Want Gorgeous Hair Color The Safe All Natural Way? Here’s How!

Photograph by Annie Edmonds

Since October is breast cancer awareness month, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the dangers of using unregulated cosmetics, especially synthetic hair dyes! According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “Based on the data regarding bladder cancer, it has concluded that workplace exposure [to hair dye] as a hairdresser or barber is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” I assume that women who use hair dyes on a monthly and consistent basis are also at risk.

Conventional hair dyes are loaded with deadly chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been linked to serious health problems and even cancer! Not to mention testing on animals. I do not advise using synthetic permanent hair color, ever! Whether it’s from a box or your local hair salon it is hazardous to your health. It could affect the lymph and endocrine systems as well as your bladder and breasts, if you are exposed to it on a consistent basis. Here is a list of the deadliest chemicals in synthetic hair dyes: P-Phenylenediamine (PPD or coal tar, which is a known carcinogen), aminophenol, ethanolamine, hydroquinone, and 2, 4- diaminophenoxyethanol.

As soon as these toxins are rinsed from our hair, they are leached into waterways and the ground. Not only does this hurt our health and well-being, but it hurts our environment.

For years, my mother used black synthetic hair dye, and her mother before her. Every month she would dye her hair with these toxic chemicals, unaware of the dangers lurking. Black hair dye is one is the most toxic because of a higher concentration of the ingredients listed above, as well as ammonia, peroxide, sulfur, and harsh smelling fragrances. Every time she used the dye it would penetrate her scalp via the pores and enter her bloodstream. I finally convinced her about three years ago to change her ways. I was worried for her health because long term use can affect a person later in life.

So, you are probably wondering what your options are:

Henna dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Indian times and has been used as a safe alternative to dye the skin and hair. It comes from a small shrub tree also known as the Lawsonia Inermis. The leaves are dried and milled down into a soft powder to create a paste that makes a natural hair color. One of my favorite ways to be a beauty who loves nature is by using henna to color my hair. It’s all natural and leaves my hair looking shiny and feeling incredibly soft. There is also neutral henna, which is a non color henna. It can be used to make the hair shiny and soft without adding color.

Surya Brasil is a wonderful henna hair coloring brand that I came upon in Whole Foods one day. They have premixed henna colors ranging from light brown to black. The brand is completely vegan, sustainable and provides a pair of gloves and a hair cover with easy directions and use. It took me about an hour to complete my hair process and when I was through, my hair felt amazing! Oh, and the smell is lovely! Every time you wash your hair a little color comes out, and you have to reapply about once a month to keep up the richness, if you so choose. It is completely safe for pregnant moms as well, according to Surya Brasil’s claims. Although, it’s best to check with your doctor if you are going to change anything pertaining to your health.

Check out your local health food stores to see what options they have for natural hair coloring. I suggest this one because it is the easiest to use. Other brands have you mix your own henna which takes a while and is quite messy.

Tips: If you are coloring your hair with a dark henna, it’s best to wear clothes you don’t care about staining. Use dark or old towels and follow the directions. When you rinse the product out of your hair for the first time, your shower will be covered in color! Don’t worry though, it rinses off easily.

Be Advised: PPD has also been linked to “Black Henna.” It is approved by the FDA for use in hair color but not on skin because of adverse reactions. Which makes absolutely no sense to me because, if it contains coal tar- a known carcinogen than why does the FDA approve it at all. If you are purchasing a henna hair color with PPD in it, it is not natural and you should NOT buy it. Just to clear the record whether or not the FDA approves the safety of cosmetics, they do not. It is the responsibility of the companies and individuals who manufacture and market the products they are selling. This is a statement straight off their website:

FDA’s authority over other cosmetic ingredients:

“Except for color additives, FDA does not have the authority to approve cosmetic products or ingredients, although the use of several substances in cosmetics is prohibited or restricted due to safety or environmental concerns. Importantly, cosmetic products and ingredients are required to be safe for consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use. Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility for the safety of their products. FDA can take action against cosmetics on the market that violate the law.”

Links and resources:

http://www.suryabrasil.com/en/linha.php?id=16

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/Category/24_1/Color.aspx

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/hair-dyes

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm108569.htm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-Beauty-Guide-Fragrances/dp/0757307477

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Megan is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic Makeup Artist, based in LA. She is one of the first pioneers in the eco cosmetics movement and is part of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She teaches her clients about how they can make eco conscious cosmetic purchases that will help them and the environment. She loves to hike, kayak, workout, and hang with her handsome hubby and doggie Hobo.

Please visit her website at: www.meganporschen.com

The Sexiest Woman in the Room by Perfumer Natalie Bolton

As women, we ALWAYS spot the sexiest woman in the room. There are some core key factors that are in place. She dresses well, maybe even a bit controversial. She owns herself and the room with ease. And if you have the pleasure to get to close enough to her in proximity you might be graced with a waft of her “essence”.

A confident woman chooses her fragrance wisely.
To express her truth.
To push her own envelope.
What could possibly be any sexier?


Scent is so magical to me which is why I created Corpus Dei Perfumes to encourage women to live in their power. The aroma-therapeutic properties of pure essential oils can heal your body at the surface and even soothe you down to your soul. Just think of a time when a familiar scent warmed your heart and took you immediately back to a sacred time.
And since we are quickly welcoming fall, I am going to give you a few suggestions to help you become “fall fragrance ready”. With some of my perfume picks and a few of my favorite essential oils and their magical healing properties –you are sure to have a slew of  opulent olfactory options to wrap yourself up in.

Here are some of my favorites:
VETIVER: It is a warm and earthy scent so if you’re bold you might like experimenting with a fragrance that holds vetiver. This oil has a soothing effect on the nervous system. So you can calm yourself and simultaneously tame your prey to obey your every command!
PATCHOULI: This is my absolute favorite, and I know people have a love or hate relationship with this oil. This oil is also an earthy scent that is quite a powerful aphrodisiac, not to mention its mood enhancing properties. There are so many fragrances that hold patchouli, as it is a fixed oil that supports the fragrant release of other scents in which it is blended. So give a patchouli -based fragrance a try for fall. If you’re feeling exceptionally saucy, go ahead lift your mood and “lift” something else, if you know what I’m sayin’. It’s a very sexual scent.
SANDALWOOD: Aaah, sandalwood. This oil is rich, woody, and smooth. It has such a pleasant, non-intrusive smell that this may be a first choice if you are still afraid of patchouli. Sandalwood is extremely sexy and welcoming. If you feel like going out and being in control, a sandalwood blend might be perfect for you. Just be ready to welcome all those smitten suitors!
BERGAMOT: This oil is a very beautiful scent. It is citrus-y with a hint of floral spice. It creates an exotic yet graceful fragrance when it is blended with complimentary notes. It also has anti-depressant qualities that are sure to put you in the right zone. Bergamot blended with vanilla creates a smooth, buttery “so good you can taste it” smell…So this oil is perfect for the time when you are ready for that “anything goes” zone. Be careful-Bergamot is sure to make them crazy and want to devour every inch of you.

And being immersed at all times in all things fragrant, I am also including a few scents that are my favorites off the shelf. From” frugal to floral”, here are my picks for the budget conscious to the indulgently fabulous.

COTY VANILLA MUSK In a pinch, you can get this at any drugstore for a quick pick me up-a simple, classic blend.
For a middle-of-the-road; no-buyers-remorse price of $14.00.

FRESH CANNABIS SANTAL and SERGE LUTENS DAIM BLOND are my sexy go-to’s. Cannabis Santal is a complex fragrance labeled for men but with my unisex background in blending, I have worn it for years for its smoky, heavy yet citrus-y burn off. DAIM BLOND is a fruity fragrance that has a strong suede influence. It feels like a nice sweater. This sophisticated perfume is available at Barneys.
For a rich floral indulgence I LOVE FREDERIC MALLE CARNAL FLOWER! This is NOT that nauseatingly overpowering floral, we can all name one of those! This is sex! This tuberose blend captures the real scent of the flower with a little dirty grit. This yummy creaminess is also available at Barneys New York or at Frederic Malle. So go ahead, get gritty.

Now, it is time for YOU to be the sexiest woman in the room! It all starts from within. Believe in yourself, honor yourself, welcome love into your heart, and worship the body of God in you.

The power in me salutes the power in you,

Natalie Bolton

Natalie Bolton’s line Corpus Dei Perfumes has 3 signature omnisex scents that are retailed in Los Angeles. All Corpus Dei Perfumes are blended by hand using the finest oils and molecules to persuade one’s own natural pheromones (be them male or female) to cast spells upon those who are within the danger zone. For more information on essential oils and their benefits: www.corpusdeiperfumes.com

3 Beauty Tips from MakeUp Artist, Jenny Karl

1. The Many Magical Powers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

It’s chemical free and has many uses other than for cooking. Here are some effective ones!

     a. Warm a small bowl of the oil and soak your nails for 5-10 minutes to strengthen your nails and soften the skin.

     b. Massage the skin using a mixture of the oil and fresh rosemary to soothe sore muscles.

     c. For chronically dry hair only, apply a small amount of the oil to your hair for 5 minutes as a deep conditioner. Rinse thoroughly.

 

2. The key to a great makeup look starts with your skin underneath.

Keep your skin hydrated, clean, and moisturized. Don’t forget the skin on the neck and under the eyes, and tailor your skincare to meet your own skin needs. Also, if you use your hands to put on your makeup, please please please make sure they are very clean! Also, if you use brushes, don’t forget to wash them as well every so often.You can buy solution to keep them sanitary in most beauty supply stores or use a clarifying shampoo such as baby shampoo! Easy!

 

 3. Big, bold false Eyelashes are in this season.

A great technique I have found, is using my finger to help pop the lashes up after gluing them with duo lash glue to get them as close to root as possible and give a great lift. Then I go through and separate the lashes and draw out the ends with an eyebrow/lash brush/comb. I love deep black lashes but you can have some fun with colors like rich browns and sables. Also try playing with colored mascara, such as bright blues or more subtle plums! We also forget about the bottom lashes sometimes, so once your top lashes are dry, you can easily swipe your wand back and forth on the bottom to draw those bottoms out as well.

 

Jenny Karl owns and runs Jenny Karl Hair and Makeup Agency based in Los Angeles. The agency has a highly trained team of hair and makeup artists, specializing in Airbrush Foundation, Print, Film, Television, Beauty, Fashion, Special Event, Mens and Ethnic hair and makeup

http://jennykarl.com/

 

“How to GLOW from the inside out” by Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation

Think of the most beautiful person that you know.  Go on… picture her. What is it that you find beautiful about her?  While physical tastes may differ there are a few things that most of us find attractive across the board – confidence, joy and kindness. These things turn on your inner glow in a way that everyone around you will notice.

So how do we add more confidence, joy and kindness to our lives? Meditation. Yep, Meditation!  Why?  Meditation is a powerful stress relieving tool.  Stress will zap your inner glow and rob you of the experience of enjoying the RIGHT NOW.  Stress is making us sick, it is making us crazy and it is aging us at alarming rates.

One hundred bucks says that the beautiful person that you pictured earlier is NOT running around complaining, busy and stressed.

“But I don’t have time to meditate, I don’t want people to think I am a freak, I can’t stop my mind from thinking…”

Here is the good news.  No one can stop their mind from thinking, so take that pressure off yourself.  The only time the brain activity totally stops is when we are dead.  The time that you invest in meditation will pay of in dividends with what you are able to accomplish afterwards.  More people than you think are already doing it, loving it and getting their inner glow on.

How does meditation help you get your glow on?

Meditation is custom designed to dissolve stress.  We all know that a good night’s sleep is one of natures best beauty secrets.  What if you knew that meditation delivers rest that is 5 times deeper than sleep!  The body wants to thank you for that deep rest, and it thanks you by dissolving old stresses lodged in the nervous system.  Less stress in the nervous system allows you to be more present in the right now which is the only place that happiness actually resides.

Meditation also reverses body age by up to 8 YEARS! Sounds crazy right? But here is the thing.  Stress ages us in an expeditious fashion.  If you want proof of that, look at a picture of any president when they take office and a picture of them one year after being in office.  All of them seem to age ten years in just one.

If you want to practice right now here is a simple exercise you can try.  Let us know how it goes for you.

1. Find and comfy chair and close your eyes

2. Take 30 seconds of just chilling

3. Gently start thinking the word “one” silently to yourself

4. Repeat for 5 min (feel free to check your watch, don’t    set an alarm)

5. Know that thoughts will come, that is ok.  Keep coming back “one”.

Just five minutes a day of quiet time can do wonders in an age of ever increasing demands and distractions.  Take charge of your inner glow and try it now!

 

Want to learn more? Check out www.zivameditation.com to attend a free 1 hr Intro to Meditation.

Ziva Meditation was founded by Emily Fletcher who began her extensive training in Vedic meditation in Rishikesh, India under world-renowned meditation instructors, Thom Knoles and Will Dalton. Emily was inspired to become a meditation instructor after experiencing the profound physical and mental benefits it provided her during her 10-year career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, AChorusLine and many others.

With a unique combination of training in Western psychology (7 years of study under Thomas Jones, founder of The Paradox Process) and 4 years of meditation training Emily is perfectly suited to teach busy people how to incorporate this simple and hugely effective practice into their lives.

Sweet Tarte by Celebrity Stylist and Writer, Michelle Brookhurst

tarte+lipsurgence

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we went into a research frenzy; culling articles about hormones in poultry, aluminum in deodorants, and parabens in cosmetics. In the decade since her diagnosis, we have made a lot of environmental and nutritional changes. I checked out options for paraben free cosmetics, and after a life of cheery bright happy lipsticks, and colorful packaging filled with promises and allure, I found the “natural” options to be a bit blah, and rather depressing. Well, natural is nice, but I think make-up should be about fantasy and fun, drama, seduction, getting to play the red-lipped femme fatale, or the apple cheeked girl next door. I am well aware of the harsh role chemicals and toxins play in our current state of health, but I don’t want to lose my five minutes of fun in the morning, where I get to “put on my face”. I enjoy being in touch with my feminine girly side, reminding myself I can be sexy and sweet, before I walk out my front door to go kick some butt.

tarte-cheek-stain

I found the perfect solution in Tarte Cosmetics. All their packaging is super flirty and fun, it is a pick me up to look at, the colors are fantastic, and that’s before I even put it on! All Tarte products are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, and I also appreciate that they don’t spend money on advertising, they spend it on research. The company is eco-friendly, and I highly suggest reading about the values of both the company and the cosmetics- you will be amazed at the amount of research and care that goes into every product; even the cheek stain, which is a water based gel blush, is packed with vitamins for your skin. There are some natural beauty lines that are all about health, but do absolutely nothing for either your face or sense of fun- Tarte delivers the true “whole package.” I have never been asked by so many make-up artists about my mascara, had friends borrowing my lipstick, or given away so many tubes of the tinted moisturizer.

Tarte-Lights-Camera-Lashes

Tarte Cosmetics was created by someone who loves make-up, and you can tell. Everyone I have turned on to the Lights Camera Lashes mascara has never gone back to the itchy, overly fragranced mascaras of other companies, and it even comes in a purple snakeskin tube! That’s my kind of “natural.” There is never a new product I don’t like, and every color is flattering. I swear by their cheek stain, all the Lipsurgence lip pencil/gloss sticks (i don’t even know what to call them except tubes of perfect textured heaven), and my biggest secret weapon is the Smooth Operator waterproof concealer, which easily outperforms Touche Eclat..

Smooth-Op-Clay-Concealer-ALL-mdn-70191227I don’t know if it’s the Amazonian clay, or the Marajuca oil that is used to create such perfect textures, but the foundations are never cakey, all pencils glide on smooth, and the cheek stains are so user friendy. This is what I was looking for in a “natural” beauty line: fun packaging, great results, and 5 minutes in the morning where I get to feel good about what I put on my skin, and beautiful when I look in the mirror. (And with this sale, my wallet is looking good too!)

Available from:

Tarte

Sephora

 

Michelle Brookhurst

Michelle Brookhurst is a former teen actress (Can’t Hardly Wait, Charmed, Foxfire), turned celebrity stylist (clients include George Lopez and Baron Davis) turned writer. She has written a television series based on her life called “Certain Something”, and is currently based in Los Angeles.