I was so surprised and excited when my friend Joni gave me this Chagrin Valley shampoo bar. She is not what you would consider a crunchy granola type, but she has recently gotten into natural products and oils. Which is totally awesome. I think we could all benefit from using less ingredients we can’t pronounce. Right?
It took me a while to actually open up the product and use it. Even though the packaging is simple and made from recycled brown paper, it was so cute. The label says no added scent, but whatever is its natural fragrance is addictive. A very faint sweet oil smell. I basically pet it and sniffed at it for about a week before tearing it carefully open. You can see all the lovely ingredients on the label below.
The bar she chose for me was the Coconut Milk one, and she included a beautiful handcrafted White Oak Soap Deck to hold the shampoo. Even the soap dish is all natural! It’s made from one solid piece of wood without any glue or other chemicals. I remember talking to a sales associate at a boutique about solid shampoos, and she had said that they last longer than your conventional shampoo. Then I saw on Chagrin Valley’s site that this shampoo bar lasts up to 5 times longer than bottled shampoo. The nifty soap deck’s grooves has been keeping my shampoo bar dry (and my bathroom is super humid!), so I believe it will indeed extend the life of my delicious shampoo.
Using this in the shower was a breeze. I massaged the soap several times with my hands to get the lather going on my scalp. It foamed up nicely in my hair. My husband used the technique of directly rubbing the bar onto his hair, and he said he was immediately able to work up a good lather. I will have to do that next time. I used the shampoo on the hair toward the top of my head and used my bottled conditioner for my ends.
This winter I had been struggling with making sure my hair is properly moisturized without getting that weighed down oily look. Unfortunately, I haven’t been succeeding. My roots have been looking slick AND my scalp and hair have been dry. After using this shampoo bar, my roots felt squeaky clean but didn’t feel stripped of its natural oils. When my hair dried, it felt light and residue-free! There seemed to be less dry flakes on my scalp, but I will have to test it out longer to come to a final conclusion.
I think this is an amazing product, especially if using vegan and organic body and skincare is important to you. The added bonus of shampoo bars is the green aspect of NO more plastic bottles! I love it. So, Joni, thank you for introducing me to this coconut milk shampoo bar!
Another way I’ve been introducing natural substitutes into my beauty and health routine is coconut oil. I’ve been using the Carrington Farms’ pure unrefined cold pressed coconut oil. We literally have a huge 2.3 L container of it. If you google “ways to use coconut oil”, you will see an insane number of uses for it. I’m kind of hooked right now. The following are some of my favorite uses for coconut oil:
1) Oil Pulling- Swish coconut oil 10-20 minutes in your mouth before brushing your teeth. It is an Ayurvedic practice that supposedly “pulls” the toxins from your body. You then spit out the oil with the toxins (into the trash; the oil can clog your sink). I read that it’s best to use unrefined cold pressed coconut oil. People swear that it strengthens, cleans, and whitens your teeth. Some even claim that it heals cavities. Other benefits include clear skin, relief from sinus congestion/migraines, increase in energy, and regulated periods. I have been oil pulling for several months now, and it does make my teeth feel stronger, the hue seems whiter, and my teeth aren’t as sensitive. During another oil pulling period years ago, I noticed that my morning breath wasn’t as apparent. I encourage you to do research for yourself, but I have been happy with the results.
2) Makeup Remover- I think I’m going to kick my other removers to the curb. This stuff works to get off even the most stubborn waterproof makeup. I have also read claims of eyelashes getting more luscious from the coconut oil. Ooo la la. I need that.
3) Shaving your legs- Your razor just glides along your gams. And the oil moisturizes your legs! I wouldn’t recommend using the oil for your bikini area though. Maybe it’s just me, but I need a little more frothy, foaming action down there (that sounds wrong). Using only thin oil seems dangerous in that territory, and I could see myself “gliding” a little too far and chopping some flesh off.
4) Hair Mask- I let some coconut oil sit in my hair for 10 minutes, and then wash it out. The fatty acids in the oil will soften your strands. I don’t use a lot. I made the mistake of using a generous scoop, and my hair looked so greasy afterward. Some people add some oil to their hair after a shower and leave it in. Now that I’m writing this, I don’t know why it’s ok to let coconut oil shaving “cream” and hair masks go down the drain, but it’s not ok to spit the oil pulling toxins down the drain. Hmmm.
Anyway, there are SO many other amazing ways to use coconut oil – not just for beauty. I used coconut oil the other day to fry up some chicken cutlets. And I add it to my smoothies for its superfood qualities. It is high in antioxidants and increases levels of immunity and anti-inflammatory properties.
I would love to know what natural products/lines you have been using and how you’re using coconut oil in your life!