I’m getting a haircut, long overdue, on Thursday. When the stylist asks me what products I use on my hair, she will be less than thrilled with my response, “bar soap and vinegar.”
I like buying and using fancy hair products that smell like grapefruit and feel like silk and make my hair look marvelous. But I don’t like the price and REALLY don’t like the thought of the plethora of toxic ingredients going right into my head via those wide open pores in my scalp.
And then there’s that smug feeling I get when I look at my shiny hair and I think of how marvelously my organic citrus soap lathers (sometimes I use sandalwood), and how effectively my vinegar water rinses.
I use a solution of one part organic apple cider vinegar with three parts water,, mixed in a bottle and left in the shower. The only downside is that it’s a bit chilly to pour over my head. So, I could mix it as I go, with warm water. Or put it in a spray bottle. Yeah, that’s it! Everytime I make an improvement in my methods I pat myself on the back – so much FUN!
But what about the vinegar smell? It goes away in short order, leaving hair that looks and smells nice and clean. And I also smell “spicy”.
“Oooh, you always smell so spicy,” was a comment I got yesterday in church when I hugged a young lady. I simply thanked her, but I wanted to give her a lesson: “It’s my deodorant. I use a mixture of olive oil and lavender essential oil, which I keep in a squirt bottle. Over that I add a few drops of essential oils, changing it up as intuition leads. I often use lemon or orange oils, as they have been proven effective in fighting certain kinds of cancers and tumors (under the arms going into the breasts). I also like to use tea tree, peppermint, additional lavender, cedarwood, geranium, or a mixture of oils. Atop this I use an organic baby powder and I’m good to go.”
No, I’m not good to go for forty-eight hours in summer heat. This is not an anti-perspirant, and it will not work as a bathing substitute.
Speaking of bathing, essential oils sprinkled on Epsom salts and then dumped in the bath can be truly life changing, and an inexpensive and healthy alternative to store bought bath products (do your research as some oils will relax your muscles and put you to sleep, such as lavender, while others will make you rearing to go). Add a bit of the aforementioned olive oil/lavender mixture, or perhaps some milk to the water, and you’ll feel marvelously clean, refreshed and relaxed.
Much of what we buy at the store is pricey in any way you count it. Consider toothpaste, for instance. Toothpaste has warning labels. Why then, we must ask, are we putting this into our mouths three times a day? Why not make your own?
I have a friend who uses only organic soap to brush her teeth, and has gotten quite used to the taste, and particularly enjoys the results – teeth that feel squeaky clean.
John and I simply use baking soda, followed by swishing essential oils around in our mouths. John uses clove oil and has thereby ended all tooth pain. I usually use peppermint. Yes, both these oils are a bit strong, and for the uninitiated should be mixed in with a bit of a carrier (or fatty) oil, such as olive or safflower.
Speaking of oils, I use coconut oil in the kitchen and on my skin. Between coconut, olive, vitamin E, avocado, and a few other oils, which I mix and make enchanting with essential oils, I have been delivered from the budget-busting tyranny of skin care products. There are numerous recipes for skin care in books and on the net.
Occasionally I succumb to fancy packaging and to my kids’ gentle criticism that I’m “such a hippie” and I buy an organic toothpaste, which really does make a nice change from the baking soda. But then I lose that smart and smug and self-sufficient feeling.
And that grandmother-pleasing feeling. My grandmother, “Grannimother”, had beautiful teeth when she left us in her 90’s, and for much of her life she brushed with a hickory stick, with the end twisted and chewed into a brush. I suppose there were dental benefits in the essential oils of the tree, and of course she was an avid gardener who loved to eat her tooth-friendly mustard and collard greens. Perhaps most helpful was not having enough money for much of her life to buy excessive sweets.
There are many good things in my life due to not having enough ready cash to buy the “ready-made” as Grannimother put it. If she saw me paying $20 for a bottle of shampoo and $10 for deodorant and $7 for toothpaste she would say there was something wrong with my raising, and how it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, and that you have to watch those purchases you make all the time, the ones you don’t pay much attention to at the time, because they add up to big amounts.
Then she would gently tell me a little about how she managed to live well and always have money for the important things, because she didn’t “fritter away” her money on nonsense.
Well, we all have our own ideas of what constitutes nonsense. I would hold my tongue when I thought of the money she spent to “help out” the Avon lady. I would hold my tongue period, because she was the one with the money, and I was the one with the half-used bottles of chemical-laden skincare and haircare products.
I could really save money if I let my hair grow out and put it in a bun, as did Grannimother. But thank God, as I recently heard Pastor Mark Hankins say, “We’ve been delivered from bun-dage.”
As to cutting it myself, I get my smugness, my self-congratulatory pat on the back, by cutting my husband’s and son’s hair, and by trimming mine between cuts. But a “real” haircut is my equivalent of Grannimother’s Avon indulgences. Even a hippie has to do some things just like everybody else.