Posts tagged ‘rosemary’

November 20, 2018

My search for conscious & natural shampoo ended at “Instituut Haar en Gezondheid”

Consciousness

When I started this blog, the term “consciousness” wasn’t hip yet. Luckily, conscious living and consuming became a bit of a trend. For me this process of becoming more conscious of how much waste I produce, what kind of products I use and what I consume, this awareness that almost felt natural to me, happened when I felt I was finally growing up.

The search for natural shampoo

Due to my mixed roots, my thick, dark hair is naturally curly. I’ve mistreated my hair, dyed it in many colours chemically (until I met Dianne te Mebel of Instituut Haar & Gezondheid) and used random beauty products for my hair and body. A couple of years ago I started getting rashes after showering and searched and found natural alternatives for the industrially made shower gels I used until then. The years after this though, I struggled to find good alternatives for my hair shampoos. I tried many shampoos that were advertised to be organic and natural, from many different countries, bought in local “organic shops” (“Natuurwinkels”), as well as online. The problem I had with these shampoos was, that most of them would clean my hair, but they would flatten my curls, make my hair frizzy and take away its shine. From some of the shampoos I ordered online from companies that branded as being completely organic, biological and natural, I figured out they had some chemical ingredients anyway AFTER I got them delivered at home.

Do you know what you put in your hair?

I’ve considered making my own shampoo and did some research, but you know, it’s one of those things that’s still on my To Do List for one day when I will make the time for it. For years I’ve continued my search to the perfect, natural shampoo and I occasionally tried some of the regular shampoos again as well. These actually sometimes make my curls pretty for a while, but contained chemicals and/or stuff like: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Parabens, Sodium Chloride, Polyethylene Glycols (PEG), Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Dimethicone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Triclosan, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Synthetic Fragrances, Formaldehyde and Alcohol. WHAT? You don’t know what these are, apart from one, or maybe two?? EXACTLY! That’s my point! Then why would you put them in your hair?

What if I would have remembered her sooner?

I’d never been in touch with Dianne te Mebel again since writing those blogs, when all of a sudden I remembered she KNOWS how to treat hair. She treats hair consciously and has been doing so before this became hip in Amsterdam. I decided to ask her advice about shampoos. I contacted her and she told me to pass by, so she could introduce me to her self-made natural shampoos and other natural hair products.

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

Dianne’s salon is very centrally located next to the Amstel river that Amsterdam has been named after and it’s warm, welcoming and cozy. I don’t think she advertises much, because for sure people always come back after having visited her the first time. When I entered, I felt like all of the clients present were regulars that have been coming there for years. Dianne’s salon Instituut Haar en Gezondheid (Institute of Hair and Health) specialises in dying your hair naturally with henna (CLICK).

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid at Amstel 186, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid at Amstel 186, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Natural hair products!

As soon as I entered, I was pleasantly surprised. I saw beautiful shampoo bars that looked like a piece of art, natural argan oils that Dianne brought from Morocco herself, natural apple cider vinegars that will give your hair a boost, henna brownies, hair masks that look super tasty but are for your hair, rosewater to condition your hairs and many more natural products without packaging that instantly made me happy; I knew I found what I’d been looking for.

 

Edible looking natural meringue hair masks at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

Edible looking natural meringue hair masks at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

 

The shampoo bars smell like spices and weigh about 120 grams each. They’re being wrapped in some paper (with a cute ribbon) to safely take home (I’ve already reused these for a present), but other than that there is no packaging = no waste. They’re easy to take with you (Even in your hand luggage when flying!) and will last you about 50 washings. Oh and they’re vegan and only tested on humans!

 

A selection of the natural shampoo bars at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

A selection of the natural shampoo bars at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

 

Heavenly hair washing

To make my morning even better, Dianne announced that she’d be washing my hair for me, to demonstrate the shampoo bar. I love having my hair washed and she was explaining what the shampoo bar was made of and where she gets the ingredients, so this was heavenly.

Eden natural shampoo bar by Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

Eden natural shampoo bar by Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

The Eden henna shampoo bars come in a few different “flavors” and Dianne chose me the “Henna Color shampoo Eden Red/Auburn”. Besides henna, my shampoo bar contains jojoba, rosemary, juniper and grapefruit, also cocoa butter and shea butter. Since my hair hasn’t been dyed for some time and is about black, we don’t expect that the henna will actually color my hair (apart from maybe the grey ones), but last time Dianne dyed my hair, it was revitalised and conditioned and super healthy again thanks to the henna (Read about this HERE) and this lasted for months.

(I don’t like posting pictures of myself on this blog, but I just had to show you how happy Dianne’s hands & products made me) . DLCS Management

 DLCS Management

Already after a minute I loved the smell. My hair felt clean. After washing my hairs twice, she also conditioned it with her “Sweet Rose Conditioner bar” enriched with sweet orange oil, shea butter and avocado oil and then sprayed in some of her apple cider vinegar (includes plants, blue malva and lemon), which made my hair shine and made the skin on my head feel fresh. Of course I had to test her rosewater and argan oil as well and this stuff smells and feels so amazing!

(I don’t like posting pictures of myself on this blog, but I just had to show you how happy Dianne’s hands & products made me)  

Conclusion?

After this visit I really stretched the time I waited until washing my hair again, just to observe the effect of Dianne’s products on my hair. After a week, my hair still felt and smelt clean. I just really couldn’t wait to try the shampoo bar myself, so I decided it was time. I figured out that you only need to make the bar a little moist to get enough shampoo on your hands and then hair. It foams a lot very easily! There is no way I’ll squirt shampoo in the shower instead of in my hands again and it’s just a tiny little bit that I need for every washing. I’m sure this bar will last for quite some time! It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m still happy.

Institute Hair and Health, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Institute Hair and Health, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

 

So. My conclusion? Until one day I’ll get to my To Do List and will make my own shampoo, I will never use anything else again.

 

My Eden natural shampoo bar by Dianne te Mebel . Photo DLCS Management

My Eden natural shampoo bar by Dianne te Mebel . Photo DLCS Management

 

Exciting!

Oh wait, I almost forgot. I’ve got some exciting news as well.
1.:  Soon Dianne will dye my hair with her natural henna products at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid again and I’m very much looking forward to this.
2. : There’s a webshop! See:  www.hennabrownies.com . For now most of the website is only in Dutch, but Google Translate is your friend and of course you can leave me a message if you have a question. The Henna brownies come in 25 colors and there’s a step-by-step manual on the site (If you’re not confident enough to color at home with the manual AND you’re located in The Netherlands, FYI, every once in a while there are workshops in the salon where you can learn to color your own hair, how to best treat your hair and receive more tips while enjoying a healthy lunch).

 

 

www.instituuthaarengezondheid.nl
www.hennabrownies.com
Instituut Haar & Gezondheid
Amstel 186
1017 AG Amsterdam
(The Netherlands)

 

 

Which natural products do YOU use for your hair?

Are you as conscious about what you put in your hair as about what you put in your belly?

 

DLCS Management logo

DLCS Management logo

 

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February 14, 2012

Paški sir from Sirana Gligora – Spicy & Cheesy

I was approached (HERE somewhere ) by my Mr. Simon Kerr, of Sirana (Dairy) Gligora from Kolan on the island of Pag in Croatia. Sirana Gligora produces cheese in a generations old traditional way, from the milk of autochthonous sheep that live freely on the islands’ pastures, surrounded by aromatic herbs and breathing in the seawind which also deposits sea salt on the pastures. This ensures the produced cheeses to possess a unique scent and taste, enhanced by Pag’s salted aromatic herbs. Besides the original Paški sir (cheese), Sirana Gligora also produces a small variety of other cheeses, such as goat cheese from milk from Dalmatian goats, as well as cheese from a mixture of cows’ milk from cows from the Dalmatian hinterland with sheep cheese.

I got cheese to sample My Way .

The Trapist Kolan, a flavourful cheese, is for me the mildest of the cheeses I got from Sirana Gligora (unfortunately skuta was not possible to sample in Amsterdam right now, but skuta is actually the mildest of all. Skuta is comparable to ricotta, it’s beautiful fresh cheese and I would make-or at least attempt to make- amazing Croatian pancakes from the oven with that ). It’s perfectly accompanied by a simple homemade Indonesian Sambal Ulek. For me anything is perfectly accompanied by  Sambal ulek 😉 , but the flavor of this cheese gets an extra beautiful flavour touch with it.

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The way I make a Sambal Ulek is supersimple;

  • Cut 10 (or how many you have in the fridge, then just adapt the amounts to flavour.) fresh spicy red or green chilli peppers with seeds in rings if you like it HOT,

OR,

  • Slice the peppers in length, take out the seeds and then slice them if you want it mild.
  • Don’t forget to put on gloves! Especially if you have children or pets around, be careful! I never wear the gloves, I’m stubborn and try to use fork and knife but this is not as handy as gloves, so I have gotten spiciness in my eyes more than once.
  • Place the peppers in a stone mortar or grinder, add a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar and grind until everything becomes a paste.
  • Stir well and add a teaspoon of good vinegar, for example Japanese rice vinegar, Croatian wine vinegar, homemade apple vinegar, whatever (but not balsamico) good vinegar you have around, if you have no vinegar in the house, some lemon juice will do.
  • Add a teaspoon of sunflower oil and stir.
  • Store for maximum two weeks in a clean glass jar with lid in the fridge.

Oh yeah, you don’t have such a beautiful Indonesian stone mortar or grinder? You can use a blender (or a staafmixer for the Dutch) if there’s no other way.

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I served the Trapist Kolan cut in slices with a Dutch cheese cutter (I’m a huge fan of the Dutch cheese cutter, I’ve never seen it abroad and it’s sooooo handy!) with a Brinove rakija, (comparable to a very good Dutch Jenever, the French Genevièvre, a juniper brandy), an excellent choice.

The rosemary cheese is a strong and spicy cheese, the herbs already complement the cheese beautifully. The structure of the cheese does not allow it to be cut with a Dutch cheesecutter, it crumbles. I sprinkled some dried chilli seeds over the cheese and then poured some excellent virgin Pendolino Istrian olive oil over it. My dried chilli seeds are from Gran Canaria and very, very spicy, the Dutch ones or Croatian ones would be less spicy and allow you to taste the cheese better. Great with some dry crackers or bread.

The Kozlar cheese is semi-firm and is a good goat cheese. What I imagined is true; it makes an unbelievable combination with an exotic spicy sour sweet chutney, such as a spicy Indian mango chutney. I have never made a chutney myself before yet (this one came from a jar), but I’ll let you know when I do.

Sir s tartufima (cheese with black truffels) pairs perfectly with a homemade  bread, to which some dried chilli have been added to the dough.

The original Paški sir is a perfect substitute for Parmesan cheese. It’s excellent with a good pasta, such as spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino. I needed a much smaller quantity than what I’m used to because the cheese is so tasty and strong.

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Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino ; Simple, filling, yet light. Anyone can cook this, in my house it’s a favourite when lazy or when there are not many ingredients in the house. Here’s the (for 2) recipe MY Way.

  • 200g spaghetti (mind you, I don’t weigh my pasta, I guess, but I’m trying to give you some measurements)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (or more!) dried red chilly flakes to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • salt and freshly grinded black pepper to taste
  • Finely chop the aglio and then warm the olio until it’s hot enough to add the garlic. Make sure the oil is not too hot, this will make your garlic burn!
  • Cook your pasta al dente in (enough!) salted water.
  • In a saucepan, cook the garlic and olive oil on low heat. Don’t let the garlic get brown, it has to stay golden. Add the chilli., some salt and freshly grinded pepper
  • When the pasta is ready, add it to the olive oil, garlic and chilli mixture.
  • Serve on plates and grate the Paški sir over the plates. Decorate with the parsley.

Buon Appetito!

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The Zigljen cheese I tried pure. Gorgeous. I just simply felt like having a good piece of cheese and I was once again, not disappointed.

As a final test we cut the rosemary cheese, Trapist Kolan, Paški sir and some average Dutch cheese, made a pizza dough with some oregano picked on the island of Cres in Croatia, dried by the sea air, some amazing olive oil (yes, the virgin Istrian Pendolino again), some garlic & onion, and made a pizza (yes, without the tomato). The pizza had a thin crust and I don’t need to explain you that the combinations of these flavours were amazing, right? The cheese with rosemary seems like made for a pizza. The cheese I liked least on the pizza was the Kolan, it became slightly chewy. BUT all cheeses were still there, besides the Dutch one. We put a lot of Dutch cheese and little Croatian cheese, yet the ruling flavours were those of real cheese, with a touch of garlic and onion and herbs. I could only guess that the Dutch cheese is not made in an as natural way as the Paški sir….

I didn’t only come to conclusions of Sirana Gligora’s Paški sir, but also about spices and my love for them. The Surinam Madame Jeanette, is better eaten cooked than raw. Even for a lover of anything spicy, it’s too spicy. I prefer my Madame Jeanette in a tropical soup or a Surinam brown bean stew. I’ve tried it with some different cheeses but it’s not recommendable.

I’ve also made some random Amsterdam people try some of the cheese, all reactions were extremely positive, they all loved Sirana Gligora’s cheeses, like I do. The best comment I got when I asked about opinions was;
“This tastes like REAL cheese”.  Well that’s exactly what I thought.

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Sirana Gligora’s Paški sir is for sale in stores all over Croatia, as well as in London, The UK. Hopefully this year in Amsterdam, The Netherlands too. I’ll keep you updated about that. More info; http://www.sirena.hr/en/dairy-gligora-s1.htm