Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No Shampoo, No Conditioner, No Problem!

Cocamidopropyl betaine. Tetrasodium Edta. Methychloroisothiazol.
Names of long-extinct dinosaurs? A sci-fi author gone crazy? Guess again - it's your friendly neighborhood shampoo!
A couple weeks ago I discovered this new trend called "not-washing-your-hair-ever." Let me start with some disclaimers.
1) I am not an "environmentalist" or a fanatic "green girl."
2) I don't claim to know what these intricately named chemicals do to one's hair or scalp.
3) I don't think that this 'poo-free lifestyle is for every head of hair.

However, I do think it's just a little crazy to daily put things into your hair that you can't pronounce. I like to know what I'm doing to my body, thank you.

But back to my current hygiene habits. I haven't washed my hair with shampoo, or conditioned it in about 2.5 weeks. I've been using a solution baking soda mixed with warm water (2 ingredients, both pronounceable!) to clean my hair, about 2-3 times a week. It works really well to clean the excess oils and any actual "dirt" that has accumulated in your hair. The ratio that works best for my hair is 1 T baking soda/1.5 cups of water. I make up this solution in a recycled shampoo bottle and it lasts for about 5-6 showers (so 2-3 weeks!). This can be tweaked - thicker, curlier hair may need more baking soda, and thinner, finer hair might use less.

After about a week of just doing this, I realized that it left my hair kind of dry and not that soft, loveliness I was used to after using shampoo and conditioner. More research, and the second part of my hair regime was implemented. Apple cider vinegar. Gross, I know. The smell is horrible but it washes out like a snap when you rinse. The ratio is the same, 1 T vinegar/1.5 cups of water. I've actually tweaked this to have more vinegar. The vinegar is supposed to help detangle and "seal the cuticle" . . . I don't know what that last thing means, but it does seem to help detangle. My sources say that using honey in place of the vinegar can contribute if you find that your hair is too dry. So far, the vinegar has not amazed me with it's results. My hair hasn't been feeling very "soft" so I am tempted to try to honey.

To recap:
Wash hair with solution of 1 T baking soda/1.5 cups of warm water. This makes a liquid, not at all the consistency of "normal" shampoo. Because of this, you have to be careful and not use half a bottle in one shower! :) I pour just a little bit onto my scalp, then work it in with my fingers, adding more so that my entire scalp is covered, and some of my head of hair - I mostly focus on where the oils originate though. Then, I let it sit a while, and rinse.
Next, I take the 1 T vinegar/1 cup warm water and pour some on my scalp to condition. Again, this is a liquid. I also take care to rub it through the rest of my hair, making sure it gets the ends of my hair. I rinse that out, then presto! I'm done!

I've heard that there's a definite transition period in which your hair has to adjust it's oil-production. During this time, it may seem super oily, more dry than usual, etc. I haven't really experienced this, but like I said, my hair has seemed more dry than usual. I'm hoping that's part of my transition and will work itself out soon.

My favorite part of this is that the cost is so low! As a college student, anything I can do that saves money is greatly appreciated. And it's a way to save money without any additional work. In fact, it takes less time, because I only go through this process about 2 times a week, rather than daily.

Here are some links with more detailed information about the whole trend!

In another week or so, I'll post some pictures. I'll try to do one right before I would want to wash, and then one after a wash!

1 comment:

Tom and Rachel said...

At first I thought you used the entire 1 T of baking soda and 1 1/2 cups water solution EVERY time you washed. But it sounds like you mix up the solution and use just enough for each washing. Correct?

I might try doing that daily at first, and then seeing if I can wash every other day.

Looking forward to your pictures!