Going Natural

I come from a family of women who like to be as natural as they can. Of course they take of themselves but not always in the expected ways.

Until I was about 16 I was not the "trying all type". Later on, I got the chance to read and explore more on subjects such as nutrition and health, beauty and exercise.

After I started to earn my own money, I tried everything with my hair. Some of them, I did on my own, some of them I went to the hairdresser's. Hairdresser's are relatively cheaper in Turkey.

But I hated the experience most of the time. The pain of my hair being pulled while being combed, the pain while removing the cuticles or trimming the eyebrows. And women do more. Some women go for waxing too! I cannot imagine how painful it can be.

Mum was a pharmacist. She brought me the best shampoos as hair was very important for her. I used to shape my hair like she did even though we have different hair types. Hers is less manageable in her own words.

I never liked the time spent to get "beautiful". According to whom anyway? Whose beauty? What is beauty? I dropped the idea of beauty. It sounded fake and superficial to me.

I also disliked most of the chat I had to do at the hairdresser's. I have been to different ones while I was travelling inside the city. And also because once they know you, they remember you. I do not like all small talk. As the owners of the business, they find the right to ask you private questions but you are not really interested in their private lives. This has nothing to do with their profession. It is because they are total strangers. Yes, some neighbourhoods have some good hairdressers with whom you can become friends but if it is not the case, you will hate to answer questions. Not answering them is another option but makes them feel weird. All of this "asking private questions", "becoming too intimate" has to do with the cultures in Turkey too.

Anyway. I decided to go natural like before. Because that was who I am. One can change, and then change again. For the better, for good.

Medications: I stopped taking painkillers or medications for cold long ago even not all medications are bad. Both of my parents are related to medicine, and neither of them praise them or have a prejudice against them. I do not have trouble taking pills or going through tests such as blood tests. I simply prefer not to take painkillers. I use natural products when I feel sick but of course I admit that there are situations where you can not not take medications. As I am pregnant, my habit of not taking pills except for vitamin D and folic acid has helped.

Perfume: Only good smells are subjective. I almost never use deodorants. I use roll-ons. I sometimes wear perfume but most of the time I use a mixture of about 90-5% water and an aromatic oil that I like. I prefer natural soaps to hand wash and shower gels though I use them when I have to. (I wear gloves while washing the dishes.) Incense and natural fragrances also work in the house.

Hair: After the trauma that I experienced with the '80's and '90's hairstyles (I hated most of them even back then), I did not want to have bushy hair. Mum did not want a punk daughter but she encouraged me in doing whatever shape with my hair. 

Thinking about it later, I found it funny to spend time on straightening my hair. What was wrong with wavy hair? 

I am pretty sure though, before around 2005, there was something that made everyone's hair more bushy :) Maybe the shampoos or the atmosphere. I do not know what :) But we had reasons to straighten our hair :P

I decided that I like myself better with wavy/natural hair. So I stopped using shaping products long ago. Voilà! I was happy with the result. All hair is beautiful. As long as you know how to take care of it, and leave it to itself.

I love wavy hair! Depending on the shampoo (I go for the cheapest good quality possible - mostly natural ones, without Sodium Laureth Sulfate. I sometimes use only baking powder. But sometimes. I use no other products. No conditioners, nothing.), the brush or comb I use (I try to comb my hair with a wooden comb after it is dry - in summer I do not use a hair blow. In winter I hate to but have to.) my hair becomes straighter or wavier. But never curly or totally straight.

I stopped dying my hair years ago. And before that I tried all the colours that I wanted to. I enjoyed weairing most of them from pink to blonde, red to blue. I now sometimes use natural henna with no added colours to add a shine. 

If my hair is long, I cut it myself. If I have a pixie I wait for it to be longer to cut it myself :) I never try to cut a pixie though. I use cheap but good quality hair scissors.

Eyebrows: Turning a brown head from blonde means you will experience a growth of untrimmed eyebrows. In my mum's family most women have blonde eyebrows and they never trim them. As a teenager if I knew that I could just brush them and maybe cut them, I would have probably never have my eyebrows trimmed. OK, maybe only once to see the effect. I just did not know how to brush them.

I must say I did not care either.

Now I simply brush them and like their natural shape and colour. No more pain. No more hairdresser questions.

Skin: The worst thing I did to my skin was sunbathing. I was very white but living in Turkey means seeing the sun most of the time. As a kid, I used sunscreen but later I thought the tanned skin was cool. I later hated myself tanned. Not that I favour any skin colours. I only like myself in my natural way. And the sun damages my skin. I sweat more than before, and cannot open my eyes under the sun. 

I now use sunscreen almost every day. Even in the UK. Even when it is rainy. It is like a moisturiser for me. I use no other thing on my daily routine. After shower I sometimes use a natural moisturiser, and sometimes apply oils to my hair skin, and olive oil to my face.

I almost never used make up powder or foundation. I sometimes used blush because I like pink cheeks but I think I have pinky cheeks now so I do not use it anymore.

Eyes: I sometimes apply a coat of mascara. I hate removing it and do it only with a mixture of about 95% water and olive oil. I rarely use eye shadow. And even more rarely eyeliner or pencils. Health is more important to me than following fashion trends or beauty standards. I am against all of those. So my eyes are usually natural. I sometimes prefer a bit of oil in my eyelashes or invisible mascara.

Nose: Who would expect to see nose as part of a going natural process? I was about 9-10 when I was playing with my brother and his friends. The ball hit me several times on the nose. And later I hit it at other places when I fell. All of a sudden I had a crooked nose. At first I thought it was a pity. I never had a huge problem with it but of course it was not my previously perfect shaped nose. I accepted what happened and decided not to go under surgery even though I have a slight deformation inside my nose that makes breathing a bit difficult for me according to the doctors. I do not feel it that much. And I like the "unlucky" effect. The unusual shape. It is peculiar. Interesting. Unique. And mine. Part of my past.

Lips: I must admit it is hard to quit lipstick. I like most of the colours. I use it from time to time. Definitely not everyday. But again cheap and less harmful ones if possible.

Teeth: Never had braces. The hits I had in my nose, I had some in my teeth. I love my teeth! I use nothing unnatural. Sometimes baking powder. I try to keep them as clean as possible but not a freak about them. I leave them to themselves.

Manicure and Pedicure: I do both at home on my own. I do not cut the cuticles. Just apply some natural oil and push them with an orange stick. (I use the grill sticks but I take care of the hygiene :)) All less painful at home. Even though I like some oval or square nail shapes and quite many nail polish colours, and am aware of the less harmful water-based or other nail products, I do not really like the idea of having a coat/a layer of something on my nails. I prefer them natural.

Hair Removal: This is a sensitive and subjective topic at times. There should not be any difference between the genders in terms of accepting a hairy look. And I applaud women who do not shave their armpits or legs.

Women in my family have almost no unwanted hair! I am somehow so too therefore I do not need to go through any painful or time consuming processes. Especially no waxing. Epilation devices work for me. However about the armpits, I am sensitive. Some people sweat more when they have a tiny bit of hair in their armpits. That is why I remove the hair there. And not because of the look. The same goes for the genitals. Just for hygiene. But again depends on the person. Laser epilation has become cheaper. Although I am not sure about any environmental effects or health effects. Some people are more used to waxing and their skins do not react to it. Waxing is quite natural I suppose. Also accepting your body and hair as they are. As long as you are healthy, and clean enough to stay healthy to remove hair on body or not is equally OK.

So whatever I do with myself, I go for natural products. I try to prepare them at home but I will not really try to find the unique shops or order online. I do things with what I can access.

Weight: They say that weighing yourself often is good. I rarely do it. Even if it is a bad thing. As a kid I was normal weight. Then for a while a bit under normal. Then later for only one year - maybe even less - above normal but again not too overweight. I am considered to be tall according to the height standards all around the world but not too tall to care less about my weight. I never cared about it as it was never extreme. Never did diets. Though of course weight is closely related with health, and I care about it.

Nutrition: My nutrition habits have not changed much since I was a kid. Never liked black tea, coffee or coke that much. Nor the other sodas. Only the sparkling water. Natural ones. I occasionally drink the bottled juices, tea, coffee or coke. I like cold milk - so never had a problem as a kid. I like herbal teas, and fresh juices.

I also never liked white bread. I prefer brown and wholegrain ones. And usually only in the morning.

I like all seafood. Luckily we live in a place with lots of cheap seafood products. I never liked red meat much. I prefer it grilled, and the white ones baked.

I tried being a vegetarian for some years but it was difficult for me. (Apologies vegetarians) I care for animals. Becoming a vegan is even more difficult. I hate what is done to farm animals especially in the US. However the local farms here seem more caring. (I accept all legit claims of vegetarians and vegans.)

I like most cheese types, yoghurt (as natural and plain as possible) and dairy products. 

I am not fond of confectioneries. I used to like chocolate, now I almost never eat it. Chips - plain and salty ones once in a while. Fried food, also rarely. Fast food, rarely. Never liked them too much.

I love most fruits and vegetables and lentils. I eat all even if I like some less. Soups - I love them. 

Sweets, cakes, candies - never have been my type. I like most nuts. I love oatmeal, porridge and plain corn flakes. I cannot do without drinking water for an hour.

Not fond of most salami and sausages. Rice - I eat rarely but love pasta.

Smoking and Alcohol: I stopped drinking alcohol months before I conceived. Though I love the taste of most alcoholic drinks. The bitter, sour or sweet tastes. I did not use to drink for the sake of drinking or socialising. I drank because I loved alcohol but was never an alcoholic. I am not easily addicted.

Smoking is fun but stupid. I was not interested in it when I was young. I am not against people who smoke. But the activity itself does not make sense. Why hold a cigarette between your lips and inhale it? OK, some have flavours. It is an excuse to take breaks, go outside, get some fresh (!) air, keeps you busy while waiting for someone or something, socialising when drinking etc. But it does not make any sense. One can maybe say the same thing about alcohol however when you drink a bit - and especially something like wine - the harm will be more controllable. I would like all my smoking friends (most of them do) to stop smoking and start thinking about themselves and their loved ones first.

Exercise: I was never fond of heavy exercise. Not fond of doing team sports. I like watching them. Being stuck in a gym or an indoor pool is also not very exciting for me. Yet I love walking for the sake of walking. As a kid and teenager I tried walking long distances. Very long ones. I enjoyed it. I still do. The breathing, fresh air, the way your body feels, thinking, getting expired, relaxing, sightseeing, seeing new places and people. Walking is magical!

I do not like cars (Yep! I am from the Middle Ages!) but bicycles and bikes, skateboards, roller blades.

Swimming in an outdoor pool or in the sea when possible is amazing too. Especially if the water is cold. (Not UK cold. Aegean cold :))

Leading a Simple Life: For me this means owning only what I need except for stationery and some uniquely designed and non-expensive things. I reviewed my values and I live by them. They certainly include modesty. No luxury. We have very few things at home. We do not consume anything excessively. We try to save. In our personal communications we are honest, happy, peaceful, smart and modest. But we also defend our rights.

Stress: It helps some people. A natural form of stress helps trigger my thoughts. I do not mean the "it is urgent" stress. Especially when you know very well that it is not urgent. An equally bad one is the stress you encounter on the streets, in traffic, or at places where people are rude. I experience non of those now as I live in a stress free place. I am a freelancer. It has its own risks. It is also fun.

Nature: I spend more time in nature as I always wanted to.

Computers and phones: I love computers. I love the internet. Not the social media. Searching and reading kind of internet. I have never been very fond of talking on the phone except when I was a teenager and there was no internet. I did not like it much then either. Friends called. You answered. I use the airplane mode often when I am not searching or writing on this blog. I like to have video chats with my family and friends as we live apart but I never overdo it.

Cleaning: I always had a problem with cleaning products. I often do a mixture of aromatic oils, baking powder, water, lemon and vinegar.

Finally appreciation. I appreciate everything in my life. Since I started to do it more often, I notice more things about life that are waiting to be appreciated. Life itself is to be appreciated.

It is not easily to lead a "totally" natural life. It can be time consuming and expensive if you claim to have a totally natural life. Not that I am against how people live, but other lives are possible. Cheap alternatives are possible. Loving life is possible.