I used to dilute pure essential oils like tea tree or lavender oil with water and use that to wash my hair, along with a vinegar rinse. Occasionally I would rub in some vitamin E oil or coconut oil if my hair got too dry. I did this my first two years vegan. Then I got lazier and started buying Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap. I only use that now, with very occasional coconut oil or vitamin E rubs. I have very short hair, but very very thick hair too.
I use washing soda, baking soda, pure lemon juice, and vinegar for cleaning. Lemon juice is great for cutting through oily substances or sticky surfaces. Washing soda works for grime in the bathtub. Vinegar I always use for wiping mirrors and windows, even in my car. I will sometimes add a little tea tree oil and baking or washing soda in the toilet to scrub.
I drink ginger tea for upset stomach/nausea, and also use peppermint oil in tea or in the bathtub. I've used Arnico trauma oil also for muscle strains. In 2012 I suffered achilles tendinitis and later a pelvic stress fracture and I used the oil and hot/cold soaks and consumed tons of turmeric and pineapple (for it's bromelein) and wore supportive wraps etc. i don't know how I managed without painkillers. I very rarely use them and never over the counter cold medicines and all that crap. I have given in to over the counter pain killers on very rare occasion when I had severe headaches. That's a tough one to figure out. I don't get headaches often at all, but they sure can be torture.
I have not tried making my own toothpaste but always leave that option open in case I ever find myself in a situation where plant based/vegan friendly commercial toothpaste is not available. I do use an organic toothbrush without dyes, but I do get my teeth cleaned and checkups on a regular basis (twice per year) and more than likely they don't use plant based toothpaste. :/
I have been fortunate to find more and more plant based products (also not tested on animals) for doing dishes and laundry, so have not felt the need to make my own as of yet. Sometimes for light dishes I simply use very hot water.
Most often my DIY projects are related to food: homemade mayonnaise, homemade vegan yogurt, homemade vegan cheese, nut/seed milks, bread/buns/tortillas, homemade peanut/nut butters, spreads, banana ice cream, that sort of thing. In the summer I grow my own stevia for a sweetener.
I think if I lived in a rural area where commercial vegan friendly products were harder to find, I would have more incentive for DIY projects.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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