It’s been about 6 months since I started on the path of a more chemical free, natural life and as I spent the last few days doing even more research, which I’ll get to soon, I thought I’d share an update.
I haven’t used shampoo since July of last year. I’ve clicked on a few articles about people not using shampoo recently, and as it’s typically the same information I read when I was doing research last summer, I skip down to the comments. I guess since most of my research was done by reading how-to and results articles, I didn’t realize that people would be so grossed out by the notion. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you’re one of those who makes such assumptions, you should be more open minded and actually do some research about it. It may not be for you, but it’s certainly not gross.
It’s now 6 months later and my hair has never been softer and shinier. Mind you, I didn’t follow the route I initially discussed then (read here). Trying to go the no-poo route in tandem with growing out my gray AND trying to go naturally curly was too much to do at once. Instead, I decided to co-wash (use conditioner). In addition to the co-wash, I deep condition once a week with my new favorite product: Coconut oil.
If you don’t know about coconut oil, please please PLEASE take the time to read about its uses and benefits. I promise that you will want to run out and buy some.
If in its hardened state (the state coconut oil is in at room temperature), I take a dollop and rub in my hands until melted into liquid oil form, and saturate my hair. I then put on a shower cap, and then a tower over that. I keep it all on for as many hours as I have that day, wash off (just water) and that’s it. My hair has never been softer. I’ve talked about it with some friends with thin hair (I have a lot of really thick hair) and they’re concerned about adding even more oil. While I can’t relate and am no authority on the matter, I will say that the best bet is to try it and use a small amount. Due to this, and the skin update I’ll discuss next, I’m now a committed advocate for moving as far away from chemicals as possible.
I currently have eight 7-week old puppies, two dogs, and a cat at home. Sleep has been at a premium, and most days I’m lucky that I made it to work on time, let alone put on makeup. That’s why when my co-worker told me that my skin looked great last week, I knew that the changes I’d been implementing have been working.
If you know me, and if you’re read this blog, then it’s no secret that acne has been my nemesis since my teen years. I’ve tried everything. Over the counter items, Tetracycline, Proactive, and even Acutane. Each of those things helped, but only temporarily. Had I known that the results were temporary, I would’ve said no to the Tetracycline and Acutane, as the side effects were definitely not worth it.
When I started doing research on natural cures for acne, I found a few that I decided to try. I wash my face with raw honey in the morning and in the evening if I didn’t wear make up that day. I also make a mask by mixing raw honey with coconut oil. It’s not only beneficial, but seriously delicious.
But here’s the biggest surprise of all: The Oil Cleansing Method. When I first read about it, I was skeptical. But since I was desperate and keeping an open mind, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it. I only use this method in the evening when I’ve worn makeup. I mixed the castor oil with grape seed oil. It feels heavenly, It really leaves my skin clean and makeup free AND no dryness. I can really tell a difference when I don’t use it.
Afte all of it, I use an astringent made of equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw w/the Mother) and Witch Hazel.
Next on the chemical-free journey
Here’s the thing. I am more than my skin and my hair. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ve been feeling like shit (yeah, that’s that best way to say it at the moment) for months. Last week was a particularly bad week. There were days when the pain I was feeling was so intense, that just sitting at my desk at work was work in itself. It forced me to cancel weekend plans, so I decided to take advantage of the time, and do more research.
My journey started on the outside, and that did help to alleviate some physical issues, but what did that matter if I never felt good on the inside. As I’m apt to do do, I clicked on a link and sunk down a wormhole of articles by natural foods experts and advocates, which then lead me to a host of documentaries on the subject. I learned about our food industry and its effects on our health and the environment. I consumed a lot of information, from the diet industry, to juicing, to veganism, and I was most fascinated with the research about sugar and processed foods.
I am still processing all of this information and working on how it will all fit into my life. I don’t know that yet, but I do know that there are more changes coming, which I’ll be posting about later this week. Stay tuned!