3 Years Shampoo Free.

It’s been another year, and I’m still not going back to commercial shampoo.

I honestly almost forgot it was time to talk about this, because being “poo-free” has become so every day for me.  Then a friend of mine sent me a link that included a video of Kathy Lee and Hoda on the Today show ripping apart another blogger for not washing her hair with shampoo.

The whole thing made me really want to write a big, long winded, angry rebuttal, going point for point about all the things that were wrong, poorly researched, and generally ignorant in their segment.  But, when it comes down to it, I think the absolute worst of it is, on national tv, a supposedly respectable 60 year old woman is bullying a complete stranger.  I don’t want to add to that by throwing more vitriol out there.  Those who would listen already know better than to believe the kind of nonsense they were saying, and those who don’t…well, they wouldn’t listen anyhow.

  So, after 3 years without shampoo, here’s where things stand for me:
  I hate my hair.  Like, extra “a”s and “t”s for emphasis, hate.
  This has exactly nothing to do with being poo free, and everything to do with the weather, and that sweet little booger in my arms above.
  I can say this with confidence, because I’ve also been the absolute happiest with my hair while doing poo free.  Also, because my hair did this exact same thing after I was pregnant with G.
  Problem is, this being one of the coldest winters in memory, our heating has been running constantly.  My whole house is a static electric tinderbox.  Add to that the fact that, as happens after you have a baby, a large portion of my hair fell out this summer.  All of that hair has grown back to about 3″ long.  I have a constant, staticky halo around my head that makes me look a bit like a lightning-struck dandelion puff.
  Winter and post-pregnancy blues aside, I’m still pleased with washing with baking soda.
  One of the biggest questions about poo-free that I had been, up until this point, unable to answer, was how dyed hair fared with it.  I added my turquoise streaks to my hair at the end of August and have only had to re-dye them twice…one of those times being this past week.  That’s with semi-permanent hair dye.  They don’t make permanent teal dye.  So needless to say, poo free is dyed hair safe.
  While I was pregnant with R, I got down to using the baking soda once a week.  I’m back to twice a week, for a couple of reasons.  One, my skin, including my scalp, gets really dry when I’m pregnant.  I honestly could have gone longer than a week at times.  Two, I’m exercising a lot more now than I was when I was pregnant.  Obviously I wasn’t doing aerial at 8 months huge.  I use the baking soda rinse when my hair gets greasy, and I just rinse with water when it isn’t.  I wash my hair when I need to wash my hair.  Simple as that.
  I started with no-poo mostly out of curiosity about what it would do to my hair, but it has been a fascinating journey in other ways too.  If I had any doubt about the powers of marketing before this, I definitely don’t now.  There hasn’t been shampoo in my shower for 3 years.  I still have to fight myself to not buy a bottle any time I wind up in the hair care aisle.  I don’t need it, heck, I don’t even really want it, but there’s that siren call of “this shampoo will make your life perfect” always there.  …obviously the only thing standing between me and euphoria is the lack of a new bottle of Pantene, right?  It sometimes makes me question which other items I “can’t live without” are just emotional manipulation.
  I can’t help but feel that the woman who was chosen for the segment I linked to above was picked because she was an easy target.  She admits to being “crunchy”…to the point it’s part of her blog name.  That’s scary to a lot of people.  She different, and unapologetic about it.  I suspect that my blog, or the blog of somebody more like me, wasn’t picked, because it would have been a lot harder to build a case of “yuck, dirty hippie”.  I don’t use shampoo…but I dye my hair turquoise.  I make my own clothes, but out of obnoxiously bright colors or black, not vegetable dyed, organic cotton.  I do my best to keep my kids’ screen time to an absolute minimum and don’t have “real” tv, but I don’t co-sleep, and I use disposable diapers.  I wear makeup, and high heels and tend to only buy organic when it’s convenient.  I hate to admit it, but I’m middle of the road.
  I don’t use shampoo, not because I’m trying to avoid the chemicals per se (though that’s a bonus), but because it works for me to not use it.  I’d wonder if I were fooling myself, if it weren’t for the half dozen or so non-crunchy friends who have tried it, based simply on my success.  If I’m a hippie, apparently I’m a pleasant smelling, nicely styled hippie.  I’m non-threatening, so maybe if it works for me, it’s not quite so out there.
  But, I’m getting dangerously close to heading off on a rant, so I’ll stop this here.
  If you’re curious about anything with no-poo, or heck, just feel like telling me you think I’m delusional and my head probably stinks*, leave a comment!
*Please be warned, if you do so, I’ll probably revoke my decision to not rant.

How to Fix Broken Blush

  So I expect that plenty of you have found yourself in the same situation I did this weekend.  I was getting ready for the day and R was crawling around on the floor and he went for something he wasn’t supposed to have…and while I grabbed for him, my blush flipped upside-down, the circle of blush fell out of the pan and onto the floor, shattering into a bunch of little pieces.

  I about cried.  It was a brand new, fancy-pants, certainly-overpriced mineral blush, and it was now in a bunch of chunks on my bathroom floor.
  I’d seen a couple of pins on Pinterest about how to save it, but I wasn’t sure…would it work?

  Happily, yes!
  I dumped all the chunks back into the pot, dripped a small amount of rubbing alcohol on top to moisten up the really powdery bits and used a small knife to smooth it all out.  I set it up on a high cabinet (to keep curious fingers out of it) and let it dry.  By that afternoon it was ready to go again.
  Now, it’s not the prettiest solution…I, of course, couldn’t rescue the pretty little flower that had been pressed into the top originally or make it nearly as smooth, but it’s a nice, solid pat again that I can swirl a decent amount of blush off of, instead of getting clown-like amounts of pink powder.
  Long story short, if/when you drop one of your eyeshadows or blushes, don’t hesitate to try this out!

Maple Bud Hair Comb

  This past weekend I celebrated a friend of mine’s birthday.  We’ve been friends since middle school, and she is one of the few people I know who not only has hair long enough, but actually chooses to adorn it with elaborate picks and combs.  I don’t tend to find a whole lot of opportunity to wear hair-jewelry myself, but I love making it, so I inevitably wind up making something for her as a gift!

  Our yard has a ton of maple trees in it, and all of them are budding out right now.  The pinkish red of the ends of their branches is just gorgeous against the cornflower blue of the sky, and so I decided I wanted to try and make a comb that looked a bit like the branches of my trees.
  The seed beads photographed rather orange for some reason or another, but in natural daylight they’re more pink.  If you look at the beads in the bottom left-hand corner you can get a better idea of their true coloring.
  To make this, I used fine wire and two types of beads turned into beaded branches using the same method I wrote up this past summer.
  My friend loved it, and hopefully she’ll get lots of wear out of it.  As well as it turned out, I’m half tempted to make myself one.  Too bad I know it’d be in my hair all of 30 seconds before one curious little boy or another yanked it out…

Two Years, No Shampoo

  It’s that time again…time for me to update you on how my quest to become the dirtiest, stinkiest-headed hippie this side of the Mississippi is going.
  Yup, I’m still ‘poo free, and to paraphrase Taylor Swift, shampoo, we are never, ever, ever getting back together.
  I got fancy this year and, unlike last year, actually blow dried it for you this time.
  So, ready to be horrified?
  I now, two years after giving up shampoo, only “wash” my hair once a week.  Once.
  I usually wash it on Tuesdays while G is at daycare, and I’ll admit, by Sunday it’s typically ready for a ponytail, so I rinse it out with plain water and use my fingers to scrub my scalp….but I’m getting a good, solid 4 days of wearing my hair down and it looking great before that without any work.  Me, who used to have to put my hair up in a ponytail by the end of the day I’d washed it when I started all this.
  Obviously, getting to this point has taken some time.  This time last year I could only go 3 days between washes.  But the longer I’m ‘poo free the happier I am I tried this.  And to answer the question before it’s asked, no, I don’t take all of my pictures on Tuesdays or Wednesdays…my hair in my photos for the other posts is just how my hair is on whatever day of the week it happens to be.  You can get a pretty good idea of how it looks through-out the week by browsing them.
  I’m still using the lessons I talked about last time…the vinegar rinse has to happen occasionally and obviously my shower cap is seeing quite a bit of use (I’m not going a week between showers!) but all in all, I don’t really think about my hair anymore.  I style it if/when I blow dry it after the weekly wash and then leave it alone til Saturday or Sunday.  I rinse it that night and sleep on it wet, usually twisted some to give it some wave.  About half the time that leaves me with gorgeously wavy, full hair.  The other half the time I look like an electrocuted homeless person and resort to a ponytail or a hat til it calms down.  I don’t touch it again til the next Tuesday.
  All that time I’m not messing with my hair means waaaay more time for sewing.  I love it.
  So want to try it now?  Click through to the original post (please ignore the terrible photography) for the shampoo “recipe” and make sure you check out last year’s update for some tips and tricks.  If you still have any questions, leave them here and I’ll be happy to answer them!

How to make your own headband

  I can’t wear store bought headbands.  I don’t know if I have an abnormally sized/shaped head or what, but they just don’t work.  The traditional, plastic ones push on some kind of pressure point behind my ears and give me a pounding headache and the elastic band ones just shoot right off my head.  It’s a less than ideal situation.

  Like, I’m pretty sure every other woman in America, my hair has layering in it.  Face framing layers are a great thing…except when you don’t want hair in your face.  Then you pretty much have to have a headband.
  So, this summer, desperate to get my growing-out hair out of my face and off my neck, I started making my own headbands.
If you want to make one too, here’s what you need:
Length of ribbon, chain or other material for band, elastic, needle and thread
  Wrap the ribbon you’re going to use for the main part of your band around your head, making sure the ends will reach to behind your ears.  Keep in mind that less elastic is prettier if you want to wear your hair up, but so long as it tucks behind your ears, it will be a cute headband for most uses.  For my band I used a ribbon that was about 17.5″ long.
  Sew your ribbon onto your elastic BEFORE cutting any elastic off the roll.  Because I was using wide ribbon, I wrapped it around the elastic for a prettier finish.
  Wrap the ribbon around your head again and pull the elastic across the gap in the back to secure a comfortable fit.  Hold on with your fingers just beyond the un-sewn side of the ribbon (to give yourself some space to sew them together) and pull the whole thing off your head.  Snip the elastic where your fingers are and sew the elastic and ribbon together.
  That’s it!  You’re done!  Enjoy your new headband while you look for other stuff you can use to make more.  I’ve used ribbon, wired ribbon, jewelry chain and twine so far!
  They stay on, don’t give me a headache, and it’s a great way to use up tiny bits of leftover gift ribbon.

Faking "well rested" with makeup, with time left for a nap

  Not long after G was born, I was perusing my local library.  I’m kind of a book addict, so even though most people probably don’t get a whole lot of reading done when they have a newborn, I get withdrawl shakes if I don’t get my regular “fix” of literature.  Fiction, non-fiction, novel, magazine…whatever.  I just need something in written form.

  Because it was right after G was born, I was…uhm…slightly less bright than usual from the lack of sleep.  I picked out this book and brought it home:
  …this wasn’t the book I wanted it to be.  I’m 29…if I looked ten years younger, people wouldn’t let me buy wine and I’d be getting hit on by high schoolers.  Yuck.  No thanks.  The book I was hoping this would be was this:
Seriously…somebody write this…please?
  I read it anyways.  Thought maybe I could use some of the tricks not to look younger but to look more well rested.  She certainly has good advice…it’s just that a lot of it isn’t applicable to me yet. 
  What this book DID point out to me that I have done something about is that we have to be really careful to not fall into habits with our makeup.
  …I already said I don’t want to still look 19, so why was I still doing my makeup the same way?
  I think most girls start using makeup for the same reason.  They want to look like women.  They want to look more mature and adult, as well as more beautiful.  Ok…fine…but while looking 21 or 22 when I was 19 was a desirable thing (especially because at 19 I looked about 15), looking older when I’m nearly 30 isn’t really what I want.  It was time for some changes.
Toooo much makeup.
  One thing this book (and any “don’t age yourself with makeup” article) will tell you is that the fastest way to make yourself look older is to wear too much makeup.  I was definitely in this camp.  I love theater and one of my best friends is a photographer with whom I’ve done many photo shoots with fantastical makeup (see above).  I treated makeup like it was finger paint and my face the canvas (in the picture above, it actually was poster paint).  …that stops working when you stop wanting to add years.
  I took a long hard look at my (bucket of) makeup and decided what I couldn’t live without and what was best put away as “special occasion” stuff.  I pared my routine down to these four items:
Ok…five if you count the business card
  It’s not about looking older and more worldly now, it’s about looking healthy and well rested.  Besides, less makeup products and a more streamlined routine for putting it on means you get to be more well rested, cuz you can sleep in!
  Here’s how I use my streamlined makeup:  (warning, picture of me with no makeup and little sleep coming up)
The face that launched 1,000 ships…in the other direction
  This is me, about half an hour after waking up, nothing on my face but my daily spf/moisturizer (you are wearing sunscreen right now, right?  No?  I’ll wait.  Go get some.  Seriously.).  My skin is all red because I just finished washing my face, but as you’ll see as the pictures go on, that fades pretty quickly.
  …it took some serious self control, but the only photo-editing I did on these pictures was to remove red eye or crop photos to a more manageable size.  If Jessica Simpson can do it on the cover of Marie Claire, I guess I can do it on here.
  First things first, I put on mascara.  This is the single item that makes the biggest, most dramatic change in appearance for me.  I use a business card (or hotel key card) held at the base of my lashes (against my eyelid) to allow me to coat the lashes from root to tip without coating my eyelids in black goo.
  I really resisted the business card trick for a long time.  It sounded like a pain in the butt and I couldn’t quite understand where they meant to put the card.  Pictures would have really helped me.
I think nobody put up pictures because you look ridiculous doing it…
  Try it out.  Once you get the hang of it, it makes a HUGE difference.  Pharmacy mascara very quickly starts looking like department store mascara and because all your roots get coated, you get a sort of faux eyeliner without any harsh line.
I promise, I didn’t take a 2 hour nap between this and the first shot
  So if I needed to, I’d be good to leave the house like this, but if I have the time, I’ll keep going.  My next step is to darken in some patchy spots in my eyebrows.
  This is a really subtle, finicky one.  If you’re doing it right, nobody will notice your eyebrows, but they’ll open up your eyes more and make you look more awake.  I definitely advise taking pictures of yourself with this one until you get the hang of it.  …after taking this picture I recognized that the pencil needed to be blended in better.  If you’re going to skip a step, this would probably be the one…just make sure your brows are well maintained otherwise.
  Next up is stain.  I use Benetint’s rose colored stain.  It multitasks, looks pretty and I don’t have to worry about getting lipstick on G or the Mr. when I kiss them.
  The stain goes on both my lips and cheeks.  For my cheeks, I dot 3 small dots of liquid on the apple of my cheek and then smear it around and up my cheekbone before repeating it on the other side.  For my lips, I cover the entire lip with a thin layer and then concentrate the color in the very center.  If you imagine sucking something off of your finger, the color should be concentrated on the parts of your lips where your finger touches.  Apparently young, especially healthy people have darker centers of their mouths.  Fake it!
  The last step I take is to smear rosebud salve all over my face.  …well, I guess not technically my whole face, but it’s absolutely another multi-tasker!
  The rose balm goes on my lips for chapstick, my cheeks (to fake that dewy, glowing skin everybody wants), a touch to smooth my eyebrows into place, and in a couple strategic places around my eyes to fake that “I go to bed at a reasonable hour and drink 3 gallons of water a day” look.  Highlight with the balm by smearing a little right under your eyebrows (I usually do it at the same time as smoothing my brows down) and a touch in the inside corner of your eyes.  If you have deep set eyes/a tall bridge of your nose like I do, it’s not a bad idea to dab a bit up in the valley your nose creates above that inner corner too.
  That’s it!  4 products, not a lot of work and you’re ready to head out the door, a fresh faced, healthy looking, beautiful adult woman!  
Do you have any great tips for looking well rested and healthy when you’re not?