Monday, June 13, 2011

No Poo Challenge

This morning I read, "Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found a correlation between an ingredient found in shampoos and nervous system damage. The experiments were conducted with the brain cells of rats and they show that contact with this ingredient called methylisothiazoline, or MIT, causes neurological damage." The article at goes on to state that MIT can also be a contributing factor to Alzheimers and other neurological disorders. Even if these are exaggerated claims, shouldn't these claims alert the consumer to the POTENTIAL danger of the ingredients that we are putting on our bodies, as well as in our bodies. I think it's time to wake up, shake off the naivety (believing that if it's on the superstore shelf it must be safe) and make some conscience decisions about what we will allow in our homes.

 A couple of weeks ago I wrote about no poo and homemade shampoo. Since that posting I have decided to toss out my shampoo recipes and try a month of "no poo"....or at least a minimalists approach in my shower. For the last week and a half, I have used baking soda every day (except one) and about 4 days into my new regimen I used a lemon juice rinse. This weekend I could feel a grease "coming on" so yesterday I used a diluted castile soap to wash my hair. I didn't want to go to church with a greasy head. During this time I also got a "boy cut". I am still adjusting to not having any hair but am loving how easy it is!

I also mentioned in my no poo post that I will not give up my daily shower, defending this choice with the fact that I take short showers. I really need that daily shower to wake me up and get me going. I wasn't sure how short my showers are so this morning I timed myself.....TWO MINUTES! Total time in bathroom: SIX MINUTES. I'm so proud of this accomplishment that I have to break it down for you and include the products that I use....
5:30 am - 5:32 am  SHOWER:  Baking soda paste to clean hair. Homemade soap to wash body. Rinse with cold water. Turn off shower. Spray shower with homemade shower spray (lemon juice, water, and peroxide).
5:32am-5:36am  Towel dry, comb hair, brush teeth with baking soda, apply deodorant (homemade or Tom's - more on this later), wipe down sink and counter top. DONE!

OK, let's talk deodorant. A couple of years ago I tried making my own deodorant and loved it! BUT after a few weeks my armpits would break out in a rash. Since that time I've tried Tom's and Kiss My Face deodorant which I alternate with my homemade stuff. I've noticed that the Tom's deodorant actually smells like b.o. ...not exactly what I was looking for. The patchouli-scented Kiss My Face works well. But even these natural deodorants cause my pits to itch after awhile, especially after shaving. So after reading a post about a woman that had not only gave up shampoo but also deodorantI thought, "Why not?" I now alternate between 2 days off...meaning NO deodorant and one day with my deodorant. I avoid deodorant on shaving day. Guess what? I survived two days of high humidity and heat WITHOUT deodorant and I wasn't stinky! By the third day though, I knew it was time for a little help from my deodorant. ;)

We've all heard that Carmex lip balm is addictive, meaning once it's applied to the lips, the lips become dependent on the Carmex to provide lubrication. I don't know how much truth there is to that but I do know that our bodies would make natural oils if we allow them too.  I believe that all the junk we put on our bodies is telling our bodies to shut down it's own natural defenses. Once we eliminate all the toxins, both external and internal toxins, our bodies will find it's balance. Yes, I'll forever use hand lotion after washing my hands but I use homemade lotion. I also don't use as much lotion as I used to.

The following link, , lists the ingredients that should be avoided. Parabens, petroleum, fragrances (found in EVERYTHING! Common sense tells me this isn't good for allergies, asthma, and skin disorders such as eczema), Sodium Laurel Sulfate, and many more. Watch out for deceptive names and labels. Companies spend a lot of money to make their products look good....and fool the consumer. Just because the bottle claims to be "natural" doesn't mean it is. Check out what is in your favorite products at

Although I may sound like a fanatic, there are still times, such as when I'm out of baking soda or castile soap, that I reach for my daughter's (she thinks I'm nuts) Herbal Essence shampoo (I don't think there is anything herbal about it). It's about baby steps and becoming an educated and conscientious consumer.

So, would you like to join the No Poo Challenge now? :) I'll be spending the next month using baking soda in place of shampoo, a hair rinse of diluted lemon juice (once a week) and skipping deodorant (most of the time). I'd love for you to join me. Better yet, I'd love if you'd write a guest post on Everyday Notions about your no poo experience! Let me know if you are interested.


  1. Love the new haircut! I've tried going to "no poo" route, but I make it about two days before my hair starts looking kind of scary. can't wait to see how your challenge works out!

  2. I'm going to try the baking soda thing tomorrow. When I work out in the a.m. I sweat like crazy. I HATE sweating!! I used to wash my hair every other day, but can't get away with that after an intense work out. My hair gets so dry. I was using your castile soap recipe, but went to Natures Gate from the Health Food Store. What does lemon juice do? Is it for oily hair. I have really dry skin and hair. I'll have to check out Nature's Gate on your link. It has a load of ingredients on the bottle. And I, too, must say, LOVE THE NEW DO. You look adorable in short hair.

  3. A rinse of diluted lemon juice OR diluted ACV (apple cider vinegar) helps to balance the pH. Lemon is also good for dandruff. The smell of ACV fades once your hair dries. Remember to dilute! Not much is needed. I have found that it's easiest to use an old squirt-style bottle.