I think that there are way way to many products on the market that we just simply don’t need. Maybe it is my minimalistic side, or my hatred of plastic – but I just dont feel like we need all these products. It is not that I don’t like to shop – i do, and I have plenty of clothing and home decor.. the products I don’t like being sold are the toiletry, cleaning and kitchen cheats products. I prefer a more minimalistic side – I get grumpy when my bathroom cabinet gets to full.
I get many people saying things like “Oh, I am sure it is just a little bad in that, surely it is ok”. Well, I have a few things to say to that. First of all, one of the best counter arguments I ever heard about having just a little of something bad: If you make brownies and take them to a friend, they ask whats in them. So you start to list off the ingredients.. chocolate, sugar, vanilla - at this point they pick on up to take a bite – flour, salt, cocoa powder, dog poo. Of course they are going to spit them out and be like WHAT! But you can say, ‘You know, it is just a little bit’. Still the same, just that little bit renders all that yummy (but gluteny) goodness bad bad bad! I was told this story when I was younger when I had one rather ‘bad’ friend in my group that I kept saying was ok – when they were harming us. The same goes for your body.. you eat and use all these other great, good, healthy, life promoting ingredients to then just add a dab of poo on top.
Secondly, I am working so hard to make sure that I have a clean diet, keep plastics out of my house due to the chemicals they leach – but sure I can just slather my body with all these small chemicals. I want to be chemical free. I want to have healthy kids someday and not worry that I poisoned my body and passed it to them. With the knowledge I have gained in the last few years I just cant take a little ‘poo’ into my life. I know it is a nasty comparison – but I find it to be the best to drive home the point.
However, due to popular demand I will be sharing with you which products I do use and what I use them for.
Cleaning the body and the house
- Pure Olive Oil soap (Castile Soap, any scent/version works)
- Hand dishes, toothpaste, shampoo, handsoap.
- Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, floor cleaner, multipurpose spray.
- Deep cleaning of teeth, mixing in multi-purpose cleaner, oven cleaner
- Mixing in multi-purpose cleaner, Glass cleaner.
- Floors, shower, toilet ect.
For washing the body…
Deodorant is still one of those things I am working on. Now that I have gotten my magnesium/vitamin D3 levels good – I don’t need it like I used too (ie. a bottle of the strongest stuff everywhere – an extra in the car, purse, desk ect). Now I put deodorant on when I shower (on average 2x a week) and maybe once more in-between. I have tried many natural deodorants in my time. Crystals, smelly things, homemade ones with baking soda or vodka or witch hazel, sprays, pastes, you name it! They tend to work for a few weeks, then I need to switch them up. One of the best of them was Coconut Oil – it really seemed to work really well and for a rather long time. It might work better for me now that I got the problem better managed.
What I am doing now is rotating a few deodorants. I have two Dr. Hauschka’s and rotate them. I am not sure why it works better when I rotate. The only thing that I think of is how you build up a resistance to certain medicines – like painkillers or antibiotics – and that after using the same deodorant to long I render it inactive. I think that I will be able to get it down to one, once I have had the good balance of magnesium/vitamin D3 for a few more months. Cheeseslave has been able to get all the way off the deodorants by using magnesium. Which I find very encouraging – however it can take a few months to get to that point.
Body Wash seems to be a big thing with people. They want to smell like flowers next to a waterfall. To be honest, I don’t get that. I am just not a big fan of these smelly lotions and potions. I have a bar of olive oil soap in the shower, and I used it on the pits and privates. Sometimes I will wash my face, but to be honest I feel that every time that I do my face breaks out or gets way to dry. You see I think (and science does too) that you should leave the natural oils on your body. If you were to get really caveman about it.. I highly doubt that they were scrubbing all the oils off them – they probably just used some water and had more of a rinse to get dirt and gunk off. The oils on your skin are there to form a barrier from the gunk we come in contact with in the world and out precious insides. Our skins absorb so much – it is our first defence and in my opinion (and many science papers too) we are harming ourselves by stripping it away every day. So I am a big fan of the rinse aways the dirt and excess oil (if there is any) and get on with life theory.
“Stop scrubbing – your skin is not the bathroom floor.”
So many times people say things about how they have such oily skin or such dry skin and that they are trying this + this + that product to combat it. I have read and seen in friends that when they just stop scrubbing all that natural oil the body is producing that their skin clears up and looks great! It is the same as the hair/scalp (Read my other article about Washing Hair). When you overwash your hair – meaning that you strip all the natural oils away – your body thinks ‘Oh! We must not have made enough oil yesterday, so we need to up the amount we make today.’ Then you get over oily. It is as simple as that. I can not seem to keep count of the compliments I get about how nice my skin is. I am always asked what lotion it is or concealer it is that I am using as my skin looks so healthy and natural. People are always really surprised at the fact that the only thing going on my face is water, coconut oil (sometimes), and for special events maybe a little concealer under the eyes.
Shampoo As you all know from above and my previous post about Not Washing My Hair that I don’t use shampoo. If you read the old article, it is worth reading through the comments to see what I learned and changed along the way. As of the last 9+ months, I have been using a bar of olive oil soap. About once per week, I brush my hair very well to loosen anything stuck in it and wash it with just bar soap – also not with too hot water, that will lead to dried out skin equalling dandruff. I have also, taken the same bar, chopped it up and put it in a liter of warm water (glass jar). Then left it on the counter for a week and it dissolves into a thick ‘shampoo’ like consistency. I have this in the bathroom too.
Shaving cream Well, we have never been friends. I got so much flack when I was growing up for not using it (Mostly due to knicking myself badly when I was learning and getting told shaving cream was the only way to avoid it). I just did not like the feel. I prefer to just use water sometimes a little olive oil soap on the hands and a rub over the legs.. but really water works just fine. When I have used shaving cream in the past, it has given me really dry skin!
I have also heard about people using coconut oil, think that would work great if you needed an alternative to water or shaving cream.
Lotion & Lipbalm Coconut oil! But really, when you let your skin take care of itself (ie. not stripping away the natural oils) there is not to much of a need to lotions. I use coconut oil maybe 3x a month on my skin. I use it sometimes abit more on my lips, if they get abit wind-dry from the cold and windy Norway. Though unless I am eating poorly, I tend to not need it!
Toothpaste & Mouthwash There is a long post dedicated to this. I would just like to add in additon to using soap, I also use baking soda on Sundays. I just picked Sundays becuase it is easy for me to remember. It is nice to use it once a week, it polishes up the teeth and helps take of any tough stains that have shown up. As for mouth wash, when I feel I need it or when some sickness has been going around I take one capful of Hydrogen Peroxide and swoosh it around for about a minute in my mouth. It also helps remove stains from the teeth and is obviously killing the bad bacteria. Be forewarned - if you have never used Peroxide in your mouth.. if foams like crazy!
Now on to cleaning the house…
There are some eco reasons I prefer not to use standard detergents… if you are interested let me know or do a Google search on natural vs. chemical surfactant’s.
Lanundry I used to use soapnuts.. and while I like them, I wanted to find something 1. easier to get ahold of where I live and 2. abit easier to use. So now I am using Sal Suds, from Dr. Bronner. (More info about Sal Suds below) The downside is that it does come in a plastic bottle, but it is post consumer recycled plastic. The soap itself is super concentrated so it last for ages. I think I might only need two 1 liter bottles per year at this point for the laundry.
Dishwasher Detergent This is one of my newest experiments. Add 1-2 teaspoons Sal Suds to your dishwasher (amount depends on the size you have). Add White Vinegar to the rinse aid. Wash as normal. Sadly this has not worked as well as I wanted it too. It might just be that my dishwasher is not all that amazing or the fact that we cook with fats. The dishes seem to have a odd film and sometimes dirty spots. — so on this it is back to the drawing board, so to speak.
A few words about Sal Suds. Firstly you can buy Sal Suds from my favorite online store - iHerb! Sal Suds are:
- Biodegradable Cleaner
- 100% Cruelty Free
- Preservative Free
- No Added Color
- Best of all - Complete Ingredient Disclosure
So those Ingredients are:
Water, sodium lauryl sulfate, coco-betaine, decyl glucoside, abies balsamea (balsam Canada) needle oil, tsuga canadensis (spruce) oil, citric acid, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium hydroxide.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This surfactant cuts grease and dirt, generates copious suds, and biodegrades quickly and completely. SLS is made by combining a sulfate group with lauryl alcohol from coconut oil, then attaching sodium. If improperly formulated, SLS can irritate skin, but our superb formula uses coco-betaine and lauryl glucoside to counter this.
Coco-Betaine: Mild and easily biodegradable, coco-betaine is formed by combining coconut fatty acids with betaine (a nature-identical synthetic so-named because it was first discovered in sugar beets). This foam-boosting cleansing agent buffers irritation caused by SLS.
Decyl Glucoside: This powerful grease-cutting surfactant is especially mild and quickly biodegradable, and is made by combining glucose from corn with fatty alcohols from coconut and palm kernel oils. Lauryl glucoside not only works with SLS to cut dirt and oily soils with exceptional ease, but also combines with coco-betaine to give Sal Suds smooth mildness.
Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Needle Oil & Tsuga Canadensis (Spruce) Oil: Pure essential oils from fir and spruce give Sal Suds its wonderful aroma. Most other cleaners use synthetic fragrances or cheap harsh pine stump oil.
Sal Suds is NOT for the skin. It is a natural all-purpose cleaner.
Floors, All-Purpose Spray, Windows, Toilet Cleaner Just a few things will get those 3 covered. Sal Suds or a steam vacuum for the floor. I love my steam vacuum/mop! It has attachments that come off and allow me to clean the shower, toilet, windows, floors and more with it. yay! Also, a little bit of Sal Suds in a bucket of water will clean the floors and more! One tablespoon in a spray bottle with water will work for the counters and such. I have also cleaner counters (wooden) with vinegar in a spray bottle. Then if there is a tough spot – like the stove – I break out the baking soda. Sprinkle some baking soda in the over and spray vinegar over it. The chemical reaction will break up all the gunk and make it super easy to clean. Use that same spray bottle of vinegar on glass and mirrors. There is no need to dilute the vinegar. For the toilet bowl, sprinkle in a bit of baking soda and scrub – I think it works great!
That is how cleaning is done in my house! If you have any questions just let me know As you can see I am not a fan of anitbacterial soaps. They kill out bacteria – the good and bad. They are also being attributed to low immunity in the US.
Today I watched Genetic Roulette.. these are my thoughts on the documentary:
I hear a lot that I am “over the top” and such. I hear things like these 3 statements and I have even heard them all from the same person(s) before:
“No one used to be so concerned over food, just eat what is at the store, stop worrying. The government is watching out and testing things”
“Back 30 years ago there were no food allergies, I think people are just oversensitive or something”
“People never used to be sick this much, but I just think it must be that we did not have names for all these things people have now or the science didn’t pick up on them. People died, they did not die from XYZ”
These statements sadden me. It is like people have figured it out but are being to naive to accept it. For example in 1996 GMO Corn was introduced to the states. In the years following disease rose majorly in inflammation based disease.
These GMO super bug grains like corn or wheat that can fight off ‘pests’ (pestacides) and kill them by breaking there (the bugs) stomachs open are being ingested by millions daily – not just once but in almost all types of food. These GMO’s deplete the minerals in your food, making your food sick. Then your food (i.e. cow) and you eat this sick food and sick animals… not giving you much nutrition to keep you healthy. Then not only did you eat sick food and therefore have a sick stomach (leaky gut/weak immune system) you have introduced those pesticides into your intestines and they can take over your gut flora (bacteria) and make it bad. Some studies show too that once you get enough of these pesticides in your stomach that they will reproduce themselves in your stomach.. making this problem ever so long.
I think the freakiest part of the documentary to me (mind you, all of this stuff was freaky) was when they were talking about the birth defects. They have done lots of testing on mice with GMO feed. Birth rates went down, testicles changed from pink to a strange blue color, by the 3rd generation some lost the ability to reproduce and (this part with made me sick!) some had HAIR growing in their mouths!!! (pictured below)
Between all my research about food quality – non gmo, organic, whole food, paleo foods ect. paired with my hatred of plastic plus my hatred of cleaning chemicals I have see one common thread in all these. Chemicals. All these things that are making us sick have chemicals that are not natural in them that cause all types of disease in people. Things like leaky guts and autism, BPA factories and infertility, and grains and obesity. Going back to that “they did not have these diseases back in the day” statement.. it is probably somewhat true. People were eating some grains (probably even the late cave-peoples) but they were pure – as nature intended them to be. Now they are all hopped up on hormones and chemicals. It makes so much sense to me that when people switch to whole food or paleo diets that they start having medical break throughs. I have read 100′s of accounts of diseases leaving, aliments being healed, autism reversing and so on.. so much so that I feel like a 1910 fair ground sales man selling magical elixers when I talk to people about this. But I know these things are true, I have had it happen to me when I switched. No more thyroid problems or medicine for me! yay!
The biggest thing for me now is finding a sustainable way of life. In some of my previous post I have stated that I am working toward a guilt free compromise. A small update about that. I have added a few things back into my life that I am ok with. Cleaning for example, I have my vinegar and baking soda of course – but I have added in Grønnsåpe. Grønnsåpe was originally saponfied hemp oil, and sometimes still is. But more often these days they are mixing a few oils together for it like rutabaga or vegetable soaps. I think of it like Castile soap for my floors. As it is a wood cleaning soap. We have also started to buy salad items again. It is next to impossible to get salad items plastic free here. So we just stopped eating salad items due to my plastic hatred. However, chemical absorption from plastic is highest in fatty items. So it should be relatively low in salad lettuce and spinach.
Ok, back to the documentary at hand. Genetic Roulette is one of my top 10 documentaries everyone should see. I highly recommend it, and suggest you set aside a simple hour and half to watch this! I have found a version of it online in full – so you don’t have to run around the internet looking for a version to watch or trying to download it somewhere. I hope that this copy stays up for awhile, but I can not guarantee.. so watch it sooner than later!
So what do YOU THINK?
I have not posted anything in 3 months, so I figure it is time for an update. I have taken a no stress approch with this blog, my other 2 blogs (Expats and Design) keep me rather busy in the blog world. So I decided, on this one – when I post I post and I am not going to stress or worry about it. This post is going to be lots of random
In September Ole and I became home owners. We are really thrilled with our new place. We live 500 feet from the harbor now, which is great because we can walk into town to meet friends for drinks and it only take 5 minutes to get there. The harbor in Stavanger is in the middle of down town, you can see out house where the pink star (lower right) is in the photo above. This is making us walk more, which is good for us.
Over the summer and through the move we have stopped tracking our plastic. Between traveling and packing and settling it has just been busy. I think we will pick up in the new year, and Ill randomly post the results. Of course back in May we had only 579 grams of plastic, so the goal is to have less.
I have started brewing kombucha. Someday Ill write a more detailed post about it. I currently have 4 litters chilling in the basement. I also finally splurged and got my Kenwood KM020! It is great, I am so excited about all the things I can make with it. It is great to have a proper egg beater/whipper now, since I use alot of whipped egg whites in my cooking. I am going to buy the ice cream attachment and the food processor attachment. I want to control what is in our ice cream and not have the plastic box it comes in. I really hate seeing all the weird stuff that is added to ice cream these days. Check out this video, I can not find the clip anywhere else – you will be so shocked at what is in your ice cream. I have been scouting lots of recipes to try when I get the ice cream attachment for my Kenwood! I have had to come to a middle ground on buying stuff that comes wrapped in plastic. I started to feel really guilty. But over time I realize that buying this machine was going to make my life much easier and yummier and save load of plastic from being used by us.
The hygiene update – We are still brushing our teeth with pure soap, with the occasional baking soda scrub. I am still not washing my hair, just water and a good scrub. However occasionally there is abit of a build up so then I take a bar of pure castile soap and scrub my scalp with it. I am have really been learning about how we need to allow the oils our skin produces to stay on our skin. They are there for a reason, and just like your hair if you over wash and strip the oils off your skin will overproduce. Why do you think so many women who wear lots of makeup and wash their face daily have a oily skin issue?
The health update – During the summer I took myself off my thyroid meds (synthyroid) and cut out gluten+grains and mostly all sugar. I went in this month to get blood work done to see how my thyroid was doing. I was abit worried that my doctor was going to be furious with me and my number were going to be bad. Well, my doctor was shocked at how great my numbers were. He really could not get over it! He wants to bring me back in for another test in 3 months to make sure it is not a fluke – I know it is not – and go from there. So on my next round of test I am going to let the doc know why my number are so good. *I still hope he is not upset. I have tons of energy and feel great. I have lost 7.5 inches from my hips without really working out at all. I can just imagine that if I were working out the results would be so much more! If you are not aware of the dangers (even if you are not allergic) of gluten, read this article and this one too if you are really interested!
The food update – We are still buying all our meat from Idsøe, the local butcher. They know to wrap our meat in paper now without us even asking. I love it! The farmers market is starting to thin out, I am bummer about it. I really dislike that they shrink-wrap the paprikas (bell peppers) here when you buy from the normal store. I have learned on trick that is worth sharing. When you buy chives or green onions, keep the roots. Plant them or put them in a cup of water and give them plenty of light. They will continually grow, all you have to do is cut them down to the stem and enjoy not having to buy them ever again (ok well I am sure at some point!). If I am not going to be using the green onions, I still cut them off when they are ‘full grown’ so they dont wilt and I freeze them for later.
Vaccinations are getting lots of heat, and they should be. In one of the States they have made a vaccine a child’s choice or not to get it, they administer them at school.. people are getting sick and getting brain damage from the vaccines. Read about it here. I have never been a fan of vaccines, I think that there are a few worth getting. But the way it is back home in the States, I feel like there are 100′s of vaccines now. Well there is a new movie out I want to see called The Greater Good. Check out the trailer for it below. And if you are interested in more about vaccines and their dangers check out the great info on Kelly’s blog here.
Crazy isn’t it! Let me know what you think.
It has been quiet on here for a few months, mostly due to summer vacation and that I am have been learning a ton about food and wanted to have more knowledge before sharing with everyone.
In the book she goes food group by food group. A main point with her is eating local and seasonal. Local meaning the food was made/grown 150 mile / 240 kilometer circle around your house. The goal is to try to get as much of the food can this way. It has a few benefits 1) When it is local, it has not sat in a plane and on 5 trucks to get to the general store down the street from you – which means fresher and less pollution and 2) you have just put your money to good use in your area, not back up to the big companies. I get that everything you need cannot be made by you, but when you can give your money to farmer Joe and know that it is helping his family that is great. But when you can’t buy local, find a smaller store that maybe is family run and support their jobs. For me there are a few things that I need that are just not local like Olive oil, coconut oil, olives, some spices, coca powder.
Another thing in the book she talks about is whole fat dairy. Why are we modifying something so natural. Your body needs to absorb the nutrients in the milk – but shocker (and with all nutrients) you need fat to adsorb them. So when you think you are being healthy downing that glass o skim milk, it is just wasted. Butter also, not margarine or fake butter – get the real stuff and slather it on. This is where I can not explain or I would just have to copy chapters of the book here.. read the book for the real evidence of why the fat is good .. it does not cause heart and health issue. She also talks about ferments and sprouting. Go on read it!!
So since May we have switched even more to local food, and whole foods like butter, whole milk, whole yogurt with out all those sugars or preservatives. Every Saturday we go into to town, we go the the butchers, farmers market, sometimes the organic store and then the ‘normal’ store for the final things .. in that order. I love knowing I am supporting the locals.
In the book she mentions the Weston A. Price foundation (WAPF). So being the nerd I am I looked them up. There site is abit drab, so I looked around to see who was blogging about it. I found The Healthy Home Economist, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and Cheeseslave. Through them I have been learning about good fats, traditional food preparation and eating nutrient dense foods. I could go on and on, but the best is if you are intersted in this ‘real food’ stuff then check out those blogs, watch there videos and get them in your rss – they are just a huge source of wisdom.
Dont’ worry, we are getting to the Paleo part. My thyroid is not up to par, as some of you may know. I found out that many people with a bum thyroid do not tolerate gluten. So through WAPF and those blogs mentioned, I found out about GAPS. Basically, GAPS is a program to heal your gut lining. Your gut is very important, when a child is being formed, the egg splits into two – the brain and the gut. Your guts bacteria can go bad if it is not take care of well and cause a slew of problem from diseases to heartburn. If your interested in more about GAPS or know someone that could benefit from it, read this article for an overview. Over the summer, I have been playing with the thought of going on GAPS starting in August. So on gaps there is no gluten for some time, so leading up to August I tried to cut as much gluten and grains out – instantly I felt better. I was shocked, I did not realize how much they made me feel like crap.
I got to googling around trying to find some grain free meals, taking away pasta, bread, oatmeal ect was going to take a mind shift. In time I came across Mark’s Daily Apple (MDA). Mark has a book out called the Primal Blueprint, and a blog full of great articles plus a forum with a great community of people to chat with.
Paleo (Primal / caveman / grok) is eating our ancestors would have way back in the caveman days. MDA has a great Primal 101 page full of the most important articles to get going, so I started reading through the majority of them. This also of the sudden just made perfect sense to me. You eat lots of vegetables, fish and meats, some fruit, some nuts, little dairy (which is debatable, but I do) and lots of fats! You are basically eating what was around in nature all those years ago – the time before hospitals and medicine cabinets – the time where people still lived and the world went on. You also are to exercise as they would – they have given ‘they’ a name, Grok. So you are to exercise and eat as Grok would have. I am working into the exercise part, but we go the food part down. A typical day for me now looks like this – Breakfast, bacon with 2 eggs fried in bacon fat. Lunch, massive salad of lettuce, olives, cheese, chicken, avocado, a soft boiled egg and some olive oil with a cup of whole milk. Dinner, large piece of meat or fish and a large serving of sautéed veggies in butter. Then dessert, I have chocolate banana ice cream (recipe will be coming) or a piece of dark chocolate or fruit. Snacks, hand full of nuts or some fruit.
I think that this video below is a nice overview of the primal life. However, as I mentioned before I am a dairy consumer. I think that it is on of the best things. The only thing I don’t agree with in the video is that he says we can’t process dairy. I get that some cannot. But I do not believe that raw natural dairy causes disease ect – I think the opposite, whole milk heals and nourishes. (and of course I am never going to get into religion or evolution on this blog, so just take the video for it’s facts)
So now I am living a Paleo + Traditional (Real Food + WAPF) way of life.. not a diet. I’ll have meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and whole dairy such as yogurt, whole milk, cheese plus ferments that are pro-biotic – like kefir, kombucha, fermented vegetables, and sour cream ect. I feel great and am so happy to have found this path, I am looking forward to the results that come from it which should be better health and a longer happier life.
[I'll be posting soon about the dangers of gluten, even for people who don't think they are sensitive to them! Stay Tunned.]
How true is that! Just like Barbie gave me unrealistic expectations about my hips and thighs… but that is another story. Today, we talk about hair.
So another cat is coming out of the bag. I do not wash my hair. Yes, you heard (*read) that right, no shampoo or conditioners go on my hair. Just good ol’ water. If you have been following along, you know that earlier this year in attempt to get away from the dangerous chemicals in shampoo and conditioner, I switched to a natural alternative. I could not bear the idea that those chemicals were seeping into my skin! Read more about that here, it is a great option in my opinion – I just wanted to take it to another level.
So in March I decided to go ‘unwashed’. I read a series of articles (here, here and here) and as is typical with me, I decided to jump in and give it a go. Autumn, at the Beheld, was kind enough to give me some advice. And answer my many questions along the way. The first few weeks I kept my hair up, as I had been warned it was going to be an oily ‘break in’ period. Many people always say that their hair gets oily the next day, so they cannot imagine a week.. or even 2 days without shampoo. I thought the same thing too, growing up I was notorious for having greasy hair – My Dad can attest to it, it was always ‘Fonda wash your hair’ or ‘ Fonda, when was the last time you washed your hair’ or my favorite, ‘If you cannot remember when you last washed your hair it has been too long, go shower now’. Poor Dad, but maybe I was on to something as a teen : P.
You see, when you strip the natural oils off your hair everyday .. or every other day.. your scalp thinks that it needs to produce x amount of new oil every day to keep it healthy. So, you have to break your scalps habits. Which takes around 5-8 weeks – mine took 5 ish, while I have heard people say that theirs took more. There are a few tricks that I have picked up along the way.
- For your ‘break in’ period, ponytails are great (and now that it is summer, you have a great excuse). If you wear your hair down it is going to be chunky – sorry I am not sure of another way to explain it, chunky seems to work best in this case. But that does go away with time..
- Brush your hair as much as possible, every day if you can. Use a boar bristle brush, and work from the roots down to the ends. This helps distribute your oils and also massages your scalp. I have had two different boar bristle brushes. Make sure to test some out if you are not impressed. The first one I got was highly reviewed online, but I found it was not stiff enough to get through my hair, it just flattened on my head. But then my friend traveled to the UK and surprised me with a Diane brush, and it works so much better.
- When you are having oily days, take some baby powder in your hands and run in into your scalp. Some days that are extra oily, I have sprinkled it right on my head and rubbed it (like a shampoo). I suggest to check this at night, then any ‘white residue’ while wear off in the night. If not, and you apply in the morning – just make sure you rub well or else you will appear to have greys. Oily days will continue even after the ‘break in’ they will just not be nearly as bad. Now I find most days are not oily.
- Try to go as long as possible between rinses/washes. When you do ‘wash’ just do like normal but without the shampoo or conditioner. Scrub your scalp well, you do want to clean it and take care of the dead skin (sorry). I now try to ‘wash’ every 10 days. The reason I wait so long, is the day after a wash your hair … ok my hair.. freaks out. I think that my hair has gotten so used to the oils sticking around that when it gets ‘washed’ that it loses its bounce and looks icky – it is like it needs to dry out even after it is dry. I chatted with Autumn about this too, she agreed that it needs some breathing time after a wash. I find that it takes around 8 hours to do so. Also, I have found that it is much less ick if I ‘wash’ with warm and not hot water.
There are some great benefits to letting your hair go natural and take care of itself.
- No more buying products that make tons of claims and drain the bank account. Water is free.
- When your hair is naturally oiled up, you have this natural mouse like texture in it. It is rather hard to explain, but if you have long hair then think of the best mouse you have ever had in your hair. It is like that. If I want my hair to by curly, then it holds a curly. If I want straight hair, then it is straight. Without any products. Thats another thing Autumn over at The Beheld agrees with me about, she had the same realization too! I generally wear my hair down, wavy with abit of curl. I never need to do anything to it, it just stays and is light and airy. I think it is best described now as beach hair. But of course everyones will be different.
- My hair is so healthy now, it feels healthy and it looks healthy! I would imagine yours would be too!
- There is so much time saved. Not shampooing, no conditioning and waiting for the conditioner to soak in. No oil treatments. And, No getting up early to style – this obviously would not work if my hair did not have the tiny bit of curl I like and needed to curl my hair. But then again, that would be another world for me.
- You use less water in the shower. Better on the hot water bill!
- If you dont brush your hair for a few days (I tend to go like 5 sometimes, especially if I am really loving how it looks) you will be so surprised at how easily it brushes through. It is amazing. I always have had tangely hair, but now the natural oils keep it all apart. It is really great to just easily brush through it.
Then there are the cons, which I feel to be fair I need to point out. These don’t really bother me, but might bother you.
- Your hair will smell like hair. Gasp! If you want a sweet or flowery smell, you can make a spray with some essential oils, but I have no desire too. For the first few weeks I had Ole regularly smell my hair (thanks for putting up with me!) and he said it is fine. He has been informed to say if it ever smells. So far 3 months in, no stink.
- Yes, it can be greasy. Some days are more than others. But really just a bit of baby powder goes a long way. Apply it, brush it through if need be and the shiny oil is gone! Poof!
- It is not exactly an easy or open topic to chat about. Kinda like with my ‘I don’t use toothpaste’ choice, you will get some odd looks if you talk about it. But really, who needs to know (unless like this post and you think it will help or inspire people).
This is definite something to consider. I am thrilled that I am not using chemicals and that I am saving loads of money. But if it is not for you, consider a more natural hair cleaning approach to avid the harsh chemicals – read this idea about ACV and Baking Soda. I will post an update in the future, in the meantime however- feel free to ask any questions you might have!
UPDATE Winter 2012:
I have now started to use (as I have talked about in the comments below) pure olive oil soap on my roots about once per week. I found that after some time, I just needed to get some of the ‘buildup’ of my scalp. I just was the roots/scalp and rinse it off, the rinsing part takes care of the rest of the hair – the soapish water runs over all my hair but does not dry it out. If I want to prolong the time between washes I just put a very small amount of baby powder on my roots and rub it in, not only does it take away any oily shine – it also is great for styling! It is still very easy to brush my hair, even if I have not brushed it for many days.
I have used the soap as a bar, just rubbing it on the scalp. While this worked for me, I wanted to have an option that was more ‘normal’ for Ole so I now liquidize it. I take around 700 ml of hot water and 1 block of soap (generally chopped up into smaller pieces, like 8). I leave this on the counter for a few days and shake it when i go past. This makes a nice thick creamy soap that we now use for ‘shampoo’, dish soap, and hand soap.
I have gotten many questions about dandurf. I do not seem to ever have dandurf anymore either. I see this as a bonus of this lifestyle of no/limited checmicals and eating how I do. I take magnesium and vitamin D3, they do wonders for the skin. I also am eating plenty of natural fats which nourish the skin. I think that if you are getting dandurf look into what you are eating, take some Cod Liver Oil and vitmin D3 and read up on the subject.