Tag Archive | solid conditioner

My Thoughts on the Zero Waste Sustainable Lifestyle

I don’t know if you are aware that these days a new movement is starting to take the world by storm. It’s called zero waste, or a zero waste sustainable lifestyle.

Basically, what living a zero waste lifestyle means is using no packaging in all the products that you buy and use. Or at the very least only recyclable packaging.

Zero Waste Products

So people who have jumped onto this bandwagon usually use solid cleaning items such as solid soap, solid shampoos and solid conditioner.

They don’t buy or store food or anything else in plastic containers, preferring glass, wood, metal or any other natural material over plastic.

For the most part I support this movement.

Certainly I am all in favour of limiting your use of synthetic chemicals and plastics as much as possible. Not only are you reducing the toxic materials you bring into your home or consume, thus leading to a healthier lifestyle.

You’re also contributing to reducing all the garbage that spills out of our landfills and filling these landfills instead with organic materials that can actually decompose, rather than sitting there intact for thousands of years.

We all know that an excess of toxins is a scourge in our society and is one of the factors behind the growing numbers of cases of cancer.

I myself try to use glass, metal, wood and paper as much as possible. I go shopping with cloth bags. My all natural skin and hair care routines include mostly solid shampoos and natural plant-based oils.

I even make my own soap from scratch, by hand. Not a pour-and-melt affair but real, actual lye soap.

But sometimes I think this fanaticism for going all out zero waste just gets so absurd. And I got started thinking.

Why is a zero waste lifestyle supposed to be so good?

Is it only because it’s become fashionable and a lot of people are jumping onto this bandwagon now?

So many people do things, especially alternative things, just to be rebellious. Or just to look good in front of their friends. Or just because it’s what’s in at this moment.

So is a zero waste, sustainable lifestyle really so much better than a conventional one?

Or is it just some sort of hippie, rebellious, anti-establishment trend?

So many people do things without questioning them, just because other people told them it’s good, or that they should do it.

Why is it supposed to be more sustainable to use paper, wood or metal instead of plastic?

Of course it FEELS better, because it’s all natural as opposed to plastic which is not natural. Plastic is artificially created and comes from petroleum.

So I imagine it would be more HEALTHY, because you’re not using any kind of synthetic chemicals and thus you’re avoiding toxins.

But I don’t really see how it is more SUSTAINABLE.

For example, take metal. How is metal supposed to be more sustainable?

You have to send these poor, helpless men deep into these unhealthy mines where they risk their lives and sacrifice their health every day to mine metal.

What’s so sustainable, humane and healthy about that?

Metal isn’t recycled. Metal isn’t organic so it doesn’t degrade or decompose in landfills.

How about wood and paper? Yes they are healthier for you and they are all natural. And they do decompose naturally.

But think of all the trees you have to cut down to get wood and paper.

Although one YouTuber I saw said, “Actually, using wood causes MORE trees to be planted in my country, because in my country (which was of course some healthy Scandinavian country, Scandinavians are always ahead of the rest of the world, but I don’t remember which country it was) whenever a tree is cut down we plant TWO trees to take its place.”

Ok so maybe using wood and paper is sustainable in his country.

But so far this does not happen in the rest of the world, as far as I’m aware. And paper is recycled (in theory), but like everything else I doubt most of the paper is recycled here. Most probably just goes to landfills.

I do admit I haven’t done my research and I don’t have the faintest idea what happens to the garbage in my country or in my city. But I have seen in documentaries (vague documentaries that unfortunately I can’t cite because I don’t remember which documentaries they were, if you’re a stickler about people always revealing the source of everything they write about in blogs) that in most places around the world countries and municipalities don’t recycle.

(By the way if you’ve got some sort of physical evidence that I am wrong and that in fact most countries around the world do indeed recycle scrupulously, by all means, please, I’m completely open to you leaving a comment about it and showing me your evidence. If not, please refrain from leaving snide or picky comments about how I don’t document my blog posts accurately or cite the sources of my information. Your comment will not be approved. This is my blog and I write what I want in it. If you don’t agree with me you are free to not read it. Ok rant over.)

As I was saying, even if you do live in a country that recycles a high percentage of its rubbish, you still have to take into account the fact that the vast majority of the world doesn’t. So although as an ideal for a future utopian world, I don’t think it’s very sustainable or feasible at this point in time for most of us.

Then you could say that, well, paper is organic so even if it isn’t recycled at least it will biodegrade in landfills. Well I guess looking at it that way that could be true.

Still, when you buy something wrapped in paper, what do you do with the paper? You still throw it away, right?

I don’t think you’d reuse that tiny little piece of wrapping paper 100 times in order to be more sustainable, just simply because it wouldn’t last. It would soon tear or disintegrate.

Then how about wood? Wood is not recycled.

So if you throw away something wooden, which you will have to do at some point because wooden items don’t last a long time, at the most a few years maybe.

Maybe a wooden house can last several decades but in the end wood always deteriorates. So then what happens to the wood that you throw away?

Well once again zero wasters will say oh but wood is biodegradable so it will just biodegrade in landfills. Yeah but how long does that take?

So it is still not being recycled, even though it’s true it’s not as bad for the planet because at least it will biodegrade at some point.

But in the meantime, as you can’t recycle it, you still have to cut down more trees to create wooden objects to replace the ones that broke.

Then we’ve got glass. I like glass. I try to use it a lot because I like it.

Glass is recyclable and is probably one of the easiest things to recycle.

I don’t actually know the details about how glass containers are reused. But I imagine that the glass you throw away into the green coloured bins is being reused.

But most of the world doesn’t recycle. So you are only being zero waste by using glass if you live in a place where people recycle.

Or if you hoard up every single glass item that ever enters into your home in order to reuse it. But on the other hand, if you do that, you risk getting accused of suffering from hoarding disorder, as well as accumulating that other most undesirable scourge in life: CLUTTER! Gasp!

At any rate, even so, you are probably being more healthy if you use wood, paper, metal or glass, because you are not filling your home and your family with the toxic chemicals present in plastic. So you might want to say you are zero waste for health reasons.

But I don’t really see that it is more sustainable in the world we live in today. If the whole world recycled close to 100% of our waste and in every country they planted 2 trees for every tree that they cut down, then it could be sustainable.

In conclusion, much as I do in general believe in it and support it, I think it’s impossible to remove all the plastic from your life.

People say, well my ancestors lived for thousands of years without plastic.

Well, let me tell you, my parents were born over 90 years ago and they used plastic.

Just about everything that is essential in our lives is made of plastic. Most objects in our homes are made of plastic. Most of the things you can buy anywhere come in plastic containers.

Our food comes in plastic. Your mobile phone and your computer are made of plastic. The screen you’re reading this blog on is made of plastic or has a plastic support. You wouldn’t be able to read this blog if you didn’t use plastic at all.

Appliances are made of plastic. Medical equipment is made of plastic.

If you’re about to die from COVID-19 and the respirator is your only hope for survival you’re not gonna say, no don’t give me the respirator it’s made of plastic!

Buddhists say you should do everything in moderation. So yeah, I do think zero waste is good — in moderation.

And always respecting those who don’t agree with you.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

The New Mask-Filled World to Come

Homemade Soap 

My Current Almost All-Natural Low Waste Hair Routine 

Shikakai: My Recent Experiment

Trying Out Solid Conditioner for the First Time

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been trying to transition to a more ecological, natural, zero waste (or at least low waste) lifestyle.

So today it was time to try out solid conditioner for the first time.

Solid Conditioner

I went no poo and have been using solid shampoo bars and all natural handmade soap for several years now. So I tried to create a zero waste routine with solid shampoo and solid conditioner.

Last week I discovered we actually enjoyed the great good luck of sporting an eco-friendly, zero waste shop right here in my city. So I bought a solid shampoo and a solid conditioner there.

I already have several solid shampoos, so in this case it was just sort of like a matter of trying out a new shampoo, the way most people do every once in a while.

Just as you might at some point wish to try out a new conventional shampoo — say Pantene, for example, or Elvive — so for me getting a solid shampoo was the same. Except these were shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoos in plastic bottles.

However it was the first time I’d ever used a solid conditioner.

So first impressions, what did I think?

Well, I liked the shampoo but it was nothing to write home about, a typical solid shampoo. I’m used to using solid shampoos so it wasn’t anything out of the usual for me.

However the solid conditioner was…….. an experience, let’s say.

I rubbed it on all over my hair like I saw in videos. You can’t just splash a little bit onto the ends the way you would with liquid conditioner. You have to rub it painstakingly into your hair from root to tips.

It certainly is time consuming, it’s not like slapping a liquid on quickly. Perhaps if you have thin hair or short hair or not tangly hair or greasy hair it would be quick. But if you have coarse, long, dry self-tangling hair like me it just does not work. I NEED about 5 litres of liquid conditioner every time to get enough slip to get a wide-toothed comb through.

I did eventually get it detangled. But I think solid conditioner only works for people with short, fine, greasy non tangling hair.

I do admit my hair is by nature more tangly than the average. Because the average person doesn’t need as much liquid conditioner as I do either.

Once I got it detangled my hair did feel good, soft and silky.

But after that I NEEDED styling product. Because if not my hair would be dry and flyaway and staticky.

And I don’t have any all natural zero waste eco styling products. I made flaxseed gel last week and I put it in the fridge but it still went bad. So that really isn’t going to work for me unless I make tiny batches and make up a new batch every time I wash my hair. Because I only wash my hair once a week.

So I just grabbed any old styling cream.

So I dunno. I think I will keep using the solid conditioner, see if I get the knack for it. But if not I will use it up and then I won’t get any more.

Update: After my hair dried I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how my hair looked with this new solid conditioner. It was soft, silky, shiny, with shiny, bouncy curls.

I might add that my hair is naturally coarse and thick, rough wiry and very rarely ever looks shiny or silky.

But the most incredible thing about the conditioner was the SCENT!

My hair smelled like perfume.

And not like some chemically, formaldehyde-filled perfume from the department store either.

It smelled fresh and sweet and natural. Like I’d picked up flowers in a field and stuck them into my hair.

The scent lingered.

I don’t know how long the smell will continue to last. But at least for one day, that’s for sure.

Hair After Solid Conditioner

But no, it’s not so shiny and well-defined without help. Here in addition to using solid conditioner I also used a gel.

So I thought I’d give you the details of the solid conditioner I used.

It’s a local brand, so if you live in the US or the UK you probably wouldn’t be able to get it. But then again in the US and the UK you can get about a gazillion other brands that aren’t available here in Spain. One brand I’ve heard good things about (but never tried) is Ethique. It’s from New Zealand I think.

But at any rate, the name is Balsámica Natural Cosmetics.

This conditioner in particular says it’s made with ashwagandha, amla, coconut oil, cocoa butter and essential oils of cedar and rosemary.

Its other ingredients include cetearyl alcohol (an essential ingredient for making conditioners, if you don’t include this the oils won’t wash out of your hair and your hair will be greasy). It’s not a drying alcohol like ethyl alcohol.

So yeah, I would defo try out other solid conditioners by other brands and maybe even other products in this particular range. It’s a Spanish company. They do have an online store, but when I tried to get onto it it was offline. They also have a Facebook page which doesn’t really seem to offer a list of their products anywhere.

However their prices are very reasonable. I don’t remember how much the solid conditioner cost at the store but it was somewhere in the range between 5 and 9 euros.

So how about you? Have you tried solid conditioner before? Or experimented with the zero waste lifestyle? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Do leave me a (positive, non-spammy) comment about it down below.

And if you enjoy reading, especially if you like fiction, I’ve got some exciting thrillers you might want to check out, here at Thrillers By Moi.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Homemade Soap

Bentonite Clay for Hair 

All Natural Skincare

Fried Aubergines Lite (Because eating is still fun)

My Current, Almost All-Natural, Low-Waste Hair Routine

Essential Oils for Hair

I thought I’d start off the new year with a new series on All-Natural Hair Care. So here is the first instalment.

I have been no-poo (that is, no shampoo) for about 3 years now. You can read about how I transitioned to no-poo here.

Recently I’ve also decided to add zero-waste to my hair and general routine as well. That is not the easiest thing in the world to do when you have dry, frizzy, curly hair.

Ayurvedic Herbal Powders

However, after about a full TWO YEARS! of experimenting and watching a gazillion YouTube videos, I think I’ve FINALLY found a minimalist, natural and low-waste (not zero-waste, however) hair routine that works for me.

It’s not the simplest, most minimalistic, most low-maintenance routine that’s ever existed but then again I figure girls with curly hair can’t follow the same routine as people with straight hair. Curly hair is drier so it needs more care. And my hair in particular is especially tangly (I’ve always called it self-tangling hair because it tangles around everything), with a naturally coarse, rough, wiry texture.

So here is my………

Complete All-Natural Zero Waste Hair Routine:

Week 1:

  • I begin by brushing my hair with a wooden brush. I brush it right side up and then upside down to get out tangles and stimulate hair growth.
  • Then I rub in hair oil. On the scalp I use a concoction that I made myself. In a jar I mix castor oil + olive oil + a teaspoon of bhringraj and let it sit. When I’m going to oil my hair, I just pour out the required amount into a small bowl and add a couple drops of rosemary and tea tree essentials oils. When it’s getting low on oil I simply add more oil. After a few weeks I throw out the bhringraj (I have no idea how long it would be good for though or if it ever goes bad) and add a new teaspoonful of this herb.
  • On the lengths I use coconut oil or olive oil. Then tie in a bun.
  • I leave this on for 2-3 hours. You can also leave it on overnight and sleep on it if you prefer.
  • Wash with solid shampoo or all-natural handmade soap.
  • Condition with solid conditioner.
  • Style as usual.

Hair OIling

Oiled Hair

Notes:

*I’ve been experimenting with solid conditioner for a few weeks now and I’m a bit on the fence about it. On the one hand, I like that it’s zero-waste, all-natural and silicone-free. And it smells fantastic.

But on the other hand, it takes forever to rub it through my extra-tangly, self-tangling rough, coarse hair. It also doesn’t leave my hair feeling as soft and hydrated as a cream conditioner.

I’ll be putting up a separate post soon all about solid conditioner. So stay tuned for it!

Since my hair is so naturally rough and coarse, I have a hard time trying to make it soft. If your hair is fine and naturally soft, it might work better for you though.

For this reason, even though I love the concept, I find that every now and then I still need to fall back on a creamy, liquidy conditioner in a plastic bottle, or my hair gets very dry, frizzy, flyaway and extra tangly (and it’s already tangly enough as it is!).

Week 2:

  • Don’t oil hair. But do brush it.
  • Wash with a mixture of aritha + sidr or shikakai and methi (ground fenugreek), mix with lemon juice or flaxseed gel or warm water to form a dense paste similar to shampoo. Apply like shampoo, leave on a couple minutes and rinse out.
  • Mix amla and brahmi with warm water to form a thick paste similar to conditioner. Apply to length of hair, detangle, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off.
  • Style as usual.

Notes:

*I have been using sidr instead of shikakai because I’m able to get it at the same online shop where I buy the rest of the powders. And because shikakai can sting your eyes.

I also wasn’t too wowed by shikakai when I used it before. But if you can’t find sidr in your neck of the woods, it’s fine to use shikakai as well.

Sidr is the powdered leaves of a tree that grows in Persia (Iran) and the Middle East. Like aritha, it has saponins, natural soap, so it cleans your hair gently.

To make flaxseed gel, simply boil a teaspoon of flax seeds in a cup of water for about 15 minutes. Then strain out the flax seeds with a strainer, cool the liquid down until it’s warm and doesn’t burn and use it to mix up the herbal shampoo.

Because I have curly hair using some sort of styling / curling / hold product is a must. If I want to be completely natural and zero-waste I use flax seed gel by itself. But I get bored always using the same product so I like to switch things up. Then I do need to add in some commercial product in a plastic container.

Where I Buy These Products

I buy these ayurvedic powdered herbs at an online shop here in Spain. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the presence of an Indian community in your city, they’re sure to boast physical shops where you can acquire them as well.

I’m not that lucky as there are perhaps only 2 people of Indian origin living in my part of the world. But if you happen to live in Barcelona, where I used to live, you can scout the shops of the Raval. I used to buy these herbs there.

It’s not easy to find solid conditioner here in Spain, unless you live in a large city. I don’t. But I was soooooo lucky to find an ecological, green shop downtown. It’s called Verda.

However they are also available on Amazon.

Aloe Vera Scalp Massage

Every once in a while, when I get in the mood, I’ll massage my scalp with some aloe vera gel. I add rosemary, lavender, mint and tea tree essential oils in the gel. Then I rinse it out after a couple hours in the shower. It’s a gel and not an oil so it doesn’t leave hair greasy, so it’s not necessary to use shampoo.

Aloe Vera Gel for Hair

My son prefers to do this after he washes his hair. It really doesn’t make any difference in the appearance of your hair, it won’t make it look greasy, so you can do it either way.

Henna

I henna my hair about once every 2 months. Because…….. I have a few grey hairs already! Hush, it’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone.

Hennaed Hair à la The Ring

My hair doesn’t turn out too red because it’s naturally very dark. Although I imagine if I hennaed it more often it would get redder. But I’m too lazy for that haha. It also looks redder in the sun.

Hair With Henna

I love henna hehe.

Heatless Hair Straightener

Although I LOVE having curls, I can get bored with them always looking the same and I want to change them. Then I make braids and thus stretch the hair out a bit to create beach waves.

My hair is very healthy. It’s about to the middle of my back. And I never have split ends.

So I think this routine is working quite well for me. [:smile hehe:]

And now that we’ve reached the end of this post, if you feel like doing some more reading I’ve got plenty of offerings for you. Check out my collection of thriller novels and horror stories here at Thrillers By Moi.

If you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

Homemade Soap 

Natural Skin and Hair Care Routine

Castile Soap and Coconut Milk for Hair 

Proper Hair Oiling For Long, Drop-Dead Gorgeous Locks