you can almost see the cells multiply

A better life without chemicals

OK, I realize that many of you started following my blog just yesterday, and here I am writing about shampoo.  Please bear with me!

On Sunday morning, after being inspired by a comment thread on TP under About Tomorrow, I decided to challenge myself to stop using shampoo.  The first couple of days were not bad of course, I just rinsed with water and brushed it out.  But by yesterday, I was pretty greasy and kept my hood up all day (people in my office kept asking, “what are you, cold?” haha).  So this morning, I used one tablespoon of aluminum-free baking soda mixed with one cup of warm water, poured it over my head in the shower, massaged it in a bit and rinsed.  For a conditioner, I mixed up one egg white, juice of one orange, and a teaspoon of cocoa and rinsed that through my hair.

Honestly, I can’t remember my hair ever feeling better than it does right now.  It’s so light, smooth and tangle-free, and feels like the build-up of products has been stripped away.  I used to use a dandruff shampoo ($15.99), a regular shampoo ($10.99), conditioner ($10.99), mousse ($5.99), and blow-dry lotion ($4.99), all of which are filled with toxic shit.  Now I feel like I can confidently throw it all in the garbage!

This is my new approach: I won’t put anything on my body, that I wouldn’t put in my body.  Anyone who’s ever got shampoo in their eyes or mouth knows it stings and tastes disgusting.  I had always willfully ignored the fact that skin is porous and absorbs everything that is applied to it to some degree.  If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth or eyes, why would you put it on your skin?

Freeing myself from the tyranny of Unilever and Proctor and Gamble is of course one tiny step in becoming a better European.  I know there are many others much further along the road than I am, but I feel that at least I am moving in the right direction, and making progress each day.  Not to mention I smell delicious 😉

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17 responses

  1. fuzzshifter

    Great post, I have long hair and trying to go without shampooing got me in trouble at work. My employer stated that since I work with the public that I needed to conform to society regardless of my personal opinion. He is an Arab and Muslim, so any attempt to reason with him is pointless. Like most of his people, he only cares for profit. I will try your suggestion. By the way, the t shirt is great, thanks for making them.

    October 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    • I find it ironic that a Muslim would talk about “conforming to society” haha… whereas they come here and try to transform our society into one where it’s ok for women to walk around with their faces covered up.
      So glad you like the shirt! You’re very welcome.

      October 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      • fuzzshifter

        Do you have any suggestions on toothpaste? My grandmother had us use a powder, I’m not sure what it was though.

        October 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      • No but that’s a good question…maybe someone else has a suggestion, or I might ask my dentist when I see her in a few days.

        October 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    • Calgach

      For toothpaste:

      http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Toothpaste

      I haven’t tried this specific recipe for myself, but I know that baking soda works well even on its own.

      October 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

  2. Lesjar

    Or you can use two yolks mixed with two cups of water.

    October 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    • Does that really work, Lesjar? And do you have to use cold water with that as well?

      October 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      • Lesjar

        I use warm water. It seems to me it doesn’t matter how cold it is if you use yolk. I wash my hair either with yolk or with white. Or I gather herbs in summer.

        October 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

  3. I tried going all the way, it can be hard for some though, and I did persevere. Now I compromise with home made shampoo, which though using the base with some chemicals in it clearly does not just work as a detergent in the same way as industrial shampoo does. plus I enrich it with natural oils and so on. It never strips away all the oil, so with a combination of that and a good brush I find it keeps the grease at bay without just stripping away natural oils altogether. I don’t even use conditioner, I make sure I have oil left as that’s what it’s supposed to be for….Brushing hair regularly is more important than cleaning it with more than water…

    Glad it worked out for you so quickly, I never trued the conditioner myself though I did use cider vinegar for a while, I get the impression how effective soda is depends on water hardness – it seems to be generally very hard in water, I think this is why we stopped using soap and started making shampoo in the first place…

    October 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

  4. bicarbonate of soda (more or less the same thing as baking powder, the main ingredient anyway) also makes a good deodorant by the way, natural bars use it as a base and I think it’s what everybody used to use in the old days…

    October 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    • Quite some time ago I clued into how bad anti-perspirant is, by how it would bleach the colour out of my t-shirts. Now I just swab with rubbing alcohol in the morning and it seems to work ok…kills odour-causing bacteria I guess. Later in the day it can get a little sketchy depending on the stress level haha. Baking soda might be a good addition to that routine as well..

      October 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm

  5. Joshua Lehr

    Interesting concept. What is your stance on Castile soap? I’ve never tried it, but it seems better than all the toxic garbage we have these days.

    October 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    • I hadn’t heard of castile soap until a couple days ago when I looked up some recipes…I understand it’s made from olive oil? I would give it a try but I don’t know where to find it. I’m finding that some of these natural recipes call for ingredients which are difficult to source. I’ll have to check at Planet Organic next time I’m over there..

      October 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      • Joshua Lehr

        I’ve seen it around some natural remedy/DIY sites, but wasn’t certain of it’s viability. I guess the best way to find out is try it for a while and see how (or if…) it works.

        October 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm

  6. Elder Triskelion

    This seems a very interesting way to clean our hairs. But doesn’t egg stink? :/ And is it not dangerous to use baking soda on the cutis, as it is abrasive?

    October 31, 2013 at 7:11 am

    • Second day and I’m not smelling anything unpleasant yet…they were very fresh eggs from my brother’s chickens so maybe that helps. And the baking soda dissolves in the warm water so it doesn’t feel abrasive at all. I was skeptical too haha but it seems to work surprisingly well 🙂

      October 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

  7. Wilson Mount

    Good stuff! I wish more women in our movement would be as vocal as you are; we need to see both perspectives after all!

    November 26, 2013 at 12:45 am

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