Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ready to dye

I had two dresses and a top mixed in with my scrap fabric. I saved them because I liked the fit and style...but the colors...not so much. Today I decided to dye them.

Rit liquid dye ($3.79) in Teal (my favorite color lately) a container of salt ($0.42) rubber gloves ($2.49) and I was ready to dye.
The baby pink dress was first. I had bought it new at the Gap in 2007 and had worn it maybe 3 times since then. It was super soft, delicate and I didn't hate the Ballerina pink per say, but it was see through and needed a full slip. If a slip is required, generally the garment stays hanging in my closet.

I followed the stove top instructions for 100% cotton. I added half the bottle of dye, and one cup of salt to the pot of nearly boiling water. I stirred the garment for roughly 30 minutes. I rinsed it in cool water til it ran clear then added a little more dye and soaked only the bottom of the dress for another 30 minutes.

I wasn't going to waste a pot full of dye so I started the next item. A light blue dress from Forever 21, 100% rayon I believe. It was even older than the pink dress. It was too big for me so I sewed the straps first. It also had some stains and discoloration. I wanted it to stay a light color and only soaked it for 15-20 minutes then rinsed it in cool water. I wasn't sure what the trim was made of but it absorbed the dye quite well.

The third item was a lace top hand me down from my sister. I actually liked the color but on my fair skin it gave off the look of jaundice. Not a look that most women want. I had no idea what the fabric was so I added vinegar to the pot just in case. After the first 15 minutes nothing was happening...still mustard, but after 30 minutes it looked like it was starting to change color. Being that it was originally in the yellow family, the end color was a dark green.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Honey & Lemon = Softer & Lighter Hair

 I’m starting out year 3 of my quest to be less chemical. The most recent quest…hair.
I am a girly girl. I crave fashion, makeup and ever changing hair…or at least I did. In my 20’s there was a hair color change every month or so…I didn’t think about all my hair falling out or the constant chemical bombardment to my scalp and lungs. Weaning myself off the box wasn’t easy. I could have quit cold turkey, alas the silver slowly sneaking into my dark blonde hair was not very…well…pretty.  I discovered what the term “mousey” meant when I looked at my reflection. I tried the less chemical options and the natural ones from the health food store. But they still dried the crap out of my hair and scalp. By winter itchy dry scalp was out of control and I started applying Organic Virgin Coconut oil as a scalp and hair mask every 4 days or so. My hair started feeling thinker and shinier…hmmm.

Consulting the all knowing internet I searched for natural ways to highlight my hair or blend the now darker roots to the lighter color of my long hair. Lemon juice was the first experiment. Sure it works great in the summertime…but the overcast skies of winter…not so much. Plus it made my hair feel like straw. It needed moisture, not just highlights. Next concoction…Honey, Cinnamon and lemon juice.

I squeezed one fresh lemon, 2 spoonfuls of raw wildflower honey and a sprinkling of
Cinnamon. It smelled awesome, tasted great…..and eureka…it lightened my hair.

I mix it together in a bowl and brush it on my hair with a medium size paintbrush. I leave it on for an hour while I give myself a manicure. I wash it out with gentle natural shampoo and a tad conditioner on the ends. Shampoo isnt always needed but I'm a creature of habit. 

It wasn’t drastic. But it was noticeably shiny, lighter and softer than my hair has ever been. By the 4th application on week 2, it was one shade lighter. Raw Honey and Cinnamon have a hydrogen peroxide in them. Honey is also a moisturizer, and the honey and cinnamon are both antibacterial. This concoction eliminated my dandruff…not a flake, not a dry patch to be found. Frizz gone, dandruff gone, shiny hair, less obvious roots…what more could I ask for? Would it do the same for my skin?

I started brushing the mixture on my face, neck and upper chest as well when I did my hair. Hello! Sun spots, freckles, acne scars…all slowing fading with every application. The honey makes it baby smooth. I apply a few drops of Borage oil as an additional moisturizer for my cheeks which is also an anti-inflammatory, and keeps my sensitive skin calm. 

I’ve now done this for a month (about 3 times a week) and dry itchy scalp has not returned. My hair remains very soft and shiny despite winter (and my) attempt to destroy it.