Friday, February 6, 2009

Frugal Friday: No Poo Update

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!


Gayle said...

Love your frugal friday posts! The photo of you is great! I like your hair, it's shorter than in your profile picture.

Anonymous said...

Love it! I may try this myself.
Cute haircut.

Jamie said...

Very cute picture! We don't use a lot of that "traditional" stuff in our home either. My sister was appalled when I told her I don't use deoderant but I proved it was not necessary with the sniff test too! Hubby has been trying to get me to give up the shampoo. I admit I'm very nervous about this but seeing your cute do with no poo is an inspiration to give it a go.

the Lady said...

How do you apply your powder deodorant? Can you give us more info on how you make and apply it? I'd really love some info on that.

Toothpaste - just baking soda mixed with water will do it. You can add drops of mint oil if you want minty. It doesn't taste that great, but you can probably find on the internet something to remedy that.

Shalet said...

I made the deodorant by mixing all the ingredients into a pretty little tea cup (1 tsbp corn starch, 1 tsbp baking soda and probably 8 drops essential oil). Then I scoop out a small amount onto my hands and pat it under my arms. It seems to work. :o)

Amy said...

hiya, curly!
I tried the no poo thing over the spring/summer and could not get it right. you've introduced some info that makes me want to try it again - i will as soon as my trader joe's shampoo runs out! thanks for the nudge:)

Maiz said...

Glad you're loving the no-poo! I can't believe how curly my hair is now. I occasionally use a little coconut oil on my hair when it feels dry. It smells nice and adds moisture.

My other favorite frugal bath tip is this: I've been using Trader Joe's "Next to Godliness" Tea Tree Lavender Liquid DISH Soap as a bubble bath for me and the kids. It's sudsy, smells great, and doesn't dry your skin out. The ingredients are beyond reproach (I did some research on this). And the good news is: A 25 oz. bottle costs $2.49!

Here's another frugal tip: if you don't live near a Trader Joe's, move closer to one! ;-)

Jen said...

I love your new cut! Very cute, you look great! I have been loving baking soda and vinegar for cleaning but so far that's it, thanks for the new ideas. Who new there was such a crunchy surprise inside of us, ha ha? If I get going on my blog again that will be the new title!