Life, Organic

I had two Resolutions this year, to have more fun and to live a much more organic lifestyle. I wanted to update you on my progress and point you in the direction of some truly awesome products.

Commercial shampoo contains chemicals so harsh that they strip the natural oils out of your hair. Because of this, you need conditioner in order to restore those oils. Now, you can go the Curly Girl routine of no shampoo and lots of conditioner, but that never really worked for me. I shopped around for decent shampoos and most of them had chemical ingredients (even the so called “organic” brands) and were very expensive. So in the end, I wound up at Chagrin Valley Soaps. I used them for several months a few years ago and liked it, but then for whatever reason cheated on their shampoo bars and went back to commercial shampoos. Never again.

I purchased several of their samples – a couple of shampoo bars and two different facial soaps that they said were good for oily skin. Over the years, I have struggled with problem skin. I’ve used every product there is on the market and not had a week completely devoid of frustration since I was a kid…. until now. My skin is completely clear, and has been for two weeks. I’ve alternated between the two soaps I chose and I don’t think either one is responsible; both work, but I like to use them each for different reasons. The strong-smelling “Neem & Tea Tree” soap is great for my skin; it leaves it soft and blemish free. But for removing makeup, I like to use “Sea Salt & Seaweed,” since it has a bit more grit to it. You can either rub it in your hands and then on your face, or you can do as I do and rub a damp bar right on your face to work up a lather.

Shampoo bars are a little trickier simply because your hair needs to go through a chemical detox period. Because your hair is being so stripped with chemicals every time you wash it, it produces more oil than it should in order to compensate. You need a grace period in which your hair transitions from harsh shampoo to a much more natural shampoo bar; in a sense, a time to reassure and convince your hair that the abuse is at an end. Once it realizes it does not need to produce as much oil, it will be much easier to get clean. The reason I mention this is that some people give up too soon and don’t give their shampoo bar time to work. It is possible to clean your hair throughout the detox period, however – just make sure to work the shampoo bar into a lather and scrub all of your hair (not just the scalp or the ends – draw your fingers through the length as well, and use a lot). My hair hasn’t “squeaked” in years, but it’s so clean now that it does.

There are many different shampoo bars for people with different hair types (I use “Coconut Milk” and “Summer Sunshine”) that range from everything to herbal mixes to cinnamon and flower scents. If you want to give it a go, I suggest reading through the testimonials page for people with your hair or skin type and finding out what they use. That’s a great place to start. Don’t be afraid to order a bunch of different samples, either. (Just keep track of which ones you love and what you don’t – that was a mistake I made last time.) You’ll have a package coming in the mail that smells so delicious, you will want to eat it. (Just… don’t.)

Also available are some other products… skin creams and body butters and such which I have not used yet. But I have given their all-natural deodorant a go. It’s a good product. It has a coconut smell, it doesn’t stain your clothes, and there’s no danger of aluminum poisoning like most commercial deodorants. I will say however that all natural means it allows you to sweat, unlike store-bought products. If you’re not used to it, you may be uncomfortable with it for awhile.

I’m enjoying striving to be more organic. It makes me feel good about how I am treating my body and the benefits are terrific. Go check them out!

9 thoughts on “Life, Organic

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  1. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve been trying to go more natural/organic with my beauty supplies, and these soaps are a lot more reasonably priced than the organic shampoos and body washes you can buy at health food stores.

    1. Yeah, they are — and you can also try out the samples for a couple of bucks each, which is a really inexpensive way to find out which ones you like best. So far I’ve used four different bars and all clean my hair, but my hair seems to “like” certain ones better than others (some don’t tangle as badly).

  2. I’m into living a more “organic” lifestyle as well – especially eating organic foods, etc.

    Love the new layout of Charity’s Place!

    BTW, not sure where else to mention this: on the “Sci-Fi and Superheroes” page, you have the Star Trek movies listed twice, with Stargate squished between. Thought you should know, so you could fix this. 😉

    1. Eating organic is really good for you. The fact that you can’t go back to eating junk after eating organic is a testament to that!

      Um… I obviously wanted to make sure we had Star Trek covered. 😉

  3. Do you use just the bars without conditioner?

    I have wavy hair but the curly girl method never seemed to work for me because I have such an oily scalp. Right now, I’m using MopTop shampoo, which is fairly natural, but it is expensive so I want to try some different things.

    1. I don’t use conditioner anymore, no. My hair is naturally oily enough that I don’t need it. (Although they do have a shampoo bar that behaves like conditioner, if you enjoy conditioning your hair.)

      For awhile I was doing mostly the Curly Girl method, but with a few changes — I didn’t leave conditioner in my hair because it turned it into a greasy mess, and I had to do the apple cider rinse several times a week. It was kind of a pain to mix up jars before showering, so it’s nice just to be able to grab something off my shelf.

    1. I’m still on the samples (which I’ve been using for about three weeks now, and I’d say I have another month’s use out of them, at least) but the original bars are quite large, so I’d guess they would last you six months or so.

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