adventures in crunchier personal care

I’ve had mixed results with my switch to healthier beauty products so far. I tried an all natural bar shampoo that made my hair limp and greasy. Not to mention the apple cider vinegar rinse that I used in place of conditioner made me smell like a chip truck until my hair dried each day. I’ve read that your hair goes through a short freak-out stage of withdrawal from the oil stripping chemicals in normal shampoo, but I couldn’t outlast it. I went back to shampoo. I’ll try something else, but I’m not willing to pay $30 for organic shampoo.

The crystal deodorant I’m very happy with. It was relatively inexpensive ($5.95) and should last for a long time. You just put it on while you are still wet from the shower, or wet the stick itself and apply. Supposedly, if you are not showering first, you should wash before applying or any sweaty ickyness on your body might contaminate the stick. So put it on clean.

So far I don’t stink. I reserve my final judgement until I’ve spent a day gardening in the hot sun.

My only other caution about this deodorant – if you want to avoid dancing around the bathroom doing the peepee dance after applying to freshly shaved underarms, use a sharp razor. Dull razors = chewed up skin. Chewed up skin + mineral salts = OUCH.

My other switch has been to handmade soaps. I have to admit this switch was really easy. My skin has felt great all winter. I found liv simple farms at a local craft sale before Christmas and have been using her soaps ever since. She raises goats and grows lavender to make her own soaps. She has different scent combinations available, but I really like the lavendar peppermint and lavendar eucalyptus. She does mail order too.

I’m open to suggestions about the shampoo thing. Maybe I’ll try making it, like the Townhouse Homesteaders’ DIY.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable

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32 thoughts on “adventures in crunchier personal care

  1. I haven’t tried the crystal deodorant but I’m tempted to try brushing my teeth with baking soda. I love those kinds of soaps, my mother always had them in a bunch of scents so they remind me of home!

  2. I’m still pretty happy with this homemade stuff. Jon has even been using it and the only complaint he has is that he has to squirt it on his head instead of his hand because it’s so watery in consistency.
    I also let my hair air dry ever day. It takes a lot longer to dry. I’ve been out of the shower now for a good 90 minutes and it’s still slightly damp.

  3. How about peppermint eucalyptus? That would be awesome.

  4. chefconnie says:

    Maybe I will try that. Tom’s of Maine did not work for me. As a professional Chef I cannot be stinky.

  5. HappyMrsBass says:

    Have you tried going “no poo”? It might sound gross but I’ve been quite happy with the results and money saved. My hair doesn’t stink and I have alot less split ends. 🙂
    {here my post about it… }

    I love using natural, handmade soaps! I still can’t muster up the “you-know-whats” to make my own, so I am more than happy buying a great product from someone who is braver than me, lol!

    On a different note…I totally agree with you on the crystal deo “Dull razors = chewed up skin. Chewed up skin + mineral salts = OUCH.” indeed! I decided I like making my own 🙂

    It’s fun to see others’ crunchiness…thanks for sharing!

    • No, haven’t tried the baking soda hair wash thing – my hair freaked out enough with natural shampoo. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.

    • Bebe says:

      I have! It’s been nearly two years since I’ve used shampoo except on occasion (like when we were staying in a hotel in Dallas last summer) and my hair has never looked better or been as strong and healthy. I have fine, gray, curly-ish hair which has better curls since ditching the shampoo!

  6. Okay, read your comment about the bar shampoo. Have you tried J.R.LIGGETT’S? Once in awhile, customers will report the issue you had, as your hair acclimates to the lack of detergents in the bar shampoo, your scalp gets the message to produce more oil. It really shouldn’t last long– I used J.R.LIGGETT’S Shampoo Bar and one day–yeah, my scalp was oiler than ususal, but by the next shampoo, all was well. And it’s not pricey either. I love it, and I blog for J.R.LIGGETT. bye now. (found by way of Jennifer’s blog–zero waste).

  7. Amber says:

    I use shampoo and conditioner from here ( and I LOVE it! My hair feels great each time I use it, and I have very damaged/dry/evil hair. 🙂

  8. Bebe says:

    I used to use the crystal spray which worked great for me but now I’ve ditched deodorant entirely! I’ve been reading a lot of research about magnesium deficiency and it appeared that that’s where body *odor* stems from. I drastically upped my magnesium intake for about 3 months with an oral supplement, bathing with magnesium flakes and epsom salts plus using magnesium oil in a spray bottle (which I do use under arm sometimes). I do kettlebell workouts a few days every week and work up a nice sweat but rarely is there ANY odor. If there is I go take a magnesium bath, which will get rid of odor just by soaking in it, before I even wash!
    My 16yo daughter is a competitive athlete and works out several times a week and she has been able to ditch the deodorant too!

    • HappyMrsBass says:

      That’s awesome! I’ll have to look into that!

    • Interesting! I have to admit, I don’t find that I smell if I skip it altogether either. I also soak in epsom salts in the bath a lot – wonder if that’s why.

    • EcoCatLady says:

      That is fascinating. I take magnesium supplements to help ward off migraines and because it’s supposed to help you not grind your teeth at night. I use the crystal rock deodorant and I never notice any smell.. I can seriously wear the same shirt for a week and it won’t smell. Very interesting!

  9. EcoCatLady says:

    I haven’t used shampoo for nearly 4 years now and my hair is behaving better than ever. But it took me a LOT of experimenting to figure out a system that worked for me. Here’s my system in case you’re curious:

  10. Laura says:

    Wow! so many great suggestions! I will have to try the crystal bar, although I do like Tom’s of Maine.

    I also only washing my hair with baking soda. I did it for six weeks, and my hair was fried by the end. I guess I was using too much? I’m going to check out the links here and see if I can figure out what I was doing wrong. I would love to save the $$ on shampoo/conditioner!

    Thanks for an inspiring conversation. 🙂

  11. Lauren says:

    I use bar shampoos from LUSH. I know they are a bbit pricy (about $10.50 a bar) but they last longer than my bottle shampoo did and it leaves my hair feeling very clean. They make all their product from natural sources and the bar idea is so that you don’t have any packaging to throw into a landfil later on. I live WAY up in the Yukon, so I just order them online. As for deoderant, I use their Aromaco one. It goes in really easy, doesn feel like I need a razor blade to clean it off and surprisingly I have never smelled like B.O. since. Even after my hardcore bootcamp workouts.

    On a slightly different note, my friend started using henna to dye her hair instead on chemical dyes. I looks fabulous and she says her hair feels great. Just another way we are trying to get away from harsh things in our houses here. 🙂

    Love your blog by the way.

    • Thanks! I think henna is my next step too. I have to read up on how to use it. I like a bit of red, but am afraid of looking like Sideshow Bob. But I need to cover some gray again soon.

      Thanks for the tips.

      • Lauren says:

        Apparently to add a little more of an auburn colour to henna you need to add a little vinegar or lemon juice. I’m sure there is plenty you can find on the net mind you 🙂

  12. i do my best to keep things natural. our household uses liv’s soaps exclusively. they are amazing. and local beekeepers beeswax body balm. and liv’s surface sprays around the house. i wash my wood floors with liv simple surface spray and a shark steamer. but i do use regular shampoo too….i only wash once or twice a week though.

    • I love her stuff too – I tend to stalk her at craft shows to buy her wares. I use a steamer on my floors too, but tend to make my own cleaners.

      Nice to meet someone in the surrounding area!

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