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Five natural beauty alternatives

Five natural beauty alternatives

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. Mainstream bath and beauty products can often contain chemicals that may be harsh on both you and the environment, so why not try a few of these easy, natural swaps. Here are five natural beauty alternatives:

Henna hair dye

You may be familiar with the intricate tattoos people create with henna - particularly the custom for Indian weddings - but, did you know it's also a great way to color, strengthen and condition your hair? Although the process can be a bit messy and time consuming, you'll be doing yourself a favor by avoiding mainstream hair dyes, which tend to contain chemicals, such as para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which have been linked to negative side-effects.

There are various recipes to use depending on the hair color you're starting with and the hair color you want to ultimately achieve. It may take some trial and error, and it's important to know that you'll need to avoid chemical hair dyes for at least a few months after dying your hair with henna to avoid damaging your hair. In this case, my friend's hair is a very dark brown and she wanted a boost of chocolate hue with coverage of a few grays, but wanted to avoid turning it red. She has long, thick hair so we mixed 2 packs (100 grams per pack) of pure henna powder with 1 pack (100 grams) of indigo powder, plus warm black coffee, vinegar, olive oil and salt until a pudding consistency was reached. It's best to let it sit for an hour before applying. You could also try a premixed henna hair product, such as the henna bars from Lush or boxed Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner options.

We covered the floor with a tarp and used thick cleaning gloves to apply the mixture. (We were new to this, but later found out you should not use metal to mix the henna and also avoid metal bowls.) It's best to work the henna onto small 1 inch sections of hair, then twist the sections into a bun as you go. Make sure you wipe up any henna from your skin, then leave it in hair for 2-3 hours and rinse it out well, but do not wash it with shampoo for 24 - 48 hours. You can repeat this process every 1 - 3 months.

henna

African black soap body wash

Your skin is your largest organ and whatever you put on your body goes into your body as well. So consider keeping healthy by turning to a body soap with more natural ingredients. There are several types in the market, but one of my favorites is Dr. Woods Black Soap with Shea Butter for super soft skin, which has a pleasant smell and great benefits for healthy skin.

soap

Coconut oil moisturizer and makeup remover

Coconut oil is a staple in my home because I use it for everything from removing my makeup, moisturizing my face after showering at night, conditioning the tips of my hair and cooking and baking with it too! Although it can be more expensive than other oils, a little goes a long way. If you can't find it at your regular grocery store, try a health food store or even online retailers. I bought a very large jar of it from Costco and it has lasted several months.

Coco-nutty way to moisturize, naturally!

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) conditioner

It sounds strange, but yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to condition your hair. Here are some tips on this method. I like to mix Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with water and store it in a small glass tupperware, then just dump it into my hair after shampooing it. Don't worry, the vinegar smell dissipates after your hair dries. Bonus: there are other great ways to use ACV too, from detoxifying drink recipes to making your own buttermilk.

vinegar

DIY dry-shampoo

If you wash your hair every day, you're actually depleting oils that help protect and nourish your hair. It's good to get in the habit of washing your hair only every other day at most. However, if your hair tends to get oily on the in-between days, a little dry-shampoo can work wonders to gently absorb some of the oil, while refreshing your 'do' and preserving your mane. You can whip up a batch of this natural dry-shampoo with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Bonus: You'll smell whiffs of chocolate throughout the day, especially after a gym session.

Cocoa Powder + Arrowroot Powder = easy natural dry shampoo

Those are just a few ways I've put some natural twists into my beauty regimen. What other ways do you like to get beautified the natural way? (function() { var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []); if (!_fbq.loaded) { var fbds = document.createElement('script'); fbds.async = true; fbds.src = '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s); _fbq.loaded = true; } })(); window._fbq = window._fbq || []; window._fbq.push(['track', '6021872168674', {'value':'0.00','currency':'USD'}]); <img src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?ev=6021872168674&cd[value]=0.00&cd[currency]=USD&noscript=1" alt="" style="display:none" />

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