Monday, January 6, 2014

I don't wash my hair or brush my teeth {+ why & how}

Let me be more precise before you think I've taken this caveman thing a bit too far: I don't use shampoo to wash my hair nor do I use toothpaste to brush my teeth.

Better? Still unclear? Read on...

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I have officially stopped using shampoo {I'm back to shampooing - read why here}. This means I can now be considered "no poo", as in, "no shampoo". Why did I stop using shampoo? I figured that eating clean and paying attention to what I put IN my body was a great start on my road to health, but that I should also pay attention to what I was putting ON my body as well. One look at the back of my shampoo bottle (because I had this thought while in the shower...) confirmed my suspicions - the shampoo had to go! {I found this list really helpful when I decided to purge my stock of beauty products.}

Here is how I went about becoming no poo, because this isn't just something you can jump right into without looking like a complete mess! This took time and a lot of patience.
First, I slowly spaced out my regular shampooings until I was down to once a week. This process took about three months. After that, I continued to use shampoo during this time, letting my hair air dry whenever possible. I kept with one shampoo a week for about five months, but mostly because I was a bit chicken to let my shampoo go.

When I finally did let it go, I used a baking soda solution to "wash" the roots of my hair and an apple cider vinegar solution to "condition" the ends of my hair. Surprisingly, my hair was fairly clean after this.

I have been doing a once-a-week baking soda was for over two months now, and I am quite happy with my hair. I did have a hard time right around the one-month period when my hair became extremely greasy {my husband kindly told me I should wash my hair} but I stuck with it - and I'm glad I did! My hair is soft, shiny and has lightened a bit in color. On top of that, nearly all my split ends have disappeared and a slight wave has taken hold of my locks.

The next step? I'd like to work my way to once-a-month baking soda washings, with just a simple clear-water rinse the other three weeks of the month. I will start with every other week at first, to see how it goes...

And did you think I had forgotten to tell you about not using toothpaste? Well, I actually use the same thing to clean my teeth as I use to clean my hair: baking soda. Since making the switch, my teeth have gotten whiter and they even feel cleaner! I used to be able to "feel" the gunk on my teeth at the end of the day, but now they are just as "smooth" as they are right after I brush them. And, no one has yet complained about me having bad breath. {I even make my husband check from time to time, just to be sure. He is forced to smell my hair as well, just in case. That poor man.}

Another good point for baking soda? I can drink orange juice right after brushing my teeth and.not.die. Freal.
Here are my "recipes". You can click here to save them to your computer.
 No Poo Wash
Mix 1-3 tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to make a smoth paste. (Use more or less baking soda, depending on the thickness of your hair. I measure out the baking soda into a small cup, then add the water while in the shower.)
Smear the baking soda paste all over your head (don't forget the back!) and rub-rub-rub! You'll need to concentrate your rubbing on the roots, and be very careful not to miss any part. You will end up with greasy spots if you miss a spot. Trust me.
Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

No Poo Conditioner
Dilute 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in at least a cup of cool water. (I measure out the acv into a tall drinking glass, fill it the rest of the way up with water, then let it sit on the edge of the shower while I "wash" my hair.)
Poor slowly over hair, avoiding the roots.
Let sit on hair for at least five minutes, then rinse briefly with cool water. (I usually let it sit while I scrub up and shave my legs, then I flip my head upside down and rinse with cool water right before getting out of the shower.)
Your hair will smell like vinegar until it dries. You may also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to the solution if the smell really bothers you, but it's not necessary. 
No Paste Toothpaste
Wet toothbrush. Dip tooth brush in baking soda. Tap toothbrush to remove excess baking soda. Brush teeth like normal.

(This method tasted extremely salty for about the first week or so, but I stuck with it and have become acustomened to the taste.)


  1. We used baking soda when we were kids when my parents didn't have enough money to buy toothpaste.

    1. And you probably did your teeth a world of good, avoiding excess flouride and other nasty, useless additives. I hope you continue the habit ;-p

  2. I think I should try mixing baking soda with my toothpaste, I need to whiten my teeth =D

    1. Baking soda works wonders! I have a non-paleo colleague whose dentist suggested she dip her toothpasted toothbrush into baking soda because she wanted whiter teeth - and she's had pretty good results!