No ‘Poo 2.0 – Week 2

Monday, 13-10-2014

Last night I mixed up two mixtures: 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water. I’ll be trying out both quantities to test if my hair will feel less gritty, but still will get clean. I also prepared some herbal tea to mix in with my cassia treatment. For the herbal tea I simply added boiling water to 2 bags of nettle tea and 1 bag of mint tea, left to steep overnight.

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Supplies used for the herbal tea: rosemary, mint tea and nettle tea

This morning I mixed up my cassia treatment, using 100 grams of cassia, mixed with approximately 1 cup of the herbal tea, 1 tbsp aloe vera gel, 3 tbsp of honey and 1 whole egg + 1 egg white. I applied it to my hair, covered it with a plastic bag and left it in for three hours (you don’t need to leave it in for that long, but I was just at home, so I left it in for longer). Then I hopped into the shower and first spend a good amount of time rinsing all the cassia out of my hair. My hair somehow got a bit tangly, so I carefully combed it through.

After all the cassia washed out and my hair was tangle free, it was time to wash my hair. I went with the 2 tbsp to 1 cup of water mixture. I felt it was hard to rinse all the baking soda out, and my hair didn’t feel completely clean. Somehow none of these mixtures gave that little bit of squeaky clean feeling right at the start of rinsing as I did the first two washes last week. So maybe I should go back to that mixture (2 1/2 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water), but there’s a but. I didn’t experience it to be hard to rinse the baking soda out the first to washes, but I do now, so I kind of don’t want to add more baking soda. However, because my hair wasn’t feeling clean after rinsing it today, I also applied the 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water mixture. Maybe that made things worse, I don’t know. My hair did feel cleaner than after the previous wash, so that’s a plus! But here’s my plan de campagne: I think I’ll be washing my hair two more times this week, so one time I’ll be using the 2:1 ratio and the other time the 1:1 ratio. I also plan on doing another hair mask before one of these washes, so I think I’ll combine that with the 2:1 ratio, to increase the chance of me washing out the hair mask completely. After the baking soda, I poured some of the acv+honey mixture over the length of my hair, ignoring the top area. I combed it through, carefully (you really want to handle your hair with care when it’s wet, because then it’s at its most fragile), and rinsed. I had some of the herbal tea left, so I poured that over my entire head of hair, let it sit while I continued my shower routine, rinsed it, finished with cold water, and I was all done!

When I got out of the shower, I combed my hair through and applied two drops of jojoba oil, after which I rubbed a small amount of aloe vera gel in between my hand and scrunched it in the length of my hair to enhance my waves. I let my hair air dry, and after it dried the top of my hair felt a bit gritty, just like last time, but definitely not as bad! It looked really clean, definitely cleaner than last time, and the length looked great! Very soft and wavy, also thanks to the cassia I guess. I was very pleased with the way my hair looked today, very voluminous as well!

For anyone who’s wondering, my hair type is 1c/2a-M-ii. For those of you who are not familiar with hair typing, it’s a technique used to describe the kind of hair you have. Your hair type consists of three things: the amount of curl, diameter of individual strands and ponytail circumference.

  • 1c/2a means my hair is straight, but with a body wave throughout, but also with strands that have a long, loose S-wave.
  • M means ‘medium’, and indicates that a single strand of hair feels like a piece of thread when rolled between two fingers, and also that the strand is visible on a contrasting background.
  • ii means that my ponytail circumference is between 5cm (2”) and 10cm (4”), which is considered to be average. My exact circumference is 6,3cm (2.5”) To measure your ponytail circumference, simply gather all your hair in a ponytail and measure, as close to the scalp as possible, the circumference (I like to put my hair in a ponytail using a hair elastic and then tie a piece of thread around the base of my ponytail, tie a double knot in it, slide both the elastic and the thread out of my hair, cut the thread at the knot using scissors and then use a tape measure to measure the thread to get an accurate circumference measurement).

Tuesday, 14-10-2014

I truly had the most amazing hair day I have had in ages! My hair looked great yesterday, after the cassia treatment, but when I woke up this morning and took a quick glance in the bathroom mirror, I had to look again, because there was something surprising going on. My hair looked amazing! The waves, the shine, no frizz… I haven’t had such a good hair day in a long, long time. It was fun while it lasted, because on my way back home on my bike, it started to rain.

Okay, it’s not like I believe my hair magically transformed from a dry, but also greasy, frizzy, dull looking, limp mess to amazing looking, shiny hair in a week time. Tomorrow, when my hair might start to get greasy again, things might not look as bright as they do now. My ends were still feeling a bit crunchy, and after the rain my hair lost a bit of its waves (although it still looks really nice, with nice, soft waves, just a bit less defined), but today, even after the rain, my hair still looked better than it did in ages. I’m pretty sure the cassia treatment has something to do with this great hair day, so maybe the effect will wear off after I washed my hair again. But maybe I’ll be able to retain some of this awesomeness after washing it, because this method is working for me. I surely hope it is.

My hair still felt a bit grainy this morning, but after brushing that almost completely disappeared, and after the rain it was all gone. the ends feel a bit crunchy, but there’s almost no frizz going on (a little bit on the length).

Wednesday, 15-10-2014

Too bad amazing hair days never last… Today my hair’s a bit frizzy, both on the length and top, and it’s also starting to get greasy again, causing it to just hang limp around my face. I’ve applied the DIY dry shampoo tonight, because I have to be somewhere early tomorrow morning and I want to wait another day before washing it again.

Thursday, 16-10-2014

Bad hair day. Bad, bad hair day… That amazing hair day from earlier this week is really coming back to bite me. It’s not so much the state of my hair that’s getting me down, it’s more my thoughts about it. Last night I decided to braid my hair into two rope braids before going to bed and the braids just looked pathetic. Really thin and just not pretty at all. When I took them out this morning I was ready to be disappointed, because I rarely like braid waves on my hair, and disappointment is exactly what I got. My hair looked stringy, thin and limp. It started to look a bit better once the braid waves started to “fade” a bit and my hair looked decent enough throughout the day. But I just couldn’t shake the thought of those pathetic looking braids, it just makes me sad (first world problems, I know). I really don’t like the fact that I don’t have thick hair and that every attempt on whatever kind of braid just looks horrible on my hair.

The roots of my hair looked a tad bit greasy, but not overly noticeable as long as my hair was down (also thanks to the dry shampoo I applied last night). I did have quite a lot of frizz going on today, a bit at the top, but mainly on the length, which was also feeling and looking quite dry.

My original plan was to wash my hair two more times this week: one time using the 2:1 ratio and the other time the 1:1 ratio. But since I really want to stretch my washes, I’m going with a water only wash tomorrow, followed by a herbal rinse (I steeped 1 tbsp dried rosemary and 1 teabag of nettle tea in 2 cups of boiling water, let it sit for a few hours and then strained the dried rosemary out).

I also came across another blogpost on the no ‘poo method today, talking about that ‘slippery’ feeling you should get from the baking soda in your hair, after you leave it in for a while. So maybe I should just leave it in for a bit longer. It’s worth the try.

Friday, 17-10-2014

Well, that was a ‘tried and failed’! As mentioned yesterday, I want to stretch my washes, so I decided not to wash my hair today using baking soda, but just rinse my hair using water, massaging my scalp, carefully combing my scalp to loosen the sebum and finish using the herbal rinse I made yesterday (about half of it I guess, so 1 cup). While still in the shower, I could already feel my hair wasn’t clean, and when I combed it through after I got out of the shower, I noticed it didn’t feel the same as usual. But as it is hard to see if your hair is clean while it’s still wet, I decided to continue my usual routine, applied about a pinky size of coconut oil and scrunched in some aloe vera gel and let my hair air dry. Horrible, that’s how it looked! One big, horrible looking grease ball is the best way to describe it. The length looked okayish, quite frizzy, but it had a nice wave going on and it was soft, but the roots… Greasy, limp, flat, just overall horrible looking. So no, this was not a big success.

Saturday, 18-10-2014

My hair looked slightly less greasy after I woke up this morning, but definitely not good enough for me to feel comfortable to go out with in public (something I was planning on doing today). So I decided to wash it today, using baking soda.

I first applied a quick hair mask, whisking together 1 egg white, 1 tbsp greek yoghurt and 1 tbsp honey (quick tip: if you don’t want it to turn into a liquid, mix it by hand instead of being lazy like I was and putting it in a blender), leaving it in for 30 minutes. While the mask was in my hair, I decided to do some more research on the whole ‘baking soda having to turn slippery’ thing, I stumbled upon earlier this week. Turns out, if you leave the baking soda in your hair for a while after you applied it, it dissolves, turning slippery, as in that it won’t feel gritty anymore, meaning that it did a successful job at breaking down any nastiness going on in your hair.

First thing I did in the shower was rinsing the hair mask out of my hair. Then I wanted to apply my pre-made baking soda mixture, which was already sitting in my bottle in the shower. I was shaking it up, because the baking soda settled on the bottom, but somehow it got rock solid and I was unable to get it to re-dissolve. So I had to wing it. Luckily I keep a spoon and cup in the shower (in case you’re wondering: for scooping out baking soda to make a face scrub with), so emptied my bottle, put 1 cup of hot shower water in it, 2 tbsp of baking soda, mixed it up and applied it to the top part of my hair. I massaged it very well and then let it sit for a few minutes. And to my surprise, when I rinsed my hair, the baking soda was feeling quite slippery and my hair made that squeaky clean sound! I’m pleased, very pleased!

After that, I simply applied the acv+honey mixture to the length of my hair and carefully combed it through, because there was some tangling going on (something I’m not used to, but then again, I always used huge amounts of conditioner). Rinsed it all thoroughly and finished it of with some of the left over herbal tea rinse, which I simply poured over my head and didn’t rinse out (I did squeeze the excess out before wrapping my hair in a microfiber turbie towel).

After I took my hair out of the towel, I carefully combed it through, applied about a pinky size amount of coconut oil, squeezed in some aloe vera gel to enhance the waves and let it air dry. The end result is soft hair with some very nice wave and only a bit of frizz on the top. I’m very pleased.

Sunday, 19-10-2014

I tossed and turned a lot last night and my hair seemed to have had lost a lot of its wave when I woke up this morning. I don’t know if the tossing and turning is to blame for that though, it’s just something I’d noticed. Other than that, my hair looked okay today. A bit limp, but not greasy and quite shiny. Some frizz at the top and a little bit of dry ends, but that’s about it. It’s quite windy outside, so I braided my hair back, just took a few pieces out to frame my face and let it be.

Something I did notice is that I keep getting split ends. I remember from ‘No ‘Poo 1.0’ that I used to wear a satin bonnet to bed to cover my hair to protect it. I didn’t like that thing, because I don’t like sleeping with anything on my head all that much. So instead, I ordered a satin pillow case online today, so I’m hoping that will come in the mail at the beginning of next week.

I’ve been reading a bit about the Inversion Method and I think I’ll give it a go this upcoming week, but without the oils (because that seems like a pain to wash out, using the no ‘poo method).

Not sure yet when I’ll wash my hair again. It’s not greasy yet, but I’m pretty sure it will start to get to by tomorrow night and I need to go somewhere on Tuesday, but I might be able to stretch that wash by using dry shampoo and braiding my hair back.

A quick recap on this second week of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’:

Monday: Did a cassia treatment and washed my hair afterwards. Had a bit of a hard time getting all the baking soda out and getting that squeaky clean feeling. Hair looked great though.

Tuesday: Had the most amazing hair day! My hair looked shiny, no frizz, beautiful waves, just great! It still was a bit grainy, but that disappeared after brushing it and gotten rained on.

Wednesday: Hair’s a bit frizzy, both on the length and top, starting to get greasy and hanging limp around my face. Applied DIY dry shampoo.

Thursday: Had a really bad hair day, mainly because of my state of mind. Was feeling down because my hair is not quite as think as I would like it to be. Hair looked a tad bit greasy at the roots and quite a lot of frizz. Prepared a herbal rinse for a water only wash tomorrow.

Friday: Because I want to stretch my washes, I did a water only wash today, which was an epic failure. My hair looked like a big grease ball.

Saturday: Because I had places to go today, I decided to wash my hair using baking soda, but first I applied a hair mask and did some more research on that slippery feeling thing about the baking soda I had been reading about lately. Massages the baking soda very well, let it sit for a couple of minutes and to my surprise, my hair made that squeaky clean sound! Hair looked pretty good today.

Sunday: Hair looked a bit limp and lost quite a lot of its wave, but it was still shiny, not greasy and just a little bit of frizz at the top. Braided it to keep it safe from the wind outside.

No ‘Poo 2.0 – Week 1

I’m back to ‘no poo! Back in 2012 (on the 23rd of April to be exact) I went no ‘poo for the first time and it did wonders for my hair (No ‘Poo 1.0). Back then I was used to washing my hair every single day, as well as blowdrying and straightening it with the same frequency. Going no ‘poo really made my hair look more healthy, shiny, full and wavy, not to mention how it helped me to stretch my washes, got rid of my overly greasy hair and helped me become more self assured about my appearance. But somehow (well, not really somehow, I just got lazy), during summer, I fell prey to regular shampoos and conditioners again, causing me to ditch the no ‘poo method, because I thought those regular products could bring me the same results.

But lately, my hair has been driving me insane! Nothing has been able to make it behave; it has been limp, dull, greasy and thin. I have been trying everything! I bought all these new products to do my hair with: shampoos, hair masks, conditioners, styling products, I even started blowdrying my hair again. My hair would look okay for a few hours or so, but after that it would be dry at the ends, greasy at the roots, overall limp, thinner than ever, dull, frizzy, full of split ends, I was losing hair like crazy and my hair had no nice waves anymore like it used to when I first went no ‘poo. So back to the drawing board and out of the window with all the hair products we go!

This time around I did a lot of online research on the ratios of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (acv) one should use, but there are just too many variables out there. The one most used seems to be 1 tablespoon of baking soda/acv to 1 cup of water, but 1 tablespoon of baking soda seems just not enough for my very greasy hair. So I decided to wing it and went with my gut feeling, which means I might adjust the quantities as I go along. Another thing that might seem out of the ordinary is the fact that I added honey to the acv. The first time around when I tried ‘no poo, this wasn’t something I did and the only reason I’m doing it now is simply because I wanted to try it.

Some things are different from back when I first went no ‘poo. First of all, back then, I was using the wrong kind of “baking soda”. Turned out, it wasn’t baking soda at all, but washing soda. Yeah, let’s just pretend that never happened. Second of all, back then, my hair was short (I would say neck length). Right now my hair is around armpit length.

I’ll be keeping a hair journal on here, both for you if you want to read about my experiences with the no ‘poo method, as well as for myself to read back on how things went.

Monday, 06-10-1014

On this first day of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’ I dived right in and mixed up a little over 2 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water in an old water bottle and shook it very well until the baking soda was dissolved. In another old bottle I mixed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 cup of warm water and shook until dissolved. I went into the shower, got my hair soaking wet and poured the “shampoo”, the baking soda mixture over the top of my hair. Something I remember from my previous no ‘poo experience is that it’s important you give yourself a nice head massage to really get your hair all clean, so work the baking soda mixture around your skull and rinse thoroughly. My hair felt clean, although not squeaky clean, after rinsing. There’s really no need to apply the baking soda to the length of your hair, because that’s usually the part of your hair that’s already more dry and less greasy.

For the length of my hair, in comes the “conditioner”, the apple cider vinegar (and in my case, + honey) mixture. First, I squeezed the excess water out of my hair. Then I poured the apple cider vinegar mixture over the length of my hair (I also like to pour just a little tiny bit over the top of my head, just to help tame the frizz). Some say to rinse it out immediately, I just let it sit for awhile, while I continue with the rest of my shower routine. Rinse thoroughly and you’re done! My hair didn’t feel as soft as it would feel when using regular shampoo, it was actually feeling a bit straw like. I used half of the baking soda mixture and about 1/3rd of the acv mixture.

After I got out of the shower, I put two drops of argan oil in my hands, rubbed them together and put the oil on the length of my hair. What was left on my hands, I put on the top part of my hair. After that I carefully combed through my hair using a wooden wide toothed comb, starting at the bottom of my hair, working my way to the top. This was really easy to do, there were no tangles and the straw like feeling was gone. I let my hair air dry and when it was completely dry, I only straightened the two pieces framing my face. My hair was not feeling as squeaky clean as I’m used to after I washed it with regular shampoo, but it wasn’t greasy either. It was feeling quite soft at the top, but a bit dry at the ends.

Tuesday, 07-10-2014

My hair was still looking decent, not overly greasy or anything, good enough to go out in public without doing anything with it, so that’s what I did. Right before I went to bed I looked in the mirror and I saw that my hair was starting to get a bit greasy, and since I knew that the next day I had to go somewhere, I decided to apply some dry shampoo. One tiny little problem though… I really don’t like store bought dry shampoo. Luckily for me, I remember making my own dry shampoo back in the day when I went no ‘poo the first time around. The DIY I used back then used multiple ingredients, and although it worked, I remember it being a pain to brush out, so I decided to just go with the most basic DIY dry shampoo I could find: cornstarch (and because I like to experiment, I also added a bit of cinnamon). I have strawberry blonde hair, so the white colour of the cornstarch is no issue. The original “recipe” I found online called for 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, but since I like to try my DIY’s first before I make a big batch of them, I just mixed 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a sprinkle of cinnamon, dusted my hair with it by just using my fingers, left it in overnight, brushed it out in the morning*, and it worked like a charm!

*This is just a little life hack I learned somewhere a few years back: apply your dry shampoo at night, right before you go to sleep, and then brush it out in the morning. For me, it seems to work so much better than the regular way of applying it and brushing it out right away. If I still have any greasy spots in the morning after brushing it out, I simply apply just a little bit more dry shampoo, let it sit for a minute or so and then brush it out.

Wednesday, 08-10-2014

Today I woke up with grease-free hair, thanks to the DIY dry shampoo I applied last night. I simply brushed it out in the morning and my hair looked just fine. The end were a bit dry though, but my roots were not greasy, which usually is my biggest problem. I went about my day and my hair kept grease-free pretty well! I think I could have stretched washing it another day, but I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet. I might have done it, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to be somewhere tomorrow. Before washing my hair I made a hair mask using half an avocado, half a banana and 1 tablespoon of honey and applied that to my hair for about 30 minutes.

In the shower I first thoroughly rinsed out the hair mask, making sure to massage my scalp to remove any oiliness from it, as well as any remaining dry shampoo. After that, I shook up the baking soda mixture that was still left from my previous wash from Monday, washed my hair the same way and continued with the acv+honey mixture.

When I got out of the shower, I applied 2 drops of argan oil to my hair, carefully combed it through with a wooden wide tooth comb and let it air dry. My hair was feeling soft at the top, but just a tad bit stiff at the ends. I decided not to straighten the front two sections that frame my face, just to see how they would look after sleeping.

Thursday, 09-10-2014

Woke up with really soft hair, with only a little bit of frizz at the top. The ends are a little bit crispy, but really just a little bit, certainly not more crispy than after washing my hair with regular shampoo and conditioner and using hair serums and what not. Throughout the day I did notice my hair getting a bit more greasy. Despite knowing I had to go somewhere the next day, I decided not to put dry shampoo in my hair overnight, just to see how my hair would look the next morning without me doing anything about the upcoming greasiness.

Friday, 10-10-2014

When I looked in the mirror this morning, my hair looked a bit limp, but not really all that greasy when down. When up in a ponytail or anything, you can clearly see it’s becoming quite greasy though. Despite the fact that I need to go out today, I decided to go another day without dry shampoo and just letting my hair down to cover up the grease. I also need to go somewhere tomorrow, and my plan is to apply dry shampoo tonight so I can go another day without washing my hair tomorrow.

I got some new bottles to put my mixtures in today, just to make things a little bit easier (and because it looks pretty in the bathroom). Because I ran out of “shampoo”, I decided to mix up a new batch, following a tip I got online, which was to increase the amount of baking soda when you suffer from oily hair. So this time around I mixed 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water. It also stated that you should decrease the amount of acv if you have greasy hair, but since my ends are a bit dry, I won’t be doing that. I did put less honey in the mixture this time around, 1/2 a tablespoon per 1 cup of water (so 1 tablespoon of acv, 1/2 a tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of water). I will be stopping putting that tiny little bit of acv mixture on the top of my head like I used to, to see if that helps with keeping the greasiness at bay for a longer period of time.

3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 cup of water really seems like an awful lot, compared to the wildly used ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup. I think that, after my hair and scalp is getting used to the no ‘poo method again and the greasiness is under control, I’ll slowly be cutting down on the amount of baking soda.

By the end of the day my hair was a mess. The bottom was still reasonable, but the front sections, the temples and the nape were stringy because they were so greasy. I applied a ton of the DIY dry shampoo right before I went to bed, hoping that will make my hair look good enough to last another day without having to wash it tomorrow.

Saturday, 11-10-2014

Although the dry shampoo did a decent job on covering up the greasiness at the roots, the length of my hair was looking quite stringy and limp and I just wasn’t feeling secure enough about myself to go out with my hair looking like that, so I decided to wash it. I got these new bottles the other day in which I put my “shampoo” and “conditioner” mixtures and I was excited to try them out. Something I noticed after rinsing the baking soda mixture out of my hair, was that my hair wasn’t feeling as clean as it did with previous washes. I decided to let it be and moved on to the acv mixture. I noticed right away that not as much of the mixture was coming out when squeezing the bottle (something I couldn’t see when applying the baking soda), explaining why my hair wasn’t feeling as clean after the baking soda application. This is something I definitely will take into account the next time I’ll be washing my hair, that I need to squeeze the bottle more to get more of the mixture out. I decided to let it be to see if my hair would look clean after it dried. Another thing I did differently from the previous washes is that I didn’t apply the acv mixture to the root area, to see if it helps preventing my hair getting greasy so quickly.

After I got out of the shower, I decided to trim my ends, to provide my hair with a clean slate to grow longer from there. I cut off 1 centimetre (0.4”), using Feye’s Self-trim Instructions (I like using the one for getting a U-shape). My hair is now 61 centimetres (24”) long (measures from my forehead, so where my hairline starts, all the way to the back). Fun fact: when I visited my parents later that day, my mother commented on how long my hair was getting. Umh, mum, I just cut it and my hair barely grew any this year. But thanks anyway. After that I decided to squeeze in two drops of jojoba oil in my hair, because my hair wasn’t feeling as clean as usual, so argan oil seemed a bit too heavy. I squeezed the oil in to enhance my natural wavy texture.

As I already mentioned, my hair wasn’t feeling all to clean after washing it, but I decided to wait to give a final verdict until my hair completely dried. Well, the verdict is in: I don’t think it’s clean. My hair, mainly the top parts, feels waxy and gritty, like 1. I didn’t wash it properly enough and 2. I didn’t rinse out all the baking soda. The first one is easy to pinpoint: I simply didn’t apply enough “shampoo”. The second one could be due to one or both reasons: either I should rinse better or I should try using less baking soda in my baking soda to water ratio (as I increased it when making this new batch). I turned to my trusty friend Google and searched for ‘no ‘poo troubleshooting’ and actually came along someone stating that if the baking soda felt gritty, you’re probably using too much, since it should completely dissolve in water (then I really should use way less, because even with my previous quantity, the baking soda would sink to the bottom of the bottle when left in the shower after use). Another tip was to keep the baking soda mixture in your hair until it gets sort of slippery, for about two minutes, and then thoroughly rinse it out. So my hair, mainly the top part, the roots, feels nasty ad grainy, and there’s some more frizz than after previous washes going on. The length looks fine though.

Another thing that crossed my mind while in the shower (isn’t the shower just the most wonderful place for getting ideas?) was that I would really like to be able to stretch my washes a bit more. I was reading my old no ‘poo journal the other day, from my ‘No ‘Poo 1.0’ adventure, and back then I did ‘water only’ washes in between two regular washes. That’s definitely something I want to look into. However, while I was googling for ‘no ‘poo troubleshooting’ I came across someone stating that one should try to avoid washing one’s hair in between no ‘pooing, because the more your hair becomes wet, the more brittle it can become. Another interesting thing I found while googling was that by leaving in the acv in for too long, you could get an oily/waxy feeling, because you’re over-correcting the pH levels of your hair and scalp. I don’t experience that, but it’s something to remember for when it might happen in the future.

Sunday, 12-10-2014

Today was a lazy Sunday. All I did to my hair was brushing it and that’s it. My hair still felt a bit dusty at the top and there was quite some frizz going on, but it didn’t look greasy, even though it didn’t feel clean, because of the overuse and/or not properly rinsing out of the baking soda of yesterday’s washing. I did love how my length, especially the ends of my hair looked today, no frizz, shiny, wavy and even some ringlets!

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing a cassia treatment to my hair, after which I’ll wash my hair using a different ratio of baking soda to water (either 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water or 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of water. I’ll be mixing both quantities to try out).

A quick recap on this first week of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’:

Monday: First day. I used 2 1/2 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp honey+1 tbsp acv to 1 cup of water. After washing my hair felt clean, although not squeaky clean, soft at the top, a bit dry at the ends.

Tuesday: Hair still looked decent enough to go out in public with, not overly greasy. At the end of the day, my hair started to get a bit greasy, so I applied some DIY dry shampoo before going to bed.

Wednesday: Hair was grease-free, thanks to the dry shampoo, but the ends were a bit dry. Applied an avocado/honey/banana hair mask and washed my hair, using the same mixture as on Monday. Hair came out soft, but the ends were a tad bit stiff.

Thursday: Hair was soft, with only a little bit of frizz at the top and just a little bit crunchy ends. Throughout the day, hair was getting a bit greasy, but decided not to apply dry shampoo to see what hair would look like the next morning.

Friday: Hair looked limp, but not overly greasy when down. By the end of the day, the bottom still looked reasonable, but the front sections, temples and nape were stringy and greasy. Applied a ton of dry shampoo before I went to bed, try to go another day without washing it.

Saturday: The dry shampoo did a decent job, but I wasn’t feeling secure enough to go out with my hair looking the way it did, so I washed it using a new mixture (3 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp acv+1/2 a tbsp honey to 1 cup of water). Baking soda mixture was not a success: hair felt not clean and gritty after washing it.

Sunday: Hair still felt dusty, because of yesterday’s washing, but the length looked really nice.

Untitled-1

My hair products: in the back my bottles of baking soda and acv+honey mixtures. In the middle, from left to right: aloe vera gel, argan oil, coconut oil, DIY dry shampoo, jojoba oil. Up front: Tangle Teezer, wooden comb

Be-You-Tiful

Today I decided to finally cross off something of my ‘to do list’ I’ve been dreading for a long time now.

Those who know me know that I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, especially when it comes to makeup and beauty products, which resulted in me hoarding those things like crazy for the past few years. Especially the makeup was getting out of control. I bought makeup I would never even wear, but just bought because it looked so pretty or because “some day” I was really going to do a full face makeup on a regular basis. Well, “someday” never came and my makeup stash kept growing and growing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup! I think it’s a wonderful thing to enhance your natural beauty a bit more. There have been times I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup on, but luckily I grew more confident about my own appearance and don’t need makeup to feel good about myself anymore. When I do apply makeup, it’s because I want it, not because I need it.

So today the long and difficult process of sorting out all my makeup and beauty supplies started. I already threw out a lot of it a few weeks ago, but there was still plenty left.

While sorting out all my makeup, I noticed I had a really hard time letting go of some of the items, especially the completely unused items and the expensive ones. It just felt like a waste to throw them out, which, of course, it was. But just because it’s a waste, doesn’t mean you should hold on to it. For me, it just didn’t feel right. All that stuff was weighing me down, because every time I saw it, I felt the pressure to use it. Something I didn’t want, because I don’t feel comfortable wearing foundation or lipstick, and believe me, I had a lot of those!

While I’m usually pretty down to earth when it comes to cleaning out my belongings, the little voice inside my head saying “but…” and “what if…” became pretty present during the few hours it took me to sort out all the makeup and beauty supplies. I guess the reason I had a harder time sorting those things out than sorting out clothing and other belongings, is because I always felt, until the past few years, that I needed makeup to feel okay about myself and to get accepted by others. My addiction to beauty supplies and makeup started at a young age, making it harder to let go of, because it had been such a big fundamental part of me for many years.

So what got me to finally throw out all that stuff? First of all, necessity. Necessity really is the mother of invention. It usually isn’t until we really need to, before we change. As you all could read in my previous blog, I’m moving next month and the new house is quite a bit smaller than my current one, calling for some serious minimalising. Second of all, the burden of all those products was becoming more and more present. Every time I opened up the drawer, there were those products again, becoming heavier on me everything I saw them. Third of all, those products represent the old me, the past, the times I felt incomplete  and unaccepted without makeup.

It became quite a process, but once I really got into the right mindset, it became a lot easier! Yes, it still was a struggle and it really made me realise how dependent a person can be on stuff, but it was worth it (oh, that reminds me of that brand new L’Oréal shampoo I really didn’t like I just got rid of). Something that really helped me was to Google ‘Minimalist Makeup Bag’ and to just look at the makeup supplies others have and to read there stories. So thank you all who are sharing there experiences with minimalism. Another thing that helped me, was to pick items that felt good to me. For instance, I had a lot of lip balms, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! I only kept the ones based on natural products, and got rid of all the other ones.

Maybe you also could use a little bit of help sorting out your bathroom cabinets, so here are some tips that really helped me along.

  1. What are your favourite beauty items? Mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow? And which brands? Those are probably the items you use on a regular basis. Keep those items. Those are clearly the items you really like and use, so no need to throw them out. If you have extras of those items (like I do. I have a habit of buying extras of items I really love, in case they get discharged), store them until you run out of the one you’re currently using).
  2. Which beauty items you own do you never use? Even when you answered ‘mascara and eyeliner’ on the first question, you can still have mascaras and eyeliners lying around that you never use. Maybe you’ve bought them because the ad looked great or because of the nice packaging. Maybe you’ve tried them out ones and decided you didn’t like the product or maybe you never even broke the seal on the packaging. Throw those items out or give them away. These are the items that are cluttering your life and mind, weighing you down.
  3. Which beauty items you own don’t you like? Do you own lipsticks even though you really don’t like wearing them? Or maybe it’s foundation, blush, powder, whatever. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing it, it’s time to part with those items. You probably will never use them or if you do, you won’t feel good about it.
  4. Do you have a hard time throwing out unused items? Give them to someone else! Someone else might love them and that way, it might not feel as such a waste to you.
  5. Make a list! Sometimes something as simple as setting a certain amount of products you are “allowed” to keep, makes things a whole lot easier! That total amount is totally up to you, just pick a number that feels comfortable to you. Maybe that number is three, maybe 50, whatever makes you feel good. You can even create a list of products and put a number behind it (for instance: Mascara (2), eyeliner (4)).
Some of the items that made the cut

All the items I ended up with

Here’s the list of items I ended up with. My total amount came down to 30. It still seems like a lot, but right now, these are the items I feel comfortable keeping. If it turns out I won’t be using some of these items, I will get rid of them.

Eyes

  • Mascara (2)
  • Eyeliner (5)
  • Eyeshadow primer (1)
  • Eyebrow pencil (1)
  • Eyelash curler (1)
  • Eyeshadow (3)

Face

  • BB cream (1)
  • Face primer (1)
  • Powder (1)
  • Blush (1)
  • Bronzer (1)
  • Concealer (2)
  • Highlighter (1)

Lips

  • Lip balm (3)
  • Lipstick (1)

Miscellaneous

  • Clear nail polish (1)
  • Fast dry drops (1)
  • Pencil sharpener (1)
  • Baby powder (1)
  • Hand cream (1)
Untitled-2

Some of the items that made the cut

In the end, I’m really proud of how I handled this process. It might seem trifle to some, like it’s just throwing out makeup, but to me it was closing a chapter of my life. It took me two full years to realise that I don’t need all that stuff to feel good about myself, that I don’t need makeup to be pretty, so to finally getting rid of all those beauty supplies and makeup items really meant a lot to me. I feel so much lighter now and the items I kept, are items I really love.

All the items I got rid of

All the items I got rid of


Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

It’s that time of year again: the minimalist in me is screaming and kicking to be let out. I recently came across Project 333, which introduced me to the concept of the Capsule Wardrobe. Basically, this challenge holds its foundation on creating a completely functional wardrobe with 33 items, including shoes, accessories and outerwear, which you’ll be wearing for 3 months. However, being the extremist that I am, I just decided to empty out my closet, pick 33 items and throw everything else out, permanently. So no box somewhere stuffed back in a garage holding items from my non-33 items wardrobe for me to take out again after the 3 months are over. I do have to add a disclaimer to this: My 33 items list will consist, for now, only of clothing. Even though I’m taking a bit of an extremist approach to this challenge, I do take the advice I read somewhere on the website of making this challenge work for YOU seriously. So to make this challenge work for me, I’m not taking my jewellery into account as far as the list goes. 1. Because I want to. 2. Because my jewellery takes home in a very pretty inherited wooden case, so it makes no difference in counter or closet space whether there’s one pair of earrings or ten. 3. Because I want to LIKE doing challenges like these, I don’t want it to become an unbearable suffering. Same goes for purses and bags. I already threw out about eight or nine purses and bags during my last cleaning spree, but I still have more than necessary. Not sure if I’ll be cutting down on those yet 1. Because I don’t want to. 2. Because I store a purse in a purse in a purse, so it takes up little extra space. 3. Because see above. I do however want to keep track of which purses and bags I do and don’t use for six months and throw out the ones I haven’t been using after that period of time. Same concept for shoes, coats and jackets. I might be downsizing even more in the future, but for now, I’m just sticking with the clothes.

Because I had to start somewhere, I took the list form one of the articles on the website and started tweaking it for my needs. For instance, on the list you can read that there’s only one pair of jeans and some other forms of pants, such as dress pants and chinos. The only kind of pants I wear are jeans and shorts… Same with blazers. I own one, a black one I’m not even sure I can close anymore, and that’s all I need, because I rarely have to dress formal. Dresses; I dislike those things with a passion. I love how they look on others, but I just feel incredibly uncomfortable when wearing them. So I basically keep about three of them just in case of a funeral or wedding, that kind of stuff. Same goes for heels, I hate walking in heels, but keep one pair just in case. I do own a ton of jackets and coats though, along with a huge stack of t-shirts, long sleeved shirts and tank tops.

The way I usually clean out my closet, is by just throwing everything on the bed and put things into four piles:

  • Love
  • Like
  • Want
  • Broken

However, because I gained some weight recently, something which never happened to me before, I now also have to take an extra point into consideration:

  • Fits

The system is really simple: if I love it and it fits, I get to keep it. If I like it, it has to fit and somehow has to go well with the clothes I love and there needs to be space for it. If I want it, it’s usually something I don’t fit anymore or that doesn’t pairs well with my other clothes. I do keep two items in my closet that I don’t fit anymore, but are so pretty I can’t let go of them yet (one pair of flared legged jeans and a beautiful black polka dotted dress). Also in the ‘want’ category, I have one floral printed dress, completely out of my colour chart, but which I like so much, I keep it (luckily, it still fits!). The ‘broken’ pile is easy: trash bin. All the other clothing that’s still fine, but which I don’t want to keep, I’ll donate or give to friends.

As I was trying things on, I came to the conclusion that none of the three shorts I had still fitted. One I could still put on, but it was so tight, it almost amputated my legs. So a new pair of shorts is something I need to buy. UPDATE: I went out the next day and bought a new pair of jeans shorts and a pair of bootcut dark washed jeans. So when I got home I switched out the too tight pair of shorts for the new pair and added the extra pair of jeans to my clothing collection. A good rule to live by is “One in, One out”. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. In this case I only followed this rule partially, as I only took out one item, while I bought two new ones. However, I felt the need to add an extra pair of jeans to my wardrobe and that extra pair brings me to the amount of three pairs of jeans, which makes me more comfortable than owning two pairs. Again, make things work for YOU.

Funny thing that happened while cleaning out my closet: I came across an adorable black jacket that I forgot I owned. For most of the time when that happens, I just throw the item out. However, I tried this jacket on and it looked really nice! Jackets and coats are not part of my 33 items, but they will all be on my watch list to check if I’ve actually worn them by December 31st.

There are still some items on the ‘maybe’ pile, despite me kicking and screaming that I wouldn’t be keeping a box with clothing I’m not sure about yet. On the ‘maybe’ pile right now are one light blue t-shirt, one jeans button up, one purple fleece sweater and one beige cardigan. These items are allowed to stay in my closet until September 30th (so, till the end of summer basically). If I haven’t worn them by then, they need to go. I put them in with the rest of the stuff to see if I will grab them when getting dressed.

UPDATE 01/05/2014: Two items on the ‘maybe’ pile went straight to the trash today: the jeans button up and the purple fleece sweater. I was folding all my clothing neatly today and came across those two items and thought to myself: “Why do I keep these items? I don’t feel all that comfortable wearing them and I haven’t worn them last year, so it’s highly unlikely that I will this year…”. So I got rid of them.

UPDATE 04/05/2014: On the list, nr. 24, you can see that I had a white t-shirt in my wardrobe. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? It was the only white shirt that was left after the big purge (to be honest, I only had two white t-shirts to begin with and threw out one of them during the purge). But every time I opened the drawer with my shirts in it, I saw that shirt and it made me feel uncomfortable. I liked the butterfly print on it, but the fabric and the cut of the shirt was just not working for me. So why did I keep it, I asked myself? Because I think a white shirt should be a staple in every person’s wardrobe. So I went on a quest today to find a replacement for that white t-shirt. It had to be figure flattering, reasonably prices, comfortable and no need to iron. And I found one! As soon as I got home, I threw the other white shirt in the trash to make room for the new one.

I initially intended to keep a dark blue dress as well, for more formal occasions. But the thing with that dress is that it wrinkles like crazy and I NEVER iron anything. So that dress needed to go.

So now it’s time to present to you *drumroll*: My final list!

  1. Black dress
  2. Flower dress
  3. Grey skirt
  4. Jeans (skinny, light)
  5. Jeans (skinny, dark)
  6. Jeans (bootcut, dark)
  7. Shorts (jeans, distressed)
  8. White sweater
  9. Black knitted sweater
  10. Blue sweater
  11. Green sweater
  12. Grey vest
  13. White vest
  14. Black vest
  15. Blue cardigan
  16. Grey cardigan
  17. Black cardigan
  18. Beige cardigan (short)
  19. Black blazer
  20. Blue tank top
  21. White tank top
  22. Blue t-shirt
  23. Blue t-shirt
  24. White t-shirt
  25. Black t-shirt
  26. Grey long sleeved shirt
  27. Purple long sleeved shirt
  28. Brown long sleeved shirt
  29. Blue long sleeved shirt
Just a few of the items that are left in my wardrobe which I really love

Just a few of the items that are left in my wardrobe which I really love

I’m actually really proud of myself that I’ve managed to keep my list even below 33 items! To be honest, when I started cleaning out my closet, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to get the list down to 33… Sure, I might still add some items to the list in the future, such as a new dress or skirt that makes me feel comfortable and maybe a grey t-shirt. But I’m also pretty sure that I’ll take some things off this list as well. Maybe shirts that I turn out not to like as much as I do now and vests and sweaters that get worn down by the end of next winter.

But for now I’m down to 29 items and 4 items still on the ‘maybe’ pile. Keep in mind that this list of items consists of a year-round wardrobe, so there are no separate lists for each season. Partially because the seasons in the Netherlands are not all that extreme and some years even non-existing, and partially because I didn’t really even think about that when cleaning out my closet.

I fully recommend this challenge, whether it being in it’s original form or adapted like I did, to everyone. I went with the 33 items of clothing as a maximum, but you can also opt for 50 items in total or whatever feels right to you. I just feel so much calmer now I don’t have to open my closet every single day with all those items just laying there, making me feel stressed and guilty that I’ve spent money on those things and am never wearing them. Because of this challenge, there are now only things in my closet that I either definitely will be wearing (about 75% I guess) or items that I’ll either will start loving again or that I’ll be throwing out by the end of the year.

I feel as if the more items you own, the more energy it takes from you, the more it will clutter not only your home, but also your mind. By giving minimalism a try in a way that makes you feel inspired, motivated and happy, you’re giving yourself the chance to make more out of life.

Why I believe animals deserve a higher place in modern society

This is a subject that usually causes a riot when discussed. A lot of people are against this idea, because it’s their believe that animals don’t have feelings and are put on this earth for humans to dominate and use them and to rule over their lives. Most humans believe they are at the top of the food chain.

However, there are also those who do believe in this statement. I’m one of those people and I strongly believe animals should have a higher place in modern society.

First of all, I don’t believe people even have a higher place in society than animals. We’re an arrogant specie, entitling ourselves to be superior over other species and dumbing animals down, claiming they don’t have feelings and are worthless to society, other than providing food and needs for humans. I always wonder why humans believe they are at the top of the food chain. We’re not faster or stronger than a great deal of animals. Yes, we humans have a great deal of intelligence at our disposal. But then again we’re also the only species who are bent on killing the very planet that sustains all life. Intelligence is relative.

Also, animals don’t have a voice to speak up for themselves, so I believe humans should do that for them. Do I think animals should rule human society? No, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to kill, abuse, starve, torture and slaughter other living creatures. It’s illegal to kill another human being, but somehow it’s okay to kill and harm animals, as if that’s any less worse. It’s an illusion that our treatment of animals has no moral significance.

Finally, animals are not ours, animals are not things. They are living creatures, just like humans. Animals actually do have feelings. By not responding on the torture that’s going on, we actually do respond. We are equally responsible for what we don’t do. To me, it’s not about if animals can reason or talk, but about the question “Can they suffer?”.

I want to believe in Leonardo da Vinci’s wish: that one day the time will come when men will look upon the murder and harm of animals as they now look upon the murder of men. And if slaughterhouses and factory farms would have glass walls, would you still be able to look an animal in the eyes and say you can’t see the pain we humans are causing? Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.