Monday, May 17, 2010

Going no 'poo - not that poo silly

About a month ago, I finally decided to do it. I am ridding myself of commercial cleansers. I started it to see, first off, if it was for me and then slowly introduce the kids to it. The husband knows that I do it, but hasn't quite fell off the deep end yet. Secondly, I hate the smell of chemicals. Dropping fabric softener was something I did years ago, the chemical smell would drive me nuts, and really a little static I can deal with. I knew it was going to be hard to give up the frizz-free conditioner, bleach wipes, and facial toners, and I think every day we struggle, but I'm committed so we'll see how they do.

I had already started breaking in with the kitchen cleaners last year. We use a vinegar and water mixture, usually a 50/50 mix to clean the table, counters, and floors. I also use the same mix to wash windows and mirrors. I also like to use baking soda as a paste to scrub some things that are a little tougher to get up. I know some of the family still likes to grab for the clorox wipes or comet. I hate the smell and I can't wait until we run out. (WE RAN OUT!)

As I making this huge leap to using no commercial cleaners I also decided that I might as well go ahead and give OCM, Oil-cleansing method, a try to clean my face. I have pretty much been a plain jane face cleaning girl. Although I've been know to use clinique toners, Origins foaming wash, I really like Dove soap and water and for a toner I'd use witch hazel -never religiously, but whenever I had time or if I had a major breakout. You know, desperate times call for desperate measures.

There is some great information out there on OCM, I found mine here at Simple Mom. While I did research other blogs, I kept coming back to that site. In order to find the right combination for me, I start witht the the basic 1 part castor oil and 1 part EVOO(extra virgin olive oil). So far I love it. My skin is soft, not oily, and not dry. I tried doing to try this every day for the first week and then I cut it back to every other day and On the off days I'd wash with just water. I found that I was having some issues so I'm back to every day and haven't had any issues with it.

The next step was going no 'poo. Reducing shampoo use was going to be HUGE! I tried this a few years back. I cut shampoo out but still used conditioner. I found it to be liberating, but still wasn't sure about my choice, because I wasn't completely dropping the commercial stuff. About a year into it I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and returned to using shampoos that were medicated and I'm sure loaded with chemicals. I hated the way that my hair felt. Since being diagnosed my hair has changed, the hair falls out and new, brittle, dry, thin hair grows back and it's never the same texture, not to mention that other shampoos and conditioners didn't seem to work right and gave me a dry scalp. I did feel that one specially marketed shampoo/conditioner combo for my alopecia helped, but in the end it left me with empty pockets, and heavy build up which, I'm sorry, is never cool. I mean, my hair already falls out, I don't need flakes too.

So prepare a bottle of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup water solution in a bottle that I stole from the hospital after I had Natalie. You know those ones that they give you after giving birth for "cleaning" up down there? Yep, I held on to it, and actually I found that I had two of them. yeah for repurposing! I'll use the baking soda/water as a replacement for shampoo. And to replace the conditioner I started using a tablespoon apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. I add a couple of drops of lavender oil to that, because one cannot get past the smell of vinegar. While it doesn't completely mask the vinegar, it does make it manageable and the smell does go away before I'm done in the shower. I only squirt the ends of my hair with the vinegar mix. Now I've managed to con the eldest daughter into trying it, but whenever she goes away she uses that other stuff and it takes her a couple of days for her hair to recoup.

This most certainly is going to be an adventure and it'll be one that I can definitely feel good about. Next will be tackling deoderant. I can't wait!

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