No soap or shampoo?

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Danaan
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Danaan » 28 Sep 2012, 17:16

When it comes to shampooing hair I think you have to consider your hair type, climate, and type of work as well. I have long, thick, wavy and curly coarse hair, with no dying now for about 7 years. I've used only natural shampoos (without lauryl sulfate or artificial fragrances, etc.) for longer than that. I tried not shampooing for extended periods but the hair at my scalp is so thick (even at my age) that the oils would stay on my scalp and cause skin outbreaks. Boar bristle brushes cannot get through my hair, but I hear they work for others with thinner hair for distributing oils down the hair shaft. I tried baking soda once, but I couldn't get baking soda near my oily roots, and my hair is always dry (so I don't need baking soda or the like for oily hair). I shampoo my hair about every week+, depending on how dirty I get it. I also judiciously add oils (coconut, almond or the like) to my hair.

And that's another thing to consider- how much dirt, sweat, etc. are you getting in your hair? When I spend 6-8 hours a day working in the woods dodging poison ivy, picking up fallen wood, cleaning dirt out of trenches, and doing construction work in a semi-tropical climate like I get to at times here, I have to wash my hair. (But after several days of this my hair would be dry, and my husbands straighter, thinner hair is oily after one day of work.) If you work inside or only do light work outside (or in a more temperate climate) then maybe some of the other options that have been discussed in this thread will work great for you.

I've had good luck finding hand made soaps using only essential oils from local soap makers, even in my remote rural area. (I go to crafts fairs in the nearby 'city'.) My bar shampoo I've found online. Now that I've been so many years using unscented or essential oil soaps or products I can't even walk into a Lush store anymore- the artificial fragrances make me sick! (Ditto most candle shops.) But I think we all have options now to get off the corporate hair products treadmill, AND have better hair condition as a result.
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Clockwork » 28 Sep 2012, 18:20

My hair is super thick and kind of wavy. I work in a very cold dairy fridge and I rarely do heavy work.
The thing is, even though my hair is nice without shampoo, my scalp gets very itchy. I was thinking about switching to a more natural shampoo or maybe even an oil treatment of sorts. It's definitely something that'll be trial and error I suppose.

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aigeann » 28 Sep 2012, 20:15

Welcome to the Board, Clockwork!

Hope you enjoy your time with us.

Blessings, Aigeann
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kima » 07 Dec 2012, 07:48

I tried to get off shampoo last year and gave up after about six months (I did use baking soda or egg which probably was a mistake). Although I failed I'd love to give it another try now. My body is so much better off now I rarely use soap, and it means I need very few cosmetics to get by.

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aphritha » 07 Dec 2012, 17:15

I've been shampoo free since July. Its had its ups and downs...right now my hair and I are at a happy balance. Its soft and shiny, except my ends break off now and then, but this is an issue I had before I ever made the decision to kick shampoo. I can't get myself to get rid of soap though. As silly as it sounds, I like to play with my soap! What fun is a bath with no soap? :grin:


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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kima » 09 Dec 2012, 11:18

What fun is a bath with no soap? :grin:
I used to love bubble baths but now my skin can't take it anymore. I use essential oils and sometimes medicinal flowers. You boil them for ten minutes and pour the mixture into your bath water. Picking up floating flowers is also fun, and I love picking them up and drying them every spring.

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aphritha » 09 Dec 2012, 18:01

That's a really good idea.


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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Whitemane » 10 Dec 2012, 01:15

I tried to get off shampoo last year and gave up after about six months (I did use baking soda or egg which probably was a mistake). Although I failed I'd love to give it another try now. My body is so much better off now I rarely use soap, and it means I need very few cosmetics to get by.

You need very soft water to wash hair without using shampoo. The softest water you can find in nature is rainwater.
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby katie bridgewater » 10 Dec 2012, 01:25

You need very soft water to wash hair without using shampoo. The softest water you can find in nature is rainwater.
I haven't used shampoo for nearly 15 years now. It has never made a jot of difference what water I used (I rarely use water anyway). The whole point is not to 'wash' the hair with the water at all (ie strip the oils out) but to leave the hair to manage itself and only assist by keeping it untangled. I lived nomadically on a boat for most of that time and filled my tank up from random taps around the country as well as bathing in various rivers and using collected water from my roof occasionally, so I should know!

Hair stays clean if you brush it regularly and rinse it occasionally with water, everything else is a myth! Like I keep saying!

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kima » 17 Dec 2012, 18:28

Two weeks in!

My hair looks pretty nice. It can get a little oily so I use a bit of talc if necessary. Other than that it's quite shiny and soft except for a greasy patch that seems to be traveling around my scalp :???: I'm sure it will go away eventually. The thing is, when I wash my hair with products it looks nicer but only momentarily, and when it starts going bad it gets worse than its current unwashed state, which appears fairly stable. So far so good.

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kitty » 27 Dec 2012, 00:22

I haven't completely given up on 'washing' my hair, but I have stopped using shampoo on it. I 'wash' it once a week at most (whenever it gets too oily for me to get away with at work) with either just water or with baking soda water (2 teaspoons in 2 cups of warm water, mixed well) and apple cider vinegar water (1 teaspoon in 2 cups warm water, with tea bags of various types soaking in the bottle) which I pour over my hair, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse out. I have been doing this for over two years now, and it seems to work well for my hair. I started by slowly reducing the number of times I wash my hair from every day to every other, and the to twice a week. It took a couple months to slowly do that, but it seemed to keep my hair from getting too oily all at once. The I switched over from shampoo to my current regiment, slowly increasing from 3 days between washes to a week. I have been at my once every week or so washing stage for over two years now. I have to admit, that my hair seems to be in MUCH better condition than it used to be. I have far fewer split ends, my head doesn't itch as much, and my dandruff (which was starting to get horrible and was the original reason I switched) is practically gone. I have just past shoulder length hair, and as it has grown out, it seems to get better and better.

For soaps, there is a local group which make lovely goats milk soaps which I purchase. They not only make it locally, but they also use all natural items, which is great. Around the time I started with my hair, I also stopped using store-sold deodorant. I make my own with baking soda, corn starch (or arrowroot powder), almond oil, vitamin e oil and essential oils. I found the recipe online and it works wonderfully for me.

My reason for switching to more natural products isn't all that surprising, really. I work in a science lab, and one day I had to do some reorganizing of the MSDS (material safety data sheets), and actually started looking at the safety information for some of the stuff that I recognized from handsoap and other such household things. Some of the items we use on our body are not only dangerous if we accidentally ingest them, but some can be absorbed straight through the skin. It was enough to have me seriously looking at just what chemicals I was using all the time and what they could do to me, instead of just worrying about the ones I was using carefully at work. And so, with the switching from shampoos that were drying out my scalp and leaving my hair smelling of chemicals, I also switched quite a few products around the house and now make a conscious effort of checking just what the chemicals in things do, even if they're supposedly 'natural' items.
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aphritha » 27 Dec 2012, 01:23

I often find myself wondering what things on labels are, both in cleansing products and on food. Any particular things we should watch out for?


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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Whitemane » 27 Dec 2012, 15:11

I often find myself wondering what things on labels are, both in cleansing products and on food. Any particular things we should watch out for?
Anything that is in widespread commercial use should have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) available describing its properties, positive and negative effects and procedures for storage and handling. A good starting point for finding them would be:

http://ehs.okstate.edu/links/msds.htm

Just take care to double-check anything you aren't too happy with. Something may be described as toxic by ingestion, as mentioned above, but only because of the way it interacts with the digestive system. It may be quite safe if applied to the skin. For example, amphotericin is an antifungal that is quite safe when used on the skin, but very toxic when applied systemically (which has been done in extreme cases of fungal infection) requiring hospitalization and intensive monitoring.
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby katie bridgewater » 27 Dec 2012, 16:04

Just take care to double-check anything you aren't too happy with. Something may be described as toxic by ingestion, as mentioned above, but only because of the way it interacts with the digestive system. It may be quite safe if applied to the skin. For example, amphotericin is an antifungal that is quite safe when used on the skin, but very toxic when applied systemically (which has been done in extreme cases of fungal infection) requiring hospitalization and intensive monitoring.

For many of us, this isn't just about what we apply to our skin. It is about what we flush down the drain into the wider environment. Just because something is classified 'safe' for surface application to humans, doesn't necessarily mean it is ok for other organisms and materials to have where they live. And that's without thinking about where all the plastic containers come from and end up, and the waste and toxins from the manufacture of 'beauty' products. That part of it isn't so beautiful...

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Whitemane » 27 Dec 2012, 16:29

Just take care to double-check anything you aren't too happy with. Something may be described as toxic by ingestion, as mentioned above, but only because of the way it interacts with the digestive system. It may be quite safe if applied to the skin. For example, amphotericin is an antifungal that is quite safe when used on the skin, but very toxic when applied systemically (which has been done in extreme cases of fungal infection) requiring hospitalization and intensive monitoring.

For many of us, this isn't just about what we apply to our skin. It is about what we flush down the drain into the wider environment. Just because something is classified 'safe' for surface application to humans, doesn't necessarily mean it is ok for other organisms and materials to have where they live. And that's without thinking about where all the plastic containers come from and end up, and the waste and toxins from the manufacture of 'beauty' products. That part of it isn't so beautiful...
That's covered too. Why don't you check a few out?
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kitty » 27 Dec 2012, 17:50

This is probably more info than you want, but here's a few I have here at work:

Triclosan is found in antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cosmetics and household and personal care products. The EPA (where it is registered as a toxic pesticide) has found it to be an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent, however there are other organizations (including the FDA) which are reviewing its efficacy and safety. It is listed as having a “slight” health hazard to humans.
Does it kill bacteria and fungi? Yes. However, it could not only easily start to fall into the ‘overused’ category and cause resistant strains of bacteria to develop, but it is also known to correlate with increased hay fever and allergies in humans. The MSDS states that it can cause skin and eye irritation. It is also stable when dissolved in water and is absorbed through the skin and acts as an endocrine disruptor (blocks normal hormones from working correctly in the body) in non-humans (and there are studies looking at whether this is true in humans, and the evidence is pointing that way). It IS known to cause skin irritation in some humans.
The MSDS also list it as being very toxic to aquatic systems. It is toxic to aquatic bacteria, which are responsible for a large part of photosynthesis on Earth. It is listed as ‘not biodegraded’ but ‘partially eliminated by absorption on effluent treatment sludge’ when being removed in water treatment when there is data, and quite a few MSDS don’t have ANY data on what happens to it once it reaches water treatment.
And there are studies that show that using plain soap is just as effective as using those containing triclosan for preventing illness and removing bacteria. There is no evidence that triclosan provides any extra health benefits over plain soap and water.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are very toxic ingredients found in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, etc. It’s a foaming agent, which many people think you need in order to ‘get something clean’. When used in combination with other chemicals, they can form carcinogens. They are used to clean engines, garage floors, etc. as degreasers and de-waxing agents. Exposure can cause eye damage, depression, diarrhea and many other ailments. It can cause irritation to skin and eyes. Repeated exposure may cause accumulation in one or many organs, causing health issues. It may cause adverse reproductive effects (proven in animals). May cause irritation to the mouth and upper digestive tract. And it is yet another product that is toxic to aquatic organisms, however it is far less harmful than triclosan and far less likely to be released in large enough quantities to cause significant environmental impact.

Most FD&C color pigments are made from coal tar and studies show that almost all of them are carcinogenic. Many of these pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood. FD&C Red #4 is no longer available for use in foods because of a known threat to the adrenal glands and urinary bladder. And you would be amazed the number of products that have artificial colors added simply to make them ‘look more appealing’.

Isopropyl alcohol is found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after shave lotions, fragrances and many other cosmetics. This is a solvent and denaturant (poisonous substance that changes another substance's natural qualities). This petroleum derived substance is also used in antifreeze and as a solvent in shellac. Inhalation or ingestion of the vapor may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis and coma (the more extreme reactions are usually reserved for very high concentrations only).

There are a TON more than these, but I listed a few that I know are around my lab here at work, and thus I have easy access to the MSDS for them and we trained on safely using them. If you google ‘dangerous chemicals in beauty products’ you end up with a very large number of links and many of which list the ‘worst possible scenario’ for the compounds. Again, because of working in a lab, I have the habit of reading the chemical name then googling ‘MSDS [insert chemical name here] and reading the toxicological and ecological information (usually around #10-13 on the numbered sections) for them. Remember that the information given is usually for the compound by itself in high concentrations, but usually the health hazards are at least somewhat applicable, especially if it’s a ‘sensitizer’.

Hopefully that answered your question. I know this got a bit long, but I wanted to give more than just a name to go searching for on the bottles in your bathroom.
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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aphritha » 27 Dec 2012, 18:46

The information is much appreciated. I am relieved to see much of these offending chemicals aren't in the few products I do use. For hair I do dye, but I kicked shampoo back in July(other than the one time in 5 months I had to clean it in order to lighten the roots). The soaps I use tend to be mild as well. The dye in the food does concern me...it really does seem to be in everything!


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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kima » 03 Jan 2013, 18:20

Meanwhile I'm almost five weeks into the water only experiment. I'm trying to wait longer between rinses since they don't make my hair look so good. Despite my boyfriend's threat to wash my hair, I don't think it looks bad. I'm actually quite happy with it; the only stress derives from my fear of what others may think, especially since I'm going back to work on Monday. I'm still in the transition phase.

I'm becoming hardcore: I have now decided to wear little to no makeup, decrease my use of moisturizer, and even... get rid of toothpaste! http://fondalashay.com/mintchilli/why-i ... toothpaste
I've ordered soap from this UK website: http://www.littlesoapcompany.co.uk/

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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Aphritha » 03 Jan 2013, 21:34

Meanwhile I'm almost five weeks into the water only experiment. I'm trying to wait longer between rinses since they don't make my hair look so good. Despite my boyfriend's threat to wash my hair, I don't think it looks bad. I'm actually quite happy with it; the only stress derives from my fear of what others may think, especially since I'm going back to work on Monday. I'm still in the transition phase.
I went five months. I ended up washing in order to bleach my roots. Unfortunatly, I just can't get my hair to grow in green and that's the color I want it. Naturally my hair is dark, so root bleaching has become a necessary evil if i want to keep my color of choice. It did rebel a bit to the washing...turned into a poodle puff. After about two weeks, its going back to normal.
During the five month period, no one really noticed my hair at all. I told my mom what I was doing and she said it was disgusting, but when she saw it she had to admit that not only did it not look dirty, it was in better shape. My husband said he prefered it without washing, as it didn't get frizzy. I think unless you go around broadcasting that you don't wash your hair, no one will have any idea.


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Re: No soap or shampoo?

Postby Kima » 03 Jan 2013, 22:08

I think unless you go around broadcasting that you don't wash your hair, no one will have any idea.
Thanks, it's an encouraging thought!

Green hair, that must be fun :D


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