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Natural Hair and Skin Care Tutorial

The Natural, Week 5: This Is the End, My Friend

It's been a month, and boy have things changed. I've totally overhauled my hair and skincare regimens, learned how to make my own makeup, and even gotten rid of antiperspirant. Today, I put on concealer for the first time in five weeks and it felt utterly strange (but awesome). Looking back over all my posts, there are a few things I'd change, and though I'm definitely wearing makeup again, there are a lot of products I definitely won't be going back to. I've got a few things to wind up with you, so just keep reading.

First of all, thank you to the wonderful readers and commenters who sent in recipes and gave encouragement — you are awesome, and I've tried to mention you by name when I can, but if I've left anyone out, please know how much I appreciate you.

Also, I don't think I'm going to stop being "natural." I really like the way my hair behaves now, and I feel a lot better about what I'm putting into the water supply and into my body. Does this mean I'm gonna stop testing products? No way, but as far as my personal regimen goes, I think I've made a change for the better. I'm also going to continue without antiperspirant, so I'll post an update and let you know how it's going. I still need to make reader Ishyy's natural mascara, so I'll have that up soon, too.

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On to the things I wish I'd done differently: I wish I'd started out more gradually. It's surprising how affecting product changes can be, and I would have made it a lot easier on myself if I'd just taken it slowly and only done what I was comfortable doing.

I'd also warn people who're serial hair bleachers (or anyone who uses permanent dye), as I used to be, that dyed hair reacts differently when you go natural, and that even if you stopped coloring months ago (it's been eight months since I last put any highlights in my hair, for example), you can still run into trouble, because your ends have been exposed to oxidants, the cuticle could be blown out, and the pH balance is often harder to regulate. So just be careful and generous with the oil on your ends.

Most of all, though, I wish I'd always known that natural recipes can be easy, viable, and effective. I know I sound like I'm turning into a hippie, but it's true, and I encourage you to try a recipe or two for yourself, because I think you'll like it. Anyway, I'm back to Bella'ing it up now, but it's been a great journey, and I'll keep posting new recipes and fun stuff I learn when I find it. See you again soon!

Join The Conversation
ren_kr ren_kr 7 years
beautiful! You've definitely inspired me to try to become more natural! I think I'll start with the hair!
danizzle danizzle 7 years
keep it natural! you are beautiful! most women have to work hard to be that pretty, but to you it comes naturally! enjoy it!
Cris1192 Cris1192 7 years
these posts were great, I looked forward to them every week.
bellazmom bellazmom 7 years
HI Bella - I've been following this series the past few weeks, as I, too, am looking to bring more natural beauty into my routine. Thank you for all the tips. You look lovely!
Little-Pepper Little-Pepper 7 years
well done!! really enjoyed the whole process :) although I wish it would just go on for longer and longer and soon we would all have reached the point of total realisation/illumination and give up certain products for good! but I understand it's difficult. I cannot imagine a day without an antiperspirant and shampoo. On the other hand, I know that me and a lot A LOT of my friends cannot figure out their hair beauty routines after having done highlights/bleach/haircolor so they (that includes me)wash their hair every day, stripping it off its natural oils, drying it out with hairdryers and overdoing with the conditioners... My hair used to be full of bouncy curls, and I would wash it every 3 days. Now, my hair looks pathetic, it's straight, thin,dry, oily at roots, and I wash it every day and look totally miserable. How to go back?! how to go back gradually without having to cope with awful hair? :( it's been bothering me for months and I still don't know the answer :( anyone else has that problem? dry ends/oily rest, thin, and overdoing it with various conditioners and trying to figure out something, but it only makes the hair worse?! :(
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Bella - you look fabulous! That's a good mixing of natural versus non-natural products. I have been using Burt's Bees shampoo/conditioner and I recently ran out and thought oh - I'll just use my husband's Pantene for that one night. After being on a natural hair regimen for so many months, i got grossed out using the Pantene. Even though it lathers nicely, the chemicals overwhelmed me and the conditioner felt beyond slimy. I don't think I can ever go back to regular shampoo/conditioners. (btw - I finally found a natural deodorant that is working for me - Alba Tea Tree Oil Deodorant. I've reduced shaving my armpits from every day to every 2-3 days and combine that with the natural deodorant - my rash has completely disappeared. Thanks for the advice!)
Cherlene Cherlene 7 years
You did it Bella! What a great month it has been for your readers. Thank you for going through this for us and letting us follow you on the way. Great job! Great tips! You look beautiful! :)
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Ok, I'm gonna try to take everyone's questions in one go, so this might get loooong: I'm sticking to natural hair and skin care all the way, and I plan on getting my makeup regimen as natural as possible, but I have a weakness for tubular mascara, waterproof eyeliner, and cream concealer, so I think those three are staying (I'm already trying out natural blushes, foundation, and lip stuff, though). For natural sunscreen, omigosh, I love zinc oxide. It's wide spectrum, naturally occurring, gentle for most skin, and you can get it without many additives (or if you're really sensitive, just buy it in powdered form online and dust it on before you go outside). Anonymous, my hair is very dry at the ends but gets oily at the roots, so I only use the lemon and sea salt up top. They're pretty gentle, but if you're dry and looking for softening, you might want to try apple cider vinegar. It wasn't great for me, but a lot of other people swear by it. Torance, it's really cool that you're considering going natural, and you've got great questions. I think you should definitely try switching over one product at a time—doing it all at once was really great after a while, but it wrecked havoc with my hair and skin for weeks. I think conditioner is the best thing to switch over from (my ends and hair look and feel better with oil than they did with regular conditioner), but I sympathize with you on the natural moisturizers. I add a couple drops of geranium oil to my hair oil to keep things smelling nice and fresh, and instead of using a creamy moisturizer, I'll do a heavy treatment with almond or avocado oil once a week, then just put lighter oil in for everyday, so it's not too scented. As far as your skin goes, if you've got a great regimen going and everything's under control, don't change it. Going natural is great, but I know how hard it is to find skin care that works, and it took me a long time to get my skin right—even with all the awesome people here on Bella giving me help.
Torance Torance 7 years
I've been wanting to go natural (at least partly), but it's hard for me to tell what recipes are going to work better and be worth the switch. Like my hair is really dry, and a lot of the moisturizing natural recipes don't smell very good. I have really oily skin, so I'm afraid to try a natural recipe that doesn't work and have my skin break out and have to struggle to get it back under control. So my question is, what are your products you're happy to come back to? And which ones do you think the natural recipes are better? Maybe you could save that answer for another story, because I know it would be long.
omigosh omigosh 7 years
Bella, I'm wondering if there's a natural way to protect your skin from UV rays? I know most sunscreens contain many chemicals, but I wouldn't be able to part from it! How did you solve this problem?
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
You were brave to go about the natural route head first. But you came out unscathed and you learned a lot.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Fauxcats, these days I'm using lemon and sea salt dilutions to rinse my hair, with a baking soda rinse twice a week, and then using neem oil instead of conditioner on my ends :) Anonymous, I don't think I'll ever go back to a traditional conditioner or moisturizer. If I have a hard time getting lemons, I might use a shampoo from Lush or something, but otherwise I don't think I'll go back to that, either. I also really, really love my argan oil facial moisturizer.
Rigor-Mortis Rigor-Mortis 7 years
Ha, that was very inspiring! I do have to admit, I've spent some serious cash on face masks, and the ones I make at home are much more effective, no joke. Perhaps the key is finding balance between industrial and more 'natural' products.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
I'm definitely going to do some updates—and I still have recipes to do!
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
It might seem like a small feat, but I want to say that you're pretty brave for giving up everything for a month! I'm not sure I could do it ;) The posts were great reads and quite inspiring. I'm with swedeybebe, I'd love to hear how your skin reacts to makeup after being without it for a month.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Thank you guys for reading it! And Chloe Bella, I grew my highlights out by using a no-lift toner in between my highlighted shade and natural shade. My highlighted shade was basically a neutral level 9 (there were still lowlights in my natural shade, of course, but I was trying to even things out, so I didn't really count them), if you go by the drugstore color box numbers, and my natural color is a cool level 7, so I put Natural Instincts in level 8 Neutral in my hair every six weeks until the fade looked natural and my roots had grown out. Basically, you want to put the gentlest non-permanent hair color you can find on until your roots have grown out—the highlighted bits should absorb enough of the dye over time to keep it natural-looking. If your highlights are more than a couple levels different from your natural color (I've been level 10 before, and once you get up into the platinums, growing those highlights out basically requires professional help), I'd say this isn't the best method, though.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Thanks so much for all of these posts. You've been so inspiring! I'm trying to naturalize my own routine a little bit now too.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Thanks for doing this, it was a very interesting read!
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