Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Green Light- Monique

An eco-sista who says take it one ingredient and product at a time


How long have you been eco-friendly? I began my green living journey 5 years ago in my late 30's

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? At first, it was purely superficial. My hair wasn't responding well to commercial hair care products. Products that were suppose to soften and moisturize my hair actually made it extremely dry and brittle. Finding out what ingredients were drying to my hair, like petroleum and mineral oil, sent me on a quest to familiarizing myself with ingredients that were harmful to my hair as well as my overall health.

After giving birth to my son, my prolactin level, a breast milk producing hormone, was high. An endocrinologist put me on two different medications (Dostinex and Parlodel) which aided in weight gain and mild hallucinations. After realizing that the meds were just temporary fixes with undesirable side effects, I began to search for a more holistic way of healing myself and began transitioning to organic cosmetics and personal care products. Since changing from conventional to organic, my prolactin levels have lowered tremendously.

What do you like about it? I love the fact that organic beauty is nourishing, nurturing and healing my body with natural resources. It's amazing to witness the positive results. It feels so good to have wool pulled from my eyes and actually be proactive in my well being.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? My biggest challenge was greenwashing. The earlier days of my journey, I was so excited and eager to trust anything with a green leaf, craft paper packaging with a natural/organic label; I'm a sucker for awesome packing. But as I move further along in my quest to be green, I discover how companies pretend to care about your well being and will set out false advertisement on being safe and natural. Watching "The Story of Cosmetics" by The Campaign of Safe Cosmetics exposed a whole new light on how the consumer is being taken advantage of and misinformed.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Yes. Take it one ingredient at a time… one product at a time. There is so much information on the web that it can be overwhelming. Trust… I know! Do your research on one thing and start to transition at your own pace. Beware of the "Greenwashing" products and companies. These phony companies are riding the wave of the green living movement and will do anything to get a piece of the action. There are great websites and apps that will keep you on track with that like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group .

Lastly, invest in your health! Initially going green can seem expensive. But it's becoming more reachable and affordable to a wide range of people with diverse incomes. Start small and do what you can to better yourself and the environment.

Going green can be complex. This discourages a lot of people. There's really no "right" way it's basically trying to do something than nothing at all. I sometimes feel like a green hypocrite. Do you feel that way sometimes? Nope. Everybody's journey is different. Going green has to be thought out especially when you're transitioning from years of never being green. It's a learning process that may not be fully mastered all at once. I learned to take charge of my health one ingredient at a time. Before I knew it, I was more aware of everything that was being put on and into my body. I have not mastered everything in my green living. But I definitely have greater awareness in everything I use and how my body responds to it.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? Thank You, Thank You. First I have to say, "I LOVE my Hair!" I've been natural for 19 years. Eleven of those years, I had loss and was pretty much on auto pilot with the maintenance of my hair. The last 7 years has been learning how to listen and nurture my hair. Through trail and error, I have finally become my hair's whisperer. When I listen, it delivers!

My routine, I believe, is simple. Most times I'll wash my hair once a month. Sometimes, it can be twice a month. As for trims, I get a professional trim once a year or every other year. If needed, I will do a little dusting myself in between visits.

Wash Day:
1)Pre-Poo: I put my hair in 8 chunky twists. Then pre-poo and detangle each section with aloe vera juice and coconut oil using a penman brush or wide tooth comb.

2)Wash: With those same twists in place, I alternate between a low lather herbal shampoo bar or an apple cider vinegar wash (1tbsp of ACV - 1 cup of water); concentrating only on the scalp and roots

3)Condition: Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner for 20 minutes

4)Seal: Then close the hair cuticles with ACV rinse.

Styling:
Whenever I moisturize my hair, I use the L.O.C. Method: Liquid (water or a light leave in conditioning spray), Oil (grape seed, jojoba, argan, or another light oil of your choice),  creme/butter. I changed the order around that best suits me to liquid, creme, and oil. I then give myself some twists or braids and seal it with a satin bonnet.

This routine has helped me achieve great twists and braid outs as well as keeping the health of my hair in tact.

Is there anything you like to add? Yes. If you would like some help transitioning to green beauty, please follow me on Facebook. This page is a guide to assist and inspire women of color to be proactive and practice green beauty.

I also have a natural hair inspiration page called Cotton Kinks & Coils on Facebook. This page is all about celebrating the beauty of "Rocking The Cotton Do!", offering hair care tips and plenty of eye candy for inspiration.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Maggi!
    Thanks for this opportunity. Continue to share, inspire, encourage and educate!

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure that's the purpose of this feature thanks for taking the time to share your journey.

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