Back in college, I was what most people would call a hippie. After I graduated and got a job in the “real world” (as EVERYONE liked to call it), I decided I needed to cut my ridiculously long hair and trade in my sandals for high heels. About 3 years into working, I got a job in the corporate world and any remaining hippie in me was eradicated from my system… or at least in my physical appearance. (Although, I still had a secret stash of my tie dyed shirts and backless hippie tops in my bottom dresser drawer.) But why did I keep those shirts from days of old? Does everyone do that? Could I ever be hippie on the outside again? What was so wrong with dressing that way AND functioning as a “normal” member of society? Would I be an oxymoron?
Bottom line: Be who you want to be and don’t apologize for it.
Let’s take a quick look at the definition of hippie:
hippie |ˈhipē|(also hippy )
(esp. in the 1960s) a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.
So yeah, I have my long hair again… and yeah I’d say I reject conventional values… hygiene methods… whatever. Which brings me to the main purpose of my post. About a year ago, I read an article about using baking soda in place of shampoo.
But I have to tell you, it was utterly convincing. So much so, that I swapped my bottle of shampoo for a box of baking soda in the shower. I was a convert. That same article said I could use apple cider vinegar for conditioner. I tried that a few times… it seemed to work well enough and no, my hair didn’t smell like vinegar… at first. Whenever I would workout, of course I would sweat… it was then I would smell a hint of ACV. NOPE. Not THAT hippie. So, I switched to using a paraben, phthalate, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate free conditioner by Alba Botanica. Sweet success. I wanted to write a post about it almost immediately, then life got in the way and before I knew it a year has passed. Over the past year, not only have I swapped out my shampoo for baking soda, I’ve also swapped out my toothpaste AND (the biggest one for me) my deodorant. HIPPIE!
Here are are few pics of my hair in the past year: all washed with baking soda and Alba conditioner.
When you go to any drugstore, grocery store, gas station, clothing store — you name it — you are given quite literally a 100+ choices in hygiene products. Now that I’ve switched to these basic products at home, I see what a racket all the stuff lining the shelves truly is. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for some of these items, but 99% of it is over the top and unnecessary – not to mention loaded with chemicals. Chances are, if you’ve made it this far into this post, you have an interest in this type of stuff or you’re at least curious. So instead of going on and on about how corporations are screwing us all over and selling us crap – I’m just going to say – stop buying it and try some of these for yourself. If you end up liking them, GREAT; if not, that’s great too… to each their own.
Baking Soda Shampoo
Why I like it: It removes dirt and grime without harsh chemicals. It brings your hair back to it’s natural color state – in my case – it lightened it up a bit. Your hair is not weighed down with product, allowing for more natural body. Once you use it regularly, you don’t have to wash it as frequently because your scalp’s oil production is in a more natural balance. It’s super cost effective.
How to use: I bought a simple squirt bottle from Bed, Bath and Beyond and a giant bag of baking soda from Costco. I add about 1/4 c. of baking soda, 4 drops of my favorite essential oil blend and the rest of the bottle with water. I cover the bottle tip with my finger and I shake vigorously to incorporate the ingredients and I have shampoo for 3 washings. When in the shower, you simply use the squirt bottle to apply the mixture to all your hair (shake before each use) and massage into your scalp and hair. It will not foam or lather – that feeling does take some getting used to – but after a while you will enjoy the scalp massage.
Baking Soda Toothpaste
Why I like it: It’s simple, it doesn’t make my teeth sensitive, it’s cheap and my mouth feels so fresh afterwards I don’t need to use mouthwash anymore! It is also dentist approved. I went in for my dental cleaning about 3 months after I had been using just baking soda – my dentist commented on how nice and clean my teeth were (as always – so I was happy nothing had changed) and I told her I had switched to baking soda! She approved and said people used to use baking soda all the time and some still do. No brainer here.
How to use: I simply fill a little jelly sized mason jar with baking soda and store it in my medicine cabinet. When it’s time to brush I wet my toothbrush with water (or hydrogen peroxide for a little whitening effect) and quickly press the wet brush into the baking soda to pick up a wet clump. Voila. It’s that easy. Then brush teeth as normal. Again, no foaming, it won’t be sweet or minty, but it will be CLEAN.
Baking Soda Deodorant
Why I like it: BECAUSE IT WORKS. BOOM. And I know there is nothing harmful going into my body via my freshly shaved armpit pores. I also don’t get little red bumps anymore in my underarms. Customizing the scent with my favorite essential oil is also a bonus.
How to use: Ok, this one is a little more involved, but once you have a batch made it should last you about 4-6 months depending on how often you apply your deodorant. I put together a little slideshow below to help as well. I was given this recipe from a friend, who found it online here. Mr. Zucchini Runner and I always use this recipe with the exception of the cornstarch, which is used as an antiperspirant. We leave that out since sweating is a natural thing and I don’t mind when my body is doing what it was designed to do… cool itself off.
1/3 c. extra virgin, unrefined, organic coconut oil
1/4 c. baking soda
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
20-24 drops of essential oil
When we make the above recipe, we blend it all together in a single bowl, with the exception of the essential oils. We then divide the mixture into two small mason jars and then add our own essential oils. So for Mr. Zucchini Runner, I recently added tangerine, frankincense and sandalwood ~ 10 drops total. For mine, I blended ~10 drops total of lavender and Ameo’s Pure Tranquility blend which contains - lemon verbena, lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, roman chamomile and sandalwood oil. (This is also the one I use in my shampoo!) We have a package of popsicle/craft sticks from the craft store that we use to scoop out about a pea size of the deodorant for each underarm. You could use your hand too, but I don’t like getting it under my fingernails. Because it has coconut oil in it, it will melt almost immediately upon touching your skin, which allows for easy spreadability. It takes some getting used to, but I will take this way any day over applying something loaded with chemicals.
Coconut Oil As Lotion
Why I like it: Because I smell like coconuts, OR I can add my own essential oil and smell like that. It absorbs quickly and it’s simple.
How to use: I use coconut oil as a face lotion and body lotion. Sometimes I use it plain, sometimes I add 1-3 drops of lavender oil, sometimes 1 drop lavender and 1 drop tea tree. It just depends on what my skin needs that day. I always use smaller than a pea size of coconut oil, rubbing it between my palms to melt it, and then use my hands to spread it on my face evenly. Be sure you do this before bed, with your hair pulled back until it absorbs into your skin – about 15 minutes. If you do it after a shower or in the morning, make sure your hair is pulled back with a towel still and add the oil to your face, neck and shoulders right away so it has a chance to absorb. If coconut oil gets in your hair, or is you hair touches your face or shoulders freshly lathered with coconut oil, it makes it look greasy and unshowered right away! (I learned that the hard way… you’re welcome.
Have fun experimenting with new (old) ways of keeping yourself clean, you may surprise yourself!