Thursday, January 6, 2011

No 'Poo?

I swear I become more of a hippy every day.

I don't mean to, I'm really not the hippy type! I've always been the girl who wanted to follow the trends, scoffed at environmental fanatics and chose products because they worked, not because they were good for me. I always wanted the latest in skin care and fancy hair products, hey it's FUN being girly!

But now that there's more than just me to think about, now that I'm responsible for the home that several other people share, and in fact am sharing my body with a very small, very vulnerable person, I've realized that I really need to think of what's truly best for us, best for our bodies. God only gave us one, and he charges us to take care of it. How can I serve God if I'm sick from years of eating processed foods and exposing myself to harmful chemicals?

So slowly but steadily I've been making some changes. I try to go for the "green" cleaners in the grocery store, not because I'm convinced that they're totally chemical free, but because I cling to the hope that they are better than the alternatives. I've blogged enough about my effort to feed my family wholesome, natural, from-scratch foods that I probably don't even need to mention that. But lately my eyes have been opened to a new area of my life that I hadn't really considered: personal hygiene, and the "No soap, no 'poo" trend that's hitting people who are trying to live a healthier alternative lifestyle.

At first I scoffed. Then I started reading more. The internet is an invaluable resource. And I'll admit, this isn't as big of a step for me as it is for some people. I used to be the shower-every-day type of girl. Then I had a child, and that flew out the window. To be perfectly honest, I'm lucky if I shower three times a week. And know what? I don't stink. I'm not dirty. It used to be that if I skipped washing my hair one day it would be a greasy mess, but now it takes a good 4-5 days of no shower before it starts to look bad.

Also, I was already halfway there. I've had eczema my entire life, itchy dry patches all over my skin. It had varied in intensity over the years, when I was pregnant with Eli it actually completely cleared up for a little while, but it's back now, especially on my hands. I always knew that bar soap or body wash in the shower made it much worse, and though I tried various products that claimed to be for "sensitive" skin over the years, even baby washes, everything only served to worsen the problem. So I haven't used soap or body wash in the shower for years, so giving that up is a non-issue.

Shampoo though...

Reading about other people's experience with giving up shampoo has given me courage. Lots of people replace it with baking soda and vinegar, but many others say that no shampoo at all is just as effective, and baking soda and vinegar can just be a transitional step if you aren't willing to take the plunge yet. Shampoo is basically a detergent, and strips all the natural oils from your scalp. This in turn causes your scalp to amp up production of oil to make up the difference, meaning you shampoo more... it continues. So by giving it up, according to my friend Internet, it will take a couple weeks for your hair to adjust but then your body will naturally reset how much oil it produces and you'll have clean, shiny, healthy and dandruff-free hair.

Not only this, but you are saving yourself all the harsh chemicals entering your bloodstream through your skin (and soaps and shampoos contain a LOT of them, every tried to read the label?), AND saving the money you would be spending. Sounds like a win-win to me.

So this is Day 1. I'm committing to try this for at least a month and see if my hair doesn't feel healthier and better. NO products in the shower. (Except the built-in moisturizer around my razor, not giving up shaving... I like being married too much for that). I'm curious to see if Cory notices a difference. I'm curious to see if this clears up the tiny bit of dandruff that I have, or even helps my skin out (because despite not using soap shampoo invariable gets on your skin in the shower).

So if this works out, we'll see what comes next. Homemade lotion? No deoderant? No toothpaste? There are lots of advocates out there for all these things as well, but I'm going to take it one step at a time.

One thing for sure: learning all this made me feel a lot better about the fact that I've never used soap on Eli, and I'll continue to do that. He doesn't need it, his hair certainly never gets greasy, and I can avoid the chemicals.

I'll keep you "posted..." (pun intended)


  1. So why would you shower at all then? Just water alone to get rid of the spaghetti sauce on your shoulders?? ;) I don't get the pun at the end...

  2. I believe the pun at the end refers to keeping us "posted" by way of further blog "posts".

    As for the whole thing, I reckon you're a bunch of Flintstones in desperate need of a visit to some form of civilisation in the extremely near future. Your kids won't thank you for being the town oddballs ... unless, of course, the whole town is doing it ;-)

    Lotsa luv :-)