Saturday, March 27, 2010

Poo-free: Help from the pantry

After giving the hot water method and its iteration a real college try and failing, I tried baking soda and vinegar.

I made a liquid using about 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 cup of water, poured it over my scalp, let it sit while I showered, then rinsed it off with lots of water.

I found doing this step alone makes for brittle hair like nothing I've ever experienced, so I tried a vinegar rinse. I mixed a half cup of apple cider vinegar with a half cup of water, poured it thoroughly through the hair, and rinsed with warm water again.

Why apple cider vinegar as opposed to other types of vinegar? I can't tell if there is a difference. I found the suggestion on a blog, and it works pretty well, so I'm sticking to it.

The result is....ta-da....clean hair! It doesn't feel quite as squeaky clean as shampooed hair, but it's as a close second as I've found so far.

Poo-free: Less is more

After the failure of the hot water method, I tried hot water plus a tiny amount of shampoo around the hair line.

The result was better than hot water alone.  I didn't feel icky until the evening.

Better....but I still didn't want to have to wash my hair every day for an untold number of months while my scalp adjusts.

I began to realize how shampoo was actually harming my hair, though that wasn't the impetus for going poo-free.  Right after cleansing, I realized my hair wasn't nearly as frizzy or dry as it normally was after shampooing.  Interesting.

I've read claims that shampoo causes the scalp to react with an overproduction of oils, and the shampoo-free project has a long adjustment period as a result.  There really does seem to be something to that claim.

Poo-free: Cold turkey

First, I tried to quit shampoo cold turkey.  I rinsed my hair thoroughly with hot water only, and used no conditioner or styling products.

My hair and scalp are rather try normally, but they went into full revolt mode when I tried cold turkey.  I typically washed my hair every 2-3 days before this little project.

The first day, it was ok in the morning.  A little heavy, but tolerable.  By the afternoon, it felt strange--as though my hair wasn't actually clean.  Probably because it wasn't.  It looked ok but felt icky.  By the next morning, I looked like I was in the height of puberty and hadn't bathed for a week.

Going poo-free

I decided to try to stop using shampoo.

This is a big deal for me. My hair is my "thing". I've got lots of it, pretty healthy and shiny, with some natural curl. And I'm a 40-something woman whose other attributes are fading, shifting even more importance onto my hair. ;)

So why would I do this? Two reasons.

First, the environment. The chemicals in shampoo harm our water supply and animals.

Secondly, my health. My health usually is the top priority, but the case for shampoo causing disease is somewhat--but not totally--weak. Check out the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Safety Database.

Before I get into the health issues, let me just plug EWG. They are not full of hype. This is a group of scientists studying each ingredient in various beauty products and giving it a safety rating.  EWG provides an invaluable service; we have no other mechanism to have this information. Fan them on Facebook. You will be really shocked at the things they uncover about cosmetics and other types of products, and glad to learn easy ways to avoid serious toxins. This is the group that discovered lead in lipstick a few years ago, and they continue to make impressive accomplishments.

So what's wrong with shampoo? It's simple--it's legal to use human carcinogens and other toxins in beauty products. Check out this list of ratings. And yep, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Some of the "natural" shampoos are rated as highly toxic.

I'm going to chronicle what will probably be a long process of titration from shampoo.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jewish group declares lox unkosher because of parasite, causes uproar -

Jewish group declares lox unkosher because of parasite, causes uproar -

"The ban was announced last month when a small group of rabbis decided that a tiny parasitic worm, called anisakis, rendered its host fish nonkosher."

Read more: