Get ready, you guys, because we’re about to announce our third (third!!) annual Summer Hair Challenge, in which we ask you to forgo leave-ins and heat for a day and then send us a snap from your phone.
You can take a look at our two previous galleries of product-free, air-dried hair here and here to see what we’re talking about. Last year we got well over 100 photos sent to us, and we were over the moon. This year we want even more, so consider this your early mental-preparation warning.
First, we’re not against using leave-ins as long as they’re clean (and if they’re not clean, we’re not against that either—do your thing!) but we have a dorky maxim about cosmetics in general that goes like this: “More products, more problems.”
What we mean by that is, most conventional products—and especially ones for hair—create problems even as they try to “fix” others, which then necessitates more products. Think of silicone-based leave-ins that coat the hair, then need to be stripped off with harsh shampoo, which then requires a fistful of conditioner, a defrizzer, and maybe a finishing gloss, too.
Second, we’re not against heat styling, either. When it’s cold out, I use heat almost every single day. Whenever I can get away with it, though, I leave my hair alone, and here’s why: When I first started doing this regularly, I didn’t even recognize my own hair. Here’s what I said at the time:
I used to wake up, hop in the shower, use Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine shampoo and conditioner, or if I was feeling rich I’d use Rene Furterer’s stuff. Then I’d load Phytodefrisant onto my wet hair, and once blow-dried (and sometimes also ironed), I would use one or two finishing serums that probably had silicone or some other garbage in it.
My hair looked how I wanted it to look, but do the math: That’s expensive, and a pain. I was also unwittingly exposing myself to 11 of the 20 ingredients on the Black List in our book—daily. (For more on what’s in shampoo, check this out.)
Anyway, eventually I realized the unmanageable nature of my hair was squarely the fault of the products I was using, and when I made the switch, my hair chilled out.
So that was neat.
But this challenge isn’t really about all that. It isn’t about what’s bad or what’s good. The reason we like the Summer Hair Challenge so much is in part seeing pictures of all of you, but also hearing your stories. Some people had gone years without knowing what their hair looked like air-dried. How cool is it that they tried? And for those of you who do this every day, God bless! We’re going to want your pictures, too.
So in preparation, we want to know: Do you use leave-ins every day? What about heat? And how excited (or pissed) will you be when we ask you to stop both for a day? Have at it.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this challenge: We hope you’re all back safe and sound from your product vacations. Given all your juicy travelogues (meaning your Desert Island submissions), we take it many of you are feeling refreshed! We were certainly impressed by the number of you who were willing to try using only five products for at least three consecutive days.
Of course we promised a prize for one of you, and we decided on Tammy Fender’s Intensive Repair Balm. This was a Desert Island choice for both Siobhan and Alexandra, so it seemed fitting that we give this beautiful and luxurious product to our winner. Choosing was NOT easy, though. Before we say who takes home the Tammy, some highlights from the challenge:
- Lots of you happily found multiple uses for the same product. Our good friend coconut oil served as a mascara remover, shaving cream, lip balm, and body moisturizer for many of you. And several people mentioned that their “face” moisturizer ended up working great for their hands, too. Lots of you washed from head to toe with Dr. Bronner’s. You know we’re all about the multipurpose products.
- While some of you were pretty minimalist in your beauty routines to begin with, others of you went from using as many as 20 products per day down to just 5. Super impressive.
- Yay for so many people using sunscreen daily! 100% Pure got a ton of shout-outs.
- We’re thrilled lots of you took the opportunity to try new things—like no face washing! Some of you seem like you’ll stick with it, and for others it didn’t work so well. Congrats on taking the leap and trying new things—there’s no way to know how you’ll like it until you give it a shot.
- It was really interesting to hear how much people did not miss the products they put away during the challenge. Happily, no one reported any major withdrawal symptoms! We hope this challenge with help to simplify things for you going forward, too. As much as we love trying new products, isn’t it gratifying not to have a shower filled with a ton of bottles (even when they are packaged pretty and filled with good, clean stuff)?
- On the flip side, it was also good to hear about what you realized you really missed, too. For the sake of the challenge, some of you cut out makeup in order to have shampoo or moisturizer. Several people gave up clean items like RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek and realized that, yeah, they really wanted to add a little color pop to their cheeks! Hopefully it’s now extra-fun to add these goodies back in. We all know there are plenty of occasions where it’s just plain fun to put on the Illia lipstick, grab your Living Luminizer, and feel really glam. You know we are in no way anti-(clean!)makeup, but how cool and empowering to have also had a week where you enjoyed the beauty of a bare face? We love that. Especially when you see studies like this one.
One submission included the awesome—and too often forgotten—truth that, “No one looked at me weird for not wearing mascara”! If you participated, what was your biggest revelation?
And now onto our lovely winner:
Tanya V. from Orlando, Florida! We loved how Tanya put her experience: “It proved to be a more carefree, exciting test of picking favorites and accepting just how beautiful I can be sans the usual bevy of creams, powders, and definers I usually rely on.”
We really couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Congratulations to all of you!
Talk about inspiring. Many of you participated in our Fruit and Veggie Challenge, and your stories read like a resounding WOW.
You guys felt amazing! Many of you were more energized, less bloated, experienced fewer food comas, had better digestion, and even saw a perceptible difference in the quality of your skin tone (that famous veggie glow!).
Some of you were already on the fruit-and-veggie tip but still seemed to appreciate the extra kick. Excitingly though, not all of you started out as big plant-based food fans, so it was especially cool to hear about the changes you noticed and how much you enjoyed the challenge.
She told us that one of her favorites is Enlightened Eating by Caroline Dupont, so our intern Sylvie got ahold of Caroline who was kind enough to donate the book along with her DVD to our lucky winner.
And the winner is…
Sydney Skillen, of Middlebury, Indiana.
We didn’t pick out of a hat this time, but actually chose Sydney because she told us this was a tough challenge for her, but she noticed positive changes and wants to keep it up. So as a new convert to a heavily plant-based diet, we thought this would be good encouragement. Sydney, we will email you with more details!
As for the rest of you, thank you so much for participating. We currently have a big challenge in the works and we’re hoping that this one will actually have a prize for everyone… Because we’re all going to Australia!! Just kidding. But it’s going to be really awesome.
Happy Meatless Monday!
Here’s a thing we’d like to do: Challenge you guys—again—but this time it’s going to be all about food. We’re bringing back an early idea we launched here but never initiated as a formal challenge because this blog was just a baby then, and we hadn’t started our Challenge series yet.
Get excited: This is one is fun, easy, and rewards you with glowing skin.
A while back, a friend mentioned a study he’d seen showing that Japanese farmers who ate on average 20 fruits and vegetables a day were in significantly better health than those who ate just 10, even when controlling for other factors. They lived longer, had fewer health events and felt better. We’d wager they looked pretty good too.
Intuitively this makes sense, and it’s partly why we devoted two chapters in the book to food and lifestyle. We’re big believers in the idea that you can’t just slather on products and expect to look your best. You also need to eat avocados, drink plenty of water, sleep a lot, have sex, have fun, exercise and commit to relaxation in some form or another (preferably the sober kind, at least some of the time).
And we’re making it easy. A bite of anything that contains a fruit of vegetable, even if somewhat adulterated, counts for one point.
Half an apple counts, and so does the garlic you crushed into your pasta sauce*. And, like, if you eat a greek yogurt with the gooey raspberries at the bottom, well, ew, but that counts! Even better would be yogurt with whole raspberries, but that’s the thing with this challenge: You can fake it to make it. Cool? Great.
Now who’s in?
Some rules: Don’t cheat.
Instructions: For seven consecutive days, consume at least 10 different fruits or vegetables per day. Ten total: You decide how many of those you want to be fruits and vegetables. Then write us an email at nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com with NOMNOM in the subject line, and include your first name and location, written thusly “Siobhan, Brooklyn, NY” and a brief description of how you felt at the end of your seven days. Send this to us by the end of the day Wednesday, January 18th.
Prize: We’re still working on a prize, but it’ll be awesome as always. Stay tuned. We’ll post when we have it locked and loaded.
The reason for the challenge: See above. It’s healthy. You’ll glow. And you’ll feel better. Also, when you turn life into a summer camp challenge, and you do it with other people, it’s way more fun.
Good luck! Share your clever veggie- and fruit-loading tips in the comments. Ten is a lot, but it’s not that hard. Bon appetit!
* Yes, we know there’s some debate about whether or not garlic is actually a vegetable, but we’re not sticklers here…and it’s good for you!
Hellooooo. Are you guys doing this new challenge or what? I have signed up for an antigravity yoga class this Saturday at Om Factory in New York and I’m completely giddy with excitement. What are YOU doing?