Her hair, Louisa!

And her petticoat!

My hair is brown, curly and has a mind of its own. When damp it will go frizzy and will not be tamed in any way. I was only really satisfied with a haircut when an afro hairdresser did it – and I really don’t have afro hair. My hair, in line with my overall genetic profile, is about as NW-European as it gets. (The only thing afro about me is probably my taste in music. I don’t really classify friends along ethnic lines – ask them yourself.) And apparently NW-European hair that is not straight or flowing and thick and luscious is an enormous challenge for cosmetics industries to make shampoo for.

Or is it?

Almost all store-bought shampoo has ‘SLS’ in it: Sodium Laures Sulfate. It creates nice foam and makes hair and skin go soft and so-called silky smooth. It also makes my hair give up after a few hours and leave my curls to their own devices so they’ll wilt and sag and disappear into hairbands etc. I mean, that SLS is not nice to my hair. And it is in everything. All the bottles in your local drugstore contain SLS. Seriously. And all it does is make you want to wash your hair again the next day. (A-ha!)

And so, just like with deodorant, I turned yet again to the internet.

I do.
Did I mention?

There is a movement called ‘No poo’ which is not about any kind of phobia but rather about skipping shampoo as a whole. (Would ‘No Sham’ be better?) I didn’t try it, it was too far out for me. I looked further and found this:

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And that, dear readership, is all a girl needs to keep her hair fresh and bouncy and free from limp-inducing chemicals she doesn’t need. In the top jar is baking soda. I scoop two tablespoons of it in the bottom jar and then get in the shower where I dissolve the powder and rinse the whole solution through my hair. That gets rid of the grease.

Then I rinse the big jar out carefully because next I pour in a splash of apple cider vinegar from the bottle. When combined, baking soda and vinegar make a merry exposition of bubbles and foam, see? So the jar needs to be clean first. The vinegar is also topped up with water and then rinsed through my hair too. That makes the hair softer to comb through and gives it a shine.

And that’s it. Granted, you feel a bit like you’re pouring laundry detergent over your head in stage one and salad dressing in stage two. But I make it up with nice soaps and afterwards my hair looks great. Well, as great as it gets for someone with limited time and patience for beauty routines, really. ‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that.

Next up: great boobs! How to get them, how to keep them. (Yeah, you guessed it.)

Fresh

You think your twenties were/are awkward? B*tch please. Try them with no boobs and whiffy pits. ‘Cause, you know, my awesomenesses were a bit late (they worked all right in the end yeah!) and for some reason all deodorants stopped working on me all of a sudden. I’d stop after just a few hours working and wonder if I’d put any on at all. And I always had, it just didn’t do anything. And that, ladies and gents, is a real bitch if you’re also in the middle of twenty-something existential Angst. It took me ages to find something that worked, Lush, and that cost me an arm and a leg and had so much scented oils in it that eventually it just hurt to put it on. Not ideal. And then… the internet came to my rescue.

I do.
I do.

What I want a deo to do is stop me from being odorously obvious to other people. That’s it. I don’t want to clog any pores ’cause, you know, sweating has a purpose. I don’t need it to give me a nice scent ’cause, you know, I can use perfumes for that. So what I’m looking for is something that cancels any dying-skin-bacteria (i.e. sweat) smells and then lets me go on my merry ways. The following ‘recipe’ is incredibly simple, cheap and one small batch lasts at least two months. BAM!

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What you need.

All readily available. In the Netherlands (where I am) you might not find this brand of baking soda in the supermarket but just go to any toko, Chinese supermarket or Surinam place and they’ll have it. I prefer this brand because the powder is really fine and you want it to be as fine as possible. Coarse grains = not an option. Coconut oil: whatever brand you prefer. You can also use that for your skin, for cooking and baking and a million other things. Cornstarch: again, fine powder is what you need. Other than that: meh.

  • Take 1/4 cup of baking soda.
  • Mix it with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
  • Mash in coconut oil tablespoon by tablespoon until you get something nice and creamy. Up to 6 tbsp is common but I tend to use less, up to 4 tbsp.
  • That’s it.
Now just put it in a jar.
Now just put it in a jar.

The thing with coconut oil is that it has a very low melting point so if it’s too solid, just keep mashing and it’ll soften. Also it means that when you’re making this when it’s warm, use a little less because it will solidify a little more when the temperature drops. This works the other way too. So better leave it a bit chunky at first. You can always add a bit more coconut oil later if it doesn’t stick. Too much oil and you stand a (small) chance of getting oil on your clothes so I try to limit that.

Every morning after shower or wash, take a small pea sized bit and smear it under the pits. Done! You don’t smell of anything unless you put on a scent yourself. You can add a few drops of essential oil to this recipe if you want. Lemon oil is recommended for its disinfectant properties – if you think you need it, go right ahead. Personally I don’t need to smell of lemons during the day unless I am baking a lemon pie but hey, whatever makes you tick.

Next up will be ‘shampoo’.  Yay! 😉