A friend of mine once tweeted about the absurdity of gluten-free hairspray (his spin, not mine). I politely, with the gritted fingers, tweeted back “Yes, gluten-free hairspray. And shampoo, too!”
Here’s why: if your hands touch it, it can get into your mouth. Oh yeah, you wash your hands, no question there. But you run your hands through your hair, often without realizing you’ve done it. You get soap or shampoo in your eyes, or your mouth, while showering. Things happen.
And when those things happen with products filled with gluten, well, you know how that story goes.
I admit I once considered gluten-free cosmetics and hair-care products to be overkill. It just seemed to be too much. Until I read an article — lost to the mist of time — that got me thinking. I’m a hair twirler; if you aren’t, well, trust me on this: it’s how I wind up my brain. When I need to think, I start twirling. When I’m tense, I start twirling. When I’m just just, I start twirling.
I don’t think about, and, honestly, I don’t realize I’ve started twirling unless someone points it out to me. I’ve been twirling since I acquired hair (my niece is also a twirler…I assure her mother, my sister, that is a sign of pure genius!). It was easy for me to see the hand-mouth accidental connection.
Since then, I’ve been more conscious of the products I use on my body in the same way I pay attention to the stuff I put in my body. It seems like a waste to put so much effort into ensuring the foods I eat are safe and healthy, only to use an oil filled with wheat germ (word of advice: check the labels on Vitamin E oils).
Recently, my husband and I passed a local hair salon, where they advertised gluten-free hair-care products. My husband, usually a smarter man, snickered. Until I pointed out we used those same products at home because they are gluten free (Surface, for those who care, and, while pricey, they do last a good long while). He was suitable chastised.
It’s not just your health you’re considering if you opt for gluten-free personal care products. If you have a child with celiac or gluten intolerance, what goes on your hands, what you touch, is transmitted to your child. It’s not something most of us think about, but why would we?
So, yes, gluten-free hairspray. And shampoo. And body lotions and oils. And everything else in my life!
Speaking of which, any favorite gluten-free personal care products? As mentioned above, I love the Surface hair-care line, but am always interested in learning about new things.
Gluten-Free Health and Beauty Products (Master List) — This list is dated 4/12/2011, so use caution and verify that ingredients haven’t changed.
- Gluten-Free Personal Care & Cleaning (Gluten-Free Mall)
- What’s the Price of Beauty? (Gluten Free & More)
Tip of the Week
Gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin. Dermatitis Herpetiformis, an itchy, blistering rash that impacts many people with celiac, is a result of ingesting gluten, not products containing gluten. That being said, some products that contain wheat may cause a reaction because of allergies to wheat or other ingredients. If a product causes a reaction, discontinue use!
Gluten-Free Meal of the Week
One food that I’ve been eating like mad recently is millet. Millet is a gluten-free grain that cooks up like rice (or 2 parts liquid to one part dry millet, add the millet to boiling liquid, lower heat, cover, let sit for 20 minutes, fluff, eat). It’s versatile, tasty, healthy, and, well, a perfect go-to ingredient for weeknight meals.
I toss millet into salads, serve it as a side dish all by itself, and work it into vegetable dishes. Like this week’s veggie dish: cooked millet stirred into spinach and roasted peppers. I grilled pork chops, and tossed the side dish together in about five minutes — the bulk of the work was sauteeing the peppers and spinach!
(The sauerkraut is optional, but it’s also becoming one my favorite ways to get extra probiotics!)
- Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Onions and Sauerkraut
- Spinach, Roasted Pepper, and Millet Stir Fry
- Fresh Berries