It was approximately one year ago that I decided to stop using shampoo! I know it sounds weird, but keep reading…
I was doing research on natural shampoos when I came across something called ‘no poo’. Again, it sounds weird, but it turns out that’s the commonly used phrase for people who eschew traditional shampoo – and sometimes conditioner. The idea behind it is that homemade shampoo is not full of chemicals, and therefore doesn’t strip your hair of natural oils. When the oils are gone, more is produced to replenish what’s gone. So, it makes sense that my hair always was very oily just a couple days after washing it. No longer!
This is basically what it is:
For ‘shampoo’, I use 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 8 oz. of water. Swirl the mixture around until it’s dissolved – and essential oils are optional. I usually concentrate on my scalp first – pour some on and be sure to thoroughly scrub with your fingertips! I then do underneath my hair, on the scalp, with the same method. I use the rest for the length of my hair, then rinse well.
I opt to do the conditioning part just before hopping out of the shower. This uses apple cider vinegar and water (1 Tbs. vinegar: 8 oz. water). Again, work it into your hair thoroughly then rinse completely.
Those of you who know me may be wondering why I would opt for such a crazy alternative to traditional products – especially with my hair.
If you haven’t seen my hair, here’s a peek:
I thought it seemed like the most natural way possible to clean my hair and besides – it was baking soda and vinegar! I knew what I was putting on my hair, and it’s not like they’re hard-t0-find products!
Admittedly, it’s a bit disconcerting the first time: There are no suds. NONE. Very odd indeed..
Some people have a bit of an ‘adjustment phase’ when they try this method because their hair is adjusting to not having oils stripped away by shampoo and having to produce more oil. Some folks get some dandruff, like I did for about a week, some may have extra oil. I bought some tea tree oil and used that – after another week everything was great! I felt like my hair was a bit dry, so I made sure to measure the baking soda and vinegar exactly.
Some websites will tell you 1 Tbs. of vinegar, some 1-2 Tbs…I use 1 Tbs per 8 ounces and it works just fine. Experiment! Find what works for you.
In case you’re wondering, tea tree oil has a woodsy scent. An obvious answer, I know, but nevertheless correct. There’s a vast array of oils you can use; I get mine from the health food store. Sandalwood, lavender, peppermint – the possibilities are endless! If you’re interested in fixing a particular hair issue, see what oil is recommended. Or, just have fun and try different aromas!
Here are some suggestions for oils, depending on your hair needs.
I use about 3 drops of oil in the baking soda mixture and, if I want a little extra scent, a few drops in with the vinegar. Lovely!
So, what have I noticed over the course of a year?
I don’t miss shampoo or conditioner at all! Not one teeny bit! Also….
- I don’t wash my hair nearly as often. I only wash it when it gets oily, which can easily be only once a week, if not longer.
- It feels better. Light, but at the same time, healthy. I love it!
- Those crazy flyaway strands of hair seem to only appear when it needs to be washed – instead of feeling like I’m fighting against static electricity everyday, trying to wrangle it into a hairthing!
- My hair dries so much faster! With the length of my hair, it would easily take 4-6 hours to dry. I recall many nights going to bed with a towel on my pillow because my hair was still so wet. No longer! It now dries within a couple of hours.
- I like the way my hair smells! No, not of fruit or sun-kissed flowers, but just hair. I have been using the tea tree oil (yes, the same bottle) this entire time, so I am quite comfortable smelling like the woods!
- Did I mention that I haven’t bought shampoo or conditioner in a year? Oh, how I love walking past that aisle in the store…Brightly colored bottles shan’t deter me!
If you’ve tried this method, let me know what you think! This leads me to think of more homemade personal care items….oh, the possibilities!
Away I go with my light, yet fabulously healthy, hair!