Update on the ‘poo sitch, and my sister’s inventions

Two unrelated things for today’s post:

1. When Miss Crunchy decided to take on the No ‘Poo challenge seriously, I decided I’d follow her lead and, instead of just doing a one-off baking soda and vinegar experiment, I stuck with it. Well, it’s been a week and three washes without shampoo and while the results are decent, I’m starting to think my scalp might feel a little itchy. Anyway, I wrote about this more formally in the pages of the National Post, where I have my regular Sense & Sustainability column — in fact, one of you erudite readers had mentioned you’d like to hear what a dermatologist has to say about not using shampoo; well, check out the article and see for yourself!


2. In non-enviro-related news, my sister has started blogging. A word of warning: She may look like me, but we are nothing alike in personality! Actually, that’s not entirely true… we’re fairly similar, especially when it comes to cynicism. But I’m definitely the older, serious, competitive, concerned-about-many-things-such-as-the-state-of-the-environment sibling, whereas she’s more into fashion and luxury indulgences. Emma is currently working as a copywriter at a Toronto ad agency, but she’s using this new blog to write about all the other ideas that pop into her head (they’re basically inventions she comes up with that are genuinely cool but she can’t be bothered to patent any of them). It’s called Emma’s Tea Shop for Old Ladies because that’s always been her career back-up plan. Oh, and another word of warning: I gave her a DivaCup for Christmas and she had some… er… issues with certain steps in the… er… process, so apparently she’s gone back to tampons for now (don’t worry, though — I haven’t given up on converting her yet!).

18 Responses to Update on the ‘poo sitch, and my sister’s inventions

  1. Awesome. I think I’m going to have to agree with the dermatologist on this one. Hair hell or no, I must just be a natural greaseball. All those extra androgens might explain the deep voice and the bulge in my pants.

  2. Green Me says:

    First, I have to thank you for blogging again. I’ve missed your witty/snarky humour. Secondly, I’d have to disagree with the dermatologist. I sadly admit to continually suffering from dandruff since I was a baby. I’ve tried the dermatoligists’ remedies many times and they don’t work. Overtime I’ve discovered that two things stir it up and irritate it like nothing else: dry Colorado Winters and 99.9% of shampoos. Lately, I’ve been using my son’s California Baby shampoo and it seems to work really well (I tried it on a tip). However, I’ve still been contemplating trying your current no poo recipe as the first time I tried the vinegar thing it burned my eyes and face and made me cry, but I was just dumping it on my head. Lastly, since the day you and the “Green Phone Booth” synchronously posted on coconut oil, I’ve been using it on my face and hands at night and it is fabulous. The only draw back is that my cat likes it too and several times I’ve woken up to a sandy cat tongue on my cheek…

  3. Emma says:

    yeyyyyy thank u so much for writing about your dear little sis!! I shall promote your book at every opportunity!!!
    I think “issues” is putting it lightly with the Diva… when you need to get your dads rusty pliers involved in the removal process…that’s beyond issues!! hahaha love u! xxx

  4. gettinggreen says:

    HAHAHA… Crunch, you just made me snort coffee out my nose!

    And Green Me… yeah, I don’t know. I do think the dermatologist I spoke with knows what she’s talking about, and to be honest, I don’t think using a good organic, all-natural shampoo really is that bad for us or the environment, but even she said that you just have to do what works for you. Everyone has different levels of hormones, oils, etc., so sometimes it just requires some experimentation. There’s no single way to clean your hair!

  5. gettinggreen says:

    Oh, and P.S. Just a final note: When I spoke with the World Wildlife Fund dude who’s in charge of Canada’s freshwater division a little while ago, he was saying that when it comes to keeping our lakes clean, shampoo and other toilettries get filtered out very easily and really aren’t that big of a concern. What’s really screwing things up is all the pharmaceuticals getting into the sewer system.

  6. judy says:

    hi vanessa. i’ve been checking out your blog for a while. i even ordered a diva cup – inspired by you. this month was the first time i tried to use it and i feel like my cup and i are at war! holy cow! i haven’t given up, yet, but the amount of time i’ve spent cleaning up after accidents, trying to insert and then trying to remove it is crazy! (note: my first day with the cup – inauguration. my first embarrassing accident, during obama’s speech. little hard to focus!)

    so i’ll keep trying (at least one more month), but i’m with emma. keeping the crowbar close. (love the title of emma’s blog. i’ll definitely check it out.)

  7. sebastian says:

    vanessa, maybe we chat some time, i like your writing, maybe we could work on something together


  8. arduous says:

    Vanessa, speaking of the pharmaceuticals, I know, I KNOW. So … uh, what’s the right alternative to the holy pill for the single gal?

  9. arduous says:

    Oh, and by single, I mean unmarried and childless, but not necessarily boyfriendless. I’ve looked around sites for IUDs and they seem to indicate that you have to have a child before they are recommended.

  10. gettinggreen says:

    Hey arduous — yes, this is a topic that really deserves its own blog post! (I might just do that this week, actually). In short, the answer to your question is either: a) using aloe-coated condoms like Beyond Seven (personally, I can’t stand ’em); or b) using the rhythm method — however, I mean doing this VERY CAREFULLY and following your cycle to a tee! I take my temperature every morning and plot it on a chart so that I know exactly where I am, when I’m ovulating, when I’m not, when it’s relatively safe to have sex and when it’s risky. The good thing is, there are really only about five to seven days when you can’t; the rest of the cycle you’re totally in the clear. (I haven’t gotten knocked up yet, so either it’s working, or I’m infertile).

  11. Allie says:

    I loved your article. The dermatologist’s input was really interesting. I had less than nice results when I tried no poo. I’m thinking of giving a shampoo bar a try. Right now, I use Burt’s Bees Super Shiny shampoo and conditioner. I only shampoo every week or so, but condition every time I shower. That’s been working well. You know, with all these experiments, sometimes it’s hard to budge from something that works to something new.

  12. arduous says:

    yeah, do a whole post!! I have to say that I’m mad impressed … I am WAY too paranoid for any kind of rhythm method. Paranoid, and also unorganized; I barely even know the date of my last period!! I used to double down on the protection (condoms + pill), though, so like I said, I’m fairly paranoid.

  13. pat says:

    The IUD Mirena can be used if you have not had children. It releases a small amount of progesterone that causes the uterine lining to thin out. (thus the periods are lighter) It can stay in for 5 years. It is considerably more effective (98%) than the rhythm method (which is slightly better than nothing at all and a good idea as long as you dont mind what the outcome is!)

  14. arduous says:

    Hmm, Pat, when I went to Mirena’s website it specifically said for women who have had children.

  15. pat says:

    Mmm. Well, I guess that it is being used ‘off label’ in women without children.
    It is a small IUD (like the copper 7) and the reason for the preference of use in parous women is that the uterus is larger and there is less chance that the IUD can be expelled. IUDs are also not a good choice for women with multiple partners as there is a risk that STIs will cause more damage to the reproductive tract. Unlike the copper 7 the periods are lighter and there are less cramps.
    In the end it will be a decision made with your doctor. I have a feeling it is used more in Canada than in the US.
    I threw it out there as an option that is effective and doesnt rely on systemic hormones but nothing is perfect!! A lot will depend on an individuals age, personal circumstances and medical issues.
    Hope that helps.

  16. Lill says:

    Good heavens, why haven’t I seen your blog before? I have to weigh in on the no ‘poo debate. I have oily hair. Have had since birth. No, really. I have photos. All my life, people have been telling me I’m lucky to have oily hair and skin, but they’ll dry out when I’m older. Well, I’m old. 57 and still a veritable grease slick every morning.

    I can’t do the no ‘poo, but I have found that water with a little apple cider vinegar helps my itchy scalp, cuts down on the oil and makes my hair soft. I use very gentle natural shampoos like Burt’s Bees or Alba. Tried the soap bar and it was okay, but seemed to kind of build up on my hair after a while.

    Haven’t needed a Diva cup or anything else in 7 years, but I wish there was something for my preteen daughter who hates pads but isn’t quite up for tampons at this early stage.

    Shine On,

  17. I enjoy, lead to I found just what I was taking a look for.
    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.


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