The Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Free Hygiene

We are bombarded with so many chemicals every day. Some of the most toxic stuff we use are part of our basic hygiene! The biggest struggle most people have when ditching the bad is getting past the normal and basic needs. This is to help you make the switch from Toxic to Sustainable easy. Need more help? I have a Facebook group too! It is still small but feel free to join, ask questions, give feedback and learn! Sustainable Hair care and Hygiene

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Scalp and Hair Salt Scrub

Something I have been adding to my hair care routine is a scalp scrub. I do one about once a month, and this is my favorite recipe!

2 Salt Scalp Scrub

  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 Coconut oil
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

This is really easy to make and one batch makes a few months worth of hair scrub. It can be stored in the bathroom both Tea Tree and Coconut oil have preservative aspects. I like to use a chopstick to mix things but that is just me.

Scrub this mix into your scalp with your fingertips. You do not want to get rough, this should not hurt, but rather soothing.

I let it sit in my hair for about an hour or an episode of whatever I am currently binge watching. (Right now it is old episodes of Bones.)

Why these ingredients?

  • Sea Salt: Great for exfoliating and a cleaning agent.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt: Antioxidant, great for getting of odors.
  • Coconut oil: cleansing, conditioning, and helps to boost your immune system.
  • Tea Tree essential oil: cleans, helps rid your scalp of bacteria, and anti-fungal and anti-yeast.

My No-Poo

Let me really honest right now. Sometimes being No Poo is kinda gross. Your hair starts to get a build up and you end up planning your “wash” around when you want to be social. So this is me, before “wash day.”

This is a little awkward because I felt very greasy when my husband took these photos.

I am not feeling very cute in this photo but this is me before the scrub! As you see, I do really need that treatment.

The Rinse!

Raw Vinegar rinse! Most people use Apple Cider Vinegar but I prefer my homemade Lemon Vinegar. I ferment my own vinegar and this one in the photo is a mix of homemade Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon!

I use a hair dye application bottle with 4 oz water 4 oz vinegar and use this to rinse the scrub off my scalp and hair. I follow with the hottest water I can stand, and rinse the vinegar out. After that, I do a cold water rinse. (This makes for softer hair.)

Let your hair dry out and if it feels dry feel free to use Argon oil or something like to condition it. If it is greasy use a dry shampoo to dry it out a little.

Make your own scrub!

You do not have to use my recipe, experiment! Make your own! Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Every ingredient should have a purpose. Scent can count (you know to cover vinegar smell) but it is even better if that good smelling oil is also amazing for hair like Ylang-Ylang.
  • Be kind to your drain! I avoid coffee grounds (use lots of coffee, though), oatmeal, or any grain. I know oatmeal can be wonderful for your hair, but it is less kind to your drains.
  • This seems like a no-brainer but don’t use anything that will give you a bad reaction. If you have a gluten allergy or baking soda intolerance, avoid those things.
  • Mix it up! If you always use the same thing it seems like it does not work as well after a while. Play with it!
  • Salt might be too hard for some if so try sugar and brown sugar.

Getting Started with the No-Poo Method

I am a member of some great no-poo groups on Facebook, but many of them are really strict about no essential oils. Anyone who knows me knows that oils are a big part of my life, but I have respected the group rules. In an oil group, that I am a member of I asked about No-Poo to find people interested but so far little experience. So we decided to make a new group for people interested in no-poo and essential oils. Personally, I want to incorporate all non-toxic beauty but for right now the focus is no-poo.

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free! Non-Toxic Haircare & Beauty

This is just basic information to give you a starting point.

Important Information:

I am not an expert, this post is mostly based on my own experience and trial and error. What works for one person may not work for another.

Your water type, hair type, PH, and overall health can affect your no-poo method results. It can take experimenting to find the best results and you may have to do some research. I am pretty lucky. There is pretty good water where I live and I was low poo before going all out no poo. If you use lots of shampoo you may need to start low poo first for an easier transition.

Getting Started:

  • If you use shampoo, your hair is addicted to it. Your body creates something called Sebum that cleans your hair and keeps it healthy. Shampoo removes the Sebum and replaces it with chemicals. After a while, your hair just can not handle the Sebum and your hair gets that greasy feeling.
  • When you stop using shampoo you have to go through a detox phase. This is often referred to as transitioning. This can take as little as 3 months, but in some cases as long as a year. It took me 3 months but I did not get a good balance for my hair for about 6 months.
  • Once you decide to go no poo, you will want to do your last wash. This is best with a daily clarifying shampoo. This will make the transition easier for you. Keep this around the house too for cleaning your brushes!

Things useful to have:

  • Boar Bristle Brush (Get a cheap one at first for $5 at Walgreens or a local grocery store, and replace it when your hair is done transitioning.)
  • A very fine tooth comb. (I recommend using a lice comb because they are made for removing nits from hair, and will remove waxy buildup from your hair.
  • Glass SpraBottle
  • Dry shampoo (link is to DIY homemade one)
  • A science lab in your bathroom (I kid, but sometimes it will look like that)
  • Hair Oil (Link to the recipe I use)
  • A washing method (I prefer baking soda but this will not work for everyone)

I am more of a water only method, but every now and then I need to to a baking soda wash. Since I knew from the start that I wanted water only I tried to do that as much as I could from the time I started.

  • Before my shower, I start my haircare.  I use a “hair oil” once a week. I brush my hair with the Boar Hair Brush, massage the hair oil into my scalp, then use the lice comb to move the Sebum, and oil down the length of my hair. I use two intense oils so I try to use the oil sparingly and never let it set it long. If it ever feels uncomfortable I use fractionated coconut oil or Argon Oil.
  • Use the lice comb to remove excess oil, buildup, and ick from your hair. You will want a washcloth or something to wipe the ick off the comb. In the beginning, this will be gross, but after a while, it won’t be bad at all.
  • Rinse your hair daily with the hottest water you can stand. If you are using the hair oil, you do not want to get that in your eyes so be VERY careful! If needed do your wash, and rinse again with cold water.
  • While transitioning I “washed” weekly with a baking soda wash. I used 1/4th teaspoon baking soda with a jar full of water. I pour this over my hair, massaging my scalp and hair. I follow this with a coffee rinse to keep my hair from getting too dry and it seems to help with dandruff too!
  • For a coffee rinse, I save the last little bits from the coffee pot in a jar until I am ready to use it. I still do this once a week, but only wash once every 3 months now. You can also use apple cider vinegar but for me, the coffee works just as good without the smell.
  • Lately, I have started using a Tea Rise too. I use Sleepy Time Tea. I heat the tea as normal (No sugar or milk too!) I use this when my hair is getting a little oily or after a scalp scrub or hair oil treatment. I pour the warm (not hot) tea into wet hair and “lather” my hair. Rinse the tea out with cold water.
  • I have recently learned that every now and then you will want to exfoliate your scalp. I am not sure how often you should do this, and I am still learning, but I have done one. A lot of web pages say to use coffee grounds but this is really bad for your drains so I use large grain salt or sugar and make a scrub with applesauce. Here is a Scalp Recipe I started using: Scalp and Hair Salt Scrub I also found this one too: oMega-glow face mask
  • I recently also started using something called Mermaid Hair every morning! I love this stuff and find my hair feels cleaner since using it!

I use this recipe as is, but I also fill the bottle half up with water, because my hair seems to like that better.

Other things:

These are things I have heard are really good but have not used yet:

  • egg wash
  • soap nuts
  • Indian or African shampoo bars

Note:

Updated 6/4 with new steps and things that I have learned.

Essential Oil Hair Oil

I started using this to help give myself longer healthier hair. I found after using this blend my hair was getting thick, it promoted new growth, and helped me a lot after I went no-poo.

I premix this in a 15 ml bottle and use as needed. I do not use the whole recipe at once and mix with a carrior oil (like fractionated Coconut Oil) if I have discomfort at any time. This oil I find less is more.

  • 30 drops Lavender
  • 30 drops Tea Tree
  • 15 drops Rosemary
  • 15 drops Cedarwood
  • 15 drops Peppermint Oil

Add all in a 15 ml bottle, and roll the bottle in your hands to mix. If you are sensitive to any of these oils, add carrier oil to the bottle.

You do not want this to get in your eyes! If there is discomfort, do you rinse out, use carrier oil first. I use neat, but only sparingly and only after a year of using it diluted.

To Use:

  • After brushing your hair, gently massage hair oil into scalp, using as little oils as you can.
  • Using a very fine tooth comb, run the oil from your scalp and down the hair. Sometimes adding the oil to the comb helps make the hair smooth.
  • Let set for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse out with the hottest water you can stand. If you needed carrier oil you may have to wash after that. Finish off with a cold water rinse.

Things I have learned going No-Poo

This January I decided to go No-Poo. For those who don’t know what that is, it means I no longer use shampoo. I wrote about this a while back: 5 weeks No Poo!  If you look at the photos, you will see how much my hair changed in a short time.

So here are the things I learned from going No-Poo:

  • Finding the method you need takes trial and error.
  • Everyone needs something different, even if you live in the same house.
  • If you move, you may have to relearn everything.
  • Your bathroom will look like a mad science lab.
  • You spend WAY less on hair care!
  • Once you go No-Poo you rethink your other hair care products.
  • Boar hair brushes are amazing!
  • Lice combs are multi-purpose!

So let me explain the Lice Comb

So I live in Texas, and Super Lice is a thing. My kids got it, and I had to buy metal lice combs, to use for a coconut oil treatment. (By the way that worked really good!)  I got these same combs as below (but paid more than Amazon charges.)

 

A year later, the kids got lice again, and I still had these combs. Obviously, I have to check everyone in the house when this happens. This time around I was No-Poo, but still transitioning. When I got to my hair (thankfully lice free), I noticed the lice comb was stripping the “wax” from my hair. By the time I was sure I had no parasites, my hair felt gross from all of the stuff the comb was stripping from my hair. So I did a hot water rinse, followed by a coffee rinse, and a cold water rinse.

The next day my hair felt the cleanest it has since I started No-Poo. I found it easier than most of the methods for moving the Sebum down your hair too!

I used this daily at first, now I use them when my hair is too dry or too oily! The combs get dirty looking and I have to wipe it off as I comb through my hair. I also do this BEFORE I clean my hair in the shower, so some ick is to be expected.

This is just one step!

I look forward to sharing more of my No-Poo. If you want to learn more feel free to let me know! I know this is hard to talk about for some, so you can message me if you do not want to publicly comment.

Next time I will go through my personal hair care processes.

 

Links are affiliate links to Amazon. These are the real products I use. You may find them in your local drug store as well!

5 weeks No Poo!

So I am now 5 weeks into this experiment!

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This is before…

I didn’t hate it, but it was frizzy and well some days I did hate it. I didn’t realize just how unhealthy is was then.

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This is from the weekend. A little longer now, and way less frizzy!

Once a week I use a baking soda wash (Sundays), and as needed I use homemade apple cider vinegar for dandruff. (Only once so far)

As needed I used my dry shampoo (only Twice). Every day I rinsed my hair out with the hottest water I could stand, and massaged the pads of my fingers all over my scalp. I also used a boar hair brush A LOT!

I was still using my old brush at first because it was easier to untangle my hair, then would follow with the boar hair brush. By week 3 I only needed the boar hair brush!

I know I had a super easy transition, and I am super lucky. What started as a plan for a two-month experiment, may be kept as a lifestyle change!

Super Easy Dry Shampoo (With extra helpful tip)

So today marks one month No Poo. (No Shampoo) I was super lucky to have very little problems “transitioning.” Transitioning is when your hair is learning to be healthy and pretty without shampoo. I have heard horrifying stories of things people have had to deal with, and I was worried. I promised myself that if things went bad I would stick with the no poo for at least two months. This has gone so good so far, and I think I will stay this way!

One of the things that helped me a lot was homemade dry shampoo. I would never use a commercial one because those are filled with god knows what!

Only two things are really needed to make Dry Shampoo:
  • A shaker bottle (like an old spice bottle)
  • Arrowroot powder or tapioca starch (pretty much the same thing)

If you have reddish hair you will need some cinnamon or cocoa powder for darker hair.

I pretty much only buy Bob’s Red Mill but I was recently told of another brand that is cheaper.

If you are adding cinnamon or cocoa, it may need some work to get the colors just right. I have pretty light hair, so I have been just using the plain starch.

Important Styling Tips

I saw this recipe everywhere, but most people were leaving out some important styling tips. I was lucky enough to learn from a pro! I used to be a model and my first experience with dry shampoo was on a photo shoot. the Hair and makeup girl explained all of this to me, even how to make it.

  • This is not to use every day. I think it would super dry your hair out but I don’t have first-hand experience with that. (I use it at most once a week, but less often if I can)
  • Rinse your hair out at some point. This is for days when your hair is just a little too greasy and you don’t have time to wash it out. With the no poo method, your hair can get a little waxy, and I have found it helps with that. It is a VERY good idea to rinse your hair out. I rinse mine right before bed.
  • You can not expect to shake it into your hair and have a miracle. Always brush your hair before using dry shampoo. After dusting your hair, run your hands through, and then brush it again. This gets the excess powder out of your hair.
  • Here is the tip I never see anywhere else: Use a blow dryer to get rid of the excess powder. Brush it out, then use a lowest heat setting and blow dry it while brushing. You don’t even need to use it more than 3 minutes. I was told; that you always use a blow dryer because otherwise the powder shows up everywhere and looks like dandruff.

I really hope this helps, and I will try to take some photos this weekend of how a month no poo looks on me! I know my kids were surprised by how nice it looks! It is growing faster too!