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Spending long hours outside in the hot sun can certainly have its benefits (think Vitamin D and circadian rhythm), but as farmers who spend nearly all of their working hours in the midday sun, farmers simply do not have the time for sunburn. It’s an absolute necessity to take precautions to protect our skin if we hope to return to the fields day after day, and thankfully, there are many ways that can help us care for our skin while getting all that work done.

Sun Protective Clothing

Not all clothes are created equal! While simply covering your skin with clothing seems like the logical way to keep the sun from damaging your skin, many traditional clothing materials, like cotton and even hemp, are not able to block UV rays over an extended period of time. However, sun protective clothing, often made from polyester and nylon, is designed to block both UVA and UVB rays based on its fiber type, construction, color and special treatments. Sun protective clothing will have a UPF rating, ultraviolet protection factor, similar to the familiar SPF. When shopping for sun protective clothing, you’ll find clothing items rated from UPF 15 through UPF 50–the higher the UPF, the better protection you’ll get. Most outdoors and athletic companies offer a wide-range of shirts and pants made with these materials. Incorporate a few UPF-rated items into your wardrobe as a way to protect your skin when you’re outside all day long.

Sun Hats

A fun addition to your summer outerwear collection is a sun hat with a wide, 360 degree brim to keep those easy-to-burn areas from over-ripening in the sun. So often we forget about our scalp, ears, neck, nose, and even our eyes but these areas are actually the first to get skin cancer. With just a single accessory, the sun hat can keep your skin safe. Many sun hats even come in UPF materials for better protection. Who said farming isn’t fashionable?

Sunscreen

Yes, staying out of the sun is simply not an option for us, so sunscreen should always be kept in stock and on hand. However, it’s important to read the labels on the sunscreen you purchase and try to buy a brand that contains natural ingredients versus synthetic chemicals. Most sunscreens on the market today contain dangerous chemicals that disrupt the body’s endocrine system and can lead to cancer themselves. The point of using sunscreen is to prevent skin damage and skin cancer not cause it, so look for sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active SPF ingredients.

Whether you chose to use sunscreen or wear UPF protective clothing, taking care of yourself should be a priority when working outdoors day after day. The better we care for ourselves, the better we are able to care for others – it’s what all good farmers do.

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What Exactly Is ‘Pre-Poo’ and Does Your Natural Hair Need It?

Hair care used to be so simple. Shampoo, conditioner, a couple of styling products, and you’re good to go. Now that natural hair care is a precise and sophisticated science, extra steps like “pre-pooing” are common. If you’re unsure whether you need to pre-poo your hair, how to pre-poo your hair, or what “pre-poo” even means – you’ve come to the right place.

Pre-poo is short for pre-shampoo. To pre-poo your hair, you apply nourishing products before you apply shampoo.

Do I need to pre-poo my hair?

Pre-pooing can seriously improve the texture and health of your hair. If you do it on a regular basis, your hair will become noticeably softer and stronger. However, it’s not necessary to pre-poo every single time you wash your hair.

Think of pre-pooing as a way to take your hair from “normal” to “wow.”

How does pre-pooing benefit the hair?

There are two main reasons that people pre-poo.

  1. Extra moisture. Shampoos are often quite drying, and they can strip your hair of its natural oils. Pre-pooing prevents that by providing an extra layer of protection.
  2. Detangling. Another benefit of pre-pooing is that it provides an easy opportunity to comb out all those tangles and knots and remove shed hair. When you wash your hair afterward, it’ll take much, much less time.
How do I pre-poo? What should I use to pre-poo?

You can go two ways: DIY or store-bought. Either way, a good pre-poo has moisturizing, natural ingredients, such as:

  • Natural oils, such as olive, coconut, or jojoba.
  • Aloe vera gel or juice – the more raw, the better.
  • Honey.
  • Essential oils.
  • Protein – if your hair needs extra protein, a pre-poo is a great time to add it to your routine.

You can use your favorite deep conditioner or masque as a pre-poo, too.

If you’d like to buy a store-bought pre-poo, try the Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Pre-Shampoo Treatment. If you’d like to make your own, a simple combo of olive oil and all-natural aloe vera gel will do wonders.

Whatever you use, make sure to apply evenly from root to tip.

When should I pre-poo?

It’s best to let the pre-poo soak into your hair overnight. However, not all of us plan that far ahead! Even if you only apply pre-poo 15 minutes before washing your hair, you’ll still see some benefits.


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