Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

Project Pooless Update

It’s been a few months now since I kicked shampoo and conditioner out of my morning routine.  Since early July, I’ve washed my hair with nothing more than water, egg, baking soda, and vinegar — and I’ve no inclination to switch back.  My long, fine hair is soft, cooperative, and far less prone to split ends than before, despite countless hours spent outside in our desert climate.

I typically wash my hair with a whole, raw egg once weekly, as a de-greasing measure.  It works surprisingly well…just remember to rinse with cool water! 

Two or three times a week, I wash with baking soda and condition with apple cider vinegar.  I’ve discovered that if I use the soda on my roots and scalp only, and the vinegar on my ends only, I get the perfect balance of oil reduction and retention, just where each is needed.

Incidentally, an acquaintance advised me that I should be using vinegar that contains the “mother” (the slimy film or wisps that appears in vinegar that isn’t distilled) for best results.  I haven’t been able to find vinegar containing the mother locally, and a few internet searches haven’t turned up any compelling reason to pay more to have the stuff shipped here, so I haven’t tried it. 

On the remaining days, I rinse with water only.  Hot water, scalp massage…lovely.

I’ve also kept up with the homemade deodorant, and I like it better every day.  I’ve made a few changes to the recipe from this post

Eliminate the essential oil.  Perhaps because I added too much, I found that the lavender irritated my skin.  I made a new batch without it, and actually prefer the very light, coconut scent over the intensely herbal aroma.

Increase the coconut oil.  I went for a thinner concoction for my second batch, and found that it’s easier to apply.  I worried that it might get my clothes oily, but that hasn’t been a problem at all — it rubs right into my skin and vanishes.  I didn’t measure the new ratios, but just started with the oil and added baking soda and cornstarch in equal quantities until I arrived at the desired consistency.

Add a touch of olive oil.  I included about 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil with my latest batch on the theory that it would keep the mixture from getting as solid, now that “room temperature” has dropped to winter levels.  It works!  At around 67 degrees F, the deodorant is about the same consistency as commercial deodorant, which makes it considerably easier to apply (by dipping a finger in the pot of it, melting for just a few seconds under arm, then spreading around) than it was without the olive oil.

In other “natural bodycare” news:

I tried a homemade toothpaste that my mom made from myrrh gum powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cloves.  EWW!  I found the stuff way too salty to be palatable.  I’ll stick with my tube of Desert Essences for the time being.

I’m using a goats-milk soap with precisely five ingredients, none of them weird or unpronounceable, purchased from the local co-op. 

I found the best-ever lip moisturizer by Tropical Traditions .  It’s made from virgin coconut and palm oils.  I chose the cinnamon-peppermint flavor, but some of the others look equally good.  Hmm, I see they have soaps and moisturizers, too…might have to check into that next time I place an order.

So what’s next?  I’m going to try my hand at a batch of homemade, toxin-free laundry detergent.  Stay tuned.

(Special thanks to reader Minda who requested this update.  I always appreciate reader input on what you like to read here!)

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4 responses

  1. Kim

    Thank you for the update! I’ve been curious as to how it has all panned out. I made the homemade deoerant earlier this spring, but initially didn’t like how it melted at room temperature. I may have to try it again since it has cooled down some. Currently I have been using the Thai Deoderant Stone with satisfactory results. It doesn’t stop you from perspiring, but it does block odors from forming.

    I’m still working up the courage to go poo-less!

    October 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    • I hear you! It took me a long time to get up the courage to try…but then I figured, “well, if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back!” It worked out. 🙂

      October 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm

  2. For vinegar with ‘the mother’ you can try to find Bragg’s cider vinegar. It’s got the mother in the bottle.

    If you can’t find it, you’ll have to make your own mother vinegar, which isn’t that difficult, but does take time.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    • Thanks, Peggy. What’s the advantage of using mother vinegar instead of distilled?

      October 22, 2010 at 7:19 am

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