Green body care. Nope, I haven’t developed a green body (could you achieve an emerald glow if you lived on a diet of peas & spinach I wonder…?) but I have finally taken the plunge, stopped using ‘beauty products’ and decided to care for my body and the environment, without the artificial additives. ‘Naturally wrapped’ is the Camp Full Monte slogan, so better practise more of what I preach and start treating my physical ‘wrappings’ (skin & hair) naturally.
It all began with a visit to my mate Fran during our Christmas break in the UK. She was on month 2 or 3 of not washing her hair with shampoo and raving about the benefits. To be fair, the environmental argument didn’t interest her as much as how much money she was saving and how great her hair felt. Fran has really thin hair and not a lot of it but was thrilled to hear people comment on how much thicker it looked – all those nasty chemicals had been stripping her already apologetic hair.
She introduced me to this fabulous book: Happy Hair by Lucy Aitken Read which I read in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed. Armed with this and Fran’s anecdotal comments about what worked for her and what supplies I’d need, I prepared to begin the detox programme for my hair. It seemed inevitable that a few weeks into weaning my locks off the ‘poo (yep, they Americans call such people – of which I am now one – the No Pooers!) my hair would have a freak out before “normalising”. Most probably I (& more importantly the participants at my skills development workshops) would be faced with a greasy, unappealing mop. The thought of being in front of a class full of eager students with ‘tramp hair’ was a bit disturbing. But what the heck.
So, a month ago these became my hair’s new best friends:
The key cleaning agent is bicarbonate of soda. I mix it with the boiled water (we have a lot of limescale in our water & apparently boiling it first helps when making the hair wash). And a couple of days after using the bicarb, I ‘condition’ my hair with cider vinegar diluted in boiled water (with a few drops of lavender to make it smell a little better), or lemon juice. Fran, like me, used to wash her hair every day so decided to give up the shampoo gradually. Me, I went cold turkey.
I haven’t washed my hair with shampoo for 4 weeks now & I haven’t had a greasy episode yet. Probably because I’m currently omitting a key operation in the whole process: brushing my hair regularly. I need a boar bristle brush and I have one on order from the UK so within the fortnight I’ll be brushing like crazy and spreading the natural sebum throughout my locks. Which incidentally, are getting blonder by the day as the products I’m using are natural lighteners. An added bonus, I say. Though Steve has pointed out that I am more of a brunette than a blonde these days. I may end up with ‘Light Mouse’ as my defining colour…
I’ve yet to treat myself to an egg on my head. Yep, apparently it’s a great conditioner, though not to be used on hot hair unless you want someone eating their breakfast off your noddle! So, I’m still experimenting and I know my hair has the potential to look more lustrous than it currently does but it hasn’t been a disaster, I have kicked the shampoo habit and am excited by the future cost savings. The half a kilo bag of bicarb of soda costs 0.70 cents here. Lemons are free and in abundance right now & when they run out I’ll use the lemon/ chamomile essential oil I have (and an occasional spoonful of honey or coconut oil) and I’ll spend 0.20 cents a month on an egg. And not only am I saving myself & the environment from all the nasty chemicals in commercial ‘beauty’ products but I’m also minimising packaging waste. The apple vinegar bottles I re-use as plant pots.
Almost immediately I stopped using shampoo, I became acutely aware of the other gunk I was using. It seemed bonkers to be treating my hair naturally and not my skin. Surely there were more opportunities to save money and minimise waste in the skin care department too…?
Not much of a cliff-hanger, but find out in Part 2.