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Hair by Brian
As The Chair Turns

"Combing" the internet so you don't have to

“If your hair is done properly and
you’re wearing good shoes, you can
get away with anything.”

I hope this finds everyone reasonably safe and content.

The news of the day can give us such a heavy heart.  I know someone who always said “Don’t let them steal your joy.”  Please take what ever measures necessary to find your joy. Getting outside for a breath of fresh air is a tremendous boost to our mental well-being. Go discover some delight. And remember, you can start your day over any time you choose.

Be safe. Stay safe.
Do what you can to keep those around you safe as well. 


Once again I have a smorgasbord of articles for you from curly hair, bobbed hair, "natural" ingredients, to a recipe you didn't know you needed. A couple articles may seem long but they are packed with good information. Scan them over, scroll through at your leisure, or file them away for later. My hope is have something that will be pertinent to you, if not now maybe later. 

As always, I am available by email, text or phone if you have any questions or concerns.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Be well. Take Hair!
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The Top 5 Hairstyles You're Searching For

“The 2021 Hair Report”
from Cosmetify breaks down the most searched hair trends over the past 12 months.

One of the most exciting aspects of the professional hair industry is the rate at which hair trends come and go. Even amid a pandemic, people enduring global lockdowns turned to social media to stay on top of the latest “it” hairstyles and eagerly requested them once salons began to reopen.

“The 2021 Hair Report” from Cosmetify breaks down the most searched hair trends over the past 12 months.

  1. The Mullet. According to the report, the mullet was the most searched hairstyle in the past year, with more than 15.5 million searches, which is a 142% increase from the previous year.
  2. Waves. Thought to be the answer to excessive lockdown hair growth, waves received just under 15 million searches, which is a search increase of 16.5% over the previous year.
  3. Wings. This haircut, made popular by singer Harry Styles, saw searches grow by 17.5% for a total of 13.1 million searches.  
  4. Curtains. Popular for both men and women, searches for curtains increased by more than 50% to reach 12.9 million searches.
  5. Extensions. Outranking many natural hairstyles, extensions saw searches increase by 32% to reach 12.8 million searches.

5 styles with the biggest search increase

  1. Curtain bangs
  2. The new pixie
  3. Layered locks
  4. Modern mullet
  5. Middle parting
The 2021 Hair Report

Our hair is one of the most important areas of our bodies, and also one that takes the most care to maintain. As such, hair care products and brands are big business. In fact, the global hair care industry is estimated to be worth $94.92 billion in 2021.

With hundreds of huge hair care brands out there, the 2021 Hair Report will reveal the biggest brands right now, as well as the hottest hairstyle trends across the world and the most popular ‘hairfluencers’ on social media.

The 2021 Hair Report Includes:

Most Popular Hairstyles
The Hottest Hair Care Brands
The Rising Stars of Hair Care
Biggest Brands Social Following
The Most Powerful Hairfluencers

Each Country’s Favorite Hair Style

See the full report here >>>

Paper cut bob:
the right cut for a fresh start

Getting a hair cut is one of the exit strategies for giving your look a breath of fresh air. And the paper cut bob is a great way to get a fresh start after a long pandemic!

We are all dealing with the gradual return to the pre-Covid normal in different ways. Some are still cautious and are coming out of their shells slowly, and others instead need to make a clean break. Hair, which is always an expression of our mood, is no exception: there are those who got used to long hair during the lockdowns, but others can’t weight to get a haircut. And in this case the paper cut bob is one of the most popular looks to come down the pipeline.

Also because the bob is so versatile that it can meet everyone’s needs chin-length bob, to the long bob, or lob, from the fringed bob to the French style, the biggest trend for Summer 2021. But there is also another cut that seems made to measure for those seeking a big post-pandemic change: the paper cut bob, with a perimeter cut done with an extremely precise razor. Beyond its elegant and impeccable effect, the paper cut bob offers the advantage of eliminating ends that have been damaged by failed experiments and creating the volume of a thick head of hair, even for those with thin hair.

Edged-out Bob

One great example can be found in this Urbane Collection by the Texpert Collective where color and cut are a perfect combination for this look.

Classic bob

Rigorous lines, natural color, tone-on-tone highlights for this classic bob that is perfectly representative of this cut.

Pink paper cut bob

If you prefer to add extra oomph to a classic look, this cut is perfect for some crazy color… Pink, for example, would be perfect.

Gradient hair color

Always related to crazy color, but a slightly different interpretation, using coloring to create contrasting stripes.

A famous example

The paper cut bob is super popular with celebs. Whether hair is dark or light, or even with a natural color – it becomes a stand-out, eye-catching look.

Curly Haired Guys:

Your Epic Guide to Curly Hair
as a Dude With Curls

Curly Hair for Men made simple and

Despite the commonality of curly hair in men, little has been published and written on the right hair care, hairstyles and haircuts for curly-haired men. The reality so far is that most curly men prefer to tame their curls by buzzing their curly manes instead of paying some attention as to what is needed to rock their tresses.

My name is Kevin Arthur and I’m a barber with curly hair. It is thus that I’ve gone on to publish this website with plenty of on-point advice and handy tips so as to give you all curly folks a resource with which to learn about your so-called waves, coils and kinks. You see, I too hated my hair in my teens; I have curly hair that can be labeled as coiled (you can learn more about curly hair types in this site too), so my hair has always been a very rebellious creature, so to speak!

A professional photograph of two male models with cool curly hai in our barbershop after getting a medium-length haircut

After working the ropes of my profession for many years, I’ve gone on to establish my own barbershop and I’ve trained my staff on curly hair care for men since approximately 70% of our clients have some type of curly hair. I’ve seen and experienced the dramas of curly hair, so I’d like to now create this website so as to give you all my advice and tips on curly men’s hair straight from my years as a barber catering (mainly) to curly-haired guys.

What is curly hair?

Right, this is the money question: what is curly hair? I believe that it’s best that I answer this question right from the stat before you continue to browse my site since many men have curly hair yet they do not know it.

A photograph of a handsome man with wavy hair and a woman with curly long hair

Scalp hair can only grow in two textures: straight or curly. The texture of the hair (and thus either of the two textures) is dictated by the structure of the hair shaft, which itself is manufactured inside the follicle. A follicle is a tiny hole in the skin from which a single hair strand grows. The shaft of a hair strand is the actual structure of the strand.

A photograph of a Latin male with an undercut hairstyle for his brown wavy hair

The shaft of a hair strand is manufactured inside the follicle by laying layers of keratin on top of each other so that the hair grows in height and width. With straight hair (one of the two textures for scalp hair), the layers of keratin are laid evenly so that the straight hair strand has a symmetrically-rounded cross sectional area. On the other hand, with curly hair, the layers of keratin are laid unevenly, leading to a hair shaft that is lop-sided and asymmetric; this lop-sided manner in which the layers of the hair shaft are laid is what causes the curviness of a curly hair strand.

An inspiring photograph of a handsome black male with natural kinky-curly hair

Curly hair is inherited, hence the degree of curviness of your own hair strands is already established in your DNA and is yours alone, which makes each individual’s curly hair unique. Curly hair can be inherited via the mother’s side, the father’s side and it can even be a blend of both sides (as is usually the case of interracial kids with a curly-haired parent and a straight-haired parent).

Hair types for men

So, I’ve already mentioned that the degree of curviness that you posses is yours only. However, that same degree of curviness can be categorized into several types, which makes it easier for you to choose the right men’s hairstyles and haircuts for your curly hair.

An illustrative set of pictures of four curly hair men with short to medium-length curls

The two most famous hair-typing guides are the ones of hairstylist Andre Walker and of men’s hair expert Rogelio Samson (author of I used to use Andre Walker’s hair typing guide with my male clients for a good number of years, but, when Rogelio Samson’s hair type guide came out, I changed to his hair-typing guide as the latter (i.e. Rogelio Samson’s guide) is specifically tailored to male hair, whereas Andre Walker’s hair-type guide was created with female hair in mind.

Using Rogelio Samson’s hair type guide, these are the four hair types for men:

  • Straight hair (straight hair is both a texture and a hair type)
  • Wavy hair
  • Coiled hair
  • Kinky curly hair

Wavy hair, coiled hair and kinky curly hair are considered the three types of curly hair for men, and I personally use these types and hair-type guide to give my curly clients the best grooming results.

A photograph of a good-looking mixed-race male with a slicked back hairstyle for his curly locks

I will now continue below with this curly-hair guide by giving you the main tidbits of each of the three curly hair types including a reference photograph of each curl type as visual guidance.

Wavy hair (also known as wavy curls)

Wavy hair is curled as a wave-like pattern depicting the “S” letter of the alphabet. Wavy hair is the least curly of all hair types and it is the easiest to style for men. A male celebrity with wavy hair would be Adrian Grenier.

In the picture below, you can see how wavy curly hair looks like in a male; notice how the hair curves and begins to form wave-like shapes as it has reached a medium hair length.

A great photograph of Morten Harket sporting his wavy hair in a pompadour hairstyle

Coiled hair (also known as coiled curls)

Coiled hair is curled in a spiral-like pattern which produces coils and ringlets. Coiled hair is a bit more difficult to style for men but it (coiled hair) enjoys a good amount of natural volume that enhances the hair’s aesthetics. A male celebrity with coiled hair would be Kenny G (a professional saxophonist).

Here is (below) a picture clearly depicting how coiled curly hair looks like in a male; notice how the coils and ringlets are grouped as thick locks and how the locks preserve the well-defined coiled shape.

A photograph of a curly dude with long blonde hair in a middle-parted hairstyle

Kinky curly hair (also known as kinky coils or afro-textured hair)

Kinky curly hair is curled as tiny spirals with sharp (instead of smooth) edges, giving kinky curls a very-compact look. While kinky curly hair is notorious for being the most difficult men’s hair type to style (within reason), it does however enjoy a natural ability to voluminize to great lengths, which makes kinky curly hair, as a hair type for men, the most voluminous hair type. A male celebrity with kinky curly hair would be Will Smith.

The next picture below is a great example of how kinky curly hair looks like in a male. Notice the very-small size of the curly coils and how sharp the overall coiling pattern is.

A photograph of an African American male with long kinky curly hair in an epic Afro hairstyle

You can find more on these curly hair types on my published hair type guide, and I highly recommend that you go through the notions of learning your hair type so as to make the most of your curly mane.

Curly haircuts for men

One thing that I will tell you right now as a barber is that curly hair is cut different when compared to the hair-cutting of straight hair. Curly hair has to be cut dried (and not wet, unlike straight hair) and curly hair needs to be cut with a shaping emphasis instead of with a chopping emphasis. What this means is that there are certain men’s haircuts that favor curly men’s hair, while there are other men’s haircuts that look horrible on curly men’s hair.

A photograph of our barbershop client after getting a good-looking medium haircut for his dark wavy hair

Unfortunately, many barbers and hairdressers cut curly hair as if it were straight hair, which almost-always leads to a catastrophic haircut. Straight hair can get away with just about any haircut, but curly hair, on the other hand, needs to be carefully cut with the right haircuts if one is to sport a good-looking mane of curls.

A barbershop picture of a Brazilian client who got an Afro haircut for his long coiled curls

You can find plenty of hair-styling information on this site under my curly haircuts guides (see the menu on the top) so make sure that you browse through them so that you can learn to choose and cut the right haircut for your curls.

Curly hairstyles for men

Just like with the advice above on curly men’s haircuts, the same emphasis on carefulness must be said for curly men’s hairstyles. The main thing to bear in mind with curly hair is that curly hair will always have a tendency to coil back to its natural shape, hence the use of hairstyles that require your hair to be flattened or excessively combed are futile.

A photo of a young curly male with his hair in a side-parted undercut hairstyle

A great example of a bad men’s hairstyle for curly hair is the older classic slicked back hairstyle that requires the hair to be flattened backwards with pomade (this was a very-popular hairstyle with men in the 1920s). On the other hand, a good men’s hairstyle for curly hair that resembles the classic slicked-back style would be what I call the “modern” slicked back hairstyle that has the hair swept back with the fingers alone. By using the fingers to scoop and sweep the hair back, the curls are not pulled hard or flattened, while the timeless-and-elegant slicked hairstyle is maintained.

A black and white photograph of a young male with curly hair and a slicked back hairstyle shaped in an Ivy League haircut

As with every curly haircuts guide on this site, you too can find lots of advice and information on the right hairstyles for your curl type in my curly hairstyles guides. For what is worth, you must always use a wide-tooth comb to style your curly hair if you want to comb it. Never (and I repeat, NEVER) use a regular men’s comb or a hair brush to comb your curly hair; by mistakenly using either of these two men’s styling tools (regular comb or hair brush) on you curly mane, you are running a very-high risk of damaging your curls and follicles as your curls are trapped and pulled hard by the comb’s teeth and brush’s bristles.

A picture of an Italian guy with his wavy hair styled similar to the hairstyle of Jim Morrison

Don’t worry, there’s a lot more information on this site on styling and on products for curly hair, and I’ve made sure to include a section on this site that covers the most common mistakes of styling curly hair.

Hair products for curly men

Unlike what most people think, not all hair products suit curly hair. In fact, there is a specific range of hair-product types that are most useful for curly-haired guys. Likewise, there are certain hair products that you as a curly-haired dude should avoid or use the least.

A professional photograph of a wide-tooth comb used to style curly hair for men

One more thing that is very important to be aware of is that a curly male doesn’t just need hair-styling products. Hair-care products such as hair conditioners or deep conditioners are excellent “styling allies” for curly men. The vast majority of curly men will have no clue of what a hair conditioner is (perhaps even you aren’t aware either!), but knowing about these products and actually using them effectively will have an immensely-positive effect on the overall aesthetics and health of a male’s curly hair.

Good hair products for curly men’s hair

Here are the some of the best hair products for curly men:

  • Styling cream or hair cream.
  • Light-hold hair gel (firm-hold hair gel is also fine).
  • Hair mousse.
  • Water-based pomades with a light hold or firm hold.
  • Light-hold hair spray (which leaves your curls bouncy and flexible).
  • Leave-in conditioner (to be used as a styling product).
  • Hair conditioner.
  • Deep conditioner or hair mask.
  • Moisturizing shampoo.
  • Natural oils like extra-virgin olive oil, argan oil or raw coconut butter.
  • Wide-tooth comb.
  • Ionic hair dryer (if interested in drying one’s curly hair faster or achieving extra volume with the other hair-styling products).

Bad hair products for curly men’s hair

Here’s now a list of some of the worst hair products for curly-haired men:

  • Extra-strong-hold hair gel.
  • Oil-based pomades.
  • Strong-hold hairstyling waxes.
  • Strong-hold.
  • High-strength shampoos like clarifying shampoos or chelating shampoos when used often (once-a-month use or once-every-two-weeks use is OK though and I actually recommend such a spaced-out frequency).
  • Daily use of any type of shampoo.
  • Hair straighteners (also known as “flat irons”).
  • Non-ionic hair dryers.
  • Regular men’s comb or fine-tooth comb.
  • Hair brush.

As a rule of thumb, any hair product that has a strong styling hold will be a bad product for curly hair.

Men’s hair care and hair grooming for curly hair

The key to maintaining an aesthetically-pleasing mane of curls is to groom your curls daily and take care of them. This isn’t difficult since you only need a couple of minutes in the morning to groom your curls and rock a great mane of waves, coils or kinks atop your head.

A selfie picture of a redhead male with long curly hair styled in a side-part haircut

Grooming your curls involves getting them ready for the day: from the moment you hop in the shower to the moment that you’ve finished styling your curly mane. In itself, grooming your curls is a process and it’s a very straight-forward process too. Furthermore, taking care of your shapely tresses (i.e. hair care) is a very simple process that only needs consistency to reap the benefits of having waves, coils or kinks atop your head!

A cool picture of a young curly guy with a fringe hairstyle showcasing his shaped coils and ringlets
as the online reference for curly men

As mentioned earlier, my goal with this site is to bring you useful, trust-worthy information and tried-and-tested advice and tips on your hair so that you can get to know your curls better and thus open a new door to a world of endless hair-styling possibilities to fit to your styling taste and grooming needs.

Without further ado, welcome to!

Curly Haired Guys


Curly hair is the most misunderstood hair type, and it gets even worst when we’re talking about curly hair for men; the vast majority of curly-haired guys are completely unaware of how to style and look after their wavy, coiled and kinky-shaped manes. In retrospect, that’s the main reason for this site: to give you all the advice, information and tips that are needed so that you can finally get for yourself a good-looking head of curls.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair and Make Magic Happen

I started using apple cider vinegar hair rinse a few years ago when I stopped using shampoos with sulfates or harsh cleansing agents. I was looking for something natural to help clarify buildup from my scalp and hair without having to use a harsh clarifying shampoo.

Using apple cider vinegar over the last few years has really helped me improve my overall hair and scalp health. Read on for all the benefits of the ACV rinse and helpful tips on how to apply one for the best hair care.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

The apple cider vinegar rinse is a really easy way to clarify your hair. It helps to remove product build-up, as well as seal the hair cuticles to prevent frizz and boost shine. Because it’s clarifying, it also helps to give your hair some volume, which is something women struggle with a lot.

Long Healthy and Shiny Hair

Instagram / @organicallyanna

Ensuring that your scalp is healthy is a really important part of growing healthy hair. Failing to clarify your scalp well can lead to scalp irritation, dandruff, and excess shedding. It can also result in your hair appearing oily more quickly between washes so that you are compelled to wash hair too frequently.

Using ACV rinse every now and then clarifies product buildup and excess oils to leave your scalp refreshed. Being an acidic substance, apple cider vinegar is also beneficial for balancing the ph levels of your hair.

Hair that is frizzy or dull tends to be more alkaline, so using the ACV rinse can really help to balance that out and leave you with silky, shiny hair. Clarifying curly hair with the rinse can also help you reset your curls, making some ‘proven methods’ finally work for you.

How to Use ACV Rinse for Scalp and Hair Care

One of my favorite aspects of the apple cider vinegar rinse is how easy it is to make one. All you need to do is mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water in a jar or a bottle. The amount of each is really up to you and your preferences, just stick to the 1:2 ratio. For example, if you want to use 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, you should mix it with 2 cups of water. I typically use half a cup of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water, but take your hair length and density into consideration and use what works for you.


Once you have your rinse, it’s time to hop in the shower. You can use this rinse in a few different ways:

  • as a final rinse, after shampooing and conditioning,
  • in between your shampoo and conditioner,
  • at the beginning of your shower, before shampooing (the go-to method if the smell really bothers you).

I prefer to use it after rinsing out my shampoo. I carefully pour the rinse over my scalp and gently massage it in. Then, I pour the rest over my length and ends and let the hair rinse sit on my hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing with water. I follow with my conditioner as usual – I find that this helps to get rid of the smell more easily. Here is what I get.

Hair Blogger Sharing DIY Hair Care Tips

Instagram / @organicallyanna


If you choose to use it as a final hair rinse, you would apply it the same way after your conditioner and not rinse it out at all. Regardless of which way you choose to use it, one important thing to remember is not to get it in your eyes! I’ve made that mistake once and it was not a great experience, to say the least.

For those of you with color-treated hair, the apple cider vinegar rinse is not very acidic, so you can safely use it without stripping your hair color. Vinegar for hair can only affect its color when used more often than twice per week.

Helpful Tips and Tricks

The only downside of this rinse is the apple cider vinegar smell. I find that it goes away once my hair is completely dry, but if the smell bothers you a lot, I would recommend adding some flower extract or essential oils to your rinse when you make it. Some of my favorites are rosemary, lavender, and ylang ylang. Using the rinse in between your shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Product to Add to AVC Rinse to Combat Smell

Instagram / @organicallyanna

The ACV rinse doesn’t need to be used more than once a week. Overall, the frequency will depend on your hair type and how much build-up you experience. I personally use this about once or twice a month, but I don’t use any type of hairspray or styling products on my hair. On the rare occasion that I use dry shampoo, I might follow up with this rinse to clear it all out later.

It’s also important to note that if you have low porosity or protein-sensitive hair, this rinse might make your hair feel dry and brittle. If that’s the case, use this rinse once a month at most, and dilute it with some more water. If your hair still feels dry, follow up with a hydrating hair mask on your next wash day. If this doesn’t solve the dry hair issue, try using an alternative clearing product like New Wash, which gets great reviews from those following the no-poo method.

As always, listen to your hair, focus on what works best for your hair type and your hair care preferences, and ACV rinse will become the best friend for your hair and scalp.

Hair Blogger Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair

Instagram / @organicallyanna

The apple cider vinegar rinse is one of the DIY treatments that I have been using the longest throughout my hair journey. I’m always really pleased with the results, and it’s really helped me maintain scalp and hair health.


How to Make Shampoo Soap Bars

If you've been making your own cold process soap and using it in your shower, how about using your soap as a shampoo?

Many people use their cold process soap as a shampoo bar as well. But hair is different than skin, so you need to do a few things differently in order to have the best results. Most soap makers recommend:

  1. Formulating your recipe differently—both in terms of the oils chosen, but in the additives and superfat percentage
  2. Using a vinegar or citric acid rinse
  3. Knowing that some people's hair just doesn't work well with real soap—and being okay with going back to a standard surfactant-based shampoo. There are so many variants, like the hardness of the water where you live and your particular hair type, that they just don't work for everyone.
Homemade Shampoo Recipes

First, for the best results on your hair, there are a few changes you can make to your regular soap recipe that will help your soap work better on hair. Castor oil makes great shampoo, as do the softer oils like avocado, canola, and almond.

Here are three recipes to get you started. Feel free to customize them or use similar oils that you may have on hand. (For example, you can easily substitute palm kernel for the coconut, or rice bran for the olive, or lard for the palm.)

Included are the percentages of each ingredient to make a 2 lb. batch of soap. They can be scaled up or down according to your needs.

Note: The superfat/lye discount is calculated at 6 percent for these recipes. Some people prefer a low (3 percent or so) superfat in their shampoo bars, others prefer a high (10 to 15 percent) superfat in their recipes. Give 6 percent a try and then adjust up or down depending on your preference. Be sure to always run your recipe through a lye calculator! These recipes will still all probably take at least 48 hours to harden in your soap mold.

Basic, Mild Shampoo Recipe
  • 25 percent coconut oil
  • 25 percent olive oil
  • 20 percent castor oil
  • 15 percent canola oil
  • 15 percent palm oil

To make a 2-lb batch:

  • 5.8 ounces coconut oil
  • 5.8 ounces olive oil
  • 4.6 ounces castor oil
  • 3.5 ounces canola oil
  • 3.5 ounces palm oil
  • 3.2 ounces sodium hydroxide
  • 6.4 ounces water
  • 3/4 tsp of salt (to make the soap get harder quicker)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (to boost the lather)
  • 1 ounce of fragrance or essential oil blend
Light Cleansing Recipe
  • 30 percent coconut oil
  • 25 percent olive oil
  • 25 percent castor oil
  • 10 percent palm oil
  • 10 percent canola oil

To make a 2-lb batch:

  • 6.9 ounces coconut oil
  • 5.8 ounces olive oil
  • 5.8 ounces castor oil
  • 2.3 ounces palm oil
  • 2.3 ounces canola coil
  • 3.2 ounces sodium hydroxide
  • 6.4 ounces water
  • 3/4 tsp of salt (to make the soap get harder quicker)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (to boost the lather)
  • 1 ounce of fragrance or essential oil blend
Luxury Shampoo Recipe
  • 25 percent coconut oil
  • 20 percent olive oil
  • 20 percent castor oil
  • 10 percent canola oil
  • 10 percent avocado oil
  • 10 percent palm oil
  • 5 percent jojoba

To make a 2-lb batch:

  • 5.8 ounces coconut oil
  • 4.6 ounces olive oil
  • 4.6 ounces castor oil
  • 2.3 ounces canola oil
  • 2.3 ounces avocado oil
  • 2.3 ounces palm oil
  • 1.2 ounces jojoba
  • 3.1 ounces sodium hydroxide
  • 6.2 ounces water
  • 3/4 tsp of salt (to make the soap get harder quicker)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (to boost the lather)
  • 1 ounce of fragrance or essential oil blend

To make these soaps, follow basic soap making instructions. The amount of water in these recipes are low so that they will harden quicker in the molds. The high percentage of soft oils in the recipes can make them take a while to harden in the mold.

You'll want to make sure to add the salt and the sugar to the lye water. The salt helps the soap to get harder quicker and the sugar helps boost the lathering ability of the soap.


Because of the high pH of cold process soap, most people use a slightly acidic rinse on their hair after using a shampoo bar. The high pH raises the cuticle of the hair follicle, making it more prone to damage. The rinse helps lay it back down.

You can make the rinse out of either:

  • 1 cup vinegar (apple cider or white) to 2 cups water or
  • 1 tbsp. citric acid powder to 3 cups water

Give shampoo bars a try. Some people rave about them; some people like them, but prefer a traditional shampoo. 

From The Spruce Crafts

For you DIYers:

Learn a practical skill, create gifts, and let your creativity run loose all at the same time by taking up the art of soap making. DIY soap is loaded with natural and aromatic products that are better for your skin and the planet. We've gathered 21 easy homemade soap recipes for beginners.

21 Creative Handmade Soap Recipes for Beginners

The Majority of 'Natural' Skincare Products are not Truly Natural


Skincare specialists The Derm Review analyzed the 100 best-selling natural skincare products to establish how many of these contain synthetic ingredients. The study determined:

  • Only 42% of “natural skincare products” are truly natural
  • Majority (58%) of skincare products marketed as “natural”’ contain synthetic ingredients 
  • Skincare products marketed “natural” are 24% more expensive than “regular” skincare products
  • All of the “natural” serums in the study contained at least one synthetic ingredient
  • Nearly eight in ten (78%) “natural” face masks contains synthetic ingredients
  • “Natural” facial toners cost on average 479% more than “regular” toners.
  • “Natural” skincare products contain on average 2.4 synthetic ingredients 

See the full findings from the research here: 

Skincare biochemists from The Derm Review analyzed the ingredient lists of the 100 best-selling skincare products containing the word “natural”. The study found that out of the 100 best-selling natural products, only 42 were truly natural. The majority (58%) of products included at least one synthetic ingredient. 


The average number of different synthetic ingredients used in “natural” skincare products was found to be 2.4.


The Cost of Natural Skincare Products

The study found that the price of skincare products marketed as “natural” were on average 24% more expensive than skincare products that didn’t contain the word. 

The most expensive “natural” skincare products were facial toners. They were found to cost 479% more than “regular” toners.


Top synthetic ingredients found in natural skincare products

Ethylhexylglycerin is the most commonly used synthetic ingredient and was found in 24% of all the “natural” products. It is deemed safe and is generally used in low concentrations in skincare products however, it can cause minor irritation to the skin and eyes if high concentrations are used.

The second most commonly found synthetic ingredient was Phenoxyethanol which was found in 22% of the products. Like Ethylhexylglycerin, it is considered safe but can cause irritation when high concentrations are used. It is used mainly as a preservative and antimicrobial agent used to help your products last longer and prolong their safety and efficacy. 

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate comes up as the third most widely used synthetic agent and was found in 13% of the “natural” products. While being a synthetic agent, it is generally safe for all skin types, and is a type of vitamin C.

Products containing synthetic ingredients

Out of the product types The Derm Review looked out, all of the serums contained at least one synthetic ingredient. Out of the “natural” face masks on the list, 78% contained synthetic ingredients, while 58% of moisturizers and 55% of cleaners contained synthetic agents.


Are all synthetic skincare ingredients bad?

No, and not all natural products are good. 

Some chemical ingredients have been scientifically developed to be more gentle on our skin and more cost-effective to formulate. Other synthetic ingredients are processed to mimic bioavailable products that may be rare or threatened in the wild, and are aiming to prevent damage to biodiversity and environmental destruction.

For consumers, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the “good” and “bad” when reading a skincare label. Some long chemical-sounding words can sound “scary”, and many consumers may feel that the product feels safer if they see ingredients they recognise on the list.

When it comes to the synthetic versus natural skincare debate, it is not black and white. However, synthetic products are often demonized, and as a result, consumers seek out to find natural alternatives. Indeed, a 2018 survey showed that the vast majority of people (90%) believe that natural or naturally-derived beauty ingredients are better for them. 

It is important to remember though, that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. Some natural ingredients, such as essential oils, could be poisonous if used incorrectly, and many natural ingredients can cause more irritation to the skin than synthetic alternatives. 

Elle MacLeman, Skincare Biochemist at The Derm Review says:

“As we’ve established, natural is not always better, but despite that, consumers have the right to know whether the products they buy are indeed natural or not.”

“Sadly many brands overuse the word “natural” in their marketing in order to sell more products, and that feels misleading and deceptive. Especially as our research found that these products tend to be priced higher while not necessarily being better, safer or more environmentally friendly.”

“I think one of the problems is that the industry is pretty much unregulated when it comes to making claims. For instance, it’s common to see ‘chemical-free’ products on the shelves, but that doesn’t make any sense as even water is a chemical.”


The Derm Review searched during July 2021 for phrases such as ‘natural skin care’, ‘natural moisturizer’ and looked at the top 100 best-selling products that came up within the search results. For pricing, we compared the $ per Fl Oz on products marketed as “natural” with the same type of skincare products that didn’t contain the word natural.

Read Your Labels:

Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in So-Called "Natural" Personal Care Products

Your make up routine may be so dangerous that it leads to cancer, migraines, skin irritation, and reproductive health issues.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the “FDA's legal authority over cosmetics is different from our authority over other products.” As such, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval with the exception of color additives.

To date, the FDA will only intervene as a result of consumer complaints. Therefore, cosmetic companies have extensive latitude in choosing ingredients.

“More than 500 cosmetic products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients that are banned in Japan, Canada, or Europe,” reports New Max.

Interestingly, some cosmetic companies have banned certain harmful ingredients from their products in Europe but still use them in the United States and other countries. For example, L'Oreal has discontinued phthalates (see "Complete Guide to the Most Harmful Chemicals to Avoid" below) in Europe, but continues to sell products that contain them in the U.S.

An analysis of product ingredients by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals that “more than one in five of all products contain chemicals linked to cancer, 80% contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities, and 56% contain penetration enhancers that help deliver ingredients deeper into the skin.”

"Absorption of harmful substances through skin is far more dangerous than through oral intake."

Some of these chemicals or petrochemicals are deemed to be safe in small doses. However, there are two key factors that complicate the safety of these chemical ingredients in personal care products.

First of all, these ingredients appear in a wide range of products throughout the household. Since many of the ingredients are accumulative in the body, exposure to ingredients in multiple products can exceed the safe levels.

Secondly, adverse impact of these ingredients is exacerbated when the body is exposed to multiple types of chemicals resulting in a compounding effect on the body. Therefore, avoiding all synthetics in personal care products is the only safe option.

Absorption of harmful substances through skin is far more dangerous than through oral intake. Harmful substances taken orally go through the digestive system where enzymes in the saliva, stomach, and liver break them down and purge them from the body before they enter the bloodstream.

However, when these chemical substances are absorbed through the skin, there is no protection mechanism to prevent them from entering the blood stream. As is commonly known, snake venom absorption through the skin is lethal, whereas ingesting it will result in illness, but not death.

Given the potential for devastating adverse impact of chemicals on the body, it is important to distinguish true natural products from others that are branded as natural but contain harmful chemicals.

Selecting natural personal care products.

Caution needs to be taken when selecting among the wide range of products labeled and marketed as natural. By branding themselves as “Natural,” “Organic,” “Herbal,” or “Botanical,” many products with complex molecules and petrochemical substances aim to deceive unsuspecting consumers.

Commonly referred to as “greenwashed,” these products have misleading buzzwords in their name, brand name, or taglines on their packaging.

Fortunately, growing consumer skepticism has led to more stringent scrutiny by resellers. In addition, the power of social media is exposing this unscrupulous behavior of many brands. For example, in early 2016, Honest Company Inc. and Hain Celestial Group Inc. announced widespread re-evaluation of their claims of “no harsh chemicals” such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), after a Wall Street Journal report went viral.

When purchasing personal care products, it is highly advisable to perform a thorough evaluation of the brands and their ingredients to ensure that they are not greenwashed products.

Moreover, retailers can garner the trust of consumers interested in genuinely natural products by instituting, enforcing, and publicizing a rigorous evaluation process for selecting natural products. Embarking on such an evaluation initiative need not be a daunting undertaking, however.

Definitions and Guidelines.

Definitions. At the center of the evaluation system is the definition of “natural.” The absence of a universal definition has led many organizations to create one to meet their specific needs.

Perhaps, the most comprehensive definition is by Ecocert. According to the international certification organization, natural ingredients can be from four sources (plant, mineral, marine, or animal) with allowance for specific transformations, either physical or chemical.

In contrast, “Synthetic ingredients are considered to be any ingredient, fully or partially stemming from a petrochemical origin.” Adopting the Ecocert definition not only establishes a solid foundation, but also simplifies the evaluation of products and their ingredients.

Guidelines. A structured, but simple, approach is essential in ensuring a resilient system for evaluating products that claim to be natural. Follow these five easy steps to institute and enforce a process that will not only result in genuinely natural products on your shelves, but also allow you to capitalize on the market segment that is keenly interested in authentic natural products.

  1. Study pre-existing sources (listed in the following section) for evaluating “natural-ness” of ingredients in cosmetic products.
  2. Create your own “natural-ness” evaluation standards. You may choose to adopt any one of the sources in its entirety or create a hybrid based on your company’s specific customer market.
  3. Ask your suppliers to provide the entire ingredients list for each product with all unlisted or unclear chemical substances that are usually hidden within some ingredients such as: proteins, extracts, stem cells, fragrance/perfume, natural fragrance/perfume and preservatives.
  4. If you're a seller, evaluate your current and future product offering based on your standards.
  5. Publish and educate your sales staff and consumers on the merits of your standards.
Sources for creating “Natural-ness” Standards for Evaluation.

There are a variety of sources to use as the basis for creating your own standards. The most dependable ones are listed below:

  • USDA Organic Integrity Database. This is a one-stop shop for validating claims by manufacturers regarding organic certification of their products. If a brand and their products are listed here, then it has passed the strictest standards and no further evaluation of ingredients is necessary.
  • Natural Products Association (NPA). Founded in 1936, NPA is the largest nonprofit US organization dedicated to the natural products industry (foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids). NPA is recognized for its strong lobbying presence in Washington, D.C. and acts as a watchdog on regulatory and legislative issues. They have a very useful list of prohibited and temporary allowed personal care ingredients.
  • Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care Standards. Developed by Whole Foods market to evaluate natural products sold in their stores. They have Basic standards and Premium standards. You may choose to adopt either the Basic or the Premier standard, or some combination thereof.
  • EU Approved List of Preservatives. In 2009, the European Parliament and The Council of European Union developed a database of allowed preservatives in cosmetic products.
  • Ecocert. Founded in France in 1991, it began as a partnership between European nations, but has gradually expanded to many other nations around the world.  It is the largest organic certification organization in the world. Ecocert primarily certifies food and food products, but also certifies cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, and textiles.
  • COSMOS (COSMetic Organic Standard). In 2010, the five main European organizations involved in organic and natural cosmetics standards came together to create a single, harmonized international standard.

The group (BDIH in Germany, Cosmebio and Ecocert in France, ICEA in Italy, and Soil Association in the UK) created the COSMOS-standard AISBL (an international non-profit association registered in Belgium) in order to define common requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics.


Your Complete Guide to the Most Harmful Chemicals to Avoid.

Whether consumer or seller, look out for these key toxins:

  • Aluminum. Found in food and cosmetics, mainly antiperspirants, lipsticks, lip-gloss, and toothpaste. Although it occurs naturally, it is linked to Alzheimer’s, other neuro-degenerative diseases, lung cancer, and skin irritation.
  • Talcum Powder. It is a mineral, produced by the mining of talc rocks. It is used in baby, foot, and first aid powders; and in cosmetics used as filler and for absorbing moisture or oil. Impure talc can contain asbestos that it is known to cause cancer. However, talc, itself, is also linked to respiratory system and ovarian cancer.

Recently Johnson & Johnson was forced to pay $72M to the family of a woman who sued the company for her ovarian cancer. The jury found that for decades, the company used talc in its Baby Powder and its Shower-to-Shower products knowing that it has a potential to cause ovarian cancer.

  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Ingredients. It is a natural trace compound and a synthetic preservative found in cosmetics. They usually appear as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quarternium-15.

These ingredients slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, known to cause cancer; allergic reactions; eyes, nose, and throat irritation; interference with skin’s natural oil production; dermatitis; and reproductive system disparity (decreased fertility, increased the risk of miscarriage, and damaged sperm).

It is banned in Sweden and Japan. It is a restricted ingredient in Canada (usage is restricted to less than 0.2%) for skin care products. European countries mandate that if formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in cosmetic products exceed 0.05%, the product must be labeled with the warning, “Contains Formaldehyde.”

  • Petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are chemical ingredients that are derived from petroleum, and an astonishing number of so-called natural products in health and beauty stores contain these.

Detecting petrochemical ingredients in personal care products can be difficult as they are usually listed under different names (e.g., Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride) or hidden in other ingredients such as perfumes, fragrances, glycols, and many more.

Petroleum and petrochemicals are known to cause a range of serious health problems, such as cancer and endocrine disruption (hormones interference), clogged skin pores and interference with natural sebum production resulting in skin imbalances, and other medical disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit Disorder).

Moreover, petrochemicals are a leading cause of groundwater contamination. Finally, petroleum products generate 1,4-dioxane that is known for its health disruption effects (e.g., vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs). The EWG has found that an alarming 22% of all products contain unsafe levels of 1,4-dioxane.

Avoiding all products that contain petroleum-based ingredients is highly recommended.

  • Phenoxyethanol. It is a synthetic ether alcohol and a petrochemical preservative. It can cause contact dermatitis, and damage reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. It has been banned for use in certified organic skin care products by COSMOS, Ecocert, and the new EU organic certification standard.

Yet, many greenwashed companies in the U.S. continue to use it as a Paraben alternative as it's is on the temporary allowed NPA standard list. It is a common preservative in many natural extracts and proteins (wheat, rice, quinoa, etc.) used by cosmetic companies in their products.

Since cosmetic companies are not required to disclose preservatives and solvents that are used by their vendors to make their extracts and proteins, a more extensive due diligence step of asking cosmetic manufactures for the Composition Analysis of these types of ingredients is necessary.

  • Mineral Oils. Also listed as Paraffin and Petrolatum is this petroleum derivative ingredient found in drugs, cosmetics, household cleaning products, and baby oils (sometimes at 100%). They are linked to immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen, clogging the skin’s pores, promoting acne and other skin disorders, and premature aging.
  • Siloxane/Silicones. Polymers of Silicone found in cosmetics as texturizers. They are used for delivering a superficial silky sensation to the skin. Most silicones are derived from petroleum. In cosmetic ingredient lists, they can appear as Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, and Phenyl Trimethicone.

Silicones stay at the top layer of the skin. Therefore, they clog the skin’s pores and cause acne. Some research findings indicate that Siloxane/Silicones can disrupt the endocrine (hormone functions) system and cause harm to the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.

  • EDTA. Made from coal tar and include Disodium EDTA and Tetrasodium EDTA, they are used for a variety of reasons such as removing impurities from raw materials, as a preservative, chelator, stabilizer, and foam enhancer. Tetrasodium EDTA is made from formaldehyde (see above) and sodium cyanide is made from the toxic gas hydrogen cyanide.

EDTAs serve as penetration enhancers, which means that they can intensify harmful effects of other ingredients in the formula by promoting deeper penetration into the skin’s tissue and, consequently, the bloodstream. Additionally, EDTAs are not easily biodegradable and a poor choice for environmental health. Be mindful of this ingredient as it is used in some greenwashed products.

  • Glycols. They appear in cosmetic ingredient lists as Polyethylene Glycols (PEGS), Polypropylene Glycols (PPGS), Propylene, Butylene, Pentylene, Hexylene, and Caprylyl. Found in food, drugs, and cosmetics, they are petroleum-based compounds that serve as texturizer, thickeners, solvents, and moisture-carriers in cosmetics.

The majority of "natural" products contain this highly toxic ingredient. Propylene Glycols have been linked to skin irritation. PEGS can be contaminated with ethylene oxide known as a human carcinogen. Ethylene Oxide can cause cancer and if used on broken skin can cause irritation.

  • Benzyl Alcohol. This is a petrochemical preservative and is known to cause severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. Be aware that some natural brands use Benzyl Alcohol in combination with other preservatives as an alternative to Parabens. In the U.S., this ingredient is on the temporary allowed NPA standard list.
  • Alcohol Denat. It is a denatured ethyl alcohol and a petrochemical product that usually contains Benzyl Alcohol to make it undrinkable. It can cause skin irritation, eczema, trigger rosacea flare-ups, and prevent the absorption of Vitam
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol). Also known as Isopropanol, found in perfumes, cosmetics, and household cleansers. It is derived from petroleum. Highly toxic and linked to medical complications and allergic reactions of skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and upper respiratory tract.

It is used to dissolve other substances in cosmetics, personal care, and fragrances/perfumes products. It is also used to decrease the thickness of liquids and prevent foam.

  • Ethanolamines. They appear in cosmetic ingredient list as Diethanolamines (DEAs), MEAs (Monoethanolamine), and Triethanolamine (TEAs). They are petroleum-derived ingredients that are found in cosmetic cleansers, shampoos, soaps, and bubble baths. They are linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, and allergic reactions.
  • Parabens. They appear in cosmetic ingredient list as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzylparaben. Mainly derived from petroleum, they are potent broad-spectrum preservatives and are cheap and easy to use.

Parabens are linked to breast cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive system disorder, DNA damage, and skin irritation. The use of five Parabens (Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenylparaben, Benzylparaben, and Pentylparaben) in cosmetic products was prohibited in European Union in 2014. Parabens have been used by many cosmetic brands since the 1950s.

They are also hidden preservatives in many botanical extracts and proteins used heavily in all types of personal care products. Many companies who claim to be Paraben-free have done so by replacing it with other petrochemical preservatives such as Phenoxyethanol or Benzyl Alcohol.

  • All Sulfates. Sulfates are basically detergents that are used in household cleansers, and personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and masks. They are partially made from petrolatum or petroleum jelly. Sulfates are linked to skin, scalp, and eye irritation.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are known to cause hormone imbalance, toxicity formation in internal organs (liver, brain, and heart), and potentially cancer. The source of health issues caused by SLS and SLES is in their manufacturing process (ethoxylation) that results in contamination with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. Moreover, it is also a leading groundwater contaminant.

  • Quats. They are chemical and petrochemical ingredients that contain a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC). Some examples of quats include Benzalkonium Chloride, Cetalkonium Chloride, Steardimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Bromide, and Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, and polyquaternium(s), Lauryl Dimonium Hydrolysed Collagen, Diethyl Ester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride, Dialkyl Dimethl Ammonium Methyl Sulfate, and Hydroxethyl Methyl Ammonium Methyl Sulfate.

There are also milder versions of them that are used both as a conditioner and thickener. These include Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Oligosaccharide, and Sugar Quats.

Quats are used as a hair conditioner, hair styling gel, moisturizers, body wash, etc. Quats hold all the petrochemicals adverse events discussed above. Furthermore, in the U.S., the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), classified Quats as “asthmagens,” meaning they can trigger asthma attacks and initiate asthma in those who are asthma-free. Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde that is a serious health-damaging ingredient as described earlier.

Among quats, Benzalkonium Chloride has been known to have the most impact on natural hormone function disruption and causing reproductive toxicity. In Europe, the Scientific Committee on Consumer safety, based on skin reactions and toxicity, has restricted the use of Behentrimonium Chloride (below 3% in a rinse-off products and below 0.5% in leave-on products). In the U.S., they are heavily used by both conventional and greenwashed brands as a hair conditioner.

  • Phthalates. Commonly used as softening agents to enhance absorption of skin care ingredients and to create fragrances, they can be found in color cosmetics, lotions, body washes, hair care products, and nail polish. The most common Phthalates used in cosmetics are Diethyl Phthalate (DEO) and Dibutyl Phthalate.

The latter is used mainly in nail products as a solvent for dyes. Phthalates are also used as a fixative in fragrance ingredients in many other cosmetics. They have been classified as a potential carcinogen ingredient by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.

There are serious concerns regarding their impact on the reproductive system. Phthalates are often hidden from the ingredient lists as many companies use “fragrance” or "parfum" rather than listing them separately.

  • Artificial Colors. Found in food, drugs, and cosmetics, artificial colors contain heavy metal salts and are linked to cancer, hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and allergic reactions. They are even used heavily by cosmetic companies in many so-called “natural” products. Most are derived from petroleum and/or coal tar. They are normally listed as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number.
  • Fragrances/Perfumes. Found in cosmetics (including so-called natural products) and household products. They are linked to headache, dizziness, allergic reactions, hormone disruptions, and hyperpigmentation.

Additionally, They are the most frequent cause of allergic reactions in cosmetics. Most are derived from petroleum. Since companies consider their fragrance formulations as trade secrets and listing the chemicals, such as solvents or preservatives, is not mandated by FDA, they are able to hide toxic synthetic substances such as chemical preservatives, petroleum, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), etc.

This widespread practice extends to natural brands that choose to list “natural fragrance” on their label instead of disclosing the actual substances in their formulations. These "natural" fragrances very likely consist of petrochemicals (e.g., Phthalates) or other harmful ingredients that are used as solvents or preservatives.

If manufacturers are not willing to provide the breakdown of their natural ingredients, it is best to avoid their products altogether.

  • Triclosan. It is mainly used in antiperspirants, deodorants, hand sanitizers, facial tissues, and toothpastes as an antibacterial agent and a preservative. It passes through skin and it is linked to endocrine (hormone function) disruption and irritating to the skin and eyes.

Prevalent in so many products, Triclosan was detected in 75% of urine samples (2,517 people ages six years and older) in a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Triclosan has been banned in Europe since 2010 but is still used in the U.S. Its use in Canada is restricted (0.03% in mouthwash and 0.3% in cosmetics) and flagged for further assessment by the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan.

  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). Used as preservatives, BHA and BHT can be found in moisturizers, lipsticks, hair products, makeup, sunscreen, antiperspirant/deodorant, fragrance, other cosmetics, and some food products (e.g., cereals, gum, fast food, snacks).

They are known to cause skin allergic reactions, endocrine disruption (hormonal), developmental and reproductive toxicity, and as potential human carcinogen. Some studies also indicate that they may cause organ-system toxicity and impact liver, thyroid and lung health.


As is evident, there are many chemical ingredients that can cause serious harm to the health of consumers. For this reason, there is a growing demand for products that are truly free of such harsh ingredients. Retailers can take steps to serve their customers’ demands and capitalize on this growing trend for truly natural products.

The first step to addressing this market opportunity is to implement a process to evaluate products that are marketed as natural. Equally as important is to communicate the specifics of the program for evaluating products to the sales staff and consumers.

By informing the salespeople and consumers, this program will not only result in safer products on the shelves but also generate incremental sales by having instilled a sense of confidence in consumers – a true win-win for all.

Fortunately, the work to create and implement this program should not be viewed as an insurmountable endeavor as there are plenty of pre-existing resources from reliable entities to jumpstart the evaluation process.

Some, such as the USDA Integrity Database, serve as an instant validation (or not) of claims made by manufacturers, while other sources require some adaptation to meet your business needs.

Given the industry trend, it is certain that any effort expended in separating true natural products from imposters will pay dividends for quite some time.

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Which hair ties are best?
From low ponytails to messy buns, hair ties are the go-to accessory for many hair styles. Hair ties of the past, however, had a reputation for damaging strands and being painful to remove, in part due to low-quality construction and metal components. 

More recently, they’ve been engineered with far better designs that are comfortable, safe and more durable than ever before. One of many new designs on the market is Scunci No Damage Thick Hair Elastics, which tops our shopping list for its soft, flexible design.

What to know before you buy hair ties

Before you invest in new hair ties, it’s helpful to know the different styles on the market. 

Classic hair ties

Basic hair ties have a single piece of elastic wrapped in fabric. In the past, these hair ties had metal fasteners, though most newer varieties are metal-free. They’re considered versatile, though some wearers report they may damage hair.

Terry hair elastics, often used in children’s hair, are blended with elastic thread. Because they’re soft, flexible and low-tension, they’re suitable for sleeping or all-day wear. Terry hair ties are also less likely to damage hair.

New hair ties

Snap hair ties have a secure, locking closure that won’t create creases in hair. They work well with thick and curly hair, as well as braids and dreadlocks. According to many wearers, they’re far easier to remove from hair than other ties— though they tend to be expensive. 

Coiled hair ties are designed for maximum comfort and minimum damage. While they’re effective at holding ponytails and buns in place, they’re a low-tension option that is easy to remove. However, they get stretched out easily and may take a few hours to return to their original shape.

Extra-large hair ties lend themselves to more “wrapping” around hair, which some wearers feel is more secure than other options. These hair ties tend to be more durably made. Additionally, they’re often used to hold back dreadlocks and box braids. These hair ties are sometimes more difficult to find at retailers than others. 

What to look for in quality hair ties

Popular materials for hair ties

Many hair ties are wrapped in polyester or satin thread, giving them a smooth finish. They’re affordable and come in several sizes. However, they’re not the most durable option, and these fibers eventually break under tension. 

Some hair ties, including scrunchies, are made with soft materials like cotton, velvet and satin. They’re soft on hair and can be removed without causing much damage. Unfortunately, these materials are so slick that they may end up sliding down hair throughout the day.

Silicone hair ties, namely coiled ones, are noted for their smooth, snag-free designs. They also won’t leave kinks or creases in hair. One of the pitfalls, however, is that silicone hair ties are the most expensive options. 


Hair ties are available in a rainbow of colors, including pastel, primary and neon shades. More recently, the market has seen an influx of hair ties in discreet colors that blend in with natural hair colors. These include shades to accommodate blonde, brunette, redhead, black and silver-toned hair. 

Non-slip details

Some premium hair ties have non-slip details, such as silicone or rubber dots, to offer a more secure hold. They’re particularly popular among active individuals who engage in high-impact activities. While many wearers agree they’re effective at staying put, they may snag hair or create kinks. 

How much you can expect to spend on hair ties

Because hair ties are typically sold in multipacks, it’s best to compare cost based on price per hair tie. Basic hair ties cost $0.10-$0.20 apiece, whereas better-quality hair ties and scrunchies run $0.25-$1 apiece. Speciality hair ties, such as designer scrunchies and coil hair ties, cost $1-$5 per piece. 

Hair ties FAQ

How do I prevent damage from hair ties?

A. If possible, wear ponytails as loosely-tied as possible to reduce tension and pulling. It’s helpful to limit how often you wear your hair up, especially in tighter styles. As for topical damage treatments, a restorative or hydrating hair mask can replenish hair’s natural moisture barrier. These products may reduce your hair’s brittleness, and in turn, could make it less prone to breakage.

Can you wash or clean hair ties?

A. Silicone hair ties can be cleaned in soap and water and left to air dry. Hair ties made with elastic, fabric or terry cloth, can be machine washed inside a mesh laundry bag and then hung to dry. Some people place hair ties in a UV sanitizer for quick and easy cleaning. 

What’s the best hair tie to buy?

Top hair ties

Scunci No Damage Thick Hair Elastics

Scunci No Damage Thick Hair Elastics

What you need to know: Made by one of the best-known hair accessory brands, this set of 24 elastics are uniquely designed to hold up thick and heavy hair. 

What you’ll love: The ultra-strong elastic can be wrapped tight without snapping under pressure, and the metal-free design won’t snag or damage hair. This set has assorted colors to match every outfit. 

What you should consider: It’s common for the elastic to snap after several uses.

Top hair ties for the money

GOODY Tiny Terry Ponytailers

GOODY Tiny Terry Ponytailers

What you need to know: These small ponytailers, soft enough to use on kids’ hair, come in a set of 42 vibrant colors. 

What you’ll love: This is one of the softer options, making them ideal for sleeping. They hold pigtails and mini buns in place without sliding down hair, and they can be hand or machine washed. 

What you should consider: The threads and elastic wear out sooner than expected.

Worth checking out

invisibobble Traceless Hair Ties

What you need to know: A new arrival to the market, invisibobble is praised for its no-kink design, and it is often embraced for active wear. 

What you’ll love: The coil design secures hair without pulling it. It is suitable for all hair types, including thick and curly hair. The silicone texture prevents the hair tie from slipping down hair. 

What you should consider: The ties get very stretched out and loose by the end of the day.


What caught my attention
this month

The Show of Delights
(from This American Life)

In these dark, combative times, we attempt the most radical counterprogramming we could imagine: a show made up entirely of stories about delight.

Click here or on photo to listen

Ira Glass talks to Bim Adewunmi about her understanding of delight through American pop culture and the summer she spent in the US as a 19-year-old. Ira then hands the show over to Bim as guest host. (10 minutes)  


Bim talks to poet Ross Gay, whose book inspired today’s show, about the discipline and rigor of seeking and holding onto delight. (8 minutes)


Producer Robyn Semien captures a special morning for her five-year-old son, Cole, who is doing something delightful for the very first time: he’s getting to ride the school bus. (4 minutes) 

You can listen to it here on YouTube, too

Encore: Ross Gay Writes 'The Book Of Delights'

Ross Gay spent a year writing daily essays about things that delight him. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Gay about some of the essays included in his new book, The Book of Delights.

This section is for the "Follically Challenged".  There are so many conversations and articles on the topic and I want make sure you are getting good information. 

This month's article

Hair Transplant Guide for Starters

What is a FUE Hair Transplant?

Hair Transplantation is a procedure that helps people who experience hair loss and baldness problems that occurs due to various reasons: genetic factors, stress, and hormone disorder.  FUE Hair Transplant method is a process of relocating hair follicles under local anesthesia with special medical devices from the donor area to the balding areas. In this application, hair is extracted one by one and transplanted to the balding area. Hair should be shortened to 1mm prior to the operation. The surgery is conducted under local anesthetics, so the patient will not feel any pain. Micromotor is used to extract hair grafts; the tip of the motor simply pulls the hair root; therefore, the follicle is cut in a cylindrical way along with microscopic tissue. 

Hair Transplant Guide for Starters
What to consider before the operation?

Hair Transplantation is a serious practice that should be done by professionals specializing in that field as the output of the operation will be seen throughout your life. Hair transplant procedures should take place at a hospital or clinic with surgeons specialized in their field.

What are the advantages?

FUE method is the most commonly used and reliable method for hair transplant. Advantages of FUE hair transplantation are as follows:

  • No incision and suture marks at the site of the operation.
  • The process is completed in a short time thanks to thin-tipped devices.
  • Natural and aesthetic appearance.
  • Short healing duration and opportunity to return to normal life instantly.
unrecognizable crop man in wristwatch with stethoscope.Photo by Karolina Grabowska on
Who can get a hair transplant?

Hair transplantation surgery can be conducted for the male and female types of hair loss. Male-type hair loss affects the upper part of the head and the temple area; firstly, hair becomes skinny, and then fall out. Over time, this spill may stretch back to the temples.

Female-type hair loss works in a different way; it involves hair weakening, rarity, thinning and loss in the peak and anterior areas of the scalp.

Who can’t get a hair transplant?

Not everyone is eligible for a hair transplant; for example, it is technically impossible for people who do not have any hair in the back of the head - which is also called the donor area. Also, some diseases such as severe heart problems may be dangerous during transplant surgery.

Guide to Different Styles of Haircut for Men
Cases that hair transplantation is recommended

Another criterion necessary for hair transplantation is the type of hair loss. For example, people at the adolescence age are not recommended to have the operation as their hair loss may continue. However, if permanent hair loss occurs in certain areas of the head as a result of accidental damage to the scalp such as severe burns, these people can undergo a hair transplant under a supervision of a doctor. Furthermore, hair transplantation should not be performed for those with certain diseases due to vital risks such as hemophilia (A blood clotting problem), blood pressure, diabetes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Where to have the operation?
black and white dentist chair and equipment.Photo by Daniel Frank on
Photo by Daniel Frank on

Choosing the clinic for a hair transplant is a hard task. You may want to contact clinics in your own country or consider having a trip to Turkey for a hair transplant. The costs of the operation in the UK, US or other European countries might be more expensive than in Turkey. So you might save a couple of thousand dollars and get the same result! You should always check Google reviews and ask for genuine before-after photos of the clinic.

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The Official Ted Lasso Biscuit Recipe

We Scored the Official Ted Lasso Biscuit Recipe (and We Even Found the Perfect Pink Boxes)

Ted Lasso has been charming the pants off of viewers since it burst onto the scene a year ago, and it’s still going strong in its second season. But one lingering question remains: Why are Ted’s biscuits so irresistible (well, except to Sharon)? We may finally have the answer.

The plucky football coach from Kansas uses more than just his upbeat attitude and folksy wisdom to win over his coworkers across the pond. He also brings them cookies — or, as the British call them, biscuits. The rectangular shortbread is tucked inside sweet little pink boxes, and Rebecca can’t keep her hands off of them.

While the actual biscuits used on set were apparently less than tasty, in the fictional universe they look plain delicious. And while copycat recipes have been showing up all over the internet, an official recipe has been nowhere to be found — until now! Straight from the powers that be at Apple TV+, this classic shortbread recipe is the official Ted Lasso biscuit recipe. Thankfully, the recipe is easy as can be and delicious enough to win you tons of friends (if you’re willing to share).

How to Make Ted Lasso’s Biscuits

Chances are, you already have all of the ingredients needed to make these treats. It’s a short list: just flour, salt, butter, and powdered sugar. That’s it. The process is also simple! Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Cream the softened butter for a few minutes before adding the sugar slowly and mixing until fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix to form a dough. Pat into a buttered square pan, chill, slice, and bake. Cool completely before handing out to all of your future friends.

While the recipe is simple, the finished cookies are more than the sum of their parts. They’re a classic buttery shortbread; they melt in your mouth with a tender crumb and just enough sweetness. They taste especially good with some hot brown water (aka tea).

Tips for Making Ted Lasso’s Biscuits
  • This is a very buttery biscuit, so this is the time to splurge on the fancy stuff. You’ll taste the difference.
  • An 8×8 or 9×9 metal pan will work for this recipe. Note that the pan size will affect the bake time — the bigger the pan, the thinner the biscuit and the shorter the bake time. I used an 8×8 pan and the cookies (um, biscuits) took a full hour to bake.
  • Slicing the chilled shortbread dough in the pan before baking makes the biscuits easier to slice after they come out of the oven.
  • Once they come out of the oven, I highly recommend slicing them again along the lines you’ve already made while the biscuits are still hot. After they cooled, I had perfectly sliced biscuits, ready to pack into little pink boxes (like the ones below) — or directly into my mouth.

The Official Ted Lasso Biscuits

 Makes one 8 or 9-inch square pan

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 1 hour


  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

  • 3/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    coarse salt


  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened. Coat an 8- or 9-inch square metal baking pan with more butter.

  2. Beat the butter on high speed with the paddle attachment until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and continue to beat until pale and fluffy.

  3. Stop the mixer. Sift 2 cups all-purpose flour into the bowl, then add 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Mix on low speed until just combined. Transfer to the prepared pan and pat to an even thickness no more than 1/2-inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F.

  4. Slice the dough into rectangles or squares in the pan. Bake until golden-brown and the middle is firm, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely. Re-slice, if needed, before serving.

Get the recipe at The Kitchen
This is a fascinating article so be sure to click all the links.

The History of the Flapper, Part 4: Emboldened by the Bob

New short haircuts announced the wearers’ break from tradition and boosted the hairdressing industry

(parts 1, 2, 3, & 5 are at the end of this post)
On May 1, 1920, the Saturday Evening Post published F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” a short story about a sweet yet socially inept young woman who is tricked by her cousin into allowing a barber to lop off her hair. With her new do, she is castigated by everyone: Boys no longer like her, she’s uninvited to a social gathering in her honor, and it’s feared that her haircut will cause a scandal for her family.

In the beginning of the 20th century, that’s how serious it was to cut off your locks. At that time, long tresses epitomized a pristine kind of femininity exemplified by the Gibson girl. Hair may have been worn up, but it was always, always long.

Part and parcel with the rebellious flapper mentality, the decision to cut it all off was a liberating reaction to that stodgier time, a cosmetic shift toward androgyny that helped define an era.

Getting a bob in a barbershop, 1920s.

The best-known short haircut style in the 1920s was the bob. It made its first foray into public consciousness in 1915 when the fashion-forward ballroom dancer Irene Castle cut her hair short as a matter of convenience, into what was then referred to as the Castle bob.

Early on, when women wanted to emulate that look, they couldn’t just walk into a beauty salon and ask the hairdresser to cut off their hair into that blunt, just-below-the-ears style. Many hairdressers flat out refused to perform the shocking and highly controversial request And some didn’t know how to do it since they’d only ever used their shears on long hair. Instead of being deterred, the flapper waved off those rejections and headed to the barbershop for the do. The barbers complied.

A collection of American Hairdresser magazines published in 1920s.

Hairdressers, sensing that the trend was there to stay, finally relented. When they began cutting the cropped style, it was a boon to their industry. A 1925 story from the Washington Post headlined “Economic Effects of Bobbing” describes how bobbed hair did wonders for the beauty industry. In 1920, there were 5,000 hairdressing shops in the United States. At the end of 1924, 21,000 shops had been established—and that didn’t account for barbershops, many of which did “a rushing business with bobbing.”

As the style gained mass appeal—for instance, it was the standard haircut in the widely distributed Sears mail order catalog during the ’20s—more sophisticated variations developed. The finger wave (S-shaped waves made using fingers and a comb), the Marcel (also wavy, using the newly invented hot curling iron), shingle bob (tapered, and exposing the back of the neck) and Eton crop (the shortest of the bobs and popularized by Josephine Baker) added shape to the blunt cut. Be warned: Some new styles weren’t for the faint of heart. A medical condition, the Shingle Headache, was described as a form of neuralgia caused by the sudden removal of hair from the sensitive nape of the neck, or simply getting your hair cut in a shingle bob. (An expansive photograph collection of bob styles can be found here.)

Women wearing cloches in smoking car, 1920s.

Accessories were designed to complement the bob. The still-popular bobby pin got its name from holding the hairstyle in place.  The headband, usually worn over the forehead, added a decorative flourish to the blunt cut. And the cloche, invented by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908, gained popularity because the close-fitting hat looked so becoming with the style, especially the Eton crop.

Although later co-opted by the mainstream to become status quo (along with makeup, underwear and dress, as earlier Threaded posts described), the bob caused heads to turn (pun!) as flappers turned the sporty, cropped look into another playful, gender-bending signature of the Jazz Age.

Has there been another drastic hairstyle that’s accomplished the same feat? What if the 1990s equivalent of Irene Castle—Sinead O’Connor and her shaved head—had really taken off? Perhaps a buzz cut would have been the late 20th-century version of the bob and we all would have gotten it, at least once.


The History of the Flapper, Part 1:
A Call for Freedom

The young, fashionable women of the 1920s define the dress and style of their peers in their own words

The History of the Flapper, Part 2:
Makeup Makes a Bold Entrance

It’s the birth of the modern cosmetics business as young women look for beauty enhancers in a tube or jar

The History of the Flapper, Part 3:
The Rectangular Silhouette

Finally, women could breathe deeply when the waist-nipping corset went out of style

The History of the Flapper, Part 5:
Who Was Behind the Fashions?

Sears styles sprung from the ideas of European artists and couturiers

Pareid uses human hair to measure urban pollution in Bangkok

Human hair can be a tool for measuring the toxicity of a city, according to London-based architects Deborah Lopez and Hadin Charbel, who have also created a textile made from hair.

Through their research studio, Pareid, Lopez and Charbel have been analysing hair samples as a way of mapping the levels of pollution across different areas of Bangkok. Samples containing larger quantities of heavy metals indicate higher levels of environmental toxicity.

Hair samples collected for Follicle, a project by Pareid at Bangkok Design Week
Pareid has analysed the toxicity of hundreds of hair samples

"Pollution is becoming a gigantic environmental problem," Lopez told Dezeen.

"We were interested in the capacity of the human body to become a sensor to this, to reflect and record the environment where you live, where you breathe, and where you eat and drink."

Follicle, a project by Pareid at Bangkok Design Week
The research began with an installation at Bangkok Design Week in 2019, which functioned as a test station

The project, called Follicle, started out as an investigation into the potential of hair as an architectural material.

Research suggests that around 6.5 million kilos of waste human hair is produced in the UK alone every year, so Lopez and Charbel felt this material could be an untapped resource for sustainable construction.

However, after learning about the presence of heavy metals in hair, the pair realised they could also use the substance as a research tool in cities with dangerously high levels of pollution.

Partipant cuts off a hair sample for Follicle, a project by Pareid at Bangkok Design Week
The installation was a space where people could cut off a small amount of hair and submit it for analysis

They set up their first test station in Bangkok, a city that hit the headlines in early 2019 after high levels of smog forced all of its 437 schools to close.

The architects created an installation at Bangkok Design Week 2019, inviting visitors to voluntarily cut off a small amount of their hair and submit it for analysis, along with details about their day-to-day environment.

As the hair toxicity is affected by lifestyle choices – smoking and dying your hair both led to increased metal content, for instance – visitors were asked to also provide some anonymous information about themselves.

Participation form for Follicle, a project by Pareid at Bangkok Design Week
Participants were anonymous but were asked to provide some details about themselves and their day-to-day environment

Although there was some reluctance, Lopez and Charbel were surprised by how many people were willing to donate their hair. They ended up with hundreds of samples.

The toxicology analysis suffered long delays, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis unfolding at that time, but when they finally received the results they were able to see significant links between certain types of environment and certain metals.

For example, people who lived near major highways were found to have a notably higher volume of arsenic in their hair.

"From that moment we were able to link these two stories together, hair toxicity and pollution in the context of Bangkok," said Charbel.

Toxi-Cartography website produced for Follicle, a research project by Pareid looking at human hair
Pareid has used the finding to create a "toxi-cartography" of Bangkok

The architects have been using the information gathered to produce a "toxi-cartography", an interactive 3D map of the city that charts the varying toxicity across different areas. This is available to view on a dedicated website.

The pair are currently presenting their research within the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Hair felt created as part of Follicle, a project by Pareid at Bangkok Design Week
Lopez and Charbel have also developed a hair textile, as a separate part of the project

Going forward, Lopez and Charbel hope to be able to set up test stations in more cities, so that they can start to build up a wider understanding of the links between urban conditions and hair toxicity.

At the same time, the architects are also continuing to explore ways that waste hair can be used in building construction.

They have used a felting machine to create a hair textile, which has featured in both the Bangkok and Venice installations. Lopez suggests that this felt could be used as an insulating material, or as some kind of acoustic panelling.

Follicle exhibition at Spanish Pavilion for Venice Architecture Biennale
An object designed to encapsulate the research is currently on show at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The main obstacle to overcome is the stigma surrounding the cleanliness of hair, Lopez said.

"We find it interesting that we feel comfortable with the hair of non-humans, with animal fur, but we feel so disgusted by our own hair," she stated. "We want to find a way to use this material to create something that people feel attracted to."

Human hair has been used in a number of recent design projects, including designer Céline Arnould's ceramic vessels cast from the hair of her friends and family and a collection of bricks made from hair and manure.

from dezeen

Project credits:

Architects: Pareid Architects (Deborah Lopez and Hadin Charbel)
Collaborators: Konlawat Meklalit, Noppa-on Plidtookpai, Pitisuda Sukumalchantra, Phatsorn Mutanone.
Support: Matter of Trust, Embajada de España en Bangkok, Bangkok Design Week 2019 and TCDC
Photography and images Pareid & Visut Innadda
Hair analysis: Mery Malandrino, Alberto Salomone, Marco Vincenti (Department of Chemistry - University of Turin, Italy)
Website design: Pareid Architects (Déborah Lopez and Hadin Charbel)
Website development & Data Visualization: Sherif Tarabishy
Sound design: Donnie Brosh

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