my transition to a completely chemical-less beauty routine

i’ve decided to put all of my knowledge and experience of going no-‘poo and dropping chemicals from my beauty routine all together. hopefully this answers a lot of questions and helps you guys :) warning: LONG POST, but i think it’s pretty helpful. i hope you do, too!!

my transition to a completely chemical-less beauty routine

“wait, WHY do this??”
i chose to drop all chemicals from my beauty routine to be a healthier me. quite frankly, the cosmetic industry gives me the heebee-jeebees (seriously, check this & thisthis out). it’s really not regulated and products are FULL of chemicals that have been PROVEN to cause cancers and other bodily harm, like reproductive issues. uhh, No Thanks. 

our bodies know how to take care of themselves. we’re the ones messing it up by stripping it down, coating it, and filling it with man made crap that is in no way, shape or form good for us.

and i have the best hair and skin OF. MY. LIFE. i’m not exaggerating.

i can honestly say that i will never go back to store shampoo and conditioner, lotion, face wash, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.! honestly. i promise you that. and i hope you guys can take the step to a healthier you and do the same!

the line-up:
20130413_114025(plus apple cider vinegar (“ACV”)! all explained below)

how i transitioned:


i stopped using shampoo and conditioner cold turkey. just up & quit. (if you wanna go no-‘poo, check this & this out).  i used to wash my hair every other day to start with, so getting into that habit wasn’t an issue. i began washing my hair with baking soda and water (mixed together; 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon baking soda) every other day. for conditioner, i used an ACV rinse (1 tablespoon ACV mixed with 1 cup water). and yes, the ACV rinse really, really works. pinky promise! the ACV balances the PH of your hair and help seals the cuticle…aka, smoother, shinier, healthier, happier hair. woo!
*if you’d like to switch too, you must clarify first! (clarify ONCE. then wait 3, 4, 5 or more days before your next wash!)
in the beginning, yes, it got oily. it took about a week to a week and a half to two weeks for my hair to adjust to the drastic change. BUT, my hair felt so much better and looked way better! your hair will get oily because it’s so used to being stripped clean from the chemicals in shampoo, and having to reproduce oil every day. aka, the more you shampoo, the more oil your scalp produces. i know it’s frustrating to have oily hair , but please stick with it. hide your roots with up do’s, headbands, hats, scarves, etc. but do NOT use dry shampoo! nonononono. you have to let your hair adjust naturally. it’ll go crazy, but i promise it’ll calm down. i ended up being able to wash every 3 days. (well, i now wash every 2 weeks…more on that below)


(proof that you don’t need product or heat to have all day curls! mine stay for DAYS now. see HERE.)

after a few months of using the baking soda/ACV wash & rinse, i decided to switch to dr bronner’s organic liquid castile soap, that also doubles as a body wash. i switched simply because i wanted to try it out (nothing against the bs/acv routine), and i could also ditch my chemical-laden body wash in one fell swoop. i found it was pretty drying, even when diluted 1 part water to 5 parts soap, but i assume that’s because i was already no-‘poo at that point. i then changed it to a 1:8 to 1:9 soap to water ratio, and it was much better. when i switched over, i was able to wash my hair every 3 days. once you start, it’s easy to keep stretching.
Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 9.26.00 PM

so from months 4 to 9ish, i only washed my hair every 4 to 5 days. that sounds so gross right? but it’s not. my hair is so soft and shiny. you’d be surprised at what your hair is like NATURALLY! i used the argan oil (about 1 to 2 pumps) on my damp hair as a conditioner. i swear that stuff is liquid gold! you have to really watch what you kind you buy, though. if it’s “cheap,” chances are it’s not real or pure. one bottle i bought smelled absolutely rancid and the company told me “that’s how it’s supposed to smell.” NO IT’S NOT. argan oil has a light, slighty nutty-ish scent that i think smells like pure luxury. it feels that way, too. check out more about argan oil here.

i also started doing coconut oil hair masks every other week. i originally started every week, but tapered off because my hair didn’t need it as much. this stuff is MAGICAL. go buy some now! lol. make sure it’s organic, unrefined, non-deodorized, etc (because if you get the type with no smell, that means it’s been heated, and that destroys some of the good things in the oil). check out the how-to here. i still use the argan oil on the ends of my hair between washings and masks, and also to tame fly-aways and add a little extra shine (if that’s possible anymore lol).

there are also other completely natural ways to deep condition your hair! (click to see!)

update: i’m now transitioning to the ROM (rinse only method) with my hair. you can see my journey here, here and here, in order (with regular updates to follow). i now only wash my hair every 2 weeks!

i have a lot of info under the “hair” and “no-poo” tabs above if you wanna check it out :)

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 9.25.38 PM


for face wash, i use the oil cleansing method with argan oil. holy moley mi oh my, my skin is the BEST and softest it’s EVER BEEN. i’m not exaggerating at allllll. i freakin LOVE argan oil and what it’s done for my face. you can check out the whole method here.

i use the OCM every 3 to 4 days; sometimes less. i wash with warm water and a washcloth between those days (i wear don’t wear waterproof makeup), and exfoliate with a watery baking soda paste every week to week and a half.


for deodorant (YUP), i use coconut oil mixed with baking soda and cornstarch. i told you i dropped all chemicals from my beauty routine! check it out here.


for lotion, i use coconut oil. i’d rather use argan oil, but it’s so expensive that i keep it for my hair and face only.


for toothpaste, i make my own.


for make-up, i make my own AND buy natural versions. check it out here.

also, i take biotin and fish oil supplements every day. EVERY. DAY. it helps with strength, moisture and shine! (not to mention is also really, really great for your nails and skin, too!)

20130413_115834(those horse pills are fish oil, and the cute purple one is biotin)

hair length(hair’s still damp, but you can see it’s almost down to my belly button now! woohoo!!)

* i had a really great question from a reader that i thought i’d go ahead and post in here. she asked what my hair care routine was, more specifically. great question! here’s roughly what i do now used to do before the ROM:

day 1- wash hair with 1:9 ratio of organic liquid castile soap and water. then rinse with diluted acv. after washing, i wait till it’s a bit damp and run about a pump or argan oil through the ends of my hair, and what’s left over on my hands, i wipe on my hair (like grab it into a ponytail with my hands, and just wipe down…if that makes sense lol). let air dry.
days 2, 3, 4: use tiny bits of coconut oil or argan oil to tame fly aways and moisturize the ends of my hair. no washings!
day 5 or 6: do the coconut oil mask and let it sit alllll day (two hours is my minimum). wash hair with the diluted liquid castile soap a few times (to get all the coconut oil out).
days (6,) 7, 8, 9: argan oil & coconut oil for moisture & fly aways, but no washings!
day (9) 10: wash hair with the diluted soap, rinse with diluted acv and use the argan oil once my hair is damp again & let air dry.
days (10,) 11, 12, 13: use argan oil or coconut oil for fly aways and a little extra moisture. no washings!
day (13) 14: wash with the diluted soap and rinse with acv
& Repeat!

it’s a really rough schedule because i usually just go by what my hair needs. it took awhile to learn, but it gets easy!

HAIR: what i do NOW (starting from my last transitioning into the rinse only method):

day 1: wash hair with extremely diluted baking soda OR castile soap (i’m talkin like 1 part castile soap to 15-20 parts water OR 1 tablespoon baking soda to 2 cups water)
days 2-15ish: use TINY bits of argan and/or coconut oil (pinky nails worth for my longer hair), focusing on the ends of my hair
day 16ish: wash my hair with only water.
day 17ish-35ish- use TINY bits of argan and/or coconut oil (pinky nails worth for my longer hair), focusing on the ends of my hair
& Repeat!


(and here’s how long my hair’s gotten so far! i got it cut into choppy layers, too!)


i hope this helped! please ASK me if you have any questions, or let me know if you’ve tried different ways to drop chemicals.  please remember to keep your body and hair healthy from the inside out :)


293 thoughts on “my transition to a completely chemical-less beauty routine

  1. I ran across you blog today. I would love to get started on natural hair and face care. You have done such a great job sharing your knowledge. I have oily hair and skin and all the problems that go with that. I’ve got a question about the not washing your hair everyday. I’m a runner. I sweat a lot. What are your thoughts on managing sweat after a work out? Is there something I can put on my hair afterwards to keep it fresh but not wash it?


  2. This blog is awesome. I have gone chemical free about 2 months ago except for my shampoo. I have seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) that flares up as soon as I tried castile or other shampoos. Is there anyway you know of that I could cut the chemicals with this condition? I’d really appreciate it!


      1. I read on another blog [] that adding either eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil to your shampoo is a wonderful and safe dandruff remedy. I never needed to use it myself, but I think it is worth a try! I would rather mix it into my conditioner, though, because I already added a little essential oils for a nice scent. The anti-dandruff oils would also smell nice :)


    1. I put 5 drops of tea tree oil in with my baking soda mixture (1 tbsp BS 1 cup water) and this mixture lasts me 2 washes. It has completely gotten rid of my dandruff and I had the greasy itchy kind of dandruff where I would scratch in my sleep and have a scab in the morning. Adding tea tree oil to your store bought shampoo can help too but I wanted to go no-poo.


    2. Hi Sam
      Sorry to jump in it, but I really would love to tell you about comical free conditioners. And it’s coconut milk. It’s simply amazing. I have been using it for six months. It’s so cheap and works best. After just one use it stoped my hair breakage at all. And really really soft hair like “spreadable butter 😜.”. Just apply all over head, cover all the hair. Leave it 30 to 60 mins and shampoo your hair. That’s it. If you want really really expensive one should try macadamia natural oil hair mask, that’s also best but bit expensive. I hope you like that.


  3. I use to have extremely long thick hair, after i had my first son my hair began to fall out and break. It is so thin and I think it looks gross, however for the last 6 months i have been using what i believe to be a mild shampoo and conditioner mixed with almond oil, coconut oil, and ur liquid gold. I thought it was helping for the most part. THEN about a month and a half ago someone suggested wen hair products, because it does not contain the harsh chemicals that shampoos and conditioner contain. So after a bit of reading about the product I decided to try it. I’m on my 3rd week and I think I’m seeing a difference. So To my question, what is your opinion on or suggestions about using wen hair care products?


  4. I am getting ready to go poo-less and so excited about it! (not doing trying the ROM yet, maybe I will transition to that down the road) Question… When you shower between washings, do you wear a shower cap to keep your hair dry? or do you just get your hair wet without washing it?

    Thanks for the awesome posts btw! I love your blog!


  5. When you first transitioned to natural products, did you throw all your old stuff out? or tried to use it up first? i’d feel bad throwing it all away but it seems stupid to use it all and load up on chemicals before transitioning away from them lol what did you do?


  6. i have naturaly curly hair and my hair is very very dry i was wondering if you think i could do this without turning my hair into a rats nest lol


  7. Because this is the most general post here, I would like to share that as of today, with your blog as my first inspiration, the only store bought products I use are Physicians Formula Organic wear makeup, and the occasional low ‘poo. And, as of today, I am 100% chemical free in my beauty routine. :) Thank you and the crunchy community!


      1. I do love it. I miss nicely scented things every so often, but my essential oil collection is slowly growing so thats not so bad anymore. Otherwise, its perfect. I get so excited when i buy a new jar of coconut oil out find a new recipe to try. :)


  8. This all sounds amazing to do, but i do have a few questions.
    My hair gets SUPER oily 24 hours after a wash. And i have very little thin hair (my hair is as thick as one part of your hair possibly 1/4 if that makes sense) would you still recommend doing this? Also i do work out and i do get sweaty, would that interfere the whole shampoo process?
    Amazing blog by the way(:


  9. Hey there! I just saw your post of growing your hair longer and stronger on Pinterest today, and I know I have a lot more research to do, but I have already been deep conditioning my hair weekly with unrefined coconut oil at night, but I’m nervous for the transition of not washing as often! My hair is really thin and oily, but I’m willing to try anything to make it longer and healthier! There’s a lot to read here, but I was planning on buying some argon oil, bentonite clay, filtered water, acv, and Dr. Bronner’s soap to start with. What scent did you buy? Thanks!


  10. Hey! I just got a pretty bad hairburn from a gaz oven (not a great experience) and now my hair is very damaged and dry. I was looking through the Internet at ways to make it better, fuller, moisturized and stumbled onto your amazing blog! Id like to know more about the no-poo method, I must admit I don’t really know where tostart! Also, IimI’m currently living in peru and so am dubious about the water here, not sure how my hair will react.
    I’m ready to start the challenge though, if you could just give me guidance on how/where to start!
    Thanks so much!



  11. Such a wealth of information! I have tried the bs and ACV mouthed but never heard of the ROM method. I’ll have to try that. Do you still do a deep conditioner with the ROM method?


  12. Thank You Sooooo Much For Blogging Your Journey. You Have Inspired Me To Do The Same!!! I Love Everything About This & I Cannot Wait To Try It All. I Have Already Started Going Au Natural. Not Washed My Hair For A Weekish & I’m Not Washing My Face Right Now Either. Said Bye To Makeup & Chemicals! Again Thank You So Much For The Inspiration! :)


  13. I am SO happy I found your site!! This is SUCH a great and informative guide! Bookmarked! I have been traveling around Asia the last 10 months and have 5 more weeks to go before I’m home and will start my chemical free routine. Soooo excited to hear of your positive results too!!! Thanks!


  14. Hi! Just started keeping my own blog about natural beauty and handicrafts etc. stuff and found your blog! Love the before and after photos which I havent really seen a lot in different blogs, it`s harder to believe and try things on your own if you cant see the results of others! :) Thanks for the blog!


  15. hi! I use sunscreen every day on my face and I have done the OCM method a few times but that just seems to add too much moisture to my face when combined with the sunscreen. I really don’t want to give up sun protection, any suggestions?


  16. I love this! I’ve been no poo for just over a year, and I’m crazy in love with my hair. I can’t stop talking about it. I did find, after about 4 months, that baking soda was too drying for me, and I think it was starting to damage my hair. I’ve since read that the baking soda / acv combo is reeeeally bad foryour hair. Something about the rapidly changing ph being similar to dyeing your hair every time you wash it. Just a heads up! I am not ready for the ROM yet, but I just wash my hair with acv, and then use my homemade conditioner. Sinceit’s winter, I have to use it every wash, but in summer, I can go one or two washings without. It’s made up of raw honey, coconut oil, vitamin e oil, water, and whatever essential oils I feel like adding. This batch is peppermint and tea tree. A 16 oz bottle lasts me about 5 months.
    I recently made the switch to homemade deodorant and moisturizer. I’m getting there, slowly!


  17. this blog is incredible! I just cut my hair from being almost to my belly button to the top of my shoulders because my hair was sooo dead. I want it to grow back because I loved my long hair but I want it to be like yours! I want long, luscious hair! I wash my hair about once every 4-5 days and use an organic shampoo but I want to switch to this. This is all so helpful I just don’t know where to begin!! I need you to coach me lol! I also have stopped wearing makeup to let my acne scars improve but I still use a harsh face wash. I’m scared to stop it because I’ll break out and scar again but I know I need to stop it. Ahhhh I need your help lol!! Hope this isn’t too confusing and keep posting this is wonderful!! <3

    Alyson! :)


  18. Hi, I am need of some help going no poo. Thank you for your blog, it has really helped. This is the end of week 2 being non poo. I’ve been using your water/castille soap recipe. And my hair is so gross and extremely oily. I’ve washed it every other day or every 2 days. I don’t want to give up, please help!


  19. Hi, thank you for your blog. It is very helpful. I am at the end of week two of no poo and my hair is still so oily and gross. I’ve been using your castille soap and water recipe. Ive washed my hair every other day or every two days. I haven’t tried the coconut oil mask because I’m worried about adding oil to my already extremely oily hair. I don’t want to give up but I’m beginning to become discouraged. Please help!


    1. Some people take awhile to transition, but you need to be washing your hair less often! Twice a week at most. Washing too much is bad news. There are Facebook groups for no poo that can offer lots of suggestions and recipes.
      First off, every kind of no poo doesn’t work for everyone. Figuring out your hair type and porosity can be helpful to determine what will work for you. Personally, I use acv only followed by homemade conditioner. Some people do water only, some do rye flour, some do raw honey, some aloe… there are tons and tons of options. I gave up baking soda after it started to damage my hair. The amount of bs used is important. Do some investigating and experimenting, but it’s very important to wash your hair less. If you can’t do it with what you’re using now, maybe go back to shampoo for awhile and wean yourself off until you only have to shampoo once a week (or less) before trying no poo again.


  20. Hey emily! just wondering what you were trying to do :) I’m sure you didn’t, in fact, want your personal address and phone number posted publicly lol. lemme know if you need help with anything!


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