Apple Cider Vinger, Baking Soda, Bicarbonate of Soda, Body care, Castor Oil, Cave Girl Eats, Chemicals, Coconut oil, Conditioner, Conventional, Grapeseed Oil, Hair, Jojoba Oil, Moisturiser, Natural, No Poo, Oil Cleansing, Olive Oil, Raw, Rosehip Oil, Shampoo, Skin, Skintervention, Skintervention Guide, Unfiltered
As you may have gathered from reading this blog I like to eat minimally processed food… actually I like and prefer to eat food that is not processed at all! Foods that have easy to understand ingredients or preferably no ingredients at all like vegetables, fruits and meats. Since I’ve been eating this way my taste buds have changed and I’ve gotten accustomed to enjoying food like this. Things that seemed rather bland before have taken on a richer depth in flavour and I no longer crave or want the processed foods I once used to eat.
So for some time now I’ve been thinking of adopting this method in other parts of my life, not just with eating but with things like hair care and skin care. I’ve always been a fan of and have used food in other ways, other than for cooking, for example my mum would always get my sisters and I to coat our hair in egg yolks and olive oil on a weekly basis as a hair treatment and I use coconut oil in the same way. But other than that I was still using the standard store bought shampoos and conditioners, as well as cleansers, toners and moisturisers, often spending A LOT of money on these products. I always felt deep down that I was just throwing away my money on these things, after all I was really just paying for the brand and well ultimately they didn’t do much for my hair or my skin. Sure they would mask the problems here and there but never actually get to the root of the problem.
Before I go on I should tell you about my hair and skin issues. I have naturally thick curly hair, although you wouldn’t know it since I straighten it in between washes. My hair has been through A LOT! More dye jobs than I can count, a handful of chemical straightening treatments and of course the years of standard cleansing and styling products. As you may know curly hair is prone to dryness and my hair is no different, except that I also have somewhat oily roots… nothing overly oily but there is a definite difference between my roots and my ends. I try not to wash my hair everyday and usually wash it 3 times a week and in between I straighten it as leaving it curly causes it to get unruly after a few days and then I have to wash it again which then makes it drier.
As for my skin, well I have what is commonly referred to as combination skin. My T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin) are on the oilier side and my cheeks are dry. I can’t even tell you the number of products I’ve used on my face or the countless consultations I’ve had. You know like that one very famous brand where you go and sit with a lady in a white lab like coat and she gives you this board type thing with all these different questions on it like ‘Does your skin feel tight after you moisture?’ and ‘When you go out in the sun do you tan easily or do you burn?’ and you have to answer accordingly, after which they put you on a ‘customised’ skin care routine.
Well been there and done that! And
sorry sad to say my skin and hair are still the same! And after years of just going along with it I finally decided that it was time to take a deeper look into all this.
But, I didn’t want to just jump into something, it was the same when I decided to change the way I ate and how I shopped for food. I did my research, I read countless websites, studies, books etc until I was sure of my choices. So I started doing the same for my hair and skin, I started reading up on ‘natural hair care and skin care’, I read up about what the stuff in my shampoo and conditioner really were… I mean seriously have you actually looked on the back of a shampoo/conditioner bottle?! I can’t pronounce half of that crap let alone know what it is!
Anyway after reading and reading I was starting to gain some knowledge and perspective on the whole thing, but at the same time I was getting confused. I didn’t know where to start! And then my hair care and skin care prayers were answered when Liz over from Cave Girl Eats came out with her Skintervention Guide… THANK YOU Liz!
I didn’t purchase the guide straightaway though, I guess I was still hesitating and then I started reading the reviews that were coming out from people using her guide and EVERY ONE of them was positive. Even Liz herself has shared numerous ways that going natural has helped her, so obviously I started to take notice. Just before we moved to England I decided to buy the Skintervention Guide, but then of course things got hectic and in between the packing and the moving, I forgot about it.
After we arrived in England and settled in, I finally started reading the guide. Now the first thing I love about it is that it’s not JUST a hair care and skin care guide, rather it’s split up into 3 parts… Nutrition, Digestion and Body and Skin care. Because after all what you eat and how you digest food are CRITICAL in the way your hair and skin look.
And even though I already knew the majority of what was written in the first two parts, I still read through the guide word for word because I wanted to appreciate and once again acknowledge the reasons behind WHY it is so important to have good nutrition and digestion in place first. After all you can use all the natural products in the world but if you’re just going to go stuff your face full of junk then you’re really not helping the situation!
So I read through the guide, then I read it again (the part on Body and Skin care), then I started taking notes.. and then we moved to our apartment and once again life took over and I was busy with setting up the apartment. Fast forward to a few days ago and I was back on track… I started with my hair and started reading about the ‘No Poo method’. Liz talks about this on her blog and in the guide, and there are countless websites and blogs referring to it.
I won’t go into detail over this method, as I said there are countless websites out there the explain the theory behind it so feel free to do your own research, but ‘No Poo’ essentially means no shampoo and well, conditioner. Instead rather than using regular conventional shampoo and conditioner you use baking soda mixed with filtered water as your shampoo and raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed with filtered water as your conditioner.
There is what is known as a transition period, where your hair can become overly oily, because it’s getting accustomed to not having any of the nasties you used before on it. Conventional shampoos uses nasty ingredients, most of which are unpronounceable and strip your hair of its natural oils. This transition period can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, but from what I’ve read it’s worth it! Note also that the ‘No Poo’ method will not result in lather like regular shampoo, but don’t fret… in case you didn’t know lather DOES NOT equal clean! Conventional shampoos have certain chemical ingredients in them that cause that lather to occur.
After deciding to go the ‘No Poo’ route, I then started looking into skin care and again after reading Liz’s guide I decided on a set of products or ingredients to use in my skin care routine and this is what I came up with..
For my hair -
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda for my ‘shampoo’, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar for my ‘conditioner’ and coconut oil as a weekly hair treatment AND to use as frizz control (argan oil is also great for this). The apple cider vinegar can also be used in skin care as a toner when mixed with water.
For my skin -
For everyday cleansing coconut oil (it removes makeup like a dream! Jojoba oil is also excellent for this), organic rosehip oil (this one is from Trilogy and is perfect for hydrating the skin). I have used rosehip oil before, not this particular brand but I use it only on my cheeks and neck as they are the driest part of my face/body. As for moisturising, well coconut oil again is perfect here as is olive oil.
A couple of times a week I’ll be using the ‘full oil cleansing method’ which is also discussed extensively in the guide and which you can also read about online. I’ll be using either a mixture of Castor oil and Grapeseed oil or Castor oil and Olive oil (I’ll be switching between the two) and then using the rosehip oil and coconut oil for moisturising.
I plan on following these routines for my hair and skin for one month, to really get a feel for how my hair and skin react. My journey has already begun (I started over the weekend) and I will be sure to update you all on my results after a month!
Now your turn… have you ever or are you following any of these methods? If so what were the changes you noticed in your hair and skin?