The Year I Tried to Be a Hippie

I think 2013 will be my personal Year of the Hippie. It’s been a slow process, and most of the steps I’ve taken have been to save money, but I think I’ve officially crept across the line from frugal housewife into hippie territory when I’m trying out homemade deodorant.

I never would have imagined it would come to this. It started with trying to cut out extra sodium from our diets, which of course cuts out a lot of processed foods, so I started making more and more food at home. Believe it or not, we actually eat more cheaply without buying all the cheap processed foods. Then, of course, I had a baby and we decided to try the cloth diapering thing. And I breastfed her. (Until about 3 days ago… *sob*… but that’s neither here nor there.) Hippie things, yes, but also healthy and frugal things.

And then… then I discovered Pinterest. I saw DIY deodorant. Now, I know the aluminum antiperspirant stuff we all know and love is terrible for you, but I like having friends. And not smelling bad. The one time I tried “natural” deodorant, it was when my brother bought me some. It was ok, but I think it was mostly lavender oil and water, and it really just covered up scent. I had to carry it around with me and reapply it all the time, and when it ran out, back to the aluminum I went. But here was a recipe on Pinterest that was just baking soda, cornstarch, and coconut oil. Well, I decided to put it on my “maybe someday” list since I didn’t have coconut oil, but lo and behold, a friend made me some for Christmas. Score!

So I gave it a try. It worked all day—no reapplications needed. I worked out and still didn’t smell bad! Then I noticed in the shower that one underarm was very sensitive to that hot water and, sure enough, when I got out I saw that it looked and felt like I’d put a UV light under my arm for 45 minutes. Because my skin is stupid. “Give me cancer-contributing aluminum, cool. Baking soda? No way!” Really?

Now my pigheadedness comes in. I didn’t want to buy coconut oil just to make deodorant, but now that I know it actually keeps me from smelling bad, I wanted to salvage this. So after a couple days of treating my armpit with nice cold aloe, I bought some more coconut oil just so I could add a couple tablespoons and some cornstarch to the jar my friend gave me to see if that lowered the baking soda level enough that I can use it. I’m on day 2 now, and so far, I’m in luck.

I’ve had a couple other slightly more successful hippie ventures. I’ve also stopped using shampoo. That’s right. I’ve been using the infamous baking soda and water. I made a detangler for Kara that’s apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and water, and I use some of that when I need it. So far, that’s been a big success. My dandruff is disappearing, and my hair doesn’t frizz when I blow dry it. The detangler works very well too. I just need to get some essential oils for it. While the vinegar smell pretty much disappears when it dries, it smells terrible when I first spray it on Kara’s hair.

And now you know more than you ever wanted to about my personal hygiene.

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