Posts Tagged ‘crunchy’

And now…teeth!

Homemade Toothpaste

So much prettier than a tube of goop....

Oh Lord, I really am becoming crunchier than I ever thought possible.  I gave up toothpaste.

Ha!  I know, if the thought of giving up shampoo made you go, “Yuk,” that’s probably left you dry retching into your tea.  But just to qualify, I haven’t given up cleaning my teeth.

As I said about shampoo, it’s hard to buy anything in this town that isn’t clothing or booze.  I had a lovely strawberry flavour Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, but it ran out and I kept using Hubby’s Euthymol (that stuff has SLS in.  Yeuch) which was causing me to breakout.

So I knocked up some homemade stuff from recipes on the internet:

1 part salt

3 parts baking soda

1 peppermint oil capsule contents

It’s brilliant!  Now fair enough, the first few times I pulled a very unattractive face at the saltiness of it.  But hey, it was no worse than the Euthymol burn.  My gums were pretty sore for a couple of days too, until I worked out that you don’t need to scrub with this stuff – just gentle brushing.

Now that I’ve got it sussed, it’s working working perfectly.  Obviously a definite conclusion is a long-term thing with teeth, but I’m not getting that furry feeling I always got by evening with commercial toothpaste and my teeth feel exceptionally clean after brushing.  The breakout has cleared up too.

I’m gonna have to find a crunchy-rating system.  I reckon I’m nearing cornflakes….

No ‘Poo: One Month!

Oops, it’s a month already?  I never thought I’d last a month without shampoo or conditioner.  I haven’t felt the need to use them at all (actually, a dab of conditioner once after dyeing it, to counteract a serious ‘strawberry-blonde’ effect!  Yeah, I know, hair dye: the most un-natural product ever.  Stop judging me).

My hair feels great, as clean and light and ungreasy as it did with products, but way silkier, smoother and softer.

I still seem to have skipped the ‘detox’ period.  The only time I’ve had bad hair is days when I haven’t washed it at all (ie. not even a water only), and then it’s not been any worse than a no-wash day when I used shampoo.

So my routine is down to…

Day One – Wash: 1 tbsp salt in chamomile tea

Rinse: 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey in water

Day Two – WO

And that’s it!  Making the wash/rinse is easy, I just add an extra mug when I make my morning coffee (although I do decant it into a plastic bottle before I take it into the bathroom.  Toddler + mug + bath = baaaaad.)

But why no detox?  I reckon these are helping:

  1. I was using natural shampoo and conditioner for a couple of years – no nasty chemicals to get out first
  2. I towel dry pretty thoroughly, scalp and hair
  3. My lovely, lovely, brush.  This thing saved me many a time when a particular shampoo stopped treating the itchies.  It’s the cheapest piece of plastic out there, it’s called a scalp massage brush and a hairdresser in Australia gave me it, with the mysterious words, “This will help you.”  I didn’t have a clue what she meant, but my brain was too heat-fuddled to argue.
  4. Scritchin’.  Mmm, nice.  With my hair under the shower, the first thing I do is thoroughly massage my scalp (gently!) with my nails.  It loosens anything that can’t escape cause of the thick hair
  5. I use one of those dye bottles that has a comb to dispense the liquid through on top – it gets the wash to my scalp much easier

So…that’s it.  I cannot see any way I would ever want to go back to shampoo/conditioner now.  It did nothing for my hair that this regime isn’t doing, it cost more, it was less convenient, less natural….

And in case you’re wondering, my hair smells lovely.  I kept making Hubby check 🙂  Not a single person around me has a clue what I’m doing, unless I’ve told them, and a few have even commented on how nice my hair looks!

Score one for the naturals!

No ‘poo: First Week Conclusions

Ok, so it’s not strictly a week, but with a toddler you have to blog when you can and make up your own timescales!  I’m over the moon about how my hair feels after the last two days concoctions and I absolutely cannot get over the fact that I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner since Sunday.  I’m sort of dreading suddenly going through a detox period that a lot of people mention, where you suddenly get the greasies, itchies or waxies (sexy nicknames huh?) – I feel a bit like I’m getting away with something at the moment!

This week I’ve ended up doing a ‘wash’ of some kind almost every day, which isn’t really the ultimate aim.  But I love making mixtures wanted to experiment with some of the different ingredients I had read about online.  And I’m impatient, so I couldn’t contemplate spacing these experiments out over weeks!

No 'Poo

Alchemy...the posh name for makin' mixtures

I’ve definitely reached some conclusions:

  • BS either disagrees with my water or hair
  • Salt is a great alternative cleaner
  • Beer is great for shine
  • I really like the tea/honey/salt/WV combos

Things I want to test out next week:

  • Whether the tea/honey/salt/WV combos are making my hair great on their own, or whether the grapefruit rinse is helping with that
  • How my hair behaves if I do a water only (WO) wash plus citrus rinse every other day, with a ‘concoction’ wash on the other days
  • Whether I can mix up a big batch of tea/honey/salt/WV and keep it in the fridge to use over the course of a week (as it’s water-based I don’t really want to keep it in the warm shower room or for longer than a week)

So, so far, so good.  If you’re still dithering (or going, “Ew!  Smelly woman!”), trust me – I could not have been more of a shampoo-is-my-crutch person, right up until last week.  I honestly thought my hair would be gross without it.  So my advice is…get over it, you big wuss, and give it a go 😉

No ‘poo: Days 4 – 6

Day 4:

Wash:  *gulp* – Water only

Rinse: 1 pint tea (1 chamomile & 1 peppermint teabag), 1 tsp honey

Result: Hair is definitely softer and still clean.  The greasy feel has completely gone, but it still feels a little dry – it is hard to run my fingers through the finer hair at the front.  It is still quite flat-looking.

Notes: Chamomile is good for softening and lightening hair.  Honey is a good moisturiser (use some on your face then rinse off – it’s gorgeous!) – just make sure you rinse well to avoid any residual stickiness.  To combat the dryness, I run a little aloe vera gel through it before bed, which helps.

Day 5:

Wash: 1 pint chamomile tea, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp white vinegar

Rinse: GF as before

Result: Wow!  This is a very good hair day.  My hair is clean, soft, with no trace of greasiness or dryness.  My usual volume has returned.  I am really, really pleased with how it looks and feels.

Notes: I can’t believe I’ve gone without shampoo for five days and don’t have a trace of the itchies, flakes, smell, grease…anything!  I used to wake up with blood under my fingernails from scratching in my sleep if I went more than one day without ‘poo and conditioner.  I’m completely stunned.  And very overexcited!

I used salt because sea salt is suggested as an alternative to BS for those who don’t get on with it (sea salt rather than table, because you don’t want the anti-caking agents in there).  White vinegar is an alternative to ACV and is usually an acid rinse, but it also acts as a water softener, so I thought I’d chuck it in.

Actually, those last seven words pretty much sum up all my recipes – food-wise and cosmetics-wise.

Day 6:

Wash: 1/2 pint water. 1/2 pint flat beer, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp salt

Rinse: GF

Result: Mmm…stroke-able.  Fantastic hair again.  Clean, soft, light, shiny, bouncy, volume…it’s lovely.  I reckon there’s a faint beer whiff, but Hubby swears he can’t smell it (although that might be like asking a pig if they can smell muck!)

Notes: Yeah, I know, it seems a bit of random wash concoction today.  Hubby left half a glass of beer sitting on the side last night and having read that beer is great for restoring shine to hair, I pounced and declared it mine in the name of science.  Luckily Hubby is one of the few people who don’t consider my ‘natural’ forays slightly mad, so he managed not to laugh.  Usually you just do a beer rinse, but I’m still finding it hard to give up on the idea of having some kind of cleaning agent in there (salt).  And the honey?  I just gotta thing for it.

No ‘poo: Days 1 – 3

Here we go!

So, my starting point, as mentioned previously, is that I shampoo and condition my every day.  If I don’t my scalp gets very itchy and my hair greasy.  I reckon it smells a bit too, but I think I’m paranoid!

Hair type:  very thick (as in lots of it).  Coarse at the neck, becoming finer and lighter towards the hairline.  Blonde lengths which have been previously dyed, with dark roots growing out.  Chin length, with annoying random waves!

Natural Shampoo

No 'Poo will make you look this cute. Swear.

Day 1:

To really test this out, I skip a day of shampooing and conditioning.  By the end of the day, it’s driving me nuts.

Day 2:

Wash: 1 tbsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda, diluted in 1 pint boiled water

Rinse: Juice of 1 grapefruit, diluted in 1 pint boiled water

Result: Well, it ain’t itchy!  My hair looks clean.  It feels clean too, if a little…odd.  Sort of dry and a bit greasy at the same time, like when you’ve been swimming too long.  It seems heavy, with no body or bounce.

Notes: I boil the water because we have very hard water here.  This apparently softens the water a little, making it work better with the baking soda which can react with hard water to leave a soap-like scum in the hair.  Any water in further notes is always boiled first.

I have not used the usual no ‘poo method of an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse, as this can apparently react badly with hard water too.

BS is an alkali substance, whereas the scalp is naturally slightly acidic.  This is why you tend to rinse with something mildly acidic afterwards.  In place of ACV, white vinegar or any citrus juice can be used – all I had was a very old grapefruit sat at the back of the fridge!

Day 3:

Wash: BS wash as before

Rinse: GF rinse as before

Result: Hmm.  Exactly the same as Day 1.  It’s clean, but I don’t want my hair feeling like this.  It also looks pretty dull.

Notes: Think I’ll skip the BS tomorrow and see if it helps. The point of the BS is that it cuts the grease in the hair, making it easy to rinse out.  In this respect, it’s not really helpful to use it every day – you are effectively doing exactly what you do with shampoo, which is stripping the hair of its natural oil, causing it to overcompensate and produce too much, causing you to overcompensate and wash too much!

No ‘poo. No, not that kind.

ItchyScalp

Make. It. Stop!

Well, first blog post and I thought I’d better make it a good’un.  Not that this is going to be literary gold – but the subject is one I never imagined I’d find myself writing about.  ‘Cause honestly, in the world of going natural, ditching my shampoo addiction always seemed like a step too far.  Next stop, sack cloth dresses and walking barefoot through the snow.

Wait.  I  mixed up my images.  Dancing naked in the snow?  Yep, that’s better.

Or not.  Um, ok…yeah, so going no ‘poo (so called by the internetters who swear by it) was not something I was prepared for.  I’ll post my reasons for going natural later.

Using only natural face, hair and body care is a pain when you live in a town that worships high street fashion and alcohol, but very little else.  The only other things we have are a Wilkinson, a couple of Holland & Barretts, the usual chemists and Lidls (randomly).  So all our toiletries need to be bought online.

Now, as total internet ner…uh, aficionados, that’s fine.  Only,we’re not very organised.  Well, Hubby couldn’t care less what we use (unless we run out), so I’m left with, “Whatever you get I’ll use,” and the fact that I’m hopelessly disorganised.  Which leaves me getting in the shower in the morning, remembering we’re running out of stuff, swearing to buy some more the second I get out and then  utterly forgetting until the next morning’s shower.

Added to this, I have a terminally itchy scalp.  I say terminally because one day I’ll wake up dead, having bled to death via my scalp after an all-night scratchathon.  I had hoped going natural would help, but I still had to wash my hair every single day, otherwise the itchies were enough to make me kick small kittens (not actual kittens you understand.  Just imaginary ones.  In my head.  Um….)

So yeah.  Shampoo was doing naff all for me, other than irritating me by maliciously running out, perpetuating the itchies, and getting rid of grease, dirt, smells…pff, next to useless.

So, with about a week’s worth of shampoo left, and vaguely remembering something about ditching the shampoo, I got reading.  Then I got totally overwhelmed and very confused.  So I read some more and I got some stuff and I mixed some things…

Ok, I didn’t keep it short. Sorry. If you want to find out more about the no ‘poo method, check out The No ‘Poo Community and The Long Hair Community for as much info as you could ever want.

If you need further persuading/disgusting/spectating, I’ll blog the results and tell you what works, what doesn’t and how I’m getting on.

See ya in shampoo hell babies.