Well it seems I've been duped. For thirty-seven and one half years I thought shampoo was a necessity. Turns out I was wrong. Hey - it's never too late to admit ignorance and never too late to change. I'm on day six of No Poo and things are going swimmingly. My hair is soft and manageable. And I have learned a few things:
1) One can actually feel quite luxurious while going No Poo. I make my baking soda paste (one tbsp baking soda mixed with water) in a pretty little ceramic container. This container was just sitting on a shelf doing nothing -- now it's pretty and useful. The vinegar (2 tbsp vinegar to ~ 1 cup water) is mixed in a ceramic creamer container. I own several creamers picked up from thrift stores. I can't really explain it, I don't use creamer, I just like the containers. And now these containers have a purpose. Couple this with a honey facial mask (in a nice wood spice bowl) and brown sugar body scrub -- simple pure luxury.
2) Read all directions before starting No Poo. My first foray involved an undiluted apple cider vinegar rinse. My hair was soft and manageable and I smelled like fish and chips. Dilute your vinegar! I've actually switched to white vinegar and added a splash of vanilla extract to the mix.
3) Vinegar rinses are freezing. If you need to wake up - go for it. There's nothing like ice cold vinegar in the morning. But if you prefer and gentler kinder experience pop your rinse in the microwave for about 30 seconds before you shower. The vanilla aroma wafts out and it's really quite pleasant.
4) I'm finding I need to use the baking soda application every 3 to 4 days (4 days is pushing it). I'm hoping to go longer and longer between actual washes as my hair adjusts. But I'd also like to remain socially acceptable and not frighten small children while walking down the street. Some people have to wash more frequently, some not. You'll have to experiment for yourself.
5) If you have curly hair (and apparently I do) then you will have more curls. This is odd to me as I never used to have curly hair. I had the type of hair that wouldn't even hold a perm (yes I grew up in the eighties). Then I went and had kids and got older and now it seems my hair is curly; more so with this new method.
6) I may need some sort of additional conditioning rinse to keep my hair from getting dry. I'm thinking of try this brown sugar scalp scrub. Basically mix brown sugar and honey then scrub your head. I'll give it a go today.
7) Going No Poo will make you think twice about all the other things in life you assumed were necessary. Deodorant for instance. Me, I find nothing pleasant or socially redeeming about body odor. Nothing. But traditional deodorants, like most things mass produced, contain numerous chemicals. And I don't want cancer or Parkinson's disease (for which I may be genetically predisposed) or any other horrid ailment. So with ingredients from my kitchen I concocted an all natural deodorant: one part corn starch, one part baking soda and a few sprinkles of grapefruit seed essential oil.
I've gone on vigorous walks. I've done yoga. And, as far as I can tell, I don't stink. Believe you me I've been giving myself the sniff test at every opportunity. You may have seen me at the stop light with my face buried in my armpit. Lovely, eh? It's all in the name of science.
This new deodorant is a powder and somewhat messy to deal with. I think I'd rather have a cream and want to try something like this. But first I need to procur the cocoa butter and shea butter. I actually think this will be quite good for my perpetually irritated skin.
And speaking of skin ...
8) Organic vegetable shortening makes a perfect body moisturizer. A thin layer rubbed into dry winter skin -- perfect. The only issue seems to be that the kitten thinks I'm a human lollipop and tries to lick up the shortening as it's applied.
Then there are other things I've begun to research. Oil pulling for instance. I'm wondering if it really does work to whiten teeth. I'm highly skeptical that it will fix my asthma, eliminate arthritis or cure cancer. But might it be an inexpensive way to brighten one's smile? I'll let you know.
And then there's the whole toothpaste issue. I want clean teeth. I want a bright smile. I want fresh breath and I want a frugal alternative. Is this possible? I don't know. If anyone has alternative toothpaste stories I'd love to hear them!
I'm green. I'm frugal and I'm tiptoeing on the precipice of hippiedome. Only I shower, I don't have dreadlocks and I still shave (with the same razors btw). But I'm questioning the practices of industrialization. I dislike the homogenization of our world. I love green living, slow food, and frugal simple living. I'm working day-by-day to be a better person; both for myself and this world. I'm hoping to drag a few of you along with me on this journey.
Who is the new hippie of the 21st century? The green frugalist.
And here is the poster child:
Happy Frugal Friday!