Today my guest is Diana Kaye. She and husband James Hahn are co-founders of their USDA certified organic business Terressentials. They’ve been on this show together many times, but today Diana is here to talk about their highly recommended Hair Wash, and how most hair care products damage your hair with toxic chemicals. I’ve been using this product for several months and what a difference! We’ll talk about your “virgin hair” and how to get your hair back to it’s natural state. Diana and Jim own a small organic farm in lovely Middletown Valley, Maryland and have operated their organic herbal personal care products business there since 1996. Terressentials was originally started in Virginia in 1992. It grew out of their search for chemical-free products after Diana’s personal experience with cancer and chemotherapy in 1988. Prior to Diana’s cancer, they were involved in commercial architecture in Washington DC. Diana and James are proud to be an authentic USDA certified organic and Fair Made USA business. They are obsessive organic researchers and artisan handcrafters of more than one hundred USDA certified organic gourmet personal care products that they offer through their two organic stores in Frederick County, Maryland, through a network of select retail partners across the US, and to customers around the world via their informative web site. Terressentials Organic Hair Care | Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash: Instructions and FAQs | Terressentials Hair Help Resource Guide
- GMOs in Personal Care Products
- Toxics in Essential Oils?
- How to Read a Label on Organic Personal Care Products
- More About “Organic”: Politics and the Regulation of Marketplace Distribution
- The Challenges of Achieving Organic Certification
- What Organic Means — From the Experience of Being Organic Farmers
- Why One Couple Decided to Get an Organic Farm and Make USDA Certified Organic Gourmet Personal Care Products
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
How to Restore Your “Virgin Hair”
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Diana Kaye
Date of Broadcast: December 10, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free. It’s Wednesday, December 10th 2014 and I have a little tickly in my throat today, but the show must go one. You’ll excuse me please if I cough or sneeze, but I’m here and I’m going to be talking to my guest.
Today, it’s Diana Kaye. She’s been on before. She’s one of the co-founders along with her husband, James Hahn of their USDA certified organic business – yes, this is a certified organic business, which is Terressentials. We’ve had her on in the past talking about different aspects of what it means to be organic.
But today, we’re going to do a different kind of show with her. We’re going to talk about their award-winning – well, I think it’s an award-winning. Anyway, it’s highly recommended hair products. It’s been featured on television and written up in the Washington Post and all kinds of other places. I’ve actually been using it on my hair for the last three months.
But the thing about it is that not only is it completely natural and I think mostly organic (Diana will tell us this), but it also is completely different than most hair products in that it actually restores your hair to what she calls “virgin hair”, your virgin state of hair before the hair is damaged by all the toxic hair care products that we used.
So we’re going to hear about that today and hear about her product. And let me tell you, my hair looks very different and very much more soft and lovely and beautiful.
DIANA KAYE: Well, hi there.
DEBRA: How are you doing?
DIANA KAYE: I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well.
DEBRA: Well, I’m sorry too. But you know what? I’m not really sick. I did a lot of singing in my Dickens costume this weekend for Christmas and parties and just not quite enough rest. I’m not really sick. I’m just kind of on the edge of having a tickle in my throat.
DIANA KAYE: Ah! Oh, I see.
DEBRA: So I might [coughing], but I’ll try to not cough in the microphone.
DIANA KAYE: You wore your voice out.
DEBRA: I’m otherwise in good spirits and otherwise feeling well. It’s just my throat.
DIANA KAYE: Oh, that’s good. That’s better news.
DEBRA: Yeah, I’m sitting here sipping herbal tea.
DIANA KAYE: Me too!
DEBRA: Good! So let’s talk about hair.
DIANA KAYE: Oh, that’s a very interesting topic.
DEBRA: And a very big topic.
DIANA KAYE: It is.
DEBRA: So first I want to say let’s just start out and give your website. It’s Terressentials.com. It’s probably easier to just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and scroll down the page and look for today’s show because I’ve put links to pages on Diana’s website that gives you in writing the things that we’re going to be talking about today. So if you are scribbling madly and would just like to see the webpage, it’s right there at ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com. I included a link there for you.
So why don’t we start with talking about what’s wrong with hair care products.
DIANA KAYE: Okay, that’s a whole other giant can of worms.
DEBRA: I know.
DIANA KAYE: The problem is we live in a very plastic world today and people, they actually wrap their bodies in plastic. For example, people today wear clothing that is polyester, nylon, acetate, any acrylics, the many members of different types of synthetic petroleum-based fibers.
People also live in environments and work in environment where they’re walking on synthetic petroleum-based fiber carpets. They sit in an office chair that has a plastic upholstery material covering it. They often use purses made of plastic, hair brushes made of plastic.
What happens as a result of living with all of these plastic is that there is a lot of friction that’s generated due to constant walking on plastics, wearing shoes with plastic soles, rubbing your plastic-wrapped bum on your plastic-covered upholstery. And so how this affects people in regards to hair is that it generates a lot of static electricity.
What a lot of people are unaware of is that many of the new or newer surfactants that has been engineered by industrial chemical engineers, they actually have inherent anti-static properties built into this chemical product in order to accommodate this world of synthetic static electricity that we live in.
DEBRA: Before you go on, I’d just like to say something about static electricity and synthetics and that is when I started doing research, this is why you have fabric softener, to reduce the static electricity. And so I was looking into what would be a natural fabric softener. And what I discovered was that if you wear natural fibers, you don’t need fabric softener at all period because there’s no static electricity. I thought that was very interesting.
DIANA KAYE: Yes, it’s absolutely…
DEBRA: So it’s only the synthetics that require having some kind of anti-static. I remember the days when I used to wear synthetic clothing, you take it out of the dryer and it all sticks together because of the static electricity.
DIANA KAYE: Correct.
DEBRA: And with natural fibers, it doesn’t do that at all. So there’s just no need for hair conditioners and fabric softeners and all those things that are in our products today to counteract the static electricity from these synthetics.
DIANA KAYE: And that’s exactly what we try to educate people. When you look at the big picture – and Debra, you know by this time I believe that we are about the big picture. We try to encourage people to understand what we’re talking about and start replacing these chemical fibers that they are literally enrobing themselves with on a daily basis even if it’s one thing at a time because over a year, two years or three years, you can replace most of the synthetics in your life.
And one of the things that we want people to start with is the things that are closest to your body. And thus, our hairwash, which as you mentioned is completely different from conventional, bubbly, surfactant shampoo product. It’s not a surfactant. It doesn’t have any inherent anti-static properties. It’s not something that when it gets into our water supply or gets into a septic field can disrupt the microflora and fauna of our soil ecosystem or of our water ways. It’s a completely different approach to cleansing the hair.
And so we want to tell people that when you look at our hair wash and want to try it, you can’t think of it as a shampoo because it doesn’t work like that.
DEBRA: No, it’s not. It’s not a shampoo, but it is a hairwash.
DIANA KAYE: Yeah.
DEBRA: I remember I first tried this many years ago like 20 years ago – you’ve been making this for a long time.
DIANA KAYE: A long time.
DEBRA: A long time. I remember that I was very accustomed to shampoo and I liked it to bubble up and wanted it to bubble up and – ooh, we’ve been talking instead of watching the clock. So we’re coming up on the break, but I’ll finish my sentence.
I remember writing in one of my books about washing your hair with baking soda to get rid of dandruff and that was totally different. And so when I got to your hair wash (I’m not even going to call it ‘shampoo’), it isn’t bubbly, it doesn’t leave your hair squeaky clean, but it removes the things that needs to be removed.
It was such a different experience that I just couldn’t even fathom using this or figure out or anything and so I ended up not using it. I went back at least a natural shampoo.
We’ll pick up this thread of thought when we get back from the break because there’s so much more to say. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Diana Kay from Terressentials. We’re talking about how to restore your virgin hair, how to get your hair back to it was when you were born. Isn’t that an amazing thing to think of? But I’m well on my way to doing that. We’ll talk more about that when we come back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. I just noticed that there’s a broken link one of your – I was just going to all the pages that we’ve put up here and there’s a broken link on one of those that I’ll fix in the next commercial. So if you’ve already gone to Toxic Free Talk Radio and you’re checking out the links to Diana’s site, never fear, I will fix this in the next break.
And again, the website is Terressentials.com. You can go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and look for this show and there is a number of links that you can just go there – once I fixed the link, haha. Okay, it’s been a busy few days.
DIANA KAYE: You poor woman.
DEBRA: So we were talking about how different the shampoo is. It was like I just gave up on it, but I came back to it because it all started making sense to me 20 years later as I continued to research and research shampoo. Even organic shampoos, they have organic versions of still the same types of things that are damaging to your hair. They’re designed in the wrong way.
So Diana, would you tell us more about what are the kinds of ingredients that are damaging your hair and why we should be using hair washes instead?
DIANA KAYE: Well, the number one thing that damages the hair – and I’ve said this over and over again to women – is the perming, the relaxing, the highlighting, bleaching and dying. Those are the primary degraders of your hair and they’re very toxic for the environment.
And so the number one thing that we try to do is get women to understand what exactly they’re doing to themselves when they use these kinds of products and hopefully, switch folks over to lemon juice and sunlight or henna for darker colors so that we can preemptively stop this major degradation and attack to the hair.
The second big, big issue for everyone are these surfactants, the foamy, bubbly substances that most folks alive today has been using on their hair nearly every day (if not, every other day) to supposedly clean their hair. The actual surfactant, a.k.a. detergent attack the hair.
If you can envision a cleaner for your garage floor, which is going to attack oil and grease, the surfactants works in the same way. They not only break the surface tension of the water as a castile, a traditional castile soap can do, they go a step further where they actually attack the hair shaft, which is a similar version of a substance called keratin, which also makes up our nails, but the hair is a much finer, more delicate version of what our nails are.
So when you wash your hair every day with a substance that is literally attacking your hair, what happens over time is that the hair shaft becomes pitted, it can look like – and I’ll use this to contrast, a point of reference.
When you look at a baby’s hair, an infant under a high powered microscope, what you’re going to see is something that looks like a smooth rod of glass. It’s shiny because it’s smooth. And because it’s smooth and hard, it reflects light. So can look lighter than it actually is because of the refraction with the natural light and it feels softer because the hair hasn’t been attacked and it’s not rough.
Now if you contrast take a piece of hair from someone who has been – and let’s just take the worst case scenario – someone who has been chemically altering their hair with one of the substances we talked about (dying, coloring, perming, relaxing) and also on a daily basis using a conventional and yes, even a so-called ‘natural’ shampoo product and you look at that hair, what you’re going to see is something that looks like a piece of hickory twig or hickory wood.
The surface is pitted, the exterior layers are actually peeling and curling up. What happens ultimately with the worst types of attacking for people who do very regular chemical treatments, the hair starts to look like swiss cheese. It breaks easily, it’s difficult to grow past a particular length because of all the damage.
What many companies do is they create products for, let’s say – and everyone has heard of this – colored treated hair or special hair conditioning treatment for people who perm or relax their hair. These products have a high percentage of glue, of polymers, acrylate, PVP copolymers, which stands for polyvinylpyrrolidone.
There are various silicones, dimethicones in these products including so-called natural biopolymers, which would be seen on the label as wheat protein, p-protein, o-protein, et cetera. Not only do these polymers thickens thin products, but they are designed to actually glue the hair and hold it together.
DEBRA: Oh, my God!
DIANA KAYE: It glues down those curling, rough edges in an attempt to make the hair look like it is not so damaged.
DEBRA: We need to go to break. We’ll continue after the break and talk about what your hair wash does to heal this instead of continuing to damage the hair. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest is Diana Kay. Her website is Terressentials.com. But I suggest that you go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, look for this show and see the links to specific hair pages on her site. We’ll be right back.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Diana Kay. She and her husband, James Hahn are co-founders of their USDA certified organic business, Terressentials. They’ve been making organic, personal care products for almost as long as I’ve been writing about them. So they have much experience. They’re very organic. It’s worth going and checking out their website, Terressentials.com.
Today, we’re talking about their hair wash product. Diana has been telling us all the reasons why all the commercial kind of hair products are bad for our hair and how it damages our hair. So Diana, tell us now about your hair wash and what it’s made from and why it’s so wonderful?
DIANA KAYE: Yes, we’re going to move away from the gloomy aspect.
DIANA KAYE: So our hair wash is very, very different. It doesn’t contain any soap, surfactants or coating agent like any of the plastics or silicones that we had talked about and it cleans in a very different way.
Our hair wash is a clay-based product that we have blended with organic herbal extract that we make all ourselves or a blend of organic essential oils if it’s one of the aromatic versions of our hairwash and that’s it.
Many, many years ago, we first tried to offer this product in its raw state, which was literally rocks. People were not very receptive to the idea they have to grind a rock with a mortar and pestle.
DEBRA: Maybe that’s the one I used.
DIANA KAYE: So that didn’t slide. The second way we tried to offer it after that wasn’t very successful was as a ground-up version that you would mix yourself at home and people weren’t very receptive to that either because it was time-consuming and you could only make enough that you could use that day or the next day.
So we went back to the drawing board and we said, “Okay, we’re going go to do a pre-mixed version that at least is going to resemble a liquid or a semi-liquid kind of a product that hopefully people might be more receptive to. And as it turned out, people were more receptive a version that was in a bottle that they could squeeze out, so we were able to reach more people.
So the product works very simply. Instead of attacking your hair to try to eat away or dissolve oils and grease and then by surface tension reactions remove other kinds of articles from your hair, our hair wash, which is a clay-based product works by absorbing.
It grabs a hold of excess oils, dirt particles, hydrocarbon particulate matter that’s both in the air or any other kind of petrochemical particulate. And this is what’s so fantastic about this amazing of Mother Earth, it grabs all of these particles to its limit of absorption, pulls it into the clay itself and holds it there forever.
So when you apply it to your hair, there’s no foaming action, no bubbles. And admittedly, Debra, I think as you’ve found out, it’s very different because we had been – even me, I was conditioned from the time I was a baby that the day you wash your hair is to expect lots of foams and bubbles. And so we don’t have that with this product. So psychologically, it’s a pretty dramatic feel on your hair.
DEBRA: It is, it is.
DIANA KAYE: And for a lot of people, they find it hard to accept, but if someone is really committed to moving away from chemical treatments, chemical detergents and all the plastics and chemical preservatives, chemical fragrances that are associated with conventional, so-called natural and even the so-called organic types of shampoos, this is the product where you can move away from all of that once you’ve made a personal decision that that’s something that you’re committed to doing.
When you use the hair wash, there’s a transition period. It does take some time because the hair washes is very gently to try to remove all of these plastics and other residues that has been deposited and actually impregnated into your hair from all your previous washing and conditioning. We advice people straight up that you need to approach using this product in a different fashion.
And we actually have an entire blog, very detailed, that explains how to use it, how to answer questions, what to expect, how you can speed it what we call the ‘detox transition period’. But once you read that and understand how to use it over a period of a week to two or three weeks (which really depends on how think your hair is, how long your hair is and its state of damage or health), once folks understand that and go through the transition, over time, as the old damaged hair is replaced with new virgin hair, people can experience essentially a rebirth of their hair in their head because they can feel as the new hair grows in what does real hair feels like.
And depending upon how quickly someone’s hair grows and how frequently they wash their hair, the time period varies. But generally, within six months, most people who don’t have really long hair are going to have this enlightening experience where they finally get to see what their real hair is like. Most people find their hair become softer, more manageable. It has a natural, healthier shine to it.
I think personally that one of the best things is you have this peace of mind knowing that you’re engaging actively with Mother Earth and you’re not contributing to water waste, pollution and air pollution by supporting industrial chemical factories that manufacture all of the conventional shampoo ingredients.
DEBRA: We’re going to talk more about this when we come back. I have a comment I want to make. I always want to make comments I guess.
DIANA KAYE: Yes! That’s good.
DEBRA: But I could wait until after the break so that I won’t have to cut myself off. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And today, my guest is Diana Kay. She’s from Terressentials.com. But also, you can just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, scroll down, find today’s show and see all the links that I’ve posted (which are now there and live and correct) to her pages about hair care. We’ll talk more about this when we come back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Dian Kay. We’re talking about how to restore your virgin hair both by allowing your hair to grow out and damage it, but also to detox and heal the damaged hair that you have.
And I just want to make this statement because this is one of those big picture statements. In our industrial society, we’re so accustomed to using industrial products and so we think in terms of there’s the toxic industrial product and then there’s the natural products, which actually aren’t natural.
The ingredients originally came from renewable resources, but they’ve all gone through industrial processes in order for those ingredients to go into the shampoo. And then you have the organic ones, which are the same thing. Even though they tend to be more whole ingredients, there’s a lot of these ingredients that started out as something organic, but again, went through an industrial process in order to turn into that we know of and love.
And then what Diana is doing is she’s making something that is more of ingredients in their natural state. That’s the point that I wanted to make and that is what we call natural or organic isn’t in its natural state when you’re looking at an industrial product.
And then that the hair that she’s talking about when she’s talking about “virgin hair”, it’s getting our hair, allowing our own natural hair to grow out and not be damaged. And so what we have is actually natural hair, which most people never experienced if what you’re using is typical hair care products.
DIANA KAYE: Excellent point really.
DEBRA: Thank you. And I’ve been using your hair wash for a few months. At first, it took quite a while for me to – I mean, my hair didn’t look good. But I was at a place where it didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t being on television or something like that and I just decided I was just going to have my hair look the way it looks.
And so then, finally, I talked to Diana, she said, “Well, use apple cider vinegar rinse” and that helped tremendously. And then she suggested that I wash with her body wash. And that. I liked that even more.
And so now I’m using a combination of the hair wash and the body wash because I still want to have the detox effect of the clay and the healing effect of it on my hair, but I also want my hair to look better. Since I’ve been using those two products and using the apple cider vinegar mixed with water after using each one, my hair looks better than it’s ever looked in my life.
It’s soft and it’s thicker and it has more body to it, so I can brush it and it stays in place without hair spray or anything. I look in the mirror and I think, “I look beautiful. My hair looks beautiful.”
DIANA KAYE: Yehey!
DEBRA: It’s not flying up in the air from the static electricity and it’s not all flat. I tend to have oil hair, but it doesn’t look oil or greasy or anything. I just am so happy with my hair. I’m really looking forward to having all my old, damaged hair grow out and really just having my natural hair and using Diana’s natural, totally natural (in their natural state) products in order to keep mine in its natural state heart.
And that’s a totally, totally different thing. it’s like going into a different realm of nature as it is instead of industrial natural.
DIANA KAYE: Yeah, we’re going back to our roots.
DIANA KAYE: We existed or co-existed with the planet that we walk on every day and how humans evolved over thousands and millions of years. People, before the invention of all these industrial chemicals, they only had plant extracts and oils from plants and animals and natural clays and minerals and salt to take care of their bodies. And here’s the amazing part. Somehow, humans managed to evolve and flourish without industrial chemicals.
DEBRA: Yes! And they were a lot healthier and they didn’t have health care systems and they survived.
DIANA KAYE: Yes!
DEBRA: So I see over and over again that in our culture, we have this industrial system where products are being made that are damaging to hair or body or skin or whatever, internal organs. And then we have to do things to counteract the effects.
We can just skip all that and just maintain our bodies in a natural way, in a natural state as close to nature as possible. And that’s an entirely different experience. This product and this way of thinking is part of that being in our natural state.
It’s funny that there’s even an English word that I’ve been able to find that means being in one’s natural state. But I guess when language developed, I think that probably people didn’t think, “Oh, there’s going to be a time in the future when everybody is damaged by industrial products…”
DIANA KAYE: We need these chemicals every day.
DEBRA: “…and we’re going to have to distinguish.”
DIANA KAYE: It is bizarre.
DEBRA: It is, but that’s what’s happening. That’s what’s happening and we just need to be aware of it and make decisions to find these products and find these ways of being and have this be our standard to say, “We want to be in our natural state.” I mean, I think that’s the best way I can think of to say it.
DIANA KAYE: Yes. What we’ve always espoused is living as close to the earth as possible.
DEBRA: Yes, I totally agree.
DIANA KAYE: One of the best images that I have in mind that I absolutely love is on our baby line of products where we found this beautiful photograph of a toddler totally bare bum, naked to the world and totally filled with innocence. This toddler is bending over right in the surf, the ocean surf with his feet in the water and his hands touching the earth.
DEBRA: Oh, I’m going to have to look for that.
DIANA KAYE: That image just really to me espouses everything that we are trying to communicate to the world, to our friends and customers about how we feel about how we need to care for our bodies and be respectful of the earth because let’s face it, this is it. In our lifetimes, it’s doubtful that we’re going to find another beautiful planet that we could live on. So we have to take better care of the planet that we have.
And what I wanted to mention before we close for today is some folks also have very curly hair, very thick, coarse hair. Sometimes, during your transition period, a little oil helps them to soften their very rough pores and damaged hair.
Our hair help resource guide that we have online talks about the different oils and butters that we have that folks unlike me (I have very fine, thin and straight hair) who might need a little extra help, we have completely organic, USDA certified products that they can feel completely comfortable using to help condition their dry or irritated scalps or their coarse, wiry, very thick or curly or kinky or damaged hair during their transition period to the natural hair, truly natural hair.
DEBRA: Yeah, I’m so looking forward to that. I really am. It’s something that I haven’t even thought about because you grow up with things being the way they are. Most people alive today, most people listening to this show probably grew up in the industrial age – well, of course, in the industrial age because that started way back in the 1800s. But even especially since the fifties (like I was born in 11955 and yes, I’m that old)…
DIANA KAYE: You survived!
DEBRA: I did! I survived all those chemicals. Better living through chemistry.
DIANA KAYE: Exactly!
DEBRA: But it was really in the mid-fifties after World War II that there were so many chemicals and so many new technology came out, that’s when plastic was developed and all those things and we’re really – like my generation was the first generation that has lived with that many toxic chemicals. And we find that children being born today have illnesses that previous generations didn’t see it, very early ages. And so we’re really seeing that the toxic chemicals are having an effect even in very few generations.
Anyway, we’re coming right up on the end of the show. We’ve only got 30 seconds left.
DIANA KAYE: Once again, we talked to the end.
DEBRA: So I just want to mention that if you order from Terressentials during the Christmas season, if you order more than $50, you get chocolates – very delicious, organic chocolates.
DIANA KAYE: And fair trade.
DEBRA: And fair trade.
DIANA KAYE: Yes.
DEBRA: Delicious, organic, fair-trade chocolates, so it’s a great time to order. Go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and look for all these links that I’ve put there to Terressentials. Thank you for listening. Be well. We’ll be back tomorrow.
DIANA KAYE: Thanks, Debra.
DEBRA: Thank you, Diana.