out.
  • Mix amla and brahmi with warm water to form a thick paste similar to conditioner. Apply to length of hair, detangle, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off.
  • Style as usual.

Notes:

*I have been using sidr instead of shikakai because I’m able to get it at the same online shop where I buy the rest of the powders. And because shikakai can sting your eyes.

I also wasn’t too wowed by shikakai when I used it before. But if you can’t find sidr in your neck of the woods, it’s fine to use shikakai as well.

Sidr is the powdered leaves of a tree that grows in Persia (Iran) and the Middle East. Like aritha, it has saponins, natural soap, so it cleans your hair gently.

To make flaxseed gel, simply boil a teaspoon of flax seeds in a cup of water for about 15 minutes. Then strain out the flax seeds with a strainer, cool the liquid down until it’s warm and doesn’t burn and use it to mix up the herbal shampoo.

Because I have curly hair using some sort of styling / curling / hold product is a must. If I want to be completely natural and zero-waste I use flax seed gel by itself. But I get bored always using the same product so I like to switch things up. Then I do need to add in some commercial product in a plastic container.

Where I Buy These Products

I buy these ayurvedic powdered herbs at an online shop here in Spain. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the presence of an Indian community in your city, they’re sure to boast physical shops where you can acquire them as well.

I’m not that lucky as there are perhaps only 2 people of Indian origin living in my part of the world. But if you happen to live in Barcelona, where I used to live, you can scout the shops of the Raval. I used to buy these herbs there.

It’s not easy to find solid conditioner here in Spain, unless you live in a large city. I don’t. But I was soooooo lucky to find an ecological, green shop downtown. It’s called Verda.

However they are also available on Amazon.

Aloe Vera Scalp Massage

Every once in a while, when I get in the mood, I’ll massage my scalp with some aloe vera gel. I add rosemary, lavender, mint and tea tree essential oils in the gel. Then I rinse it out after a couple hours in the shower. It’s a gel and not an oil so it doesn’t leave hair greasy, so it’s not necessary to use shampoo.

Aloe Vera Gel for Hair

My son prefers to do this after he washes his hair. It really doesn’t make any difference in the appearance of your hair, it won’t make it look greasy, so you can do it either way.

Henna

I henna my hair about once every 2 months. Because…….. I have a few grey hairs already! Hush, it’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone.

Hennaed Hair à la The Ring

My hair doesn’t turn out too red because it’s naturally very dark. Although I imagine if I hennaed it more often it would get redder. But I’m too lazy for that haha. It also looks redder in the sun.

Hair With Henna

I love henna hehe.

Heatless Hair Straightener

Although I LOVE having curls, I can get bored with them always looking the same and I want to change them. Then I make braids and thus stretch the hair out a bit to create beach waves.

My hair is very healthy. It’s about to the middle of my back. And I never have split ends.

So I think this routine is working quite well for me. [:smile hehe:]

And now that we’ve reached the end of this post, if you feel like doing some more reading I’ve got plenty of offerings for you. Check out my collection of thriller novels and horror stories here at Thrillers By Moi.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

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