Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The Hair Color Controversy

by Kristen Suzanne in cancer, hair, Kristen Suzanne
As many of you know, I’ve been letting my bleached blonde hair grow out to my natural brown color.  Here is an email I received today…

Hi Kristen, I saw your video and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. You look great but I do prefer you as a blonde, it just fits better with you. I WAS  a natural blonde until nature turned it darker around 16…:( Anyway I am really into raw, non toxic stuff like you are. However I almost was going to go au natural with the hair (very very blonde by the way) until I realized I just didn’t want to. I WANT to be blonde, and a little hair dye isn’t going to kill me ya know? We are all dying and everthing around us is a toxic threat, cars, flying, radiation. I personally felt I would live happier being blonde, it feels like me. And in your video I could tell you are just a blonde. I only did my roots during my pregnancy once (before I know I was preggers) and other than that just had some dark roots for 8 months lol.

I do a natural hair color, that is as non toxic as it gets and I do highlights, so nothing is really touching my scalp except for the toner for 5 minutes. I’m not bleach blonde anymore, but I am very blonde and the highlights make it seem bleach blonde. Anyway this was just to let you know I was in the same position as you and it is OK to live life. Oh and I totally agree too if you keep it natural, I just wanted to give some friendly advice!!


I got a real kick out of this email because… I am living life and I love it. I don’t take the stance that I should accept that I’m just dying (and that we all are). I am alive and I’m excited to be doing things in an attempt to prolong that. Of course, there are toxins out there that I cannot really control (cars, pollution, etc.), so I’m doing what I can, to control as much as possible many other things such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, making sure I rest and have good quality sleep, and using the healthiest hair and beauty products. 

One of the defining moments for me when I decided to go natural was the result of spending a lot of time on Kris Carr’s forum, CrazySexyLife. It was hard seeing so many young women with cancer. And, at that point I realized that a clean diet is not enough. Yes, things are cumulative when it comes to stresses on the body and that’s the point; I want to do as much as I can to reduce that accumulation. Furthermore… even if I can reduce my toxicity… I realize that doesn’t guarantee I won’t get cancer, but I can’t help but feel that it helps. 

What’s funny (and was unexpected) is that, since going back to brunette, I feel more natural now,with respect to my overall attitude and aura, than I have in 20 years. I walk by a mirror and I feel beautiful… I just wish my hair were longer and that’s the hardest thing for me right now. Not only has my hair been blond for so long, but it’s always been very long. I’m trying to grow it out and that’s been the hardest part. All I can do is be patient. 

I respect that maybe the gal who wrote the email doesn’t want to be natural, but I do. I have no intention of going back to blond. I am very happy with the color of my hair. I love it. I am avoiding as many chemicals as possible, because it’s not good for my health or for the environment. I think a lot of people forget that the environment also suffers when not only the coloring products wash down the drain and into our water supply, as well as taking into account the fuel needed to produce the product, but also the upkeep of other products needed to maintain the colored hair so it doesn’t look processed (i.e., shampoos, conditioners, hair balm, gel, etc). All of those things have a detrimental eco effect. For me, it’s not just one little procedure every few months. I can’t validate what I was doing using that logic. And, the fact that some processes don’t touch my scalp doesn’t let me off the hook either… it still damages the shaft of my hair. Bleach-damaged hair requires a chemical soup of products in order to appear healthy while it’s actually quite porous. I’m so relieved that the days of seeing so many frizzed-out flyaway rogue hairs around my face are gone. No more breakage! No more ends snapping off! (Hair isn’t supposed to do that!) My hair is beautifully soft and shiny and healthy. It now feels right, both literally and figuratively.

It’s not an issue you hear about very often, but I expect we’ll all be hearing about it more as time goes by and data come in about the additive effects of toxins on the body. 

So how about all of you out there? If you color your hair, or have ever considered doing so, did toxicity play any role in your thinking? Or have you switched one way or the other, only to have people coming out of the woodwork telling you they liked it the other way? Please share your story!

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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Great Natural Raw Vegan Hair Products – Morrocco Method

by Kristen Suzanne in hair

I’ve been trying out a new hair care system for about the past month, and I’m loving it. My hair is about 90% grown out now (with my natural color of chocolate brown), and I adore it. It’s soft, silky, and oh-so-healthy! For those of you interested in the story of my transformation from blond locks to brunette tresses, read here.

Prior to finding this other company for hair care, I was using Terressentials mud to wash my hair (since about August 2008). That was an interesting and neat experience. But… a couple of months ago, from time to time, I was getting flakes. Eek! I tried using an apple cider vinegar/water rinse and I tried using coconut oil, but without success. Also, (after washing) some days my hair was soft and clean feeling, other days it wasn’t. (Don’t get me wrong, I still love many of their products, but I think my time with their hair care products was coming to an end).

I decided to look for another line that was as natural as I could get. I even thought I was willing to compromise a tiny bit with the ingredients (and not be such a purist), so I looked at Aubrey Organics, Suki, and some others. But, every time I read the labels, I couldn’t help but feel a little disheartened when comparing them to the purity of Terressentials’ mud. I work so hard to keep my body clean internally and externally that I just couldn’t compromise in the end.

Morrocco Method comes to the rescue!
I did some more searching online and came upon Morrocco Method products. I was immediately intrigued because the website boasts about its products being Raw, Vegan, and Eco-friendly. My pulse quickened and my eyes devoured the entire website.

However, before committing, I decided to google some reviews about it. For the most part, people’s reviews show they love the line, including a very good review from Organic Lifestyle Magazine who highly recommends the products (read review here). I agree with the issue OLM had with the company’s accompanying literature in the package (it’s a little on the pathetic side, yet it is informative). OLM also had an issue with how the staff treated them, but I must say that when I called them with some questions, they were extremely friendly and very professional. And, I scored some free samples in my package, including a face scrub (love it!) and I’ve since gone back to order a bottle of it.

There were a couple of reviews online that weren’t great about the shampoos, but for those people, it seems that their main complaint was either the lack of lather or the price or the smell. The different products smell very earthy and I actually really like it. As for the lack of lather… well, you’re looking at a gal who shampooed with mud for months (zero lather), so I’m used to using all natural products like this. (BTW, Morrocco Method actually does give a little lather.)

So… what happened to the scalp problems I had? They went away immediately. Ever since I started using Morrocco Method, my hair has been so freakin’ soft, shiny, and silky. It’s extra gorgeous! My husband is amazed and loves touching my hair (he’s always commenting on how soft it is). And, just this weekend, my mom commented on how pretty my hair was. For those of you who don’t know the story… this is huge! She was bummed that I was no longer going to color my hair blond. And, it’s been a tiny bit of tension between us since I started growing it out. But, oh my goodness, this weekend she mentioned on more than one occasion that she was amazed at how shiny, soft, and pretty it was. She admitted that she actually likes it.

I have the entire shampoo system (4 bottles of different shampoo that I rotate) and one conditioner called Chi Conditioner. That system alone is awesome. I also bought the oil and have used that twice, and I have the hair gel (that’s been great, too!). I decided to give the two conditioning sprays a try so I recently bought the sample/travel conditioning kit. The first night I used one of the sprays (for volume) I washed my hair, sprayed the stuff in, and went to bed. I woke up and my hair had so much body it looked like Edward’s in Twilightha ha!

The system isn’t cheap, but it’s so healthy for my hair and body that I can’t imagine using anything else right now. Plus, I stretch it out. Since I don’t wash my hair daily (more like 2-3 times a week), I don’t use much of the product so it’ll last awhile. I, do, however recommend getting a couple of the Chi Conditioners because obviously you’ll run out of that quicker. If you want to try the system out first, you can buy the travel/sample shampoo kit and the travel/sample conditioning kit. I recommend signing up for their newsletter because they frequently offer specials and coupons.


UPDATE: They also have a new cream rinse called, Pearl Essence. I’ve only tried it a couple of times in a sample size, but I like this, too.

I hope if you try this system that it works as great for you as it has for me!

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

My Favorite Makeup, Body & Hair Products

by Kristen Suzanne in body care, hair

As promised, I’m listing my favorite makeup, body and hair products that I’m currently using. I’ve chosen these because they’re some of the healthiest on the planet. I’m continuously on the hunt for the most environmentally conscious, non-toxic, truly natural and certified organic products (not many companies offer USDA certified organic) for my hair, face and body. I’ll be getting pregnant one of these days; therefore, I’m going extra extra clean. I found some amazing options that I’ll be using from here on out. The great news: I’m pampered in healthy luxury and I can still get gussied up for my boyfriend :)

I did plenty of research to find companies that use the highest quality and safest ingredients. The following list of companies is the result. As part of my research, I checked them out on the Skin Deep database. If you’re curious as to how your products stack up, visit here. I also contacted the companies and peppered them with questions, testing their customer service along the way. The experience has been terrific and I highly recommend them all. I’ll continue to search for other companies, but I’m definitely satisfied with what I’ve purchased so far. Bottom line: I’m happy to put their products on my skin.

Hair and Total Face/Body Care
Terressentials: Pretty much everything I use is from this company from shampoo to face and body cleanser to face toner to hand soap (the citrus smells divine!) to deodorant (haven’t tried yet, just ordered for those rare occasions that I need it) to intensive shea butter moisturizer. I’m ecstatic about their fragrance-free line because with my future pregnancy I’ll need to avoid products with essential oils. Their products are hand-crafted, USDA Certified Organic which means these products are truly 100% Natural. I’m so glad I found them…these products have changed my life! I will be trying their baby line, too, when the time comes. (See below for another great baby option.)

Raw Gaia: Here is a great company that I don’t use much of because most of their products have essential oils and my research has told me to stay away from essential oils if pregnant. Even though I’m not pregnant yet, I didn’t want to buy something only to have to stop using it once I’m pregnant, besides… I’m very much in love with Terressentials. That said, I still like this company and wanted to showcase them. Raw Gaia has beautiful, living skin care products created from cold-pressed, organic and vegan ingredients, infused with essential oils and floral waters of the finest quality. I do currently use and love their Sun-dried Green Clay Face Pack. After pregnancy, I look forward to trying their other products :)

Makeup

Zosimos Botanicals: When it comes to makeup, I want the healthiest possible. Zosimos Botanicals is one of my favorites. I use their loose powder mineral foundation. And, what’s more… they’re an environmentally conscious company. They handcraft their own line of natural products in a 100% wind-powered workshop. Cool!

Coastal Classic Creations: My makeup has to be as pure as possible, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, all natural, and non-toxic. Enter: Coastal Creations. This company makes my favorite blush (Stargazer), eye shadows (I use these for liner and shadow), and lipsticks (these are the BEST). Try their sample sizes to experiment with colors first.

Baby Soap
Nature’s Paradise: This company makes one of the best USDA certified organic shampoo/soap options for babies. They offer products for the whole family, too. I’ve only tried the baby shampoo, but many of their other products look promising.

Daily Conversation Question:
Is science or art more essential to humanity?


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Friday, July 4th, 2008

Starlight: My Transformation

by Kristen Suzanne in hair

Okay, not to gush too romantic, but I just had to share. As many of you know, I’ve begun cleaning out every possible source of toxin in my world, in order to create an ideal body and environment for getting pregnant. I just switched to all organic bedding, had my amalgam fillings removed, threw out chemical-laden cosmetics, and so on. I’ve now come face-to-face with the most challenging change yet — don’t laugh, but it’s my hair color!

The world has not known my true color since I was, seriously, eleven years old. I’ve been blonde so long that it has been inseparable with my self-identity. But no more. That’s right, I’m going all natural in the hair department. Not only are the harsh chemicals for color-treating hair potential toxins for pregnant and nursing mothers, but — more significantly — those same chemicals do so much damage to hair that you must use even more chemicals (plastics, basically) to make color-treated hair soft and silky. That’s right, I have blonde, plastic hair!

So as a big part of my going green, I’m officially going brown! haha! I’m attacking the blonde from both ends, growing out my natural color, but also cutting my hair shorter to hasten the awkward transition period (I opted to go two-tone for a few months rather than dye my hair brunette and grow out naturally from there.) As my first step, I just had over 4 inches cut off, and got bangs for the first time since I was a kid. (Click on the image to view full size.)

Here’s the romantic part. My amazing boyfriend, so full of love and support for this process, surprised me by staying up all night and creating this portrait of me, titled “Starlight,” which he calls “a tribute to my evolving spirit and inner goddess.” Whoa. Who says stuff like that!? It absolutely melted my heart when I saw it! (He’s the bomb.)

It was inspired by equal parts space-travel beach scene from Contact (the movie) and Starlight, the wonderfully intense, uplifting, romantic song by his favorite band, Muse — listen here, the lyrics really say it all, simply beautiful.

So here you go, blonde hair, your last big HURRAH! The transformation has officially begun!

“Far away… this ship is taking me far away…”


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