Plastic-Free Swaps Infographics

Plastic is a big problem for the environment. It ends up in landfills and it’s regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. It does not biodegrade. Ever. It just sits and accumulates in landfills and in the oceans forever. It might be difficult to stop using plastic products from one day to the other, but little by little it is possible. Searching for easy tips to reduce plastic consumption I found from The Plastic Soup Foundation the following infographics that I want to share with you.

1. Swap a plastic toothbrush for bamboo or wooden toothbrush.

Throughout your lifetime, you are estimated to use about 300 toothbrushes. Plastic toothbrushes are difficult to recycle and end up on the river banks, beaches and in the ocean. Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable thus better for the environment.

2. Swap plastic bottle shampoo for a shampoo bar.

Skincare products and cosmetics may contain microplastics. These tiny plastics are hardly visible to the naked eye, they flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why they contribute to the plastic soup in the ocean.

3. Swap disposable razors for a metal razor.

Our shaving routine might be contributing to the 2 billion razors and cartridges disposed of each year. A metal razor can be used for a long time and it can be recycled once you are done using it.

4. Swap disposable menstrual pads and tampons for a menstrual cup or reusable cloth pads.

Disposable menstrual pads and tampons may contain plastics and are often flushed down the toilet. On average, a woman is estimated to use and dispose of about 10,000 menstruation products in her lifetime.
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5. Swap plastic brushes for wooden brushes.

Even though plastic brushes are not single-use, they are made for short-term use. The best is to replace all the brushes that you use for wooden ones. You can find one at a local green store near you.

6. Swap plastic sandwich bags for reusable cloth bags.

From the 380 million tonnes of plastics produced worldwide each year, more than 40% are used in packaging, of which the majority is used in food packaging.

7. Swap plastic straws for bamboo or stainless steel straws.

Plastic straws are one of the most common types of litter found on beaches. They can’t be recycled and don’t biodegrade. Instead, they end up in landfills and in the ocean.

8. Swap plastic wrap for Bee’s wrap.

The chemicals which are added to a plastic wrap to make it more clingy make it harder to recycle. On top of that, plastic cling films are single-use plastic. Bee’s wrap is an eco-friendly way to wrap food. It is easy to wash and it can be reused for a long time.

9. Swap packed tea bags for loose tea and a tea-ball.

A lot of tea bags that appear to be made of only paper, may also contain plastic. The added plastic, however, is rarely mentioned on the packaging, and the consumer remains unaware. Plastic tea bags are just another way for microplastics to end up in our body, and potentially in the environment.
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10. Swap single-use plastic bread bags for a reusable cloth bread bag.

The plastic around store-bought bread is single-use and not recyclable. Instead, you can go to your local bakery with a cotton bread bag, which you can use for a long time. If you have plastic-free options available to you in the form of a paper bag packed bread, then that’s an option too.

11. Swap disposable to-go coffee cups for a reusable coffee cup.

To-go coffee cups are made of plastic. Even paper cups are lined with a plastic coating on the inside, making them non-recyclable. Reusable coffee cups are so diverse that you can use them for tea, smoothies, or any other liquid. Having one with you at all times is a great way to reduce your plastic consumption.

12. Swap plastic baby bottles for metal or glass bottles.

Baby plastic bottles are lightweight and inexpensive, but sometimes they may release endocrine disruptors (BPA) which can potentially mess up hormones in our bodies. Metal and glass baby bottles are environmentally friendlier. They are saver for babies and can be passed over to family and friends because the nipple can be replaced.

13. Swap regular chewing gum for non-synthetic rubber chewing gum.

A lot of regular chewing gum brands contain synthetic polymers, polyethylene, and plasticizers. This is to make the gum stretchy, soft and flexible. On top of it, chewing gums are not biodegradable.

14. Swap plastic laundry clippers for wooden or stainless steel laundry clippers.

Plastic laundry clippers are often found in the litter polluting our beaches and river banks. They can easily get lost and end up breaking down in the environment.

15. Swap a plastic watering can for a metal watering can.

Plastic is not made to resist outdoors in the long term. When plastic withers away it loses particles over time. This is because of the gradual degradation caused by outdoor weather conditions like sun-light.

16. Swap plastic plants holders for holders made from cardboard, glass, bamboo, wood or cellulose.

When buying new plants, try to find them without a plastic holder. If you can’t find a plastic alternative, try to reuse the holder as much as possible. When you are done using them, return them to your gardening center instead of throwing them away.

17. Swap single-use cigarette for matches made of wood or a metal lighter

Single-use cigarette lighters are found on almost every beach around the world. According to Ocean Conservancy, all the cigarette lighters collected during beach cleanups performed in 2017 together would have stood 10 times higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

With Love,
Alisson

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Reusable Bamboo Cutlery Set

Some plastic items are more dangerous for sea animals than others. The Ocean Conservancy ranks plastic cutlery as the second most dangerous plastic trash, right after fishing nets. Animals in the ocean often mistake plastic trash for food, which leads to a painful death. To help the animals and the environment, the best thing to do is to avoid single-use plastic cutlery and start using reusable ones. By bringing your eco-friendly cutlery set on-the-go, you can refuse single-use plastics while still enjoying your food at the train, at the park or your take-away lunch. You can keep your reusable utensils in your bag or your car.

In my Zustainabox from October, I received a reusable bamboo cutlery set from the brand Bambaw. The set is made from bamboo. It includes a knife, a fork, a spoon and a drinking straw with a corresponding cleaning brush. They are all packed in a natural cotton pouch with additional space to add chopsticks or any other utensils.

I discovered the brand ‘Bambaw’ via ZustainaBox. The ZustainaBox is a box full of sustainable alternatives for your current products. The box contains between 7 and 8 items and gets delivered every 8 weeks. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free, help you towards a plastic-free life and are made with a low environmental impact. When you subscribe as a member, you will receive weekly tips and inspiration for an eco-lifestyle in your mailbox.

The boxes get deliver as green as possible. Within the cities, the delivery is by bicycle, outside the cities is with green cars. The next delivery dates are:
– The week of 16th December
– The week of 24th February


If you want to give it a try and join the club use my code ‘AS15’ to get 15% discount!
Read more information here.

With Love,
Alisson

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Zero Waste Kitchen With ZustainaBox

The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day, 10 times the amount a century ago, according to World Bank researchers. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution, roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled. Shocking right? Luckily, due to the popular zero-waste movement companies are rethinking the materials, packaging and how to reduce waste.

This time I want to show you a replaceable head washing brush from the brand The Zero Waste Club. The brush is made from sustainable bamboo. It has two pieces. The handle and the head. Once the head is worn out, it can be easily replaced. The handle can still be used for a long time. The bristles are made from 100% natural sisal plant. Besides for the dishes the brush can be used to clean all kind of things. The brush is completely biodegradable.

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The bamboo dish brush I got from the ZustainaBox. The ZustainaBox is a box full of sustainable alternatives for your current products. The box contains between 7 and 8 items and gets delivered every 8 weeks. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free, help you towards a plastic-free life and are made with a low environmental impact. When you subscribe as a member, you will receive weekly tips and inspiration for an eco-lifestyle in your mailbox.

The boxes get deliver as green as possible. Within the cities, the delivery is by bicycle, outside the cities is with green cars. The next delivery dates are:
– The week of 21st October
– The week of 16th December
– The week of 24th February
If you want to give it a try and join the club use my code ‘AS15’ to get 15% discount!
Read more information here.

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Are you already a ZustainaBox member? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,
Alisson

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Simple Tips To Live More Sustainable

50 Easy tips to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Use a bicycle as your main form of transportation. Buy it second-hand from a trusted shop.

2. If your work is not reachable by bicycle, use public transport. Make it a habit to use it at least a couple of days per week. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up on reading and podcasts.

3. Use stairs over the elevator. This also doubles up as a booty workout.

4. Bring your coffee-to-go reusable cup.

5. Opt to receive digital letters and notices.

6. Put up a no junk mail sign on your letterbox to limit the amount of paper waste.

7. Send cards made from growing paper.

8. Turn off your computer and other electronic devices before going to sleep.

9. Spend more time outside. Try to go for a walk at least 20 minutes per day. Regardless of the weather.

10. Eat more plant-based whole foods. Eat completely vegan once or twice per week.

11. Read your favorite newspaper publications online instead of reading the paper versions.

12. Cook more at home. Regularly prepare home-cooked meals and save on takeaway storage containers.

13. Refuse disposable cutlery and napkins. Get your own set of reusable bamboo cutlery.

14. Carry around your handkerchief instead of using disposable tissues.

15. Use cloth diapers and wipes for your baby.

16. Use stainless steel drink bottles or glass bottles.

17. Buy second-hand clothes for your baby made from cotton. Refuse polyester as much as possible.

18. Use only wooden toys and toys made from natural materials.

19. Get the furniture for the nursery room second-hand.

20. Make your own baby food in batches, portion it and freeze it.

21. Use washable straws instead of disposable plastic straws.

22. Use cloths instead of paper towels.

23. Make your own coffee instead of buying takeaway.

24. Use make-up brands that don’t test on animals.

25. Use only natural and organic skin-care brands.

26. Start replacing your bathroom products for zero-waste products.

27. Use a bamboo toothbrush.

28. Make your scrub.

29. Use LED lighting instead of incandescent lighting as it’s proven to last longer, which reduces the need to keep purchasing light bulbs.

30. Instead of turning on the heating, put on an extra layer of clothing.

31. Open up your curtains and use as much natural light as possible before switching on the lights.

32. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

33. Hang your wet clothes on a drying line or rack instead of using a powered dryer.

34. Wash your clothes on the laundry machine only when you have a full batch.

35. Get a water-saving showerhead and time your showers to 5 min.

36. Grow your own herbs, fruit, and vegetables and use organic fertilizers.

37. Refuse plastic bags. Take your own bags for groceries.

38. Buy fruits and vegetables without plastic packaging.

39. Avoid buying plastic-wrapped dry products, opt for products packed in carton boxes.

40. Refuse plastic bottle water.

41. Look for outfit inspirations on Pinterest with items of clothes that you already have.

42. When you need new clothes, go to second-hand shops first.

43. Refuse fast-fashion brands. Unsubscribe from their newsletter, erase the apps.

44. Invest in better quality items that last longer.

45. Support fashion brands that are ethical and environmentally conscious.

46. Save gift bags and boxes for future use.

46. Give people experiences instead of things.

47. Use rechargeable batteries where possible.

48. Recycle your devices when ready to dispose of.

49. Buy refurbished electronic devices

50. Fly by airplane only when it’s necessary. Plan your vacations by train, bike or by car.

The best way to changing your life towards a more sustainable life is dong it little by little. Changing one habit at the time.

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Picture via Unsplash

Do you have a tip to add? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,
Alisson

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Zero Waste Bathroom With Holland & Barrett

Having a zero-waste bathroom is now easier with the new collection of Holland & Barrett. I have listed my favorite zero waste must-haves that you can start replacing now.

1. Reusable cotton pads

Washable cotton pads are made from organic cotton and are suitable for all skin types. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to throwaway cotton pads and wipes. The cotton pads from Holland and Barrett comes in a small bag perfect for traveling and keeping together when you throw in the wash. These cotton pads can be used solely with micellar water or facial cleansers to completely remove your makeup.

2. Reusable cotton cloth

Muslin cloths are an environmentally friendly alternative to wipes. Apply your favorite cleanser all over your face and down your neck. Rinse the cloth under warm water and squeeze out any excess water. Hold the cloth over your face for 5 seconds, then in gentle circular motions start to remove the cleanser.

3. Exfoliate mitt

The exfoliating hand glove from Holland & Barret is made from ramie. Ramie is a natural fiber from a plant in China know as a Chinese nettle. The fiber is naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew. Wet with warm water, apply your favorite shower gel or soap and massage in circular motions over the body for a light exfoliation. Once finished rinse and air dry.

4. Double-sided face cloth

Unbleached cotton towel on one side for gentle exfoliating. Unbleached muslin on the reverse for light cleansing. This cloth is an environmentally friendly alternative to wipes and exfoliator. Use warm water with a face wash or cleanser to gently clean and exfoliate the face. Use the smooth side for light cleansing and removing the product from the face. The textured side gently exfoliates and cleanses the skin leaving a radiant, clean and healthy face.

5. Bamboo toothbrush

A bamboo toothbrush lasts just as long as an ordinary plastic toothbrush. The handle is made from sustainable bamboo, the bristles are made from Nylon 6 and all the packaging is recyclable. The bamboo is biodegradable.

With Love,
Alisson

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Cards That Turn Into Flowers

Dutch people are known for their windmills, colorful bulb fields, wooden shoes, etc. But something that I have discovered that is very common in the Dutch culture, is to send cards. For birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, when you are sick, when you move into a new house, when you graduate, when a kid is born… Dutchies like to send greeting cards. As much as I try to keep the cards that I get, sooner or later some cards end up in the trash. Luckily, the Dutch company Bloom Your Message came out with a solution to this problem: Growing Cards!

 

The growing cards are made of sustainable paper with seeds inside. Under the soil, the paper will grow out into flowers, herbs or vegetables. 

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How it works.

These cards are a great solution to reduce waste but still keeping up with traditions. You can also custom-make your cards to suit any occasion.

These set of cards, I got from the ZustainaBox. The subscription box with sustainable products. The box contains between 7 and 8 products and gets delivered every 8 weeks. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free and with a low environmental impact. If you want to try it out, use my code ALISSONSIMMONDS15 to get a discount. Read more information here.

With Love,
Alisson

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Washable And Reusable Products: ImseVimse

ImseVimse is a Swedish brand of reusable textile products. It started as a cloth diaper brand but it has expanded and now they make washable products for women as well.
In order to protect the environment, for all of their products ImseVimse uses cotton that is organically cultivated. Like this, they can be certain to offer clean and good products.

The production takes place mainly in Europe, primarily in Latvia and in Turkey. They impose strict demands on suppliers and manufacturers. And carry out annual checks on the working conditions in their factories. All of their products meet the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for textiles. Which means they are sustainably produced and have been tested for harmful substances.

The motto of the company is to create good products that matter and make a difference in the world. ImseVimse’s head office is based in the Swedish city Visby, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From their collection I got the following products:

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Pantyliners, baby bibs, washable wipes, and cleansing pads
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These cleansing pads are washable, ideal for makeup removing.
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The pantyliners are made of 100% organic cotton. These pads are perfect to combine with a menstrual cup.

From the baby collection, I use the all-in-one cloth diaper.

I hope you like this brand and give it a try.  In The Netherlands, you can buy ImseVimse at the webshop www.GreenJump.nl

With love,

Alisson

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30 Really Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic is a big problem for the environment. It ends up in landfills and it’s regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. It does not biodegrade. Ever. It just sits and accumulates in landfills and in the oceans forever.
It might be difficult to stop using plastic from one day to the other, but little by little it is possible. You don’t have to do them all every day, but every little effort makes a difference. Here are my tips:

  1. Use cotton swabs made from paper.
  2. Use a menstrual cup or reusable cloth menstrual pads. Instead of disposable tampons and pads.
  3. Use a safety razor instead of disposable razors. This is a little investment (around €30) but it will last a long time.
  4. Use soap bars for your body and hair that is sold without packaging. The shop Lush is a great place to get all your beauty goodies package-free. Even shower gel!
  5. Use body scrubs made from natural ingredients. Some scrubs are made with tiny synthetic particles called microbeads.
  6. Use make-up products that come in sustainable packagings. For example check the brand Lush or Boho.
  7. Use cloth cleansing pads instead of the disposable pads made from cotton.
  8. Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  9. Brush your teeth with toothy tabs instead of regular pasta from a tube.
  10. Use a deodorant that comes in a carton package.
  11. Wrap your food in beeswax instead of plastic food wrap.
  12. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters. Or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  13. Pack your lunch in reusable containers or invest in a set of metal Tupperware.
  14. Make your own cleaning products. I clean a lot with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
  15. Use a soap bar to wash the dishes instead of liquid soap.
  16. Buy cleaning brushes from metal and natural fibers.
  17. Avoid getting a receipt as much as possible. Some receipts are coated in a thin layer of plastic that makes them unrecyclable.
  18. Use reusable cotton bags when you do the groceries. Make sure you always have a bag with you.
  19. Don’t use plastic bags for your fruits out of the supermarket. Pack them loose in your shopping car.
  20. Pack loose vegetables like green beans, tomatoes or champignons in paper bags. Most of the supermarkets have them. But, more ideally it would be if you bring your own veggie cotton bag.
  21. Buy pasta, rice and some other dry foods in a carton box instead of a plastic package. Or buy them in a bulk store and bring your own containers.
  22. If you commute to go to work or school and can’t function without coffee, get a reusable coffee cup and use it.
  23. Get a glass or a stainless steel water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.
  24. Buy laundry detergent in a cardboard box instead of a plastic bottle.
  25. Buy clothes from natural fabrics instead of synthetic fabrics. Every time a garment made of a synthetic fabric is washed, it releases tiny particles that end in our oceans. Threatening the animals and plants.
  26. Order your drinks without plastic straws.
  27. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
  28. Use reusable cloth diapers, baby wipes, and bibs.
  29. If you are breastfeeding use reusable nursing pads.
  30. Use wooden toys instead of plastic toys. Wood is a more sustainable material and lasts long.
Picture form @simply.living.well

I hope you get inspired and see how easy it is to make little changes that have a big impact on our environment.

Interesting documentaries about these topics:
A Plastic Ocean – Watch on Netflix
Plasticized – Watch Here
Garbage Island: An Ocean of Plastic – Watch Here
Chasing Coral – Watch on Netflix

With Love,
Alisson

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Greentom – A Baby Stroller Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Looking for the right stroller can be very tiring while pregnant. There are so many different types, models, and colors. On top of that, every brand claims to make the best stroller ever. During my search, the only thing I was clear about, is that I wanted a stroller as sustainable as possible. In my research, I found a Dutch company that makes green strollers in a circular way: Greentom. The designer Bart Bost is the man behind Greentom. He makes strollers from almost one hundred percent recycled materials. Their mission is to design, develop and produce smart and sustainable products that make the world a little bit greener. For their strollers, they use recycled plastic bottles. This helps because the waste does not end up in our rivers, oceans, on our beaches or in landfills. At the end of its lifecycle, all of the Greentom products can be reused or recycled.

I wanted to give it a try and got the Carrycot model in color beige, with the frame in white. As soon as I got it, my husband and I were curious about it and started putting it together. The stroller was to ensemble very quick and easy. It feels lightweight and rides very smooth. I like it that the stroller grows up with the baby. When the Carrycot gets too small (or de the baby too big), I can use the reversible version. The frame stays the same, you only need to get the extra reversible or the classic chassis. These you can use the rest of the stroller time.

Greentom is the proof that circular products can be beautiful and timeless. You can use smart, cool and functional green products and make a difference.

I took my Carrycot stroller for a test ride. I can’t wait to start using it for real when the baby is born!

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Discover more about the world of Greentom here: https://www.greentom.com/nl/

With Love,
Alisson

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Natural Hair Care Routine

On November 2016 I stopped using regular shampoo. It´s been a process and I want to share with you what I have done so far. First of all, I want to remind you why I decided to do it (more about it here). Store bought shampoo have chemicals ingredients that are bad for you, and for the environment. Out of curiosity I started reading about the ingredients in my Garnier shampoo and realized how little I understand them and how chemically it all sounded. During my research, I discovered that chemicals in regular shampoo, strip away the hair´s natural conditioning making the oil glands to release extra oil, causing the hair to look greasy and making us using shampoo again and often.  An alternative to this method is the “No-poo” method. That was the first method I tried:

The “No-poo” method
This method suggests that by washing your hair with a more gentle product or even with just water only you´ll achieve clean hair without the damage or dependency in regular shampoo. I was washing my hair once per week with a mix of rye flour and water as shampoo and apple vinegar as conditioner. I only use the vinegar for the tips of my hair.  Every 4-5 washes I used baking soda as shampoo. To prevent dandruff, I massage my scalp with lemon every three or four weeks. I used corn flour (maizena) as a dry shampoo once or twice in between washes. I apply the powder to my hair with a make-up brush. When I felt the tips of my hair too dry, I used argan oil as a hair serum. I was happy using this method until I went one month on holidays to Colombia and wasn’t able to find the ingredients there, and honestly, I found it too much work. Please note: it takes time for your hair to adjust to this method. The first weeks my hair was more greasy than it was before, but after the 3rd to 4th week my hair started looking prettier than ever. Read more about my first weeks here.

Hair soap bar from Lush
I discovered Lush´s hair soap bars and got one to make my time during holidays easier. I used the same ingredients as my previous routine, but instead of the rye flour, I was using the soap bar. It is very convenient while traveling. I have to admit that I bought the soap bar on a hurry and didn’t read well all the ingredients. When I did I discovered that the soap bar has SLS. Just the ingredient I have been avoiding for so long. I did, used the shampoo bar until it finished but was glad to found the next one.

Hair soap bar from Vlot Amsterdam
I discovered this hair soap and have been a fan since. The ingredients are castor-, jojoba-, coconut-, olive-, sunflower oil, water and little pieces of dried coconut. Since almost six months I have been using it as shampoo. To use it I first wet my hair and rub the soap on my hands, then I rub my hands on my hair and massage it. I then rinse it with water.
Next to the hair soap, I use these products:

Apple cider vinegar: As a hair conditioner. I filled a small bottle spray with one teaspoon of vinegar and water. Once I am done using the shampoo bar I spray this mix on the tips of my hair and rinse it with water.

Argan oil: As a hair serum. I only use it on the tips of my hair when I feel them dry.

Baking soda: Every time my scalp felt too oily I used baking soda as shampoo. I didn’t use it often but it helped me during the transition time from store bought shampoo to the “no-poo” method.

Fresh lemon or lime: As a mask against dandruff.

Corn flour: As a dry shampoo. I use it with a make-up brush in between washes.

Once per week, I wash my hair and only brush that day. I let it air dry if possible, if not I dry it with the hairdryer. When I notice my hair getting greasy, I use the corn flour on the roots of my hair and remove the rest with a towel. To get my curls looking good, I sleep with braided hair.

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These are the products I use for my hair. The spray bottle is where I store the vinegar.
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Next week, I´ll be sharing the products I use as a body lotion. Stay tuned!

With Love,
Alisson

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