4 things on my blog i no longer agree with

… and no, non-vegan items are not included ūüėČ

i’ve decided to publish this because, hey, no one is perfect. if we’re not learning from our mistakes, we’re doing something wrong. we should always strive for improvement.

let’s get straight into it.

  • baking soda hair wash
    • the pH of baking soda is much too harsh (too alkaline) and can cause damage to both hair and scalp over a sustained time period. i no longer advise this version of the no-poo method, but am still a fan of water-only washing and low-poos. calia is a nice shampoo & conditioner brand that’s affordable and has great ingredients.
  • diy sunscreen
    • please do not try to make your own sunscreen. you have no idea if you‚Äôre properly protecting your skin. to have that tested and confirmed requires a formal panel, testing, and thousands of dollars. if you need suggestions – i like Badger Balm sunscreens for my body and Josh Rosebrook‚Äôs Daily Nutrient Cream for my face. please leave others below in the comments!
    • i’m a supporter of responsible sun exposure. i think it’s crucial to health. that doesn’t mean i’m a supporter of reckless sun exposure. for example, i know i will be outside an average of 30 minutes total every day, and not midday. knowing that, i do not apply sunscreen to my body. however, if i know i will be on a midday hike, i will slather it on.
  • diy lotion w/ no preservatives
    • say it with me – anything containing aqueous ingredients, or anhydrous coming into contact with water, NEEDS a preservative. i get on my soapbox about it here.
    • two things to know: 1. preservatives are not evil. 2. antioxidants are not preservatives. rosemary eo and/or extract and vitamin e are antioxidants and can be used in anhydrous formulations, but they are not preservatives.
  • mixing EOs and herbs haphazardously¬†
    • as wonderful and easy as it sounds, you can’t just blend random essential oils and/or herbs together. everything has different constituents with varied herbal and drug interactions, in addition to varied contraindications. yes, plant extracts can and will absolutely interfere with prescribed medications. please always talk with both your doctor and your local certified herbalist.
    • other than endangering yourself, loved ones, and even pets (no EOs with pets!), at the very least, you could be – 1. wasting plant material from not understanding constituent solubility properly (ex: trying to drink nettle tea for silica… won’t happen, babycakes. check out my post on this here); 2. wasting plant material from using herbs and essential oils with opposing ‘actions’ in the body (blending chamomile and green tea).

 

is there anything you no longer practice or agree with in the ‘crunchy’ or ‘green’ world? let’s hear it!

XO, ALEXRAYE

just getting started? here are my CRUNCHY MUST-HAVES!

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

this post is going to be so fun!

i get quite a few readers that reach out to me knowing they want to start, but don’t know where. i felt the same exact way when i switched! i read anything i could get my hands on about natural living solutions and soaked it up like a sponge.

for all y’all that want to ditch the chemicals (and let’s be honest…save tons of money…), but are overwhelmed by everything you can do (completely understandable!), this post is for YOU!

going crunchy (all-natural, homesteader, etc.) is incredibly liberating and yet very daunting. it’s a complete life-changing experience and it’s easy to get lost along the switch to a more natural lifestyle.

so what DO you do?! and with what?!

good news is, you can do pretty much anything you like to & tailor it to your specific needs! bad news is, you have SO many options that it’s easy to get bogged down.

no matter which routines you choose, i’ve picked these 5 products (and some honorable mentions) that will ease your transition and that can be used for multiple things. they’ll all be a fantastic starting point for your new crunchy lifestyle!!
AND i want ALL of you crunchies to leave your “crunchy must-haves” in the comments!! i told ya this would be fun!

here we go!

don't know how to start your crunchy life? look no further than here!

  • castile soap (either liquid or bar) – this will be your ultimate cleaner. you can dilute it and use it for body wash, shampoo, laundry detergent, all-purpose household cleaner, and even put it in your homemade toothpaste! its uses are plentiful!
  • baking soda – you can use this as an all-purpose cleaner (toilets, dishes, countertops, drains, clothes, etc), skin and face exfoliation, to relieve heartburn and skin irritations (even poison ivy), in your homemade deodorant, overall odor absorber (including carpet cleaner), cockroach and ant repellant, dry shampoo, etc.
  • coconut oil – this stuff is my holy grail. i use it for lotion, shaving cream, deep conditioner, eye cream for wrinkles and dark circles, in my smoothies and meals, and in my toothpaste. i always have 2 jars on hand – one opened and being used, and one waiting for me. you want the unrefined (virgin, undeodorized) version!
  • essential oils – EOs are little liquid miracles. they can be used for anything and everything from helping rid infections to just plain ol making things smell great. you should use EOs with lots of caution, and with a plentiful amount of research under your belt. see this beginner’s guide to EOs for a quick learning blip.
  • apple cider vinegar – this can be used as a facial toner, acne spot treatment, hair “conditioner”, all-purpose household cleaner, deodorant, wart treatment, sunburn relief, in water for a drink or on a salad to balance your body internally and cleanse your lymph nodes and flush out candida (ladies!), fabric softener, fruit cleansing bath, etc. you want the raw, unfiltered kind!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • bentonite clay – you can use this on your hair & skin, and as an internal/external detox. i even put it in my toothpaste!
  • aloe – you can use this on your skin, hair, and even consume it. it’s wonderous! i love it in my morning glass of water and as a hair conditioner.
  • raw honey – again, you can use this on your skin, hair, and consume it! i LOVE it as an acne spot treatment and deeeep conditioner. you can literally wash your face with honey, too!
  • arrowroot powder/corn starch (non-GMO) – i use this stuff for dry shampoo, make-up, and deodorant. a little goes a long way for multiple uses!
  • sea salt – you can use this for cleaning, body scrubs, etc. you can mix it with coconut oil and EOs for a fantastic body scrub that’s completely unique to you!

and of course, always have an abundance of glass jars for all your concoctions!! ‚̧

WELCOME TO THE CRUNCHY COMMUNITY!! ‚̧
need to buy anything? check out my resources page for trusted companies and brands!

(fellow crunchies– WHAT ARE YOUR CRUNCHY MUST-HAVES??)

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update 1 for my transition to the “rinse only method”

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

as promised, here is my update on my journey to becoming a rinse-only gal!
(don’t know what i’m talkin about? check out this post!)

rinseonlymethod

i’ve gone 10 days without washing my hair! and boy, do i have the pictures to prove it. before i do that, i’ll run down what i’ve been doing….

– i didn’t wet my hair at all when i showered.
– i used a boar brush to help the oils get to the ends of my hair.
– i didn’t use dry shampoo.
– i used my fingers to get tangles out.
– i washed with a baking soda mix today, and followed with a heavily diluted acv rinse.

it really hasn’t been as bad as i thought for 10 days, but i mean.. it was GROSS. so gross. these pictures are from a couple hours ago before my first transition washing. yahoo! check it out:

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                                              YOWZA!

i don’t think i’ve ever been so happy to wash my hair haha.

see you again may 23rd, baking soda! (well, at the earliest, that is. i’m gonna try to go longer!)

is anyone crazy enough to try this with me?! am i too crunchy for my own good? lol!

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rinse only method (ROM) / water only washing

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

[ check out UPDATE 1 (5/9/13), UPDATE 2 (5/24/13), UPDATE 3 (6/21/13), UPDATE 4 (8/15/13) ]

oh, readers… dear readers… i will be embarking on the journey to only “washing” my hair by rinsing it with water! that’s it! seriously.¬†

water-only washing for hair

what is water-only-washing/ the ROM?
it’s literally only washing your hair with water. it’s the ultimate low maintenance hair routine, but does require more elbow grease.

with this method, you’re not stripping your hair of its natural oils, but rather spreading them down the length of your hair with preening, and “washing” away the excess with water and scritching. aka, scritching and preening will be a necessity!

scritching and preening:
scritching – to scritch, gently “scratch” and rub your scalp all over to loosen up sebum and excess scalp oils
preening – to preen using your fingers,, take small sections of your hair and gently “pull” the oils/sebum from your roots down the length of your hair. you can also preen by brushing with your bbb.
*you want to scritch and preen DAILY!

other things you’ll need to do the ROM:

  • boar bristle brush. make sure you keep it clean!
  • wooden brush
  • water-only friendly conditioner
  • satin pillow case (i know i’ve already advised this for ALL hair routines and types, but i thought it needed stressed again)
  • patience! a lot of patience.

who can/can’t try the ROM?

  • anyone! fine hair, straight hair, curly hair, thick hair… anyone and everyone!

HOW TO:

  • if you’re already no-poo/low-poo, you won’t need to clarify your hair again. if you’re switching directly from using traditional store-bought shampoos and conditioners, you will need to clarify your hair to slough off the silicones and waxes. to clarify, you can pick up a cheap $1 shampoo and mix it with a little baking soda in your palm in the shower. wash your hair with that mix from root to tip, let it sit a few minutes, gently wash a little more, and then rinse very well. you may find that your hair is dry afterwards, without all the silicones coating your hair. you’ll need to deep condition after. you can do this by using any of these deep conditioners.¬†
  • wait a few days (after you clarify/after your last no-poo/low-poo wash) until your hair gets greasy. this will be your first water-only wash day! congrats!
  • before you hop in the shower, scritch and preen! you can use your bbb and/or wooden brush to help.
  • wet your hair in the shower with very warm water. do NOT use very hot water! heat damage is heat damage, no matter if it’s from a straightener, curling iron, or hot shower water!
  • focus on small sections of your scalp, and scritch under the running water until you’ve gone over your whole scalp. this will most likely tire your arms. i know it did mine! lol. you can preen as well after you’ve scritched each section.
  • done! gently squeeze the excess water from your hair and let air dry. wait until your hair is dry to detangle. your hair is more flexible and prone to breakage when wet, and you don’t want to stress it.

things you may notice when you start:

  • greasy hair. you’ll be going through a transition phase just as you did going no-poo/low-poo. your hair will need time to adjust to not being stripped of anything. the grease production will level out anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. try not to let that scare ya off!
  • dandruff looking stuff in your hair and/or itchy scalp. this is extra sebum and will calm down as you go through the transition phase – scritching/preening and using your bbb will help tremendously with this! but the transition phase is sadly unavoidable. keep your chin up buttercup! (check out my updates, linked above!)
  • “heavy” hair. it’s from the excess grease. try to stick it out! it’ll calm down as you go through the transtion phase as well.
  • you don’t feel a need for a conditioner – this is completely normal! your own scalp oils are the BEST conditioner for your hair, and it’s very likely you won’t need to condition, either at all or maybe once every few weeks.

i hope this post helped your learn all about the ROM ‚̧

UPDATE: i’ve created a post for ROM tips for success! i hope it helps!

has anyone tried the “rinse only method”? or want to?
what are your thoughts??? would YOU do it?!?

alrighty… here i go!!

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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!!! ūüôā

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 ūüôā
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 ūüôā

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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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