Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Glow Getter: Skincare Oils


Up until just a few years ago, I thought I had oily skin... so naturally, I thought that oils were my #1 enemy. I have since come to realize that I actually have dry, sensitive skin which was over-producing oil in an attempt to quench and balance my dehydrated skin. Ever since I discovered the magic of natural, high-quality oils, I have ditched all my other conventional moisturizers! I have even adopted the oil-cleansing method, which (in all honesty) I used to think sounded crazy. 

Like all skincare products, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to oils. However, it is much easier to find the one that works for you and here's why: natural oils are made from pure and simple ingredients that can be used alone or easily mixed and matched to create your own personal skin-loving concoction. Conventional moisturizers typically contain SO MANY ingredients. It is easy for your skin to get confused or irritated when you are slathering on a product that is concocted of 20 plus ingredients. It's so frustrating to think of all of the money I have spent over the years on products that not only fell short of my expectations, but were also expensive and full of potentially harmful ingredients. Does this sound familiar to you?

Here is a list of my favorite natural, non-toxic, nourishing, skin-loving oils:

ROSEHIP OIL 

Rosehip oil is my #1 favorite skincare oil of all time. Rosehip oil is full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids, making it great for moisturizing and anti-aging. It is also an anti-inflammatory oil which can combat acne. Rosehips contain natural vitamin c, which can help brighten the skin, fade acne scars, dark spots, and gives an instant boost of glowy goodness. 

So, how do you choose a rosehip oil? Choose an oil that contains 100% pure rosehip oil as the only ingredient. The highest quality rosehip oil will be organic, cold-pressed and un-refined. A higher quality rosehip oil will have a slightly pinkish tone and smell similar to vitamin e oil or fish oil. 

My current favorites are:

Acure The Essentials Rosehip oil  https://amzn.to/2XEUZQx
 
and NOW Foods 100% pure rosehip seed oil  https://amzn.to/2UsF4Tz

How I use rosehip oil: I use rosehip oil as my main facial moisturizer both day and night. It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and is amazing under makeup for a healthy glow. The Acure oil is a heavier oil, which I like to use at night. I like to mix the Now Foods oil and jojoba oil as my daily daytime moisturizer. I also love that this can be used in your hair. I like to spread a few drops in the palms of my hands and run the oil through the lengths and ends of my hair between washes. 

JOJOBA OIL

Jojoba oil is another one of my skin oil MVPs. Jojoba oil closely resembles the sebum that our skin naturally produces, making it easy for your skin to absorb and more fully reap the benefits. Jojoba oil is antibacterial, non-comodegenic and hypoallergenic. This oil is a pretty safe choice for all skin types, so it is a great oil to start out with. 

I love Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil  https://amzn.to/2EMNT4U

How I use jojoba oil: I like to mix a few drops of this oil in with my rosehip oil pretty much daily. I slather this oil under my eyes and on my lips before bed, and wake up with soft, smooth skin. I have also used this oil alone as a makeup remover/oil cleanser when I run out of my usual oil cleanser. 

MARULA OIL

Marula oil contains free-radical-fighting antioxidants like vitamins C & E. It is a richer oil, but is easily absorbed by the skin and doesn't feel heavy. It makes a great cold-weather addition and helps to smooth those fine-lines.

I like Acure The Essentials Marula Oil  https://amzn.to/2Tf32F0

How I use marula oil: Marula oil is a newer addition to my skincare oil line up. I picked it up to add to my nighttime routine during the colder months when my skin needs some extra moisture. 

CASTOR OIL

Castor oil promotes hair growth, and is great for eyebrows, eyelashes and hair re-growth. It is a thick oil, and although it is not recomended as a facial treatment, is great for moisturizing dry skin on elbows, knees, heels and feet. 

I use Home Health Cold-Pressed and Cold-Processed Castor oil ($5-$10) https://amzn.to/2EALNE5

How I use castor oil: I sometimes forget about the magic that is castor oil. Castor oil is a very thick, sticky oil that is great for hair conditioning and growth. I use it mainly on my eyebrows, and it really works!

MAD HIPPIE CLEANSING OIL

I am on my third bottle of this cleansing oil! My skin loves it. I use it as the first step in a double-cleansing method to remove my makeup. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I still feel like this has made a huge difference in my skin tone and clarity! Since I have started using this, I am no longer being visited by that evil hormonal breakout that used to plague my existence once a month :] (Ginger, rosehip and pumkin seed oil among other great ingredients!!)

FIG & YARROW HAIR + SCALP TONIC

I am on my second nearly empty bottle of this amazing hair and scalp oil. I use this twice a week, the night before I wash my hair. I massage it into my scalp before bed, and let my hair and scalp absorb all of the goodness during the night. I have a sort of finicky, sensitive scalp which can be prone to dryness. A dry/tight/itchy scalp is not a good thing, but this treatment is. 

That just about wraps it up! Have you tried any of these amazing oils? Which one is your favorite? 

xoxo





Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Health & Wellness: A Holistic Nutritionist's Guide to Supplements



Happy Holidays! I don't know about you, but this time of year can feel really stressful. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, but trying to fit all of the extra holiday stuff in an already packed schedule can really take it's toll on our overall wellness! Stress, sugar from holiday treats, alcohol from holiday parties, not getting quality sleep, the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, and cold weather can all play a part in compromising our immune systems.

As a holistic nutritionist, I don't typically recommend supplements because I believe that we can get all of the nutrients our bodies need and crave from real, whole-food nutrition. Food should be our first source! However, there are a few supplements that I believe can be beneficial to our health, especially during the winter. These are all things that I incorporate into my diet on a regular basis.

Probiotics

Something that we can all benefit from is a good probiotic! Quality probiotics can assist in balancing and protecting our microbiome (hello gut health!). Did you know that about 80% of our immune system lives in our gut??? So a happy, healthy gut is key to fighting off the dreaded colds and flu of the holiday season.

I don't always take a probiotic everyday, because I also eat a lot of probiotic rich foods (homemade coconut yogurt, kefir, kombucha and other fermented foods), but I take them a couple of times a week and/or up the intake to boost my immune system if I start to feel under the weather. My favorite happy-gut sources are Health Aid Kombucha and Renew Life Extra Care Ultimate Flora Probiotic (30 billion live cultures) as well as Renew Life Women's Care Ultimate Flora Probiotic (25 billion live cultures).

Echinacea 

Echinacea is a flower, and can reduce the chances of catching a cold. Echinacea comes in capsules, liquid tinctures and as a tea (my favorite!). I love to sip a cup of Traditional Medicinals Echinacea or Echinacea Plus with Elderberry before bed. Echinacea tea is naturally caffeine free, so it makes the perfect warm, comforting beverage to wind down at the end of the day.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil sounds gross, right? Well it's really not, and the benefits are amazing! Cod liver oil is nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, and supports immune, cardiovascular, hormonal, reproductive and neurological health! It is an amazing source of essential vitamins including A, D and omega 3's. Obviously this is not a vegan/vegetarian friendly option, but if you don't have dietary restrictions, quality cold liver oil is especially beneficial during the winter when we may not be getting enough sunshine, eating too many inflammatory foods (inflammation is at the root of many diseases!) and dealing with compromised immune systems. 

The only Cod Liver Oil that I have actually enjoyed taking is Carlson's Wild Norwegian Cod Liver Oil. It has a lemon flavor and is not at all fishy! To me, it tastes like lemon flavored coconut oil. Take it with a meal, and not on an empty stomach. 

Digestive Enzymes

If you love indulging, especially during the holidays, then digestive enzymes will be your new best friend. I take digestive enzymes after a large meal to help avoid digestive discomfort and heart burn. Papaya fruit will also help break down your food, but toting around a papaya is just not practical, so I swear by these babies when I am away from home. I prefer the chewable tablets from Country Life, and Trader Joe's carries a cost-effective version of papaya enzymes as well. 

Extras:

Boiron Homeopathics

I have been a huge fan of Boiron for years and years! This is a brand of natural, homeopathic medicines (meaning it works naturally with your body and there are little to no drug interactions)  that really deliver results. I keep a box of Cold Calm, Ocillocoxinum (for flu), Acidil (for indigestion), Arnicare (for aches and pains) and Sedalia (for anxiety) stocked in the medicine cabinet. You can find these at any Wholefoods, Sprouts and select drugstores in tab or pellet form.

I hope that you find this information helpful! I'd love to hear some of your tips for staying well during the holiday season!

xoxo

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Sandwiches



Oh crap. It's December!! Where did November go? Where did the entire year go?! I swear, this year has gone by in record time. Such a busy, busy whirlwind year. I hope 2019 slows down a bit. Anyway, I have come to realize that you cannot waste any time if you want to fit in all of the fun holiday things you want to do. It's only December 2nd, but I have already watched a plethora of cheesy holiday movies, picked up some nog, tried my first Health Aid Holiday Cheers Kombucha (so good btw!!), and whipped up these wholesome, Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Sandwiches!! Little Debbie, eat your heart out.


Ingredients:

Cookies:
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tahini (can sub other nut or seed butter)
3 tbsp organic molasses
1/4 cup vegan butter, softened (I used Miyokos)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp pink salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup almond flour (not almond meal)

Frosting:
1/2 can Miss Jones Vegan Vanilla Frosting
about 2 tbsp So Delicious Coconut Milk Holiday Nog

Chocolate for dipping:
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tsp coconut oil


Directions:

In a small bowl, stir 2.5 tbsp water into 1 tbsp ground flaxseed. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. In a large bowl, whisk softened butter and coconut sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in tahini, molasses and flax "egg" and mix until combined. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking soda and baking powder, and mix until combined. Add in the oat flour and almond flour and mix on low or fold in by hand. Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper, and use a tablespoon to scoop out little balls of dough (makes about 15 cookies). Flatten slightly with your hand, and transfer to the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

While the cookies cool, prep the frosting. In a small bowl, mix the vanilla frosting with the coconut milk nog. This helps make the frosting more work-able and adds extra holiday flavor. Set aside. When the cookies are completely cool, match them each up with a partner to create pairs. Dollop about a tablespoon of frosting in the middle of one cookie, then gently wiggle the other cookie on top to evenly distribute the frosting. Once all the cookies and frosting have been sandwiched, place them back in the freezer and prep your chocolate dip.

In a small bowl, melt the dark chocolate chips with coconut oil in 30 second increments in the micro. Stir until smooth. Remove the sandwiched cookies from the freezer, dip in chocolate, and place back on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Pop back in the freezer to firm up and enjoy!!

**If you want to keep this recipe refined sugar free, omit the frosting. These cookies are great on their own!! The tahini and molasses gives them a perfect chewy texture and caramel flavor.


Happy Holiday-ing!! xoxo





Friday, November 9, 2018

Delicata Squash Salad


Believe it or not, but this is my first time EVER eating delicata squash! I know, I know, I'm late to the game. I would be slightly embarrassed if I hadn't just made this ridiculously tasty salad to share with all of you... but I did... so I'm not :] It is super simple, healthy, and satisfying. It's also really pretty to look at, which doesn't hurt anything. You can make a huge salad to share (hello Thanksgiving dinner!), or just whip one up for yourself.

Ingredients:

2 delicata squash
About 2 tbsp. olive or avocado oil
Seasoning of your choice (I used a garlic herb seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste
Spinach or other super greens of choice
1 apple (I used honeycrisp)
1 cup raw cashews, toasted (walnuts are great, too!)
1 lemon
About 1/4 cup tahini
Rice wine vinegar


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice into little U-shaped wedges, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the delicata squash on the baking sheet and sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes (flipping them halfway through) or until they are golden brown. Remove from oven to cool slightly. Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently. Transfer into a dish to cool. Slice the apple. Arrange spinach on a serving plate, then top with delicata squash and apple. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top, then drizzle with tahini and a few splashes of rice wine vinegar. Top with toasted cashews and serve.


Happy Feasting!

xoxo


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Current Green Beauty Obsessions (& Why You Should "Go Green")



I have basically been making it my life's work, as of late, to get everyone in my family to make the switch to clean, green, natural and non-toxic beauty and skincare products. Obviously, proper nutrition is still #1 when it comes to maintaining a healthy complexion and overall wellness, but what you put on your skin can be just as important as what you are putting into your body. Our skin is our largest organ, and whatever you are putting on it (i.e. creams, serums, foundation, etc.) is being absorbed into your bloodstream. So... we are eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet, exercising regularly, self-caring and detoxing like crazy... and then slathering toxic products on our skin everyday?? It just doesn't make sense.

Now, I know that replacing your "tried & trues" can be scary and searching for new "holy grails" can be daunting. Then there is the question I'm sure many of you are asking, "do natural beauty and skincare products really work??" The answer is yes, and I am here to share some of my current favorites, and to convince you to come over to the green side.

To get started, here is a simple list of some of the first things that I look for on beauty and skincare product labels:

NO Parabens
NO Sulfates
NO Animal Testing
NON-Comedogenic 
Safe for sensitive skin

Next, I always check the ingredients of my products on the EWG Skin Deep website or Healthy Living App. The rating system lists the ingredients of a product and scores them on a toxicity scale of 0-10 (the lower the number, the better) ThinkDirty App is another good source to check your products. These sources break down the ingredient concerns and rate them from low to moderate to high. I always look for products with an overall score of 3 or less.

Below is an example of one of my current faves. W3ll People is an amazing green beauty brand with a fair price point (you can even find them at Target!). AND they are verified by the EWG, which means their products have reached their "strictest standards for your health".



Ok, so on to my list of current faves:

W3ll People Bio Brightener Invisible Powder ($21.99) EWG Verified! - My BFF turned me on to this stuff (she's a hair and makeup artist) and it is AMAZING. I've never really been much of a powder girl before trying this stuff and now I'm hooked! It's the softest powder everrr. I have dry skin, and this is the only powder I have ever been able to successfully use to set my undereye concealer, without accentuating any fine lines. I also use it on my t-zone where I tend to get a bit oily throughout the day. It has a very subtle iridescence to it that brightens you up without looking sparkly.

W3ll People Nudist Multi-Use Color Duo ($24.99) EWG Verified! - I love me some multi-use products. Cream blush is my absolute favorite for that dewy, youthful flush. The color pay-off is also amazing. They are super blend-able and just sink into your skin. I love that the colors can be used alone or together and can double as lip and eye color too!

Cocokind Skincare Organic Chlorophyll Mask ($19) - First of all... the ingredient list!! Only 4 ingredients that are basically food-grade (meaning you could probably eat it). Second... it's so good. My skin LOVES this mask. It's sort of like a clay mask (powder form, and you add water), but it doesn't harden and crack like a clay mask. It dries down nicely, is easy to remove with water and leaves your skin feeling purified, but not dry and tight. It smells really good and I feel like I'm feeding my skin wonderful things every time I use it.

Cocokind Skincare Mai-Light Maitake Rose Highlight  ($12) - Anything Rose Gold... you've got my attention. This is my favorite highlighter to date! The color is on point, adds a subtle, natural-looking glow, AND it's packed with skin-loving ingredients including mango seed butter and maitake mushroom powder. It's gorgeous. I love it.

Native Deodorant ($12) Rated 1 by EWG - Holy moly, these deo's smell so good AND they work! If I'm having a particularly active day, sometimes I re-apply... but that is NBD to me, especially considering the fact that they are non-toxic and rated 1 by EWG. My current favorite scent is Apricot & White Peach (heavenly. not even an exaggeration). It's a seasonal scent, so it isn't available at the moment, however Coconut Vanilla, Cucumber Mint and Lavender Rose are available year round. If you aren't into scents, they also have an unscented version! They also have "guy" scents which also smell amazing.

Hynt Beauty DUET Perfecting Concealer ($24) Rated 2 by EWG - First impression: wow. This concealer is definitely a "holy grail" product for me. I am always on the hunt for the "perfect undereye concealer" so this is a big deal to me. It is creamy, slightly dewy and perfect for the under-eye area. I've been really impressed with how well it covers up the darkness under my eyes (my main beauty concern). It is light, but buildable and it stays in place. Very minimal creasing if any on most days. A little goes a very long way, which is also really impressive. I ordered a sample size (I love this company for offering sample sizes), and I've been using it for around a month (!) and I even use it to even out my skin on other areas of my face!(!!) I will definitely be ordering the full-size.

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($26) - Like concealer, I am always on the hunt for the perfect undereye cream. To say I feel like I've basically tried them all (from drugstore to high-end) would be an understatement...but then I found this. So far, it has been living up to it's reputation to depuff, moisturize and brighten without irritation to the delicate undereye. Did I mention that it smells incredible?! At first, the scent put me off (usually scented products irritate my eyes), but the scent comes from natural coffee bean and vanilla. I don't drink coffee or consume caffeine as a general rule, but my peepers sure do look forward to this treat every morning! (P.S. it wears very well under makeup!)

Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser ($15.99) Rated 1 by EWG - I've talked about this cleanser and this amazing skincare brand before in this post, and I continue to be amazed by it. This cleanser is so good. It gently, but effectively removes makeup, leaving my skin feeling soft and not stripped of its natural oils. I even rub the cleanser directly onto my eyes to remove mascara and it doesn't sting! The price really can't be beat for the quality and effectiveness. It even comes in a glass pump bottle! I love it, and expect to be singing its praises for many moons to come.

So there you have it! My current favorite Green Beauty obsessions! What do you think? Are you interested in trying any of these products, or making the transition into clean, green and non-toxic beauty?

xoxo


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Raw Superfood Donut Holes (Vegan!)



My well loved, lil' ol' oven has been on the fritz lately, so I haven't been able to do much baking. I guess it's just as well because it's been too hot to enjoy baking anyway. Buuuut, I HAD to make something because I need my treats (y'all know). I decided to make a healthy, wholesome version of what may be the most fun baked good ever: donut holes!

The traditional donut hole is baked or fried, and laden with refined sugar and white flour. This version is refined sugar free, flourless, nutrient dense and still super satisfying in both texture and taste. I've been snacking on these for days and they are SO GOOD.

What more could you ask for? Oh yeah. The recipe...

Raw Superfood Donut Holes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds (can sub other nut of choice)
  • 10 dates, pitted & room temperature
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. flax seeds
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 1 cup raw almond butter (I used Trader Joe's) or other nut butter of choice
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp. pure maple 
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can sub non dairy milk of choice)

Combine the raw almonds and dates in a food processor. Pulse or blend on low until it starts to get crumbly. Add in the hemp seeds, chia, sesame, flax and maca powder. Pulse to combine. Add in the raw almond butter, cacao powder, maple and almond milk. Process on low until mixed, and then on high to make sure any large chunks are broken down and the mixture is mostly smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the bowl a few times because the mixture is quite sticky. 
Transfer the "dough" into a large bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll them in your hands to make little balls. You can roll the balls in coconut, cacao powder and/or cacao glaze if desired. Refrigerate 30 min to an hour and then transfer them into an airtight container. Store in the fridge and enjoy!


**I REALLY recommend the cacao glaze. They're all good, but those are my favorite!

I didn't measure the ingredients for the cacao glaze, but it is pretty simple to make. Here's what I did:
In a small bowl, combine about 1 tbsp. cacao powder, 1 tbsp. pure maple and 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil. Stir or whisk to combine. Dip donut holes in the glaze, and place on parchment paper. Refrigerate until set.



xoxo Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Long, Healthy Hair Routine (& Tips!)



I've been getting some questions about my hair lately (it's the longest it has been in a while, maybe even ever...?). I've liked having long hair all my life, but this is probably the best I have ever felt about my hair.  I've always received kind compliments about the same qualities that make me mad at my hair (haha): My hair is very straight, very soft and very fine. However, I have always wanted thick, wavy hair. I've had this conversation with ladies so many times: they want my hair, and I want theirs! Lately though, I have really been embracing my hair type and giving it the support it needs to be the best it can be, instead of trying to fight it.

Although I have fine, straight hair (oily roots, dry ends)… the tips and tricks I am sharing here would be great for the health of pretty much all hair types. Sort of like "Hair Care 101".
So let's jump right in with a quick list of healthy hair commandments:

  • Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods
  • Don't over-process your hair (be gentle!)
  • Stay away from heat styling as much as possible
  • Care for your scalp
  • No sulfates, parabens, silicones 
  • Find the right shampoo/conditioner
  • Wood bristle brushes are your friend
  • Protect your hair (like an investment!)

You want to grow long, healthy hair? Continue reading.

If you just want to see a list of the products I currently use and love, scroll to the bottom 



1. EAT LIKE YOU MEAN IT. 

This is the first commandment in the book of healthy hair. Think of the condition of your hair as an outward indication of inner health. Your hair needs Protein (it is essentially made of protein), vitamins and minerals. If you are not consuming enough protein, your hair is more likely to become brittle and weak. Protein sources: lean meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts/legumes. Iron is an essential mineral for full hair. I love to stuff my face with all the leafy greens. Spinach is my #1. I add it to smoothies, eggs, beans, sandwiches, salads, etc., etc. Vitamin C is a key player on Team Iron Absorption and boosts your collagen production which will help strengthen your hair. I eat lots of berries, citrus fruits, broccoli and my beloved sweet potatoes (aka the real MVP). Your hair and scalp health need the support of Omega 3 fattys to keep your tresses hydrated. I love avocado and salmon, but you can also snack on some walnuts and supplement some cod liver oil. I would make cod liver oil my last resort because it is not a treat by any means.

These are my four nutrition-based must-haves for hair health. 

(For more info on check out this link: Good Food)

2. Treat your hair like you treat your friends (this only applies if you're a good friend)
Your relationship with your hair is important to its overall health. If you are always beating it up and treating it like crap, it's going to leave you in the dust. Literally. It will break off just to get away from you. So be nice. Don't overprocess your hair, especially if it is fine like mine. In highschool, I used to use a drugstore lightening treatment on my hair (smh) at least once a month. Now I get Baylage highlights done professionally (shoutout to Nicole at Mane!!) maybe twice a year and I get trims in between.

3. Break up with your hot tools (or save them for special occasions)
I've never been big on curling irons or hair dryers, and I definitely don't need a straightener, so maybe this is easier said than done for some. However, applying high heat directly to your strands damages them. That's the truth and there's no way around that. I let my hair air dry as a rule (also I'm always running late so this will happen regardless), and I only curl my hair a handful of times a year. When I do, I use the lowest heat and I like to apply a heat protecting product.


4. Scalp care/health
If you don't have a healthy, happy, balanced scalp, you are not going to have healthy, happy hair. Period. If you slather masks, serums, lotions and potions on your face (or at least I do), but neglect your scalp it just doesn't make sense. I love the Innate Life Scalp Treatment and Fig & Yarrow Hair and Scalp Serum. I give my scalp a full pamper session before each wash by applying a scalp treatment or oil the night before and work it in with a scalp massage. Scalp massage really helps with circulation and promotes hair growth (it also feels real nice). I like to let my scalp and hair absorb the treatment overnight, and I follow up with a good washing and conditioning. Once in a while, I will also do an apple cider vinegar rinse in between washes (1 part ACV to 3 parts water). This will help remove buildup, balance your scalp PH and make your hair shiny.

5. Avoid sulfates, parabens, silicones and heavy synthetic fragrances like the plague 
Late last year, I started to make the switch to natural, non-toxic hair products. I have sensitive skin, and my scalp is no exception. It's a very delicate balance. If a shampoo and/or conditioner is too harsh, my scalp will itch like crazy. The same goes for a shampoo and/or conditioner that is full of crappy ingredients. Finding the right natural shampoo/conditioner can be daunting/exhausting/frustrating at first, but when you find the one it is so worth it. You will never go back to other shampoos/conditioners. When you first make the switch, your hair and scalp will need a little time to adjust. It might seem a little to greasy or a little too drying at first, but once your hair is "detoxed" it will feel better than ever. 

6. Mixing & Matching Shampoo/Conditioner 
One of the most hair-life changing discoveries I have made is using a different shampoo and conditioner for my scalp and for the length of my hair. I use a volumizing, balancing shampoo and conditioner for my scalp, and a moisturizing conditioner for the lengths of my hair where it tends to be more dry. I don't even wash the ends of my hair unless I've used a styling product or it somehow got really icky.


7. Three words: Wood. Bristle. Brushes.
Wood bristle brushes help to distribute your hairs natural oils from the scalp down the hair shaft. This will help to keep drier ends moisturized and as a bonus your scalp will stay less greasy for longer in between washes. Plastic bristle brushes only strip your hair of its natural oils, and nobody wants that.
I purchased mine from Whole Foods and Sprouts. Both were under $20.

8. Protective hair styles
I always sleep with my hair in a loose braid or braids. If you have long hair, this will help to keep it from becoming a tangled mess while you sleep. A tangled mess = breakage.


Hair products I currently use and love:

ACURE Organics Peppermint & Echinacea Shampoo
ACURE Organics Peppermint & Echinacea Conditioner
Nature's Gate Dry Hair Conditioner
Fig + Yarrow Hair & Scalp Tonic
Innate Life Scalp Treatment
Spa Sister Wood Bristle Brush
Bass Bamboo Bristle Brush
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Trader Joe's or Braggs)
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Trader Joe's cold pressed/unrefined)