Would you buy a 99p relaxer?

I already know the answer to my opening question ‘would you buy a 99p relaxer?’ in reality most of you wouldn’t as you have natural hair but let me tell you this little story.

Last summer I got an email from someone saying that I should warn my readers about the fake relaxers out there.  Well I didn’t.  I didn’t know the person, didn’t have any information on the source and didn’t want to spread fear, gossip or lies. I thanked them and ignored it.

Then just before Naturally Fabulous a well known professional in the hair industry more or less told me the same thing. They had heard from an Indian source that ‘black women put anything on their hair’ so inside some of these relaxer kits were just a cocktail of harmful chemicals, they do the trick but they are much cheaper to produce. They even told me that some have been seized at customs.

Now again didn’t have any paperwork, information or anything that could verify these claims so I didn’t say a thing but I am noticing something. Home relaxer kits are becoming cheaper than ever! I have seen them in my local shops for £2 and Crystal Afro spotted some in Darlston for £0.99.

At first I thought this was because more and more people are not buying relaxers anymore and they are just trying to get rid of them. Then yesterday I started thinking ‘what if?’ Could it be that these boxes have lots of junk inside?  Could these be some of the fake ones packed with unknown/dangerous chemicals?  How could they produce and sell it so cheaply and still make a profit?

Results like this could be blamed on a ‘bad reaction’
but if it was the product how could we ever prove it?

It really is food for thought readers.

Let’s hope that one of these kits never goes near a child’s head! 

Natural Deodorant…it worked!

Did you read about the whole Solange Knowles and her Twitter rant about The Natural Hair Police? Remember we should not place rules on how people should wear their hair… that’s all I am going to say.

(Sigh) I’m sick as anything, I have a cold so bad that I sneeze about 20 times in a row and get a mass headache from it. All of this was not helped by me doing a 5.6k race around the city last night. I have made some great choices in my life but that REALLY was not one of them. 

The cold could be because I am a bit busy and run down. The wedding is next month (gosh I feel nervous when I say it and I have so much to do. I’m going away on Thursday I have a hen weekend to a secret location, all I need to do is turn up at the airport with my beach stuff I am really looking forward to it. 

So I was making a packing list and I  remembered the natural deodorant I told you I would try in my ‘Natural Deodorant Post’ a little while back. Here you can read the reasons why I decided to try it out.

I did try it and it worked, its coming with me on holiday so have a little read about how my trial went.  

About the Deodorant
The deodorant I tried was Bionsen £2.75 from Boots.

It contains: Alcohol Denat., Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Aqua, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Parfum, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Triclosan, Copper PCA*, Zinc PCA*, Manganese PCA*, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl lonone, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Eugenol, Citral, CI 60730.
*Thermal Salt Complex

Apparently a few of those are spa minerals rather than chemicals but you do your research. Most importantly, it does not contain Aluminium or Parabens. To me this is a huge step up from the one I was using…remember small steps to being more natural.
I must remind you that because it has no Aluminium it’s a deodorant not an antiperspirant. This means it won’t stop you sweating.

The company that makes Bionsen writes:

“Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat glands to keep you dry. Most antiperspirants contain ingredients called aluminium salts, and these salts block glands to prevent sweating.

Deodorants work differently, they allow you to sweat, but prevent odours by including antiseptic agents to kill the bacteria that cause bad smells

We haven’t substituted aluminium with anything. We respect the body’s right to cool down and detoxify naturally, which means avoiding any chemicals that interfere with this process by blocking the pores.”

Some more of their products 

My Trial
I started the trial on a weekend, I figured if it was going to let me down or I was going to have sweat patches let that be around people who love me. When I first put it on I noticed that it does smell quite like a spa. It sort of like fresh minerals, this is not typically a girly smell but it was still nice. All weekend my other half was begged to keep sniffing my armpits to see how smelled. It got a bit silly and anyone looking into our home at that time might think we were a strange couple but hey I did it for you guys. It passed my weekend test, I stayed fresh all weekend.  

I wore it to the spin class 

On the Monday I wore it to work. Monday lunchtime I went to a spin class and it was put to the test.  I did notice that I did have sweaty pits but to be honest the whole class had sweaty everything. When I lifted my arms a lovely spa scent escaped plus I had a shower straight after so it didn’t matter. This was when the strange thing happened.

In my gym bag I didn’t have the Bionsen to wear after my shower I only had one of my old aluminium filled ones so I put that on and went about my day.  I think my body must have rejected the old one because by the next morning I stunk. It was so strange, it was a horrid metal smell so I decided to dash the normal deodorant for the week as mixing the two didn’t work.

From then on it was Bionsen every day, I was a bit paranoid so it was in my handbag all week as well. This was just in case I needed a top up but I never did.
The small problem with my test is the weather has not been hot so I wondered if that was why it was working so well. Then on the Thursday night I attended the Curls Unleashed UK launch at Grace’s Milk Bar in Piccadilly. When I got there it was so so hot, their AC had broken down so I was worried. Here I was in a social gathering with natural deodorant…aggghhh!

I will admit I kept the hugging and kissing people to a minimum but I didn’t smell (or at least I think I didn’t haha) I did feel a slight clamminess under my armpits but when I lifted them for a quick (private) sniff test I got the minerals smell.  

The deodorant survived. I walked to the station 20 minutes each day, no problem I didn’t have any sweat stains or patches all week apart from in the gym and even wore a white shirt to work on one of the days.

Since writing this I have been reading about how you can make your own.  Perhaps that will be my next trial.

I hope some of you by reading my experience will feel confident to try out a more natural deodorant there are loads of them on the market. Please feel free to ask my any questions. 

Natural Deodorant? Really?

‘Natural Deodorant, Hell No!’ was the first thing that popped into my head when the lady told me that what she uses.  I didn’t verbalise it though but I did in my ignorance say “so what is that, is it like just letting your body do its thing?” She laughed at me and said “not quite but in the beginning when I found out about the aluminium in normal deodorants I used to just cut a slice of lemon, rub that under my armpits each morning and that was me” My eyebrows raised but I didn’t want to offend so I let her continue “then after that” she laughed “I used to dust my pits with baking soda but that gave me rashes so now I have found a good shop bought one that I use”.

‘So why on earth would anybody want to go through that?’ I wondered.

The thing is I really love my shop bought brands like Dove antiperspirant or Sure 24 hour protection. It smells good, I smell good and to be honest I wanna smell good!  This lady had sweat patches under her armpits and whilst she always smelled lovely I had noticed them before.

We continued to talk and she told me about all the dangers of the mainstream brands I took it all lightly but when I got home I decided to do a bit of research. I am as you remember, taking small steps towards a more natural lifestyle.  It turns out she does have some valid points.  

The chemicals of the thing that we push into the cracks of our armpits each morning are interesting. Sometimes I use mine straight from shaving so my skin is broken. When I looked on the ingredients list of my current deodorant the two that stood out for me where;

Aluminium blocks the pores and stops us sweating; you do find it in every antiperspirant.  It is suggested that aluminium applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast may be absorbed and cause estrogen-like effects. As estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells many articles I found screamed that it causes breast cancer but being honest I did not find any definite studies that say it really could cause it.

Parabens are a preservative which have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. I did find a legitimate study from the National Cancer Institute which did show that parabens do build up in breast tissue and during the course of this study they found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumours. However I should add that it did not say that parabens were the cause of these tumours

The articles I read also said that mothers who are breast feeding should avoid deodorants with either of these ingredients. 

Even after reading everything and researching all the ingredients I am still not sure I will make the switch to using a natural deodorant all the time but I am willing to try one out. I know I can’t avoid all chemicals completely and if you researched ingredients in everything you used you would never want to use anything again but it is worth trying to reduce them.
My hesitation comes from the fact that natural deodorants are not antiperspirants (remember no aluminium) so you will still sweat. The body is supposed to sweat; it’s good for us it gets all the toxins out of our body but do I really want sweat stains and patches on my clothes? At one point I imagined myself in my wedding dress with sweat patches and that is just not going to happen. 

I am not feeling this. 

Anyway I’m rambling sorry. Today I bought a Natural Aluminium Free Deodorant called Bionsen you can get it from Boots.  
I will try this

I will let you know the full list of ingredients when I try it properly. This will be over a weekend or something so I don’t stink my workplace out if it fails. I am used to having dry as the Sahara pits, its going to be a strange experience feeling wetness. I will do a follow up post and let you know how I get on.