The No Shampoo Method

Several months ago, I came across a group of women (online) talking about NOT using shampoo.  They had various reasons from saving money to using less chemicals on their body to healthier hair.  Of course, I thought that was ridiculous and couldn’t imagine my hair without it. Well, like so many times – I was wrong. I haven’t used shampoo in months and my hair has never been easier to manage.

Let me start by saying that I have curly hair – somewhere between wavy and ringlets. Curly hair can be dry and frizzy and a little unruly. I haven’t always loved my curly hair – I’d say we’ve had a love-hate relationship. I’d love it when it looked great and hate it when it didn’t. I went through a phase where I cut it short and straightened it all the time. But, now that I have a daughter with curly hair, I’ve decided to embrace it and make it look great. I hope that she will come to love her naturally curly hair a lot earlier in life than I did.

On the advice of some of the women in the group I mentioned above, I picked up a book called ‘Curly Girl’. Using the steps outlined, I gave up shampoo and use conditioner only. I rinse my hair thoroughly with water and then use a little conditioner to scrub my scalp, loosening dirt and sweat. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is by bending over and massaging my head with my fingertips. I rinse again and then put about a quarter size of conditioner all over my hair. I then rinse my hair, leaving some of the conditioner in. Once I get out of the shower, I style as usual – with a combination of gel (for frizz) and cream (for hold). Then I blow dry with a diffuser.

I’m really happy with this new routine as I’m loving my defined curls – they seem to have more volume and they perk up easily with a little water. I can go 2 days without washing my hair and the curls aren’t as frizzy as they used to be. I also can put my hair in a ponytail and let it dry naturally without any styling products. Before, it would dry kinky and frizzy.  I workout several times a week and my hair doesn’t feel greasy or dirty – even without using shampoo.

I’m also happy to get one more beauty product out of the house – particularly one with lots of chemicals I can’t pronounce.  Conventional shampoos have ingredients like parabens, sodium lauryl sulfatemethylisothiazolinone, or fragrance (check the ingredients in YOUR shampoo).

I also use this method on my daughter’s curly hair.  I’ve found her hair to be less frizzy as well.  After conditioning, I spray my favorite natural curl detangler in her hair.

While I’ve used this method successfully for curly hair, I’ve read accounts of women using it for straight hair as well.  If you want to try out a No Shampoo routine, here are some tips I’ve found that work:

1. Use more conditioner the first week or two. Particularly for scrubbing. You’ll find as you go along, you need less and less.

2. Stick with it. It took a couple weeks for me to notice anything different about my hair.

3. If you feel like you have a build-up of conditioner or styling products on your hair, mix a little baking soda with water and “wash” your hair with it. It will get rid of the build-up. Then go through the conditioning routine.

Let me know how it works for you!


Kid’s Natural Hair Detanglers

choosing-hairstyles-for-kidsLucky or not, my daughter inherited her curly hair from both her father and I.  On bad days, I (internally) swear about her unruly curly hair and dream of days with hair that is straight, shiny and easy to comb.  On the good days, I gush over her sweet curls that totally match her fun and charming personality. If  you have a curly headed child, you can probably empathize with me.

I’ve tried three different children’s detanglers and finally found one that is chemical-free AND works.   My first go was with Noodle and Boo Conditioning Hair Polish.  It worked okay as a detangler but was not heavy enough to hold any curl through out the day.  When I found out that the parabens in it weren’t safe, I tossed it in the garbage.

p94729bMy second go around was with Kiss My Face Kid’s Detangler.  Kiss My Face is a great line of natural body care products for both adults and children.  While the detangler worked to loosen the knots in my daughter’s hair, it has a bold orange smell that lasts ALL day that I just couldn’t get over.  It also left her hair fairly greasy with more than one day’s use.

Finally, I picked up Tru Kid’s Dancing Detangler and TA-DA.  Not only does it detangle but it adds just enough hold to curls to last the day without any greasy left over.  I LOVE this product!  Since then, I’ve used other Tru Kid products including their shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath and have been happy with their entire line.  You can find Tru Kid products online or at your local natural foods store.


Safe Bath Toys – PVC Free, Phthalate Free, BPA Free


This post was updated here in the 2014 Guide to Safer Bath Toys.

I was recently at Babies ‘R Us looking through the bath toys for a last minute addition to a baby shower gift.  I looked through everything they had but couldn’t find even one bath toy that wasn’t plastic or at least plastic and labeled ‘PVC Free’ so I skipped on the baby toy and found something else.  Now I’m on a mission to find bath toys – that you can find locally at some of the big box stores – that are safe so you can avoid the same experience!

Boon Odd Duck

Boon Odd Duck

BOON –  Finally, a PVC free rubber duckie!  You can be confident buying ANY of the BOON bath toys because they are all PVC, BPA and phthalate FREE!  In addition to their rubber duckies, they have several other bath toys for all ages.  Locally, you can find Boon products at Babies R Us, babyGap, buybuyBaby, Baby Depot and Target.

Summer Infant Digital Temperature Tester

Summer Infant Digital Temperature Tester

Summer Infant– The 3 bath toys that the company confirmed were PVC, phthalate and BPA free are the digital temperature tester, tub time bubble maker, and tub time light up stacker.


Sassy Tubby Tumblers

Sassy – Although the packaging isn’t labeled, all of the bath toys currently listed on the Sassy website are PVC, phthalate and BPA free.  Sassy did say that 3 toys DO have BPA and may still be in stores, so stay away from these: rubber duckie with temperature gauge, Gator Boat, and Sassy Car Wash.

Infantino– I inquired and the response from Infantino was that their toys “conform with the safety regulations and have the allowable amounts of PVC and phthalates.”  So I would stay away from Infantino.

Although I’ve only included some of the major manufacturers here, you can also find many other brands of bath toys that are safe at local baby boutiques.

If there are any particular brands you are curious about, let us know!  We’ll find out how safe they are.


Natural and Non-Toxic Nail Polish

I have a few bottles of natural nail polish in my stash but I am not good about using them consistently. If I run off for a pedicure, I never take a bottle with me, I always use one of the pretty OPI bottles found at the salon. But, no longer.

I recently read research from Duke University that it takes less than 14 hours from the time you paint your nails to have THP, a known endocrine disruptor found in nail polish, in your body.

“A number of laboratory studies have found that exposure to TPHP caused endocrine disruption. In animal studies, it has caused reproductive and developmental problems. Recent scientific research suggests that TPHP may contribute to weight gain and obesity.”

I’m beefing up my stash of non-toxic nail polishes and throwing one in my car to keep on hand. Here’s a guide to what’s safe on the market.

Nail Polish

At the minimum, it is recommend to avoid polishes with the ‘Big 3’: formaldehyde, tolulene and DBP. That’s not too hard to do given that most conventional brands have adopted this philosophy as well.


“It is alarming to think my ruby red nail polish could come with a side of toxic ingredients that could ultimately end up in my body,” said Schrode. By voting with our dollars we can shift the marketplace towards safer, healthier products…beginning with my own bottle of bright, glossy nail polish.”

Polish Remover 

Look for polish remover without acetone – the ingredient in conventional removers. Brands to shop for:

Bamboo Towelette Works Polish Remover Nail Wipes – made with soft, renewable bamboo, they are biodegradable, acetone free and infused with argan oil.  For just $3, these are my favorite.

Organic Lavender Nail Polish Remover – made in America with a soy-bean base, this remover gets great reviews on Amazon.

Priti Natural Nail Polish Remover and Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover  are both derived from soybeans and are petroleum free.

Mineral Fusion Polish Remover and Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Remover  are made without acetone and also vegan and cruelty free.


Triclosan and Alcohol in Hand Sanitizers

When my daughter started crawling and then walking, she instantly started touching everything she could get her hands on. Most medical recommendations say that washing with good ol’ soap and water is sufficient but sometimes there was no soap and water in sight so hand sanitizer became a ‘must-have’ in my purse.  I couldn’t stand the alcohol smell of most hand sanitizers so with a little research, I found Cleanwell, an alcohol free hand sanitizer, that has a pleasantly light lemon smell.  Little did I know that the smell of alcohol wasn’t the only thing I should have been concerned with.

I didn’t realize the actual amount of alcohol in most hand sanitizers.  I’ve even read that children have been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning from them!   They have a surprisingly heavy amount of ethyl alcohol ( Purell and Germ-X contain 62% ethyl alcohol, a little 2oz bottle = 4 shots of vodka! ).

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial ingredient used not only in hand sanitizers but also in a lot of personal care products.  According to the EWG, it is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources.  

The American Medical Association recommends that households do not use anti bacterial products as it contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacterias and the New England Journal of Medicine reports that alcohol based hand sanitizers pose as intoxicants to high-risk populations, like toddlers.

CleanWell, a hand sanitizer made with Ingenium, is a great alternative.  Ingenium is a patented mix mix of plant essential oils, including the active ingredent, thyme oil.  It is 100% biodegradeable and kills 99.99% of germs including MSRA, Salmonella and Staph.  It’s totally safe for kids with no risk of harm from ingestion.   They have a couple products, including a purse version of their hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes and hand soap.  You can purchase their products in the MGG SHOP, Target, Whole Foods, and Bath & Body Works.  Other alternatives to try: For My Kids or Clean George products.

One last thought : a lot of day care centers, preschools, and schools use hand sanitizers in their classroom.  You might ask them to choose a better product or donate a large bottle to your class. 

FREE STUFF: We have a 6oz bottle ( over 1300 uses! ) of CleanWell Hand Sanitizer to GIVE AWAY to our readers – you can enter to win by signing up for the MGG newsletter by Sunday, March 22 at 11:59PM PST.   The newsletter sign up is located on the right hand, middle section of the MGG homepage.  We will choose one winner at random and notify them by email. Open to 18 year old + residents of the U.S. and Canada.

CONGRATS to Jessica Petlun, the winner of our CleanWell Hand Sanitizer sweepstakes!