Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chemicals, chemicals everywhere

I love the idea of switching away from chemical-based products (and I mean everything - shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, household cleaners, etc.) and switching to natural products. For one thing, it would be better for the environment if we all washed our hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar than dumping gallons of Pantene into the water supply every day. For another, I think it would be better for our bodies.

After reading about the damage that phthalates can do to little growing bodies, I switched all the kids stuff from Johnson's and Johnson's to California Baby - which is an expensive natural product I found at Target. We've also switched to organic milk (which costs a small fortune). We're still using Pampers, and I hate it, but it feels like it's too late to switch to cloth (and BJ would probably kill me if I even suggested it!).

I bought the Borax and the Washing Soda necessary to make my own laundry detergent, but I've yet to find Fels Naptha soap (I don't want to order a single bar online - seems silly to pay shipping for something that's $1). I just recently read that you can use Ivory, instead, so I may buy some and give it a shot.

But what about me? My hair is super greasy. If I don't wash it every day, my scalp itches and my hair looks filthy. It's not filthy - I'm not running a marathon every day. It's oil. Apparently shampoo strips the natural oils out of your hair, and so your body over-produces them in response. My kids don't have greasy hair - they can go a week without a wash and look super - so I can only assume that it's 32 years of shampoo use that causes mine to be this way.

I've been reading online about going "no poo" and I'm intrigued. Certainly using baking soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair would be cheaper than using Fructis. It would be nice for this natural stuff to be cheaper than the alternative, for a change. (Well, the laundry detergent will be cheaper, once I find the soap, but the California Baby products and the organic milk are killing our grocery budget!). It would also be nice for this "busy mom on the go" to be able to skip a shower once or twice a week and not look grungey. (A hair dresser actually called me a "busy mom on the go" about a dozen times when she was teaching me how to make a "cute" ponytail. It looked a lot like a regular pony tail to me, except it took about three times longer. Hair dressers are weird. Long live the French braid).

The thing is, all the sites I've read say that it takes about a month for your hair to revert to its natural state, and I'm kind of afraid of what I'm going to look like for that month. Especially now that it's summer - I don't want to look like I fell head first into a deep fryer.

What do you think, internets? To no-poo, or not to no-poo, that is today's question!


Rob Monroe said...

I can't resist saying it, and it makes me sad:

I prefer to poo.

There, I said it. I can't see "poo" and not put a "p" on the end.

Anyway - My hair is very thick, and therefore kept very short. I have cut back as much as I can. My skin, though, is dry, and even more so becase of my kidneys, so I have a gross scalp.

Anyway, I still use shampoo, and would find it hard to give it up.

Sarah M. said...

Oooh, I don't know. I've debated about doing the 'no poo' thing too but I'm skeered. :p

If you do it, please post about how it goes. haha!

Jenny said...

I had a great laugh about this "to poo, or not to poo" because when reading I envisioned a "p" at the end, like Rob stated.
I do use some all natural products, but still use the cheap shampoo. My husband doesn't see the need to buy most of the all natural products out there, but, I have convinced him to buy organic apples, and other high pesticide veggies and fruits.
I would be willing to turn in my bottle of generic pantene for baking soda and apple cidar vinegar. I haven't read this book, but I'm all about researching the ingredients in things we put into our bodies.
Aubrey Hampton’s book, “Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care.” In this book Aubrey tells you how to read the label on any product that you put on your skin or hair.

Manufacturers are constantly using toxic chemicals in their skin and hair products and disregard their toxic effects on your body. This is easily seen in the list of chemicals that they use. Here are a few of these chemicals found in many product labels:

* propylene glycol or glycol– a petrochemical used because it is cheap

* cetearyl alcohol – emulsifier that can be synthetic or natural

* methylparaben or propylparaben – typical synthetic preservatives

* distearate – this is polyethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol which are petrochemicals

* isopropyl alcohol – used as a cheap solvent to carry synthetic oils.

I have no idea what effect some of these have on the body, but if I can't pronounce it, I have to question.

Have a great day.
Jenny H.

amy t sharp said...

I use dr bronners for body wash and poo- but have to use aveda clarifying poo once in a bit to get out build up- I also used Ivory and it is just fine for the washing detergent- :) xo
I buy my cal baby from mother nature .com

Jeana said...

I can't answer that, but I can tell you that I found Fels Naptha at Kroger, but I prefer using Ivory for laundry detergent. I like the smell better. Also, I buy whole milk and water it down, half milk and half water, to cut the price in half. We really don't use that much milk though--we just drink water.