Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Natural Hair Care Update

Natural Hair Care

About one month ago, I wrote about how my husband and I were going to start a shampoo-free hair care regimen. (See our plan for natural hair cleanser here.) We have not used any shampoo or conditioner for a month, and I can safely say that we’re overall pleased with the results.

I currently wash my scalp all over (I can’t really say I ‘wash my hair,’ because the scalp is what needs to be washed, not the hair) every four days. I do, however, was the hair right around my face and down the center part on the top of my head every other day. The oilier complexion of my face makes this necessary, especially for my bangs, which rest against my forehead.

This is what my hair looks like on day four (I’ll be washing tomorrow):

For the first three weeks, I was using an apple cider vinegar hair clarifier (a conditioner and detangler) after the ‘big wash,’ once every four days. My hair began to look pretty frizzy after a while, which could have been the result of a couple of different factors:

1) Too much baking soda in the hair washing stage

2) Not enough moisture being put into my hair via the apple cider vinegar clarifier

3) A dry, dry, dry September (as in, the air was so dry and dusty between no rain and farmers harvesting that a ban was eventually put on farmers being in the fields because the heat from their machinery kept catching crops on fire. This resulted in several fire emergencies a day for a while.)

I did not handle this dilemma like a good scientist and switch one variable at once. Instead I switched all three:

1) I started using less of the baking soda wash (going by a ‘less is more’ motto)

2) I just recently switched to using a honey and water hair clarifier, which is supposed to be more moisturizing than apple cider vinegar.

3) The humidity has gone up with the blessing of some rain, and the dust has gone down.

My hair looks less frizzy now. I may go back to the apple cider vinegar hair clarifier soon and see how that affects my hair. I would really like to be able to use the apple cider vinegar instead of honey because honey is much more expensive.

Oil Face Cleaning Method

On another personal hygiene note, I also decided to try the oil face cleaning method that Tsh Oxenreider posted on here. I was really skeptical, because my face is naturally oily and pretty acne-prone.

After doing a little bit of research on this facial cleaning method, this is the procedure I decided on:
Face-Cleaning Oil

75% castor oil (a drying oil)
25% extra virgin olive oil (a moisturizing oil)

I store this in a jelly jar in our medicine cabinet.

To wash my face, I put about a quarter size dribble into my hand and massage all over my dry face. I do not wet my face at all or clean off make-up before I start. The castor oil will clean my face well enough. I do not scrub; I just massage.

Then, I take a washcloth and soak it with hot water. I lay this on my face until it cools to room temperature (I think this takes about two minutes, but I don’t really count because this is so relaxing.) Then I massage my face again a little.

I rinse out the washcloth with hot water and use the washcloth to wipe all extra oil off of my face. I rinse out the washcloth again, and I’m done.

I love this. I didn’t think I would, but I do. Using this method, I only need to wash my face once a day. Previously, when I was using a synthetic store-bought face wash, I would wash my face twice a day. I don’t find that my face needs that anymore. And I seem to be dealing with a little less acne, although it will take a couple months for me to be able to really tell if there’s a difference.

Overall, I feel pretty good about both my hair and my face. We’re using natural non-toxic ingredients, and it’s all pretty cheap. Even the face wash, though an investment initially, seems to be cheaper overall because I use the oil so slowly.

I do wonder, though, how realistic this kind of hair care and facial care would be for someone with kids. What mom has time to lay a hot washcloth over her face for two minutes with children running around?

Any thoughts?


  1. Oooh. Might just have to try the facial cleanser. except my skin is naturally dry. Wonder if it will still work?

    I think if a mom doesn't have two minutes to wash her face, she might just have to evaluate her priorities and daily activities. :) (But on a more serious note, I've started to have to have my prayer time in the shower...or neither will likely happen...yikes.)

  2. You'll want to take a look at Tsh's blog on the oil face cleaning method (because her post is so detailed and mine is so not), but essentially if your face is drier, you will want more olive oil and less castor oil (maybe a 75/25 olive oil/castor oil mix instead of my 25/75 mix. You'll have to let me know how your trial goes!