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Natural Skin and Hair Tutorial

The Natural, Week 3: Textural Analyses

Welcome back, dear readers, to another week in Natural Land. I've switched up my routine a bunch, and things have changed, as you can see — though in a few bizarro ways, too. I've got a lot to tell you, so to hear about what I've been doing, just keep reading.

So we're three weeks in and, as promised, my hair is a lot less greasy. It's also more voluminous. I followed readers' advice and tried a sea salt rinse after my lemon hair rinse, with good results. I think my hair is slowly becoming "unaddicted" to chemical surfactants and conditioners, but I've got to warn you: my natural texture is noticeably different now. It doesn't take a flat iron very well anymore, for example, and it's a lot wavier wet, as well as coarser. On the plus side, though, when I dry it straight, it has a lot of nice pouf that I never realized was possible, and it doesn't feel "fine" anymore.

My skin is generally clearer, though now instead of an all-over breakout, I've got a few big spots around my jaw and hairline that I'm assuming are hormonal. I'm still missing makeup, and over the weekend I actually used cherries to make a cheek and lip stain, which worked pretty well. My attempts to make mascara and eyeliner out of black sesame seeds and soot, however, not so much (I'll put the pics up later this week).

The strangest thing, though, is my sense of smell — the other day Mr. Bella used a scrub I usually love in the shower, and when I came into the bathroom it just smelled like a bunch of strange, foreign chemicals to me. Artificial perfumes in lotions, lip gloss, etc. are really unappealing now — even ubiquitous synthetic vanilla. It's an unexpected side effect, and one that's significantly changed the way I evaluate scent, maybe for good. I just hope I still like my favorite fragrances at the end of the month.  Now I'm wondering, has anybody had an experience similar to this, and does it get even more intense over time?

Join The Conversation
CalidaA CalidaA 6 years
The thing that happened to your sense of smell happened to my sense of taste when I dieted for a long time. I wasn't eating any processed foods and ate a lot less meat and carbs for a long time which resulted in (after dieting) things that were processed, greasy and artificially flavored tasted very obviously processed. I got used to those things again, unfortunately, very quickly after. But I have to say it was a real eye opener and I have learned a lot about my body from it!
reactionary reactionary 7 years
i'm trying to go a little more natural in my beauty routine and you guys seem to be experts - are shampoos and conditioners from the body shop ok for this? i'm curious to see what would happen to my hair if i stopped using chemical based products since bella's had such good results.
adrian44 adrian44 7 years
these are very interesting posts. Thanks for the update!
Choco-cat Choco-cat 7 years
It has been very interesting to read about your experiment, Bella. I hope, as a wrap-up you can post all the final natural and DIY products you used in your beauty regiment.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
Bella indeed! :D More power to you! I could never do this. Oh maybe someday when I get comfortable with my dark circles, ha. PS I love your top!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
You look great, going makeup free is so much better for your skin (I hardly wear anything anymore). I can't imagine your hair not getting healthier as weeks pass since you are no longer suffocating it with hair products (which I never ever use).
Advah Advah 7 years
These posts are fascinating! I stopped using SLS shampoos and silicone conditioners almost a year ago and I did notice by hair getting thicker and stronger - I thought I was going crazy though! I can't wait to see how the other week goes, but right now you look fantastic!
ahles ahles 7 years
Absolutely on the smell thing. We never used chemicals for cleaning around the house, but we did buy whatever was cheap for shampoo and conditioner. Many years ago when I went mostly hippie shampoo and conditioner I could no longer tolerate the chemical smell of most shampoo fragrances- gave me headaches. The few times we had to go back to things like Pantene or Suave it takes several days to lose the chemical headache, and walking down the cleaner aisle in a regular grocery store is just atrocious.
clearskies clearskies 7 years
The coarse hair thing has been happening to me too. I have similar coloring as you and have very fine hair. I haven't gone "natural" but I've been washing my hair half as much and not using extra products in my hair. I braid my hair before I go to be and I've notice the braid getting thicker...pretty cool actually.
CurvyGirl8900 CurvyGirl8900 7 years
You look amazing! And YES your sense of smell will go back to normal eventually, but Bath & Body Works still gives me a headache!!!! lol
Characterization Characterization 7 years
Like many people are saying: you look absolutely beautiful. :)
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think you look great! You don't even need makeup - naturally beautiful. Can't wait until next week.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
Give it another week or two, and you'll find that your hair's texture will get better. Like you said, it is adjusting to getting all the chemicals out. Yes, I went through the smell thing too. Some scents bothered me, while others didn't. The heavily chemicaled products were the biggest culprits. (That said, don't take a big whiff of Pine-Sol, because that'll really get your anti-chemical nose going!) It's strange, but it gets better.
sham28 sham28 7 years
I still don't think I could do this, I couldn't handle having blemishes or dry hair.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I love these posts - it's so interesting to see how things change week to week. I hadn't heard that about the sense of smell, but maybe you're just more sensitive to artificial ingredients now that you don't use them. And I agree, your skin looks great!
summerjams summerjams 7 years
ooh cherries for stains, maybe i should try that too. Im also wondering, if all perfumes are artificial or strained for their essence?
any any 7 years
well if you're not wearing make up! YOU LOOK GREAT WITHOUT IT! your skin is looking better and also your hair, so sad to hear about the flat iron thing, but i guess is better for your hair. and also weird thing about your sense of smell :S hope this passes soon
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