by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
As it tis St. Patrick’s Day today, I thought it would be fun to talk about beer as a home spa ingredient.
Body on Tap Shampoo plus Irish Spring Soap equals Magically Delicious
Before you go out on the town tonight to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, why not get into the spirit with some home brewed spa treatments. If only they still sold Body on Tap Shampoo. It was made with real Budweiser beer! Personally, I’ve never actually used this particular brand because I was underage at the time. I remember the ads from a lot of the shampoos from the 1970’s that don’t exist anymore like, Breck (“and they told two friends and so on and so on…”) and Gee your Hair Smells Terrific and “Squeeze and go from flat to fluffy, squeeze, with Prell Concentrate.” Good times. Good times. Hey, another 1970’s throwback!
With ingredients like green tea and silk amino acids, shampoo has come a long way in 30 years, (how much do you pay for a bottle these days?) but the idea of putting real beer in shampoo isn’t complete flimflam. What may seem like marketing shenanigans to us in 2010 actually has some validity. Not only does beer bring out hair’s natural shine and highlights, it also adds body and volume too. And some people may consider beer’s unmistakable scent as aromatherapy at its finest. So, if you’d like to make your own beer shampoo, here is a recipe.
St. Patrick’s Day Beer Shampoo
- 2 bottles of Guinness beer — adds shine, body, volume and fragrance to hair
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar — astringent vinegar restores the natural pH balance of skin and hair
- 2 TB honey — has moisturizing and antiseptic qualities
- 1/4 cup regular, as unscented as possible, shampoo (optional)
- Pour the beer from one bottle into a glass mug and take a swig.
- Pour the other beer, apple cider vinegar and honey into a saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat to a half cup in volume. Keep your eye on the pan and stir occasionally. Adjust the temperature if necessary. Within 20 minutes, the mixture should start looking like thick syrup.
- Once the liquid reaches the desired consistency, take the pan off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- If you want, you can keep this recipe as it is (as a hair rinse) without adding extra soap. You can also combine the beer mixture with pre-made, unscented shampoo and pour the mixture into a recycled shampoo bottle. Make sure to label it so you don’t forget.
- Massage the beer shampoo into wet hair. Lather, rinse and repeat. Follow with a conditioner.
- Tell two friends about this recipe
- The alcohol, honey and shampoo base should act to preserve this recipe without refrigeration for at least a couple of weeks, but you’ll use it up by then, anyhow, right?
Cheers and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
It’s time to spring forward again. At 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks ahead one whole hour to go to Daylight Saving Time and therefore magically lose an hour of the day over the course of the night.
I never really understood the concept behind Daylight Saving Time but have accepted this practice as one of the rhythms of the season. If nothing else, it reminds me to flip my mattress.
All of this extra sunshine is great, but there is a bit of a downside to this shift. Apparently, driving to work on the second Monday in March is slightly more dangerous than usual because the time change on the weekend disrupts people’s sleep patterns and causes them to be extra groggy on the road, which contributes to more traffic accidents.
So, I thought I would help people maximize their limited sleep time and reduce crashes by talking about Chamomile today.
With its apple-like scent and taste, Chamomile (which looks more like a Daisy) helps calm the nervous system and is used as a natural sleep remedy. Spanish chamomile is called manzanilla which means “little apple” but the generic name “Chamomile” is derived from the Greeks who referred to this herb as kamai which means “on the ground” and melon which means “apple.” The term “road apples” comes to mind every time I try to remember this, but that’s something totally different.
It’s Saturday Night, Why Am I Drinking Tea?
There are lots of things you can do tonight with Chamomile before you go to bed, to help you get a good night’s sleep in spite of being cheated out of an hour. Here are some tips from my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa Way:
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea for sleeplessness, nightmare prevention, depression, anxiety, anger, headaches, indigestion, female issues and shock;
- Place warm tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles;
- Use chamomile water as a toner in your facial to clean pores, relax facial expression, and de-stress (good for all skin-types);
- Use as a hair rinse to add highlights and gloss, repair damage, encourage hair growth, and for a relaxing fragrance;
- Use chamomile essential oil in foot creams to fight fungus;
- Add to bathwater and soap recipes and take a bath right before bed;
- For extra aromatherapy, spray your bedroom and sheets with comforting chamomile linen water;
- Use the herb in sleep pillows;
- Add chamomile essential oil to massage oil to relax, foster sleep, lift depression, soothe pain, and strengthen breathing.
Enjoy your weekend and may your commutes to and from work be smooth and clear this week. Feel free to add your comments and tips to this post.
****What Not to Wear spoil alert****
In an effort to cling to the vestiges of my youth as they slip through my fingers like sand, I went to my hair appointment with a colourful idea. I wanted to add some pink.
I personally think that getting your hair done is one of the best ways to manage stress. I particularly love getting my hair washed.
I had been toying with the pink idea for a while. I thought about it during my last appointment with Richard as I was flipping through some hairstyle books. There’s lots of stuff being done these days with deep blues and vibrant reds. I couldn’t decide between pink and purple. Purple has always been my favourite colour but pink seems more flattering with blonde.
At first Richard wasn’t so keen on the idea. He has been a hairstylist for over 20 years and knows a thing or two about people, their attachment to their hair and the concept of change. He knows when to green light an idea and when not to. He tested me with some questions like, Why do you want to do this? — Because I’m turning 40 in a couple of days and I want to do something youthful?
He showed me all of his colour samples and the tube of “Pretty Flamingo” and said I had an hour to think about it. Should I or shouldn’t I? What will my cat think? What will my mother say? How will my forestry co-workers react? I was thinking, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea afterall and was talking myself out of it.
As Richard was cutting my hair, I was telling him about Friday night’s episode of What Not To Wear where they literally roped Jessie, a 52-year-old woman from Texas, into a make-over. They caught up to her at the South Fork Ranch, home of Dallas, the 80’s tv show and she was wearing an animal print dress, a leather coat, rhinestones and pumps. She was nominated by her 34 year-old daughter with long blonde, big Texas hair, who was going to be moving out of her mother’s house soon. Apparently, the mother was divorced and single and the mother and daughter would hang out together to meet men, though the men would always pick the daughter.
Jessie admitted that her feelings were really hurt after being nominated for the show. But I guess a $5000 shopping spree in New York City didn’t sound so bad.
Jessie reluctantly went to New York. She didn’t see anything wrong with what she was wearing in the first place but tried to take in the rules as best she could. No more rhinestones for her, she thought. Admittedly, I think giving up 20-year-old clothes would be hard for me also. I have clothes like t-shirts and socks from my high school days in my drawers too. Why? I don’t know. Do I still wear them? No.
It was obvious Jessie was clinging to the good ol’ days of yesteryear — when things were the way she wanted them — she was young, beautiful, married and living the high life. Unfortunately, things changed and she was resisting big time. There were no smiles. There was no enthusiasm. At first Stacy and Clinton, the show hosts, were their usual joking selves, but they quickly learned she had no sense of humour about this and they reined it in to a more demure level.
When it came to her hair, Nick, the resident hairstylist on What Not to Wear, sat her down in his chair and callously held her hair in a fan above her ears and said something to the effect of, this is going, say good-bye. I think that was the last straw for Jessie. It was the turning point where she lost the rest of her patience and wasn’t going to tolerate this invasion into her life a second longer. That’s when things went southfork and had Nick approached this with a little more finesse, things may have turned out differently.
All in all Nick did a nice job on her hair. He made it more golden, than platinum, and cut her hair into a chin-length bob. I often don’t care for his hairstyles though because he tends to border on mullets — and by that I mean, he straightens the hair near the ears leaving it to lie flat — but in this case the style was quite flattering. She looked younger and better.
I think she used the word “pretty” but her face was saying something else. You could see her disappointed and angry thoughts fermenting under the surface of her skin. She knew if she said anything out loud, she would either say something really awful or she would burst into tears. I’ve been there before in many situations but I’ve never actually watched someone else do it. Cut to commercial.
We’ve all had bad haircuts in our day. I can remember the time I went to a new stylist and as I left the salon, all of the other stylists stopped what they were doing, watched me as I walked past and all had this look on their face that said, “Oh you poor thing.” I can laugh about it now.
When they returned from the ads, Jessie was in the greenroom crying and Carmindy, the make-up artist, came to talk to her. Jessie said, none of the men would like her hair, so Carmindy said she would send someone in to fix things. The fix was blow-drying the hair in a more flippy way.
I happen to know, (by eavesdropping on a conversation between my bus driver and another passenger a few years ago — it was a story about how the bus driver gave up a scholarship with Vidal Sassoon in England to take care of her grandfather), that Nick charges something like $250 or $400 U.S. for an appointment. He’s no slouch. He knows what he’s doing.
Carmindy was treating her with kid gloves and applied her make-up, although I didn’t pay attention to a word. I was watching Jessie’s face as she seethed in anger. She said, “I’ll live with it for a week and see how it goes.”
When she checked in with Stacy and Clinton in her new outfits, new hair and make-up, there were no yahoos. No cheers.
And low and behold, within the month, she had extensions put in and the colour re-platinumized. Talk about kicking a gift horse in the mouth.
She was less than impressed with her tress. I, on the other hand, felt blessed. As you have probably guessed by now, I went ahead with the pink and I’m really happy. What’s the difference between my experience and Jessie’s? First of all, my hair wasn’t drastic on the grand scheme of things and second, I asked for it. Jessie did not. It was my idea in the first place. I have been going through gradual changes over the past several months and am getting used to seeing a different person in the mirror, while her transformation happened all of a sudden and it was too shocking.
My hairstylist Richard said people don’t like change — they think they do, but they don’t. That’s why we find the nearest Starbucks or the Gap and shop there because these places are familiar and predictable. Don’t mess with Texas.
My advice to Jessie is:
1) Smile more and frown less — no quality man would be interested in spending time with a bitter woman with a poor attitude.
2) Hire a personal trainer — if nothing else, it will do wonders for your self-confidence.
3) Appreciate the wisdom you have gained over the years — it will serve you better than your youth and beauty ever did.
Watch What Not To Wear on Friday nights on TLC and check out the fansite at tlc.discovery.com for more comments on this episode.
Can you find the pink? What do you think?