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Why I Decided To Ditch Chemicals And Go Organic With My Hair Dye

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Rebecca Adams

Voices Staff Writer, The Huffington Post


Trust me, when it comes to hair dye, I’m as picky as an amateur can be. I’ve been dyeing my hair red for 12 years, and I’ve managed to pick up a few tricks: I know exactly what to say to get the right shade (“copper tones, not purple”;) and I’ve strategized how to reduce the damage for my single-process dye job (only color the roots and use a glaze on the ends).

 

But after all of those years of gaining expertise at the salon, I still wasn’t 100 percent satisfied with the results. My once-resilient hair had started to become dry and less vibrant, and the color seemed to fade within a week. So I decided to give organic hair color a try. Sure, the prospect was scary at first — I’m just as guilty as most people when it comes to equating “natural” with “less effective” when assessing beauty products. But after a little research, I discovered the Organic Color System and became intrigued.

 

Standard, non-organic hair dye is loaded with all sorts of questionably safe chemicals: ammonia, formaldehyde, sodium laurel sulphates and parabens, to name a few. Much of the research focuses on how the chemicals affect the salon workers who use them daily, but it’s not hard to see how years of chemical abuse would leave my hair — and that of 75 percent of American women who admit to dyeing their hair — less shiny and soft. (Aging, it should be noted, could be a factor here, too.) The Organic Color System, on the other hand, is a natural, ammonia-free solution that promises long-lasting, vibrant results. Between 98-99 percent of the ingredients are naturally derived or organic, and the only synthetic ingredients are the pigments and stabilizers.

 

Cue the skepticism. Would this dye really work?

 

Rather than make an uneducated assumption about organic dye, I decided to book an appointment with hairstylist Mordechai Alvow at New York City’s Yarok Beauty Kitchen. Using the Organic Color System, Alvow helped me choose between the 64 shades offered (even blonde!). The process was exponentially more enjoyable, since the anti-oxidant blend of aloe vera leaf, comfrey root, orange peel and grapefruit seed in the organic dye didn’t have the same headache-inducing effects of the harsh-smelling, ammonia-filled dye you get in most salons. (It didn’t hurt that Alvow’s adorable dog was perched on my lap the whole time, either.)

 

But even the most pleasant smells couldn’t get me to go organic if the results weren’t at least as good as the chemical stuff. Luckily, they were. After Alvow was done with me, the color was the most striking shade of copper red I’ve ever had, and I didn’t have that pesky line of demarcation that always gives me what I call “fire roots” (freshly dyed roots that never seem to blend properly until after a couple of washes). The best part: My hair felt 10 pounds lighter and as soft as an 8-year-old’s. Needless to say, I’m an organic hair dye convert.

 

Just like with standard dye, Alvow told me that the maintenance of the Organic Color System is pretty simple: Avoid products with sulfates, and wash your hair less often and with water that’s not too hot. (PSA: His haircare line Yarok has shampoo and conditioner that’s safe for color-treated hair.)

 

So fellow hair color devotees, all I ask of you is this: Try organic hair dye and see what you think. If the ecological and health benefits don’t sway you, the soft, chemical-free hair you get might be what convinces you to officially switch teams.

 

Here’s how my hair turned out:

 


 

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9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid Infographic

Posted on July 8, 2015 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

 

This infographic "9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid" uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

 

 

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/9-unhealthy-foods.jpg" mce_src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/9-unhealthy-foods.jpg" alt="9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;" mce_style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;" mce_style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">This infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/unhealthy-foods.htm" mce_href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/unhealthy-foods.htm">9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid</a>"" uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>

 

 

Summer Hair Care Tips!

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Great article from Organic Color Systems.... :)

 

Is your hair ready to beat the heat this summer? Try out these summer hair caretips!


Use summer hair care products with natural UV protection.


If there’s anything worse than using products with unnecessary chemicals, it’s using them in tandem with the summer sun. The summer heat tends to leave the pores of the skin and scalp open, allowing for further absorption of ingredients in hair products – so make sure your hair and body are absorbing the good stuff!

 Sunflower or Helianthus annuus, is an all-natural UV protectant that’s great for adding softness to the hair. The oil of sunflower also acts as an emollient, providing much needed moisture for the hair in summer, and is actually able to lock in that moisture.

 We suggest changing to a shampoo and conditioner with added UV protection from sunflower, as well as adopting a leave-in conditioner that you can take with you on the go.


In addition to using sun protection products, there are other summer hair care tips that you can practice without products (read on).

 Another great summer hair care tip is to opt for a hat, hair scarf, or both. Not only do hats and head scarves provide further UV protection, they also help the hair retain moisture – a big time summer hair care issue.

Healthy hair starts at the scalp.

Wearing a hat or head scarf also provides the scalp with further UV protection that may be hard to obtain just through summer hair care products. Since the scalp regulates sebum (your hair’s natural oils), it is very important to ensure your scalp is adequately protected.

A damaged scalp can leave hair inadequately nourished for months to come!

Hair scarves also act as damage control for the hair. They keep the hair in place during visits to the beach, where wind from the sea can result in terrible tangles (that you’ll no doubt vigorously brush out on the way to your next summer activity, resulting in further damage and breakage).

Let’s not neglect to mention there are various ways to wear hair scarfs and hats, so you should never run out of ways to protect the hair and scalp, all while rockin’ a fabulous summer style.


 The summer heat and humidity calls for gentle up-dos and stylish braids. We know everyone is loving the top-knot bun style and sock buns, but putting hair up high and tight can cause incredible damage during the summer months, when hair tends to get frizzy and dry.

Try out a Messy Braid – they are one of the hottest summer 2013 hair trends!

Messy braids and gentle up-dos will keep the hair from further UV exposure and add another layer of protection for the scalp. Don’t worry about them being perfect – the laid back nature of theses summer hairstyles will embrace the natural elements of summer and look fabulous!


 Whether it be after a nice dip in the pool or a long day at the beach, it’s a good idea to wash your hair right after exposure. This will eliminate further UV damage, and wash away any impurities that could stay on the hair. However, when we say wash the hair, we don’t necessarily mean use shampoo.

It’s more than acceptable to cut back on shampooing your hair on a daily basis when the warm weather comes your way. In fact, we recommend it!

Cutting back on shampoo will actually allow your scalp’s oil production to re-balance itself, which is extra important for moisture during summertime weather.

After a trip to the beach, try rinsing the hair in the shower first, followed by giving yourself a scalp message.

A nice 30 second scalp massage will exfoliate old cells, increase scalp circulation to promote hair growth, and help remove any product build-up.

Then, try gently working your hair’s natural oils from the scalp down to the mid-shaft and ends. Medium to long hair lengths should also try just applying conditioner to the mid-shaft and ends.


 Every day exposure to chlorinated swimming pools can be very damaging to your hair. Although it can happen to anyone, men and women with shades of natural or colored blonde are prone to chlorine damage and discoloration.

Here’s our little secret summer hair care tip: Add moisture to your hair prior to jumping in the pool!

Think of your hair like a sponge, ready to soak up any water in its path.

If you put a dry sponge into the pool, it’ll absorb more of the chemicals than a wet sponge, that has already been saturated in water.

With that being said, wet the hair and/or put in a leave-in conditioner prior to going to the pool. If you do not have a leave-in conditioner, you can use a regular conditioner, as well.

If you’re a frequent swimmer or have very blonde hair, we suggest going even further with your summer hair care.

Invest in a shampoo and conditioner created for swimmers. Try products from malibu Wellness, these are professional-grade products that will eliminate minerals and chemicals commonly found to cause damage and green hair in swimmers.


 Summer hair ailments like dryness and split-ends can be helped with the inclusion of deep conditioning treatments in your summer hair regimen. Before establishing your hair regimen and choosing the “best” summer hair care products, you must first determine your hair type and texture.

To choose a hair product without knowing your hair type is like buying a pair of shoes without knowing your shoe size – it can be very damaging.

To help determine your hair texture and what it lacks in the summer, ask your hair stylist to do conduct a wet-stretch test. This test will allow them to make the proper summer hair care recommendations for your hair type.

Making the right hair care choices can enhance your beauty inside and out. These summer hair care tips will allow you to feel and look confident through the harsh summer months with healthy, shiny hair.

Have a GREAT Summer!  ............Melissa

 

The Truth Is Out on Genetically Modified Foods - And It's Not Pretty

Posted on July 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Source: http://www.opposingviews.com

This week, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”

They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

 

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, “I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods.” Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”

 

Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, “Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions.” World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.

 

 

Pregnant women and babies at great risk

 

Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that “children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems” related to GM foods. He says without adequate studies, the children become “the experimental animals.”

 

The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks—compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.

 

When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.

 

Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investigations in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.

 

In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating.

 

Food designed to produce toxin

 

GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called Bt—produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis—has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control. Genetic engineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so the plants do the killing.

 

The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic, has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.

 

Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room.

The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India, from handling Bt cotton.[xiii] In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported, “Victims of itching have increased massively this year . . . related to BT cotton farming.”

 

GMOs provoke immune reactions

 

AAEM states, “Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation,” including increase in cytokines, which are “associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation”—all on the rise in the US.

 

According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the immune status of GM animals are “a consistent feature of all the studies.” Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn. A November 2008 by the Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.

 

GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic properties, GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor—a known soy allergen, and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not to non-GM soy. Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.

 

Animals dying in large numbers

 

In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably Bt-toxin.” In a small follow-up feeding study by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.

 

In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days.

 

Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.

 

In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. Monsanto’s own study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.

 

Worst finding of all—GMOs remain inside of us

 

The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.

 

When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.

 

Warnings by government scientists ignored and denied

 

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.[xxvii] But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to head up the formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge of scientists’ concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto’s vice president.

 

Dangerously few studies, untraceable diseases

 

AAEM states, “GM foods have not been properly tested” and “pose a serious health risk.” Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published. A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the “potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants” revealed “that experimental data are very scarce.” The author concludes his review by asking, “Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?”

 

Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, “The experiments simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.” He adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”

 

Dr. Schubert points out, “If there are problems, we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop.” If GMOs happen to cause immediate and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then we might have a chance to trace the cause.

 

This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late 1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique measurable change in the blood—but it still took more than four years to identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called L-tryptophan.

 

If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms. It is therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.

 

To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their “members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.”

 

Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets—unless it says organic or “non-GMO.” There is a pocket Non-GMO Shopping Guide, co-produced by the Institute for Responsible Technology and the Center for Food Safety, which is available as a download, as well as in natural food stores and in many doctors’ offices.

 

If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food industry will likely respond as they did in Europe—by removing all GM ingredients. Thus, AAEM’s non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.

Farmer Says Pigs Health Improved After Switch from GMO to Non-GMO Feed

Posted on July 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (1)

By Ken Roseboro

Published: June 1, 2012

Category: GMO Food Health Risks.  A conventional Danish pig farmer told a leading Danish farming newspaper that the health of his pigs increased significantly after he changed their diet from genetically modified to non-GMO feed.  

lb Borup Pedersen, who farms in Pilegaarden, Hvidsten, near Randers on Jylland, told the newspaper, Effektivt Landbrug, that he immediately observed positive changes in the health of the sow herd. The story was on the front page of the newspaper.

Significant improvements

Pedersen switched to non-GMO soy feed in April 2011. Within two days of the change, he found that diarrhea, which had been a major problem for female sows, virtually disappeared. Over time, sow deaths from bloat, ulcers, and loss of appetite stopped. Other improvements included easier farrowing (giving birth) and a higher farrowing rate, more live births of piglets and fewer dead piglets, stronger and more evenly sized piglets, sows with higher milk yield, and lower medication use. There was also 20-30 less hours of labor each month because of the positive changes.

Pedersen said that the savings in medications has paid for the extra cost of the non-GMO soy.

Pedersen says that dead and deformed piglets are a problem in pig farming where GM soy is used in the diet. He is convinced that this is connected to the residues of the herbicide glyphosate that are allowed in feed within the EU—20 parts per million (ppm) in corn and soybeans. He says that residues have been measured at 17 ppm in soybean meal, and that the permitted level of tolerance has been fixed at the behest of the GM industry.

Glyphosate causing health problems in pigs?

“I am convinced that Roundup causes serious birth defects especially of the head and spine in fetuses of both humans and animals,” Pedersen says.

He adds: “Independent researchers have shown Roundup to be both a powerful and non-selective biocide and an endocrine disruptor, leading to birth deformities, abortion, cancer and changes in microflora in the gut of mammals, so that Clostridia becomes a problem. This, I think, is the direct reason for chronic botulism in cattle. I know that the diarrhea and bloated sow problems which we had—and which disappeared with the changed diet—were due to Clostridia bacteria.”

Looking to the future, he says: “I am sure that Danish farmers would stop using GM soy in the feed for their animals if they knew the harmful effects it is having on animals and humans. I believe that the effects of DDT and Thalidomide can be described as trivial compared to the effects we are now seeing from the use of GMO crops that are sprayed with Roundup.”

Since Pedersen’s story became public, The Danish Pig Research Centre announced that it would carry out comparative feed studies to investigate the impact of GM soy in production pigs.

(Source: GM-Free Cymru)

© Copyright The Organic & Non-GMO Report, June 2012


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