You can create an outdoor shower that is fun to shower in. Build a trellis and cover it with vines or use your imagination to create your own vision of the perfect outdoor shower. You will enjoy being in nature with the birds and butterflies as you cleanse your body with fresh garden produce and let the shower water drain into the earth below.
Use fresh garden produce to cleanse your hair and body so as the water seeps into the ground, it will enrich the garden soil in your food forest!
Here are a couple of our forest-friendly body cleansing recipes that we use in the outdoor shower:
Simply take a whole lemon, cut it or poke a hole in it, and squeeze it over your scalp and hair. Massage your scalp and rinse out the pulp. The lemon has its own fragrant oil, so it makes the hair moist, smooth and easy to comb.
After you rinse the lemon from your hair, break the lemon into two or three pieces and use those pieces to cleanse the rest of your body. Your skin will feel the moisturizing lemon oil from the lemon peel and the tingle of the juice cleansing any cuts or scrapes in your skin. Rinse in the water and you’ll be fresh and clean.
If you feel you need extra scrubbing, combine equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to make a fizzy paste which you can use to scrub your scalp and skin with effervescence.
Split open a succulent leaf of aloe vera and use the gooey insides to moisturize and heal your skin.
To finish your garden grooming, rub fragrant forest plants on your skin so the plant oil will perfume you! Some ideas are chamomile, rose, lavender, sage, rosemary, there are many beautiful smelling leaves, fruits, and flowers growing. Plant beautiful-smelling plants in your food forest, so you’ll have them on hand always!
Here are some forest-friendly ways to color your hair using garden produce:
Easy Hair Coloring for medium brown hair: Aloe Vera blades
Break off a blade of fresh aloe vera, and a small amount of yellow/orange fluid will flow out when you first break it open. It’s the circulatory fluid of the succulent leaf. This staining fluid will darken your hair and clothing with golden brown. Wear a shirt you don’t mind staining, and save it for your hair-coloring shirt 🙂 Allow the fluid to flow directly from the aloe on to your head, or catch it in your hand, then put it on your head and comb it through your scalp and hair and let it dry.
After draining out the small amount of staining fluid, split open the blade. You will find the clear gelatinous slippery fluid and flesh inside the leaf. Wipe the clear fluid on your skin to moisturize and heal it, and watch how quickly your skin soaks it up. It’s especially great after cleansing with lemon!
Another method that to use with a variety of leaves or fruits from the garden (also easy) :
Collect your choice of edible plant parts from the garden. Fill a teapot with the plant parts and cover them in water.
Boil, cool, add a spoonful of vinegar. Pour the cooled liquid from the teapot into old rinsed-out shampoo bottles. You might get two bottles full from 1 teapot. Save the extra coloring in the refrigerator.
Outside, in a shirt you don’t mind staining, squeeze or spray the dye on the roots of your hair, combing it through to the ends and adding more as needed to saturate the hair. Allow the hair to dry with the coloring on it as you brush through your hair.
Use the coloring as often as you want. The great thing is it’s nutritious for your hair and skin so it won’t hurt you.
You can experiment with edible leaves from your garden. Here are some ingredients we’ve tried:
sage leaves will produce a lighter brown color
blackberry leaves – darker brown
pecan husks – long-lasting dark brown
Lemon juice to lighten and highlight hair. Squeeze lemon juice on hair, then dry it out in the sun. It turns silvery hair a golden blond color.
Other commonly known plants for hair dye are:
walnut husks – for dark hair
chamomile to brighten blond hair
Be creative – you could look for something from your edible garden and give it a try.
Here’s the event that inspired the idea to use garden ingredients as hair dye:
One day when we were still new to the food forest, the crows began squawking and landing in the tall pecan tree – obviously a good sign that the pecans were ripe! To save our harvest, we went out and gathered as many pecans as we could reach with a ladder.
Not all the picked pecans were ripe. The ripe ones have split-open husks that easily allow the nuts to fall out of them, but the immature nuts have closed husks and require some effort to remove the nuts from the husks.
Knowing what we know now, we would choose to let the pecans ripen for a few more days in the sun and allow the husks to split open over time. But because that was our first ever pecan harvest, we didn’t understand that then. I, Tutu, decided to work those husks off with my hands right then and there.
Here’s a shot of how the husks can stain your fingers. And it won’t come off easily – it lasted for a full week of diligent scrubbing with various cleansers!
That was the source of the idea. If these pecan husks are this staining, how would they work as hair coloring?
You can feel good about using these forest-friendly and budget-friendly methods of hair care!
Wishing you Peace, Joy, and Aloha!