My hair is one of the things I (and my husband) love most about myself, so naturally it was what I experimented with first when I started changing my beauty routine.
I never did have a brand of shampoo I was loyal to or loved very much. As much as I love my hair, I was never able to find a shampoo that was doing anything even close to great for it so I would just buy whatever was cheap and use a lot of conditioner. My hair was dry! So dry! Hence, the use of copious amounts of conditioner, including the leave in variety.
About a year and a half ago or so, I came across a brand called Live Clean. It wasn’t much more expensive than the regular brands and claimed to be 96% naturally derived. I thought I might as well give it a try. I snapped up the moisturizing variety and tried it out. It smelled great and my hair was definitely noticeably less dry. And then I discovered they had a beautiful leave in conditioner (which I definitely had an intervention required level of addiction to). Life was pretty good and I continued to use this combo for several months until one day I took a hard look at the ingredients list and despite being Soium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), paraben, etc. free it looked pretty much identical to every other shampoo. And, many of the natural ingredients are, in actual fact, useless for hair and skin care (and potential irritants for those with more sensitive skin). I felt I could do better.
So, I was on the hunt again. I looked around my local natural food and beauty stores, but that didn’t actually last very long. Some of the brands still contained SLS or other no-nos and the rest were charging an arm and a leg. I felt that I could come up with something for a lot less or a least a little less. So, I took to the Internet. The first thing I tried was this recipe. I thought “how could I go wrong with coconut milk?” I, just like her, have baby fine hair! But, what works for some does not work for others. My hair was oh so greasy. On a side note, it works great as shaving cream!
This is when I stumbled upon the ‘no poo’ method. Quite simply, you use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash your hair. After doing further research, I decided I didn’t have anything to lose by giving it a try.
The first time I tried it out I used a tbsp of baking soda and two tbsp of the vinegar. You mix enough water with the baking soda to dissolve it completely and pour it over your roots. After letting it sit for a for minutes (this is when I do my shaving) then you give your scalp a good massage and rinse WELL. You also mix a good amount of water with the vinegar and then pour it over your ends only (if you poor it over your roots your hair will get quite oily). You also want to let this sit for a couple minutes. Apple cider vinegar is a natural conditioner and works very well. My hair was amazing clean and, contrary to what I thought would be the case, really easy to comb out. I loved it. So I continued doing it. My husband was doing it as well since I wasn’t buying shampoo at all and he was having no problems either.
Soon after though, I started to notice my hair was becoming a bit flaky with what I assume was baking soda build up and simply reduced the amount I was using. That fixed the problem immediately.
Then I encountered a new problem. My hair was getting really greasy! Again? This was weird for me as my hair used to be so dry, but I learned there was nothing I could do about this but wait it out. The reason for this being that shampoo strips away a lot of your natural oils and leaves you feeling dried out. So, even though you’re still producing oils you would never notice because you’re stripping it all away every time you shampoo. And now you’re overproducing because you’re poor scalp can’t keep up with the oils you’re stripping away! I was determined to find something that worked though, and since it did leave my hair feeling so amazing I decided to wait it out.
It took about 2 months, and a lot of ponytails, but sure enough, my hair finally evened out. It was beautiful and amazing. I was happy. I was chemical free. At this point I was washing my hair every second day.
But I wasn’t done there. I had a conversation with a close friend one day about my new hair washing techniques and she inquired if this was even necessary as she knew someone who never washed her hair with anything. Just clean water and scalp massage. So this got me thinking… Was it? So, at this point I figured I could at least try it out. So I did. I decided to see how long I could go without washing my hair at all before it felt necessary to do so. The first time I lasted about 5 days. But the longer I went, the longer I could go. I simply gave myself a good (and definitely relaxing) scalp massage to break up any dirt and gunk. My hair never felt very dirty actually, it would just eventually start feeling greasy. I was actually surprised. And still very happy.
So where do I stand today? I wash my hair maybe 2 or 3 times a month with a bit of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. The rest of the time a good scalp massage is all that’s needed. A little bit (and I mean a TINY bit) of coconut oil on those days when my hair is frizzy works great! My hair has never been healthier and it’s no longer dry. My husband, who used to struggle with dandruff has said it has naturally gotten much better, but he uses a drop or two of tea tree oil in the baking soda once in a while to help with this (which is also good for dry scalp).
Only downside… My hair just smells like hair!
*Yes, I use Arm and Hammer! *gasp* But contrary to popular belief, Arm and Hammer does not contain any aluminum and is mostly mined from trona ore; the same as all the expensive ones out there.
– This post was written by Nicole