Tag Archives: beauty

Modoc – Ralph Helfer


True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
Ralph Helfer

Genre: Nature

Price: $8.99

Publish Date: October 13, 2009

Publisher: HarperCollins e-books

Seller: HarperCollins

Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

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Modoc – Ralph Helfer

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6 Benefits Of Natural Light & How To Maximize It In Your Home

There is nothing more glorious than a room filled with sunlight.

Natural light seems to bring out the beauty, and indeed color, of everything it touches. When it fills our homes, it brings with it a sense of freshness, vitality and even makes us healthier.

6 Health Benefits Of Natural Light

Research has shownthat:

1. Employees working in natural light recorded higher levels of energy and productivity than those working under artificial light.

2. Natural light can lower the risk of nearsightedness in children and young adults by helping the eye produce dopamine, which aids in healthy eye development.

3.Exposure tosunlight, especially early in the morning for at least half an hour, increases your chances of a good nights sleep.

4. Sunlight helps the body produce thehappy hormone serotonin which combatsa type of depression calledSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

5. Rooms with ample sunlight have been shown tohelp hospital patients heal fasterafter surgical procedures

6. Sunlight in the classroom has been shown to havea positive impacton student test scores.

But the benefits of natural light don’t end with your health and mood.

Related:7 Little-Known Benefits Of Sunlight

Using Natural Light To Reduce Energy Consumption

As you’ll read in the infographic below, capitalizing on your home’s natural light can help toreduce your energy bills, saving money and slashing your carbon footprint.

“In a typical building, lighting accounts for 25-40 percent of energy consumption. By allowing more natural light to penetrate and controlling both its light and heat components, the financial savings could be considerable,”Marilyne Andersen,assistant professor Marilyne Andersen of MIT’s Department of Architecture, toldScienceDaily.

Simply letting the sun shine in can drastically reduce those energy costs while delivering all the benefits listed above, but it has to be done thoughtfully. By making small changes to the way you use windows, doors, skylights, mirrors, paint colors and even furnishings, you can take advantage of the free light and energy the sun provides.

Scroll through the infographic below for small tweaks and tips that can help you to maximize your home’s natural light.

Infographic via HalfPrice.com.au

Image via: Thinkstock

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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6 Benefits Of Natural Light & How To Maximize It In Your Home

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10 Products You Won’t Believe Are Derived From Petroleum

Most of us associate petroleum products with transportationgas for your car, jet fuel, etc. However, only 19.4 gallons out of a 42-gallon barrel is used to create gasoline.

Sowhat’s the rest used for?

The History of Petroleum Products

Back in 1872, a chemist named Robert Chesebrough came up with a method for extracting a waxy balm from the oily residue leftover in oil wells. What is that substance called today? Vaseline. Then a few years later, in 1913, the sister of a man named Thomas Williamsstartedadding in darkening agents to make a deeply coloredgel out of the stuff. They called their companyMaybelline.

Get where this is going?

Very soon, hundreds of other petroleum-derived products were making their wayinto the marketplace in the form of candles, sealing waxes, ammonia and even candy gum!

Are Petroleum Products Eco-Friendly or Safe?

Now isn’t this the million dollar question.

Many of us work hard to reduce oil demand by cuttingdown on our use of fossil fuels, limiting how often we drive, taking public transportation and trying to do away with plastics. The problem is, oil-derived products have infiltrated much more than just transportation.

Petroleum jelly, for example, is a byproduct of the oil drilling and refining process. It’s a result of one of the most environmentally degrading processes on earth!

There is also the question of safety.

While the beauty industry claims it removes all of the harmful components from its petroleum-based products,researchers are still findingdangersthatputs many people on the fence.

Petroleum products like mineral oil cannot be metabolized (which means once it ends up in your body it will never leave), and some studies suggest theymay be carcinogenic. No thank you!

Worried about your beauty products? Check your labels to see if any of these are present:

Mineral oil
Liquid paraffin
Paraffin oil

10 Products You Won’t Believe are Derived from Petroleum

1. Chewing Gum

Sorry friends, it’s true! The soft, chewy quality of chewing gum comes from an oil-derived base that includes waxes, petroleum, stearic acid, glycerin, lanolin and otheringredients all housed under the ingredient “gum base.” Gross!

2. Pantyhose

Tights, nylons,pantyhose. These little tights are made from nylon, a textile fiber that is actually a petroleum-derived thermoplastic.


Many cosmetic products like lipsticks and lotions are made with petroleum derivatives. Paraffin wax, for example, is used to help tube lipsticks keep their shape and then go on smooth. It might be time to replace that lipstick, considering how much product a woman swallows over the course of her life.

4.Non-Stick Coating

That Teflon-coated pan you love so much is actually made from a combination of chemicals called PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals which arepetro-derived. These are lipophobic and carcinogenic, and have been linked to many diseases like cancer and liver damage. Gross! Need a replacement? Go for cast iron!

5. Crayons

Every single crayon found in that Crayola box was made from paraffin wax, a solid that comes straight from petroleum. Paraffin wax is also used to make candles, add a shiny coating to apples or make chocolate look glossy. Not great.

Related: 7 Candles That Won’t Give You Cancer

6. Synthetic Fabrics

Most wrinkle-resistant clothing items are made from polyestera substance that gets its origin at the oil refinery. However, in this case it’s not all bad. Polyester fabrics can be easily recycled to produce new, high quality polyester fibers.

7. Aspirin

Aspirin is easily one of the most reliable medications discovered over the past few decades. And its uses are widespread! Most aspirin manufacturing today begins with benzene, a hydrocarbon that is usually derived from petroleum. Looking for a natural alternative? Try white willow bark.

8. Sports Equipment

Golf balls, basketballs, tennis racks and skis are all made with petroleum in some form or another.

9. Dentures

Modern denturesare dyed with carbon-based pigments that are manufactured using coal and petroleum resources. Want to avoid getting a fake set colored by fossil fuels? Try flossing instead.

10. Toothpaste

Toothpaste makes use of more oil-based ingredients than just about any other product. Poloxamer 407, for example, is a substance that helps oil-based ingredients to be dissolved in water.

Toothpaste manufacturers also toss in a number of dyes made from petroleum: D&C Yellow #10, DYC Red #30, and FD&C Blue #1. Red 40 is also a big one. All the more reason to start making your own!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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10 Products You Won’t Believe Are Derived From Petroleum

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10 Ethically-Made Rain Jackets for Spring

For many of us across the United States, warmer weatheris finally starting to show its facespring showers included!

Particularly those of us who live in wetterclimates are now acutelyaware of the difference a great raincoatcan make in our day-to-day. It’s important the jacketswe wear be not only waterproof, but breathable, seam-sealed andmade to last. A simple, no-frills rain jacket that you can count on is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe!

Are you in the market for a new rain jacket this spring? Check out my top picks for compromise-free, sustainably and ethically-made raincoats, right here:

For Him

1. Torrentshell Jacket by Patagonia

Sleek, packable and unpretentious, this rain jacket is one of the most trusted options out there. The Torrentshell is made to last, without any short cuts. You’ll find it to be waterproof, breathable and ingeniously designed!

Shop Online | $129

2. The Elements Jacket by Everlane

Perfect for the city dweller, this Everlane jacket is both “Everest ready and sidewalk approved.” It’s made from waterproof, three-layer cotton, complete with heat-bonded seams so the rain stays out. This one fits long. Perfect for commuters!

Shop Online | $148

3. All-Season Raincoat by Filson

Filson has been making beautifully-crafted garments since 1897. Pacific Northwest inspired, this thick, waxed cotton raincoat will hold back the elements from day one.

Shop Online | $395

4.Stockholm Raincoat by Stutterheim

Theincredible Swedish brand,Stutterheim, is known for its raincoats for a reason: only the finest craftsmanship is used to create this luxurious unisex style. You’ll see the fashionably-minded sporting it proudly fromSeattleto Milan.

Shop Online| $295

5. Winston Jacket by Howies

The Winston Jacket is made from Ventilea 100 percent cotton performance fabric that was the very first of its kind. It is woven so densely that it is completely waterproof and windproof! This one can handle anything spring throws at it.

Shop Online | $295

For Her

1. Torrentshell Jacket by Patagonia

This gorgeous Patagonia jacket is one of the top-rated rain shells out there! Completely waterproof and definitely breathable, this microfleece-lined jacket will serve you well in any downpour. Its silhouette is also very flattering.

Shop Online | $129

2. The Drape Trench by Everlane

Always classy. Always cool. The Everlane girl knows what’s up. This relaxed, luxe, weather-ready trench is perfect for professionals who care aboutfashionand function.

Shop Online | $138

3.Bowsprit Jacket by Seasalt

This Cornish-created raincoat is a timeless choice for the girl who likes to wear wellies. Made from hardwearing waterproof cotton, this oilskin parka will serve you well for years to come.

Shop Online | $110

4. Warbler Moss Water Resist by Bridge & Burn

If a Portlander made it, you know it’s good. Simple and functional in a fun tomboy style, this water-resistant hooded jacket is a great choice for the girl who likes to take things easy.

Shop Online | $228

5. Odyssey Jacket by Mountain Equipment

Protective and well-ventilated, this waterproof shell will give you protection for years to come. Pick this one if you’re looking for true UK performance engineering!

Shop Online | $200

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Can This Charming New Host Convince Millennials to Love “A Prairie Home Companion”?

Mother Jones

On July 1, Garrison Keillor said goodbye on his final broadcast of the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion. Fans bemoaned the loss of the avuncular host, who had for 42 years regaled them with characters like Guy Noir, cheery ads for powder-milk biscuits, and the imagined inhabitants of a fictional Midwestern town, “where all the women are strong, all the men good-looking, and all the children above-average.”

With Keillor’s retirement, Lake Wobegon may go the way of Atlantis, but that doesn’t mean the show is over. “It feels like something ends and something else is about to happen,” Keillor told his audience during his denouement. That something is 35-year-old Chris Thile, a multiple Grammy-winning mandolin prodigy and leader of the insanely talented Punch Brothers, whom Keillor has anointed as his successor.

Thile first made waves with Nickel Creek, the new-grass band he co-founded in his home-state of California at age 12. Since then, he has appeared dozens of times as a musical guest on Keillor’s program, collaborated with virtuosos such as Béla Fleck and Yo-Yo Ma, and in 2012 was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (a.k.a “genius grant”).

In his new role as radio host, Thile aims to preserve the spoken-word humor, musical showmanship, and even the fake commercials that have garnered A Prairie Home Companion three million loyal fans in the US. But judging by the guests, Thile’s Companion already feels edgier than Keillor’s ever did—White Stripes guitarist Jack White, comics John Hodgman and Aparna Nancherla, soul group Lake Street Dive, and cellist Esperanza Spalding will appear on the first few episodes.

Here are a handful of reflections Thile shared with me as he prepares to step into Keillor’s shoes on October 15:

On his first Prairie Home Companion gig: “My life has always been intertwined with the show. Some of my very earliest memories are being in our living room, listening to the show is when I was two years old, and Garrison’s voice emanating from the radio in the corner. At that age it was kind of unclear to me whether that might actually be my dad’s voice just coming through the radio instead of from his body. Not that they sound similar—but just sort of this warm, authoritative, male voice.

Playing the show for the first time at 15, I was already aware of the enormity of the moment. Even for this little bug, it was a realization of a goal at a very young age—like, ‘Oh, this is something I’ve dreamed of happening.’ Garrison signed my program and wrote me a limerick.

There once was a fellow named Thile. Played mandolin wild and freely. He played for the town, while riding around, on a bicycle doing a wheelie!

On the fateful phone call from Keillor: “He called me out of the clear blue sky. I had his number in my phone, but it was always nerve-wracking when he would call and his name shows up on caller ID. You know, it’s a long, grand name accompanied by this incredibly grand voice. I was practicing, in the middle of a duet with the bassist Edgar Meyer. I let it go to voicemail because I thought to myself he probably wants me to play on next week’s show or something, and there’s no way I can do it. I listen to the voicemail and it says imitates Keillor‘s voice ‘Chris I have something that may be of some interest to you…’

“So I called him back and he outlined his exact plan. I was pacing as it started dawning on me what he was talking about. I had to leave the bus and just started like walking all over Ann Arbor trying to process all of this. As he came to the end of the pitch, I am struggling for words, because even then there was this air of inevitability about it. Almost like the forehead slap of, Of course this is what I’m going to do; of course I’m going to try this, as crazy and scary as it seemed at the time. He said, ‘You host a couple of shows, you know, early next year, and we’ll see where we are.’ And that’s what we did.”

On how Thile’s Prairie Home Companion will be different: “We’re going to have a spoken-word guest every show, who may often be a comedian, actor, a poet. I suspect you’ll still be hearing about powder milk biscuits, and you may still be encouraged to eat enough ketchup and potentially be soothed by a piece of rhubarb pie, because we just can’t help ourselves. But the world has changed a lot in the last 40 years. Garrison was keenly aware of that, but you could look out into the audience at a lot of these live shows and see a lot of 50-plus-year-old white folks.

“My dearest hope is that we can create the kind of environment that’s representative of everyone in this beautiful country of ours, especially now. These are hard times. The last couple nights, it’s like I haven’t been able to look directly at the TV—as if it’s the sun. I try and catch up over Twitter afterward, almost it’s like that board from elementary school with the little hole cut into it so you can check out the sun, like check out an eclipse, with those little rudimentary tools. It’s an oft-uttered statement but these are troubled times. I am all the more fervently seeking the beauty that human beings are capable of developing, and I want the show to be a place for those beautiful things. So that, quite frankly, is our great goal, our great challenge.”

On his favorite musical act of late: “I was with Béla Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn, and they were spending time with this adopted daughter of someone they know. And this little girl, she was improvising a song and making up lyrics on the fly. She sang the words, “My heart breaks into song.” And I was dumbstruck. I mean I didn’t stop the song, but afterward I asked her, “Did you say, ‘My heart breaks into song?'” And she said, ‘Yeah.’ I would just love for this show to be an opportunity for everyone’s hearts to break into song—or to break into laughter, to break into thought, to break into imagination. Our hearts should be breaking right now. But to figure out a way to turn that into energy we can use to comfort each other.”

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5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Hair Products

Many Americans are working to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals and toxic ingredients. Few industries have faced more criticism for their ingredients than the cosmetics industry, and lately, it seems that more and more brands arereleasing organic or all-natural personal care lines.

Shampoos and conditioners, in particular, contain a lot of toxic ingredients. Some health-conscious consumers have taken to making their own haircare products, but others still prefer to use ready-made, expert-developed shampoos and conditioners. If this is you, rest assured that you have plenty of options. You dont necessarily have to spend a fortune, either! A quick glance at a products ingredient list can tell you a lot about its safety. Here are five toxic ingredients youll want to be sure to avoid when picking out a shampoo or conditioner:


Youve probably heard of sulfates by now; pretty much every natural hair care brand states proudly on itspackaging thataproduct is sulfate-free. But what are sulfates, and why should you avoid them?

The main thing to keep in mind when thinking about sulfates is that they are chemical detergents. That in itself isnt necessarily a bad thing, but it means that sulfates are extremely effective at removing dirt and oil … in fact, theyre a little too effective. Sulfates are harsh on the hair and scalp, so they can strip away that natural moisture that keeps your hair shiny and soft.

On a deeper level, they may carry some hormone-disrupting agents along with them. According to Natural Society, many sulfates contain traces of dioxane, a known carcinogen. Dioxane is also thought to disrupt kidney function.


Parabens are another widely hated group of chemicals that youve probably been told to avoid in your beauty and personal care products. Parabens are xenoestrogens, which means that they have a similar composition to hormones found in the human body. Xenoestrogens are thought to disrupt hormones and could even post a cancer risk.

Real Simple even noted that British scientistsfound evidence of parabens in samples of breast cancer tissue. Though this doesnt necessarily mean the parabens caused the cancer,most natural-minded folks try to avoid parabens completely.


Fragrances are bad, bad, bad. If the fragrance in your product comes from a natural essential oil, it will say so on the packaging. If all the manufacturers have chosen to tell you about the ingredient is that its a fragrance, thats generally bad news.

The term fragrance allows manufacturers to opt out of including a list of the ingredients used to create that fragrance, as the term is not regulated by the FDA. So really, if fragrance is listed on an ingredient list, theres no telling whats in there. Natural Society even notes that there are more than 3,100 chemicals used by the fragrance industry to concoct these suspicious-sounding additions to your shampoos and conditioners.


Triclosan is an antibacterial agent thats often added to personal care products as a preservative. Dr. Ben Kim notes that we still dont have enough conclusive evidence to say for sure whether or not triclosan is safe for use, but there have certainly been some warning signs to the contrary.

Triclosan is thought to be an endocrine disruptor, which means it can be harmful in the same fashion as xenoestrogens. Its also been linked to immune system problems, weight loss and uncontrolled cellular reproduction, according to Dr. Kim.

Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene glycol, or PEG, is also thought to interfere with the body. According to Natural Society, the state of California has classified the chemical as a developmental toxicant, which means that it may interfere with human development. Its also known to be contaminated by the aforementioned cancer-causer dioxane.

If youre looking for shampoos and conditioners that are made with safe, reliable, natural ingredients, you have lots of options at your fingertips. And if youre feeling more adventurous, of course, you could always try making your own homemade hair care products!

How to Choose Natural Ingredients for Beautiful Skin8 Natural Mosquito Repellents

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Hair Products

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Alarm clock appeals to your good nature to break your snoozing habit. We have a better idea

Alarm clock appeals to your good nature to break your snoozing habit. We have a better idea

By on 28 Mar 2016commentsShare

You awake to the roar of an African lion. Bleary-eyed, you grab your phone and hit snooze to silence the feline’s growls — and in doing so, donate $1 to a conservation fund.

That’s the premise of an app called Zooster, the world’s first “charitable alarm clock.” After the howl of a grey wolf or the squeak of a dolphin wakes you from your beauty sleep, you can either dismiss the alarm or hit snooze. If you do the latter, the app automatically donates your money to a charity that supports the animal whose wake-up call you ignored.

Sure, you might not be prepared to make informed monetary decisions in your state of morning grogginess — but at least it’s for a good cause, right? This leads us to the crucial problem with Zooster: Wouldn’t donating to a terrible cause get you up faster?

Introducing Eschewster: the app that will help you abstain from hitting snooze and donating a dollar. We brainstormed some ideas for the world’s second charitable alarm clock that’ll get you out from under those covers in a hurry:

Get up now or $1 goes to the NRA
Get up now or $1 goes to the travel budget of that dentist who killed Cecil
Get up now or $1 goes to the Rachel Dolezal Center For Diversity
Get up now or $1 goes to expanding George W. Bush’s personal Texas ranch
Get up now or $1 goes to a climate denial group of your choice
Get up now or $1 goes to developing toilet paper even thinner than one-ply
Get up now or $1 goes to Kanye West’s debt reduction fund
Get up now or $1 goes to the making of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 3
Get up now or $1 goes to the initiative to build an even bigger proposed pipeline, Keystone XXL

App developers, take note! Until Zooster’s official launch this fall, we could use some extra incentive to get up in the mornings. It’s not exactly the cock-a-doodle-do that served as the alarm for your agrarian ancestors, but the moral of the story is the same: If you snooze, you lose.

(That is, unless you end up snoozing and donating to Grist.)



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Alarm clock appeals to your good nature to break your snoozing habit. We have a better idea

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How to Simplify Your Wardrobe in 3 Easy Steps

An overstuffed closet and a mountain-sized pile of discarded clothing options after each round of getting ready may indicate that your fashion philosophy values quantity over quality. Create a cohesive collection of streamlined wearable looks and kick the chaos and castoffs out of your closet with a simple capsule wardrobe in three easy steps:

Step 1: Out With the Old

Like many of lifes challenges, this situation is going to get worse before it gets better. However, if you clear a couple hours of your schedule and stay committed, the end result will be a closet you can love again. To get a true view of what you need, love, and wear, you need to start with an honest of assessment of what youre currently working with and why you have it.

Take everything clothes-related out of your closet and pile it up somewhere unavoidable now theres your assurance that this project gets finished today. (Seriously, dont skip that part. Its important.) Try on each piece and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does this fit?

2. Do I feel confident when wearing this?

3. Have I worn it in the past six months?

If the answer to any of the above is no, its time to honor that item with new opportunity by donating it. The only exception is if a much-loved quality piece can be tailored; if so, drop it off within the week.

Snap a quick full-length mirror selfie for any outfits you feel unsure aboutthe camera is your most honest friend. Once you have separated the trash from the treasure, analyze what you have left. Your keep pile holds clues to your personal style. Why do these items appeal to you? What do they have in common? A successful capsule wardrobe will keep you comfortably and happily clothed. If your everyday style has an easy casual vibe, a closet of fussy fashionista frocks wont solve your problem; youll just go from not having anything to wear to not having anything you want to wear. Be true to your real self.

Step 2: In With the New

Take a look at what you already own and set aside essential foundation pieces. These are items that every wardrobe needs, like a little black dress, a white button-up shirt, a pencil skirt, nice jeans, quality leggings, black pants and a few fitted tees. Anything missing from the essentials should take priority on the shopping list; these key pieces become the uniform for life and are worth the investment. Buy the basics in neutral colors like black, white, khaki or gray. These items are the core of your capsule collection and become the backdrop for most outfits.

Step 3: Freshen Up

Now take a new look at the clothes you have leftis there an underlying color theme? Pick out a few pieces where you feel drawn to the color or pattern and create your personal style palette. Buy accent items and accessories that coordinate with your capsule collection colors to maximize your ability to mix and match, and easily update your wardrobe seasonally by swapping out colors or clothing types.

If youre adopting the capsule wardrobe approach for its simple minimalism, aim to have approximately 30 pieces. If youre just trying to simplify your morning routine, dont overwhelm yourself with options, but dont obsess over item numbers or perfecting your collection, either. Just like your personal sense of style, your capsule collection will evolve as you do.

The ultimate goal is to create a mix-and-match recipe of your ideal outfit for every occasion, which is easy when the closet is full of coordinating favorites. The most essential part of creating a capsule collection isnt in perfecting the numbersits in making sure you feel fashionable and fantastic wearing each and every piece!

Ashley McCann writes foreBayabout mindful living as a Floridian mother of two. She makes affordable and sustainable fashion possible bybuying and selling her clothes online.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How to Simplify Your Wardrobe in 3 Easy Steps

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No ‘Poo: Get Beautiful Hair with Just Baking Soda & Vinegar

Truly natural or organic shampoos can be pretty pricey, but you don’t need to drop big bucks for shiny, healthy hair. It might sounds like the recipe for a hair volcano, but baking soda and vinegar work great as shampoo and conditioner substitutes. Folks who use baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo often call this technique the “no ‘poo” or “no shampoo” method.

Here are some tips on how to wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar!

Why Do No ‘Poo?

Like I mentioned above, it’s much cheaper than truly natural or organic shampoo and conditioner, but why not just grab a cheap bottle of Herbal Essences and be done with it, right? The trouble with conventional shampoo, including faux natural brands like Herbal Essences, is that they contain potentially harmful ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and fragrance.

For me, fragrance is the worst synthetic chemical in beauty products. “Fragrance” is actually an unregulated term that could refer to any cocktail of thousands of largely under-tested chemicals. Companies can get away with this misleading labeling under the guise of “proprietary information.” Meanwhile, we’re washing our hair with potential allergens and carcinogens. Boo on that!

I used to wash my hair with shampoo every other day, and after a few months doing no ‘poo, I only have to wash it once or twice a week, depending on how active I am. That means that not only do you save money, but you save water and the energy used to heat it for all of those longer showers.

Before we get into the ins and out of no ‘poo on the next page, I think it’s important to talk about one downside to making this switch: many people experience a breaking in period.

The Breaking In Period

I will warn you right now that almost everyone who switches to no ‘poo initially does have a breaking in period that can last from a few days to even a few weeks while your scalp adjusts. Some folks write the no ‘poo thing off after just a week or less, saying that it doesn’t work, but chances are that is because their body hasn’t gotten used to this more natural method for cleaning their hair.

Shampoo strips your hair of natural moisture, so your scalp might still be in oil-production overdrive for a little while while you adjust. The breaking in period can be pretty unfun, but there are a couple of things you can do to make it easier on yourself.

If you have short hair, brush it regularly. This helps distribute the oils more evenly, so your hair won’t look so greasy during the transition. Brushing can help distribute the oil in long hair, too, and you might want to go for updos, like pony tails or buns until your hair adjusts.

Image Credit: Creative Commons phoot by trenttsd

The Basic No ‘Poo Recipe

There are a couple of different ways that you can do this thing, but the basic idea is that you “wash” your hair in baking soda, rinse it thoroughly, then follow with a diluted vinegar rinse that you also rinse out thoroughly.

What you’ll keep in your shower are a water-tight container full of baking soda, and a squeeze bottle with your vinegar mixture. The amount of baking soda you use and the vinegar to water ratio that works for you really depends on your hair. If your hair is oily, you’ll want to up the baking soda and use less vinegar in your rinse. For dry hair, go the opposite direction. Here’s what works for me:

1. Pour about 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of your hand, and moisten it. Massage it into your hair and your scalp. Wait a minute, then rinse.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and 1 cup water in your squeeze bottle. You can do this in advance, so you don’t have to mix it up every time you wash, and you probably won’t need the whole cup for a single washing. Give the bottle a good shake, then squeeze some of the vinegar mixture onto your scalp. Massage it into your scalp and your hair, wait another minute or two, and rinse thoroughly.

Like I said, this is the mixture that works for me, but depending on your hair type, you may need to adjust the amounts of baking soda and vinegar that you use.

No ‘Poo for Curly Hair

The most common question I get when I talk about no ‘poo is whether it works on thick or curly hair. My hair is thick and a little bit wavy, and it works just fine for me, but I couldn’t speak for truly curly hair. A little research turned up an account from Lorissa from Beautiful Somehow who did a 30 day no ‘poo experiment. Here’s what she had to say:

I am so completely happy with my curly hair now! The curls are bigger, more defined, and not as frizzy as before. I am still using a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of mousse to set the curls. I am currently looking for a more natural alternative for it though. So if you know of one, please share!

You can read all about her no ‘poo experience over at Beautiful Somehow, and if you have any tips for an alternative to mousse, I bet she’d love your suggestions!

Tips from Fellow No-’Pooers

Stephanie Moram from Good Girl Gone Green does a slightly different mix for her hair. She recommends about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water, and about the same ratio for vinegar. You can read about her no ‘poo method here.

My Healthy Green Family doesn’t like to call this method no ‘poo, but over there, Free Range Mama talks about the baking soda and vinegar method that she uses. She likes the same ratio as Stephanie recommends, and she also talks a little bit about a common question that folks have when they’re new to no ‘poo: the vinegar smell. As she describes, that smell should fade quickly as your hair dries. If it doesn’t, try using less vinegar in your mix next time.

Do any of you do the no ‘poo thing? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you – and what hasn’t! – in the comments.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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No ‘Poo: Get Beautiful Hair with Just Baking Soda & Vinegar

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