go green! {beauty edition}

ok, so i have been holding off on this post for awhile, for several reasons…

1. not sure how people will react to it

2. i actually had to test it with time before swearing by it

3. i suck at completing projects

etc.

BUT! i am soooo excited, i just can’t keep it in any longer, this post has been a long time coming….

i blame it on pinterest. seeing all these easy “do it yourself” home remedies and beauty products. they look so easy, and most can be whipped up with products you probably already have in your kitchen, or can easily locate at any local grocery store.

the biggest change i would like to talk about first, the newest craze, going “poo free.” (shampoo that is.) i, like many others, have read about this on several blogs, and did a lot of research before actually attempting it. like i said earlier, i wasn’t sure how people would react to it, because i myself even thought, “ewwww that’s gross.” but i’m here to tell you my friends, it’s AMAZING!

i am no journalist, beauty expert, etc. i am just someone that tested this method out, and have been very successful with it. when doing my aforementioned “research,” here are two of the points that resonated most with me:

shampoo is a detergent that contains many harsh chemicals. it cleans your hair, yes, but it also strips it of its own natural oils.

and…

shampoo is expensive. i am a sucker for “ulta,” the beauty supply store. every once in a while they will send me a coupon for $3 off $10. do you think there is anything there for $10 or less? no. so i buy all kinds of crap i don’t need just to save $3. doesn’t make sense does it?

for all these years, i thought i had a bad dandruff problem, when really, it was product buildup. when i straightened my hair, i had to use “heat activated sprays.” when i wanted to go “natural,” i had to use “curl activated serum.” all this lead to a dry, itchy, flaky scalp. i tried everything from head and shoulders to rinsing with listerine and was even about to scour the internet for molasses shampoo when i happened upon a better solution….

ok, so by this point i bet you are wondering what this miracle concoction i have been speaking so highly of is right?

wait for it…

wait for it…

baking soda. yes, you read correctly, baking soda.

it all varies on your own hair, but since mine is thick, curly, and tends to be on the naturally oily side, i need a little more baking soda than someone with straight, fine hair. i use about 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of water, but after doing it for quite some time now, i’ve started to just eyeball it. i bought one of those “ketchup style” squirt bottles for $1 at walmart, and mix my potion right before washing. if you try to make too much in bulk, the baking soda will separate and settle at the bottom, making it hard to use later. i also use hot water, so when i’m “shampooing,” it won’t be uncomfortably cold.

i read on another blog that someone boils water, then dissolves the baking soda in it. if your notice your solution feels “gritty,” i would suggest the boiling technique. so far i haven’t had a problem. if this doesn’t feel “clean enough” for you, i sometimes make a paste using equal parts baking soda and water, but be careful, that is often harder to rinse out, and can leave your hair very stiff and straw like.

not gonna lie, it is a learning process. it took several weeks and trials before perfecting what was best for me and my hair, but it is soooo worth it!

for the first two weeks or so, once your hair is getting used to the initial shock of producing its own oil again, your hair will be more oily than usual. don’t be alarmed.

after doing this for a while, if you feel that you need a “conditioner” of some sorts, you can use apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or honey. i did not like using apple cider vinegar. first, it smells. second, i feel that instead of moisturizing, it left my hair frizzy and dry instead. i’ve been doing this for a little over a month now, and i just started using small amounts of lemon juice in my mixture, and not every time i wash either, maybe 1 out of every 4 times.

let me tell you some more in case you are not convinced yet. the first time i ever tried washing with just baking soda, my hair literally felt slimy, like it was being detoxed or something. removing all those harsh layers from your hair feels like you are lifting a load off your shoulders.

slowly, but surely my scalp got cleaner, and healthier. it took about two weeks, but since then, i have not seen one single flake on my head.

your hair holds the style better too. like i said before, i needed all kinds of products to straighten or curl my hair…or at least that’s what i thought. i would spray “heat activated” crap on my hair before using my hot iron and it would still take 4 or 5 strokes per section of hair to get it to the desired stick straightness i was trying to achieve. with my new washing ritual, i have literally cut my styling time in half, and don’t need hair spray or anything to keep it in place. it has lots of body and shine.

although i prefer to straighten my naturally curly hair, i used to not do it as much as i would have liked to, because it just caused so much damage. now, i straighten it as much as i want and it has never looked healthier. no split ends, in fact they look stronger than ever.

another benefit…and remember i said this sounds gross but it really isn’t, you don’t have to wash your hair as much. being someone with naturally thick, curly, oily hair, i couldn’t go more than 2 days without washing. this was frustrating, because after spending over an hour to style it, i would have to start from scratch and do the whole thing over again the next day. people on the baking soda regime literally go 4 to 5 days without washing.

baking soda is also cheap. i’m glad i experimented with this when i have short, easily manageable hair, so i could work out the kinks before growing my hair out again. but i honestly think i could keep it up with long hair as well.

oh! i forgot to say…after about week three i think, i had a moment of weakness and reverted to shampoo. it felt great to feel those sudsy bubbles again, and to smell the acai berries. HUGE mistake. i’ve read that once you commit to this, you shouldn’t try to switch it up too often, or your hair will be confused. literally that same night, i was scratching build up off my scalp. i took another shower right away using my baking soda shampoo instead. it was then i decided i wanted to stay poo free for as long as i possibly could.

i’m sure the boy got tired of me asking him to smell my hair and touch it and for feedback with my many different trials, but he has been a very good sport. he actually surprised me by being sweet and saying he likes to smell my hair when we cuddle and misses the distinct fragrance of shampoos. i read on another blog that someone started adding lavender essential oils to her mix, so i may stop by whole foods tomorrow and see what other scents they have. i’m hoping for something minty like eucalyptus.

most importantly, although this may sound like a pain, it’s easy! my boyfriend used to base the amount of time it took me to get ready on whether or not i had to wash my hair. it shouldn’t be like that…it shouldn’t be such a burden…and with baking soda, it’s not anymore.

at about week three, i literally got at least 6 compliments on my hair in the same day, from totally unrelated people. that was all the confirmation i needed.

and not saying this has anything at all to do with it…but usually i can find a few grey hairs, and i haven’t seen any since going poo free. just sayin.

bottom line, in case it isn’t clear by now, i strongly suggest doing this…try it…you might like it…and if not, you can always go back to shampoo. i have also used up all of my energy reserve for the time being, so i will have to continue with my other all natural beauty product recipes at a later date 🙂 and also find things to do with all this leftover shampoo 😉

recent pics of me and my sis…all from “poo free” days. i am pleased, but you can be the judge for yourself. my header picture is also from that day.

i’d love to hear your feedback and about your baking soda rinse experience. i would also be happy to answer any questions you may have!

ps, sorry for using the word “literally” so many times in this post 🙂

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