This is living!

Organic living transition – you CAN do it!

Natural Haircare


Tarra Thompson Curly Girl Photo

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my hair was the first thing that started me down this path of organic living.  After attending a natural hair care seminar, my eyes were opened to the fact that we are pouring a number of unhealthy, even dangerous chemicals all over our heads. 

As a result, I began a chemical-free journey for my hair – on this journey, just like many other ‘natural girls’, I not only decided to stop using harsh chemicals such as perms and hair dyes, I also choose products for my hair that are silicone free, paraben free, and sulfate free.  I also do not use products with petrolatum or mineral oil.  Many of these ingredients are responsible for clogging our pores, the drying of our hair, in addition to having carcinogen properties that threaten the health of our eyes and scalp.

I follow a hair care method outlined in a book titled "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey.  Lorraine Massey Curly Girl BookThe basics are that if you have curly or wavy hair that is dry, damaged, frizzy or uncontrollable, then the best way to solve these problems is through tender  loving care of your locks.  Chemicals and heat  (from hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons) are your hairs’ enemy and moisture is your friend.  I do occasionally flat iron or blow dry my hair, but I strictly limit how often I do either.  In fact, I’ve only flat ironed my hair twice in the past ten months, and blow dried perhaps three times.

This method encourages us curly girls to either strictly limit (a.k.a. low -poo) or omit (a.k.a. no poo) altogether the use of drying shampoos.  Instead we are encouraged to shampoo with moisture rich conditioners.

What you will find is that MANY of the hair care products on the grocery store shelves are chocked full of the chemicals we should be avoiding.  What’s a curly girl to do?  The first thing you need to do is to become an ingredient detective.  No matter what the product label claims, always turn the package over and read the ingredients.  Many products make claims on their label that they’re ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, but after reading the ingredient list, you will find the opposite to be true.  My solution has been to use Miessence botanically based hair care products in conjunction with some of my own homemade products to ensure that I’m not exposed to toxic chemicals.

I use all of the Miessence hair care products, but African American hair also requires a bit more moisture, so I occasionally supplement my routine with my own home made shea butter hair moisturizer  and home made vegetable glycerin based hair spritz.  I use the Miessence Lemon Myrtle shampoo when I have a lot of product buildup on my hair, otherwise, I use the Miessence Desert Flower Shampoo on a weekly basis.  If I need to cleanse my hair more than once in a week, then I use the low-poo method of shampooing with Miessence conditioner.  In addition to the Miessence hair care products, I also use the Miessence Body Milk and Body Cream on my hair for moisture.   I will outline my daily hair routine and home made product recipes in a later post (by the way the photo above on the left is me), in the mean time, take a moment to read more from Miessence about the benefits of using our products…and feel free to post any questions you may have in the comment box below!


 gimme a head with hair!

Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen…
Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees …
…a hive for bees
A nest for birds, there ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my…

Lyrics (paraphrased) by James Rado & Gerome Ragni, 1960s

16 billions dollar hair

Let’s face it, people are into their hair! A ‘bad hair day’ usually means plopping on a hat, crying, complaining, or a rushed trip to the hair stylist or barber. A good hair day makes us feel beautiful – or handsome – and invincible. In the US alone, about 80,000 hair care salons generate combined annual sales of $16 billion dollars.

If you’re thinking of getting into the hair care business, this could be good news. But for purists, that means billions and billions of toxic chemicals wafting into the air, pouring down the drain into our ground water, and infiltrating their way into human bodies through pores that suck them up like plants absorb sunshine and water.

It has been a slow erosion that has allowed people to replace lab-generated, synthetic chemicals for natural botanicals in their hair, skin and personal care products. Chemicals might make life easier and produce more drastic effects, but they also exact a huge negative toll on our health and planet. And just as destructive, they offer a false standard of beauty and aging that many people spend their entire lives striving for but never reach.

Miessence hair care ingredients vs. the competition: come on, is there really a choice?


1. Cocoamide DEA (diethanolamine) can cause nitrosamine contamination, which is a potent carcinogen. Cocoamide DEA is a detergent that causes allergic reactions, including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and can be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

2. Propylene Glycol is a petroleum derivative and industrial antifreeze. It’s so toxic that the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities.

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate is used in car washes and engine degreasers – and in 90% of products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS and ALS experience eye damage, central nervous system depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation "comes from coconut".

4. Suttocide (sodium hydroxymethylglycinate) is a formaldehyde releasing preservative used in many ‘natural’ shampoos. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and is extremely toxic when inhaled or swallowed.

5. Fragrances can contain allergens and sensitizers, which can trigger asthma attacks. Fragrances also contain chemicals called phthalates, which are hormone disruptors that can affect fetal development and fertility and damage sperm in men.

6. Ext. D&C synthetic colors are made from coal tar and are certified safe for drugs and cosmetics, but not for food. Toxic coal tar has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal tests, and many people are allergic to it.


1. Coco Glucoside an extremely gentle, yet effective, cleansing agent made from glucose and coconut fatty acids. Non-toxic, fully biodegradable and mild on the skin.

2. Certified Organic Aloe Vera has healing, soothing, antibacterial, and moisturizing properties.

3. Yucca Juice contains natural saponins that gently cleanse and repair damage to cell membranes of the scalp and skin, helping to prevent nutrient loss.

4. Certified Organic Avocado Oil restores lustre to the hair and hydrates dry and damaged ends.

5. Certified Organic Horsetail Extract is an effective remedy for psoriasis, dandruff, eczema, and similar skin conditions.

6. Panthenol is the provitamin of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). It improves the moisture-retention capacity of the skin and stimulates skin regeneration. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. It makes hair easier to comb, reduces hair splitting, improves the condition of damaged hair, thickens the hair, and provides sheen.

7. Bitter Orange Extract is a natural antibacterial agent that acts as a mild preservative in our hair care products.

 Which Side Effects Do You Prefer?

As you can see, the difference between caring for your ‘Crowning Glory’ naturally or synthetically is huge. The side effects of hair treated with synthetic chemicals can be devastating, especially as the toxins build up in your body over time.

The side effects of hair treated with the best of nature’s offerings benefit your skin and body as the healthful ingredients are absorbed through your pores.

Out with the old and in with the new!

It’s time to be kind to your hair and put your toxic hair care products where they belong: in the garbage. Do yourself a favor and change over to the purest, certified organic hair care products on the market – Miessence, of course! –

To order your beautiful Miessence products, simply click here.

Order Now

Some content taken from MiTime  A ONEgroup Publication.

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October 20th, 2010
Topic: Hair, Miessence, Toxic Ingredients Tags: , , , , , ,

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