Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Natural Money-Saving Alternatives that WORK, part two: The No Shampoo Method!

Yesterday I explained that we've been working hard around our home to "clean up our act," that is, make our home more natural and chemical-free.  Yesterday I talked about the small home cleaning changes we've made that I feel have made a big difference.  Today, I'm going to cover the other area where we've made the most changes!

Personal Care
Get ready, because this is where I am going to seem like a crazy person.  I never in a million years thought I could do away with all of my soaps and lotions and conditioners.  I am girl.  I love them.  But like they say, your skin is your biggest organ and it absorbs a ton; why feed it chemicals?  Eventually I just figured, "Let me give that a try.  If it works, great; if not, I'll just go back to what I was doing before."
1.  I replaced lotion with extra light virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil.
I started the whole olive oil thing when I was pregnant.  I would rub it on my belly along with a little vitamin E oil.  Guess who survived pregnancy without a single stretch mark?  I hear shea butter is incredible too, but I am not a fan of the smell.  ELVOO and coconut oil are virtually scentless.
2.  I replaced our liquid bath soap with natural bar soaps, made of mainly olive oil.
The natural bar soaps are actually awesome.  This is one of the ways I still get my girlie-bath-product fix; I love smelling and trying new natural soaps!  I have naturally very dry skin, but the olive oil-based soaps are not at all drying to me and the natural fragrances don't make me all itchy like chemically perfumed soaps can.
3.  I make my own sugar scrub. 
This is also a fun way to feel girly.  You can make sugar scrub 349234 different ways, but all you need are the basics; sugar, oil (whatever you want, really) and some essential oil for scent.  I love lavender.  You mix them in a little glass jar and enjoy! 
4.  We use cloth diapers for Sweet Pea.
I am due for another cloth diaper update; I will do one soon!
5.  And finally, get ready for this- deep breath- I replaced my shampoo and conditioner with baking soda and water.
Okay, before you write me off as completely insane, let me promise you; I LOVE this new way of washing my hair.  I promise that my hair is clean.  It smells nice.  It is soft and has more volume that it has ever had.

I've heard about this for awhile, but I wasn't willing to try it.  I need- deep in my soul, need- for my hair to feel clean and fresh.  But then a friend told me she was doing it.  I looked at her.  I looked at her hair.  It was clean.  It was shiny.  It was pretty.  She didn't smell weird.  And it just so happened that we were completely out of shampoo and I was about to run to the store that night for more.  I figured, "Why not give it a shot?  At least for tonight.  Then I don't have to go to the store."  I will try anything if it means not going to the store.  So I tried it.  And by golly, I liked it.

Here's what you do.  You take an old, clean shampoo bottle and add one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda.  I add a couple drops of essential oil (I like sweet orange) and give it a good shake.  In the shower, you step out of the water stream, tilt your head back and squeeze just a little at the front of your hairline and at the top of your head.  You'll use only a couple of tablespoons.  Give your head a good massage with your fingertips and rinse.

You guys.  My hair is amazing.  Better than it has ever been.  It has SO much volume, is shinier than it has ever been and is holding style so well.  My hair is baby fine, so it quickly and easily looks limp and dirty.  Not so anymore!  One day last week the baby and I slept over at my parents' house on a whim.  Normally I would never leave anywhere without freshly washing and styling my hair in the morning, but when I woke up my hair still looked perfectly clean, had volume and still had style from the day before.  Even at the end of the day, my hair still looked perfectly fresh and clean.  I was in shock and awe.

They say doing this "no 'poo" method takes some adjusting.  Your hair will looking and feel greasy for awhile while it regulates itself.  That lasted all of maybe three days for me, but for some people it can take awhile.  One trick  is to make sure you brush your hair out really well to distribute the natural oils and give your hair a change to get shiny.  After the first week, when my hair had a bit too much build-up, I just rinsed it with a tiny amount of baby shampoo.  Since then, my hair seems to have adjusted itself.  I love this.

Here's the only picture I have of me from the last couple of weeks, but check it out.  All I did was dry my hair, turn out the ends with my flat iron and gave it a quick once-over with hairspray.  (Aerosol.  I know, I know, shame on me.  See?  I'm not totally granola!)
My adorable friend's baby shower.  Don't you just love her blue and white striped dress?  
 I am on the right.  That's my hair, washed with baking soda and water.  Apart from the fact that my roots are showing a little, I think my hair looks totally clean and has more volume than usual.

All of these changes are probably saving us about $30 a month, plus removing a ton of chemicals.  And honestly, I wouldn't use them if they didn't work as well or better than what I was already doing, which is why I am still using hair spray and I still clean my bathtub with Tilex.  (I've tried several natural alternatives and none of them made me feel like the tub was actually clean.)  I want to be natural, and I want to reduce chemicals in our lives, but I also want to feel clean and smell nice and I want my house to be clean, too.  We certainly aren't all the way there; I'm not ready to part with my hair color or perfume or mascara.  But in the meantime, I am pretty happy with this natural and safe alternatives that are working for us.

Here's a fantastic resource for natural living and home alternatives:  www.wellnessmama.com

Here's to greener fields!

Do you have any other cool ideas?  I would love to hear tips and suggestions!  Have you tried the "No 'Poo" hair-cleaning method?  Did it work?


  1. I am seriously going to try this! I just have to get the mix prepared which is going to be super easy! I use vinegar for cleaning a lot but can't think of anything else we do. If I do, I'll be sure to let you know! I'm thinking we should ask Faith as I bet there is something she does.

  2. i love that you are going all crunchy! i think you might be my hero.

    also thank you for a lovely sprinkle! xoxo

  3. What about conditioner? Does this take care of that as well? :)

    1. I find that I'm not needing it! You can do apple cider vinegar in water though as conditioner- I am going to try it!

  4. Vinegar doesn't smell very good in your hair. I've tried it. Baking powder can clean your tub, and it can brush you teeth. My Grandma Gorham used it for tooth brushing. I don't like the taste of it though.


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