Semi-successful Experiment

Once again, a topic on MDA Forums (or the conversation that the topic semi-evolved into) got me thinking, and, in this case, inspired an experiment. (and, once again, maybe a little TMI-ish, but not too bad)

There is a lot of talk in some circles about soap and hair products being harmful. I never put much stock into that, but a lot of people in that topic talking about replacing manufactured soap and hair products with natural substances and having IMPROVED results when it comes to hygene really got me thinking. Shampoo and body wash is expensive, unless you buy the cheap kind that tends to leave a film on you. And, frankly, despite the fact that I wash daily, and am eating pretty healthy these days, I still get pretty bad acne during those hormonal times–I got to wondering if a change of this kind might actually be beneficial. And cheap! A box of baking soda is less than a dollar, and a gallon of white vinegar is just a couple dollars–2 cheap products that can do what 3+ expensive products do? Sounds awesome.

Basically, the idea was to replace soap and shampoo with (sometimes diluted, sometimes not) baking soda, and (diluted) vinegar for conditioner for awhile to see what happens. I tried it starting Friday night, and the results were great–came out of the shower feeling just as clean as whenever I used soap and shampoo/conditioner, and my hair was just as managable–it lasted throughout the next day until it was time to shower again. Saturday night/Sunday was the same. Sunday night, at the end of the shower, I thought my hair felt oily and heavy, but it was still wet, so I’d hoped it was my imagination. Nope, ended up having to endure a day of work on Monday with greasy nasty hair. Monday night, same thing, so I broke down and used shampoo, and lo my hair is nice again today.

This is apparently normal, and I half-expected it–your hair goes through an adjustment period where it’s greasy and gross for about a week before it gets back to normal. Urrgh … I can’t do that. I work in an office job and I just can’t have my hair look bad for a full week. So, the Shampoo bit is a fail-for-now. I will try again once I’m in-between jobs and don’t have to be seen in public for awhile. In the mean time, I’ll continue using baking soda just as soap, and vinegar as conditioner and see if that works. At least it would mean less product in my hair.

But the soap part seems to be successful–skin hasn’t cleared up yet, but I’ve only been doing it for a few days and it takes time for results to show, but my skin looks and feels just as clean as if I’d used soap.

There are a couple of other successes as well …

I no longer use toothpaste–I wet the toothbrush and put a tiny bit of peppermint extract on it (just because I’m so used to tasting mint during/after brushing), and my teeth feel just as clean and smooth all day as if I had used toothpaste, but without that thick toothpasty flavor afterwards. I tried using the famous peroxide/baking soda combo on Sunday, thinking I might do that once a week or something (too often is supposed to be bad), but I was spitting blood afterwards, so … maybe not such a good idea. Maybe I’ll try it a couple more times and if I still get the same result, I’ll quit.

And finally, someone suggested replacing shaving cream/gel with aloe vera gel–a lot of people suggest coconut or olive oil, but I don’t want oil gunking up my razor, so I asked for an alternative. I cannot find straight aloe anywhere, but I experimented with some stuff I have for treating sunburns that I think is mostly aloe with a few ingredients added, like rubbing alchohol, to see if if was on the right track. It seems to work pretty well. So, once I find aloe, I’ll definitely try that for awhile.

I’ve also been using baking soda under my arms instead of deodorant–again, seems to work.

So it appears I’ve at least given up soap, maybe conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream/gel, and deoderant–not too bad.

Haven’t found a substitute for moisturizer yet–I don’t like the feel of olive oil on my skin, plus when I put some olive oil on my legs after shaving, I noticed a few breakouts within the next couple days, which seemed to stop after I scrubbed with baking soda.

And, as a disclaimer, in case anyone reading this thinking, “Eww, no soap or shampoo? Gross! Stay away from me!”, trust me when I say that I am VERY self-conscious about hygene (I went through hell in high school because I wasn’t allowed to shower more than 1-2 times a week–would NEVER willingly put myself through that humiliation ever again, which is why I did this at the beginning of a weekend in case it didn’t work out)–if this stuff wasn’t working, and I was a mess, I’d notice.

EDIT – Fifteen minutes later, Mark posts this article. Talk about timing.

One more EDIT as an afterthought – I will NEVER give up nail polish, I don’t care what’s in it. That’s where I draw the line! And you can quote me on that =P


5 Responses to “Semi-successful Experiment”

  1. Awesome! I love hearing about people getting away from their dependence on modern chemicals. Our great great grandmothers didn’t have shampoo or deodorant, but they weren’t gross and dirty either. They used whisky or vodka to clean their hair (or a simply lye soap they made themselves), vinegar to clean their house, baking soda to scrub, and lemon juice and strong sunlight to bleach their linens.

    I went through a period of trying to go no-poo (no shampoo) because my hair is so fine and I was certain the sulfates were damaging it. That’s tough though. I did manage to get it so I only have to wash it every other day before it gets greasy, and now I use sulfate free shampoo and silicone free conditioners. And I only clean my face with coconut oil now! Rub it on, let it set a while, then clean it off with a cloth. You wouldn’t believe the dirt I get, plus it’s moisturizing.

    Oh yeah, and be careful of brushing your teeth with baking soda. It’s ok once in a while to get a good clean, but if you use it every day, you run the risk of brushing off your enamel. Ouch. (sorry for the long comment! I just find this subject very interesting.)

    • I’ve just completely given up on no-poo for now. Tried using just shampoo and no conditioner (vinegar wash instead) that night and it felt oily and heavy again, so again I “fixed” it with a little more shampoo, but as of last night and for the near future, I’m gonna continue using shampoo and conditioner, but being very sparing with it and not leaving the conditioner in, just rinse it out immediately. Kind of a temporary compromise.

      Thanks for the idea of cleaning your face with oil–I looked it up and found this method:
      … but I used olive oil. Not sure where to buy castor oil, and I’ve heard it’s toxic anyway. Did it last night and this morning my face was barely oily at all–no more than usual, anyway, and I just took a damp cloth to it like they suggest.

      As for the baking soda, I know it shouldn’t be used too often–I was planning on brushing with it maybe once per week, assuming I don’t bleed every time like the first time. If I do, I just won’t bother with it.

      And I like long comments, so no worries ^.^

  2. Here’s my embarrassing confession: I don’t bathe each day. I don’t care much about my appearance. I would if I had people in my normal life that I really cared for, but I don’t. I just do the very basics and that’s that. I intend to change that someday, but not right now, and even then… ehh I’ll probably stick to the “classics”, but we’ll see.

    But to put a subversion on this… when I record stuff for videos (once in a solar eclipse) …. I really wash my hair, cut my nails, cut on proper clothing, clean up my couch, I even do the stupidest thing, I stand there nervous before my wardrobe and panic “OH NO! What should I put on?! Blue Jeans or Dark Blue Jeans?!?!?!” …… which is all kind of pointless seeing what low quality camera I have, but… there you go, there I care. I guess I did the same when I was visiting my best friend in Germany. Maybe that’s just it, I need people and occasions that I care for, and currently… that’s just not the case. But worry not Dena, if we ever meet, I’ll have shampoo AND baking soda ready :D!!!!

    • LOL at the end.

      I can actually kind of relate. While I’m diligent about bathing, if I’m not going anywhere and don’t plan on filming, I’ll usually just wear my pajamas all day (tho due to the heat, I’ve had to “upgrade” to a t-shirt and shorts because my PJ’s are too warm, but I wouldn’t wear shorts in public)–I don’t even brush my teeth. But I get all dolled-up whenever I film.

      • Heh, well I thought more about this topic and even got to hear something from my mom that surprised me. Apparently, I’ve inherited my father’s gift of “not stinking”, as in… I don’t smell as badly as other people would.

        Guess one could call that my super-power… not stinking. Ehhh kind of lame, but there are superheroes who’s superpower is stinking, so I suppose I did get the better end of the stick there 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: