goin no-‘poo!

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

(content from my old blog! i’m now a water-only washer, and haven’t used ANY hair products in a year and a half, so ask me any questions you may have! i have a no-poo troubleshooting post here, too!)

my inner hippie and i have decided to cut out typical shampoo and conditioner. sound gross? well, yea, kinda. this doesn’t mean i’m not washing my hair…it means i’m gonna have to start making my shampoo and conditioner at home. no chemicals? SCORE! way less money spent? DOUBLE SCORE!

so what am i going to be using instead of shampoo and conditioner? why, baking soda and apple cider vinegar, my dears!

the recipes for my homemade haircare:

shampoo:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

conditioner:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (with the mother. yes, i said mother.)

what to do:

  • mix up your “shampoo” and place in container of your choice. it should feel “slippery.” you’ll know what i mean when you feel it!
  • mix up your “conditioner” and place in container of your choice. it’ll smell while you’re using it, but it will NOT smell once you rinse it out!
  • use the baking soda mix as you would normal shampoo. i found it’s best to squirt a little on one part of your scalp, rub gently but firmly, and move to the next spot. only use this on your scalp! then, once you’ve rubbed your whole scalp, rinse really, really well!
  • use the acv rinse from the scalp to the ends of your hair. it’ll rebalance the pH and make  your hair feel softer! rinse really, really well!

i have two plastic squirt bottles (not spray ones) that i’m using to hold the mixes.

and of course you can change the mixture, according to your hair. scalp is too dry? you can lessen the baking soda. etc. *remember* to let your hair have a few weeks to adjust to your new homemade haircare before you change the mixture ratios. the dryness and/or oiliness you might experience might be the simple fact that you’re hair isn’t being stripped of its natural oils then coated with waxes anymore! 🙂

couple tips:

clarify before you switch (clarify ONCE. then wait 3, 4, 5 or more days before your next wash!)
deep condition often. “often” is based on your hair. if it’s dry, condition it. if it’s not, don’t. 🙂

20130430_144845(about halfway through my transition. see?! NOT pretty. but worth it!!)

UPDATE:

i love the condition my hair is in. it’s shiny, holds curls better (without product, of course!) and really soft!

 

(sorry the pictures are dark. it’s after 3am and matt’s asleep so i don’t have too many lights on.)

these pictures were taken 19 hours after i took my flexi-rods out of my hair AND after 6 hours of being tossed around in study-mode….there’s still so much body and bounce! love it! and no, not washing my hair every day isn’t making my hair gross…it’s doing the exact opposite 😀 overall, it’s so low maintenance and combined with the no-heat overnight way i curl my hair, my hair care routine is SO incredibly easy now.

so how long does the mixture last?

the mixture i posted above lasts me about 3 uses. considering a big box of baking soda was a litte over a dollar and the unfiltered ACV was a few dollars…let’s do the math:

– $5 for baking soda and ACV
– $1 for a gallon of distilled water
– 1 tablespoon each of the bs and acv with 2 cups of water— i’m washing my hair for PENNIES a week!!

now that’s what i call wallet cheap and beauty chic! SCORE!

UPDATE 2:

i’ve officially been ‘poo free for about 1 1/2 years! this post is really old and from my old blog, but still has great info!

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROUTINE? see this post

NEED SOME NO-‘POO HELP? see this post

and there’s always the no-‘poo resource page! 🙂

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grow it long, grow it strong!

growitlong

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

i’m obsessed with long hair. if i think about cutting mine, my soul gets a little sad. if see a girl with long, luscious locks, i get Serious hair envy. creepy? sure, i guess… but who can’t resist long, beautiful hair?!

here’s my take on getting those long, strong locks you’ve always wanted 🙂 i grew mine from shoulder/collarbone length (what’s the correct term for that length anyway?) to below the middle of my back in about a year and i never want to cut it!

do not

  • wash your hair every day. this is a biggie! you’re stripping your hair of its moisturizing oils.
  • brush your hair while wet. this is so so so bad for it! it strains it and can lead to breakage. please stop!
  • use a blowdryer. i know it’s a hard habit to break, but you’re killing your hair with the heat.
  • use hair dye. permanent, demi, etc.. you’re doing irreversible damage.
  • use a straightener or curling iron every day. or most days. only use them on occasion, and protect your hair when you do! try using a natural heat protectant.
  • dry your hair with a towel.
  • neglect getting your hair cut. you don’t need to trim it every month or “x” weeks, but you do need to trim when you have split ends. they WILL continue to split and your hair will not be pretty nor will it be long and strong.
  • pull your hair back into a tight ponytail or bun every day. this will cause breakage over time.
  • *if you can, drop traditional shampoo, conditioner, and styling products all together. your hair doesn’t need to be coated in chemicals to be pretty!! i’m this way with my hair and i don’t even need conditioner or styling products anymore. you’d be surprised at what your hair can do/looks like when there aren’t chemicals clinging to it! check out all my natural hair posts Here

coco hair

do

  • let your hair air dry.
  • wash your hair somewhere between every other day to every 4 days. but please still shower. i’m now water-only and rinse my hair once a week!
  • take biotin (and fish oil) supplements. it’ll strengthen your hair and nails. not to mention help with adding moisture and shine!
  • use coconut oil hair masks at least every other week. i can’t express to you how wonderful these natural masks are for your hair! check it out here. and i’ll just lay a fun fact on you. i’m convinced my hair grows faster with coconut oil. maybe i’m just psyching myself out. but man, my armpit hair sure does (since i’ve switched to homemade deo)!
  • tame fly-aways and nourish your dry ends with argan oil. that stuff is liquid gold! you can use coconut oil, too! just be careful with the amount you use. it takes very, very little to get the job done! check it out here.
  • use a wide-toothed comb instead of a bristle brush. it’ll catch and pull your hair less and lead to way less breakage and damage. here’s the proper way to brush your hair!
  • massage your scalp about 5 minutes a day to promote growth. (ohh, hubby??)
  • abandon store-bought shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products. this is an extreme step, but please at least give it a try. you can check out how i dropped all chemicals here and here. and here’s a natural shampoo that’s great for ALL hair types!
  • drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and exercise. you gotta keep your hair healthy from the inside out! i fully support a plant-based diet!

20130413_115834(biotin & fish oil. look at those horse pills! they’re worth it though!)

ways to “get around” the do NOTs:

  • if your hair is oily and you feel like you have to wash it every day, there is hope! it’s about a week to two week process but you can train your hair to produce less oil. (i talk about it here & here. )i’ve completely dropped store-bought shampoo and conditioner and have switched to using either an all-organic shampoo (that i still heavily dilute), or baking soda/vinegar routine (check out my posts under the “hair” tab). i’ve been doing it this way for over 8 months and i can honestly, cross my heart, tell you that i will never go back to putting chemicals on my hair ever again!
  • if you need to blow dry your hair, only do it half way and protect it with some sort of heat protectant.
  • instead of using a towel to dry your hair, invest in a turbie twist or just lightly squeeze out excess water from root to tip, and let drip dry. you can also put your hair up in a pair of (clean) boxers to lessen the roughage if you can’t get a turbie twist and also don’t want your hair dripping all over you
  • if you need to pull your hair back, try using bobby pins or a big clip that will hold it back, but with less damage potential. maybe even a loose braid will do!
  • if you need to curl your hair, look up heatless ways to do so. i have a couple on this blog, with my favorite here. check out my how-to video on youtube.
  • if you need to straighten your hair, you’re either going to have to save it for those few and far between days or just suck it up and do without. lol
  • if you need to dye your hair, try natural alternatives… tea, black walnut hulls.. do your research! your hair will thank you in non-breakage and non-dryness. check out my post on dying with black walnuts.

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overall: if you’re growing your hair out longer and stronger after being curled, dyed, straightened, teased, etc., every day or close to it, these techniques will help your hair, but your hair will have to grow out to get rid of the existing damage. there’s just no way around that. i wish there was! the amount of time your hair takes to grow depends on a lot of things, so BE PATIENT! i know it’s hard! my family’s hair grows like crazy, so i got lucky in the genetics department. but it also depends on what you’re putting into your body, how you’re treating your hair, and past damage. remember that your hair’s part of a living thing…YOU. treat it as such 🙂

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

i get asked this a LOT, so here’s the deal: UNREFINED vs REFINED COCONUT OIL:

refined CO has been through bleaching & high heat processes and also can sometimes have lye added to it or be hydrogenated, making it a trans fat. while it might make your hair feel softer, you’re not actually giving your hair anywhere the same benefits you would from unrefined. & you definitely do NOT want to eat that one! unrefined is the purest form with the most health benefits (and the kind that can be eaten!). your hair will thank you 🙂

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coconut oil hair mask

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

since i’m no-‘poo, my hair can get dry easily if i don’t remember to put argan oil on after i wash it. also, winter is NOT friendly to hair. at all. here’s a simple and AMAZING way to get super, SUPER shiny and soft hair.

coconut oil hair mask

and the best part? it’s organic/natural and only one ingredient! coconut oil. such a miracle oil! i’m obsessed with it, seriously.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2-5 tablespoons of coconut oil (depending on the thickness, length and dryness of your hair)
  • comb
  • plastic wrap/shower cap/soft t-shirt

HOW TO


1.
 melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave (i used 3 tablespoons and microwaved it for 20 second intervals, stirring between. adjust amount of oil according to your hair’s thickness, length and dryness) (**i melt mine in the microwave because i use so much. i realize it melts when you touch it. it’s just easier for me than continuously melting chunks in my hands:) )

2*. let it cool down some if you chose to microwave it!

3. apply that messy oil! …depending on what you’re using this for, you may only want to put it on the ends of your hair or everywhere but your scalp, orrrr ALLLLLL over (i did all over this time. it’s messier, but my hair feels and looks incredible. try it!

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4. gently comb/brush your hair to evenly distribute the oil all over your hair

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5. wrap your hair up in a shower cap/plastic wrap and leave it in 45-60 minutes OR leave it in overnight. you can put put your hair in a braid or bun then wrap it in a soft t-shirt and sleep in it (i highly suggest this way! it maximizes your results)

20130207_011922

6. when time’s up, take your hair down and wash, wash, wash. it took me three washes (but i don’t use store-bought shampoo) to get all the oil out. with regular shampoo, twice should do it.

7.*condition your hair after you wash it if you want, but i’m tellin ya, you won’t need it 🙂

repeat this mask every one to two weeks

VOILA, happy, healthy hair!! look at the shine! i wish you could feel how soft it is.

coco hair

IMPORTANT>> no-‘poo-ers: the baking soda/ACV routine will NOT take coconut oil out of your hair! please don’t even try. you can use this mask and take it out with a castile soap (i use dr. bronner’s, diluted half and half with distilled water.. followed by an acv rinse) OR grab a low-poo and wash it out. the low-poo will be MUCH gentler on your hair, and wont’t require an ACV rinse after. try to go that route if you can.
also, instead of doing a full-on CO mask, you can do a quick conditioner after you wash with 1/2 teaspoon melted coconut oil mixed in a cup of warm, distilled water. just put that on the ends of your hair after you shower, then rinse 🙂  you can also try wetting your hair before you apply the mask next time. this will help tremendously in getting it back out!
if you’re sitting with oil in  your hair and no alternatives, and if you’re okay with using a shampoo this ONE time to get it out, use a cheap shampoo (think $1 shampoos) and completely keep it away from your scalp. make sure NONE of the ingredients end in -xane, -zane, -cone, or -conol, as these will coat your hair in silicones and you’ll have to start the no-‘poo process all over again. no one wants to do that again!

ps – there are no-‘poo friendly ways to deep condition! check them out here!

and to everyone else (shampoo users…): if you’re still having trouble getting it out, either wet your hair before you do this mask OR switch to a lighter oil like jojoba or apricot kernel.

i get asked this a LOT, so here’s the deal: UNREFINED vs REFINED COCONUT OIL:

refined CO has been through bleaching & high heat processes and also can sometimes have lye added to it or be hydrogenated, making it a trans fat. while it might make your hair feel softer, you’re not actually giving your hair anywhere the same benefits you would from unrefined. & you definitely do NOT want to eat that one!
unrefined is the purest form with the most health benefits (and the kind that can be eaten!). your hair will thank you!

i think this about covers it all 🙂
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oil cleansing method

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

EDIT: this post is now nearly 6 years old. i have an updated, BETTER version here.

the oil cleansing method (natural, organic skincare)

i have tried so many face washes/cleansers/acne-get-ridders/etc… but each one has something i don’t like about it. too drying, too oily, too many chemicals, not organic enough…etc, etc.

well my friends, i have hit the facial cleaning jackpot! after lots and lots of research, i tried the oil cleansing method. what’s that, you ask? it’s cleaning your face and getting rid of the oils with another oil. that seems like the exact OPPOSITE of what you’d want to do, especially with acne-prone skin, but here’s the jist:

  • oil dissolves oil
  • your natural oil helps lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly

easy, right?

overall, it’s suggested that you use a blend of two oils, specific to your needs.

i personally use argan oil and hempseed oil, in an equal 1:1 ratio. i use this blend now.

oil cleansing method- what oils you should use

>> 2018 edit: i no longer recommend all of these oils and only recommend these.

CREATING YOUR BLEND OF OILS:

  • oily skin: mix 1 part balanced oils with 3 parts oily skin oils
  • balanced skin: mix equal parts oils under the balanced skin category (can be more than 2 or 3)
  • dry skin: mix equal parts oils under the dry skin category

             OR

  • use 1 organic oil, like argan oil. i find this to be the best for my sensitive skin, along with hempseed oil.

             OR

  • create your own blend.

HOW TO USE:

  1. wipe your face (make-up or not) with warm water and a wash cloth
  2. slather a generous puddle of your oil blend onto your face and massage gently for two minutes (i use a dime-size amount because a little argan oil goes a LONG way)
  3. put the wash cloth under HOT water and gently wring out excess water so it doesn’t drip on you (don’t burn yourself! this is meant to “steam” your face)
  4. place washcloth over your face and relax until it cools off
  5. gently massage/wipe the oil from your face with the same wash cloth
  6. heat up the wash cloth again with the hot water
  7. place over your face again until it cools off
  8. massage/wipe off your face again with the wash cloth
  9. allow your skin to air dry
  10. voila, super soft, super clean skin!!

you will be surprised at the dirt you see on the washcloth. i had my boyfriend try it after he showered and this method STILL took dirt out of his pores 🙂

i do the OCM every 4ish days, sometimes less. i wash with water only and a washcloth in between ocm days. and i exfoliate with a watery MSM paste with some raw honey every week to week and a half. it works great for me!

i believe it also needs to be noted you must also take care of your skin internally… drink lots of water, eat right, exercise, etc.

seriously people, this stuff works wonders. try it and lemme hear about it!!

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homemade deodorant

homemade all-natural deodorant (that really works)
2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

in yet another attempt to be more “green” and natural in my every day routine, i have switched to homemade deodorant. i’ve waited quite some time to actually post this because i wanted to be 110% sure i knew EXACTLY what i’d be getting you guys into if you decide to switch. (see the 4 week update at the bottom of this post!)

i’ve already gone no-‘poo, no lotion, no hair products of any kind, and now i’m ditching the breast cancer-linked aluminum and all-around nasty, chemical-y junk in store-bought deodorant. this stuff WORKS, people! i wouldn’t lead you astray! i swear by my own armpits IT WORKS. give it a try! give it a good few weeks long try, because your body will need to adjust!!! 🙂

for this recipe, i’ve scoured pinterest and other blogs, and this seems to be the best combo for ME. if you don’t sweat as much, don’t put so much baking soda in. if you still smell, dab a cottonball with raw apple cider vinegar and swipe each pit a couple times before applying…. it’s all about finding what works for YOUR body and getting rid of those darn chemicals!

WHAT YOU NEED

1. old deodorant container OR wide-mouth jar (i started with the jar and didn’t like the deo touching my fingers, so i put it in an old deo stick. i will say that during the winter the stick would be okay, but if your home/apartment/whatever is warm, or if you’re making this in the spring/summer, please keep it in a jar. mine was just chillin on the bathroom counter and melted everywhere as i took a hot shower once. egh!)
2. 5 tablespoons organic coconut oil. i used the non-deodorized version and it smells heavenly!
3. 1/4 cup cornstarch (update: i’ve added about a spoonful more to this mix now)
4. 1/4 cup baking soda (if you’re sensitive to baking soda, substitute with bentonite clay, or use a different homemade deo)
5. **essential oils of your choice, if you want to add any. i added arabian rose and LOVE it!
6. bowl & spoon, to mix

HOW TO'

1. mix all ingredients together in a bowl… keep at it till it’s allll smooth and turns into a thick, dry-ish paste
2. put in in your container. voila!
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how to1. either scoop a dab from your jar, or get a couple clicks/turns out of your stick
2. apply like regular deo 🙂
3. *give it anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks before you make any permanent choices. i know that’s a super long time, and the adjustment period might have you smelling a little funkier than usual, but your body will adjust to taking care of itself after a few weeks. i promise! i’ve been doing this for about a month now and i don’t want to go back to regular store deo. you’ll see improvements after the first couple weeks, and hopefully that’ll be enough motivation to keep it goin 🙂

20130224_204229 20130224_204337 20130224_204557

UPDATE (5/3/2013):

i think my body has fully adjusted, so it took me 4 weeks. i’ve read it took others 6-8 weeks, so i chalk it up to being completely chemical-less in my beauty routine and eating healthier.
but as of this past week, i barely smell bad at allllllll anymore. and i only put this on when i wake up in the morning, and after my showers if i need it.
i did add more cornstarch (about a spoonful) and it’s made a great difference in the sweating. i don’t notice nearly as much sweat as i normally had with store deodorant.

i’ve also switched to keeping mine in a small, screw-top jar. it’s getting warmer out and the coconut oil leaked out of my old deo container. i actually think i prefer it in the jar!

UPDATE (7/2/2013):

if you’re sensitive to baking soda, or allergic to coconut, HERE are some other all-natural deodorants you can make (spray and/or roll-ons). check ’em out!

lemme know if you guys try this or any version of homemade deo! i’d love to hear about it!

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argan oil

(post from my old blog…i’m coming up on my year anni with argan oil now. yes, anniversary. i love it THAT much!)
I LOVE ARGAN OIL. it goes on my hair, on my face, and on my skin. did i mention that i love argan oil?
sadly, it only comes from small sources in morocco and has a short shelf life, so it’s expensive! but holy jeebers, it’s worth it!

argan oil smells like downright luxury and feels incredible! it’s done wondrous things for my hair and skin!!

it should smell slightly nutty…i think it kind of smells like plain, day old popcorn… i really don’t know how to describe it, haha.

argan oil=liquid GOLD!! (can be used for hair, skin & nails!)

let’s go over what you can use it for:

moisturizing your hair:

you can do three things (if not more!) with argan oil and a deep conditioning your hair. the first is to mix a little with your regular conditioner for softer and super shiny hair when it dries. just be sure to not get it on your scalp! it’ll make your hair appear greasy.

the second is to use it as a shine and frizz serum. since i don’t use store-brand conditioner, i simply apply a small amount (i mean SMALL so it doesnt make your hair greasy-looking) to the ends of my hair and the top layer. i have long, thick hair, so i use one full pump and it does the trick. it makes my hair look very shiny and healthy and also moisturizes it throughout the day!

last but not least, you can use it as a hot oil treatment. slick the argan oil all over your hair (but not too much!), and either wrap your hair up in a hot towel or a shower cap. you can sit under a blow dryer too! leave on for 30 minutes and wash out. voila, shiny, beautiful hair!

skin moisturizer:

you can apply argan oil directly to the skin, just as you would lotion. keep in mind it’s oil and don’t spread around a ton of it or it won’t be able to soak in completely. i’ve been putting little dabs under my eyes and on my eyelids to soften and moisturize the delicate skin there, as well as help with the bags under my eyes (thanks, grad school!). putting it under your eyes will also help with fine lines! double score!

i really do like how soft it makes my skin, but i’m still a bigger fan of coconut oil for lotion. check out my post on coconut oil here.

you can also mix a small amount in with your regular lotion or moisturizer to give it a little boost. how awesome! you can also use it as a massage oil, oo-la-la!! i’ve also been putting it on my lips before i go to sleep. just a tiny amount though! i’m a chapstick addict and this has really helped with that, girl scouts honor!

blemishes:

pretty  much everyone has suffered from acne or getting pimples at some point in their life. if you were like me in high school, you also made the mistake of picking at them and leaving yourself with scars. i’ll do an entire post dedicated to getting rid of the acne scars on my cheeks, but for the sake of this post, i’ll give you some info 🙂

because of its anti-inflammatory abilities, argan oil is known to heal existing acne blemishes, prevent the occurrence of new breakouts and help reduce scarring with regular use. just apply a small amount directly to clean skin!

you can also use it in the oil cleansing method here. it works wonders for cleaning your pores! i SWEAR by the OCM. it’s the ONLY thing i use to clean my face (well, besides plain ol water).

nails:

i usually have my nails painted, so before i do my little at home manis, i put some argan oil on a q-tip and rub it on my cuticles and around my nails. it helps my cuticles stay healthy and helps my nails grow healthier. i’ve done this twice so far this week and like the outcomes!

for those of you that don’t, or rarely, paint your nails, you can apply it directly to the nail for longer, stronger, shinier nails.

stretch marks/scars:

remember that time you stopped gymnastics and dancing at the same time and gained 20 pounds then lost it all in a few months? oh yea, that was ME…. ever since then, i’ve had tiny little stretch marks on my inner thighs. so, in the name of beauty and for the sake of you readers out there, i’ll be doing a little “before & after with my stretch marks! (coming soon!)
alright, 
well i totally spaced taking pictures cuz this post is from my old blog. BUT, it did lessen the appearance of my tiny stretch marks and scars. they’re still there though. i only tried it for a few weeks. i should’ve done it longer!

overall:

i LOVE this stuff!! i can use it for so many things and i love what it does for me! do your research on pure argan oil brands if you choose to buy some. i know it’s pricey, but it’s very worth it and replaces a lot of other beauty items in your bathroom.

keep in mind argan oil usually expires in about a year to year and a half (just keep an eye on it), so don’t buy it in large quantities. a little goes a LONG way!

20130616_201235where to buy:

what type to look for:

  • ideally usda certified organic (sometimes smaller companies can’t afford the seal)
  • 100% pure
  • UNrefined
  • cold-pressed
  • in a dark glass bottle
  • preferably a pump to limit its exposure to air (droppers are the second best thing)

**if your argan oil is in a plastic, or light glass bottle, there’s a 99% chance it’s not pure. argan oil degrades RAPIDLY when exposed to light, hence the dark glass bottle. also, if it’s leaving you greasy, chances are it’s not pure. argan oil soaks into skin really fast, with no greasy after-feel. sometimes argan oil is cut with sunflower seed oil, making the cost lower, but it’s not good for the oil or what you’re using it for.

who else is in love with argan oil as much as me?!

here’s a link that’s a quick-read on argan oil &  here’s a more detailed site. warning! check this site out before you buy argan oil to make sure it’s the Real Deal.

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