Love Your Cellulite

 

A few weeks ago, I was away on holiday with my family (hence the lack of posts!) Unsurprisingly, the holiday inspired a body-image related post – with an especially unusual name (I bet you haven’t heard those two in the same sentence before). Yes, it might seem like an oxymoron to reference cellulite alongside ‘beautiful’; because we are told that the two don’t mix. We are told that we should banish and eliminate cellulite using expensive creams, lotions and surgery. It is often given unhelpfully negative personifications such as ‘unsightly orange peel’ – so naturally, we want to get rid. We’re also sold this misconception that if we have cellulite, we must be fat. So here I am (cellulite and all) to banish these theories and to prove to you that actually, cellulite ain’t that bad.

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I noticed that throughout our holiday, my mum was especially self-conscious. She seemed to be constantly comparing herself to others and putting herself down.  In the end I found this pretty annoying because really, there is nothing wrong with my mum! But I know it’s something I have done often in the past, so instead I tried my best to support her and help her to feel better.

One of the things she was especially hung up about was her cellulite. Now to me, it really isn’t that noticeable – but to her, it’s hideously obvious and ‘ruins her legs’. Understandably this makes wearing swimming costumes and bikinis a bit tricky – but unfortunately she had little choice in 45 degree heat!

I did my best to convince her throughout the holiday that the cellulite wasn’t really that bad at all – and besides, it only made up a small part of her. Women of all shapes, sizes and ages have cellulite – I have cellulite. It really is very much part of being a woman and something which I can understand people being self-conscious about, but really believe shouldn’t be such a sticking point. We don’t often see super-slender, airbrushed models with cellulite (especially advertising numerous anti-cellulite products which in themselves imply it is something to be banished!) – but in real life, (i.e, on a beach) you see it on nearly every woman. Sitting on a beach of many women, all of varying ages, shapes and sizes, I noted that over 70% had cellulite. Yet they were all individually beautiful! In addition, many of them seemed perfectly confident lying in the sun or splashing about in the sea even though they possessed this ‘defect’. I pointed this out to my mum continually, but it didn’t seem to have much effect.

On the last day, I found a wonderful example which I hoped would change her mind. I’d spotted a beautiful girl being ogled by blokes as she lay on her sunbed – wearing a red bikini with dark skin, waist-length wavy dark hair which shone in the sun with oversized sunglasses shading her eyes. It was clear that she was beautiful, even though she was lying down in the shade. Several hopeful guys sauntered up to catch her attention and try to talk to her within the space of a couple of hours. Then late in the afternoon, she was asked to translate in Russian for the sunbed guys, who were desperately trying communicate with the couple on the loungers next to us who couldn’t understand why they needed to pay. She stood with her back to us as she explained that the sunbeds would cost so many dollars – and as she did I couldn’t help noticing that actually, she wasn’t as slim as I’d had her down to be when I’d seen her on the sunbed from a distance. Standing before us now, I realised that she was actually a size 12 or 14, maybe even a 16, with wide hips and lumpy thighs, topped with a large bottom which was covered with ripples of cellulite. Yet this didn’t detract one little bit from her beauty. In fact, these features enhanced her beauty. She was gorgeous – cellulite or no cellulite.  I watched as she walked back to her lounger and waded out into the sea with her friends. She seemed carefree, happy; unaware of how beautiful she was but completely oblivious to her so-called ‘imperfections’. This was so refreshing for me – and straight away I pointed out to my mum how beautiful she was – to which mum agreed. Then I asked her if she had noticed her cellulite. She said she had – but that it hadn’t changed how beautiful she was. So then I turned it round for her and asked – ”why should it make any difference to your beauty, either?’

In Tough Love I talk about how we see others differently from ourselves – and this is most certainly an example of that. We tend to see the merits of other people before we see our own – or worse, we don’t see anything positive at all when we look in the mirror. But actually we fail to see when we have positive things which reflect in others – and the so-called ‘negatives’ which we have come to believe are embarrassing or defective parts of us because of harmful outside influences are magnified in ourselves but ignored when we look at other people. It’s holiday season – so try to be kind to yourself and remember that you are beautiful just the way you are – no matter what you may think is ‘wrong’ with you.

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Sudsatorium Shampoo Review 

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So today back to one of my favourite subjects – hair, and shampoo. I will bore anyone who will listen to death about hair – hair loss, what’s good for it, what’s not, what products to use, which to avoid…(you get the picture). I’m always on the lookout for my next shampoo – a better shampoo which is easier to use, smells great, doesn’t damage my hair or scalp and ultimately doesn’t contain any chemical nasties.

I’ve been using a combo of Khadi and aloe vera for some time – or simply using aloe with honey or powders in between. Because I only need to wash my hair once a week, I get through shampoo fairly slowly. This doesn’t stop me constantly looking for something new though – and after debating trying John Masters Organic I decided to head onto Etsy and see what I could find there.

I wasn’t disappointed; there are so many gorgeous homemade beauty brands on Etsy each listing their ingredients for the hair-conscious (paranoid) consumer. I’ve used skincare bits from Etsy before, (a beautiful all-natural tanning oil from Herbanna) so I knew I was sure to find something which floated my boat. The ones I found to be very pure yet still exciting and professional looking were produced by a company called Sudsatorium. Based in Canada (sadly, many of the brands are based abroad in the states or beyond), Sudsatorium offer a huge range of shampoos and body washes packed full of natural ingredients.

I was very excited to try this product, an excitement. Which was only slightly dulled by over a month’s wait for it to arrive (more on this later!) when it finally did arrive, I used it straight away.

My choice, Brewed Awakening, is as the name suggests made with ‘freshly brewed coffee’ to give your hair a caffeine induced growth kick and to add depth and shine to brunette hair. It also contains lime juice, hemp oil and vanilla; all organic of course. There’s nothing I don’t love about the ingredients list which is a bonus as I usually find something I dislike when a product’s scent and texture is just right!

The shampoo feels just like any other just slightly more runny. It lathers minimally (no SLS!), but enough to be spread evenly on the scalp (I don’t wash the ends of my hair). I left it on for a couple of minutes with my head tipped upside down(bit of inversion method) then rinsed with cold/lukewarm water as always. I don’t use conditioner and didn’t use oil on this occasion as I wanted to get a true idea of what the shampoo was really like.

When dry my hair was so soft,  so shiny and my scalp felt great. I particularly liked this shampoo because of the base of coffee – as caffeine has been shown in studies to nourish and stimulate the hair follicle, resulting in better growth and thicker, healthier hair overall. This isn’t a shampoo specially formulated for hair loss, but if you’ve read any of my previous hair blogs you’ll know That after trying most of the products out there are researching the hair and scalp I’ve discovered the best thing for the hair and scalp is going back to basics with all-natural offerings.

Anyone worth their salt when it comes to hair will tell you that 2 weeks is hardly long enough to be able to give a proper review of a product – but these are my initial views which I’ll be sure to update you with as I continue to use the shampoo! So, what’s the overall verdict at this stage?

Pros: Beautiful product with good credentials when it comes to natural ingredients. Smells incredible before, during and after application. Leaves my hair soft and shiny and doesn’t disrupt the nice natural rhythm I’ve spent ages getting it into. The company also donate a portion of their profits to charity – so I can’t argue with the price which I feel is fair for such a good product. You don’t need a lot, so it lasts a while, especially if you dilute it with aloe vera gel. 

Cons: This shampoo took ages to make and ages to come. The manufacture and shipping took 3 weeks, then it took a further 3 weeks to arrive by what I can only assume was pigeon mail. I was not impressed with this one bit and I would advise anyone wishing to try these shampoos to order WELL in advance! I understand anything sent from Canada will take a while to come, but I wasn’t prepared for a 3 week manufacture time.

Have you tried Sudsatorium? Let me know!

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If you enjoyed my Sudsatorium Shampoo Review, you can read more here.

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New figures show UK children unhappiest due to bullying

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I always felt as though my rants about the education system and our culture in this country were misguided or even unfounded. So hearing the results of this study today, I feel vindicated and able to say with confidence that we need to do something about the state of our children’s mental health, and to address the arguably wider issue of the causes behind such a low self-esteem and wellbeing.

Only South Korea came below the UK for unhappiness at school, with Algeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Israel’s children having better experiences at school. Perhaps most upsettingly for me, girls in this country are crippled by insecurity over their looks – coming bottom of the table for ‘satisfaction with their looks’ and ‘body confidence’.
This is something I talk about a lot – the fact that as a ‘first world country’ we are actually anything but rich, other than financially of course. We pity the children that play in the dirt outside crumbling houses, yet we fail to see that our own are in emotional turmoil, dealing with events which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

Bullying shaped me beyond belief for many – who can’t comprehend that this was ‘the only thing’ behind the severely poor mental health which plagued me for years, and the residual effects I deal with now. I had a safe, happy childhood, with no other outside influences which would have caused me to feel I wasn’t good enough. But how can you underestimate the effects of being told (and shown, almost like proof) that you are inadequate and ugly all day, every day, for a significant number of years – all at that crucial stage in life where you are just discovering who you want to be? The bullying I suffered turned me into a very young person with a very real hatred of myself – a person who continually tried to self-destruct even after I left secondary school. In fact, had I have died at any point as a result of Anorexia or depression, it would have been directly caused by the bullying I endured. Further research has shown that bullying at school is the cause or catalyst for a myriad of mental health problems, which stay with the person in question for life.

I am immensely worried following the publication of these figures. I would have liked to have been proved wrong. So the question now I suppose is: how can we stop this from happening? What can we do to save our children from cripplingly poor low self-esteem at best, and a life-threatening mental illness at worse?
Since we can’t string bullies up (or even discipline them properly) like the good old days, it has to start with us, and with schools. We need to be able to offer children who are suffering a different perspective – to empower them to live their lives without the damaging influence of others being so dominating. We also need to set s better example for young people outside of school. As adults, we need to stop bullying each other – sending the message that it’s okay to do so – whether that’s people we know, or pointing the finger at celebrities or people in the public eye.

As women especially, it is our responsibility to try to put our own body issues aside for the sake of our young and to campaign for the abolition of this stereotypical ‘ideal’ which makes so many of us unhappy – not to mention influencing young girls to have the same hang ups we do.

These aren’t the only solutions of course, but they are a place to start. If not, I worry we may find our already pushed mental health services will be inundated in years to come with the thousands young people we didn’t bother to look out for now.

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UK children unhappiest due to bullying…

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Aloe Vera for Hair Loss

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If you read the blog, you’ll know by now that I’m prone to putting a lot of obscure things on my head (unless they contain chemicals, that is!). Recently I stopped using powders with water (too messy) in favour of Khadi and Morrocco Method shampoos. I only wash my hair once a week, so you can imagine how long my shampoos last! I often add Aloe Vera, coffee or Rhassoul to the Khadi shampoo to make it more potent.

In between using these ready-made poos, I like to make my own (much less messy) shampoo which works wonders for my hair and scalp. It’s easy, no fuss and cheap.

Aloe vera is said to have cleansing and purifying properties for the scalp whilst maintaining healthy, shiny hair. It’s supposed to help strengthen the strands themselves whilst soothing the follicles at the root, which can also help with hair loss. After hearing glowingly positive reviews about fresh aloe vera online, I was determined to give it a go. I’ve heard equally good things about honey, so I thought why not combine the two? They’re both gloopy and shampoo-like, plus some people had already used them together with decent results. Cheap runny honey in a squeezy bottle will do – apparently using raw wild honey causes build-up of beeswax (no thanks!)

I am currently growing my aloe vera (it’s only a baby so I can’t cut it – and don’t want to!) so I bought fresh, pure organic aloe vera gel online (it’s relatively cheap and you don’t need a lot). Mine came in a sachet so get a clean jar or pot to decant it into.

To make the honey shampoo, simply squeeze equal amounts of each into the palm of your hand. You don’t need a lot – about the size of a 50p coin each. Then mix them with your finger and slop it all over your head, getting right onto the scalp and all over the roots. Don’t worry about the ends so much – my ends are never dirty now I don’t use chemicals and wash only once a week – but if yours feel a little heavy then add some more down there and massage it in.

I leave this on a bit like a mask sometimes for 5 or 10 minutes pre-shower or while I’m in the bath – or rinse straight away. Each time my hair is soft, shiny and clean – and it stays that way for the duration of the week.

You can see from this BTS that my hair is growing a lot thicker and longer – I’m positive that the no-washing no-chemicals policy is working wonders. Have you tried aloe vera for hair loss??

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Khadi Review – Hair Loss

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Now, I have to be the first to admit that after a few weeks, despite fabulous results for my hair, the powdered shampoo routine was wearing a little thin. I’m also under a lot of stress at the moment and until that subsides, I know that unfortunately my hair is going to be at risk. When it started falling out again the other week I decided that a) clearly whatever shampoo I use is probably not enough at this time to save my hair and b) why not find something which was still nourishing but less hassle?

Ah, but I’d already tried that before, right? I felt like I’d already trawled Google but I did so again – and this time I used a few different terms and discovered natural brand Khadi.

Khadi hails from India and all products are SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), Paraben and Silicone free. Instead they feature the exact same ingredients I’ve been using on my hair (Shikakai, Amla, Bhingraj) but in a handy liquid-gel formula which is easy to apply, wash out and doesn’t make my hair as tangled afterwards, either.

Word of warning: there’s loads of choice. I’m not good with choice and decisions because of my anxiety so it took me a few days to send off for one! I (finally) chose the Aloe Vera  shampoo – as I’ve heard fabulous things about its benefits for hair.  This shampoo also contains extracts of the Indian herbs mentioned above in addition to pure water and aloe vera.

The shampoo lathers soo well when I apply it that it makes me massively suspicious as to whether the ingredients are as they say they are (paranoid, much?) However on further inspection the bottle does only state that the ingredients listed are KEY ingredients, leading me to then panic about what I have just put on my hair.

Khadi’s website claims all products are free of chemical nasties, but I have emailed them to ask exactly what is in this particular shampoo as others simply say ‘Ingredients’ with an equally short list.

Anyhow, I’m really impressed with the smell, the texture and the cleaning power of the shampoo. As you know I only wash my hair once a week – so I’ve only used it twice now – but I’ll certainly keep you posted as to how I’m getting on.

Has anyone else tried Khadi?

 

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Khadi Review

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Soap Nut, Shikakai and Rhassoul clay shampoo for hair loss – Recovery hair

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You might have seen that recently in my hair loss quest (I lost a considerable amount of hair for the third time last year) I’ve gone all-natural in my quest to find a solution. I’m very lucky in that my hair is growing back thick and strong (although this hair is only 3-4 inches long at the moment!) but I want to maintain that growth, in addition to the health of my hair and scalp, to hopefully ensure no further hair loss takes place.

I posted about Rhassoul Clay and its benefits for the hair and scalp a few weeks back – and although I loved it as a shampoo I did feel it was a little drying and that I needed something more than just Rhassoul in the mix. On further research I discovered that a basic Indian shampoo is comprised of Soapnut and Shikakai – then often mixed with Rhassoul, Henna, Amla or other ingredients to further benefit the hair. I read a lot of good reviews online, so I decided to give it a try.

What is Soapnut (or Reetha) powder?

Soapnuts are used as a natural cleansing and conditioning agent which have been used for centuries in Indian culture for washing the hair and body. It effectively cleans the hair without stripping the scalp, restoring softness and shine. It’s great for hair loss and an unhealthy scalp because it’s all natural and contains vitamins A, D, E and K. Because of these aspects, and especially when combined with Shikakai, Soapnut helps to strengthen, lengthen and encourage regrowth of hair – keeping the scalp AND the hair happy is a powerful tool in combatting hair loss.

The powdered form is SO easy to use. Some do say they boil the nuts and make shampoo that way but honestly I don’t have the time, patience or attention span for that!!

What is Shikakai?

Shikakai strengthens the hair and cleanses just as Soapnut does – but where Soapnut (and Rhassoul especially) can cause the hair to become knotted, Shikakai combats this with detangling properties. It softens the hair whilst giving it lots of healthy volume and shine – plus it stimulates hair growth and nourishes the scalp preventing dandruff and flakiness.

Together, Soapnut, Shikakai and Rhassoul provide a perfect pH and a powerful combination of hair and scalp loving vitamins and minerals to aid in combatting hair loss. Without any moisture they can be a bit drying, so they’re really best combined in a recipe for optimum results.

How do I use it?

I mix a dessertspoon (around half a tablespoon) of Soapnut powder and Shikakai powder in an applicator bottle (you can get these from eBay for £1 or just use a plastic bowl) with about the same amount of Rhassoul (your bowl and mixing implement need to be non-metal as this reacts with Rhassoul clay) and then add a little boiling water and mix or shake until I have a foaming paste. It looks a lot like a runny, creamy shampoo consistency which is good (If you’ve tried Rhassoul on its own, you’ll know that it’s a little like cement dissolved in water – you get none of that with this!)

Then I add a few drops (I’d say around a teaspoon) of Argan Oil or Almond Oil (I use pure organic oil from Argan Liquid Gold). The shampoo does have a funky, ‘spicy’ scent but it’s nothing you don’t get used to after a while and it doesn’t linger on your hair once it’s dry. I love using essential oils in my shampoo – I usually add rosemary essential oil as it has fabulous hair-loving properties which help to repair and soothe the scalp but Cedarwood and Peppermint oils are also good and you can also use essential oils just for the scent, like Orange and Rose (I use pure Rose essential oil from Thailand – it’s TO DIE FOR!).

So, now for the application. I apply mine like a spa treatment in the bath so that when it goes everywhere (which it inevitably does!) it goes into the bath and not on the bathroom floor. Then I soak and leave it on for around half and hour then wash it off still sitting in the bath tub. I won’t lie, it’s incredibly messy. But so worth it!!

The good thing about Soapnut is that it foams and lathers up a little bit like conventional shampoo. I scoop it out with my fingers and apply to directly to my scalp, gently massaging my hair over the covered areas. I make sure my whole scalp is covered – I usually just pour the rest of the mixture over my head. I don’t bother too much about the ends of my hair, because they tend to get covered in the mixture by default and of course the ends of your hair don’t need washing as the scalp does. The Shikakai does make it quite gritty, so it’s a little like rubbing in and washing mud and gravel out of your hair (well, that’s exactly what it’s like),

The BAD NEWS about this shampoo is that it is an absolute NIGHTMARE to use and wash out if you’re used to ‘normal’ shampooing and hair washing. The GOOD NEWS is that you only have to wash your hair once a week – because your hair is returning to its natural state and is not getting greasy so quickly. Also the less you wash your hair the better it will be for the health of your hair and on improving hair loss.

I just stick my head under the shower for at least 5-10 minutes until the water runs clear and I can’t find any grit. I always find at least one little piece when my hair is dry but that’s fine as they come out easily.

Once your hair is rinsed clean, wrap it up in a warm towel and leave it to dry (don’t use heat when you’re suffering from hair loss!!). As always, don’t brush until it’s dry.

There you have it – the method seems lengthy when you first read it, but I promise that after one or two gos you will be sold as I was and won’t mind the slight hassle when you see the incredible effect it has on your hair. Go on – give it a go – and let me know how you get on!

 

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Natural cocoa dry shampoo for hair loss

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When I first stopped using chemical shampoos and started only washing my hair once a week to help my hair grow, I relied on dry shampoo about once a week to keep my hair looking fresh. Then I realised with horror that my ‘natural’ dry shampoo was full of chemicals too!

With that in mind, I scoured the internet for a natural alternative. A lot of these included baking powder which as we’ve already discussed is not the best thing to put on your hair. After a little while I found this recipe using cocoa – and it sounded good and simple enough to try!

All you need is:

  • A pot to store the shampoo in
  • 2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder, Cornflour or Rice Starch
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

Pop a spoonful of each into a bowl and mix them well. Then use your fingers to apply it to the roots of your hair where you feel it is needed. It’s that simple!

If you have blonde hair, you can omit the cocoa or put less in so that it doesn’t discolour your hair.

More natural recovery beauty here!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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5 simple calming beauty rituals

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Guaranteed to brighten any bad day!

When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it can feel like NOTHING will make you feel even a tiny bit better. You might not feel like it, but taking care of yourself in a way that doesn’t involve food can really make a difference to even the crappiest day. You can do these calming beauty rituals alone or with friends and family – plus they can be really simple or you can go to town! The choice is yours. Which one will you pick?

Rosewater Mini-Facial

There’s nothing like a bit of aromatherapy to lift your mood and brighten your day! The scent of roses has been proven to have a calming and uplifting effect on your mind and your body – plus rosewater has lots of skin-loving properties which are fabulous for all types of skin. I always tone my face morning and night with rosewater, but sometimes in the middle of the day I feel a bit oily or fancy a bit of a treat. Close your eyes and with a soft cotton pad gently smooth the rosewater all over your face. Mario Badescu has a beautiful Rosewater Toner with added Aloe Vera which is also beautiful – I keep it with me to spritz on the go! You can find pure rosewater online or at Asian grocery stores – just make sure its therapeutic or food grade.

Treat your feet

If you’re anything like me, your feet will be pretty battered. My circulation is still terrible, so my feet need a bit of extra love now and again. Invest in a plastic washing up bowl (you can get them from bargain and pound shops for pence!) and fill it with warm water, bubble bath and natural oil (olive oil and almond oil work REALLY well). If you like, add a few drops of essential oil. Essential oils can work wonders for the mind and body – each has different properties, or you might just like the smell of one in particular. I love sweet orange, rose, peppermint and almond. Soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes and relax! If you’re feeling fancy or love a regular foot treat then perhaps invest in an electric foot spa – they’re not pricey and just make the experience that little bit more luxurious.

Nail it

I always feel better with my nails done (hands and feet!). Plus research has shown that little things like having our nails painted a bright, happy colour can actually have a positive effect on mood. If you can’t afford to go to the salon, don’t worry – there are lots of good, inexpensive polish brands out there which can do the trick. I like Mavala, OPI and Barry M – plus you can check our this tutorial which promises an ‘at home’ gel manicure which lasts for weeks without the price tag!

Care for your hair

I talk a lot about hair loss on the blog because it’s a real problem for lots of people with eating disorders, anxiety and other mental health problems which cause the body and mind any sort of trauma. Why not take 10 minutes to give your hair a bit of a treat? Gently massage in a conditioning treatment – the best thing you can do is to use natural oils like avocado, castor, almond or coconut (you can take a look at my Rosemary Hair Oil recipe here). There’s something really therapeutic about sitting with a hair mask on under a warm towel, knowing it’s doing its magic under there. You can even combine it with my next tip!

Home-made face-pack

I love slathering on a natural face pack, sitting back and relaxing. There’s nothing like removing a pack to reveal fresh, soft glowing skin – plus it forces you to sit and relax because you can’t do much with a load of gunk on your face! Face masks are simple and cheap to make:

For dry skin:

– Blend 1 avocado with a little honey and yoghurt

Mix equal amounts of raw oats, water and milk with a little honey

For normal skin:

 – Mix a couple egg whites and lemon juice for a clarifying mask

– Banana milkshake – mash a banana with a little milk and slather all over your face (this one’s edible!)

For oily skin:

– Coconut oil, cocoa powder and honey (this one’s edible too!)

– Bentonite clay with water and honey

 

Got any simple, uplifting beauty rituals of your own? Share them with me!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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A natural shampoo recipe that works – Rhassoul Clay for hair loss

You may or may not have heard of using Rhassoul (or Ghassoul) clay for hair loss – I know I hadn’t until earlier this year! I discovered it on my quest for an all-natural shampoo which was truly beneficial for my hair and fairly easy to source and use – and although it sounds mental to put mud on your hair, I really love it and wanted to share it with you here on the blog.

What is Rhassoul clay and why is it good for hair?

Rhassoul clay is mined from beneath the Atlas Mountains in Morrocco – and has been used by Morroccan women for centuries – it was even used by Egyptians and the Romans before them!

It is incredibly rich in minerals which are vital for healthy hair growth – including Silica, Magnesium and Calcium. Vitally, it has the same PH as the hair and scalp, as opposed to mainstream shampoos which usually are highly acidic in order for them to effectively strip the scalp and ‘clean the hair’. There’s also no chemicals whatsoever as of course the clay is 100% natural. Instead of stripping the hair and causing the scalp to then produce more oil whilst the ends of the hair dry out, Rhassoul clay cleans the hair whilst allowing it to maintain its natural levels of oil. It also clarifies and detoxifies the scalp, helps to unblock pores and keeps hair soft and strong.

How do I use it?

What looks like a pot of dry cement looks difficult to use on your hair but in actual fact, it’s easy. There’s lots of different recipes for Rhassoul clay shampoo – that’s because it can be mixed with a variety of different liquids such as distilled water or mineral water, oil, coconut milk, goat’s milk and Aloe Vera gel or juice.

My basic starter ‘how to’ recipe for Rhassoul clay shampoo is below – but you can also try my Shikakai Rhassoul clay shampoo too if you find this isn’t quite your bag.

  1. Mix 1-2 tbsp Rhassoul clay with ½ cup boiling water. Make sure you use a plastic container and plastic implement to mix with – as metal reacts with the minerals in the clay.
  2. Add a few drops of essential oil (I use Rosemary, Rose or Peppermint) and 1-2 tsp Argan Oil or any other oil of choice (I use Argan Liquid Gold). Mix it all up. It will be runny, but that’s okay; some people say they use a paste but for me this is way too thick and as you will discover, when you’re used to conventional shampoo the clay can prove a little time consuming to wash out as it is!
  3. The best way to apply Rhassoul shampoo is just before you get into the shower or bath. It is a little messy to apply – I pour a little on my head at a time and massage into the hair to make sure it’s all covered. It’s weird at first because it does feel like rubbing mud and grit into your scalp but it’s a good feeling – similar to an expensive spa treatment!
  4. Make sure you rinse well to wash it out properly. I learnt this lesson the hard way. I thought I’d washed it out well and I was sitting pretty with my towel on my head waiting for my hair to dry – and then on checking it I could still feel a substantial amount of grit and mud in my hair so I went back and rinsed it again. The next day, my hair did feel clean but certain spots I’d somehow managed to miss were very dusty-feeling and when I brushed it all through my Tangle Teezer was full of Rhassoul powder! So – make sure you rinse thoroughly, preferably with the shower head right over the top of your scalp, rubbing your hair gently as you rinse, to get it all out the first time. I’m becoming a dab hand at this now – so don’t worry if you get it wrong first time too. Not many of us are used to having to rinse our hair for more than 30 seconds!
  5. You won’t get that soft, ‘squeaky clean’ feeling you usually do after washing your hair – but that’s a good thing! That feeling you get from conventional shampoo is caused by harsh chemicals having stripped your scalp, and commercial conditioners having coated your hair with silicones. Once dry the hair really is soft and feels so clean, but if you have fine or dry hair it can be very knotty and tangled (mine was!)
  6. Make sure your hair is dry as always before you brush or comb it – as doing so when it’s wet causes breakage! Pop a warm towel round your head (if you read any of my previous hair loss posts, (link) avoid the hairdryer at all costs if you’re trying to regrow your hair) and try to avoid the temptation of blasting it to see how your hair comes out. Once completely dry, I have to detangle my hair with my fingers (I always had to do this with conventional shampoo, too) then brush it through with a low-breakage brush (I use a Tangle Teezer). Hair is really soft and feels very clean – but not stripped. Perfect!
  7. See results!

If you’re not liking Rhassoul or you feel it’s a little drying, then try my shampoo recipe here. I use Rhassoul as an ingredient in this shampoo which is my main shampoo I now use every week – so you still get the benefit of it plus a load of other hair-loving ingredients.

Want to read more on hair loss? See here!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Hair Loss – what to do (the update)

HAIRLOSSUPDATE

I’ve covered the route for those who aren’t so bothered about the chemical aspect of cosmetics (the route I took myself initially and last year!) but I’m now keen to try a natural alternative to keep my whole body (and hair) healthy, so I wanted to compile an alternative post for those wishing to try all-natural to combat hair loss themselves.

  1. Supplements and diet – make sure you’re taking Biotin (1000mcg) every day for your hair (if you are at a safe weight and are okay health-wise to do so). I swear by this and always have done, plus it isn’t something which you will need to worry about harming your scalp! I know I don’t need to bang on about it – eating right helps too, but I know that isn’t always so easy.
  2. Use natural oils – Instead of conditioner, switch to oils. It’s a bit messy, yes, but you can buy squeezy bottles which make life easier. Even expensive conditioners contain silicones and chemicals which are less than helpful for your hair. Also take into account that any conditioner claiming to ‘aid hair loss’ is making a mistaken claim because combatting hair loss really does begin and end with the scalp. The rest of your hair is dead, so whilst combatting breakage will help your hair retain thickness and is important to the health and look of your hair, it won’t stop it from falling out at the root. I love castor oil and coconut oil. (You can read my post all about castor oil and its fabulous hair benefits here!)
  3. Invest in essential oils – Essential oils are renowned in alternative and homeopathic medicine for many health benefits, some of which are calming or uplifting effects on the mood which are added benefits to using them for your hair if it has been caused by anxiety or an eating disorder. Certain essential oils are specifically good for hair – such as Rosemary and Peppermint. Rosemary is said to maintain a healthy scalp and shiny locks, and peppermint stimulates the scalp – that’s why it is tingly when you apply it. I use a Rosemary Hair Oil every week which smells lovely and does my hair the world of good – click here for the recipe.
  4. The Inversion Method – I’ve only recently come across this – I’ve always massaged my scalp to aid hair growth but this is quite a sophisticated way of doing so which promises some pretty drastic results! I’m not sure everyone will see a few inches growth in just weeks as some internet die-hards claim, but it definitely makes sense to give it a go. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now – my hair already grows very fast and I’ve had decent regrowth round my forehead but I’m looking to sort some of the patchiness on the back of my head so I will see how I get on with those and post an update! I use the Rosemary Oil in conjunction with the Inversion Method to make it super-potent.
  5. Natural shampoo – When you’re losing your hair, you’ll try anything. (I have!). There’s countless hair loss shampoos on the market but as with all mainstream shampoos, they’re full of chemicals and we all know how harmful they can be for your skin and hair. Whilst I saw fantastic results from Alpecin and Nioxin, I’m really starting to move more towards natural methods now I’m maintaining my hair and regrowth. Natural shampoos can be hard to come by (lots claim to be natural or Organic, but they actually just contain a few natural ingredients and are not 100% natural). If you don’t feel you can, or want to, go all-natural, then try to choose the next best thing – it will be fine if you follow the next step, which is….
  6. Don’t wash your hair as much – I wash my hair once a week only. I know there will be lots of horrified people reading this – but honestly, I haven’t had anybody notice!! What I have personally noticed (and had comments on by friends and family) is the thickness and healthy look of my hair. When you first stop washing your hair so regularly, you of course feel towards the end of the week that your hair is a little greasy or looks a bit oily at the roots. I combatted this originally by using Klorane dry shampoo in between washes – but I haven’t had to use it anywhere near as much as I thought I would need to. (Now I use a chemical-free, home-made cocoa dry shampoo – recipe here!) The reason washing your hair less aids hair loss is that it allows your scalp to maintain a natural cycle and means you are not exposing your hair and scalp to chemicals so much, which not only strip the oil from your hair (confusing your scalp into producing more, hence more washing) but you are also possibly helping your hair loss by using harsh artificial detergents. You’ll notice that the greasiness really is only in the scalp area, and that this will only last for the first couple of weeks or so whilst it adjusts to not being stripped constantly. Now, after 2 months of only washing once a week, I generally don’t need to wash my hair more than that.

Combatting hair loss can happen, and it can be easy, it just takes time and patience (a lot of it!) I know from experience that it’s easy to become obsessed with progress and how much you’re shedding etc but the best thing you can do is secure a routine, follow it religiously and keep positive until you see the results.

Fancy going all-natural? Take a look at my no-poo post here!

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PLUS: Read What Not To Do for more tips

Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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