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My Hair Do is From the Pantry;

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

December 21st, 2010  |  11 Comments

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Or How to Stay Lovely With Wholesome Products

Before venturing on the holistic path to wellness via homeopathy over 25 years ago, I was exquisitely chemically sensitive.    Compelled to examine the ingredients in the products I was using, I discovered that most of them included  unpronounceable and questionable ingredients.

At first, I looked to health food stores for goods that didn’t include chemicals and fragrances, but was disappointed to find that although marketed to the whole health industry, most were only packaged differently; not manufactured purely.

There must be methods that women used before the advent of the beauty market, I reasoned.  Where would a woman look for her beauty products if not in a store? …why the home!  And so  I began an exploration in  my pantry. When we step outside our comfort zone, vistas present.

One of my first considerations was  sugar and water  as a substitute for hair spray… When I was little I had a friend who had a doll with a dress that was stiff .  My friend told me the  dress had been  dipped in a sugar and water mixture that kept the fabric inflexible and in place. It had possibilities, but I  had images of swatting at yellow jackets  at a picnic  in a rigid  1950’s hair do. On to another idea.

Next, I considered a  cornstarch and water mixture.  The same image presented.   And at one point I whipped up egg whites and vinegar and tried to put it  through a misting bottle. ‘Just in case you’re tempted to try this;  don’t.   It doesn’t fit.

So after various trials and errors, I’ve distilled my methods to the few below.  You might try following my  tips that are natural, easy and fun and toss away the chemicals into the kitchen trash on your way to the pantry.  Here are the methods that have worked for me so far.

  • I start with a simple , fragrance free shampoo.   I’ve experimented with techniques for using a combination of baking soda, plain castile soap and other fundamental soaps, but find that our harsh , hard water keeps me from successfully using them.   Instead, I rely on Real Purity Shampoo…..(1.800.253.1694),  RealPurity.com.
  • Next, I rinse with an ounce or so of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. I keep this mixture in a bottle to which I’ve added 4 pills each of  Silica 6x, Nat mur 6x and  and Kali sulph 6x from Hyland’s Homeopathy at  http://www.hylands.com/cellsalts/. The vinegar removes  soap residue and provides a luster while  the homeopathic remedies  keep the scalp conditioned and the hair thick and healthy.
  • After allowing my hair to air dry, I usually set it with hot rollers to give it a little bend and fullness. Here’s the best part.  After years of searching for a gel or spray that didn’t have fragrances and other dubious ingredients, I finally analyzed what the main ingredient was in styling gels.  It’s alcohol.  So I put vodka in a spray bottle!  ‘Easy to use,  fast drying, clean smell…what else did I need?  As I engage each strand of hair, I spritz it with my  80 proof vodka that holds in the roller and then dries instantly for a longer hold.  ‘Love it!
  • After  a minute, I remove the roller then  scoop an almond sized lump of 100% coconut oil,  soften it between my hands for a few seconds , then  run it through my hair.  Not unlike other hair conditioners, it  offers shine, manageability and a little volume minus the chemicals.
  • Lastly, instead of hair spray, my friend, Nancy shared her secret  of using Aqua Gel; A Real Willard’s Water Product (1.800.447.4793). It’s an aloe vera supplement intended to be eaten daily, but I dip my fingers into it to sculpt and hold specific strands in place. ‘Infinitely better than the commercial version sculpting gel. And it holds all day.

Not only do each of these kitchen products afford me safety and wholesomeness, but they cost a fraction of the price of costly commercial products.  Yet, most of the fun is  in knowing I figured it out on my own.

I’ll bet you have your own homemade products too.  Pretend it’s a pajama party….. and let’s have some fun!  Pass along your natural or homemade beauty secrets.



Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


11 thoughts on “My Hair Do is From the Pantry;”

  1. CaraBehan says:

    Wow, these are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I will certainly try them 🙂


  2. Marie says:

    I’ve gotten so aggravated when I learn that my products’ ingredients are so bad for me! Thanks for showing that healthy and reliable products are literally a few steps away.
    And the part about vodka is my favorite : )

    I know sugar and water makes for a rock-hard hairdo, but it makes a fantastic facial scrub

  3. Rogers says:

    I have discovered that I love to use olive oil for a moisturizer!

    I add some to my bath water. I also add it to all my other body lotions or moisturizers. I usually mix it 1/4 oil to 3/4 of whatever lotion I am using… you can use a little less if you prefer. Unlike some other oils, your body actually absorbs it leaving you feeling moisturized for much longer. If the smell from the oil bothers you, I am sure there are other oils that could work equally as well. But the olive oil gets a thumbs up as being my favorite 🙂

  4. Natalie says:

    One of my favorite massage oils is made by infusing about 1/4 cup almond oil with 1/2-1 tsp each of vanilla and cinnamon. I let it sit on the counter all day, slowly strain through a coffee filter, and store in a cool place in an old vanilla bottle. It’s one of the rare scents that I like anytime, anyplace… and my husband LOVES it, too. 🙂

    I rarely get to do this, but I also enjoy mixing a small amount (1 tbsp or so) each of almond oil and whole-fat milk with a few drops of vanilla or almond extract, and then stirring 1/4-1/2 cup white or raw sugar into the mix (one of the great uses for sugar. 😉 ) Use as an all-over body scrub to clean pores and soften skin…. AMAZING. Store leftovers in the fridge… but I doubt you’ll have leftovers. 😉

  5. Carey Caccavo Wheaton says:

    I put 10 or more drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle full of filtered water, and spray it on my hair to bring out curls and waves. A nice pick me up when hair is blah. I was told that the “curly girl” site advocates something like this, but I just stumbled upon it a few years back. Great for hot weather too, just to dampen your hair and refresh your skin at the same time.

    1. Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Vicki says:

    I just Tweeted but had to make this comment Joette! You are a MARKETING GURU! I learn from you everyday (marketing and homeopathy)! Seriously, I have so much to implement just from your Tweets that I have no time for anything else!

    I wish I lived in NY so I could come and see you. I read the New Traditions, took Sally’s online nutrition class, and am trying to implement that too + I have a new homeopath who needs paperwork from me to get started on me and one dog. Just getting organized to be healthy is quite a chore.

    I’m saying it with a smile, but you really are something. Does your husband try to keep up with you? I hope not because he’d get tired!

    You’re great.

  7. megan says:

    I use a flax seed gel for my hair to hold…when I care anymore.lol

  8. Brooke says:

    Any suggestions to help hair with split ends? I rarely dry my hair, use plant based shampoo and conditioner and yet I still get split ends.

    1. Lisa says:

      I know it’s a little late, but thought I’d suggest that spilt ends may need to be addressed internally. I used to have them years ago before I improved my diet. Someone else here mentioned Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A Price Foundation website. I would look into bone broth and fat-soluble vitamins.

      As for my hair I too like a vinegar rinse and sometimes finish with a little coconut oil.

  9. Kerri says:

    What an adorable article. I’ve read all the articles of Joette’s I can find. This is apparently one I’ve missed. It was an enjoyable read with some great takeaways.

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