How To Ditch Your Shampoo For Good!

photoNow that I have officially gone 54 days without using shampoo I feel like I am qualified to tell you *how * to do it.

Do you live in a city with soft water? This is a biggie for going shampoo free unless you have a water softener attached to your shower head.

After gauging the softness of your water all you do is this:

Get a squeeze bottle or an empty mustard or ketchup bottle. Something like THIS.

{The reason this type of bottle is necessary is to ensure you are able to apply the baking soda solution directly to your roots. Trust me–it makes this whole process A LOT easier! I’ve tried rubbing in a baking soda paste in my hair but it was just too stressful.}

Make your solution of baking soda and water. Use about one tablespoon of baking soda in your bottle. The solution should feel “slippery” on your hands when you apply it. You’ll know what I’m talking about…

Apply your solution ONLY to your roots and massage into your scalp and hair with your hands. Rinse well.

Do you have long hair?

If yes, I do not recommend using Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse.

If not, you should be just fine using an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.

For me, the ACV made my hair impossible to brush. I recommend either nothing at all or if you absolutely feel like you need a rinse try Aloe Vera juice diluted with water. I also came across this recipe for a hair detangler that I can’t wait to try from Green Momma: http://www.greenmommas.net/2013/03/homemade-hair-detangler.html

SOME TIPS ON BRUSHING YOUR HAIR

My sweet and handsome hubs surprised me one day with this Boar Bristle Brush!

Why, yes, that is an odd gift! LOL!

I had been complaining about my old conair brush that seemed to be ferociously ripping my hair out when I tried to brush it.

Hubs to the rescue with boar bristles!

Boar bristles are great for distributing your hair’s natural oils evenly throughout your hair. This is essential when going shampoo free because you want to make sure your natural oils are replenishing the entirety of your hair including your ends.

I don’t call it “brushing my hair anymore”, I now refer to is as “redistributing the wealth”. Socialist hair is healthy hair!

What!? I don’t even know what that means…I am not socialist in case you were worried…

Anyway,

Make sure to brush your hair everyday if you have issues with tangling.

Try to stretch out the frequency of which you wash your hair a little at a time. I can go 3 days now without washing my hair. I would try to go longer but I’ve had to maintain a job through this process sooo….yeah.

Good luck!

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Homemade Cinnamon and Wild Orange Lip Plumper!

lipplumpHello Natural Beauties!

Would you like to attain luscious and naturally voluptuous lips without the harsh chemicals that store-bought plumpers contain? Look no further! I have created a citrusy-cinnamon lip balm that will wake those luscious lips up!

Back in my high school days I was obsessed with the very popular lip gloss called Lip Venom. Have you ever used it? It works great! But the problem is this:

Hydrogenated Polysobulene, Jojoba oil, Natural Essences, Propylparaben, D&C Red #6.

Yup, those are the ingredients of Lip Venom. Not really sure what hydrogenated polysobulene is but I’m pretty sure it’s¬† not something I want to eat. And I definitely don’t want to be eating propylbaraben and D&C Red #6. Thanks, though! Not to mention, it goes for a whopping 20 bucks! Um, hello, I can make something just as good for a fraction of the cost!

Without further ado, here are the ingredients you will need:

7-8 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil (if you have sensitive lips you may want to use less–this stuff can burn but it sure works! ūüėČ

Note: I experimented with different things for the plumping effect. I tried peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon powder, cayenne tincture, etc. Nothing works as well as cinnamon bark oil. Peppermint oil won the runner up position so if you do not have cinnamon bark oil, try peppermint!)

5-6 drops of Wild Orange essential oil (you can experiment with your complimentary oil…I thought cinnamon mixed well with orange)

1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or enough to fill the size of your lip gloss pot, whatever that amount may be)

an empty/clean lip gloss pot

photo(6)

Directions:

In a small bowl mix melted coconut oil with essential oils.

Pour or spoon carefully into emptied pot

Let the mixture dry–I set it in my freezer for a little while so that it could harden.

REMEMBER: The point at which coconut oil melts is 78 degrees. Be very careful with putting this in your purse or pocket as it may melt and spill when you open it. Keep it in a cool place so that it doesn’t become a mess!

Viola! Apply that and pucker up! I’m sure your sweetheart will love it too!

This post is a part of Thank Your Body Thursday! Check it out!

Day 23 No Shampoo!

Day 23 No Shampoo!

Hair lookin’ good, eh?

I’ve stopped using Apple Cider Vinegar for the time being. I started to think it was making my hair harder to brush. My hair feels more manageable when I don’t use it which is sort of weird.

I can go 2.5 days until I feel like a grease head. Everything is going really well so now it’s time to try to spread out the washing. It seems like this is the hardest part since I have to simultaneously look like a well-groomed person for work everyday.

I need a vacation so that I can not wash my hair.

If you want to see my other blog posts on going shampoo free here they are:

http://lifelibertyhealthiness.com/2013/01/28/day-8-no-shampoo/

http://lifelibertyhealthiness.com/2013/01/22/the-first-day-of-hair-detox-no-shampoo/

Day 8 No Shampoo!

I’m seriously having the best luck with this!

My hair is starting to come out of the cotton-ball spider web, straw/hay stage.

I haven’t attempted a full brush yet however. I hope I don’t start forming dreadlocks. I just couldn’t brush it with the type of brush I had when it was so hay-like. I was ripping more hair off then I was untangling. I hear that a boar bristle brush really helps with this process because it is gentle and does not snag. Plus, it is great for redistributing your hair’s natural oils from the roots to the ends.

I have also been spraying my hair with a tad bit of diluted 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. I think I got a little carried away though, still coming down from a panic attack about how light my hair started to look.¬† I am going to switch to a chamomile conditioner now…along with my ACV rinse.

I have not had a problem with greasiness. I’m going to start waiting longer between washes now. I was only doing every other day. Let’s see if I can make it ’til Thursday without looking like a greasball!

Here are some tips I’ve learned since I started:

1. I have the best luck with putting 2 tablespoons of Baking Soda in about 2 cups of water and putting it in a squeeze bottle. (preferably one with a pointed tip–this is working great for specifically targeting the roots)

2. I have heard that your baking soda/water solution is at the right amount when it feels slippery or slimy in your hands. If you have hard water, this could take more baking soda. For me, it only takes about 1 tablespoon for it to feel slippery because of the softness of Portland’s water.

3. If you can’t brush it–don’t. You’ll just break your ends.

4. Never brush your hair when it is wet. It snags more.

5. If you are paranoid your head smells like Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s really only you that can smell it. I could have sworn I was walking around smelling like salad dressing but my hubs said he couldn’t smell it!

phonto

Homemade Charcoal & Coconut Oil Eyeliner

I’ve been using activated charcoal as a natural teeth-whitener (inspired by Mommypotamus’ guest post at The Healthy Home Economist Blog) and it got me thinking about what else I could use the charcoal for. Thus, my homemade charcoal eyeliner was invented.

IMG_4329

I love homemade beauty and body care products. I enjoy making them and I also enjoy the savings that entail. So I thought, why not try to make a natural eyeliner? I had never really worried much about the ingredients that were in the store bought liquid eyeliner I usually use but so I did some research. It’s amazing all the crap they squeeze into an eyeliner formula:

Water(Aqua), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Xathan Gum, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Yellow No. 5 Lake (CI 19140), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090

At first glance I see three huge offenders: two types of Parabens and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

In a study done by the Department of Opthamology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, researchers found that even in small amounts, eye drops containing Methylparabens are likely to damage eye tissue and/or cause ocular surface disease. Granted, you do not put eyeliner on your eyeball but I still feel that such a toxic substance is not a good idea to apply to the delicate skin surrounding your eye. Not to mention, if any gets in your eye is it likely to be quickly absorbed by surrounding mucous membranes.

Regarding the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, I am actually shocked to see it in eyeliner. Normally it is used in shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, and detergents as a surfactant. For cryin’ out loud, why would you need it in your eyeliner? According to the Environmental Working Group:

“[SLS is a] harsh skin irritant that may also result in the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye-damage, central nervous system depression, laboured breathing, diarrhoea, severe skin irritation and even death.”

In numerous studies SLS has also been linked to

  • Irritation of the skin and eyes
  • Organ toxicity
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
  • Possible mutations and cancer

Of course if an animal has a forcible large intake of toxic chemicals the results will be sudden disease. However, in humans, it’s the gradual intake that we must be worried about. Dr. Mercola pointed out, we do not have evidence or studies done to see the long term effects:

“But high levels of SLS intake, either orally or through the skin, are not ordinarily experienced in normal cosmetics use‚ÄĒit’s the gradual, cumulative effects of long-term, repeated exposures that are the real concern. And there is a serious lack of long-term studies on ALL of the chemicals in these products‚ÄĒso we don’t really know what the long-term effects are.”

After knowing this, and knowing how easy it is to make this two-ingredient eyeliner, I’ll be sticking with homemade hippie eyeliner, thank you very much! ūüėČ

Here are the supplies you will need:

1 empty eyeshadow or gel eyeliner pot. (I just emptied an old cream eyeshadow and used the pot)

1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil

1 280 mg. capsule of activated charcoal (sold in the supplement aisle of your co-op or health food store or sometimes in the bulk section)

toothpick for stirring

angled eyeliner brush for application. (see above picture for what that looks like. you can also use a thin paintbrush)

Directions:

Empty the capsule of activated charcoal into the pot.

Melt your coconut oil and pour into pot.

Mix it up evenly with your toothpick.

Note: You can adjust the measurements to how desired blackness. This is a very workable combination.

Before you use your eyeliner, run it under some hot water if the coconut oil has solidified. You can still use it in the solidified form but it will be more like a black eyeshadow.

Here is what mine looks like painted on:

IMG_8627
Let me know how this works for you. Have fun!
Sources:
This post is linked up at Thank Your Body Thursday! Check it out!
Also linked to GNOWFGLINS.com Simple Lives Thursday!
Also linked to Food Renegade’s Real Food Friday!

The First Day of Hair Detox: No Shampoo!

Today is my first day washing my hair without shampoo. I’ve been inspired. After reading my friend Megan’s blog post about her one year anniversary going shampoo free and loving in, things have clicked.

I tried this a while back but it didn’t work out. I didn’t realize the reason behind the detox period and was impatient with my greasy hair.

I also didn’t know about all of the benefits of going ‘poo free. I was mostly worried about the chemicals in regular shampoo but figured that natural shampoo without nasty chemicals would be okay. OH how wrong I was.

1. Regular shampoo is drying (especially shampoo that contains sulphates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate–this is the worst!) and strips your hair of all of it’s natural oils, which in turn make your hair greasier as it tries to compensate. It’s a vicious cycle.

2. Regular shampoo adds a polymer and/or glycerin coating which is essentially like putting plastic on your hair.

3. When using regular shampoo your hair will need washing more often to combat the excessive oil production.

4. A lot of people notice their hair naturally lightening when going no ‘poo. *Sweet!*

5. Your hair will be shinier and more manageable.

6. You’ll save a ton of money on shampoo and conditioner. Especially if you are like me and have a lot of hair.

These are the ingredients in Pantene Pro-V:

Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Disodium EDTA, PEG-7M, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

You can see how that would do a number on your poor hair….

I have not dyed my hair in over a year, expose my hair to a lot of sunshine, blow dry, or straighten it (unless it’s a special occasion) but my hair is still breaking at the ends, very dry, and practically impossible to brush! Could this be from a daily use of shampoo? Can I restore my hair to it’s full glory by going shampoo free?

The detox period happens when your hair is transitioning from oil over-production to normal oil production. Hence, the greasy hair at the beginning. Slowly, it will begin to understand that it can calm down and stop producing so much oil. The amount of time this takes varies from head to head. I am assuming my hair will have a pretty long detox period, so if you see me and my hair is greasy, you’ll know why.

What will I use instead of shampoo and conditioner you ask?

Baking soda for shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar dilution for a rinse.

That’s it!

There are many ways of application. I’ve read of some people applying their baking soda before getting in the shower to dry hair then rinsing it out in the shower. Some people mix it with a little water and pour it over their head in the shower.

I’ve read about people putting their ACV dilution (1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water) in a spray bottle (which I will do when I acquire a spray bottle). For now, I’ve put my solution in an old shampoo bottle and will pour it over my head mostly focusing on the ends of my hair.

There are some variations you can use with the rinse. I’ve read about Chamomile tea rinses, spritzing with food grade hydrogen peroxide (this may lighten up your hair extra quick), and my favorite, the Hibiscus rinse. If you missed my post about the Hibiscus rinse for your hair you can read it here.

Last but not least, I would like to give a special thanks in advance to sock buns and bobby pins for allowing me to go through this detox period while still projecting the image of a clean, socially acceptable person.

We’ll see how this goes…

Easy Hibiscus Rinse for Enhancing Light and Dark Hair

Dried Hibiscus

dried hibiscus.

I’ve recently transitioned to washing my hair with baking soda and rinsing with Apple Cider Vinegar thanks to my friend Megan over at FamilyNaturally. She gave me the tip of rinsing with something so that your hair doesn’t smell like salad dressing!

Here’s what you need:

Sauce pan

4 cups water

3-4 tablespoons dried hibiscus leaves

strainer and cheesecloth (or just papertowel)

storage container (mason jars always work)

Here’s what I¬†did and it was so simple it’s almost ridiculous.

1. I went to the co-op and bought about 3-4 tablespoons of dried hibiscus leaves. Your natural foods store should have these or you can order from Mountain Rose Herbs.

2. I boiled about 4 cups of water in a sauce pan, turned off the heat, and added the hibiscus.

3. I let it steep for 30 minutes in there with the top on.

4. I strained the liquid from the hibiscus through cheesecloth and a metal strainer.

5. I put the liquid in a mason jar.

That’s it!

Now you have a hibiscus rinse that accentuates the golden and red tones in in hair. It can be used for either dark or light hair. Either way it will work.

When you use it just allow the hibiscus rinse to sit on your hair for about a minute. Then rinse.

My New Favorite Thing

okhyo-photo-tiles-beach-bathtub

coconut oil in your bathwater. like bathing at a tropical beach.

Coconut Oil in the bathtub.

I just returned from the most luscious bath experience ever.My skin is so soft and supple.

Try putting 1 1/2- 2 T of coconut oil in your bathwater as its running.

I also added several drops of Juniper essential oil (a woodland scented oil great for detoxification)so I smell lightly of Juniper which is lovely as well.

Juniper Berries

Juniper Berries

If you missed my post on why coconut oil is miraculous for your skin read it here.

If you missed my post on why baths are better for you than showers read it here.

Don’t forget, running water is full of chlorine which is really irritating to your gut health and skin.¬†It is easily remedied with one of the dechlorination bath balls.

I hope you try it and like it!

‚̧

WBGW: Yogurt Mask

phonto
Here’s me kissing my yogurt container with yogurt all over my face.

You know the rule of thumb that says “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!” Well, I think this really lives up to that standard.

I have been finding it hard to ferment my own dairy products lately. Between blogging, working, wife-ing, cleaning, cooking, life-ing, schooling (just one class with hubby–we’re learning Finnish!) I find that I can’t always fit it in. But don’t worry your little heart because Strauss family creamery makes amazing yogurt. If you are going to use store bought I recommend using Strauss only. Other yogurts have weird additives that I would not recommend for your complexion–namely sugar, thickening agents, and preservatives. Also, make sure you use whole milk yogurt. The fat is where it’s at! Strauss cultures the milk AFTER pasteurization to ensure the highest amount of beneficial bacteria possible. It is cultured for over ten hours. Oh yeah!

I’ve struggled with skin issues for a long time now. Oddly enough they didn’t start until I was about 20. Maybe I am a late bloomer, but my hormones seem to be going wild still, four years later. I’m hoping to transition out of puberty soon…ha! Skin issues suck, but I feel that some of the simple lifestyle changes I’ve made are¬†the source of vast improvements.¬†Cultured yogurt face masks–AKA the po’ woman’s face mask–really tickle my fancy because it covers all the bases. It’s cheap, easy, hydrating, balancing, cleansing, and will leave your skin glowing. Yogurt masks are known to even out skin tones, heal blemishes, balance pH, and hydrate. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, perfect for beating blemishes.
How to do it:
1. Put about 2 tablespoons in a small bowl
2. Apply the yogurt with your finger all over your face–use a little more in your problem areas.
3. Let sit on skin for about ten or fifteen minutes. The yogurt will become transluscent.
4. Wash off with warm water.
5. Moisturize (with coconut oil!)

While I am a huge advocate of diet being the most important factor for skin health I still feel like a girl needs to exfoliate once in a while.
Yogurt it is!

This¬†post is linked to Gnowfglins’ Simple Life Thursdays¬†and Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday
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WBGW: Ladies Only.

A Day on the Countryside
“Oh yes, Ethel, I love my cloth pads.”

Ok, now that I have¬†lured all the men in¬†with that title, I will warn all of you that there is nothing titillating about what follows. It’s about something you’d rather not hear. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Each month (a hint for you guys to stop reading NOW!), when the dreadful crimson tide comes rolling through, I find that I dread the idea of using feminine hygiene products. They are the¬†bane of my existence. I hate them. I hate changing them. I hate buying them. I hate what’s in them. (Unless of course they are organic cotton, in which case I hate how expensive they are.)

Tampons are made from cotton. Cotton farmers use one quarter of the world‚Äôs supply of pesticides, and five out of nine of the most commonly used pesticides are recognized to be carcinogenic.¬† You wouldn’t squirt bug spray up there, would you?¬†So why use a toxic tampon?

If you are still using conventional tampons I encourage you to stop. The pesticides, toxic¬†dyes, chlorine, dioxin, rayon, and perfumes in them are so readily¬†absorbed by your insides it’s not even funny. Vaginal mucous is exceptionally absorbent.

The¬†first step up from conventional pads/tampons is organic cotton pads/tampons. But I dare you to take it a step further and venture into the world of cloth pads. Yes, you heard me. Re-usable cloth pads. They are pretty and comfortable. And you only have to buy them once. What’s not to love?¬†Also, if you are having bad cramps during your period it is better to use pads. Tampons can increase crampage by limiting flow.

The company Glad Rags (founded in Portland!) began their cloth pad business in 1993 in order to decrease the amount of energy used, pesticides sprayed, and waste made by disposable pads/tampons. Not only are cloth pads healthier for your body, but they are also more sustainable (the average woman will use 15,000 tampons in her lifetime).

I recently started using cloth pads and they work better than any disposable pad I have ever used–even the big diaper-like nighttime ones.

You can order Glad Rags online at www.gladrags.com or from Amazon.

There are still times and places for tampons of course, so keep a handy dandy supply of organic tampons around so you don’t have to use a nasty poisonous one during an emergency. You can find organic tampons at your local co-op or health food store and at Whole Foods. You can also¬†buy them online. I like Emerita brand. ūüôā

This post is linked to Butter Believer’s¬†Sunday School Blog Carnival¬†and Gnowfglins Simple Lives Thursday ūüôā
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