Tuesday, 29 January 2013

I stopped washing my hair...

For the past 29 days I have been working on my second favourite thing in the world, which is being green.

I have been buying supplies to make my own products, buying lots of glass jars to store everything in (I had weevils in my pantry!), making my own products, giving my non-green & non-vegan products away to my family and stopped using shampoo and conditioner!

I know! Gasp, shock, horror! No shampoo and conditioner, I must be some crazy dirty hippy. (Well actually yes, but..) I have joined the "No-Poo" Club! I now "shampoo" my hair with bi-carbonate soda and water and "condition" with ACV and water. This teaches your hair to regulate it's own oil and you basically end up with lovely healthy locks. Only problem is, I already have hair that regulates oil by itself!
Confession time. I only used to wash my hair (with shampoo and conditioner) around once a fortnight. I already trained my hair to cleanse itself.
So as someone who is new to the "No-Poo" club, (but has been free of washing my hair more than twice a week for a few years now) I can tell you it's awesome!

Firstly, because I don't have to damage my hair as much, I can straighten it and it lasts for days and days (Unless I suddenly get caught in a storm, of course.)

Secondly, now with my life free from expensive (and destructive) chemicals that I previously used, I not only feel like my hair is healthier, but I feel like the water would be of a much high quality and if only I wasn't renting so it could all be stored and used as grey water.

Thirdly, I have no stupid plastic bottles to deal with anymore, (ahem, besides the ones of conditioner that Isaac, the curly haired beauty, buys for his daily conditioning - I am trying to convert him!) meaning I contribute less to everything I hate about plastic.

The fourth for loving the "No-Poo" trend. IT'S VEGAN! You don't have to squint at any stupid labels, check any cruelty-free lists or go on a hunt like Alice in Wonderland looking for the against animal testing bunny.

The fifth and final reason for loving not washing my hair is the fact that the cheapest Vegan Shampoo and Conditioner from Coles, (Natures Organics) are both 41c per 100ml. Where as a 1kg box of Bicarbonate Soda costs 37c per 100g and 2 litres of Apple Cider Vinegar costs 28c per 100ml, as you mix them 1:1 with water, that is 18c per 100ml and 14c per 100ml!
82c per 100ml of shampoo and 100ml of conditioner. 32ml per 100ml of bicarb and water and ACV and water, that means you are saving 50c per 200ml.
If you use 50ml of shampoo and 50ml of conditioner every second day for a year, that means you spend $91.25 more than you could be. And hey, that is the cheapest vegan products you can buy! My poor curly haired babe goes through 2 litres of conditioner a month, and he doesn't like the super cheap stuff either - I don't wanna do that math because I pay for half.

So there we go, healthier hair, healthier grey water for healthier plants (which means less money spent on water bills!), less plastic going to landfill because it's "non-recyclable", vegan and ridiculously cheap!

I have my bicarb mixture (1:1 with water) in a squeezy hair dye bottle, much like a sauce bottle (may as well recycle it for yourself hey?) I brewed up some rosemary in water and used that to give it a nice smell, however you can use plain water or brew up your favourite flavour of tea! (Chai "no-poo" anyone?). Then I have my ACV and water (again 1:1) in a spray bottle for easy coating of my luscious locks.

Just jump in the shower, shake your bicarb mixture (everytime you use it!) and squirt a bit over your scalp and massage in for a few moments and let the water wash it down the length of your hair as you continue massaging. Then once free of bicarb, spray all of your hair with the ACV mixture and let it sit for as long as you are in the shower, rinse it out and bam! Beautiful, natural, cheap, vegan hair!

I like to smooth a little jojoba oil on to the (bleach damaged - damn you dip dying trend) ends of my hair and comb it before it dries. Et voilá!

*Word of caution, as your hair adjusts to this chemical-free version of washing it may freak out on you, just like my body did on me when I went vegan. There will be oil, it will be ugly, but once you are free of the horrible burden of chemical dependancy, you will be thankful! Go read some Burroughs to inspire you to get rid of your addiction to junk (shampoo). I recommended washing with the mixtures as often as you wash your hair to begin with, then gradually space it out. This should keep you looking more gorgeous than gunky junky.*

Friday, 11 January 2013

Happy New Year!

New years resolutions, do you make them?

Mine have always been similar, my family had a tradition of sitting around on new years eve morning and talking about our resolutions and writing them down, along with 10 things we were thankful for. However, now that I am no longer under the family roof the new years eve tradition has fallen by the way side, I tried to reignite it with my boy Isaac, but he is more of a doer rather than a thinker.

I guess I have always talked about doing things rather than doing them.. however my most successful resolution was in 2010 when I vowed to stop procrastinating and just do what I wanted to do, it involved cutting off a lot of my hair and being a wild child.

 This years resolutions are somewhat similar...

1. Stop biting my nails, a horrible habit that I have been doing since I grew teeth, it's been 20 years too long!

2. Get a job, I would like to spend my life volunteering but that won't help pay the bills and if I want to own a house in the next few years I should probably get one, I just love the student lifestyle far too much.

3. Improve physical and mental health. This is a big one for me, 2012 brought about a lot of change in both these, but mostly my mental health.

4. Become more nutritionally conscious. I am getting there, but I would still like to learn even more! I hope being a science student will help with my understanding of it all.

5. Read 26 books. I want to read more, and here is the magic number.

6. Start doing yoga, this one is going to help with so many things, mostly my mental and physical health, but specifically my hormones and anxiety. Plus I am the most inflexible person ever, I can only reach my shins when I bend over.

7. Get (& stay) organised! This one has already been started, with a massive clean up of our bedroom, purged a lot of things and freed up a lot of space. (It also helps that I am a little manic at the moment.)

8. Be creative everyday. Mostly drawing and painting, but writing also counts, I want to expand on my hobbies!

9. Make the switch to eco-friendly vegan products! This is a major one for me, I want to make my own products that are natural and stay far, far away from harsh chemicals all whilst sticking to my super tight starving student budget!

10. Make a difference in the world. Through random acts of kindness and my consciously going out of my way to be a better person.

Seem achievable? Lets hope so!

I'd really just like to become more calm and leave less of a mark on the planet, and sing more, but that is a whole other story!

 What are your new years resolutions? Any that sound similar to mine? Ditching any bad habits for good ones?