Who knew going cheap and minimalist could be so good?

So, in the past month I've ditched shampoo, starting using the Oil Cleansing Method for my face, and started making my own toothpaste. Any one curious to know how it's all going?

Actually, I don't think that I mentioned I was doing the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). I discovered it in this post at Sorta Crunchy (very, very big hat tip to you, Megan!) not so very long ago (you'll have to visit this woman after my own heart to find out more of what it's all about!).

I've surprised myself by really enjoying using the OCM. I only do it once every second night, and other than that, I stick to plain old water and a teensy bit of a natural lotion if my face is feeling dry in between (which it really hasn't been lately). My skin doesn't feel oily, and hasn't broken out, which quite honestly I half expected to happen.

Instead, I feel like it's actually a bit clearer looking, and even (dare I say it?) a bit glowy?

I've also noticed that my nose area, which often gets dry and flakes a bit (in the midst of oiliness, blackheads and whiteheads galore, which is such a conundrum to me), has been neither dry nor flaky as of late. I might have even had slightly less breakouts and such. Hmmm… I might have stumbled upon something!

Homemade-toothpaste
Secondly, the toothpaste I mentioned last week. It's going… ok. I don't love it, don't hate it. Don't really care for the taste of it, but haven't bothered to play around with it to spruce the taste up either, which I know I could. I guess I'm just getting accustomed to the taste of the baking soda?

I haven't asked Ryan or the kids to try it, and I won't until I can make one that tastes better. For now, I'm using this up (probably), and will give it another go after. My mouth does feel clean, anyways, and I certainly liked the low cost factor, the lack of unknown ingredients, and how simple it was to make.

Thirdly, the hair. Are you all just on the edge of your seats, dying to know? (Indulge me a little, ok? Just pretend like it's interesting)

I love it! No poo' is definitely the way to go!

I guess it's been about a month now since I first posted about my crazy, crunchy move to not using shampoo. Since that time, I have been consistently doing the no poo' method, with great results.

I went through a short period of increased greasiness, but also noticed that if I removed the apple cider vinegar from my routine, the greasiness really isn't an issue. I am using just about 1/2 a tsp. of baking soda, which I rub into wet hair, and then rinse out. That's it.

At the same time as I made the switch, I also decided to go cold turkey on showering only every second day. I have dry skin/eczema issues on my hands that can get very painful and debilitating at times, so I thought that less hot water might be a good thing. I've always needed to shower every day because my hair gets to greasy and stringy, but that need is slowly (definitely slowly- it hasn't been as fast as I had hoped) decreasing.

The first day that I wash with baking soda (I keep going to use the initials b.s. and then think better of it every time), my hair looks and feels great. Light, manageable, good body, etc. The second day I put it up in a ponytail and just know that I've had better hair days and that it can only get better from here. I can handle going out to grocery shop, but I try to arrange my washing days for those days when I know that I plan to be social, spend a nice evening with my husband, etc.

And because I love you all so much, here are a few pictures (including one I would normally never post anywhere), but they suit the purposes of this discussion:

Hair-closeupThis is my hair on a day that it was washed (with baking soda only), about two weeks ago. Nice and shiny, hey?


Me-at-park
This other (awful) photo is of me at the park last weekend, again, on a washing day. I think it looks at least as good as usual, maybe even cleaner and shinier than usual (and the in-between days will get better in time, I'm sure).

So that's my update! Has anyone else tried any of these things, and how did you feel about it?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. Is there a different oil you can use instead I castor oil?

  2. I’ve been ‘no poo’ since Labor Day of this year (2011), I love it! I use baking soda & water about 1 or 2x per week but primarily I use plain water. I normally have to wash my hair every day—-not anymore. I discovered just today that I didn’t even have to wash it today and it looked just as good as it did yesterday fresh-washed.

    I also do the OCM…approx. 1:1 ratio and have been very satisfied with the results as well.

    I also make my own toothpaste using baking soda, Young Living Essential Oils, stevia, coconut oil and sometimes I add peroxide and/or sea salt. The one thing I did find with this…which is quite funny, I put it in a travel ‘tube’ from Wal Mart not realizing that it would build up pressure when I put it upside down so when I opened it I had baking soda toothepast all over me and the bathroom! It was totally a GREAT moment and I all I could do was laugh!! :)

  3. I am going to try this no ‘poo method with white vinegar…but I wanted to share that I often only shower every other day also. However, on those days, I like to take a large cotton round and get it pretty wet with Witch Hazel. I then go over my face, neck, chest and ears. Then I go over the top of my upper back. Then under my arms…

    Then, since we’re all friends, here…i turn over the pad, pour on some more Witch Hazel, and then clean my privates in the front. Last, I do the same to the backside!

    That’s my “bathing” portion…all with a single large cotton round and Witch Hazel.

    Lastly, I cover my entire body in Coconut Oil.

    All that takes only a couple minutes and then I get dressed. It makes me feel quite clean and moisturized…

    PS. I got the Witch Hazel idea as I was looking for a replacement for the “bum wipes” I was buying. All had yucky chemicals, but many also had Witch Hazel as an ingredient. Since natural “bathroom wipe” manufacturer’s use it in their bum wipes…..I thought…hey, I’ll just buy cheap, large cotton rounds, and keep a bottle of Witch Hazel by the toilet. Thats how I make my own “bum wipes”. Non-drying, safe for privates, and cheaper. I like the Witch Hazel because it’s a great facial toner too.

  4. As I commented on your other no ‘poo post, I was inspired by your experiment and decided to try it. Now 3 or 4 weeks into living without shampoo, I just love the way my hair looks and feels. I still generally “wash” it every day, mostly because my hair is too short for sweeping up into a pony tail (it’s still on the greasy side the second day). Now I’ll have to give this oil cleansing method a try. Who knew? It’s bold and daring but worth a shot. As for toothpaste, I’m sticking to my fluoride- and SLS-free Jason toothpaste for now. I can get it at a good price at Vitacost, so I’m pretty happy with that.

  5. Hello! I’m a fairly new reader, I think I found your blog on the day of the no ‘poo post… and I was inspired! I’ve been at it for a week and a half, but I have used shampoo twice… I was at New Attitude, and didn’t want greasy hair, so I caved! But its been 6 days now, and I love the way my hair brushes out with the ACV rinse! Looking forward to being entirely no ‘poo!

  6. This is my continuation. Sorry, when I have something to say, I usually have a lot. I guess you could say I’m detail oriented ;o).

    I left off with the revelation that I haven’t been brushing my hair when wet. In the initial drying phase, my hair looks absolutely terrible. But as it dries, the curl/wave takes shape and becomes dry and amazingly…no knots! (or just a few that I can finger pick out just like my friend said).

    Now, after my hair has dried, I have also tried brushing it if I want to go wavy for the day instead of curly and I haven’t had the problem of breaking hair ends.

    My final comments are, I can go a couple days between washings, but that isn’t new. My hair does seem softer and tends to look more like it did in high school (more colorful and full). I have noticed it is better to only put the apple cider vinegar on the bottoms of my hair and not on the roots. It tends to get greasier faster if I do.

    If anyone has a hint for dryness as the top layer of my hair is still fairly dry, especially the ends, but perhaps I just need a haircut. ;o) Thanks for letting me share!

    • Christa says:

      @Faith, Oh good, perhaps you can help me. I have curly hair too. It is getting less and less curly with each baby, but I still would call it curly. I have read about not brushing before but I don’t understand how to do that. When I shower I have to use a comb and tons of conditioner at the bottom of my hair to get all the tangles and knots out. I think it is worse right now because I am losing so much post-baby hair and I wear a ponytail all the time. I am sure I am ruining my hair by attacking it in the shower, but I don’t know what else to do. I’d love to try this no shampoo thing, but does the vinegar get the knots out for you?

  7. Jennifer, you’re brave! I’ve never tried that (not sure that I would), but at one time my husband did it! He said it was easy in that it was no washing, but lots of work to maintain the dreads (without them looking really grubby). Hope you like it!

    Faith, great comments, thanks for sharing! That is so interesting about the scent of the shampoo lasting for so long- wow! I’m glad it’s going so well for you!

  8. I only have a little bit of time before I have to run to the doctor, so pardon any typos, but I definitely wanted to respond b/c I’ve been doing the “no ‘poo” for hair care. And hopefully it may be helpful for those who have wavy, curly, thick hair.

    1. I immediately noticed positive results involving the “burning” sensation on my head. I had possibly been having some type of rxn to shampoo, which is the main reason I wanted to find something new. I had tried switching to various shampoos, but after a week or so the “burning” would come back. With “no poo” it has slowly gone away.

    2. After about three weeks, I realized my hair still had the perfume smell of shampoo coming out of my hair (at the roots) and I hadn’t used it in three weeks. This was an interesting observation for me that really made me think switching to “no poo” was a good idea if the chemical affects and scents were so ingrained in my scalp it took over three weeks to go away.

    3. I have thick curly/wavy hair that tends to be brittle on the ends that initially the baking soda seemed to make worse, especially to brush it when I got out of the shower. I realized I was breaking off tons of hairs because my hair was looking super frizzy from the broken ends. Result: My even curlier haired friend gave me a tip. She never brushes her hair because it messes up the curl pattern. If it looks tangly, she just finger picks it. This may sound crazy, but you would never know that she doesn’t brush it! It reminded me that I had once read not to brush your hair when wet. I’ve been trying it and it works, but I’ll have to share more later b/c I’m out of time.

  9. The changes you are making are awesome! My response to my hair was putting it in dreads – I just did it yesterday!

  10. Megan, I’m with you- sometimes things like this actually make me giddy! Glad I’m not the only one! :) And I cannot wait to hear how it’s going for you! But seriously, do your move, get settled, RELAX, then tell, ok?

    Thanks Laura! Do give it a try– castor oil is so cheap, so it makes for a very worthwhile experiment and nothing is really lost if it doesn’t work for yoU!

  11. Wow! Thanks for the info. I had been wondering how the no poo thing was going for you. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to take that step yet, but I can definitely see great potential in the OCM for my uber oily face. I think I’m going to pick up a bottle of castor oil next time I’m at the grocery and give it a try!

    You are such an inspiration and I love hearing how these things are working for you!

  12. Oh yay! I am SO glad OCM is working so well for you. I love it!

    I am so enjoying my shampoo experimentation, and after we get moved and settled, I will for sure post my experiences with it. AWESOME pics. Your hair looks BETTER than a shampoo commercial. So pretty!

    I just love natural living. It makes me so happy. heee!

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