Plastic is NOT a Good Look for Me

It’s not very comfortable either.

***Just a quick heads-up here. If you’re not into being frugal, prefer alternatives to chemical-laden products, or have an allergy, this might bore you to tears. ***

Some of you may have read that I’ve been using Borax (20 Mule Team) to wash my hair. Yup. Since late June or early July. Why? Because every shampoo I’d used for a long time…including baby shampoo…made my head itch. So after some research, it seemed like this might be worth a shot.

I dissolved about a quarter of a cup of the powder in twenty ounces of water (that was way too much powder…half that amount works fine). It’s kind of a pain until you get used to it, because shampoo is thick…and this is like pouring a glass of water over your hair. You need to pour slowly, and scrub it in fast. It surprised me to find that it lathers up quite nicely.

It has also made my hair softer, and shinier, than it’s been in ages. Best of all, it took care of the issue with itching.

There have been a couple of problems though. Just because it’s softer, doesn’t mean it’s as soft as it is when I use a flat iron (which I hate). There’s also the fact that without the residue from commercial hair products, it’s hard to comb out wet hair out. It just all wants to clump together, and given that my hair is fairly long, it’s a major pain.

So it was back to Google last night.

Coconut oil might be the answer to my problem. After putting it off most of the day, I bit the bullet, massaged it into my scalp, and all the way down to the ends.

And I’ve been sitting here with all my coco-nutty hair shoved up inside a 4 gallon bag…for three and a half hours now.

Either I look worse than I think I do on average days, or my son just hasn’t noticed the BAG on my head every time he’s been out here this evening. And that’s been many times.


Okay, so it’s half an hour later. I’ve washed my hair. Twice. One of those times was with dish soap (because I kind of panicked).

I’m going to think positively, and just assume my hair feels like this because the coconut oil did what it was supposed to do. If I’m wrong, and it wouldn’t surprise me at this point, I may need to wash it forty or fifty more times.

I’ll touch base again in a while. During this intermission from my oh-so-exciting night, please enjoy one of my favorite skaters of all time…Mr. Scott Hamilton. Not only is he the best skater ever, this is an especially entertaining routine.

So… I left the towel on for maybe fifteen minutes. Was it easier to brush it out? Maybe slightly, but it still wasn’t pleasant (researching how to make a natural detangler).

Now I guess I’m just going to wait until it dries to see what I wind up with. That will take a few hours…unless I go for a ride with the windows of the van down. We’ll see how paranoid I get – because right now I have visions of my hair looking like rinsed it in Crisco…


So I tried a short drive into town, and around town, and back home again. But it was too chilly (yahoo!!!!) for much drying action. So here I sit, four hours later. Most of my hair is dry. In some ways I think it’s softer, but clearly the dish soap stripped something important away, because it’s also frizzier than it’s been in months.

A tiny bit of coconut oil…I’m I’m talking maybe a quarter of a teaspoon…rubbed on my hands and worked through my hair…has worked wonders though.

I’d like to say that I now know how I’m going to deal with my problematic hair. But I can’t. I do know, however, that I’ll continue to use the Borax, and the coconut oil (only I’m going to have to play around with this to figure out how  it will work the best).

I will not be using dish soap again. I don’t care if I have to wash half a dozen times with Borax after an evening with the glopped on oil and plastic bag.

Final thoughts? While much of this is trial and error, I’m rather enjoying finding ways to eliminate some of the chemicals and preservatives in my life.

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10 Responses to Plastic is NOT a Good Look for Me

  1. Debra Kristi says:

    I didn’t have itchy scalp but my hair simply didn’t like my shampoo anymore. In fact, it didn’t like anything I tried for a couple of years. Since I colored my hair I’ve started using something new and for the first time in a long time my hair and the hairline all seem to be happy. Isn’t it funny and irritating how our bodies can be difficult and change on us as we grow older? I can’t use anything with perfumes in them, either, since my eldest was born. You should have seen the rash he gave me during the entire length of my pregnancy. So not pretty. Never go back to dish soap. Too abrasive. 🙁

    • I only used the dish soap because it felt like I had a gallon of oil still in my hair (it was technically only 2 or 3 tablespoons). That’s the only thing I could think that might get it out of my hair.

      What are you using now? My hairline was one of the most unhappy places on my head when I was using shampoo.

      And yes, it is irritating! When I was a teenager, I LOVED Charlie perfume. My dad would complain like nothing you’ve ever heard, saying it made him sick. I thought he was crazy, but you know what? I often hold my breath in stores because most perfumes nauseate me.

      Certain soaps bother me…not to the extent you experienced during your pregnancy though. Yikes! That would have been awful!

      But our bodies can be weird. I’ve had to start buying the allergen free laundry soaps because my daughter just suddenly started having trouble with it. I’ve actually been looking at ‘recipes’ to make my own hypoallergenic laundry soap.

      It’s not just people though. It’s looking like Jack and Shadow have gluten allergies, too…so I may be making dog food from now on. Sigh…

      I need a vacation! 😀

  2. Karen McFarland says:

    Kristy, I have chemical sensitivities so I totally understand allergies. I am allergic to petro-chemicals, which are in everything. Perfumes, soaps, detergents, you name it, it’s in there. It inhibits me from pretty much going anywhere. So I am an organic kind of girl. I too believe in apple cider vinegar for digestion issues. It or the juice of a lime will turn your stomach alkaline, which in turn neutralizes the acidity. Now as far as hair. Borax was inventive I must say. I have it in the house for laundry, but would never think of using it on my hair. As far as vinegar goes, I use it when washing our clothes (Can’t and won’t use dryer sheets. They’re poison.) and in the dishwasher. It is the cheapest and best softening agent around. I can’t see why vinegar wouldn’t work to soften your hair and take the tangles out. I, in the past have used Phyto hair products because they don’t have perfumes, petro-chemicals or parabens. But, they’re not cheap. And just so you know, I am in awe of your beautiful thick long hair. Mine is fine and thinning from stress and I live near the ocean which makes it frizz. Can we ever be happy with what we have. A plastic bag on my head I have not done. Does it work? 🙂

    • Hi, Karen…
      I’m not sure if the plastic bag is supposed to do anything special for your hair, of if it’s just to keep the oil off your clothes. I’m guess the latter, and that’s okay with me because I’ve never been an expert at stain removal. 🙂

      Yay…another person who knows the value of vinegar (most people just look at me like I’m nuts). It seriously does work better (and faster!) than any antacid I’ve ever tried…and I’ve tried plenty since tomato-based foods can give me problems for hours. Sometimes I can eat chili for every meal for days, and have no problem. Other times a bite is all it takes. And vinegar and baking soda works. 🙂

      I hope I don’t get anymore allergies than I have. Yours sounds pretty rough. I’ve only met one other person who was allergic to perfume. I can’t imagine dealing with that.

      Hmm about the happiness. I think we can be happy with what we have, but I suspect most people always want to make some things better. Like my hair. I’m really grateful that I have a lot of it, but I just can’t get into that Bozo look. I want it smooth and shiny…without having to use a flat iron. 🙂

  3. The fact that your son never said a word made me laugh out loud. Kids are so immune to what we do until we do the slightest thing to embarrass them.

    Borax, huh? Okay, I’ll have to try that. For the softness, combing out thing ~ argan oil is amazing. Use a tiny amount, we’re talking a smear on your hands and see how that works. If you need a little more add it, but start small. I have shorter, very fine hair so I need hardly any, but you with your long, luscious hair, will need a bit more.

    I totally have Kristy hair envy now.

    • Today it makes me laugh…yesterday it was like….really??? You’re standing here talking to me…repeatedly…and you’re NOT noticing the bag? I wonder if he’d have noticed it if I’d said I needed to make a trip into town to pick a few things up at the store…and that HE was going with me? That’s making me laugh, because I’m 99 9/10% sure he’d have noticed it then (NOT that I’d actually have done it). 🙂

      I’ve never heard of argan oil. Is it something you can get at a pharmacy, or a health food store? Thanks about the hair envy…but trust me, thick, non-fine hair can be a royal pain in the neck. It takes a lot to make it smooth and shiny. Hopefully I won’t ever need to use a flat iron again. 🙂

  4. asraidevin says:

    Try baking soda and then a vinegar rinse. apple cidar vinegar if you can, but it’s pricey. white does okay. i’ve been doing it for years. i switched to a natural soap by livefree, but I think the removal of chemicals isn’t good for my scalp somehow both my daughter and I have been super itchy. maybe it’s just ’cause we live on the damn prairies, no humidity. i’m back to the baking soda, gonna try it on hers.

    • Hmm…that’s interesting. How do you use the baking soda and vinegar? I keep apple cider vinegar (organic) on hand all the time. One, I believe it’s a great thing to use for your health. And two, a couple of tablespoons of that, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a a couple ounces of water works better for indigestion than any product on the market. I have used it for a hair rinse occasionally though.

  5. Emma says:

    Not using the dish soap again would be a good idea 🙂

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