For me, this has been a progression, especially with hair care products. I used to be a die hard Pantene fan and used it for years. In the last 3-5 years, I have tried a wide variety of supposedly more natural products from the grocery store shelves including Burt's Bees (since bought out by the man), Organix (still from the man, they just use a flashy natural sounding name), and many others. When you read the actual labels, these products don't seem much better than their bog standard counterparts, they are all chock full of things you really don't want to be slathering all over your skin and scalp.
My friend Mel is way ahead of me on this game. She sent me a great email with all of the products and companies she researched. She makes her own wonderful body butters and other products as well. She buys products from The Honest Company and Dr. Bronner's, both excellent sources of non-toxic products. I now use Dr. Bronner's soap diluted down for my shower gel.
I could literally get into pages and pages of detail on everything I have researched over the last year or two on this topic, but I think the better thing to do is to talk Mel into teaching a class with me at Ways To Wellness where we teach everyone about this and then make some of her amazing Body Butter. I will report back to you on plans for that.
I do plan to blog more often and in more detail as I move into a bit more of a winter hibernation mode with Jennifer Parsley Nutritional Healing. I plan to do fewer classes and more solitary things like blogging, Protective Diet affiliate promotion, maybe some video, and potentially a bit more recipe creation.
But I digress...
The picture included here shows the core of my natural beauty routine right now. I have actually stopped using shampoo and conditioner altogether and I use baking soda to wash my hair and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner. I was inspired by this post from Lindsay Nixon, The Happy Herbivore. I use those little containers with green lids so I can mix 1 Tablespoon baking soda with 1 cup warm water (I just fill it with shower water, pop on the lid, and shake to mix) and 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 1 cup warm water (I just fill with shower water, no need to shake as the vinegar is completely miscible with water). My hair is going through a bit of a detox, which I hear is typical. It feels a little stiff and has a different texture, I worried about smelling like vinegar.
However, I have persevered... and the other day I was looking in the mirror and thinking how good my hair looks with this new regimen. It looks thicker, wavier, and looks great at the end of the day when my hair used to be all fine, stringy, and limp at the end of the day. I am going to stick with this. It is about as natural as you can get and saves money to boot.
Also in the picture is a bottle of beautiful organic Macadamia Nut Oil and a jar of coconut oil. My brother gave me the macadamia nut oil along with some almond oil and hemp oil as a birthday gift. They are really high quality oils intended for cooking, but I don't cook with oil anymore. One day I decided to try using that instead of body lotion. It worked wonderfully, you need very little, they are great moisturizers, and I again save money not buying body lotion. I used to go through a lot of body lotion and it isn't cheap, especially the quasi-natural brands. The oils are a lot cheaper and last a long time.
Finally, the coconut oil I am going to use for facial moisturizer. My friend Marnie uses just coconut oil. I was in the process of using up the last of my fancy Estee Lauder creams (my husband gets low cost grab bags of their products working for a company who supplies them). This weekend I decided to stop putting the toxic soup of ingredients from those products on my face once and for all. I will give away the expensive creams to friends who use that stuff. I can't in good conscience put it on my skin anymore. So, only coconut oil on my face from now on.
Well, there we go, I did write pages and pages, even trying to be brief. I will share more information on why I avoid the products I avoid in a future post. What about you? Do you have any natural product tips to share? Has anyone else tried baking soda & vinegar on their hair? I would love to hear about it.