It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s the Summer Hair Challenge results! You can see why it took us a second to go through your 100+ gorgeous—like seriously, why are you all so pretty?—faces. But posting these pics is one of our favorite rituals. For new readers, this is our third annual challenge. Don’t fret, you’ll get your chance next year!

As promised we have a winner. This lucky girl is going to get a basket loaded with amazing clean haircare courtesy of NuboNau.

And the winner is… 47! Nancy from Arizona congratulations!

Now, without further ado, have a look at our Summer Hair Challenge lovelies. Keep scrolling, feel free to fawn and remember: sharing is caring, and we want to show you guys off on Facebook.

Note: We’re sorry if your pic somehow didn’t end up in the mix. A few of you forget to attach in the email, and some were just too low res. Next time!

And the name roll please…

1. Alicia Elliott, Meridian Mississippi; 2. Dawn, Lake Charles, Louisiana; 3. Samantha, Duluth, Minnesota; 4. Mary; Eugene, Oregon; 5. Amy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; 6. Cecille, Sacramento, California; 7. Polina, Surrey, British Columbia; 8. Angela Schrader, Pensacola, Florida; 9. Erika and Misha, New York, NY; 10. Katie, Barrackville, West Virginia; 11. Crina, Nürnberg, Germany; 12. Eleanor, Seattle, WA; 13. Jerilyn, Toronto, Ontario; 14. Estelle, San Jose, California; 15. Gillian Young, Toronto Ontario; 16. Ruth, Houston, Texas; 17. Renee; 18. Ana, Rutland, Vermont; 19. Kristina Gasiorek, Naperville, IL; 20. Colleen. Bloomington, IN; 21. Emma, Montreal, Quebec; 22. Liz, Boca Raton, FL; 23. Bianca, Glenview, IL; 24. Riley, Orlando, FL; 25. Amber, Nashville, TN; 26. Anaiah, Battle Ground, WA; 27. Geri, Fremont, NE; 28. Kathryn B, Los Angeles, CA; 29. I’m Andra, Marietta, GA, from Love to Eat, Hate to Exercise; 30. Rachel, Washington, DC; 31. Sarah, Chicago, IL; 32. Kate, Calgary, Alberta; 33. Anni, Chicago, IL; 34. Christina, Boston, MA; 35. Caroline, Annecy, France; 36. Nicola and Ethan, Toronto; 37. Tres, Austin, Texas; 38. Adrianne, Austin, Texas; 39. Amy, Austin, Texas; 40. Ashley, Austin, Texas; 41. Beth, Austin, Texas; 42. Brittany, Austin, Texas; 43. Jonah and Clark, Austin, Texas; 44. Liz, Austin, Texas; 45. Nicole, Austin, Texas; 46. Kelli, Austin, Texas; 47. Nancy, Gilbert, AZ; 48. Hannah Fairbanks, Alaska; 49. Stephany, San Francisco, CA; 50. Lesley Seattle, WA; 51. Carla Calderon, Mexico City; 52. Alex, Santa Monica, CA; 53. Michelle, New York, New York; 54. Christine Soto; 55. Katie Drummond, Brooklyn,; 56. Sara, Washington, DC; 57. Rachel Gallagher, Charlotte, NC; 58. Megan College Station, TX of; 59. Moksha, Montreal, QC; 60 Liz, Saint Louis, MO; 61. Nicole, Toronto, Ontario; 62. Stephanie Coyle Eden Prairie MN; 63. Michele, Long Island; 64.Mae, Los Angeles, CA; 65. Carolina, Los Angeles,CA; 66. MiKalley, Great Falls, MT; 67. Gillian, Los Angeles, CA; 68. Sarah, Brooklyn, NY; 69. Maisie, Los Angeles, CA; 70. Virginia Sole-Smith of; 71. Alex Tinsley; 72. Krystal Gibbon, Los Angles, CA; 73. Kate, Columbus, OH; 74. Amanda, Austin, TX; 75. Kate Flaherty; 76. Kim N., Chicago, IL; 77. Hermine; 78. Julia, New Orleans, LA; 79. Lyndye, Oklahoma City, OK; 80. Lily H, New York, NY; Alana, Pismo Beach, CA; 82. Jennifer, New York, NY; 83. Lauren, Ukiah, CA; 84. Karen Northampton, MA; 85. Kim, Long Island, NY; 86. Morgan, Seattle, WA from; 87. Ally, Eugene, Oregon; 88. Danielle, 24, Louisiana from; 89. Gloria, Walnut Creek, CA; 90-101. Team Open Sky, New York, NY; 102. Jaime Albano; 103. Deidre, Long Beach, NY; 104. Dave, Oceanside, NY; 105. Anita Logan, UT; 106. Rælingen, Norway, 107. Anna, New York, NY; 108. Bryan Walsh, New York, NY

This is a totally selfish post. LA has been hot as heck, and I’m basically out of all working deodorants. I’ve been testing a few I have around the house, but none are actually doing the trick. In short, I smell. Tosha, who lives by my in-laws in beautiful Midway (I’ll be there this weekend!) and whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, also has her own line called Essentially Basic. So the girl’s been cooking up recipes in her kitchen for ages and is a total pro. Enjoy!

—Name: Tosha Arnout

—Current hometown: Midway, UT

—Product name that I made up: So Fresh Deodorant

—Ingredients list: Coconut oil, beeswax, baking soda, redmond clay, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil.

—How I made It: melted the ingredients and stirred everything in

—How it smelled, felt, worked: It smelled refreshing and clean. It worked great for me, I was having a stinky problem since I had my baby boy.

Why I will or won’t do this again: I will do this again if I need it. Sometimes I don’t need deodorant, sometimes I do, crazy hormones.

Here’s the recipe!

Coconut Oil 1/2 cup

Baking Soda 3 TBS

Redmond Clay 4 TBS

Beeswax 2 TBS

Tea Tree Essential Oil   60 drops

Eucalyptus Essential Oil  60 drops

Lavender Essential Oil  15 drops

Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler. I put a 2 cup glass pyrex container in a pan of water on low
heat. Make sure the water doesn’t get in the cup.

When they are melted, stir in the remaining ingredients and remove from heat. The redmond clay is to absorb
oil. You may also use kaolin clay. Pour into old deodorant containers or something that you can push up.

This worked great. It was my third batch so I learned from my mistakes! It did eliminate body odor which I have
been struggling with since the birth of my baby boy.  The first batch didn’t have enough clay so I had coconut
pit stains, pretty unattractive! Adding clay eliminated that problem.

Other essential oils to add: orange, tangerine, lime, ylang ylang and grapefruit.

Sounds amazing! Sorry there hasn’t been more Alexandra and Siobhan original content this week—there’s been a lot going on! I do have a slew of things I’m dying to write about: like my new favorite cleanser (from a girl who doesn’t even like cleansers), the world’s most amazing nail file, and of course my Why Am I Like This? I look forward to some quiet writing time in the mountains this weekend—what do you guys have planned?


Why Am I Like This?

Siobhan started us on this brilliant topic with this post. I loved reading her story, as well as yours in the comments.  Here’s mine.

1.  An epiphany.  I was an overweight kid and an obese young adult, until I pulled my head out of my butt and made a commitment to being healthy over a decade ago.  It started with yoga.  I wanted to try it because I felt like my body/mind/spirit were broken and scattered, and I thought yoga might help.  I was putting out so much nurturing energy as a new mom and in my teaching job that I had nothing left for myself.  Yoga changed everything.  I was able to see my body as truly the temple of my soul, and thus worthy of care, whereas before I valued only mind and spirit.  “Our body creates our soul as much as our soul creates our body,” my yoga teacher quoted from David Spangler one day, and I believe it.  I cannot value myself without valuing the earth I come from, so, fundamentally, this is where my devotion to a path of clean living originated.  I had a push to go further when I heard Siobhan interviewed on a local radio show a couple years ago.  I rushed out to buy the book, then plopped myself down and got comfy in this wonderful NMDL community.

2.  I was raised in Michigan on red meat and Twinkies.  I hated vegetables, mostly because until I was an adult living on my own I had barely eaten a fresh vegetable. My mom did insist we eat vegetables, and on a good day we had frozen, but mostly they came from a can. A salad was iceberg lettuce with perhaps a sad looking tomato, covered in Wishbone Italian dressing.  When I moved to California for graduate school, a new world of eating opened up for me.  I was surrounded by fresh food, and though it would be a long time until I came to be truly healthy, I knew then I had been raised on crap and was never going back.

3.  Strokes, death and whatnot.  Eating poorly, smoking, and very little exercise or care for toxic exposure has caught up with my family members.  I do not want to let my own health deteriorate, or set a bad example for my own child.  Plus I’d like to live to enjoy some grandchildren.

4.  My own delicate constitution. A lifetime of digestive issues and autoimmune problems pushed me to find the best way for me to eat.  Things flew out of control when I hit perimenopause at the ridiculously young age of 37, and every health issue I ever had began to overwhelm me.  That was when I figured out I’m gluten intolerant.  Then a few months later I got a really nasty case of food poisoning (Salmonella – I don’t recommend it).  I couldn’t eat anything for days, and when I could eat again, for weeks all I wanted was fresh fruit and vegetables.  I discovered that eating raw is, like, a thing.  My body is so strong and resilient when I’m eating vegan, raw, and gluten free.  I doubt I would have made a commitment to this fairly extreme diet without the push of illness.

5.  My super sensitive skin and picky sense of smell. I have to use clean products for my skin and home because of my sensitivities.  I get pimples and rashes from preservatives and other toxins in products.  Synthetic fragrance typically makes me physically ill and emotionally overwrought.  I can taste dish soap in my food (no, it doesn’t matter how well I rinse).  I am a total canary.

6.  Being a sucker for pretty things. When I was growing up my mom would not have dreamt of leaving the house without full make-up and curled hair with roots freshly touched up from a box of L’Oreal.  I remember playing with her make-up, which was drugstore dirty, but what fun!  Those familiar cosmetics didn’t do my skin any favors though, and as a grown up I used just a few clean-ish products – until I recently discovered a whole world of clean cosmetics.  Now I am hooked.

7.  It’s all connected. In spite of my conservative, entirely non-hippie upbringing, I am deeply pagan and cannot disconnect my self from my son or my community or my planet.  It’s all one, and all motivate me to be on this path, doing the best I can.


We haven’t posted one of these in a while! Today’s morning star is Lauren—and as a fellow dirty curly living in dry LA, I can relate to this simple (but lovely) routine. Do you wash your hair? And if not, what are some of your best tips for those looking to give the no-poo practice a try? I’ve personally taken to doing a very “light wash” with Acure once every three months or so—using a tiny bit of shampoo at the roots—just to kind of reset the clocks, without stripping. What’s your wash or not routine?

Name: Lauren
Age: 25
Current weather: The Valley outside of LA. Very hot with limited humidity.
Hair: Dyed shoulder-length curly hair.
Skin: Normal with occasionally breakouts on chin (usually hormone or stress-related), pale complexion.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Audrey Hepburn for her flawless style and sophistication (if only she didn’t have an un-diagnosed eating disorder, she would be the ultimate role-model!).

In the shower…

I switched to no-poo shampoo about 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I switched because I heard it was better for curly hair. I used to just use conditioner with weekly baking soda rinses, but now I switched to baking soda and apple cider rinses about 3 times a week. I comb out my hair in the shower to detangle without causing frizz. I use Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai Peppermint Body Soap or Nubian Heritage Coconut Papaya Soap. I tend to focus it on my dirtier or smellier parts and save homemade coconut-sugar scrub for the rest. The coconut oil is also great as a shaving cream, although it clogs up my razor. It also lasts after my shower as a moisturizer!

Outside the shower…

I gently dry my hair with a microfiber cloth to minimize frizz. I spray a homemade hair gel of aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, vanilla extract, and essential orange oil into my hair to help define curls. On my face, I apply argan oil as a base layer, than DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer (SPF 30) to  my face and neck. I use Badger Unscented SPF 30 lotion for the rest of my body for it. I use Weleda Skin Food to moisturizer throughout the day. I apply Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream or Badger Balm to  moisturizer my nails and cuticles to keep them healthy.

Finishing touches…

I often only wear mascara and eyeliner (if that) and my current favorites are Zosimos Botanicals in Branch and  Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Nautral Origin Lash Boosting Mascara in Ultra Black. I used to use benefit Babe Cake liner, but it doesn’t have clean ingredients and it was discontinued. I plan on buying Nvey Eco Organic Cake Eyeliner in Black when I get the chance. My favorite eye shadow is Physician’s Formula Organic Wear  100% Natural Origin Eye Shadow Duo in Hazel Eyes. It applies subtly, so I can build it up to the intensity I desire. I also have added RMS Living Lumizier to my routine. I have been using the Thai Crystal deodorant and really like it. I’ve tried Soapwalla and Lavanila Healthy Deodorant, but neither worked for me. I carry Weleda Citris Deodorant Spray to freshen up if I feel sweaty or stinky later in the day. I am currently switching to non-toxic nail polish and I love Priti NYC nail polish remover, which is a soy-based remover. I plan on trying HoneyBee Garden corn-based nail polish remover when I run out.

Thanks Lauren! And don’t forget to send in your routines to nomoredirtylooks at gmail dot com, with GOOD MORNING in the subject.

I die for those eyebrows


Do You Use Products That Contain Silicone?

When I first met Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda and, more recently (thank goodness), Intelligent Nutrients, we spent a lot of time talking about silicone. Silicone, most of you probably know, is widely used in personal care products across the spectrum—from the relatively clean to your standard-issue drugstore brands. It’s especially useful in makeup, primer, sunscreen  and tinted moisturizer because it gives products a slippery sit-on-skin feeling that allows for even spreading, no rubbing, and produces a nice surface on top of which you can go ahead and make your face.

It’s also in a lot on conditioners and leave-ins, because it sits on the shaft of your hair and can take the guesswork (and manual labor) out of smoothing unruly manes, especially when it’s humid out. My experience is that repeated use of silicone on my hair makes it look like complete and utter garbage. My experience with my skin has not been quite the same.

As a refresher, most of the people I have spoken with who swear against it do so for one of a number of reasons. Because it’s occlusive (that means it sits on the surface of the skin and blocks moisture from escaping—but also blocks other things from going in); because it might be comedogenic (the research is equivocal on this one); and because it “doesn’t break down in nature,” says Rechelbacher (and others). On the other hand, dimethicone’s molecule weight makes it impossible, I believe, to migrate past the top layer of your skin—which is where it’s designed to sit, anyway. That’s how it “works.” But our research is ongoing at this point.

I know natural-beady diehards who swear by it and diehards who would, well, die before they used a product that contains it. We were in the latter camp. Now, we’re rethinking our position—but the jury’s still out.

No More Dirty Looks has historically said no to all silicone. It wasn’t on the list of our dirty 20-or-so in the book, mainly because the research we were able to find about its toxicity was unconvincing. At the same time, we can appreciate that many ingredients don’t have nearly enough scientific data published about their safety, and we definitely skew more toward “when in doubt, don’t.”

But then something happened.

Regular readers will know that we have been on the hunt for the perfect sunscreen since before the book came out. Yes, there’s Vive Sana, but many of you find that way too thick, not to meant ion absurd looking on people who are a shade darker than Snow White. I happen not to be, and  I liked it. I liked it a lot. (And in fairness, I know a few women with darker skin than me—not hard—who don’t feel like they’re wearing Halloween makeup with it on.) But over time, the thickness got to me, and I went looking for something a little more cosmetically appealing. Something a little thinner, maybe, more lotion-like. I found 100% Pure’s Argan Oil SPF 30. I fell in love. I shouted about it from the rooftops and I know I wasn’t alone. But soon, no one couldn’t get their hands on the stuff. Not in stores, not online, not through our trusted PR contacts. There wasn’t a bottle to be had, it seemed. So I used up the last of its sister product, the Pomegranate one with SPF 20, and prayed to the skincare gods for a replacement.

Then, as can happen sometimes at my amazing job, I came in one day to find a little white bottle on my chair.

Now, I’m going to hold off on telling you what brand it was because  1) it contains dimethicone and we’re still doing our homework, and 2) it’s beside the point because that’s not the conversation we want to have now. (Fear not: We will review it if we decide dimethicone is kosher for us—because, yes, we’ve been using it, and yes, we adore it.)

But right now we want to know…

Where do you stand on dimethicone? And if you’re anti, why? What research have you seen, either about its extraction method or its toxicity, to convince you?

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