So, four days ago I stumbled upon this article. After further reading and clicking I discovered that the no shampoo thing is really picking up some steam. I had never heard of this.
A dear friend of mine, Ms. Jessica and I, over summer discovered that some popular shampoo brands had begun to sell dry shampoo (again) and we thought we’d give that a try. It’s OK, but it does leave your hair rather dull and requires a generous spritz of your favorite shine. Prior to trying this, we had both been occasionally foregoing a daily shampoo and powdering our hair in between shampoos. I guess that we started doing this for a few reasons: it’s a bit easier on the pocket book; it saves a little water; and it saves precious time – particularly for Jessica who has quite a bit more hair than I do. See pic below. But this no shampooing movement (officially called the ‘no poo’ movement, which I from here on refuse to call it), really steps this idea up.
The basic idea is that daily shampooing is actually quite harsh on hair as it strips your hair of it’s natural oils which in turn causes your scalp to dramatically up the production of those natural oils. By eliminating shampooing, your hair and scalp will eventually adjust the production of oil back to a moderate level. The catch? Getting through the adjustment phase. I am on day three of no shampooing and my hair is definitely not at it’s best. It’s not as though I’m not doing anything to care for my hair and scalp. As recommended everywhere that I read about this movement, I am using a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda combined with one cup of warm water and massaging that into my wet scalp and hair, rinsing thoroughly, and following up with a healthy spritz of apple cider vinegar which I then massage into my scalp and hair as well and rinse.
I have very short hair that desires to stand up at the crown of my head and does all that it can to foil my attempts to keep that from happening under the best of circumstances. Now under this regime, it is impossible to get it to lie down. I’m trying to work it though under the pretense that I have that whole European au naturale thing going on purposely. I expect that if I had long hair, it would be in a ponytail.
The trick with the baking soda mix is to boil some water in your tea kettle, pour out a whole cup amount when hot into a large glass measuring cup. I made a batch with three cups of hot water. Per cup of hot water, add one tablespoon of baking soda – no more than that. It will fizz and bubble – stir it in until it dissolves – just a few seconds really. I added to my three cup mixture, a few drops of tea tree oil and rosemary essential oil – that is optional. I just wanted some insurance that my hair wouldn’t smell bad. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial and rosemary essential oil supports healthy hair growth. Your mixture should be completely liquid, no baking soda settling at the bottom of the measuring cup. If your baking soda is not dissolving, your water isn’t hot enough – throw it in the microwave. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then funnel it into a bottle of your choice. I used my biking water bottle because it has a nifty pop top that squirts. You really could use anything though – this would be a good place to use an empty, washed out shampoo bottle – you know, that whole reduce, reuse and recycle thing? For the apple cider vinegar, I found a tiny spritz bottle in the travel section at our local Walmart, washed it in hot water and filled it with the acv.
I am using the baking soda mixture every day so far. I think it would be best not to use it every day, but I just have to right now – my hair is too greasy not to and the baking soda really helps to cut the grease. In addition, I’ve been using a little bit of cornstarch once my hair is dry during styling to further reduce oil where needed – around my temples.
If you’re thinking, ‘vinegar??? Ewww!!!’ – don’t. It’s really not bad with it being apple cider vinegar. And the vinegar smell really does dissipate after three or four minutes. You don’t have to do the acv rinse every day – every two or three days would be OK. The acid of the vinegar balances out the alkali of the baking soda. If you miss the cream rinse that you were used to, you can make up your own natural moisturizing rinse (if scalp moisture is something you’re lacking) to treat yourself with once or twice a week. To do this, mix two parts of your favorite carrier oil, mine is virgin coconut oil, with one part jojoba oil and massage into scalp and hair. If you have made too much for one use, store the leftover in the refrigerator to extend it’s life.
I do rather miss the rich bubbly lather of my commercial shampoo. But logically, I know that it’s that precise lather that has been robbing my hair of natural and healthy oil. So for that reason, amongst others, I am going to continue to forgo the store bought suds.
The other reasons that I’m doing this and hope that you might give it a try as well? It’s the most inexpensive hair care regime that I can imagine costing only two or three cents per day. I buy my baking soda and acv in bulk making it even cheaper. Also, after reading up on the history of shampoo, I discovered that it’s actually a rather new invention in history – popular only since about the 1930’s. And it should be noted that it’s popularity is based on intense marketing campaigns telling us that we must shampoo our hair. Well, why must we if we didn’t before? The final reason? In my journey to go as naturist as possible, this only makes sense.