Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's My No-Poo Anniversary!

This past weekend, the annual Taste of Blue Ash (Cincinnati, OH) festival took place. Even though this was the first year we did not attend, I still enjoyed the event. Don't get me wrong, I would have had a blast if we attended, but already made plans with friends took precedence. The reason this event will always have a special place in my heart is because it's my No-Poo Anniversary.

For those of you who are thinking "dirty" thoughts, let me explain. No-Poo = No Shampoo. Yes! I stopped using shampoo and conditioner one year ago! It didn't take a while to get through the adjustment period, but I felt so empowered when my hair become more healthy. I did a lot of research online before I embarked on this journey. I had Plan A, B, C, etc.  I had to try a few methods to finally get to one that worked for me.

The Background:
Shampoos and conditioners contain many toxic chemicals!  Take your shampoo, conditioner, or any other body product bottle and look it up on EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.  Parabens, Propylene Glycol (PG), Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl (SD-40), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLEC), among many other ingredients, are bad for your skin, scalp, and your reproductive system.

: dry, limp, frizzy, dead and split ends
After: shiny, healthy, managed, no split ends (yes, I really mean no split ends)
Reaction: commercial shampoos and conditioners are never touching my hair again!

My Solution:

Cleanser - boiled cup of water with one teaspoon of baking soda.  Baking soda removes the oils and dirt from your hair, leaving hair feeling squeaky clean.
Conditioner - cup of water with one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  ACV acts as a conditioner and pH balancer by closing your pores, leaving hair feeling soft.  You can add a drop or two of essential oils (ex: Lavender Oil), to get an aromatherapy feel.


  1. Wet hair under warm water and massage the scalp.
  2. Pour the warm Baking Soda solution to cover the whole scalp.  Although there are no suds, the Baking Soda is still working to clean your scalp (trust me!)
  3. Massage it in little circles all over the scalp.  Rinse.
  4. Pour the warm ACV solution on your hair.  Rinse.  I sometimes let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse with cold water to prefer frizz, although I usually just rinse with warm water and I'm fine.
Other Considerations:
  1. You will smell like vinegar for a few minutes, but the smell will go away once your hair dries.  An essential oil like Lavender covers the ACV smell very well.
  2. You can do a deep conditioning treatment with an oil such as coconut oil the night before you cleanse or 30 minutes before.  If your Baking Soda mixture has been sitting for a few days or longer, you will actually get some suds action.  I'm not sure if this is because of coconut oil and Baking Soda reactive or because the Baking Soda mixture has been sitting for a while.
  3. We have hard water (live in Ohio).  I found that boiling the water in the microwave and then mixing the Baking Soda resulted in cleaner hair.
  4. Find a glass bottle to store your prepared Baking Soda mixture.  I reused a dressing bottle.  The bottle can be taken in your toiletries bag.  I find that the longer the mixture sits, the more suds I get.
  5. If I don't have time to make the Baking Soda mixture, I do a water wash where I massage and scrape my scalp with water and then do an ACV rinse.  Sometimes, I do several water washes in a row (especially after exercising).
  6. I will also pour some Baking Soda in my palm, mix a little water in and rub on my scalp.  Experiment with the ratio of water to Baking Soda to find the right consistency for you.
  7. Massaging and scraping the scalp with your fingernails the night before or just before you shower helps to remove the dead skin cells.
  8. None of my friends or coworkers can tell that I have gone no-poo! :)
What do you think about no-poo?  Have you ever no-pooed? Would you ever consider no-pooing?  Why or why not?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My All Natural Journey

My journey down the all natural path began last summer. I vividly recall two events that sparked the change for a green lifestyle. I came upon a blog that featured Shaklee products and began reading about the harmful chemicals in mainstream cleaning products. I also had a bad reaction to Aveeno Naturals shampoo; a shampoo that's supposed to be "natural." I already knew about SLS and that it was bad, but now I really started looking into the ingredients in mainstream shampoos, and conditioners, lotions, soap, and on and on. EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database became my friend. This new chapter in my life began with the no-poo experiment that became a permanent change (will post about the transformation soon).

Please join me on my path to discover the greener side of things. Discover "natural" versus 100% natural. Discover what is best for our bodies. I'm going back to my roots, the simple life my mom and grandma lived in Eastern Europe.

Off Note: The term "all natural" is not regulated by the FDA. All natural means that I am using products from the earth, not processed or minimally processed.  I seeks to understand what products are best for my family, for my community, and for the Earth.

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