Category Archives: Eco Friendly Beauty Tips

Still Playing with Washing My Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar

I’m still trying out washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar. The first day didn’t go great, but things have improved since then.

I rewashed and rinsed my hair with the baking soda and vinegar, this time using the full tablespoon of baking soda in a bit less water, and a bit heavier concentration of the vinegar too. This time my hair feels much better.

I don’t use products in my hair very often anyhow aside from shampoo and conditioner, so I can’t say that there is much excess residue to come out from anything. No old hair spray or whatnot. But I am definitely noticing that my hair feels just a little lighter. It’s soft in a slightly different way from how it feels after using shampoo and conditioner, but definitely soft.

A big difference is that it feels to me as though the natural oils are moving further down the hair shaft between washings. Maybe I’m imagining it, but that’s how it feels, and I don’t mean that my hair is looking more oily right off the bat. It does seem that using this method I may need to wash my hair a little more often than I did with shampoo and conditioner, which I had down to every 5 days or thereabouts. When I shower without washing my hair it just goes up in a knot. I don’t even use a shower cap. Long hair has its advantages!

Washing My Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar

I finally got around to trying a baking soda wash with a vinegar rinse for my hair, as I said I would at the start of the month.

Most places I read about it said to use 1 tablespoon of baking soda in warm water, although others said to make a paste of it. I used probably a half tablespoon to try things out as some people found the full amount made their hair really dry. With hair as long as mine I tend toward the cautious side of things.

The mix is applied to the scalp, not the length of the hair. Overall I think I used too little, but I could definitely tell when the oils by the scalp started loosening up and moving. There was a definite change to the feel of my hair as I scrubbed it. Can’t say lathered it, as obviously there’s no lather with baking soda.

The vinegar rinse was made in the same way, one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of warm water. That was applied to the length more so than the scalp.

First try, I’m not ecstatic. I’ll try using a bit more baking soda next time and maybe a bit less water and see if that helps. The hair near the scalp was left just a bit too oily.

One Small Change Month Two & Month One Review

Here we are in the second month of the One Small Change challenge. Month one went all right for me. I didn’t get to go to the co-op as often as I would have liked. First week was easy, but the second and third weeks weren’t possible.

The last weekend of the month we were out of town. My grandfather’s 90th birthday and my daughter’s first birthday were the same day, so we had to have them together. The family had a big party for grandpa, mostly. But having them together like that was pretty special to me.

We’re still planning on continuing with the co-op as time allows. The produce was good.

So What About This Month?

This month I’m going to focus on what I use for hair care. I’ve kept it simple for a really long time – almost never use hair spray or other styling products, and I’ve found it rather thrives on being washed just over once a week. Unlike the rest of me.

No, I haven’t really tried delaying washing the rest of me for a week. I’m joking!

My hair is very long. I can almost sit on it. I’ve been meaning to switch from traditional shampoo and conditioner for a long time, but haven’t gotten around to doing the research to figure out quite what I want to do. I’m so far not up to the “no shampoo” level I’ve heard about. I’m considering the baking soda and vinegar route for starters.

I already use coconut oil sometimes in my hair. Makes it amazingly soft and is supposed to penetrate the hair. It’s also a good reminder to myself that natural products can work really well. I’ve tried jojoba oil too, which is lighter and also does a good job. Either only needs to be applied to the length and ends of the hair, not the scalp.

Aloe Vera – A Great Plant for the Summer

Like a lot of people growing up, I got sunburns pretty regularly as a kid. That’s what happens when you’re pale and you burn much more easily than you tan. But I learned early on to appreciate it the year my mother bought an aloe vera plant.

Aloe vera is a succulent. It’s pretty easy to grow and very useful. You can grow it indoors on the windowsill or outside in a pot or on the ground. It likes sandy soil, like many succulents. If you get frost, keep it indoors.

Any time you scrape or burn yourself it can help. And of course it helps delightfully with sunburn.

All you have to do is snip off one of the leaves and break it open. The gel on the inside is truly marvelous. It cools the burn or scrape quickly.

It can be a bit challenging getting the gel out. You can cut the leaves open and just rub directly on your skin, but the plant has some small spikes along the edges that may scratch you. Not badly if you’re using it gently, though. If using fresh leaves, avoid the yellow part inside the leaves. This can be irritating to the skin.

I like to recommend the plant over the commercially prepared aloe vera gels for a few reasons. The first is that I’ve always had the best luck with the gel straight from the plant. The effect just seems to be stronger to me. That could, of course, just be an illusion, but it is what I believe.

I also like that if you treat it right, you can just keep the plant growing, rather than having to buy new bottles all the time. It saves some waste.

And of course, if you use it straight from the plant you know exactly what you are getting. No worries about the other ingredients added to the stuff in the bottle labeled “aloe vera”.

Some people also take aloe vera internally from prepared capsules. There are a variety of claimed benefits to this. I’ve never tried it myself and so cannot speak from experience.

For me, the cooling effect this has on sunburn is the big reason I like to make sure to have a plant on hand during the summer. I always hope to not need it, but when a burn happens to myself or someone in my family, it’s nice to have a way to relieve the discomfort.