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No Poo Anyone?

There’s new life with the ‘no poo’ movement sweeping across greener blogs and parenting circles. I think the release of The Story of Cosmetics video and the introduction of Safe Cosmetics Act has fired up discussions about toxic chemicals within cosmetics again including, of course, shampoo. Parents know there are natural and organic solutions to hair care but sometimes in frustration and in a weakened state from reading so many ingredient labels, we seek to find a simple way of dealing with complex ingredient deciphering. There is nothing difficult to understand by turning to truly safe ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, etc. How do you feel when you think about putting your expensive hair products away for awhile?  Are you so completely frustrated by industry giants mis-leading you with what exactly we absorb into our bodies and ready to withdraw your money from the cosmetics industry?

For me, a few lightbulb moments happened after watching The Story of Cosmetics. Many years ago I switched the kids to organic hair products – but what about what I’m using? I don’t want to be using chemicals on myself to ‘clean’ my hair and skin either. I wanted to make a change, but knew I couldn’t commit to the pricetag of purchasing organic shampoo and conditioner for myself (I have really long hair and need lots of conditioner).  So although my kids have used organic shampoo for sometime (no conditioner needed yet) last month I made the switch to ‘no poo’ with them and I can’t see myself turning back. I’ve heard from people that use the ‘no poo’ methods of cleaning that after a few years their hair changed in texture so if this happens I’ll invest in chemical-free shampoo again – but for now I’m thrilled with the results. How do I wash the kids hair right now?  I put a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water, mix so the baking soda dissolves, then slowly pour the liquid onto their scalp, rub into scalp and massage into the rest of their hair. My boys hair has never felt so good.  My daughters’ hair always feels a little dry so I need to remember to lesson the amount of baking soda to help with this problem. Either that or start using the apple cider vinegar condition in their hair.  This is 1 part apple vinegar (1 tablespoon) with 1 cup water. I tried this on myself today and I really enjoy supplementing my hair care with these techniques. From reading articles from people that have gone ‘no poo’ for a long period of time, apparently there is a stretch of time where your hair needs to adjust to being free from chemicals. This can take weeks to months. Because my hair is very long and gets annual streaks of blonde, it’s tougher to condition naturally – but I’m excited to play with the ingredients recommended for the apple cider vinegar conditioner. Adding drops of honey helps with hair texture, I also love the idea of natural oils (olive oil or coconut) to add to the ends of my hair when they get dry.

From reading up on the ‘no poo’ recommendations I’ve learned that you need to play with ingredients and their amounts. If you are finding your hair too oily or dry – you might need to endure a wait out period before your hair is used to not using chemicals to clean it. Also, if people like their home made hair products to ‘smell’ adding essential oils is one idea. It just occurred to me that readers might be wondering why a person would go through the trouble to blend their own mixtures of ‘no poo’.  The first reason would be the number of chemicals that are found in conventional hair products. Sorry – it just can’t be ignored anymore that cosmetics are causing disease, infertility, and a host of problems with human health. It does seem crazy that we continue to purchase cosmetics that are filled with chemicals linked to disease. Another reason for ‘no poo’ would be cost. For those purchasing hair care products on a budget this is an important point since buying cheap traditional shampoos probably contain more chemicals OR if you are sourcing organic, chemical-free shampoos it’s already causing some strain on your wallet.  There is nothing more inexpensive than buying baking soda and vinegar in bulk.  Even if ‘no poo’ doesn’t work out for you – you’ll have plenty of baking soda left over to clean with. Lastly, it gives a mama a very proud feeling to be trying an alternative that is totally safe. No research required. We know these natural ingredients are okay to use on our bodies so what have we got to lose?  Nothing!  And as I sit here typing and looking at my hair, I feel pride, knowing that today, I did something that limited my chemical exposure. It’s not very often I do something like that for myself. I usually research and purchase products knowing that it will help my children – but I do enjoy harnessing my inner crunchy goddess and trying something new. I’m sold on using this method of hair cleaning for my kids. For those trying different methods of ‘no poo’ – please post comments with updated on recipe variations that have been successful for your hair.

Note ** I would highly recommend the ‘no poo’ recipes to parents that have children suffering from eczema outbreaks. For more information on tips for managing eczema, click here.

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