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Green things, Thrifty

On not washing one’s hair

21 February, 2012

I am considering myself halfway through an experiment in not washing my hair. I am so committed to this experiment that at the weekend I even attended a wedding with my 7 week non-washed mane.  If the experiment goes well then it will become life but at the moment it isn’t looking likely.

Let me review the benefits I have experienced of not washing my hair:

1- it is really thick and volumous, the kind of hair I usually would get after blowdrying, hairspraying, dry shampooing and backcombing. It is nice having voluptuous locks after a lifetime of skinny ones.

2- I feel quite pleased with myself, all eco and green and smug.

Ummm.

That’s it. Yeah.

It isn’t going superbly.

You see if I could just do the bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar wash then I would be SOLD. After washing with those my hair is brilliant; thick, glossy, clean.

But the thing is it also strips out my hair colour and I’m not having that. Last year I discovered I was a redhead in a mousy blonde body and have henna’d my hair every 2 months in order to embrace my ginger soul. If I do a bicarbonate of soda wash I will then have to henna as much as every couple of weeks too and, honestly? Who could be bothered with that?

The experiment has made me think differently about “clean hair”, after a water wash I know my hair isn’t dirty but just filled with natural oils. To me now normal hair does look a bit dry and dusty. A bit of slick seems pretty standard. One day last week I was basking in my natural oils and eco smugness when my mum turned to me and said “It looks like you’ve dipped your hair in a chip pan”. Turns out natural oils look a lot like grease, eh?

So. I have had lots of scarf days while I trial different methods;  hot water, brushing like mad, a henna rinse. I haven’t nailed it yet but have a couple more ideas under my belt.

Cor, mum, your hair smells filthy

I have never thought so much about my hair and it is DOING MY HEAD IN. Part of my motivation in weaning off shampoo was to simplify my life and the things I am dependent on. Ridiculously, this experiment is consuming me!

However, I still have this motivation and hope that over the next few weeks I will somehow nail it. Watch this space!

Update: HOLD THE PHONE! Don’t worry everyone, WET LOOK IS IN!!!!!!!

Green things, Thrifty

This post really is about Bicarbonate of Soda

19 January, 2012

Just a warning, this could be the most boring blog post you read for a while. Feel free to stop.

It is about Bicarbonate of Soda and not washing my hair.

It is an ode to Bicarbonate of Soda, to be specific. And a bit of info about how I have stopped washing my hair.

I know:  Worst. Post. Evs.

So, Bicarbonate of Soda. It is just so GREAT, this wizardly white powder that costs tiny pennies. I can’t get over it. It has slashed our cleaning budget and removed a host of toxins from the prying hands of our little tot. I buy it in bulk from Ethical Superstore (along with my coconut oil and apple cider vinegar) and use it for EVERYTHING!!!

For a few years now I have used it as deodorant – yup, dip your fingers in and dust it over your just showered pits and it keeps you dry and stink-free all day. And I am totally not a naturally, smells like roses kind of a girl. I have been trying out more natural deodorants for sometime, like the mineral crystal shizzle, but with no luck.

I have also begun using it for cleaning – sprinkle it’s antibacterial self around the mucky bits of your bathroom, mix with water and spray onto the surfaces of your kitchen.

I use it as a gentle face scrub.

I also, as of last week, use it instead of shampoo.

You see, I am weaning off shampoo. I am 10 days in and so far I only look like I have missed one shampoo wash. It is a little oily, but not stay-in-isolation- oily.

I read recently that women on average put over 500 chemicals into their bodies everyday just through their skin and healthcare regimes.  What the? This is madness! I am sure no one would do this knowingly. This is a rubbish fact for both women and the environment.

I also have a (maybe naive) conviction that, for the most part, our bodies were created to cope sufficiently on their own, and that too much interfering can mess with the body’s natural ability to do it’s thing.

Shampoo is a good example – we strip it of it’s natural oils every time we wash, so it goes on overdrive creating more oils, but then we have to wash it more, until we are on a once a day hair wash rhythm. Meanwhile we are also drying it out, putting random
chemicals on our scalp, and rinsing this chemical cocktail down the plug into the system again. Ramona shows this to be true- 15 months old and we’ve only shampooed her hair a handful of times. So although I use an organic shampoo I have still decided to try “no poo” out on my own locks. I did it once before, mostly out of curiosity, but my hair was cropped, it was summer and I didn’t have a job – it was okay to look a little, um, au natural. It lasted a couple of months and didn’t really revolutionise my hair care.

This time I have just begun back at work (first week back has been excellent, although I do miss Ramona  still) so need a certain hair standard and my hair is long, but I do have a few more tricks up my sleeve to do this effectively:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda – whenever it starts looking a bit needy just make a little paste up and put it on scalp, rinse and Ta-daaa!
  • Lots of “No-Poo” forum and websites for support and tips
  • A bristle brush – I am currently looking for one of these, do you have one? It helps distribute the oils. It means I have to start brushing my hair though, rather than back combing it. I am yet unclear as to how this will effect my quiff, long term. 🙂

Soooo.

There it is.

I will let you know how I get on, as I know you are particularly riveted by this most riveting of subjects!

Craftiness, Green things

Edit your jumper: Sleeves into socks

20 October, 2011

Shrinking clothes in the wash is one of the most annoying housekeeping disasters I reckon. That heart sinking moment when you see a tiny version of your favourite garment and try really hard to make it fit you, to no avail. Last winter saw some of my warmest woollies get shrivelled and pretty much everyday when I get dressed I think “Argh, that cardi would have been IDEAL today!”- when in actual fact I probably would have left it on a bench somewhere by now.

But there is a benefit to all this shrinkage- the opportunity to make felted goods. I am slowly carving my way through entire jumpers, wasting not a scrap, much like a medieval butcher (Ah- eyeballs! Perfect marbles. Intenstines! Perfect Sausage holders.) or Mcdonalds (Erm… chuck it all in. We’ll call it a Happy Meal.) I have so far made a dress for Ramona and some slippers out of armpits for myself. 

Today I present to you the Sleeve Stockings. They are in the same 3 minute vein, so purely functional. I am sure if you were to attempt it you could make them “beautiful looking and warm”, rather than “ridiculous looking but warm”.  Ramona is wearing these everyday at the moment as it is blinking FREEZUS and we are up at St Pauls with Occupy LSX, that most transformative movement. (Come along, we chill out with all the tots, playing, eating etc) These stockings are great for baby wearing, where your bodies are toasty from being squished up together but the limps are a bit exposed.

Attachment parenting, Green things, Nappyfree

So how is that weeing by a tree thing working out for you?

1 August, 2011

Famously thanks, it is by far Ramona’s favourite place to take a wizzle.  She likes to think she can do her buisness while still participating, you know? I personally hate having to duck off to the loo if I feel like I’m going to miss out on some fun snippet of conversation. (Unless there is a good book in there. We have David Shrigley in ours. Which makes you think everyone else is missing out by not being in there taking a dump and reading. ) We have been on an epic voyage of communicating about elimination over the last 6 months. We have had a fair share of wee on the floor, even one or two poos. But for the most part it has been totally wicked. We are now at a joyous stage of having a nappy free 9 month old  and fairly risk free too. (Averaging one wee miss a day- all others by tree or in potty.) I love it because:

It is a continuation of me meeting her needs, when I feel she is hungry, I feed her, when I feel she needs to wee, I help her.
I love the communication- her wriggling, eyeballing me, grunting when she needs to go.
The sense of connection when we have really in sync days.
We immediately went down from one laundry wash of nappies a day to one a week.
I never have to clean poo up, ever.
I love seeing her freedom of movement without a nappy, I love her lolling around naked on warm days.
My husband has been able to get hugely involved in this side of parenting.
When I go out I don’t need a big fat nappy bag. Just a spare pair of leggings for a miss.

Here is a picture of the big little lady combining pleasures…

She is clearly thinking “This cucumber is great but a book would make this heavenly.”