Crunchity Crunch-ville

I’m kind of a finals widow this week, since the Ogre is giving finals, keeping late hours at the writing center, and coming home in the wee sma’s with gazillions of blue books to grade. Obviously, I’m super sick of 12-15 hour work days, but this week his nightly absence has given me a chance to try out some new facial tricks from ye olde crunchtacular interwebs.

In case you missed it, we still live in southwest Florida, which is the absolute most hellishly hellish place in the developed world to live. I realize some of you may think I’m overstating things, but some of you don’t have asthma and debilitating seasonal allergies, hair that went effing nuts after childbirth, and the oiliest skin.

The cool thing about Florida is that there are four distinct seasons: Summer, Still Summer, Summerish, and Summer. When the temp dips below 70 I throw open the windows and weep with gratitude. Unfortunately, that only happens for about 2 weeks out of the entire year.

Seasonal allergies take on a whole new life when everything blooms all the time. My allergies and asthma, which virtually disappeared in Vegas (ah, how I miss that desert land bereft of mosquitos and morals!), are pretty bad year-round. About as bad as they were during ragweed season when I was a kid in Texas. Then the orange blossoms start blooming, and I seriously want to chop my own head off just to stop the itching and misery. After about three months of all the medication the docs can prescribe, things go back to being merely pretty bad, and I am grateful.

I’m grudgingly learning to live in allergy/asthma hell, but I cannot reconcile myself to the state of my skin and hair.

My hair has been a trial since we moved. If you really want to read about the first-world problems that keep me up at night, you can check out this post and this much-regretted update full of humiliating selfies. I finally chopped about 8 inches off in desperation, only to find out that everything is so much worse now that I can’t resort to a braid. So I’ve totally given up, and I just let my hair air-dry and be frizzy and half-curly and unkempt-shaggy-poodle-looking.

My vanity can withstand the loss of my good head of hair. My vanity can withstand the spit-up-stains, wildly fluctuating waistline, stretch marks, and dowdy nursing bras that accompany childbearing. My vanity is having an extremely hard time withstanding the shifting and snaggle-toothing of my once beloved smile, of which was said, “really, you’re only pretty at all because of your smile. When you don’t smile you’re kind of fugly.” But couple the hair, the weight, and the teeth with such oily skin that my kids constantly if I just worked out “because you face yooks shweaty, ewww!,” plus the accompanying adolescent-esque breakouts, and I just. can’t. handle. it.

So out of sheer desperation I went spelunking through the wilds of the Google, asking it questions like, “can I make a face mask that gets rid of acne with stuff I have in my kitchen?” (It always freaks me out a little when Google answers questions like that in the affirmative, but not enough to stop Googling.) It was a little click-and-miss at first, but I finally found this, this and this.

And guess what? This post used to be about six paragraphs longer, and those paragraphs wordily detailed my experiences with those links (thumbs-up), my experiences with crunchy methods of hair-cleaning (thumbs-down) and my experiences with homemade household cleaners (all the thumbs in Chez Alexander pointed down). I ended by asking you, with some clever quip about hemp and whether we eat or wear it now, to share your all-natural wisdom with me, thou paragons of crunchy wisdom (because I know you’re out there, and I know some of you read this blog). But the stupid internet ate half of my post and I don’t have time to rewrite it. So I’ll just ask you: is it actually possible to clean and condition hair naturally (even children’s hair), specifically without parabens, without looking like you just dumped a bucket of fried chicken over your head 3 days out of 5? Important follow-up: how do you deal with sweaty gross hair from daily work-outs if you’re only supposed to be washing your hair with baking soda/ACV every 3 days?

And grrrrrr, I am so irritated right now. That’s like, valuable time, just eaten up by the unpredictability of this rural internet connection. Oh, *&*@$#.

  • http://twitter.com/puresugar Monica Dix

    I have been using the baking soda/acv thing for almost a year and I’m happier with it than back when I spent lots more money on expensive, natural shampoos, conditioners, etc. But I think the thing that has made the biggest difference is our water.
    We have a carbon-activated filter for the whole house, so even our shower water has the chlorine, etc. removed. Our coffee tastes amazing, we like drinking water, we don’t use gallons of skin lotion anymore, and I have no problems with the dishwasher. And if the kids just rinse their hair, they can get by with weekly shampoos (which they all hate)! So, bottom line: big initial expense, with excellent ROI!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.fuentes.92 Rebecca Fuentes

      Where did you get your filter and was it easy to install?

  • Eleonor Waelkens

    Off topic, but my hair and skin improved a lot when I changed my diet and cut out the foods that I don’t seem to tolerate well (gluten and milk). My hair is longer than it ever has been and the frizzliness seem to be more or less under control.
    However, I am really curious about using no shampoo at all!


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