I’ve been promising my friend who has a Thrifty Sister newsletter she sends out among a few friends that I would get this post written. I gave her a titillating preview of “Thrifty” personal hygiene, so I should get this completed.
The truth is I’ve been afraid to put it into writing what I’ve been experimenting with. Many will think it’s gross, yet it has been a wonderful experience and I’m very happy with the result.
We here in the West however, have been programmed to expect certain things from ourselves and others in the personal hygiene arena.
Western thinking encourages daily showers and shampoo. I had a hairdresser tell me you must shampoo twice and condition twice, every day to have healthy hair. Why then, when I followed those instructions did my hair resemble hay and straw? My scalp was dry and itchy, dandruff that those special medicated shampoos did nothing for, and don’t get me started on the amount of leave in conditioners and anti frizz products I was putting on and then washing off the next day only to put them in my hair again.
Something wasn’t working. I had to find a different way.
Add to my “hair issues” the fact that I should have had stock in Suave and Lubraderm. I went through so much lotion! If I was African-American you would have called my skin ashy. VERY dry and flaky, I itched constantly and I was applying tons of lotion.
Again, something had to be wrong. I started slathering myself in baby oil before each shower. That seemed to help but not fix the problem.
Then I ran across an article on Parent Hacks. A mother was having trouble with her little girl letting her wash rinse repeat and condition her very tanglie hair. The 3 in ones didn’t work so she started just conditioning, no shampooing. What she found was that it worked. Her daughter’s hair was manageable and easy to comb. It never looked greasie and since she was only conditioning then rinsing, fighting stopped.
Thus began my first experiment. Conditioning only.
Worked well. The itchy scalp went away. The dandruff went away. The need for all those leave in products went away!
Then I stumbled across this blog…Sorta Crunchy
Shampoo free. Or Poo-free as they termed it.
I decided to try it.
And it works!
My hair has never been more manageable.
I took it a step further. I use only water. That’s right just water.
I spend the same amount of time under the shower spray massaging my scalp and rinsing my hair as if I was massaging in shampoo and rinsing, but without anything but water. Only if I go swimming in a chlorinated pool do I use the baking soda and Apple Cider vinegar to get out the chlorine.
I’ve been doing this since February, water only since March 2011. I did have about a week where I was slightly oily and I just pulled it back into a bun and let it be.
You can’t get much more thrifty than free.
No shampoo to buy, no conditioner to buy, no leaving products to buy. I do have a can of spray coconut oil that I spray lightly after I get out of the shower, that’s it.
Here’s another link to Sorta Crunchy, with an update of how it worked for her.
Here’s another take on it. This time from The Herbwife’s Kitchen.
I went cold turkey not the gentle way she suggests.
I do use a natural bristle hair brush, $5 at walmart in the ethnic hair care section.
I brush at night, use a large tooth comb in the morning and I “wash” twice a week. More on that in a minute.
I love my hair, I no longer feel like I am fighting it. The day I shower, I towel dry, spray a little coconut oil and comb my hair. That’s it, I let it air dry, the curls are well-defined and look lovely. That night comb with the large tooth comb and pull it back into a low pony tail for sleeping, it’s past my shoulders and I hate to feel it around my neck as I sleep. The next day I comb and fluff it back out a bit, maybe wetting my hands with water and running them through to bring the curl back out. That night, brush with my natural bristle brush to pull my natural scalp oils to the ends, pull back into low pony tail for sleep. The next day I usually bush it and leave it in a pony tail/loose bun. “Wash” again the 3rd day.
Shower days are usually Wednesday and Saturday. I started the Oil Face Washing Method I found on Sorta crunchy, can you tell I love her site?
I started with equal parts castor oil, Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. I also find I need more moisturizer so I added avocado oil as a moisturizer. I only “wash” my face with my triple oil “cleanser” on shower days. I slather on the oil and cover my face with a nice hot wash cloth ala old-fashioned barber shave style then when the cloth cools I use it to wipe off the excess oil.
Another blog on OCM by Aisha Wood.
After doing both the shampoo free and the OCM on my face I began to wonder if this wasn’t the answer to my lotion addiction as well. I decided to experiment a little on my own and in a soap dispenser I placed a 50/50 mix of olive oil and castor oil and began to apply that all over before stepping into the shower.
After steaming my face and “washing” my hair I take a loofah and scrub off the excess olive/caster oil.
Lest you think I am able to do this because I never sweat, never fear, I do. I go to Curves 3 times a week (well, that’s what I try to do) and I’m getting back into running, and I do clean my house and work up a sweat. However, what causes the smell is bacteria on the skin mixing with the sweat. I’m beginning to think that the OCM keeps that bacteria low because even when I sweat, it doesn’t seem to smell bad. It used to be that after a workout I had to get into the shower quick because I couldn’t stand to smell myself. Now, Jim tells me that I never have that B.O. smell. Last week when I had the flu with chills and cold sweats I could smell an odor, but I chalk, that up to sick sweat.
I buy the olive oil by the gallon at BJ’s, that’s a wholesale warehouse, Sam’s club type store. The castor oil I buy from my local natural foods store as well as the grapeseed, jojoba, and avocado oils.
The avocado I actually buy the cooking quality, not the cosmetic quality of, both are cold pressed and as far as I can tell, identical except the food quality bottle is cheaper by the ounce.
I’m not sure what I actually spend a month on the oils. I have only bought one bottle of each so far and I haven’t run out yet.
I do know that I’m not spending near as much as I was on personal hygiene products and my hair and skin feel and look SO much better that even if this wasn’t a “thrifty” option, it would still be my option.
So there’s what I do. You may not be willing to try it, you may think me weird for doing it, but, it works VERY well for me.
Linked up to We are THAT Family, Works For Me Wednesday