Shampoo and Conditioner Alternatives

no pooFor many years now I have tried to eliminate unnecessary chemicals in my life, this included switching to natural alternatives for shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturiser, deodorant, body wash, make up and tooth paste. Some of these products have been great and worked really well, and others have had a less than average effect on my skin or hair.

Now that I am pregnant, it’s even more important to me to be avoiding as many harsh chemicals as possible.

Over the next few months I will be writing about my experiences with different beauty regimes.


This month – hair!

I have always had fairly oily hair and moving to natural shampoos didn’t help that at all. In recent years I have also had pimples in my scalp, which can be rather painful and uncomfortable. So I was getting a bit frustrated with frequent washing of my hair, having thick and long hair it would take all day to dry naturally.

So after some internet browsing I found a possible solution that gave me a little hope. It’s called the “no poo” method, and no it’s not constipation. It involves using baking soda as a shampoo alternative and for the conditioner an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse.

This method is not only beneficial for oily hair, but also dry, curly and frizzy hair.

The idea is that the more you wash your hair, the more the natural oils are removed, so your scalp over produces extra oils and you need to wash your hair more. It’s great for shampoo sales but not so great for your scalp. Our ancestors certainly didn’t wash their hair every day or 2, and over the last hundred years the washing has become more and more frequent.

A brief how to;

  • Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with a cup of water for the shampoo
  • Mix 1 tablespoon ACV with a cup of water for the conditioning rinse
  • Brush your hair daily with a bristle brush to distribute hairs away from the scalp
  • Try to extend your hair washing day by 1 each wash so the oils have a chance to rebalance

There are alternatives you can use, such as egg for the shampoo and lemon juice, honey and tea for the conditioner. I did find the honey made my hair oily though so I am sticking with ACV.

My experience has been mostly positive, with a few headband/scarf days when I was at day 4-5. It’s a bit tough at
the time as I hate the feeling of dirty hair, but if you can get through these days it is supposed to make a big difference.

I had been going for about a month and was up to hair washing on day 5 or 6, then went to the (organic) hair dresser for a trim and didn’t want to miss out on the lovely scalp massage so also had shampoo and conditioner. I took a big step backwards after that and feel like I had to retrain my scalp! I think next time I will just be upfront with the hairdresser and ask them just to wet it for the cut. After the hairdresser I am now back to every 5 to 6 days, and interested to see if I can push it further. Some “no poo-ers” get to the point that they don’t even use the baking soda rinse anymore and might just rinse with water a few times a year.

I know many males that never shampoo their hair, and might just rinse it with water every few weeks. I have never noticed oily hair on them, even with all the gel they use.

So all in all I would say this has been a successful experiment, I am washing my hair half as often, I no longer have pimples in my scalp and my hair feels softer and cleaner (for the first few days anyway). It does get a bit stinky on Day 5-6, but hopefully this will get less and less.

For more information refer to;


12 ways to stay healthy(ish) over Christmas

naturopathy healthy christmasDecember and early January can be tempting times of year to fall off your usual health regime. In some ways it’s ok to give yourself a little bit of a break and not feel too guilty about it, but there are certainly things you can do, to ensure you don’t fall too far!

Following are some tips I like to follow over this silly season, that’s right, even a Naturopath is tempted at this time.

1. Eat before you go out.

It’s hard to know what sort of food is going to be available at your Christmas party, so it helps to have a light and healthy snack before you go out. This will line your stomach to help absorb the alcohol, stop you from overeating, and ensure you still get some healthy food into you.

2. Natural hangover helpers.

If you do happen to overindulge.. and let’s be honest, it may happen at least once, following are some natural hangover helpers;

a. Coconut water is excellent for rehydrating, as it’s a natural source of electrolytes.

b. B vitamins, as a lot of these are depleted by alcohol consumption.

c. Zinc containing foods or a supplement, zinc helps alcohol dehydrogenase, which is a liver enzyme that helps to break down alcohol.

d. No beer until your wee is clear – actually it’s much better to not drink the day of a hangover, but do drink a lot of water until your urine is clear.

e. Consider taking a herbal supplement of St Mary’s Thistle before you go out, this herb does wonders for protecting the liver.

3. Work for that tart.

If  you have something coming up and you know you will be likely to indulge, earn it first with a workout and then look at it as a reward and enjoy!

4. Well hydrated throughout the day.

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day that you will be drinking so you are well hydrated before you have your first drink. Then alternate 1 drink for 1 water, you can also top your wine glass up with mineral water for a spritzer – nice and refreshing in summer, half the calories and alcohol content.

5. Eat well earlier in the day.

Sometimes when you go out it can be hard to control what you eat, and what is available. Eat all your fruit and vegetables earlier in the day, this way you know you’re getting all of your vitamins and minerals. If there is more in your dinner it is an added bonus.

6. Weight loss.

So the truth is, it’s unlikely that you are going to lose weight over Christmas and New Year, but set yourself a challenge to maintain your weight, rather than gaining any. Enjoy yourself on the days you have to such as Christmas Day and any parties, but try to keep things under control on the other days, with lots of healthy eating and exercise.

If you know you are going to have a really big dinner, then try to cut your caloric intake back for breakfast and lunch.

Don’t fall into feeling that you can eat what you want and start again in January, whatever you put on now will take those extra few weeks to come off in January

7. Keep special occasion special.

Don’t drink and indulge everyday, try to give yourself at least 2-3 days of not drinking at all.

8. Tips for eating well on holidays & when out to dinner.

It is possible to go on holidays and not pile on the kilograms. Base most of your meals around lean protein, with lots of fruit and vegetables. Try not to overindulge in carbohydrates, alcohol and desserts. Keep in mind there are 245 calories in a pina colada, so while it’s nice to enjoy yourself on holidays, the calories really add up if you have too many cocktails.

Make the most of exploring the town you are in… on foot! The walking will help balance out those extra calories.

9. Take a healthy plate.

You may not be able to control what everyone else takes/makes, but at least if you take a healthy plate you can control at least one of them to provide a nutritious meal or snack.

10. The 20 minute rule.

Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly, and allow your body 20 minutes to register before going for seconds. Another helpful tool is to consume fibre 30 minutes before eating, this could be either psyllium, chia seeds, flax or slippery elm mixed in with water. The fibre will bulk up in your stomach and you should get full before you eat too much.

11. Eat liver cleansing foods.

Eating liver cleansing foods regularly is beneficial for everyone, but even more so over this silly season when you will be putting an extra load on your liver. Eating as many of the following foods as possible – onion, garlic, broccoli, beetroot, egg yolks and lots of water.

12. Enjoy yourself.

The holidays are not just about eating and drinking, it is also about spending quality time with those that you love. So find a good balance, have the occasional treat, and enjoy this special time with your friends and family.


Three Day Spring Cleanse.

Feeling sluggish? Low in energy? Perhaps have indulged in excess food and alcohol? Been burning the candle at both ends?

Spring is the perfect time to give your digestive system a clean. Just three days can help you to reset some good habits, revitalize and start feeling fantastic.

fruit juicerBefore you get started

  • To minimise side effects*, cut down on caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks), highly sugary foods, processed foods and fast food in the 5 days leading up to your cleanse.
  • An ideal time to do your cleanse is over a long weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday, or whenever you can take time to slow down and nurture yourself.


  • Juicer
  • Blender
  • Saucepan

What to eliminate for the three days

  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • All grains
  • Pasta
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • All fizzy drinks
  • Sweets, crisps, biscuits, cakes
  • Cigarettes and recreational drugs

shoppingShopping List

This shopping list is for the entire three days so you don’t need to worry about running out of ingredients or working out how much you need.


  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bags baby spinach
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of parsley
  • 6 centimetres of ginger
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 ripe mango (use frozen mango cheeks if not in season)
  • Lecithin granules
  • Organic flax seed oil
  • Organic, free range eggs

Lunch and Dinner, and Snacks

  • Fish
  • Hommous
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Lemons
  • Pure water


It is best to purchase these supplements from a health food store or your naturopathic practitioner to ensure the best quality and potency.

  • High potency multivitamin and mineral formula
  • Milk thistle
  • “Greens powder” example wheatgrass, barleygrass, spirulina and/or chlorella
  • Epsom salts (for the bath)
  • High-dose vitamin C with flavanoids
  • Good quality probiotic

3daysThe Three Day Routine

Go Slow

If possible, take the three days off work, and tell friends and family you are replenishing yourself and make these days all about you.

Detoxify your environment and avoid harsh chemicals (cleaning products, cosmetics, pollution) and also avoid being around negative, energy-draining people.

Turn the television off for the entire three days, and avoid using any technological devices and electronics including your mobile phone where possible.

Make the most of this opportunity to catch up on some reading, meditate, spend some time in nature and listen to relaxing, uplifting music. Sleep and rest well.


  • Start the day with one of three juices (recipes below) – enjoy a different one each morning. Sip the drink slowly and in a relaxed environment.
  • Follow your juice with one hard boiled egg. Eggs are rich in amino acids and also sulphur – a vital nutrient for your liver.
  • Then take your multivitamin, milk thistle, chlorella, vitamin C and probiotic supplements.

Lunch and Dinner

  • Choose your protein – fish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, legumes or hommous and serve up with plenty of vegetables of your choice, cooked or raw.
  • Fill your plates with vegetables to avoid feeling deprived, particularly as you are cutting out grains.
  • Vegetable sticks and snacks make a good snack. Have some fruit (fresh, not dried) if you feel like something sweet, with a half handful of nuts.

Keep Hydrated

If you don’t usually drink much water, now is the time to really increase your water consumption. You can drink warm water if you are averse to cold water. Add a squeeze of real lemon or lime, or some chopped cucumber to make it more interesting and cleanse the palette. Also drink as many herbal teas as you like – chamomile, peppermint, ginger or dandelion are all great options for your cleanse.

Physical therapies and Exercise

Every evening, dry skin brush your body, working towards your heart before relaxing in a restorative Epsom salt bath. The salts work to remineralise your body, aids detoxification through the skin and is also relaxing.

If possible, enjoy a massage and if you want to exercise, keep it gentle and slow. Yoga and walking are perfect options, or take a gentle swim in a natural body of water such as the ocean (but not a chlorinated swimming pool).

Juice Recipes

Digestion Boost

  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ chilli
  • Bunch of coriander
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot

Juice all ingredients in your juicer, putting the smaller ingredients (chilli, garlic and ginger) down the chute at the same time as the larger ingredients. Serve over ice.

Omega 3 Greens

  • 2 carrots
  • ½ bag of spinach (push through with other ingredients)
  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice the above 3 ingredients, then pour into your blender jug, and add:
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed oil
  • 2 extra handfuls of spinach

Blend on high speed until the juice is smooth and the spinach has broken down into a liquid. Serve over ice.

Green and Mango Smoothie

  • 1 ripe mango
  • ½ bag spinach
  • Big handful of parsley
  • Chilled water

Peel mango, and add to blender first. Put spinach and parsley on top and blend. You’re aiming for a smooth, creamy texture, so depending on the blender, add water gradually until you achieve this result.

Side Effects

When changing your diet and lifestyle, it is not unusual to notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Wind
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Aggravation of existing health conditions

Should you become concerned, do consult with your healthcare practitioner.