Of Monsters, Men and Dogs

I have been incredibly lazy over the last couple of weeks in my quest creating lovely skin care products. Not that I don’t think about it every day. I am in fact reminded each time I face myself in the mirror that a miracle cure for dry and wrinkly skin must be invented by moi – pronto!

The failure to put sufficient energy into the soap business has to do with the latest addition to the Soap Me Pretty family. Health and safety warning: The pictures below will cause tourette-like “awws” and “ohhhs!” That’s our adorable 8 week old German Shepherd pup Leo. You’ll see him hanging around this blog more often now. 😀



Here … hair, hair! I said here, hair!

I am obsessed with my hair lately. I had it really short but it’s growing nicely now and is getting to a length that doesn’t make me look like a 16 year old boy any longer. With my hair growing out I am noticing things I didn’t need to bother with before though.

For example the damn frizziness 20 minutes after blow drying it into shape (my auto-correct also suggests the words “dizziness,” “fuzziness,” and “friskiness” – all sort of really good descriptions for my hair in its current state!). Granted, the climate in Ireland doesn’t help with this but … really? Frizzy after only 20 minutes? C’mon you wind swept, humid island, give me a break!

And what about luster and shine? All non existent in my case. Usually not a hero worshiper I am  drooling regularly over Jessie J’s lovely, shiny, fully straightened hair on the Voice UK and went even so far as to send her a tweet learning more about her secret (she has not revealed it yet and maybe never will; I hope she doesn’t come back and tells me she’s washing it in the blood of 7 virgins or so; where the heck would I find 7 virgins?). In my quest for shiny and straight hair I am also considering buying a hair straightener. Lidl had a “Desperate Housewives” model just the other day that seemed reasonably priced and perfectly fits my current situation.

Desperate Housewives MultiStyling

So where is all of this leading you might wonder? It’s leading to the re-discovery of household remedies for hair. That’s where it’s leading. The majority of all commercial shampoos that you buy in your friendly neighbourhood supermarket strip your hair of it’s natural oils leaving it too dry. Applying conditioner right after only replaces some of the oils – certainly not all.

Please note at this stage that I am not trying to make the point that you shouldn’t wash your hair or only wash it so and so many times a week. I wash my hair daily and feel gross when I miss a day. My point is rather that there are amazing natural remedies out there that help you getting moisture and good oils back into your hair making it look shiny and beautiful. However, if you want to get rid of commercial shampoos try baking soda. I am currently experimenting with baking soda instead of shampoo and will – of course – report.

Here are my favourite natural hair remedies (to be used once a week):

Avocado for frizzy (or dizzy, fuzzy and frisky) hair

Mash up half an avocado with 2 table spoons of sour cream. Apply on clean, damp hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Avocado is a really light oil (in fact, sweet almond and apricot oil work equally well); as any oil it will weigh down your hair – but not too much which makes it perfect.

Olive oil and honey for shiny and soft hair

Pour extra virgin olive oil into a bowl (maybe fill it one third) and add 3 table spoons of honey. Heat the mixture slightly in the microwave so it blends well. Work the mixture through your hair from root to tip. Wrap into a damp towel and let sit for about an hour. Wash hair with a mild baby shampoo and condition as usual.

Olive oil is also a pretty light weight oil which makes it great for moisturizing. It’s got anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your scalp and prevent dandruff. And did I mention the vitamin E that’s in extra virgin olive oil? Honey is just a miracle worker … vitamins, minerals, antibacterial, humectant (attacting moisture). ‘Nuff said.

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse for full bodied shiny hair

Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with one part of water. Rinse wet, just shampooed hair with the mixture. Some people recommend using a spray bottle others claim that the vinegar poured over their hair does double duty as a drain cleaner. I leave this one up to your digression. Let it sit for 5 minutes and rinse with water (and maybe rinse twice if you can still sniff the vinegar after the first rinse). No need for extra conditioner.

Vinegar balances your skin and hair’s natural pH levels and thus counteracts the above mentioned process of oil stripping through commercial shampoos. Folks on the internet (including James Wong in his book “Grow your own drugs”) are pretty set on apple cider vinegar – don’t ask me why. If you want to go the extra mile go for organic vinegar.

cider vinegar

Photo Time

This is going to be a short post but I still wanted to let you know that I have started working on my online shop. Yeah! While it was super easy to get the .com domain registered I was surprised about the hoops I had to jump through to call the .ie domain my own. (For those interested, you need to provide a statement on an official letter head why you want the domain and what you are going to do with it as well as proof of address and proof of identity. Sigh. It took forever!)

In the meantime, Austin slaved over the pictures for the shop. Perfectionist that he is he had to create the correct set up including background, play with the camera for a while, wait for the right lighting (sigh again) and then do post-production in Photoshop. I have to say that the end results are really lovely. Here are some of the pictures so you can judge for yourself. 🙂 I’ll have more pictures and will reveal the online shop shortly!!!

Soap me pretty soaps stackedSoap me pretty soaps in a row