One of the hardest parts of being plastic free is not having plastic wrap in the kitchen. Needing to store something in a large bowl that does not have a lid – sure you can try foil, but it just does not work. So this summer when we were in Spain – where Lékué products are everywhere – I found these silicon stretch tops! You can buy these on the Lékué site or amazon for example.
I have not posted anything in 3 months, so I figure it is time for an update. I have taken a no stress approch with this blog, my other 2 blogs (Expats and Design) keep me rather busy in the blog world. So I decided, on this one – when I post I post and I am not going to stress or worry about it. This post is going to be lots of random 🙂
How true is that! Just like Barbie gave me unrealistic expectations about my hips and thighs… but that is another story. Today, we talk about hair.
So another cat is coming out of the bag. I do not wash my hair. Yes, you heard (*read) that right, no shampoo or conditioners go on my hair. Just good ol’ water. If you have been following along, you know that earlier this year in attempt to get away from the dangerous chemicals in shampoo and conditioner, I switched to a natural alternative. I could not bear the idea that those chemicals were seeping into my skin! Read more about that here, it is a great option in my opinion – I just wanted to take it to another level.
So in March I decided to go ‘unwashed’. I read a series of articles (here, here and here) and as is typical with me, I decided to jump in and give it a go. Autumn, at the Beheld, was kind enough to give me some advice. And answer my many questions along the way. The first few weeks I kept my hair up, as I had been warned it was going to be an oily ‘break in’ period. Many people always say that their hair gets oily the next day, so they cannot imagine a week.. or even 2 days without shampoo. I thought the same thing too, growing up I was notorious for having greasy hair – My Dad can attest to it, it was always ‘Fonda wash your hair’ or ‘ Fonda, when was the last time you washed your hair’ or my favorite, ‘If you cannot remember when you last washed your hair it has been too long, go shower now’. Poor Dad, but maybe I was on to something as a teen : P.
You see, when you strip the natural oils off your hair everyday .. or every other day.. your scalp thinks that it needs to produce x amount of new oil every day to keep it healthy. So, you have to break your scalps habits. Which takes around 5-8 weeks – mine took 5 ish, while I have heard people say that theirs took more. There are a few tricks that I have picked up along the way.
There are some great benefits to letting your hair go natural and take care of itself.
Then there are the cons, which I feel to be fair I need to point out. These don’t really bother me, but might bother you.
This is definite something to consider. I am thrilled that I am not using chemicals and that I am saving loads of money. But if it is not for you, consider a more natural hair cleaning approach to avid the harsh chemicals – read this idea about ACV and Baking Soda. I will post an update in the future, in the meantime however- feel free to ask any questions you might have!
UPDATE Winter 2012:
I have now started to use (as I have talked about in the comments below) pure olive oil soap on my roots about once per week. I found that after some time, I just needed to get some of the ‘buildup’ of my scalp. I just was the roots/scalp and rinse it off, the rinsing part takes care of the rest of the hair – the soapish water runs over all my hair but does not dry it out. If I want to prolong the time between washes I just put a very small amount of baby powder on my roots and rub it in, not only does it take away any oily shine – it also is great for styling! It is still very easy to brush my hair, even if I have not brushed it for many days.
I have used the soap as a bar, just rubbing it on the scalp. While this worked for me, I wanted to have an option that was more ‘normal’ for Ole so I now liquidize it. I take around 700 ml of hot water and 1 block of soap (generally chopped up into smaller pieces, like 8). I leave this on the counter for a few days and shake it when i go past. This makes a nice thick creamy soap that we now use for ‘shampoo’, dish soap, and hand soap.
I have gotten many questions about dandurf. I do not seem to ever have dandurf anymore either. I see this as a bonus of this lifestyle of no/limited checmicals and eating how I do. I take magnesium and vitamin D3, they do wonders for the skin. I also am eating plenty of natural fats which nourish the skin. I think that if you are getting dandurf look into what you are eating, take some Cod Liver Oil and vitmin D3 and read up on the subject.
Week 1 we used/collected 26 items equaling 229 grams / 8.07 ounces total.
Week 2 we used/collected 12 items equaling 138 grams / 4.8 ounces total.
Week 3 we used/collected 11 items equaling 109 grams / 3.8 ounces total.
Week 4 we used/collected 6 items equaling 103 grams / 3.6 ounces total.
Month of May Total: 55 Items equaling 579 grams / 20.4 ounces.
I am rather proud of our efforts, and I think it is good to have a new goal. It was interesting to see out plastic count fall every week 🙂 My hope is that at the end of June we have went from totaling 20 ounces to 15 – at least.
The things that we continue to buy in plastic will be candy, ice cream and chips. I do plan to make our own ice cream sometime in the future, but need to wait till I get a full fridge and out of my dorm sized fridge. We will have some beer wrappers too.
In this have learned to make some of my own things to avoid plastic. They are:
I am also learning to make some things, that will take some time to master 🙂
I have learned to really watch if I am buying something packaged. When buying fresh fish for example, they always try to slip in a plastic bag inside the paper – now I know to watch them like a hawk the whole time. Or even if I buy something in a paper box to shake it around to see if I can hear plastic. Ole and I are always laughing at ourselves, we know we must look crazy while at the grocery store. I have also come to realize, that if I can get a good quality used product I should – but when that is not an option to not beat myself up over buying new and gaining tons of plastic wrapping.
I have now also stopped buying the oil I was before. I just read ‘Real Food: What to eat and Why” by Nina Planck – I highly recommend it! Ok well not all oil.. but I am buying only cold pressed organic Olive Oil in glass, Coconut Oil in glass and then we have butter and lard. The Olive Oil is easy to get with a metal lid and no plastic spout, so I am excited about that. But I guess that is a whole other post. 🙂
You too can join the Show you Plastic Challenge here! I challenge you to do it for at least one week, week all the plastic that you use – you will be amazed at how plastic is everywhere! If you need motivation, read this to learn about the health dangers of plastic – Plastics: The Sixth Basic Food Group – and watch this.
If you recall from the May Challenge post:
We will be keeping tack of all the money spent on goods. Not just a general we spent this amount, but a we spent XX on bread, XX on fruit, XX on toilet paper, ect. … We have looked back into our bills from October to see how much we used on these items then, when we were only shopping at the regular grocery store and the liquor store. We have been working to put our money to better places then big business, and now we are buying I think 80% of our goods not at the regular grocery store.
Now I am not sure if that 80% organic is correct, I am not sure of the exact percentage but I know we try to always get the ‘good stuff’ over the commercial stuff. When I compare the numbers of October food bills, our food spending has only went up 6%. Which is not bad, as in the summer months we eat lots of ice cream and Popsicles (no A/C). Personally for me it is really nice to see exactly where this money has went too. I kept a detailed list, but in the end simplified it. For me it broke down into 11 categories: Meat & Fish, Fat & Oil, Fruit & Vegg, Grains, Milk & Eggs, Spices & Sauces, Juice & Drinks, Desserts, Alcohol, Toiletries, then a few Odds & Ends.
It is nice to know that I am trying to send my money to smaller more local business’. We are shopping at Idsøe – local butchers, Økologiske Dagligvarer – local organic store, Stavanger Torget – farmers market, and a commercial regular grocery store. Now that summer is coming the Torget will be open more, I am very excited about that. Also, I am still working to try to get out of the regular grocer but I think that we will still have to go until I can have a small plot to grow.
I am challenging myself to buy my fish from the local fish market sometime in June, I have been avoiding it because I am worried it will cost to much. We have just bought a house that is in the Sentrum of Stavanger (downtown) and move in September, and the fish market and torget/farmers market will be just a 5 minute walk from my house – so I will have no excuses.
Have you been more aware of your plastic intake/use since hearing about this? I would love to hear if knowing about the plastic dangers has got you to thinking!