The past few months I've been thinking about how to make our lives a little more natural, a little more environmentally friendly, and a little easier on our bank account. In other words, a little more like the good old days, when things were simpler. The trouble with the simple way is, it's a little more work, but in the end, I know it's worth the effort.
At this point, I've taken two steps to "simplify" our life. First, homemade laundry detergent. There are a million recipes out there, but they are all pretty much the same: Borax, Washing Soda, and a bar of soap.
These are all readily available items, and they are all pretty darn cheap. I was able to find all three at my local Kroger, and paid less than $7 for all of them. I will be able to make numerous batches from this initial purchase. You can do the math, but trust me, others have, and it's cheaper than buying laundry detergent. Plus, there's no weird chemicals going into your closet or your water table.
First step: grate a bar of soap. I used my fine cheese grater. It wasn't hard to do and took just a couple minutes. Mind your fingers when you get to the last little bit.
I ended up with a pile of fluffy white soap. It was like fake snow but smelled better.
Next step: add your Borax and washing soda. I did a cup of each. That's where the recipes vary a little, but trial and error means you can find your preferred blend.
Lastly: Mix it all together until you have a nice powder. You can also make a liquid version, but that takes more effort. I'm going to try this detergent for the first time today, but internet consensus confirms it works just as well, if not better, than your average laundry detergent.
The second step I'm taking to visit my natural roots (quite literally!) is weaning off shampoo. Again, there's plenty of literature out there on the interwebs so I won't go into details, but the gist is this: Shampoo strips your hair of it's nice natural oils, so your hair has to work overtime to make up for it, which makes your hair greasy. If you never start shampooing, your hair would be able to naturally balance the oil situation, making the need for shampoo obsolete. Now, I'm not saying I'm not washing my hair - there are still yucky things in the air that mess up your hair. But, instead of buying shampoo, I'm opting for a Baking Soda wash with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, which cheaper and more natural than shampoo.
Basic recipe is: one tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of hot water, stir to dissolve. I pour a bit over the front part of my head, scrub the roots, flip my hair over, pour & scrub there, then do it in the middle and everywhere else in between; rinse well. Then combine one tablespoon of ACV with one cup hot water. I sick my pony tail in the cup, let it sit, then pour the whole thing over my head. Let it sit for a bit, then rinse well again.
I do this about once a week, which has been a good balance for my hair. Before I shower, I get two plastic cups, fill one with baking soda and the other with ACV. I add the hot water in the shower. On the days I don't wash, I either just rinse with water or put my hair in a pony tail and keep it dry while I shower. My hair is thick and coarse, so once a week works for me. If my hair does get a little greasy (usually just my bangs) I brush in a little baby powder to absorb the extra oil. My hair is definitely more moisturized and shiny, less frizzy, and I don't need to use conditioner anymore.
And because I know you'll ask: no, my hair doesn't smell like vinegar. That goes away after rinsing. On the other hand, it also doesn't smell like Tahiti Coconut; it just smells like hair. A little bit of essential oil in the mix or lotion on your ends can spiff up the smell, but I don't have a problem with it. Yes, somedays I miss the lather of shampoo, but the appeal of this method is more enticing to me.
That was a bit of a long-winded post, kudos to you if you made it all the way to the end. Let me know if you try either of these methods, or if you have any other tips for me! Hope you have a great week :)