Au Natural

“You’re so crunchy” my mom told me about a year ago when I moved out of my cute and very cleanly apartment in Central Illinois and back in with the ‘rents. (Please don’t judge me!)

I had to ask her what “crunchy” meant because this was the first I had heard the word not being referred to as a type of peanut butter. Crunchy means an environmentally friendly or “green” person; basically, a modern day hippie.

 Guilty.

The last few years, I had been incorporating these clever tricks into my routine simply because they were easy, affordable, and not hurting the Earth. I had no idea that people like my mom were taking notice and classifying me as crunchy but she was not the only person to tell me that I’m basically a dirty hippie.  If you ever visited my apartment, you would know first hand I have a love for freshly bleached bathrooms and kitchens, clean sheets each week, as well as dusting and vacuuming twice a week.  That same hygiene correlates with my body I just choose alternatives.

There are so many ways to make your beauty, hygiene, and home cleaning more environmentally friendly.  What I have implemented is very cost-effective and has not slowed me down one bit.

It’s no secret that I barely wash my hair.  The secret, is that not washing your hair everyday is GOOD for you!  Commercialized hair products actually have lots of chemicals in them that are hurting your body, your hair, and our Earth.  Don’t get me wrong, I have found a few products that do have chemicals in them that are great for helping me style my hair on big nights out, but remember to use them sparingly.  When I don’t wash my hair, I utilize some cheap alternatives.  Baby powder, bar soap, and dry shampoo.

Baby powder has always been plentiful in my house and I knew we used it for raw baby booties and helping to absorb oily stains on laundry day.  It is gentle enough to use on my hair and it absorbs the oil right out of your roots.  All you have to do is pour some into your hands and massage through your scalp.  If your hair is extra oily expect to use a few small handfuls of the powder and massage well to make the white disappear if you have dark hair.  With my natural bronde hair color I never had issues with the white being visible.

Bar soap, the kind you use for washing your body can also be used in your hair.  If you are careful about ingredients you will have to research the particular soap you have on hand. In the past I have used both Ivory and Dove and had great looking hair.  For those days where your roots aren’t looking their best and you do not want to wash your hair you are in luck!  Put your hair in a headband with the band being about two inches away from your hairline.  Gently rinse, wash, then rinse again the front inch of your hair that is greasy followed by a quick blow-dry and your hair is good to go for day two or three or four or five! Bonus, most times when I do this, I do not have to restyle my hair either.  This nifty trick can be done when you wash your face in the morning if you’re anything like me and get the whole bathroom wet pretending you’re in a face wash commercial.

Dry Shampoo is the hot item everyone who is hair-conscientious has heard of these days.  This can keep your hair looking and smelling fresh days after your last wash. When I want to look put together the following day and I cannot bring myself to jump in the shower that night, I will generously apply dry shampoo to my roots, put my hair in a loose side braid, and go to bed.  When I wake up, a quick shake and brush makes my hair look freshly styled and still smells amazing.  I have also had good luck using dry shampoo to help tease my hair, so that is something fun to try out at home! There are an assortment of ingredients/chemicals so you will want to check labels if you’re into that.  I have had luck with both affordable brands like Sauve and middle of the line products like Not Your Mothers. Everyone’s hair is different so if you try one of those and it is not working for ya, return it and try something new. I’m telling you, dry shampoo will change your life.

When I do wash my hair, I shy away from commercialized shampoos and conditioners.  First things first, check the labels of your shampoo and conditioner and make sure it has NO parabens, sulphates, or silicones.  Those nasty chemicals are hurting your hair and your body.  Dump them out and recycle the bottles right now. When you wash your hair with what treats it right, you will develop better looking hair.  Most people go through a transition phase but I have had great luck with more natural shampoos.  I have bought hair care products from stores that sell what people refer to as low-poo which means it does not contain the above yucky chemicals.  I have also bought homemade shampoos from Amish women at farmers markets as well as hippies at flea markets.  In these instances, I have talked with the people who create the product and am given an ingredient list too.

I often get comments on how my hair is so long, healthy, and pretty.  I wash my hair 2 or 3 times per week. My secrets include all of the above as well as getting lots of trims and limited heat usage on my hair.  Try out all three of my tricks and find which one works best for you or you can alternate.  I have other crunchy tricks up my sleeve but that will have to wait for another post, my friends.

XX, -E

*Yes, that is my hair in the featured photo and my beautiful friend styled it.

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