Friday, November 18, 2011

30 by 30 Update: Shampoo

By far, the item on my 30 by 30 list that has gotten the most feedback is number 17: Not use shampoo.  The funny thing is that technically I can't cross it off my list until February 23 when I have my birthday.  But it has definitely sparked the most interest.  I've been asked things like, "Really!?!" or "What are you doing?" or "Why?"  But I've also gotten a lot of comments on how my hair looks great.

Here are the basics of what I am doing and why:

I have always had a strong dislike for shampoo and conditioner.  I've never found one that really suits my hair.  It either makes my hair too dry, too frizzy, too oily, too heavy, too fragrant, too flat, too blah.  Well, there was one shampoo/conditioner combo that I loved.  It was Aveda's Sap Moss (now called Dry Remedy) and at $42 a bottle, it seemed a little much. Disclaimer: When I used this shampoo I had a friend that worked at a salon and gave me free samples. 

So, my relationship with shampoo and conditioner was not difficult for me to end.  Honestly, I've always been an every other day shampooer.  And since Aurelia was born, I've really only washed my hair once or twice a week.  Another Disclaimer: Washing my hair twice a week does not mean I only shower twice a week.

I'd read a few other blogs that talked about the No 'Poo method and I even have a few friends that have tried it.  And being the person that I am, I decided to do some research.  What I found was that shampoo and conditioner have only been used daily (or even weekly) since the 1970s.  Before then, people just used soap a few times a month and water otherwise.  Not to get too into the theory of it all, but each time we use shampoo it strips our hair of it's natural oils.  This causes our scalps to produce more oil, necessitating more shampoo.  The imbalance of oil and overuse of detergents is what caused my constant battle with too dry, too frizzy, too oily, too etc.  And when you look at the ingredients in most shampoos and conditioners, there's actually a lot of potentially harmful stuff.  Let's throw in another disclaimer: I'm not trying to win any converts, I'm just explaining why I'm not using shampoo.

Research complete, decision's made, no more shampoo.  Now my hair washing routine is easy, basic, and cheap.  I wash my hair every two or three days with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  The baking soda cleans, the apple cider vinegar moisturizes and detangles.  It seems like different people have different ratios that work for them.  My ratio for step 1 is 2 oz. baking soda mixed with 16 oz. water.  I probably use about 2 tablespoons of that mixture each shower.  For step 2 I use 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water and just squirt some on the ends of my hair.  And the end result is soft, manageable hair.  It doesn't smell like vinegar (or grease), it just smells like hair.  I've heard of some people using a little water with essential oil, but I haven't tried that yet.  I'm on week 3, and I love it.

One final disclaimer: When I get my hair cut, I suppose I'll let them shampoo my hair.  It's not like I'm going to request they use my homemade concoction at the salon.

OK, maybe one more disclaimer: We have TONS of little bottles of hotel shampoo and conditioner for when we have guests.  I won't make you go all hippy if you stay at our house.

And if you want to read more about other non shampooers, check Keeper of the Home or Simple Mom.


Anna said...

Well, considering I have a sister-in-law that still works at a salon, I'll stick with my KMS. Although I am curious about how the no-poo method works in the long-run. I've known others that have tried it but not stuck with it.

Emily Blair said...

I am no hippie, but I think I'm going to try this! Love to find ways to stop buying stuff I don't need. I rarely need to wash my hair anyway. Thanks for the info!

Ju said...

Emily, I think it works really well on red hair. I've loved it for mine! And it is so incredibly cheap!

Anna, I have one friend that's been doing it for 3 years now. She said it just gets better and you have to wash even less, or decrease the ratio of baking soda to water.

Unknown said...

I like it. Do you think that the apple cider vinegar would detangle hair like mine...really, really prone to tangles? I always have the problem of greasy hair as well...

Thanks for sharing. I'm going to give this a try.

bridget said...

So...I am almost out of shampoo and dread buying more. I think I am going to give it try!

Paul Conan said...

I think I'm going to do it too! -PC