Natural (chemical free) living

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Angelskates, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking into trying to reduce the chemicals I use in my every day life, things like shampoo and conditioner, cleaning products and the like. I've looked up a lot of things online, but am wondering if anyone has any experience and/or recipes for natural shampoo and conditioners. I have combination dry and greasy hair - greasy scalp and dry everywhere else! It's also kind of frizzy/curly. I'm also looking for cleaning products - for the house, dishes, clothes. I would like recipes that don't smell horrible! The less expensive and easier to find, the better!

    Any advice or recommendations? Anything that's worked really well, or not worked at all?
     
  2. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I love the bar shampoo from Chagrin valley. When I use it, I don't need conditioner. (I have insanely frizzy curly hair). They make lots of different kinds for different needs.
     
  3. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, I live in Beijing, and am mostly looking for homemade natural alternatives, not more expensive store bought ones.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, shipping would suck. But I could buy from them for much less than what it cost me to make my own soaps (tried that too)
     
  5. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    You can do a ton with vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and the like. I'll try to find a consolidated recipe list. :)
     
  6. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Most of the things I've been looking at include vinegar (white or apple cider) and baking soda. I'd like some personal experiences though...
     
  7. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    Hmmm... Vinegar and baking soda are still chemicals, just "food grade". Is that what you are looking for? Vinegar makes my kitchen counters and appliances sparkle - I just use the cheapest kind I can find for cleaning. But I have not heard of a non-soap product to wash dishes, for instance.
     
  8. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I think that's what Anita18 uses. She talked about in the Glamour Puss thread awhile ago.
     
  9. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Yup! And then all you real glamour pusses went back to talking about :bribe: Wen. :p

    Greasy scalp and dry hair is the classic "shampooed" hair. My scalp would go greasy on the second day, but my hair would be frizzy and flyaway on the first day. That's because the stuff in shampoo strips your hair of oils and your scalp goes greasy to overcompensate. Most shampoos are harsh, and people then have to apply conditioner to make it look remotely nice. A very dilute mixture of baking soda with water cleans the scalp but doesn't strip the oils, then you don't have to apply conditioner except to the ends. Actually, any conditioner with silicones (ie, any chemical ending in "-cone") is a terrible idea, because baking soda won't get that out, only shampoos with sulfates!

    Baking soda doesn't always work well for people with extremely fine hair though, because it is still is pretty harsh on the hair shaft. Most people have to experiment with how much baking soda they need. I'm onto half a tablespoon per cup of water, but I've read some people go as little as 1 teaspoon or as strong as a paste. (I definitely wouldn't go for the paste, and my hair is pretty coarse and straight...) I've had to pour it onto my dry hair, so it doesn't run all the way down to the ends. You only need it on your scalp since that's where your hair is mostly getting gross. I'm still figuring out how to minimize split ends. I think a huge part of it is that I've stopped conditioning too, and desperately need a trim. I use coconut oil on my hair when it's dry. A little bit goes a long way!

    I'm not sure how the water is in Beijing, but the water in Los Angeles is extremely hard. The vinegar rinse is EXTREMELY important when you have hard water. I learned after weeks of experiencing stiff hair - turns out it was soap scum forming from the minerals in my shower water and the baking soda. :p I rent and my shower nozzle is old - I'm not sure if I could attach a filter without breaking the entire thing! So I use a spray bottle to apply a 1:1 apple cider vinegar and water mix right onto my hair, then comb through. I don't need it on my roots, that's why I don't pour it on. It makes a HUGE difference! I actually don't smell like vinegar after I rinse it out. I think if you went stronger, you might, but the smell goes away when your hair dries.

    The next important thing is to use a boar bristle brush. (For me, a denser one works better, but I have THICK hair!) Brushing with one helps to spread the natural oils from your scalp down the shaft. Your natural oils will thus be your conditioner. :) I didn't use to brush often before, because doing so would make my hair look greasy (because my scalp was greasy), but after switching to "no poo," brushing actually help to make it look nicer! I air-dry my hair now, and it still looks a little weird and clumpy after I do so, but after a good brush-out, that's when my hair definitely looks its best.

    I still have dusty residue on my hair shaft that comes off on the brush - I'm not entirely sure if it's the hard water or little bits of dandruff (maybe I should more tea tree oil...), but a hairbrush cleaner has also been extremely valuable! I bet a wide-toothed comb would do the same in a pinch, if you can't find one in China.

    My sister took a picture of me taking a picture of a butterfly last week, hours after I had washed my hair. It still dried a little clumpy and flat up top (the sheer amount of hair I have certainly doesn't help in that department), but you can see how my hair rug looks from the back: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/479989_10100564656745153_1575921475_n.jpg Not bad! :)

    The "no poo" stuff is supposed to make the biggest difference on women with curly hair, but it obviously works on straight hair too. :) Caveat: most will go through an extremely greasy "transition" period that usually lasts 2 weeks when your scalp realizes it no longer has to overcompensate, but I didn't experience one. I started out with hair chronically greasy from a fungal or yeast scalp infection, looking at using a prescription shampoo for the foreseeable future because no amount of shampooing could get it out. After switching to no poo and adding tea tree oil to my baking soda mix, I no longer have this issue. :) So as far as I'm concerned, it's been a successful experiment!
     
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Also, vinegar with water is the classic chemical-free mopping solution. The first time I rented, the place was owned by someone who was very sensitive to chemicals, so we'd mop with vinegar and water. I do the same with the hardwood floors at my current place - harsh chemicals are a baaaad idea when you have old hardwood floors! A splash of vinegar in hot water makes it almost velvety! :)
     
  11. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I use Dr. Bronner's citrus bar soap for washing my face and it's great. I've heard the liquid (diluted) can be used for shampoo.