Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hygienic Hippies: Giving up Shampoo and Conditioner, and Washing My Face with Oil

Back in my last post about washing our clothes with nuts, using salt for deodorant, and coconut oil for lotion, I talked about going no 'poo when my free shampoo and conditioner from CVS ran out. Well, I'm going no 'poo earlier than planned because said shampoo  and conditioner are pretty crappy. Prior to these two I was using an organic, all natural duo and the difference is night and day. My hair feels super heavy, and has a residue no matter how many times I try and rinse it. At this point you might be thinking "why don't you just keep using the all natural stuff, then?". Good question. The answer is that it still has loads of crap in it that I don't think are necessary to get clean hair, and I still having plastic waste associated with using it. I can buy baking soda and apple cider vinegar in the bulk section of my food co-op, using my own glass containers, and get an incredibly low price on both. So, onto the no 'poo!

I've decided to follow this method because I like that she includes a section for troubleshooting potential problems. My hair is very, very thick, wavy/curly, and almost down to my waist. With the exception of dying the tips hot pink/purple/red a few times, I have not dyed my hair since I was 21, I have not owned a hairbrush since I was 16, and I don't blow dry it. Usually I wash it about 3 times a week, run my fingers through it, rub some coconut oil into the ends, and then let it air dry. My bangs air dry correctly about 95% of the time, and when they don't, I use a curling iron to shape them. So that's my routine now, we'll see how it goes once I give up shampoo.

Now, about washing my face with oil. I've been researching the oil cleansing method  (I read about it on tons of sites but that link has the best overview, minus the cheesy meditation part) and I decided to give it a try in conjunction with giving up shampoo and conditioner. You should know that I have battled some pretty terrible acne from about 16 until now. I know some people say they have terrible acne and they don't, but here's my proof- I can count, on two hands, the number of STRANGERS who have come up to me in random public places and, with a wrinkle of concern and pity between their brows, offered various advice on how to take care of my skin. I have had people tell me "you're sooooo gorgeous, it's so sad you have acne!". Now, the past year and a half have been great, because I was on birth control, and using Retin-A, AND using a super expensive face wash and following a crazy strict morning and night routine. I went back to a restaurant I used to frequent in college, a sushi place, and the women behind the counter (who never, by the way, spoke to me in all 6 years I had been going there) exclaimed "Your skin! Oh, your SKIN! It looks soooo good!" Then they called over the other waitresses. One said "oh, we always used to say "such a beautiful girl, but that SKIN! So sad. Now it's not sad!". Yeah.

So, anyway, I've found that, like so many other things that have worked in the past and then faded out, my triple punch approach is starting to fail me. The Retin-A just makes my skin incredibly dry now that I live in Colorado (in Texas it made my face incredibly clear), the face wash is leaving me feeling greasy, and I have such a love hate relationship with birth control that I went off of it last September. Ok, with that long preface in place, to the point- I've heard incredible things about the oil cleansing method, so I'm giving it a shot. I'm doing a mix of castor oil and grapeseed oil, and I have some tea tree oil as well if I need to add it into the mix.

At the very least, you'll have me as your guinea pig so that you won't have to wash your head with baking soda, or slather oil on your face. I imagine I'll give a quick update about every week. I might end up hating both of these methods, but it's worth a try, and if they *do* work they'll both be considerably less expensive than their alternatives.

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