coconut oil hair mask removal – no-poo friendly!

crunchy confession: i have deeply  missed my coconut oil masks. being a water-only washer, they were completely out of the question. even though i might not ‘need’ them because my hair gets conditioned with natural scalp oils, i really missed them. i think it’s really soothing to massage oil all over your scalp and have your hair smell like real coconuts :)

crunchy ideas: i decided to tie my sections of my hair into different ponytails and try to wash the coconut oil out without a low-poo or castile soap. was i nervous? who me?? pshh.. yes. but maybe that was because i decided to do this at 10pm the night before i had to be in the office. not smart on my part, my friends. not smart.

so what did  i use? why? what happened?

well… let’s just say i have a no-poo friendly way of washing out coconut oil hair masks. crunchies REJOICE! .

all natural coconut oil hair mask removal (NO shampoo; NO conditioner!)

out of all the crunchy things i have laying around my apartment, i couldn’t think of one that would be able to take out such a heavy oil. (this was post-oil slathering, btw… i was gonna be knee-deep in regret if i couldn’t wash it out)

staring into my closet… then my storage box… then my fridge… it hit me. EGG YOLKS. i was gonna use egg yolks!
but why egg  yolks? well, they’re already a great scalp de-greaser, and provide extra nourishment to your scalp and a punch of protein to your hair. egg yolks are also fatty and oily; perfect for dissolving oils! remember from the OCM that “oil dissolves oil.”

i wasn’t really sure what all to do, so i tied my hair into 3 ponytails to experiment. talk about a show-stopper. super hot hair-do, ladies!

with my 3 ponytails, i tried 2 different egg yolk rinses, and 1 water-only rinse.

ponytails

ponytail #1 got 1/2 egg yolk whipped into 1/3 cup of water slathered on it (my hair was NOT wet down beforehand) and gently massaged in. my white sink was covered in yellow goopy polka-dots. it was immediately rinsed with cool water. to my surprise, it took out about 75% of the oil! another rinse wouldn’t hurt!

ponytail #2 also got 1/2 an egg  yolk whipped into 1/3 cup of water slathered onto it (again, my hair was NOT wet down beforehand). i gently massaged it in, and let it sit for about 10 mins. after those 10 mins, i re-dipped my hair into the egg yolk mix, massaging gently again. i then rinsed with cool water. that method took out about 90% of the oil! i couldn’t believe it! i could still see oil in the center of my ponytail, so i bet if i concentrated on massaging the egg into that part, it’ll come out. i decided to leave this ponytail alone because it felt so, so soft!

ponytail #3 (barely seen in the top of the pic cuz it was piled on top of my head) got a warm/hot-ish water rinse…….. over… and over… and over… lol. it took about 50% of the oil out. Fail! i don’t know why i even bothered trying this way again. so i used ponytail #2 method on ponytail #3, and it came out! perfect!

i think if i ever use coconut oil on my hair again, it will only be the ends of my hair. and i’ll definitely be using egg yolks to wash it out!

so there ya have it, crunchies! egg yolks = no-poo friendly coconut oil hair mask removal!

HOW TO

  • make a mix of 1 egg yolk to 2/3 cup of cool water (increase amount of yolk/water as necessary to cover your hair). whip up well. i suggest using bowl (you’ll see why)
  • gently rub into oiled hair that has NOT been wet down with water. this mix is very runny, so i suggest hanging your hair over a bowl to catch what runs off and reuse it. (ah, there we are!)
  • let the yolk/water mix sit on your hair for 10-15 minutes.
  • dip your hair back in the yolk/water mix and gently rub again.
  • rinse VERY, very well in cool water.
  • enjoy your silky locks!

warning – do Not use this method more than once every 2 to 3 weeks. egg yolks pack a lot of protein, and there IS a such thing as too much protein for you hair. too much protein makes your hair feel stiff and easily breakable! usually damaged hair will do just fine with this frequency. healthier hair will need egg yolks way less often (and will need CO masks way less often too, of course).

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** please try on a small section of hair before you douse your whole head with CO! !

comment below with your experiences! and also be sure to comment if you have another way to remove coconut oil without a “product” (no low-poo, no conditioner, etc.)

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* note about using egg yolks - if you have protein-sensitive hair, be very cautious about using egg yolks on your hair! too much protein can cause the hair to feel stiff, crunchy, and can lead to breakage. also, i know a lot of people can’t stand the smell of eggs. i used to be one of those people! but now i always buy my eggs from chickens that were antibiotic and hormone-free, and fed an all-vegetarian diet. i have Never (repeat: never) had a problem with smelly eggs (whether it was right when i cracked the egg, all the way thru to when the time came to rinse out the yolks) after the switch. i attribute it to the quality of the eggs, but yes, i know eggs do have a certain smell about them. mine were never “bad” though. hopefully this helps!
** if you’re vegan (or not an ovo-vegetarian) and choose not to use eggs, please use a low-poo to wash coconut oil masks :)

oil pulling alternative mouthwash

good morning, crunchies!

after the post on the research behind oil pulling, we learned that oil pulling is just as effective as using a mouthwash. if you personally don’t like all the swishing, making your own mouthwash is a great alternative!

but what’s IN your mouthwash is also very important!

here’s a mouthwash recipe that’s remineralizing, healing, and kicks bad breath to the curb!

mouthwash

what to use

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil (or lemon…or cinnamon… whatever flavor you want! but do not use wintergreen*) (fights bad breath)
  • 1 teaspoon calcium magnesium powder (remineralizing)
  • 1 teaspoon Real salt (pink Himalayan sea salt) (healing; antibacterial action)
  • *5-10 drops trace minerals (i like LiquiMins) – not essential, but great for added minerals to “bathe” your teeth in (remineralizing)

HOW TO

  • put your filtered water in a glass bottle that you still somehow have the lid to  (i used an old tea bottle)
  • pour in your cal-mag powder and salt. shake to dissolve
  • add your trace minerals, if you’d like. shake a bit to mix thoroughly
  • add your essential oils, one drop at a time (too many and it can burn your mouth. EOs are very concentrated). shake to mix.

TO USE:
}sip a bit from the bottle, careful not to swallow. swish around in your mouth for a couple minutes and spit! no need to rinse. this is safe for the little humans that can brush their teeth unsupervised, granted they know not to swallow :)

STORAGE:
nothing in this mix should “expire” quickly. however, keep an eye on it and make a new batch if you haven’t used all of this one in a few weeks.

what flavors will you use? i stick to plain ol peppermint. i’d like to try lime!

let us know how you like this rinse, and if you prefer oil pulling or rinsing! either methods are great for overall better oral health <3

*note – do NOT use wintergreen essential oil. it’s Highly poisonous when taken orally! when used properly, it can be helpful when used externally, however.

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oil pulling: the RESEARCH behind it

we’ve all seen these glorious posts and rave reviews about oil pulling, yes?

you know those really huge claims that pretty much say this one act 20 minutes a day cures all sorts of things? like halitosis, allergies, hormone imbalances, acne, psoriasis, etc…

my question has always been “where is the RESEARCH?” you can show me all the blogs in the world, but i’m gonna need some facts.

let’s look at this whole oil pulling craze and see if the benefits reach beyond having a healthier mouth!

why oil pulling doesnt work (and what to do instead!)

what IS oil pulling?

  • oil pulling stems from Ayurvedic oral care. it’s first mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, which is a key text of Indian traditional medicine.
  • it’s done by swishing a spoonful of oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes. it’s done first thing in the morning, every day, as a part of an oral health routine.
  • the oils that can be used are sesame and coconut oil as the 2 main contenders, with sunflower and olive also usable.
  • it does NOT replace brushing your teeth!

what are the claims?

  • oil pulling is widely touted as an all-natural way to promote overall oral health, whiten teeth, ward off gingivitis, fight plaque build-up, and help with teeth sensitivity.
  • other claims:
    • whiter teeth
    • healthier gums
    • clearer skin
    • prevent halitosis
    • prevent gingivitis
    • alleviate allergies
    • increase energy
    • decrease headaches
    • help with arthritis
    • decrease inflammation
    • improve the lymphatic system
    • help with asthma
    • balance hormones
    • regulate menstrual cycles and improve PMS symptoms
    • clear sinuses
    • ward off infections
    • improve liver function

where is the research?

from the articles i’ve seen, oil pulling is just a PART of improving health (like reducing strep mutagens after 2 weeks... which i’m skeptical of because your body will be fighting it off in that time regardless… and let’s also be polite and say there’s some heavy researcher bias in that study).

the following sources show that oil pulling is JUST AS effective as using a healthy mouth rinse – source 1 & source 2
and here is a direct quote from source 2- “Oil pulling therapy has been equally effective like chlorhexidine [mouthwash] on halitosis and organisms.”

additionally, the following article indicates that oil pulling is effective when used in combination with a salt water rinse – source

and then you have studies like this that say “results from the present study could be scientific evidence to demonstrate that oil-pulling therapy  with some edible oils could probably be used as a  preventive home therapy to maintain oral hygiene.” uhhh… so you’re telling me that your study MIGHT conclude that oil pulling MIGHT help oral hygiene? haha, okay…

and then there’s this article that says:
there is no reasearch on oil pulling

so far the research doesn’t show that it’s oil pulling that improves health.
that’s what i needed to know.

*no, i’m not saying it doesn’t improve your oral health. i’m very aware that it does! …keep reading…

bottom line:

Sesame seeds . Selective focus

not really.. meaning oil pulling works in a way… but not how it’s being touted. let’s check it out:

does it DETOX you? NO. that part is a huge load of crap. we have these really cool organs called livers and kidneys that do that for us. pretty neat!

so how does it work? oil pulling works by helping to support a healthy oral environment. it’s just another way to clean your mouth. it’s a small part of an overall routine. that’s it! with a cleaner, healthier mouth, your body can focus on other things. it’s a complete domino effect. oil pulling isn’t magic! your body is magic. simple.

so what does this mean? you can certainly see oral improvements. absolutely. but what you won’t see is a liver detox.

oil pulling isnt causing your improved health

Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist in Beverly Hills and a certified nutritionist with a Masters in oral biology, that teaches at UCLA’s dental school, had to say this about oil pulling improving health:

“When we improve oral health, we improve so many other things in the body. People with bad oral hygiene have higher incidence for cardiovascular issues such as heart attack and strokes, and a higher incidence for pneumonia. Men with periodontal disease have a greater risk of erectile dysfunction. Even with diabetes, improved oral health can help control problems in diabetic patients. Also, pregnant women with gum disease have lower birth-weight babies. Yes — everything is connected.” (source)

in other words, it’s not the fact that you’re oil pulling that’s the only thing at play. oil pulling (as with proper flossing, proper brushing, and mouth rinses as needed), can be a PART of a healthy oral care routine, that in turn helps you be a healthier person overall.

 

Let’s be clear. i am not discounting the oral benefits you can see from adding oil pulling to part of your oral care routine! i’m very aware those benefits are real. if you’re seeing benefits, and your health care professional supports it, keep at it! what i AM asserting is that oil pulling is Not magic. it does not detox you. it does not cure bodily ailments completely on its own. but rather, by oil pulling, you’re making your mouth healthier, which in turn makes your body healthier. the research indicates that using a healthy mouth rinse is JUST AS effective as oil pulling!

oil pulling - what it does and doesnt do

“but i’m seeing whitened teeth and healthier gums and less cavities!”

correct! you’ve improved your oral health care routine. of course you will see those benefits, barring you’re not allergic to or sensitive to the oils you choose to use.

that’s because you’re swishing a naturally anti-bacterial oil in your mouth that’s full of awesome things that support a healthy oral environment. and while you’re swishing, you’re also dislodging food particles that would have otherwise been stuck. that combined with the antibac action your mouth is gettin can be attributed to your improved mouth. bottom line, you can put some coconut oil in your mouth when you brush your teeth and floss properly, and get the same whitening/antibac effects.

you can also use a healthy mouth rinse to do the same things :)

Sesame seeds . Selective focus

if you can’t swish oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes, don’t worry! i personally can’t stand swishing oil around in my mouth for that long. i get gaggy.

you can still obtain a healthier mouth by doing the following:

  • brush your teeth properly, with an all-natural toothpaste (diy too!)
  • floss properly
  • use healthy mouth rinses. no alcohols, no dyes, no SLS, etc.
  • use natural teeth whiteners
  • use a tongue scraper
  • eat real food (we’re lookin at you, veggies!)
  • swish the “oil pulling replacement” mouth rinse! (post coming soon!)

do i personally recommend oil pulling?

please make your own educated decisions with the help of your health care professional. lots of people have had great results by oil pulling, ranging from whitened teeth to lessened tooth sensitivity.

but i can tell you, you won’t find me swishing oil anytime soon :) i’d rather brush properly, floss properly, use mouth rinses as needed, and eat real food. i’ll skip the gagging… because that’s what happens to me personally. i’m aware LOTS of people enjoy oil pulling. GO FOR IT! <3

to reiterate my point: there’s absolutely no harm in doing it, if you so choose. you might experience tooth sensitivity, but that’s about the extent of the negative things you’d experience. it’s just another aspect of oral care. if you choose to oil pull, don’t expect some magical bodily cure. but you CAN expect improved oral health if done properly AND in conjunction with other proper oral care. (yes, that means whiter teeth (with coconut oil), less tooth sensitivity (by having a healthier mouth in general), lessen bad breath (coconut oil is antibac), and less cavities (CO is antibac).  just also be aware that you can also achieve those by using any other healthy mouth wash :) )

in the meantime, let’s agree to stop saying oil pulling detoxes you and cures allergies and lessens your PMS symptoms. okay? okay.

we CAN say it promotes a healthier oral environment when used in conjunction with proper brushing/flossing. if you’re seeing decreased tooth sensitivity, whiter teeth, etc., keep doing it! it’s the fact that your mouth is healthier that’s making everything better. no reason to stop!

what do you guys think??

do we have any success stories? any failed attempts?

**FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH DENTAL FILLINGS – (me, too!) it has been reported that oil pulling does loosen up fillings. please talk to your dentist first if this applies to you!

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crunchy q&a

crunchy questions!

good evening my crunchies!

i get asked a LOT of really great questions about all kinds of things… and quite often i don’t have the time to get to them all…

what’s your morning routine? how’s the WO method? how do you eat bentonite clay? what do you use for air fresheners? what do you do for your hair at work? what do you do when you swim in the pool or the ocean? 

so instead of continuously falling behind on getting back to comments, i’m gonna do the ultimate vlogger thing….
aaaand make a questions video!!

post your questions below or tweet them to me!  @_almostexactly

i’ll also add in questions i’ve already gotten via email and comments :)

i can’t wait to do this video for you guys!

is there anything you’ve been wondering about?!

WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE? let’s hear ‘em!

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natural eye cream

hey crunchies!

i’ve been MIA for awhile now, and of course missing you guys and the AE blog. but i’m back and in time will reveal some magical things to you! but for now, we’ll focus on nourishing our delicate eye area :)

wrinkles or no wrinkles, eye creams (at least to me) are so soothing to use! but if you look at the ingredients list of many popular eye creams out there, they’re pretty scary….

so can we make our own? YES.
and it’s pretty easy. even i could make it!

key ingredients:

  • unrefined coconut oil – moisturizer
  • organic green tea – reduces dark circles and puffiness; tightens eye area
  • AEA certified emu oil – moisturizer; repairs damage
  • unrefined argan oil – moisturizer; evens skin tone; repairs damage
  • jojoba oil – moisturizer
  • raw shea butter – moisturizer; treats wrinkles and blemishes
  • pure beeswax – thickener; locks in moisture
  • rose hip seed oil – treats wrinkles

WHAT YOU NEED

  • unrefined coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
  • green tea – 1 organic tea bag
  • emu/argan/jojoba oil (pick one or mix what you want) – 1 tablespoon
  • raw shea butter - 1/4 tablespoon
  • pure beeswax – 1/3 tablespoon
  • rose hip seed oil (optional) – 1/8 teaspoon
  • small pots to make a double boiler
  • spoon to mix
  • strainer (if you have one. if not, dont worry.)
  • at least a 2 ounce container to keep the mix in

this recipe makes about 1.5 ounces of eye cream, give or take a bit

HOW TO

  1. put your double boiler on medium-low heat.
  2. add beeswax and wait for it to fully melt.
  3. add shea butter and allow for it to fully melt. mix thoroughly!
  4. mix in coconut oil, argan/emu/jojoba oil, and let melt. mix thoroughly.
  5. open the green tea bag and dump in the leaves. stir slightly every 5 mins, and allow to steep for 30 mins total.
  6. turn heat off.
  7. add in rose hip oil and stir thoroughly (if you choose to add RHO).
  8. pour into a glass container you can pour from (pyrex cup, tea mug, etc.) OR try pouring from the pan you’re using. i did this and it worked fine. plus, that’s one less thing to wash!
  9. as the mix cools, the tea leaves will settle to the bottom. pour the mix into your container as they settle, before it cools completely. if you have some sort of strainer, you can use it as well (it’s obviously easier, but many people don’t have one…myself included! haha).

let your mix cool completely before you use it, please.

TO USE:
apply to clean skin in the morning Only! your skin repairs itself at night, and it’s important that it doesn’t rely on creams/oils/etc to do so.

SHELF LIFE:
this mix will have a longer shelf life due to making the green tea extract in oils (and not by steeping in water). keep in mind that with all natural products, it still does have a shelf life. if it starts to smell/look/feel differently, toss it! rest assured you can depend on it, without refrigeration), for about 3-5 months (if it takes you that long to use it all!).
keep it in a cool, dry area, in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

ADDING OTHER INGREDIENTS:
feel free to play around with the recipe to make it firmer/creamier/etc. you can add in EO’s for scent, but please please use VERY little. your eye area is very sensitive (and close to your nose and mouth; read: mucus membranes).  adding EO’s and changing the recipe won’t  affect the shelf life.

i hope you find this recipe as soothing as i did!

putting it in the fridge for an early morning refresher feels awesome, too! especially with the weather warming up. don’t ya think?

let us know how you like it and how you made the recipe your own!!

**we’re starting a  new series called “EXPOSED” to showcase different natural ingredients and their benefits. (think: shea butter; witch hazel; etc.)
let me know what  you want to see a post on! 

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picture courtesy of arealfoodlover blog :)