UPDATE: This post is from October 2012, just a few months after I began my journey towards a holistic lifestyle. You may be interested in reading a more recent post, 70 Ways to Be a Hippie, For the Crunchy-At-Heart.
It’s been a while since my last How Hippie Will You Go post. Last time, I discussed my transition to homemade toothpaste, coconut oil deodorant, baking soda “shampoo”, oil cleansing and a menstrual cup.
I’ve made a lot of changes in my skin care, too. I mustered up the courage to switch to homemade and holistic remedies for my acne and I have been blown away. I recently discussed The 7 Secrets that Cured My Acne without Chemicals.
I haven’t even told my family this (they think I’m crazy enough already) but here I am putting it on the internet: I’ve given up bathing with soap. Yes, soap. That universal partner to the bathtub and shower.
Why would I do this act of insanity? It started by reading the last chapter in the GAPS book, where Dr. Natasha explains that bathing a baby with any kind of soap is actually detrimental because it washes away protective oils. Then, I got a comment from a reader who has been soap-free for a year and a half, and she loves it:
I also went soap free for the bath and shower after reading the GAPS book. I have not used soap in over a year and a half, including the stinky, sweaty summer months. I have to say that it is nice not having a ring around the tub after I soak. The water gets plenty dirty telling me that the dirt is/has washed off with just a wet washcloth, and my skin feels clean and soft after the bath. I used to notice a kind of dry film after using soaps, even all natural ones. I don’t use soap of any type on my skin, ALL parts and have to say that none of the usual stinky parts smell after a bath.
After a whole soap-free month, I happily report that I am not smelly nor dirty. Soap, it seems, is completely unnecessary. Additionally, I find my skin much more moisturized when I leave the shower–it no longer feels like my skin is shrinking as it dries. Plus, that “natural” body wash I used to use was rather pricey… soap-free means one less expense!
Sweet Orange and Jojoba Hair Oil
You may be familiar with the fact that I do not have a great relationship with my hair–or rather, my lack thereof. I’ve lost about half the hair on my head in the last few years due to medication side effects and my colitis. Now that I’m off meds and on GAPS, I’m waiting patiently for my hairline and thin patches to regrow.
In the meantime, I get by with a trusty loose bun (which does a good job of making things look fuller) and my Sweet Orange and Jojoba Hair Oil. My hair is naturally – yet undecidedly – wavy. In other words, it insists on splaying out from my scalp in nonuniform spirals. This hair oil doesn’t weight my fine hair down, but smooths the frizz and makes it oh-so-soft.
My recipe is super simple: I just fill up a little misting bottle with half water and half jojoba oil. I add a few drops of sweet orange essential oil and rosemary essential oil to make it smell good. Then, I shake it up very well and mist it on damp hair after washing.
This is awesome stuff. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the recipe… it works!
After devouring Heather’s DIY Organic Beauty Recipes ebook, I was intrigued with her suggestion to use rendered tallow as a moisturizer. Evidently, due to the fat composition of tallow, it “is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells.”
The first time I tried tallow, I massaged it all over after a shower. Then my family asked me why I smelled like meat. Tallow does have a distinctive “meat” smell, so I mixed in some essential oils to mask the hippie fragrance. After some experimenting, I’ve found that I do not like using tallow on my face because it is slow to absorb. I’ve ended up using it on my elbows, knees and dry knuckles. At night, I pat a thin layer around my eyes for a chemical-free eye cream.
So, my crunchy friends, what do I try next? I’m very open-minded about your suggestions, as long as you don’t tell me to sew re-usable toilet paper. What are the hippie changes you’ve made in your life?