Search results for ‘gluten free hair’

Gluten Free Hair Products that are Bad for You

I wanted to revisit the post that I had written a while back about gluten free hair care products. The reason being is that the more I’ve had to narrow down what I put in my mouth it also has made me evaluate what I also put on my body.

The skin is an amazing organ that soaks up very quickly what you put on it. If you unknowingly put gluten in your mouth and you are intolerant or celiac than your body will reject it and you can figure out what you ate. But what if your shampoo, conditioner, or styling products ARE gluten free and you are noticing signs like you lose a lot of hair in the shower or you can’t get your hair to grow past a certain length? Maybe its more than just gluten you have to be concerned with.

Most people that start losing their hair think of “maybe it’s my thyroid” or “maybe there’s a hair growth serum to make my hair grow back”. Have you ever tried the simple trial and error method of switching your shampoo to see if you loose less hair?? That actually worked for me! Whereas a family member of mine went the thyroid method and is taking a pill. I do believe people have thyroid problems, but WHAT CAUSES the thyroid to be off? Could it be the chemicals we use that throw it off, and then we throw more chemicals at it in the form of a pill, and then we have to take another pill for the side effects?!? Lets wipe the slate clean, start over on how we view the products we use and try a more natural approach.

If you have food allergies then you are probably in the habit of reading labels on your food products, but how many times do you read the ingredient list on your styling products, lotions, hand soaps, or lipstick? Do you see where I’m getting at? There are so many harmful chemicals that the FDA is allows in consumer products because they have not been “proven harmful”. Wait… how long do they have to determine before they take it off the shelf if it is?!? In other countries outside the US they look at it in a perspective that it has not been “proven SAFE” so they won’t allow it. Scary thought if you live in the US! So the key is to educate yourself on the ingredients that you come in contact with everyday.

Lets look at a biggie, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s in almost anything that cleans, from floor cleaner to your toothpaste! I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put floor cleaner in my mouth… no surprise it’s in shampoo as well. When chemicals come in contact with your skin it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. So the risk is much greater and faster than if you ate it, but most people don’t think of that because you are usually washing it off right after you put it on.Β  But think of your daily routine, you brush your teeth (SLS’s in toothpaste), you wash your hands (SLS’s in hand soap), you wash your hair (SLS’s in shampoo), you clean your dishes (SLS’s in dish soap), you wash your windows, floors, counters, (SLS’s in cleaning products). Do you see a pattern? It’s not just a little amount, its the accumulation of little amounts EVERY DAY that become toxic and lead to serious health problems.

Another scary thought is that beauty products do not have any federal regulations on them. They can be called “Natural” or “Healthy” and even “Organic” and be far from any one of those statements in reality. The only way you know if beauty products are truly organic is if it has the “USDA ORGANIC” seal on the packaging. My method lately is if I can’t pronounce it or it’s not grown from the ground, then I tend to stay clear of it.

The more I eliminate toxic chemicals from my daily routine, the better I feel physically every day. It takes a lot of thought process unfortunately in the beginning, but in the long run it becomes a routine and all the harmful products are no longer in your thought process.

Do yourself a favor and go through some of your everyday products and see how many contain SLS’s in them, you may be shocked! Then the next step is eliminating them from your routine and finding a more natural and safe product in it’s place.

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Health


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Gluten Free Hair Care Products

Gluten Free Hair Care Products

Some people look at me funny when I go to the extreme of getting gluten free hair products, but let me explain…
When I lived in Alaska and in my gluten eating days I used to use Pureology products (which are vegan and not GF, salons get that mixed up a lot) and Redkin. I had no problems with them, my hair loved them! Then when I moved to Portland my whole immune system changed and I could not eat gluten whatsoever, but I also started to notice that my scalp was itching all the time and I would get little bumps on the nape of my neck. So I was on the hunt for a gluten free shampoo and conditioner. This has been a long process of trial and error! Some products that may not list any gluten whatsoever on the ingredients would still irritate my scalp and when I would call the company to ask (because I’m not a chemist) they said the ingredients in their fragrances come from another company and they do not have that ingredient list. So you never know what is in your hair care products to say the least.
Some companies were pretty rude as to say, “as long as you’re not eating it it shouldn’t have an effect for people with celiac”. Some people just don’t understand. Whatever you put on your body is absorbed into your system, and will have an effect!
(Disclaimer: I have no idea if I am celiac, I didn’t get the test before going off gluten, but I have a sensitivity that fits all the criteria for celiac).
Finding gluten free hair products is not the easiest, but more and more companies are starting to recognize there is a need and I am grateful. So to break it down for you of things I have tried and my thoughts on them keep reading.

To fill you in on my hair type, I have very stubborn hair. It’s stick straight, but slightly wavy just below the top layer, but not wavy enough for a wash and go style. My hair is very fine, but I have a LOT of very fine hair, so it takes forever to dry. My hair is also color treated (mainly to add texture when I’m fed up with it) and it does not hold curl well, although it’s getting better at obeying me. It’s a very silky texture so if I try to add volume, it just falls right out. So if you have curly hair or oily hair these products may work differently for you, but the brands I mention do have many products to choose from.

Let’s start with the obvious, I’m sure most people who have been gluten sensitive for a while know that Garnier Fructis brand is safe. I have used the color safe shampoo and conditioner for a while and it is a great overall product that does not leave buildup. At some point I was starting to lose a lot of hair, so I tried Fall Fight which has biotin and caffeine in it to stimulate hair growth. This product is nice, but go easy on the conditioner or it will weigh your hair down (not for color treated hair).
Big Sexy Hair (BSH) or Healthy Sexy Hair products have a few gluten free products, which it will list on the front if it is. So don’t bother trying to interpret chemicals if it doesn’t say gluten free. Some of the healthy line is wheat based, so avoid! I really like the Volumizing conditioner over the Garnier conditioner. The BSH conditioner is also for color treated hair.

On to the products I use for clarifying (because sometimes you need a reboot for your hair). Kevin Murphy is a recent discovery for a hair detox. Before I was using Pureology Zerosulfate shampoo and dealing with the itchy scalp, but my stylist finally found something that helps with that. Kevin Murphy products are on the more expensive side, so it’s a splurge product for me. I only use it maybe once a week or a week and a half, so this bottle will last me a while. And since my parents were in town my mom has discovered that it helped calm down an eczema spot on her arm…and then I had to inform her that wasn’t body wash! Haha
When you do a detox you need to follow up with a good conditioner. I have found Macadamia hair mask to be THEE BEST! It leaves your hair so soft and full of life! This is also not a cheap product, but well worth the splurge. I believe all their products are gluten free (don’t quote me on that though). This is not an every day conditioner either, so use sparingly, a little does go a long way. Every time I use that hair mask I get compliments on my hair.

Hugo & Debra Naturals is a more recent find for me. I have been trying it out for almost two months now to see if I really liked it. Most natural shampoos and conditioners tend to weigh my hair down, so it’s been hard to find one that works for me. I started to look for S&C that is sodium laurel sulfate free because my scalp has been getting irritated this winter when I use Garnier products. (They are the same bottles I used for months, so it’s not a change in formula). I think my skin has been going through a dry freak out mode so I wanted to see if avoiding SLS’s would help.
My first thought on the shampoo was, no lather. The normal amount I used didn’t feel like I was getting it throughout my hair. So I do use twice as much shampoo to make sure my hair is getting clean. The conditioner I use half as much, so about a quarter size for my collar bone length hair. This conditioner makes my hair feel nice like the Macadamia hair mask, but just a few notches down on the overall outcome, if that makes any sense. This conditioner is safe for every day use.
Since I have started using Hugo & Debra Naturals products I have noticed that I have been losing a lot less hair! I used to have quite the string art on the shower wall a few months back (sorry for the TMI), but now I have only a few strands…like as in 2-4 total at the end of my shower that I lose. That to me is worth continuing on with this product! I found Hugo & Debra Naturals at Whole Foods. I usually can find the same brands at New Seasons and Fred Meyers, which are local Pacific Northwest stores, but this S&C I can only find at Whole Foods.
The description reads 100% natural, never any: Parabens, silicones, sulfates, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, PEG’s, petroleum products, artificial colors or fragrances. Soy free, vegan, gluten free, cruelty free. The company is based out of Belgium but made in the USA. You can look them up online at
(I do not get paid for my opinion, I bought these with my own money, this company has no idea who I am).

Now on to styling products! I am still trying to find ones that I am super thrilled with, but in the meantime these ones I am happy with.
Alterna hairspray is now my go-to product. (Same company as Bamboo hair products). Yes it’s pricy, but it will last a long time and it’s a great hold. It’s flexible but not fallout. I used to use TRI Aerogel (which is not GF, but it has ironically never bothered my scalp) and that is considered “hurricane hairspray”. So anything that is similar to that without the crunchy effect is great in my book! The Alterna hairspray keeps your curls soft if I’m trying to keep my style all day. But I mainly use it on my bangs and they stay put.
I have tried the Garnier hairsprays, but I’m not a big fan. They just didn’t seem to hold, but people with very fine thin hair love it.
For mousse (which I have to use daily for my stubborn hair) I have settled on Garnier Sky-Hi volume. This gives a pretty good hold but not concrete hold. I liked XXL Volume better but I can never find it in stores anymore.
I have tried the Alterna mousse but it started to give me buildup so I returned it.
For a heat protectant, I use argan oil. I originally fell in love with Unite Argan Oil but it’s pretty pricy. I have since found Organix Argan oil of Morocco deep penetrating oil as a close second. I find mine at Ulta, they have the little bottles at the register for about $3 and that lasts me a long time.
Although, that is the only product from Organix that I can use. I tried one of the S&C the my mom raves about and the whole 6 hour drive home I was itching my head. So that was my first clue, although I didn’t see any glutinous products in the ingredients. I follow what my scalp tells me.
Unite has a line of gluten free products and I use a mix of the wet/dry gel with equal parts Argan oil to run thru freshly curled hair to make the curls look more natural. It will not make your hair crispy, but very soft and touchable!
That concludes this very long review of products I’ve tried. An honorable mention goes out to Desert Essence for a gluten free and I believe vegan hair care line. I tried a few, but I couldn’t find the right one for my hair type so I gave up. But they did not irritate my scalp.
I hope this helps you in finding the right gluten free hair care product. With trying to pay attention to what I put in my mouth, it’s just an added annoyance when my head itches from gluten too!
What gluten free hair care products have you tried that you like? I am interested in hearing about more brands!
If you have read this whole post, thank you! πŸ™‚


Posted by on January 20, 2014 in A day in the life of Jeni


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Things I’ve learned when going Gluten Free

It’s been long overdue but after a year of being gluten-free I think it’s time to write a post of the things that I have learned. So here it goes!

1) Life is not fair. (you will learn this too very rapidly).
2) Even though you remove half of your meal because it contained gluten, they still charge you the same price. (hence the life is not fair comment).
3) Everything is three times more expensive than if it was the “regular food”.
4) Eating out is no longer enjoyable.
5) Red Robin and Outback Steakhouse has gluten-free menus! You will get sick of these restaurants, but then you will go back to them over and over and over again if you want to eat out with friends.
6) Always ask if they fry anything, that you ordered fried, in the same fryer that contained breaded or gluten containing objects. And yes tortilla chips are fried. (I always seem to forget that since they are not greasy).
7) Don’t be afraid to ask them to change their gloves and remind them that you have celiac so that they don’t spit in your food, or give you a hard time. (when I went to Carl’s Jr. They had the hardest time fathoming why I didn’t want a lettuce wrapped no cheese burger. Really, I don’t enjoy that much iceberg lettuce).
8) Review all your face and hair products because they most likely will contain gluten. Garnier hair products are awesome because they do not contain gluten.
9) Don’t be afraid to ask the manufacture for a list of ingredients or if they contain gluten. Usually they will give you a list of chemicals that you have no idea what they are, so asking if it contains gluten is your best bet.
10) MSG, natural flavors, additional spices, natural smoke, soy sauce, Anti-caking agents, white vinegar, envelope glue, styrofoam, oats (unless specified GF), Seitan, spice packets, vanilla extract, and pet food are some hidden sources of gluten.
11) Read the labels, read the labels, read the labels!
12) Get the apps! (These are iOS apps)
-Find me gluten free
-GF fast food
-GF living
-All recipes (they have a good selection of GF recipes, and some that are made from scratch is naturally GF)
13) Cook it yourself, that way you don’t have to question.
14) Don’t be afraid to ask your friend who made you a GF meal “what all is in it?” in the nicest way. They will understand after a while.
15) visit these blogs, they have great recipes and flour mixes!
(there’s more, but that’s off the top of my head).
16) Don’t eat at Subway if you have Celiac! Just because they have GF bread and they are ever so careful, sometimes, the veggies are what will get you. They dip their glutened hands in the same veggie baskets all day long. You WILL get sick!
17) Annie’s GF is not safe for Celiacs. I usually get sick when I have it. (they make their products in a facility that processes wheat).
18) Always check for the label “made in a facility that processes wheat”. Then avoid when you see that. (even chocolate bars are not safe).
19) Skittles are Gluten Free! πŸ˜€
20) Always read the reviews on recipes! Cardboard is not tasty, so give some extra time so you don’t waste time.
21) Bobs Red Mill has certified GF flours and stuff. (although, Bisquick GF is a way better pancake batter!)
22) Don’t use your stoneware or other porous bakeware and utensils from your gluten days.
23) Use the dishwasher if you live with someone who eats gluten. That way you know every particle is bleached and clean.
24) Don’t double dip! If you live with someone who eats gluten, get your own butter, PB, jellies and jams and clearly label GLUTEN FREE!
25) Don’t share a toaster with gluten eating people!

So that’s all for right now, I gotta run. I hope this helps!! πŸ™‚

(P.s. Krispy Kreme is not one bit gluten free, but I thought it worthy to post this picture because I was able to go in there with a child and not be tempted whatsoever to eat one, even though he was eating my favorite, the maple bar!)


Posted by on August 25, 2012 in A day in the life of Jeni


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10 things you didn’t know about me…


I’ve been thinking of doing a “10 things you didn’t know about me” for a while. But after I saw this quote a friend of mine sent me it just sealed the deal.
I’ll just start right in because I’m tired and want to head to bed soon. πŸ™‚

10) I played violin for 8 years starting in 4th or 5th grade all the way up to Spokane Jr. Symphony. Playing in the opera house in front of a few hundred people is slightly nerve wracking! But playing in a quartet for summer camp is a close second!

(This pic was the last day I had super long hair…I had to rest for a while in the beginning of this song).

9) I make some of my own jewelry. I LOVE going into bead shops and seeing all the cool crazy designs people can make. πŸ™‚

(This was my hair after I chopped it…this was when I was a teenager…in a Seattle Pike Place bead shop)

8) I was voted most likely to be on Jerry Springer in my senior yearbook…. My friends must of thought I was pretty crazy! I was on the yearbook staff (main photographer where I developed black and whites all year long) and that was the only way I made the “most likely” list. :-p

7) I am the youngest out of my entire immediate family…it was kinda lame. I always got people in trouble with my naΓ―vety.


6) I’m totally into cars! I grew up in a family (mom excluded) that lived, slept, breathed cars. My dad restores old British cars. ’59 MGA, MGB GT, MG TD, and a few others… I was more into muscle cars (sorry dad…they go faster). My cousin was/is? a car salesman, so he would frequently let me test drive the latest and greatest. Unfortunately I was unskilled at a manual at that time. But I learned. πŸ™‚


(This is my dad’s MGA…it was a rusty frame in a farmers field when he first got it).

5) I’ve owned birds since I was 10. Started out with parakeets. My first one I taught to talk. He would say “pretty bird” and do a cat call while looking in the mirror. Soo conceited!! But he was awesome. :-] All parakeets following were not so smart but definitely had personality. Specially the one I hated…and he lived the longest just to spite me. He would SCREAM his head off until I put him back in the cage. For 5 whole years I could not hold my bird!! When I moved to Alaska I gave him to my neighbor to have and he died 4 days after I left. Maybe his little bitter heart got broken. :-(… But my peaches is the ULTIMATE coolest bird I’ve owned!


4) I’m a Drafter. I draw on AutoCad engineered drawings. The field I love is Civil, but I’ve also worked in mechanical, structural, electrical, utilities, surveying, aviation/transportation…just a little of everything. The coolest projects I got to work on were road jobs. I designed 3 roads (two took two years each), one was VERY convenient for me since it was a short cut from my work to my bible classes in AK. So all those late hours I had to work I could still make it to class in less than 5 minutes. πŸ˜‰

(I did the site plan for this building in Alaska. My first high rise!)

3) I inherited a southern accent from who knows where?!? It comes on me when I’m nervous mostly. But I’ve never stepped foot in the south before. (Hopefully one day I’ll get to go!) I have other accents that I can mimmic too like a very bad English accent and some others also know as Gibberish Mumbling… I remember one time I wasn’t even trying to do an accent and someone asked where I was from…The same city they asked me in. LOL!
I do have Swedish ancestors though… So I’m slightly foreign….like a few times removed….


2) I hate cooking… And you probably thought I loved it since most my blog posts are about food. πŸ˜‰
I used to love baking. But I’m trying to keep my girlish figure, so I try to keep away from sweets.
The reason I post all these recipes is because if you look up “gluten free” in a search engine, must of the time a dessert pops up…Hello?!? WE DO NOT SURVIVE ON SUGAR ALONE! Give me some main dish please! So this is mainly to help others who are frustrated with the lack of solid food for allergy sufferers.

(Taken at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood Alaska, a must see if you are traveling to Alaska on vacation!)

1) I barely passed high school but got a 3.9 GPA in college. I knew what I wanted to do and I went for it. Although I had to finish high school to get there. My Current World Affairs teacher gave me such a hard time because he knew I had potential but didn’t try. One day I was falling asleep in his class so he told me to stand up… Thankfully I sat in the back of the room. The German exchange student felt sooo bad for me she tried to convince me he’d let me sit down. Ha! I asked, he denied. Then I realized I could see the board standing up so I started taking notes. Mr. Bowden looked at me sideways and gave me a smirk. LOL! He was a teacher you could tell cared. Thanks Mr. Bowden wherever you are! πŸ˜€
My favorite subjects were Math and Science…naturally why I chose engineering to go into for a career. I could never do simple math though, I LOVED the long drawn out complex problems. Don’t quiz me today though…it’s been a while!
I HATED English classes! Would always fall asleep in them too, teacher didn’t care… Funny how I can write so easily though….but to speak I freeze up and am very shy. I guess writing lets me speak whats on my mind without having to worry about the reactions I’ll get? I haven’t quite figured that one out…


So there you have it. A day in the memory banks of Jeni. πŸ˜‰


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Crate and Barrel, Ferrari’s, and the perfect egg

To start off my post I’ll give my recipe, and then the fun stuff at the end. πŸ˜‰
Yesterday I went to get my hair done near Bridgeport Village. (Which is the elite/ritzy mall….but also has great GF/DF food!) After my appointment I headed over to Crate & Barrel to just look around and ask about something I’ve been wanting for a long time! Unfortunately the smaller (and cheaper) size does not do what I am looking for… So I kept walking. I found a mini spatula and a nifty egg timer. Big spender, I know. πŸ˜‰
I am HORRIBLE at cooking a hard boiled egg, it’s either gel in the yolk or green from killing it. So the egg timer is a hopeful.

I tried it this morning and it worked!! I like a hard yolk so this was perfect. πŸ™‚

Today for lunch I decided to make an egg salad sandwich. It’s been since I was a kid since I’ve had one! I had to look up how to make it it’s been so long. :-p Here’s my version of it.

Egg Salad Sandwich
β€’ 4 slices Gluten Free Bread (they are small….so if you are hungry, it takes 2 to make a thing go right!)
β€’ 4 hard boiled eggs
β€’ miracle whip (or mayo if you are a hater of the tangy zip)
β€’ 1 small shallot, peeled & diced
β€’ fresh chives, chopped
β€’ Fresh spinach
β€’ dash of Trader Joes “21 season salute”
β€’ dash of Trader Joes Smoked Paprika
β€’ Salt & Pepper to taste

How To:
Toast bread.
Wash spinach & chives then pat dry.
Peel and clean eggs, mash mash mash.
Add spices, shallots, chives, stir stir stir.
Add mayo like substance, stir stir stir.
Add some mayo to bread, lay down a layer of spinach, add Egg Salad on top.
Complete sandwich.
Eat eat eat! Molt, expand, repeat!
I actually had enough left over for one more sandwich, so it could serve 3 people. πŸ™‚


Ok now for the fun stuff. Here are a few things that are WAYYYY outta my price range, but very petty. πŸ˜€










So now you are probably wondering where the Ferrari comes in… I happened to park next to it at Crate & Barrel. I decided to take pictures when I was leaving so security wouldn’t cart me away before I got a bite to eat. πŸ˜‰


My red car is in the background. Don’t they look sooo much alike?!? His rims are way better…and the horse emblem got left off when they assembled my car too. Lol! :-p
Happy Summer!! πŸ˜€


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