Baking Soda… How I love thee!

August 26, 2011

So because I’m a bit of a health geek who has taken the hobby of cosmetic production to heart I’m going to update everyone who may or may not be reading this blog.

In a previous post I geeked out about how awesome baking soda is and mentioned that I was thinking of making toothpaste.

Well, I did. My gums didn’t really like it. So baking soda is not the greatest for toothpaste maybe. *Sigh* Don’t even worry about it, I went on a internet shopping spree with Mountain Rose Herbs and bought a bunch of fun stuff like Bentonite clay. Which I then made into toothpaste and I really like!

Recipe goes a little something like this:

1 Heaping spoonful of Bentonite Clay (it’s food grade)

1/4 of a heaping spoonful of baking soda (or just a little bit)

2 big drips of Dr. Bronners peppermint castille soap (I made baking soda toothpaste with it and it foamed up nicely which I liked) – You may want to add more or less depending on how foamy you want it. 2 big drips turned out to do pretty much nothing. I’m not sure if that’s because of how little I put in, or because of the clay, or something… I dunno.

Water – enough to make to desired consistency.

10ish drops peppermint essential oil because I like it FRESH!

I mixed all this up and loaded it into my mesmerizing-ly awesome GoToob from REI. GoToobs are weirdly pricey, but it seems like a product that will hold up and I’ll get my $9 worth of use out of it. I only bought it because 1) I had a dividend check because my fiance bought himself some pants that fit finally and 2) I played with it so much in the store I felt compelled to buy it. It was the strangest thing just how strongly I felt the need to play with it (they feel so weird, yet awesome!) and this uncontrollable compulsion to buy it! Generally I’m not one to be super consumer-y, but this time it could not be helped!

It works great I think. Leaves a slightly gritty crunch in my mouth unlike commercial toothpastes, but it washes out. It doesn’t foam up either like I was hoping (from the Dr. Bronners), but I’ll get over that. It leaves a muddy mess in my sink, but it rinses away easily. Best of all, it doesn’t have all sorts of sketch, unpronounceable ‘chemicals’. It also doesn’t leave my gums crying like the baking soda version did.

Also another update that I’m sure present and future clients will loooooove to hear all about: I’ve decided to stop using shampoo. That’s right, I’m making the leap and I’m going “No-poo”. Wish me luck.

In my shopping spree with Mountain Rose Herbs I also bought a bunch of good Aloe Vera Gel because my cousin’s wife, Angie, blogs about awesome stuff hippie health stuff and she had made some shampoo and I really liked the idea of it and thought I’d try it. It was researching other shampoo recipes that I stumbled across the whole “No-poo” thing.

I’ve only been doing this for a couple days, but I’m still feeling really positive about it. Everything I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot) says people go through hell for 2-6 weeks where they feel grungy, and greasy, and start to despair a little bit. The trick is to just power through it. To get over looking like a greasy, though well dressed, homeless person and just ride out the storm till your scalp finally gets the message that it doesn’t need to produce so much oil. Shampoo just strips your hair and scalp of it’s natural oils which makes your sebaceous glands (Bio nerd!) go into hyper production making your hair looks drab and greasy which launches you into the perpetual cycle of daily shampooing and conditioning. Great for the companies which make the stuff, not so great for us cause then we have to pay for it. We’re addicted to washing our hair! I don’t care if you still want to shampoo regularly, but I think I’ll be heading to rehab.

Maybe I am a just rebellious soul questioning every ‘truth’ that has ever been forced into me, but I don’t think I’ll grow out of it. I figure that just because it’s around now and I can spend loads of money on it doesn’t mean it’s absolutely necessary for me. Don’t worry! I still shave my legs, and wear deodorant, and shower regularly. But think back to in the day before the 1920′s or whenever it was when the commercialization of products became the norm… was everyone just super disgusting all the time? Did Queen Victoria get away with a bath once a month “whether she needed it or not” just because she was queen? Or have we maybe been fed a ‘truth’ which someone made up once upon a time? I don’t really care enough to get into the capitalistic conspiracy of it. What really got me psyched about all of it was 1) the pictures of women’s ‘No-poo’ hair and 2) their raving reviews about how effortless and wonderful their hair looked all the time. SOLD!

I’ve read about 50 blog posts and articles about people’s “No-poo” adventures. The best one I read today can be found here. What makes it the best is she does another “No-poo” update 2 years later! Oh. Em. Gee. Her hair looks so clean! and so healthy! and so effortlessly perfect! SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!

So I’ve been shampoo free for a whopping 2 days now. Woot. I’ve been doing some experimenting with different rinses which remove excess oil. Which finally brings me to the point of this post: Baking Soda rocks my socks. The first day I just rubbed some baking soda into my wet hair, rinsed with water, then rinsed with vinegar (vinegar is also super awesome!). That worked pretty alright. I think I used too much though. What I’ve read is people only use about 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup of water and dump that over their heads. Then follow with an equal amount of vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the baking soda. I was using ambiguous amounts which were a lot more than 1 tablespoon. But still, I was really surprised with how awesome it was on my ordinarily disgustingly greasy hair! I was like, “Why is this the first time I’ve tried this?!”

Last night I tried a different strategy: I brushed baking soda through dry hair before my shower. Then in the shower I massaged aloe vera gel and vinegar into my scalp. I followed by scrunching up the ends of my hair in my hand after I had rubbed homemade body butter all over (maybe I’ll cover that recipe later… it’s pretty rad). My hair has never looked as good as it did last night. It bounced when I didn’t move. It blew in the wind when there was no wind. Last night, I was hot! Too bad no one was there to see me…

This morning I just got my hair wet in the shower and let it air dry. It doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t look as incredible as it did last night. So I guess I need to do my fancy rinse in the mornings instead of at night.

It’s so hard to not want to wash my hair every day! Or even to try some new concoction on it to see how it works…

You may be wondering if I smell like a pickle. Answer: no, not at all. You rinse out the vinegar (which is a surprisingly effective conditioner/detangler/miracle worker) and then you don’t smell. I’ve also been spraying sandalwood hydrosol (floral water) on my hair because I bought it from Mountain Rose Herbs and it has a shelf life so I should use it. It doesn’t stay lovely smelling for long, but the point is my hair doesn’t smell dirty or gross, nor does it smell like a pickle.

I should really get better at taking pictures of myself just for this purpose.

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