i answer google search terms that brought people to my blog – PT 2

 

welcome back! 🙂 

here we are again, almost exactly 1 year later (ha…), reviewing my blog stats and getting to read what people searched to wind up on this site.

Screenshot_20200613_172326

black walnut hair dye 

this was by far the most searched term that drove organic views to this site in the last year. yes, i have dyed my hair with black walnuts, and yes, it actually works. here’s the original post from 7 years ago (wow). 

norwex cloths

among the phrases in this search term were things like “home cleaning” and “private parts”…. when i first used norwex cloths in 2013, it was because a rep provided them to me to review. i ended loving them so much that i purchased a pack with my own money. those washcloths are still in my bathroom to this day, lovingly being used and in great shape. highly recommend! 

dragon’s blood

dragon what? what blood? good ol croton lechleri sap is fantastic for skin-support. i first wrote about it here, but it’s now found in countless green beauty products. and guys – it can be used undiluted on skin as a liquid bandaid. super cool!

msm face mask

methylsulfonylmethane (msm) is a sulfur compound that is great both externally and internally. if you want to learn more and try it in an exfoliating mask, try this post. if you want to combine it with anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric, try this post. and if you want something moisturizing and skin-softening, try this post. happy mixing!

hydrojelly face mask 

hydro-gel face masks have become my favorite, since i live in a high-altitude, dry, polluted city. think: 100% Pure but make it DIY. they’re easy to customize and easy to make, making them a fun diy tailored for your skin needs. the coolest part is they come right off with no scrubbing and no mess. i usually make/use these every other week. here’s a post

water-only washing 

while i personally can’t follow this method anymore, because i live in a high-altitude, dry, and polluted city, i think it’s a fantastic option for those that can. it’s exactly what it sounds like, and no, you won’t end up stinking. my hair ended up shinier and softer than ever, and could actually hold a curl. here’s a post on w.o.w. for hair and one for body

(product name) dupe

i do have a formulation educational series on this blog, which took inspiration from actual green beauty products on the market. while no companies or product names are used, it’s a nice series on learning to read ingredient labels and understand how that translates into a formula. it’s also a nice starting point for those wanting to get into diys, but don’t know where to start. here’s the full series. there’s lot of good info in those posts, if i do say so myself!

===

anything else you’re curious about? maybe we’ll have part 3 in another year 😉

XO, ALEXRAYE

guest post: annie from wild moon holistic (#1)

hi crunchies!

today i’m so super excited to have annie on the AE blog! she is a real life, super educated, Certified Clinical Master Herbalist, CCMH™ , Certified Clinical Master Aromatherapist, CCMA™ , aaaaand Certified Nutrition Consultant, CNC™

you can find her blog here and her instagram here

please show her love by following her on both platforms and leaving comments. 

welcome, annie! 

xo, alexraye

***

annie

Hi

My name is Ann Gomez and I am the Herbalist behind Wild Moon Holistic.

While the amazing and talented Alex is off to school, she asked me to pop in from time to time and say hello, share some fun topics,  maybe post a few of my favorite DIY recipes and basically honored me with a few “guest spots” on her blog that I have loved and admired for years.

I think I met Alex (via her blog) gosh in 2013 maybe.  It has been a while.  Back in the day, when I was on my OWN green body care journey. Before I went to school, before I had any idea what to do with an essential oil and long before I realized going product free while reducing the toxic chemical load to my body and environment, would become my life.

Alex always has great articles on low “poo” to no “poo” how to’s that I devoured because at the time I was having a lot of fun playing with RED HAIR, redhairwithpurplechunks

My hairstylist warned me to find shampoos that were sulfate-free.  Back then sulfate-free was NOT a buzz word on bottles of Poo.  You had to spend a lot of money from beauty supply stores to get some (which I did once or twice) and immediately knew I was NOT going to keep that up, northeredhair.

Once I began reading labels that ultimately led me to less-poo to co-washing to no-poo.

Now as an herbalist I wash my hair with tea.  Once I saw and had a better understanding about a few ingredients on those freakishly incomprehensible labels, I became insatiable to learn about all the others.

mixed petals

During my time in school for my herbalist certifications I learned just how many petrol-chemicals we are exposed too, ones we have no control over and all the ones we do.  Then I remembered the lovely Alex here at Almost Exactly Blog.

I had long before herb school gone no poo and was pretty much off the product train except for maybe a few makeup things I still purchased, but very seriously off the grid.

Even my classmates were intrigued by this crazy lady who made all the things herself.

During school I wasn’t contemplating making products to sell once school was over despite everyone trying to push me in that direction.  All I knew back then (2015) was I had found a school that could educate me in the one area that I never knew I could get an education in;  herbology.

18 months later I graduated with two certifications.  One as a Certified Nutrition Consultant, CNC™, and the other as a Certified Clinical Master Herbalist, CCMH™ and with no clue what to do next.  I was more scared than before I started.  There were so many things to consider in being a therapist. I ran for the hills but continued to get educated.  I had this amazing education and I was determined to do something with it.

I already have a full time life being a single Mom and a fuller-than-full-time job in public service in the water and wastewater industry.  I work with engineers all day and the public. Behind the scenes I show people who will listen how plants can help you heal, be made into medicine and how to improve their health and food choices.

I am the office Shaman. 

green bowl petals.jpg

But there was still all those classes and even segments on pollution, radiation, and those frightening petrol-chemicals that always stuck in my head.

I made my family tinctures and salves, teas and started Wild Moon Holistic on Instagram; My future, one day, dream business place holder.  I love herbs and plants and nature and all that it encompasses, but I had no real business experience, nor any idea how to proceed.

During that time essential oils became my new fascination.  I read all I could, bought every book I could find and devoured them.

One year later I was browsing my school’s website and about fell out of my chair when I saw that they had added a certification for an Aromatherapist.

I called that day and enrolled.

yes I did.

6 months later I had a third certification as a Certified Clinical Master Aromatherapist, CCMA™.

Included in my packet of tests and final projects, graded and returned, along with my diploma, was a note from the director, that if I took just 5 more classes I would meet all the requirements for the HHP program “Holistic Health Practitioner” to become a therapist.

Now mind you I already have 3 full certifications, and on their own it was enough to do all I could ever want to do.

That said, I am addicted to personal growth and included in those last 5 classes were business and marketing.  You can guess what I did next I bet.

YUP, I signed back up to finish, 2 months later.

That is where I am at now; back in school, while I am still advancing at my day job.

lady is busy.

What I have now that I didn’t when I finished my herbalist program is clarity.

Clarity, confidence in my goals, in my path and finally a drive to put it all together.

I know reducing those chemicals is a big drive, as is simplicity.  I make my own everything, even our family’s cleaning supplies.

rosepetals.jpg

I started making simple makeup out of plants and flowers.  I started an urban farm in my front yard. I manage a community garden at my job.  Not only do I love using herbs and plants to keep us all healthy and vibrant, I like to grow my own organic plants and vegetables, and flowers. 

someday I want my keep bees, and maybe a few chickens.

Wild Moon Holistic was born out of a love of nature, gardening and a bigger love to share and teach.

I am so glad to be here and meet all of you here on Alex’s blog.

Now that you have a wee bit of background from me, let me know if you have any questions, comments, ideas for me to write about, hit me up on the comments.

I can help with anything from body care and beauty, to therapeutic help, and gosh if you want to learn how to knit or spin yarn, we can do that too.  Want to cook a fabulous and body nourishing meal? sure!  Lets dig in.

I am a photographer with a love for anything Macro.  I love to devour a good classic novel, and all things parenting are of top concern to me and if I can get my picky eater to try a mushroom I bet you can get yours to try one too (or sneak it in a muffin) kidding… kinda.

Its so very nice to meet all of you here at Almost Exactly Blog and a humongous hug to Alex for honoring me with a guest speaker post here.

~Annie

 

***

you can find her blog here and her instagram here

 

lightweight luxe body and hair oil (d.i.y.)

i’m a firm believer that you can d.i.y. beauty products for results that rival high-end quality products.  this d.i.y. is a perfect example of that — simple, stunning, body and hair care magic right here.

this is a very lightweight body AND hair oil, made with fatty and hydrating, yet extremely fast-absorbing oils. the recipe is intended for a 3 ounce bottle, but can be tailored to any amount you desire.

3 base ingredients. 10 minutes of your time. silky smooth skin and hair to follow.

IMG_20171229_140852.png

this blend is exactly what’s currently in my bathroom for my post-shower body oil. i’ve added rose, jasmine, and lavender EOs for a soft floral scent that lingers for hours.

while this oil is intended for use post-shower on wet skin, it will still absorb quickly into dry skin.

keep in mind that buying in bulk can be cheaper, and you can make more body/hair oil, or anything else you want with what’s leftover. this recipe is definitely on the splurge end, but is cheaper than buying a really nice quality body oil over time, and you can control precisely what’s in it.

what you need:

  • 100 mL pump bottle
  • organic chia seed oil
  • chia seed co2 extract
  • marula oil

how-to (my favorite blend):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed co2 extract
  • 1 ounce marula oil
  • 0.5 ounce chia seed oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

how-to (saves a little money):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed oil
  • 1 ounce chia seed co2 extract
  • 0.5 ounce marula oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

where to purchase (no affiliates whatsoever – just what i use):

if you try this recipe, please share your experience below.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE D.I.Y. BODY/HAIR OIL BLEND?

XO, ALEXRAYE

*please do not take this recipe and sell it – i made it up in my own little brain and that would just be rude. spread the crunchy love and link back/credit where it is due. love!

magical moringa (& life update)

hello, crunchies!

long time no see. or no talk… or type… you know what i mean.

if you’re wondering why i dipped again — i moved to mexico city! yes! and coolest of all, i’ll be here for two years with my company. if you have any tips about the city or surrounding areas, like where to source ingredients or where the best vegan-friendly food spots are, let a girl know!

also – should i start vlogging? i’m not sure if that would interest this little community more than just blog posts. please chime in with your thoughts! either way, i hope to post way more regularly as my life settles back down and i get into my new routine. anywho, now to our regularly scheduled post… magical moringa.

sourcing ingredients here in mexico city has been a bit more difficult than in the U.S., where everything seems readily available, comparatively. my other half has been on a moringa binge, using it for everything from a supplement to skin food.

you can imagine my excitement when i found moringa de polvo (powder) on the shelves at our local health food store. (they also had delicious vegan cheeses in lots of flavors, so i’ll let you bet on which i was most excited about.)

what is moringa?

Related image
taken from MindBodyGreen

 

moringa, or moringa oleifera, is a really cool health plant boasting many benefits and uses, that’s native to North India.

its leaves, where the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals are contained, are said to be great for nutrition, immunity boosting, energy boosting, and its curative properties. most notably, it’s a really great source of vitamin c, vitamin b6, iron, protein, vitamin e, and magnesium. it’s also a potent source of antioxidants and is great for anti-inflammation.  we’re talking matcha-rivaling levels, people… plus extra skin-loving vitamins.

how can you use it?

you can take the leaves as a supplement, tea, or apply externally for various ailments or skin boosts. please consult your healthcare professional before supplementing and/or consuming.

no matter how you use it, please source organic leaves only, as moringa is often sourced from developing countries with poorer water quality and where quality control is typically not as stringent.

my favorite use:

IMG_20170904_121548.png

about 15 to 20 minutes before my shower, i let a spoonful of moringa sit and soak up 2 to 3 spoonfuls of water. using a shot glass has been the perfect small container for this. side note – you can use hydrosols in place of water. hello again, rose water! i’ve been using bottled water down here due to poor water quality.

while in the steamy shower, i gently rub the moringa all over my face and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. i massage any leftovers i have into my scalp. after letting your skin soak up the goodness, wash off to reveal super soft and glowing skin. we’re talking baby butt soft. and not to mention – it won’t strip your face of natural oils or leave it super seco (dry). it does smell like mushy spinach though, so prepare yourself.

*give your face a gentle wipe with a dark towel or washcloth as you dry off, to ensure the green tint doesn’t stain your sheets or clothes later on.

have you ever tried moringa in any form? please share your stories and tips with our crunchy community below. 

hippie heart black sig 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

advice on beginning a “crunchy” life

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

the crunchy world is FULL of options, ingredients, potions, alternatives, and other weird things. it’s really easy to get overwhelmed!

i remember when i first started. i first learned about all the junk in shampoos and conditioners, and it morphed into an obsession about eliminating as many toxins as i could, whether that be beauty products or food. i felt like an electronic hoarder of information. i soaked up everything i could and created roughly 937 folders to hold all my internet bookmarks. i think i was throwing away more products every day, and making more of my “hippie” concoctions every day for weeks, until my apartment was an official crunchy zone.

there was so much to learn and so much to do to change in my life! and i chose to deep dive into the crunchy world. 

with all this crunchy knowledge everywhere and so many different opinions on natural alternatives, where do you begin?

HOW do you begin?? and how do you begin without breaking the bank?

i tried googling the ever-lovin-life outta this stuff to make sure i wasn’t simply re-writing what others have already said. but for the life of me, i couldn’t find a post or article dedicated to crunchy living tips. so here goes! hopefully this post will help someone, somewhere.

advice for starting your crunchy life

tip 1

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH
    i can’t stress this enough! there are SO many natural alternatives out there that you’ll need to sift through countless ideas to find what works for you. research the available options, research ingredients, research companies, research oils/clays/soaps, etc. don’t ever stop learning! and not just the products or ingredients, but in the crunchy world, pretty much everything has multiple uses. for example, honey. honey can be used in food, tea, hair, on skin, as face wash, etc.
    you’ll get addicted to learning this stuff sooner or later 😉

tip 2

  • TAKE BABY STEPS (… OR DON’T.)
    just because you’re switching over doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away and start completely from scratch (although you most certainly can!!). don’t overwhelm yourself! if you get too overwhelmed, it’ll be ‘easier’ to become more unmotivated to stick with the transition. you’re putting yourself through a lifestyle change. give it time! try to have patience. start with the basics. here are my suggestions for the basics, and of course other people have other basics! save money by not buying eeeeverything all at once.  give yourself time to learn as much as you can about each category of options before you switch.

tip 3

  • FIND A CRUNCHY COMMUNITY TO INTERACT WITH
    finding a source of support is so very important. keep in mind you’re making a complete lifestyle change and there ARE like-minded people out there doing the same. we all have frustrations, we all have those “aha!” moments when things work beautifully, and we all have questions! don’t ever ever ever hesitate to reach out. this whole crunchy world is full of people that have “been there, done that” and it’s a tremendous source of crunchy wisdom. learn from others and help others! i think supporting each other in this journey is so important! we’re a cool bunch of people, ya know 😉 what other group of strangers will talk openly about their armpits with you just to save you from stinking?
    the motivation, support, and IDEAS you’ll receive from others will be outstanding!

tip 4

  • STAY OPEN-MINDED
    you’ll more than likely come across concepts and uses for things you’ve never heard of before. for example, now i only use water to wash my hair and body. only water! if i could meet myself a few years ago, i probably would think i’m off my rocker! concepts like eating clay and brushing your teeth with charcoal will become commonplace. you just gotta keep an open mind and have a little faith in letting your body take care of itself with the help of natural alternatives. and also keep in mind that just because one thing doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean that nothing will work for you. some people can’t do no-poo, but love clay shampoos. some people can’t use clay shampoos, but love water-only. it just takes time and patience!
    and even after you find something that works, you may find that after some time your routine will need to change. what works for you now won’t necessarily work for you in a few months. that’s not a bad thing; just your body adjusting! and that’s exciting!

tip 5

  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
    at the heart of it all, no one knows your body as well as YOU; your routine will change (what works for you now won’t necessarily work for you in a few months).
    you will learn things about your body as the time goes on. you will understand the concept of “listening to your hair and what it wants.” it sounds crazy, but when you get there, you’ll know. there’s a great feeling that comes with knowing exactly what your body/hair/etc can and can’t deal with or does/doesn’t like. your whole beauty routine will be wholly tailored to fit your every need. and every single person is different… i think that’s the coolest thing in the world! we have tons to learn from each other!

tip 6

  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO DIY
    i don’t think it’s possible to be crunchy and not DIY at least ONE thing you use. don’t be afraid to mix things or experiment. that’s actually more than half of the fun of being crunchy! it’s like you get to play mad scientist. and once you get the hang of “easier” DIY products, you’ll move on to more “complex” ones. and then you’ll really amaze yourself at how self-sufficient you are.
    you’ll know exactly what’s in your products. you’ll be able to tailor everything to meet your specific needs (and those of loved ones). and lastly, you’ll save money! this ties into doing research and keeping an open mind. don’t be afraid to make your own toothpaste. don’t be afraid to make your own body wash. if it’s wrong, tweak the recipe. cuz lemme tell ya… it’s a great feeling knowing you’re capable of making your own products!

tip 7

  • BUY INGREDIENTS IN LARGER QUANTITIES
    and also shop around for the best prices and the best quality! you’ll save a ton of money doing this (not to mention the money you’ll already be saving from not buying conventional products). and once you start learning more about all the various uses for things, it’ll be easier to make little batches to test things out and figure out if it works for you or not (when your body tells you it needs a change). when you have bulk ingredients on standby, tweaking recipes is easy! and you could always help out those friends and family members that aren’t too sure about switching yet. i always put together little mixes for my loved ones to try out first. no sense in making someone buy products they won’t use, right? i wanted my mom to try the OCM, so i had her use my argan oil a couple times to see how she liked it. she did, and i made sure to buy her a bottle as soon as i could! i think it all ties right back into being supportive for everyone in the crunchy community 🙂 and if you have someone nearby, you can save even more money by buying in bulk and splitting the cost/product with them. nothing will go to waste and your wallet will thank you!

tip 8

  • DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET “DIRTY”
    you’ll more than likely get greasy. you’ll more than likely stink for a bit. you’ll more than likely be in a total funk for awhile. can’t sugar coat that, babe. but i can honestly tell you that it gets better! the transition period is weird for almost everyone. seriously, have you SEEN my transition pictures? pure grease right there, baby cakes.
    and plus, i don’t think anyone in the crunchy community would flinch at you saying, “hey, my armpits really reek. any ideas to help?”
    we’re all in this weirdness together and people will jump at the opportunity to flaunt what they’ve created to solve that problem for them!

tip 9

  • DON’T LET OTHERS DISCOURAGE YOU
    when you’re going through such a big transition and it’s completely foreign to you, it’s easy to let others’ opinions get to you. it’s understandable! think about it… you’re essentially abandoning taking care of your body in the only way you’ve ever known how. it’s really tough!
    i’ve heard it all… “are you crazy?”, “don’t you stink?!”, “you’re disgusting!”, etc… i even had one person leave an entire paragraph on this very blog outlining all the ways i disgusted them. truly! so let me tell you somethin, AE readers: don’t let others’ personal health care choices and/or lack of knowledge discourage you from becoming a healthier you and a more educated consumer! remember WHY you’re doing this. i’m not saying the journey is easy, but it IS worth it!

tip 10

  • BE PROUD
    be proud of yourself. seriously. you’re putting yourself through a complete lifestyle change and you’re going against the socially acceptable norm. the road can get tough! how many people do you think have the drive to completely abandon the only ways they’ve ever known how to care for their bodies after 20/30/40/50 years? YOU, my friend… YOU ❤ so pat yourself on the back, and pamper yourself with a coconut oil scrub foot massage and a honey & clay face mask. you deserve it.

what other crunchy advice can YOU offer others? 
how have you dealt with negative comments about your natural lifestyle (if you have had to)?

hippie stamp Sig

myths about going “all-natural”

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

now that i’ve officially had AE for a year and a half, i feel like i should address some of the off-the-wall comments and questions i’ve heard since i decided to go all-natural.

some have made me laugh, some have really offended me,  but NONE have deterred me from becoming the healthiest person i can be and a more educated consumer. 🙂

i hope this posts helps someone feel the same!

shedding light on all-natural myths

MYTH 1

  • GOING ALL-NATURAL DOESN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE
    …or it won’t be as good as the conventional stuff.
    going all-natural DOES make a difference. you’re very literally NOT putting toxins into your body anymore, like those found in lotions, shampoos, body wash, deodorants, makeup, etc. your skin and scalp will be in better condition. heck, you might even find out that problems you’ve been trying to fix were Caused by an ingredient or two in your previous products. and wanna know something disgusting? SLS (as found in bubbly products) has been found in brain, eye and liver tissues of cadavers of people who quit using sulfates as many as fifteen years prior to death. nooooo thanks.
    and what’s all this business about how crunchy products aren’t as good as conventional ones? there are countless amounts of people all around the world that will vouch for the effectiveness of homemade products over conventionally sold ones. for me personally, my acne has died down and my hair no longer has split ends. and you know what i use? water! *gasp!* 😉

MYTH 2

  • YOU “NEED” CONVENTIONAL PRODUCTS
    recently, i had a “licensed cosmetologist” tell me my hair literally needed expensive shampoos like john frieda because it’s like medicine for hair. she told me “i’m sure you take medicine when you’re sick, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your hair?”
    honestly, my first reaction was to laugh.
    so let’s clear this up… you do NOT “need” conventional beauty products. you don’t… as in do NOT. i would love for someone to explain why my hair needs to be coated in silicones or why my scalp needs SLS bubbles or why my armpits need dove deodorant. haha. your body knows how to take care of itself (given everyone is different and various health conditions exist). barring lifestyle and health conditions, your hair doesn’t need to washed with john frieda at all, let alone every day. i’ve been washing my hair with ONLY water for months now (and threw away all my hair products almost 2 years ago) and my hair is in the best condition it’s ever been in. oh, AND forgot to mention- the water-only washes only happen every week or so 😉 myth debunked.

MYTH 3

  • YOU WON’T BE CLEAN/YOU’LL STINK/ETC.
    are we talking for the initial transition period? cuz oh heck yea, baby! anyone who’s familiar with my journey to the ROM knows i let my grease flag fly! but that’s completely temporary. if you’re talking about the crunchy lifestyle in general, you couldn’t be farther from the truth! my armpits actually stink LESS! 🙂 it’s freakin magical. and i’m not even kidding. i was quite the stinky gal when i accidentally forgot to put deo on before my transition. and now when i forget, it’s kind of like “oh well. hopefully i’ll remember tomorrow” because i don’t stink (at least no one’s said otherwise…haha!). and yes, us crunchy people are clean. probably more clean actually. i think we have a great understanding of what exactly works for our bodies and what doesn’t, and we have a great understanding of how to tailor everything to fit our needs.
    i’m aware there are those few souls that…hmm… forgo hygiene? how do i word that?? but there are people i know that use conventional products and have way worse hygiene than me. your hygiene level doesn’t correlate with what type of product you’re using (well, unless you’re trying to wash your body with “mud” (read: clay). oh, just kidding, because that’s actually great for it!)

MYTH 4

  • YOU “CAN’T” WEAR MAKE-UP/DO YOUR HAIR/ETC.
    i’ve had various people over time assert that i can’t be crunchy AND style my hair or put make-up on because what i’d be using would be full of the ingredients i regularly avoid in other beauty products.
    ahem… *gasp!* lipstick! whaaat?
    20130219_112357-1
    but really though, all make-up isn’t “bad.” there are lots of natural make-up companies out there that display their ingredients lists proudly! check out these products as a place to start! they take some getting used to (your lipstick won’t be on your lips for 36 hours and your mascara won’t stay on while you swim), but it’s worth it for your health!
    nail polish is still my weakness (shh, don’t tell!). but if you wanna paint your nails, you can opt for “safer” options, like these.

MYTH 5

  • ALL “ALL-NATURAL” PRODUCTS ARE OKAY
    sadly, this just isn’t true. in many, many cases, products that are marked or marketed as all-natural really AREN’T. lush isn’t. organix isn’t. wen isn’t. bare minerals isn’t. you have to do your research on the specific products (which is another reason i’m a huge fan of DIY’ing!).
    but the good news is there are TONS of companies out there (lots of them are family owned or a smaller organization) that firmly believe in safe, non-toxic products.
    it just comes down to whether or not we as consumers can cut through the marketing fog to see what’s really in the products we’re using!

what are some things people have told you that you corrected or wanted to correct?

hippie stamp Sig

uncle harry’s – product review!

when a reader asked about uncle harry’s products, they immediately caught my eye. they claimed their shampoo contained a mix of apple cider vinegar AND castile soap. in the same bottle. mixed… hold up!

castile soap is nothing but saponified oils… vinegar UNsaponifies these, taking away the cleaning power, and making it look curdled. so naturally, i was so confused.

i emailed them inquiring about the mix and wondered if there was any curdling going on. the reps quickly got back to me, assured there was no curdling AND offered to send me samples.

YES please, of course!!! and they sent me a really nice package of samples! i was pleasantly surprised! i got to try their soapless wash, their shampoo, and their hair oil. hence this product review! and as always, my reviews are ALWAYS honest, at all expenses 🙂

uncle harrys

about uncle harry’s:

taken from their website “Uncle Harry’s Natural Products is a family run adventure in innovation, dedicated to making earth-friendly products at people-friendly prices. We are extremely proud to offer some of the cleanest and most affordable body care products available. All of our formulations are hand-made using only the finest quality botanicals, including local, organic, and sustainable raw materials… For the past 20 years we have built a reputation for integrity and outstanding value, while maintaining our roots in family, traditional healing, and Earth-consciousness.”

and now…. the products!!

soapless shampoo:

remember the soap nuts i mentioned briefly awhile back for use in no-poo alternatives? well, here’s a soapless shampoo that has them! cool, huh?

i tried this product on the ends of my hair to not upset my water-only routine. it wasn’t drying on my hair at all!

and the 2 best parts – it can be used in hard water (YAY!), and it can double as your body wash!

ingredients: soap nut powder (sapindus mukorossi), reverse osmosis water, grapefruit seed extract, essential oils of eucalyptus, orange, rosemary, and tea tree

shampoo (both aromatherapy and organic):

as with the soapless shampoo, i tried these on the ends of my hair. they lathered up nicely for an organic shampoo and smelled very hippie-like (not in a bad way, haha). i’m strictly a floral scented person, but they weren’t bad!! i did like the lavender aromatherapy shampoo smell. and the smell didn’t linger in my hair barely at all after it was dry.

i didn’t notice a film on my hair after using it (as expected from the vinegar/castile mix), and am still very perplexed about this…. must be magic.  i also didn’t get to try this in hard water, but i will very safely assume it will leave a film on your hair if you have hard water (because it’s a castile soap). if you have hard water, go for the soapless shampoo  🙂

as with the soapless shampoo, you can definitely use this shampoo as a body wash!!

ingredients: organic african black soap, organic castile soap, organic apple cider vinegar, reverse osmosis water, organic jojoba oil, organic lemon, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree essential oils.

herbal coconut oil:

this is a hardcore moisturizer! it smells like an all-natural store (if you can think of that unique smell), and a little of it goes a LONG way! it’ll add a great punch of shine, too!

ingredients: organic coconut oil, organic hemp oil, sage, burdock, nettles, lavender, lemon, tea tree, rosemary, geranium oil
(i’m assuming they at least partially used fractionated coconut oil since mine didn’t solidify up too much in the cold. or maybe the amount didn’t affect it.)

——–

i hope you guys get to try uncle harry’s! it’ll be gentler on your hair and skin, compared to other castile soaps that aren’t mixed with herbs and oils. i’d normally advise a diluted acidic rinse still if you use the organic or aromatherapy shampoos, to ensure the ph of your hair is in the range it should be in after using the castile shampoos, but there’s acv in them already.  you should be good to go! just remember if you notice more tangling than normal, or a “film” on your hair, reach for your acidic rinse and use it a couple times after shampooing.

has anyone tried this brand? what do you think??

THANK YOU to uncle harry’s for the great samples!! the shampoos are currently being used by my mom, who i’m sure will be the next biggest fan! she’s been searching high and low for the perfect organic shampoo for her, and i think these are perfect!

hippie stamp Sig

homemade deodorants (without baking soda)

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

i’ve noticed a few of you are having some reactions to the baking soda. this isn’t uncommon. i’ve since scoured the hills for some gentle homemade deodorant alternatives that are (of course) chemical-free and crunchy!

> EDIT: 3/20/2019 – This post is from 2013 but is getting a lot of traffic recently. Since publishing, there has been an explosion of “green” deodorants available for purchase. Schmidt’s is currently the brand I use (baking soda-free options). It’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. 

chemical-free homemade spray OR roll-on deodorant (no baking soda or coconut oil)

this post is sort-of kicking off SKIN WEEK (which will be longer than a week, btw. i have so much to share with you guys!! so it might be “skin weekS”), so get excited about that!

is there anything wrong with my other homemade deo? absolutely not! i still use it! i have recently added arabian rose to mine and LOVE it! i just want to give readers with more sensitive skin some options 🙂 also, if you travel a lot or live in a warmer climate, these recipes won’t run all over your clothes like the coconut oil recipe will. yay!

witch hazel & aloe deodorant spray (from Tristin, an AE reader!)

  • in a spray bottle, mix 2 parts witch hazel with 1 part aloe vera
  • add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (tristin used lavender! i think grapefruit or rose would be lovely, too! clary sage and tea tree oil are recommended as the EOs that would most work to cover BO. but if you’re busy creating a little human inside you, please do NOT use clary sage!!! aka, avoid clary sage if you’re pregnant.)
  • shake to mix ingredients and spray on your ‘pits!

distilled water & witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 2 parts distilled water and 1 part witch hazel
  • add any EOs of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

apple cider vinegar and witch hazel deodorant spray

  • in a spray bottle, add 1 part acv, 6 parts distilled water, and 1/3 part witch hazel
  • add some EO drops of your choice
  • shake to mix ingredients, and spray away!

and of course you can add up to 1/4 part baking soda to the first 2 recipes (just make sure it dissolves) if you’d like, and if you’re not sensitive to baking soda.

and you also can of course put this in a rolly-ball container instead of a spray bottle. much more travel-friendly, right?

signature