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.


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 😉


rinse-only (water-only) method… update 5

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

hey crunchies! it’s been months since i’ve last updated you on my ROM journey, and i’ve gotten a few emails and comments asking how it’s going. i figured i should do a little update, and this will hopefully be the LAST update on my ROM journey! (that’s good news! lol)

if you’re new to ROM and/or the AE blog, i’ll give you a quick run-down:

the ROM (rinse-only method) is only washing your hair with water, and using your natural scalp oils to “condition” your hair. it’s a very tough transition for a lot of people at first (myself included) to get away from using anything but water to keep your hair clean. it took me about 4 months! and i think my arm muscles improved from all the scritching/preening i had to do to move the oils form my scalp to the ends of my hair.

but going water-only has proven (for me personally) to be the best option for my hair. even after the dye abuse my hair went through, it’s grown out to be soft and shiny and strong. long story short, me love da ROM.

water-only washing for hair

what i’ve been doing:

  • ditched the dry shampoo completely
  • use a shower head filter
  • scritch and preen about every 3 days (just being honest 😦 ), and then again very thoroughly before WO washes
  • use my bbb once a week to week and a half (…again, just bein honest)
  • gently comb and separate my hair into 4 sections before i hop in the shower, then preen under the running water
  • let my hair air dry (shower at night)
  • no oils and no conditioners of any kind
  • spray rose water into my hair just for scent (i’ve considered using the yummy smelling versions of alcohol-free witch hazel, too. we’ll see! has anyone tried??)

how it’s been:

it’s actually gotten much, much, much better than it used to be. i can now say strongly that i’m strictly water-only. and daggone it feels good!

20140331_223316 20140331_223212

my one huge problem with going WO (water-only) was the back of my head. for some reason it was always feeling heavy and greasy and just overall pretty gross. i had to REALLY focus on that area to scritch/preen/brush/wash. on select weekends, i’d stay at home allllll weekend and let it get as greasy as it wanted to. i think it helped out with not producing as much oil as before, but it was still a problem area. and now when i wash, it’s the back of my head and the underside of my hair that’s greasy. not so much the top parts. but no more heavy feeling!

one huge hiccup i had: i visited my best friend in phoenix one weekend, and he has hard water. as soon as i wet my hair in the shower, it felt sticky and heavy. i tried to preen as much as i could, but my hair felt heavy and weird/sticky after my shower. once my hair dried, it just looked weirdly greasy. needless to say, my hair was in a braid and a bun that entire weekend.
but other than that hiccup (i’ve traveled many, many times since, even out of the country) i haven’t had any issues with stickiness or being overly-greasy. i did notice that my scalp gets greasier around that time of month (yea, TMI). thanks, hormones.


my scalp definitely got drier this winter, but i’ve used the honey/witch hazel rinse a couple times and it’s been fine.

i think the biggest difference i’ve noticed in my hair is the way it feels. no matter what day i’m on between washing, it always feels so freakin soft and moisturized. the second biggest difference i’ve noticed is how much faster it dries after washing it. when i used conventional shampoo/conditioner, my hair would literally take hours to dry. we’re talking 3 or 4 hours or more. not exaggerating. now my hair dries in about an hour. it’s been a miracle! haha.  best of all, i don’t ever have that tacky, heavy, weird feeling in the back of my head anymore. my scalp has finally gotten its stuff together!


right now i’m washing every week, usually sundays. some weeks i wash sunday-ish and wednesday-ish.. i really have no set schedule, but that’s what tends to happen. i just kinda go with the flow. it’s usually something like “oh, good morning hair. are you lookin greasy? think we can wait to wash till tomorrow? ok, cool. good chat.”


… kind of.

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norwex cloths – product review!

hey crunchies! it’s been FOREVER since i’ve posted! but that’s life, right? it always finds a way to not go how you planned ❤
i miss you guys.

so awhile back, i was contacted by the lovely rachel from norwex. she reached out to me about these antibacterial microfiber cloths, and it of course piqued my interest being both water-only and all-natural with cleaning my home.

when asked to give them a try and review them, i was over the moon!!
as always, my review of any products (including this one) are completely honest!

norwex cleaning cloths

what is Norwex?

it’s a fantastic company that’s mission is to “[improve] quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in household and personal care products.” how perfect right?!

norwex logo

they have products for cleaning both body and home.

what are the Norwex cloths?

they’re these super soft, super awesome, microfiber antibacterial cleaning cloths. they have cloths for cleaning your counters, windows, face, body, removing makeup, a hair turban, bath towels, bath mats, dusting mit, etc.

caring for them is a bit different than other cloths. you can’t use any soaps, oils, etc. you can wash them with clothes and sheets, but not with towels! towels have too much lint. so really, anything linty shouldn’t be washed with these cloths. i’ve been washing them in a castile soap mix, but was advised it could buildup on the cloths. if that were to happen, i could just give them a good vinegar rinse and they’d be good to go again. cool!

what did i use them for?

water-only washing:

before i say anything, i will say very honestly, i never want to use any other cloth on my body or face. i’m completely smitten with these body cloths. they are so soft, but they exfoliate and really work wonders with water-only washing. my skin always feels so soft and clean! after i’m done, i wring the cloth out and leave it hanging on my shower curtain rod to dry. i only wash it once a week (it’s antibac, remember!). over the past couple months, i’ve never experienced any sort of mildewy smell or anything. this cloth is magical! now that i’m all packed to visit family for the holidays, my cloth is packed right with my clothes. i won’t leave without it!

another thing.. rachel mentioned she uses it to shave instead of using a shaving cream. not gonna lie, i was SO skeptical… but i tried it! i exfoliated my legs with the cloth (folded the cloth a few times and “wiped” my legs a few times over), and then got right to shaving with just my razor and water. i don’t understand how, but it works! i didn’t feel any irritation! after my shower, i just used a dab of CO on each leg  as usual, and no burns/cuts/etc. seriously, this. cloth. is. magical.

stop using your acne creams, cleansers, lotions and potions and USE THIS CLOTH! the antibac and mild exfoliation action will kick your acne to the curb.

look how soft… makes you wanna rub your face on it huh?

household cleaning:

since i use a vinegar based cleaner, this cloth was perfect to use. i’ve cleaned my bathroom and kitchen with the cloth multiple times, and every time i notice how much more dirt and stuff it picked up, compared to using my normal cleaning cloths. the first time i cleaned my bathtub, i actually felt pretty gross. i thought my tub was sparkling clean all the time…and alas, it was not! but now it is!

my mirrors were spotless… my laptop screen spotless… windows spotless…

you can use them to dust, too. dry or wet, these babies do it all!


this post sounds like an infomercial…i’m aware. but really crunchies, these cloths are really THAT great!

for more info on Norwex and their cloths/other products, click HERE. you can order straight from rachel! if you have any questions, feel free to contact her! she’s an angel.

if you can only get 1 type of cloth, go for the body cloth. you’ll notice a huge difference in the softness and clean-feeling-ness of your skin (yep, just made that up.) then when you get a chance, spring for the other ones! they’re totally worth it!

i hope you fall in love with these cloths, too!
HUGE thank you to rachel and norwex for changing my body and home cleaning routines. i am forever grateful!

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about the products and/or purchasing them (EVEN INTERNATIONAL READERS), please email Rachel at RachelKNowak@yahoo.com 🙂

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tips for ROM success

if you follow me, you know the ROM has been a long journey for me… and i was already a no-‘poo-er.

i thought i’d share some things i learned along the way that really helped my transition!

tips & benefits to using ONLY water to wash your hair!

  • make sure your hair has been clarified at some point before your ROM transition. it’ll help drastically! there’ll be no silicones for your hair to slowly slough off, and i mean slowwwllyyy. not to mention, the slow silicone sloughing (i love alliteration) will make your hair appear greasy, feel “heavy”, waxy, dull, and tangly. who wants that? no one.
  • don’t use hard water. i have hard water and learned to deal with it for no-‘poo. i thought it’d be okay for the ROM because i’d only be washing with water…but nope! either boil your water beforehand to wash and rinse (ain’t nobody got time fo dat), buy distilled water, or invest in a shower head filter. i vote shower head filter. it’ll be nicer on your skin too. oolala! your best bet would be to go to a lowe’s or home depot around you and search for a hard water filter. to filter out chlorine and sediment, these are expensive, but here’s a couple you can look into:
    – aquasana
    – heaven fresh (fixed head & hand held)
  • invest in a nice bbb. your boar bristle brush (bbb) will be your absolute best friend during this whole process! it’ll be the saving grace for your oily mop. for me personally, there was a huge difference in the “before & after” grease levels of my hair from brushing. after about 15-20 minutes of using my bbb, it seemed as though the oils had been thoroughly distributed and the grease almost “disappeared.”
  • dry shampoo is essential. if you’re going to be in public, at least. if you can go through the super oily transition phase and use water-only cold turkey, PROPS to you! you won’t need dry shampoo! i seriously wish i could’ve done that. however, corporate america doesn’t like to see greaseball hair. blegh. i wouldn’t suggest using it more than 2x between washes though. things can get cakey and weird.
  • steer clear of ‘poos. completely if you can manage. only use low/no-‘poo if you HAVE to. keep in mind it will prolong your transition. i learned the hard way. for example, i was already washing every week and a half to 2 weeks, and found out i’d be around my company’s CEO. i decided to wash with a low-‘poo and diluted it to 1 part ‘poo to about 5 or 6 parts water… then my hair got greasy again after 4 days! only 4! i was so so so upset!
  • don’t be afraid…  to have nasty, dirty hair. i mean dirrrrtyyyy. let your grease-flag fly!
  • watch the conditioning.  you might not need it, or you might only need it on the very ends of your hair. for me, the bbb coated my hair in my natural oils and my hair is now SUPER soft and shiny. when i first switched, i was really fond of using raw honey in my hair in the shower. after a few weeks, if i used the raw honey, it left my hair too heavy. my hair is now at a point where it doesn’t need conditioning at ALL. it’s just too much for it now. if you find you don’t need conditioning, then simply don’t. at the same time, make sure your hair is suffering from being too dry!
  • scritch and preen EVERY day!! yes, like a bird! this and not using hard water are the MOST important tips i could ever offer anyone that’s going water-only. to scritch, lightly use your fingernails, or a comb (like a wooden comb) to “scratch” your scalp all over, and loosen everything up.  then to preen, use your fingers to pull the oil from your roots down the hair shaft in small sections of hair at time. my bbb does a great job at doing the job! yes, this is quite time consuming, but it feels SO GOOD! and it’s very, very worth it! and bonus – the additional scalp stimulation increases blood flow and can help with faster hair growth! bam!
  • be patient. seriously. doesn’t that suck to hear? it’s like the worst piece of advice ever. but if you thought no-‘poo was tough, get ready for ROM. i’m a hardcore almost hippie and this transition made ME want to quit and go back to no-‘poo…. i consider myself a dedicated, tough cookie, but it was a rough ride for me.
  • find motivation and support. it’s great to have someone/people to reach out to for help, to swap stories/experiences, tips and tricks, etc. find those people. find that support.  and relish in the fact you aren’t dependent on commercial products and you’re letting your hair be as natural (and as healthy) as possible! i had this blog as an outlet to connect with you guys and you all really kept me going.

and don’t forget the benefits!

  • save money. you don’t need to buy products.
  • save space. going somewhere? no need to pack hair products! more room for clothes! 😉
  • & the most important benefit…. healthier hair! see the picture above? that was taken earlier today. my hair’s never been this soft and shiny before. and it’s all completely natural! no silicones; no products!

i personally feel great about going WO (water-only). but as with any natural or conventional beauty routine, the ROM is not for everyone.

anyone have some tips & tricks for going WO??

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ROM (water-only) update #4

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

whew, it’s been AWHILE since i’ve updated everyone on how the ROM is goin for me.

the last time y’all heard about it from me, it was a bunch of frustration…..
now, long story short, i’m beginning to really, truly LOVE it.

it’s been about 6ish weeks since my last post, so i’ll do my best to sum up what my hair’s been going through:

  • i used only water to wash my hair every thursday or the following saturday (idk how i came to that conclusion, other than i was hoping my hair would be “nicer” for the weekend.. ha)
  • i used my BBB every other day (like a dummy. i got lazy)
  • i used my dry shampoo either every week or week and a half.
  • ……prepare yourselves for this one… i cheated!…. i used a diluted mix of shea moisture shampoo (1 part ‘poo to about 5 or 6 times water) the night before i was going to be around the CEO of my company. the C.E.O…

dear ROM, 
i’m sorry.

at least it was low-‘poo…right? Wrong! even though it was diluted, the shea moisture was way more cleaning power than my hair was used to at that point in time. so guess what happened…. my hair became grease city 4 days after! FOUR DAYS. i was NOT a happy hippie!
that started this nasty cycle where i was super greasy and used dry shampoo every 5 to 6 days. and when i tried to do water-only, it just wouldn’t work! i used an egg to wash and raw honey on the length of my hair a couple times, and that set me back on the ROM path. thank goodness!

i also took a week off of work (10 days total including weekends) to get my life together (i’m still between states.. the midwest and the east coast are fighting over me..haha) and decided it was the perfect time for me to not wash my hair at all! so i gave myself the completely-made-up-on-the-spot-10 day challenge.


  • no dry shampoo
  • no diluted shea moisture
  • no eggs
  • no honey
  • no ‘poo of ANY kind!
  • BBB every day
  • water only wash on day 1 and day 10
  • nothing else. nothing. else.


as amazed as i was that my hair turned greasy super fast after using ‘poo, i’m even more amazed at how fast my hair bounced back into the ROM swing of things. my hair’s done the BEST it’s ever done with water-only since i started. so now it’s been over 2 weeks since i’ve washed my hair, and 1 week since i’ve washed it with only water. and lemme tell ya, i’m so stinkin proud of my hair!! looky, looky!

2 days after my water-only wash –
(& before my daily BBB brushing… which was 8 days after my last diluted ‘poo…don’t remind me of that terrible mistake lol. sorry that i forgot to take pics with flash, too.)
20130813_101750 20130813_101641

& 1 week after my water-only wash –
(which is 2 weeks after my last ‘poo. these pics are after i used my BBB… with flash & without. idk if you can see the greasiness differently)
20130814_113844  20130814_113814 20130814_113331-1 20130814_113245

so greasy, but not as greasy as i thought it’d be! i still have 3ish days left for my 10 Day Challenge… but after tomorrow’s post, you’ll understand why i decided to post an update now 😉

dare i say i’m at the very end of the transition?!?

water-only washing is possible!

hippie stamp Sig