So, about a month ago I was bored and just repeatedly “stumbling” on StumbleUpon when I came across an interesting blog called Simple Mom. The post was titled “How to Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo,” and it described how to clean your hair using diluted baking soda as shampoo and diluted vinegar as conditioner. I was intrigued, a cheap, non-toxic, and non-damaging way to wash your hair? That’s a broke college girl with a giant head of colored-treated hair’s dream! But then I saw her and her family’s photos of lovely short, fine hair and became a little discouraged. I thought there was no way measly baking soda and vinegar could tame my lion’s mane.
Then I thought about it some more and realized that my normal shampoo and conditioner routine was not really working either. My hair would be so insanely dry that I needed to deep condition at least once a week. My hair would also be so frizzy at times that I need styling several products to keep it smooth and shiny. Plus, not to mention I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 14 and years blowing, straightening, and curling. I have always been complimented on my hair, but I would always want to scream back “Do you know how much effort it takes to get it to look like this!”
In the blog, she claims she uses no styling products at all, and this part brought back some hope. It would be so nice to not waste money on mousse, gel, and leave-in conditioner each month. Then I did some math, and even though I buy the cheap stuff, I still spent like $20 a month a hair products. A big box of baking soda and big jug of vinegar would only cost around $10, and could last 2-3 months.
Lastly, in her blog she mentions that shampoo is essentially detergent and it strips your hair of its natural oils. Those oils are what make your hair shiny and healthy in the first place. And not to mention detergent can be toxic and can pollute the water supply. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and acetic acid (vinegar) are both natural substances that are proven effect as gentle cleansers.
Keeping all this in mind, I thought “why not?” The worst thing is I don’t like the results and go back to using shampoo and conditioner. I rinsed out two empty shampoo bottles and decided to got for it.
Now, my hair is baby fine but I have tons and tons of it and it’s down past my shoulders too. So I decided to make my solutions a bit stronger to conquer my mass of hair. For the shampoo, I used the bigger bottle and mixed about 1/4 cup of baking soda with 3 cups water. For the conditioner, in the smaller bottle, I filled it almost half way with vinegar and the rest water.
Right after the first shower, my hair felt great. It wasn’t till the next afternoon I noticed my scalp was very greasy. In the blog, she mentions that it takes awhile for your hair to adjust since it was used to having its oil stripped away with detergent. This went on for about a month, my hair would be great for a few hours then turn into a grease pit. It felt so icky and I was tempted to revert back to shampoo. I am one of those peoples who believes in proper hygiene as courtesy to others, so it bothered me greatly. To be honest, it was pretty much all in my head. No one noticed my hair was slightly more greasy than normal. And it didn’t really look that different. My acupuncturist does some points in my head and she said she couldn’t really notice anything.
At first I washed my hair everyday (mainly out of my own self-consciousness), then it got a little better so I switched to every other day (like I did with shampoo). Then this past saturday when I got off work, I went to take a shower and had a realization: my hair was not dirty three and it had been 3 days since I last washed it. I started to brush my hair out before I got in the shower and noticed it was still fresh and shiny. No grease, no knots, and still had bounce. I put it up in a bun and took a bath instead (I do believe in bathing your body daily, the whole courtesy idea). I couldn’t believe it when I woke up the next morning and took the bun down—it was still lovely. It actually worked.
I would highly suggest going shampoo free to any one. Give it a try, if you don’t like it, you can always switch back. If you can tough out transition period, I promise it is worth it. Just look for yourself!