One year, 12 months, 365 days.
How many products do you buy in this amount of time?
Let's do some math:
Personally, a 300 ml bottle of shampoo would normally have lasted me on average one month making it a 12-bottles buy every single year. I am 27, so over my life I would have bought 324 bottles..(Okay, unrealistic if you count my toddler years, but you get the gists).
A quick online search showed me that I was not the only one using quite considerable amounts of shampoo, and resulted in finding that the average person would buy 8 bottles of shampoo a year. You do your maths.
First of all, think of all the money spent on shampoo (assuming medium quality shampoo
costs around £3-4 per bottle, buying 8-12 bottles would mean a £30-40 per year spend
just on one product, just saying...).
Secondly, and perhaps most important, think of all the bottles going to waste!
Let's make the math easy and consider 10 bottles per person every year, that makes it 300 + per year just in your university class or school class, multiply that for all the school or uni, or office, multiply that for all the school and universities and offices in your city, country and you will realise just how big the waste is!
So what can we do?
First of all if you have any shampoo bottles left in your house, you can start by making sure those are recycled properly (rinsed, cap separated from bottle if they are made of different materials).
Another choice, that doesn't require too much of a lifestyle change is solid shampoos: they tend to last longer, they don't have any plastic but..there is a catch! Many of them still contain chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is a probable carcinogen... your choice but not for me thanks!
Another option, popular with many going no-poo is DIY: there are many "recipes" out there to make your own, with trial and error depending on your hair type, from bicarbonate based, to vinegar, camomille tea.. but they require time and preparation. And as I said, trial and error, which may make you end up with a very bad hair day. Make sure to try at the weekend or invest in a good hat....just kidding!
The third option, which is my personal choice is...well...NOTHING!
I am going to let you in on a little secret: I can be lazy at times. Well, I also have a very busy life, like many of you, so no, I don't have time to make tea and let it cool down before a shower. When I am lucky to have shower time, these days is a 10 min max, in and out. Which is another reason why I love my shampoo-free choice!
In all honesty, my shampoo free experience all started as a bit of a mistake:
I ran out of shampoo and had no time to buy a bottle between
uni and swimming for a few days in a row...
so I started rinsing them with warm water after my swimming sessions
and i noticed they were no different than if I washed with shampoo.
So i decided, this time actively, to go away on a surf trip weekend
without any shampoo and see. Perhaps the seawater helped, but after
4 days of surfing and only rinsing afterwards my hair were great.
I continued my journey, and rinsing after rinsing I decided to
ditch the shampoo in the long run. Nobody noticed, people look at me
in disbelief when I tell them, and most recently my boyfriend smelled
them and said "but if you don't use shampoo how come they don't smell?". Yes people, nature is amazing and my scalp is cleaning itself out, no
excess oil - which makes sense, if you don't strip them of their natural oil with shampoo or other methods, the scalp will not produce more oil to compensate!
And best of all - no more dermatitis and scalp flakes! And less hair loss!
- Scalp massages are great, both in the shower if you have time, or before/after, in the evening..whenever! They will improve circulation and move some of the natural oil down the length of the hair, so if you have long hair you won't have to worry about those dry ends
- Some oil on the ends if you have longer hair may be needed. I try to use less products as possible, which means no conditioner either, but once a week or every two weeks I add some coconut oil on the ends overnight before a morning shower. Be careful not to overdue it. You can add some essential oils of your like to the coconut oil as the oil tends to smell a little.
Back in September we have been hearing about microbeads and the microbead ban on the news. But what's happening? How long will it take to ban them? And what can you do in the meantime?
First of all, you may still wonder “what is a microbead?” Microbeads are defined as manufactured solid plastic particles (polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene) of less than five millimeters in their largest dimension. They can be found in exfoliating beauty products and toothpastes, causing them to end in the sewage and passing unfiltered due to their micro size, making it to rivers, canals and the ocean. According to a government report1 a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the sewage system and 680 tonnes of plastic microbeads are used in the UK every year. Microbeads and more generally microplastics are a relatively new “impact” on aquatic environment and research is still on its early days , however there is scope for significant impacts on freshwater and marine environments.
So, while the ban is being introduced and implemented there are a few things that can be done:
First of all always check “ingredients” on beauty products (especially scrubs and toothpaste) and look for natural exfoliants such as almonds, sugar, salt, bicarbonate. If you are short on time while shopping check "beatthemicrobead.org", which has an extensive product lists for many countries including UK and Ireland.
If you feel more adventurous try some of these DIY recipes and tips:
Mix some coconut oil with bicarbonate of soda and some peppermint oil. Bicarbonate can taste a little salty so try with the ratio a few times. I would recommend making a new batch every couple days just to avoid any possible contamination.
Hydrogen peroxide (at low concentration, mixed with water) is great to dunk your toothbrush in and use as a second brush or as mouthwash before bed to kill the last stubborn bacteria!
Coffee grains are the most useful: after your usual morning cup, keep your used coffee grains. You can use on their own, or mix with some coconut oil for extra moisture. They are not only great gentle scrub, but also have cellulite fighting potential - so why not give it a try!
Salt - table salt is a great, mix with usual soap or natural oil for extra moisture. Essential oil.
Sugar - caster sugar is gentle, mix with coconut and essential oil. Personally love grapefruit oil or lemon and peppermint for morning energy kick.
Sponge -buy a good quality one! possibly one of the best option. You can buy them of different materials for different scrubbing strengths. Choose them made of natural material and sourced ethically (always read the labels!), and they last! Rinse with some hydrogen peroxide (Cleaning blog coming up soon) and it will last for a long long time!
Have to pick more gentle options here compared to body scrubs
Almond flour / ground almond / almond meal : on its own with some water. Will leave your skin smooth and soft and hydrated as it leaves some oil behind. Perhaps it can seem a little on the expensive side, however you only need less than a teaspoon so a packet will get you a long way!
Sponge- again there are many great sponges/brushes out there, this is the best reusable option, choose brushes made of natural materials and ethically sourced.
Disclaimer: Try at your own risk. I am not a doctor, every skin is different, so try on small part first. Read about essential oil properties prior use and choose oils of the pure variety.
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