Personal Care

Personal Care

Shampoo: how to quit?

 
Best diy shampoo I know of  = NO-POO!
 

Baking Soda:

My very favorite recipe feels amazing, and my hair is so clean and soft! You’re only supposed to use baking soda about every three days to keep it from drying out your hair.

But that doesn’t seem to be a problem, because my hair stays so clean and bouncy for that long! Some people’s hair is picky- certain hair types won’t like this option. It’s great for oily scalp!

Baking soda with water is my very favorite thing to use for my no-poo. You have to be careful with it though, because it can really dry out your hair. There are proper ratios to follow.

The safest ratio of baking soda to water:

1 TBS baking soda to 1 cup water,  is the general ratio.  For a stronger solution try 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water. This dilution should be kind to your hair and leave it feeling amazing!

Add 5-10 drops of the essential oil that you desire to your new hair washing solution. Essential oils can be a little bit drying, so keep that in mind as well.

Important rinse after baking soda wash:

It is important to rinse with something acidic to help prevent damage to the hair. Baking soda opens up your hair cuticle, and the acid rinse closes it back up, which is super important. Don’t apply any of the baking soda solution to your ends.

A spray bottle with a heavy spray works well for this, or reuse a shampoo bottle with a squirter you like. This shampoo is watery and will not create any bubbles on your head. You will probably want to squirt it directly onto your head, not into your hand.

After the rinse, you can  add a dab of coconut oil to your ends, and even to your roots, if you are not an oily scalped type of person. This helps with the potential damage that the baking soda can do and really infuses your hair with moisture.

Rinse with water, then use an acid rinse. Use a good spray bottle here especially- you want a heavy spray, not a mist. If you prefer a squirt bottle, go that route.

An acid rinse could be something such as apple cider vinegar, black tea (or any leaf tea really), coffee, etc.

Cautions:

  • Don’t use a baking soda and vinegar mixed together on your hair if you have hair coloring. Baking soda and vinegar are main ingredients in a natural hair dye stripping recipe- watch out! It’s different to use them at separate times during the process, after/between thorough rinsings.
  • It’s highly recommended to go at least 3 days in between a baking soda washes, and follow through with the acid rinse and coconut oil, as it can be very damaging.
  • Balance your baking soda dryness by finishing with a small but effective amount of coconut oil as a very light rinse out conditioner.
  • Depending on your scalp, you may not want to rub oil directly on it. It might give you an extra oily scalp. Others will love the way the oil feels all the way to their scalp!
  • Aloe Vera gel is an interesting option, and can be left in. It’s a moisturizer that can be squeezed directly out of the leaf of the plant. It will add some texture to the hair as well! You can also use aloe as a rinse out conditioner if you wish.
  • Many mix with water in a spray bottle.
  • Hair Care is always specific to your hair type. Baking soda will not do well with some hair types, and some people choose to only use dry shampoo powder made from various natural substances.
 

Soap nuts:

The same soap nuts that you can use for your laundry can be made into a soothing shampoo and body wash for sensitive hair and scalps. The recipe is too involved for the FAQ section, but there are many great ones out there!

These little nuts that come from nature and create cleansing suds. You can buy them with almost zero packaging. They come in packages of about 10 or 20, and they last a long time.

With soap nuts, you leave your shampoo on your head for about five minutes. I have also heard of people just washing regularly with soap nuts shampoo and feeling great about it!

These two recipes are the most straight forward of all but I’ve heard of. There are plenty out there if you like to play around!

Have fun trying out different natural hair coloring concotions!

Darken hair:

Nettle, rosemary and sage- boiled up, cooled, and used as a rinse, will make your hair darker. Just use this rinse until you get to the color you want, then when ever you think you need it. Most of these can be grown easily by you or already grow naturally near you!

Henna:

Henna can produce amazing colors. Gorgeous reds, oranges, auburns, and ruddy br owns- but it has its drawbacks. Henna is totally permanent, and you have to cut it out if you want it to go away. The end color results can vary. It also will not mix well with certain chemical dyes, and chemicals won’t get it out. I don’t mean to talk it down, but just a word to the wise: there is more to henna than meets the eye. All things considered, lots of people still absolutely love henna, and use it as their main hair coloring.

Lighten hair:

Vinegar and lemon juice have a lightning effect over time, and especially in the sunshine, with most hair. Its true! Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and spray onto hair. Or apply to specific strands with a compostable toothbrush (that you compost someday after years of use) or similar, to create a highlight effect. Apple cider vinegar will bring out auburn highlights, and white vinegar will bring out blonde. Leave this on your hair for about 30 minutes then rinse and shampoo as usual. Repeated over time this will have a lightning effect.

How about lemon juice?

Mix the freshest lemon juice you can find with a little bit of oil to help keep your hair from drying out. Spray this on your hair where you would like it to be lightened, or apply to strands with a compostable toothbrush or similar (that you compost someday after years of use).

Simple and fun DIY Chamomile hair lightener:

For a fun, back to your roots, at home hair dying experience, check out this chamomile lightener recipe! Steep 4 tea bags or 4 tsp of chamomile in 1 cup of water. Give this about 20 minutes to steep. Mix with 2 Tbs organic plain yogurt, if non-dairy is needed that is fine. Opt for soy yogurt if non-dairy is needed and you are okay with that, as it will be the most effective. Apply this paste to your hair evenly, and wrap in a shower cap to let sit for 1 hour. You could potentially get a lighter color by adding low heat for 5 or 10 minutes periodically throughout this process. Do this using a blow dryer. Rinse out and shampoo as usual!

How to cleanse the body in a sustainable, healthy fashion:

For soap, I still like to purchase natural vegan organic soap without packaging. There are also a world of fun homemade body scrubs that I will be exploring in that section of my blog! These both make fantastic zero-waste gifts. Think holidays and travel souvenirs… You can make soap nuts shampoo and use it as a body wash as well, adding essential oils to your liking. Many people love castile soap, and for some, that dries out their skin.

Cleansing with oils:

Some people go straight for an oil cleansing. Similar to ancient times, with this method you rub oil all over your body after steaming it up in the shower. You let the oil sit for a moment, and then you scrape it off with a special tool. Then you rinse again. You can also mix oil and salt and cleanse your skin with a salt scrub like that.

There is an entire universe of make-it-yourself soaps!

This DIY debriefing area isn’t quite the time to get into the complexities of soap recipes, but expect more on that on the blog! When make it yourself soaps start calling for ingredients like castile soap, I start thinking maybe I’ll just simplify and use that one ingredient to do the job! Bar style is the most sustainable, with a recycled paper wrapper or none at all. Moisturize afterward, if you feel a little dry. Or follow up at the end of each shower with a oil and salt scrub and rinse-off. If you really love the liquid castile soap, look for them in bulk, and bring your own reusable container at bulk stores to save on plastic.

Don’t let it melt away:

Most types of bar soap that are natural can melt pretty fast. Keep them high up in your shower, away from the mist, and in a well drained area, out of puddles for sure.

Not baby oil… Oils, baby!

 

Every oil I talk about here can be used safely on the face and body.

I am only referring to organic cold pressed oils here, that were not refined

Cooking oils are great for your skin, which means less for you to buy!

using chemical processes.That’s a different ballpark. But we love baby steps!! Every step counts.

No matter what quality of skin/cooking oil you switch to from a more chemical product, it’s great! You’re going to be doing your body a humongous favor, and it will thank you by feeling good! Go for it!

The most commonly talked about oils:

 

For overall body moisture, coconut oil, almond and jojoba oil are fantastic. Coconut oil even has a light SPF that allows the beneficial rays from the sun to come through.

Coconut oil is the #1 choice for body moisture, and it absorbs really well, without leaving you greasy.

However, these oils can clog pores and cause acne on the face over time. And possibly on the body if you really are sensitive.

Best options:

 

Grape seed and sesame oil (spf 4) are both less likely to clog your pores, along with several others. Castor oil and sunflower oil are the least likely to cause a breakout.

There are a slew of fancy exotic, and totally expensive packaged oils that you could purchase in the supplements department. But we’re trying for less packaging and product storage here, and better bargains… aka better sustainability!

Argan oil is the one fancy oil I will include, because it actually has an SPF 30, and you can buy a reasonable quantity at a time for an ok price.

Shea Butter

 

The Argan tree is endemic to Morocco, but still try to make sure it is humanely-sourced (no forced or monkey labor) as with everything exotic. Mix with less expensive oils for a lower SPF.

Fair trade shea butter (spf 6-10) is a good option for more sensitive skin types, as are calendula oil (not essential oil) and castor oil.

You can also add essential oils to your oils in small quantities for beneficial effect on your skin!

Sunburn- warnings and protection:

 

Some essential oils can cause severe burning if you put them on before you go in the sun. To be extra safe, steer clear of any Citrus essential oils on the skin before sun exposure.

Carrot seed oil is the opposite. It helps protect you from the sun, but it smells funny. It is an essential oil, and it can be added in very small quantities to increase the SPF of your chosen oil. Carrot seed oil on its own has an SPF of around 25.

Use natural SPF oils, face and body moisturizers the same as you would use a sunscreen. Apply about 20 minutes before going out!

Apply under makeup if you wear makeup. If you’re looking for all day SPF, you will need to reapply any sunscreen or natural oil, no matter what the SPF rating is.

Clean your ears with compostables, fabric scraps, and reuseables.

First of all, cotton swabs are only meant to clean the outer ear and you’re not supposed to need to go very far into your ear… OK! If you’re using a cotton swab on a stick, be sure that it is 100% paper or wood, and cotton. Preferably organic, and please look for a fair trade and/or Rainforest safe indication. Cotton is still a questionable forced labor crop. Then compost your swabs for sure. Many people wash their ears out thoroughly in the shower, while it’s nice and steamy. Others take a twisted a piece of toilet paper and clean it that way. Die
Clean your ears with a scrap of flannel in the shower
hard zero-waste fanatics will actually use a piece of flannel. Rock on!

For those with heavy ear wax:

You can also purchase sticks and ear wax sucking devices that are reusable over and over if you have excess ear wax build-up. Follow instructions explicitly, and be extremely careful when you stick things in your ear. The world also loves an ear candle. And many people swear by this method as well. I had a great experience with my ear candling, but it does require two people and a bunch of time, in a fire safe environment! I reserve use of ear candles
Here I am ear candling in 2008
for problem moments and ailments. Lastly for this list, some people like to clean their ears with hydrogen peroxide, although I think this is to also be saved for more extreme cases. If you want to try this just dampen the corner of a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and then gently swipe around your outer ear with it.

Man? Woman? Let’s get you into a level of hairiness that suits your personality… 

Zero-waste style! Although this is written for women, these can all be employed by men as well! If you want to be a extra sexy shaving man, learn how to use a straight edge! Ow!

Safety razors all around:

Fancy zero-waste ladies shave their legs with what is called a safety razor, and absolutely love it! The angle takes a little bit of getting used to, but it’s amazing. The-Green-Button - Personal Care FAQPlus, you really feel like a fancy lady in the forties shaving, while feeling like you’r helping save the planet in a futuristic way at the same time! You should be able to get these in 100% metal, so you can send them to scrap metal some day if you need to recycle them.

Using machines to remove your hair:

This won’t hurt a bit…
Epilators are sometimes painful, but similar to waxing, and overall less waste as long as you recycle the components in the end. Okay, I confess. I guess the guys are not going to be epilating their face most likely;-) Laser hair removal has its downsides as far as putting together the lasers and whatnot. But can save you lots of waste and cash over the long haul, because you only have to do it once!

Pour some sugar on it:

Sugaring, or Persian waxing is a form of hair removal that is similar to waxing. Except you don’t have the waste. And it lasts longer. Sugaring involves the use of a gel or paste that is most frequently made from various combinations of sugar, lemon juice, water, honey, essential oils and salt. People have been sugaring for hair removal since around 1900 BC.

Simple shave cream- 2 easy options!!

1) Mix equal parts aloe vera and coconut oil, plus 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Melt the coconut oil very gently to make it mixable. If it hardens, just set it in the steamy shower to soften. 2) Shaving foam! Save a “disposable” container from a foam soap dispenser, or purchase a nice one that will last a long time.

Ingredients:

1 oz soap flakes from your most natural bar soap. Non-castile soap will make this thicker. 1 cup water. 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil.

Directions:

Melt soap flakes into the hot water. Thoroughly mix 5-15 drops of essential oils into the two tablespoons of oil that you are about to put into the mix. After heat, add 2 Tbs sweet almond oil, or fractionated coconut oil. Stir to mix well. There are many other options where you whip the cream with a hand mixer so that it is nice and fluffy. You could even try this with recipe number one here and let us know!

Janu-Hairy:

Check in with us every January for Janu-hairy, where we band together to save the oceans by not shaving our legs with plastic razors. It sounds so fun and silly, but over time we would like to actually make a big dip in razor sales in January!

There are many sustainable, non-toxic options out there to help you clean and moving during your moon cycle!

Non-chlorine tampons, immediately.

Switch to organic tampons immediately if you have not yet. That’s your first switch. The mainstream cotton industry has its evils. Besides that, the bleaching and chemical processes that go into conventional tampons are very scary to be putting in your body, to absorb for hours. And make sure you never use a plastic applicator! We prefer no applicator, and no plastic involved at all in this process.

Period panties and luna pads:

Beyond disposables, there are tons of options out there! Several brands of “Period Panties” that basically have a built-in thick liner that is extra absorbent. You rinse them and wash them with your regular undies or wash. And they’re not bulky like diapers. Surprisingly effective! Then there are lunapads, and make your own reusable pads and pantiliners. Crafty types have a lot of fun with this actually! You can make these out of scrap material if it’s the right type. Try hemp for its antimicrobial properties. Usually they will have snaps, and snap into place.

Menstrual cups:

The most famous brand of insertable menstrual cup to replace tampons is called the Diva Cup. Many other varieties are out there, and most reviews are stellar! Some people get extra pain, but it is not that common. Do not use the cheapest variety of menstrual cup, as the quality of the silicone​ is important while it sits in your body. Look for claims of high-quality, surgical grade silicone on the packaging. Silicone will expire. You can recycle these through a sex toy company, or possibly another place. Do it!! If you want any part of yourself or your life to sit in the landfill for 500 or more years, pick something better than a menstrual cup. Do a quick internet search on how to recycle your Diva Cup, and it will bring it right up!
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