Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No poo!

Who has heard of the “no-poo movement”? No, it's not about deliberately constipating yourself until your colon explodes. It's when you quit shampoo. I am slightly creeped out by the term so I am just going to say that I am going to quit shampoo. This does not mean I am going to have greasy and stinky hair. I actually have an alternative. I'll get to that in a second.

So why am I going to break up with shampoo? Yes I am cheap but that's not the reason. I am dealing with an autoimmune disease and my neurologist would like me to turn into a crunchy granola tree hugger. She thinks that using chemicals and eating processed foods is really bad for you in general and especially for those of us that have autoimmune issues. So while I don't see that I will ever give up ALL my non-crunchy granola girly needs (like make up, deodorant and shaving my legs), I am making an effort to get rid of more of the chemicals and processed crap in my life.

So there are chemicals in shampoo like methylisothiazolinone and diethanolamine. Google them and you will see that they cause cancer, nerve damage and Alzheimer’s disease just to name a few of the horrible things I found. My personal opinion is that the small amounts of these things in shampoo probably are not responsible for my nerve damage yet they probably aren't all that good for me either. Also the sodium lauryl sulfate (AKA: SLS) in shampoo irritates skin. As I am blessed with the most sensitive/irritable skin on the planet this is something that I can relate to.

So, in short: by simply quitting shampoo you will save money, you will have less irritated skin and you will not be using chemicals on your body. And for the real crunchy granola people out there it’s better for the environment because there are less plastic bottles in the landfill and we are washing less poison down the drain and into the ocean.

The alternative: shampoo with baking soda and condition with vinegar.

Nope, not kidding. Here's what you do:

Shampoo: Put 3 TBSP in a cup of water. Mix up and put in a reusable bottle. Wet your hair, "shampoo" with your baking soda solution and then rinse really well. You don't need to use the whole bottle. About 1/8 cup is all you need just massage this into your scalp.

Conditioner: Add 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Add to your hair. Leave in for 1 minute then rinse.
Rumor has it that quitting shampoo will make your hair soft, shiney and they healthiest it's ever been. I am trying it tomorrow. If I stop going out in public you will know that this was a very very bad idea and I am bald.

Oh and for those of you that remember I was going to color my own hair, I did it. Bought a box of color for dummies (i.e. Clairol) and colored my hair myself. It turned out really good. I was very nervous that this was a horrible idea but I am pleased with the results. (Except the one spot by my right ear that I missed apparently. Only noticeable when my hair is in a pony tail so I am not going to fix it until it's time to color again.)

So cost of the color at home was $7.99 plus tax. What do I pay at the salon? Anywhere from $300 - 400 per trip depending what I have done. Cheapest I get out for is $250.

I need to add the savings for shampoo/conditioner and hair color to the total. I am holding off on the shampoo/conditioner total until I know if I am going to do it for good or go running screaming to my beloved shampoo bottle.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wash your hands

I love the bath and body works hand soaps but they are about $5 per bottle. Even when they go on sale and I stock up they aren't cheap. I go through at least 1 bottle per month in the kitchen and the 3 bathrooms go through about 1 bottle every 2 months. This is roughly $100 per year on hand soap. So I decided to make my own hand soap. I made one gallon of soap and I spent $1.03 to make the whole gallon. I figure a gallon will last 4-6 months. So for $4.12 a year at most I made some awesome soap.


8 oz of bar soap. (I bought one at the 99 cent store for a whopping 99 cents)
2 TBSP of glycerin. (I bought a bottle with 10 oz for $6. This should make at least 20 batches of soap)
1 gallon of water

Shave the soap. I used a cheese grater. Add the soap, the water and the glycerin to a pot. Turn the flame to a medium heat and stir to allow the soap to melt. Don't boil. (If you buy unscented soap you can add fragrance to it at this point. My Aunt Beth gave me the great idea to put grapefruit rind in the water and boil it before I add the soap to have a nice natural grapefruit soap. I am totally doing this next time.) Let it sit for 10-12 hours to cool. I used an immersion blender to get the clumps and top layer nice and smooth. Then fill up your soap containers. I had lots extra and have it in a container to refill as I use what's in the house.

This is a $95.88 savings per year. So we are now at a total of $677.40 in savings for 2012. I am still waiting to make the dishwasher soap. I am almost out so we will make this when we run out.

Next post? Adventures in do it yourself hair color.