Monday, June 4, 2012

Shampoo and soap free?

About a month ago Nik says to me, 'sodium laurel sulphide is terrifying and it's in everything!'(paraphrased). So we read about it, then looked at all of our health and beauty products, then looked up a few more toxic sounding ingredients. *shudder* They didn't just sound toxic, they pretty much are toxic. So I began to google around, looking for alternatives. All natural doesn't always mean no chemicals. Some lovely 'natural' products still have ingredients that don't make a lot of sense to me. Moisturizers with alcohol in them for instance.

Then I found a reference to 'no 'poo'. And there it was. Lots of people who have gone shampoo free and have found that (shock and awe) their bodies created balance and harmony when left alone! I developed dandruff about 4 years ago. I had never had it before, and chalked it up to different water hardness in my (then) new apartment, or maybe to hitting my mid-30's. Regardless, I began to use a dandruff shampoo. I would wash, and have a fuzzy head of fluff for a day or two, along with extreme itching. Then my hair would settle in as it produced some oil and look good around day 4. I washed every 5-7 days.

I decided to give this shampoo free thing a go. I 'washed' with baking soda and water for two weeks (about 4 washes total) with an apple cider/water rinse. Then...I stopped. Just stopped. I bought a little brush (my hair is short), and every evening I brush my hair. When I shower I massage my scalp. I read that I would go through a really terrible phase before my scalp found it's balance. The first few baking soda washes felt a little abrasive and my head got extra itchy for a few days. Then the itching went away, as did any flakiness. I felt a little greasy at points, but it never looked especially oily. So I'm going to keep going as I grow my hair out and see what happens!

This all feels very liberating, and much healthier. But as I've gone through the process, I've become more aware of putting my face and body through the same thing. I wash with a lovely and fragrant and largely natural commercial product. Yet my skin feels tight and dry after a shower. So I slather it with a moisturizer, which is largely (though not entirely) natural and chemical free-ish. And it feels similar to the shampoo/conditioner routine I was stuck in. So now I'm thinking, well of Course my skin will create balance and health if I leave it alone...

But how to begin? I've read about some fellas who have gone soap free and love it, but not many ladies. What about my face? I wear some makeup, a natural chemical free makeup, so I need to wash my face at night, right? I still need to moisturize as I creep up on 40 so I don't get all David Brinkley (geeky geeky Buffy reference, sorry) before my time.

Starting today, I'm going au natural. A soft washcloth and warm water and no more moisturizers on my body. I will of course still wash my hands, but with a natural, non antibacterial soap. As for my face, I'm saving that for next week when we go camping. This way I can plunge into no chemical washes, no moisturizers, and No Makeup with minimal exposure to other people. And I will hope that bears don't smell my greasy funky self and think I'm edible.

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