Since starting the Paleo diet, I have been really focused on the quality of the food that I put into my body. Focusing on all-natural, minimally processed, organic ingredients as much as possible. Avoiding GMO ingredients (such as soy and corn) and cooking as much as I can at home. Like I said, I’ve been focusing on what’s going INTO my body, but have neglected to notice what I’m putting ON my body. I’ve decided that over the next few months, I want to transition the household products we use (such as shampoo, body wash, face wash, cleaning solutions, etc.) from the processed, chemical-laden products we buy to homemade, safe versions.
I started with shampoo and body wash. After searching on the internet for a good recipe to follow, I ended up just using Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap. I found it at my local grocery store and have since seen it pretty much everywhere (Target, Whole Foods, etc.). I decided on the Almond scent which I love. The ingredients are: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Natural Almond Fragrance, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (*Certified Fair Trade Ingredients, **None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin). I was so excited to try it and have loved it as a body wash. My hair on the otherhand was a different story.
Continued research showed that traditional shampoo coats your hair and scalp and prevents natural oils from releasing. My pores were opening up for the first time and it was making my hair feel so gunky. I even tried the Dr. Bronner’s Organic Conditioner Rinse with no luck. I was on the verge of giving up until I came across a “recipe” for apple cider vinegar rinse. It’s simply one part distilled water and one part apple cider vinegar, shaken well. I started with it four days ago and my hair has never felt better! For the first week, I’m doing one cycle of the rinse, shampooing with the castille soap and then rinsing once more. After that I will simply shampoo and then rinse like I normally would. I was worried about the vinegar smell but it isn’t bad at all. Both the soap and rinse are not tear-free, so watch those eyes!
I normally put defrizzing cream in my hair and haven’t needed it because my hair has been so smooth. I even notice that my natural brown color has become shinier and much prettier (I know, I know, you thought my beautiful blonde highlights were natural!). I’m contemplating going back to my natural color now…still undetermined. One piece of advice I wish I had seen earlier, was that if you do color your hair, to wait 48 hours prior to using the castille soap/apple cider vinegar rinse combo. It can start to strip the color right away, but if you wait until the color sets, it can actually help seal it in. Unfortunately, I got my hair highlighted and used this combo and did notice faster fading than normal. Lesson learned.
I honestly do not believe I will ever go back to traditional shampoo/body wash. The castille soap is so foaming, that I’ve been using it as shaving cream too with no problems. They also make a bar version that I’ve been using as face wash and have liked it so far. I’ve noticed a little more breaking out on my face than normal, but I’m hoping that will go away with time.
I also started using coconut oil as a body lotion substitue. Simply whip up hard coconut oil (cannot be too soft/melted or this won’t work) for about 3-5 minutes on high. I used my stand mixer and it makes this super fluffy body butter. It looks and tastes like a coconut frosting. You could add essential oils to it, but I left it as is. I’ve been using it after showering and before bed and it is wonderful. Melts right onto your skin and smells so good. You do need to be careful because it can stain, so let it dry before any clothing touches it.
Comtemplating making the switch? I highly recommend it. It may take a little while for your hair to get out of that “gunky” stage but it is so worth it knowing that I no longer am putting any of those chemicals on my skin and/or hair.