15 February 2009

Cold again ...

After just a taste of spring, winter has returned to visit us once again. It's in a reasonably mild mood at the moment, the temperatures have returned to just below freezing and we had a little snow yesterday and a little more today.
The taste of spring has me thinking about gardening, but of course with a trip to see my Big Kids coming up, I can't plant just yet, so I can't say I mind the cold coming back for a little longer.

It's been a relaxing weekend -- we have had dinner with friends both nights, and I got the laundry and tidying up brought up to "no longer code red" if not entirely brought under control. Jack had his first children's choir practice and seemed to enjoy it a great deal, and he and I have been working on the time line which I have enjoyed immensely.

I have read a bit in my current library book -- Lynne Rosetto Kasper's "How to Eat Supper". I'm enjoying it immensely -- it reads like a series of long magazine articles...or conversations over a cup of coffee, but with recipes!

Rod also bought me a copy of Ari Weinzweig's Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating, for Valentines day. I am also looking forward to my chance to read that! The cookbook bug seems to have hit rather broadly, though. When we were at Penzey's, John decided to buy a copy of their cookbook. It looks pretty good, but I have enough on my stack right now, so I asked him to share any great tips he gleans or any fabulous recipes.

Gina, you asked about making my own cosmetics. I will be happy to chat with you about it, but you have to first understand that my needs are pretty basic. I have never been a big fan of make-up, though I do wear it occasionally. Mostly I need clean hair, clean skin, and something to keep the winter itchies at bay. ;)

I mentioned vinegar as the world's greatest shampoo. That may be a bit of an overstatement. I haven't given up shampoo *entirely*; I still use it every few months.

I am a recovering shampoo addict. I was a two-lathers a day, every day, for decades and when I first heard about the concept of going shampoo-free, I didn't think I would *ever* be able to do that! I woke up every morning in a grease slick generated by my own hair - -how could I give up shampoo?!?!?

The more I read about the benefits of going shampoo-free, the more I thought that at least minimizing my use would be good. I knew that my mother, who has just about the most beautiful hair I know, has always thought I shampoo too much. She washed her hair once a week and has never had a day of dirty looking hair, as far as I can tell, so it must be possible to use less...right?

I started to dilute my shampoo. At first, I just put the shampoo in a bottle of water and shook it up before pouring it on my hair. But over the course of a couple of years, I used more water and less shampoo, until I was putting half as much shampoo in the bottle and then using a tiny fraction of the shampoo-water for each shower. Eventually, I started adding more water between doses of shampoo, until one day, I wondered whether there was any shampoo in there at all. Still...my hair looked OK, so I figured I'd give shampoo free a try for a while.

I did some research, and found that many people use apple-cider vinegar instead of shampoo. Others use baking soda. I was a lot more comfortable using *something* than only water, so I started with a serious vinegar rinse.

I had a long period off work over the holiday,s and that seem,ed like the best time to experiment. That way I would be home so I could hide if it looked particularly awful.

I found that I could go almost a week before my hair looked at all greasy, and the greasies came and went as my hair adjusted to no having my scalp stripped every day. After a could of weeks, of using shampoo only once a week, I wondered whether that was optional, too.

The next time my hair started top look yucky, I tried shaking dry baking soda in my dry hair before I went into the shower. I fluffed it up and then let it sit while I prepared for my shower. Then I rinsed it out completely and did the vinegar rinse. My hair looked as clean as it ever had after a shampoo wash.

Now, I use mainly the vinegar rinse, with a baking soda touch up once a week or if I want my hair to look really nice for some reason. I still keep shampoo at hand and I use it very occasionally, but I am beginning to notice that my hair doesn't look as good after a shampoo as it does the rest of the time...and my scalp has started to itch when I use shampoo. (I had a terminally itchy scalp all the time back when i used shampoo all the time - - I just hadn't noticed that it stopped until it started again.)

Other than the lack of itch, I have also noticed that I seem to lose less hair these days and it doesn't tangle as much as it used to. Even better, several people of commented on my hair seeming to glow and the colour being especially nice. And, the cherry on top is that my hair has gotten a lot easier to handle. it does what I want it to without being either fly-away or lank.

I think I may end up putting the shampoo away completely one day.

That said, I never use "product" on my hair. I wear my hair long and in a bun, mostly. I don't know how effective my method would be with hair that has hairspray or gel on it.

Another day I'll talk about my other very simple "cosmetics", but right now, it's late and jack and I have a bedtime story date.


  1. Actually I don't use any make-up or hair products either. I just like really smelly luxurious feeling soaps, scrubs and shampoos (I am an aromatherapy fan). I have to admit that I really like the shampoo and conditioner I am using now (Neutrogena scalp therapy and their leave in conditioner). It is so rich it only takes a few drops even though I have really long hair. Due to the cost of the shampoo I may give that cider vinegar idea a try a few days a week and see how it goes.

    Being a mother of boys, I am going to need to pick your brain about making "coming of age" products for boys. I am currently making first moon kits for our girls and my friend's boy thinks I should come up with something for boys too but I am thinking they may not be as into bath products as girls with cramps lol.

  2. *grin* You sound *a lot* like me! I adored the thick creamy shampoo foam with a luxurious scent, too. And the creamy, strongly scented soaps...

    And then my crone time came and suddenly my greasy er, make that well-moisturized, hair and skin started to get more and more dry. I could recognize it in my skin, but my scalp was still greasy when i woke up in the morning, even as the ends of my hair got thinner and more brittle.

    Now I get my scent fix in my hand-made "moisturizer". ;)

    By all means, even if you only use the vinegar a couple of times per week, you'll save a fortune in shampoo. Well, as long as the shampoo and conditioner you use don't have silicon in them. If they do, the vinegar won't be able to penetrate to the hair and will roll right off without cleaning.

    Coming of age products for boys, eh? Hmm. That's not a concept I have every encountered. Generally boys get tool of their tribe at their coming of age, and what tools would be a men's mystery. I will think about the idea of men's coming of age products...and you might have a look at Kerr Cuhulain's Full Contact Magick and Wiccan Warrior for ideas. He is the only one I know of who is writing about the warrior path and men's mysteries.


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