In my quest to be a morre cost-conscious and eco-friendly and self-sufficient Cavemom, I’ve come across many blogposts and articles about the ‘underground beauty movement’ (as MSNBC so eleoquently described it) to go shampoo-free.
Yep, crazy, I know.
But a little back-story.
I have this naturally curly hair that is a great joy and a great frustration. It’s the soft, romantic-style curls and ringlets in high humidity that gives way to waves and softer curls in drier weather. I’d always wanted tamed and trustworthy locks, instead of this wishy-washy potluck that I often get, so I’ve tried numerous hair products ad techniques to try and enhance the natural curl. But, since I’m a pretty low-maintenance chick, using techniques and multiple products and implements just fell by the wayside, especially when the techniques and products would end up drying out or damaging my hair.
I first heard about going shampoo free about 10 years ago, when I found this book- Curly Girls, by Lorraine Massey.
The authors suggested using just conditioner to ‘wash’ your hair, to keep the curls moisturized and not stripped of the natural oils. I liked the idea, and followed it for a while, and yes, my curls were much better- curlier, less frizz, and healthier looking. But somewhere along the line in the last 10 years, I reverted back to shampoo (not for any particular reason that I recall), and haven’t bothered going back.
Yeah, I’m silly like that.
With stumbling across the ‘poo-free blogs recently and my desire to reduce waste and chemical dependency in our household, I thought I’d give this no ‘poo thing a try.
So, the method.
I’ve seen a couple ‘recipes’ out there, and I found one ebook that looked promising, but I wasn’t going to shell out the $7 for it, so I stuck with what I found online. 2 ingredients, both common household products…baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Start with 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in a cup.
I’ve seen some variances in this cleansing treatment…some say to add quite a bit of water to make a rinse, some say to add just enough water to make a loose paste. I found that using a full cup of water left me with quite a bit of stirring to do to dissolve the baking soda, which managed to settle out fast anyway, so I just poured off the excess and used the ‘paste’ to scrub my scalp. This worked pretty well, so I won’t go back to adding all that water again, especially since if I dump it over my head, it’s mostly going to sluice right off me anyway!
Note that the baking soda will NOT create a lather. It feels a little funky, but if you begin massaging it into your scalp at the back and work your way up over your ears to the top of your head, then work from the hairline back to the crown, you’ll end up with a good massage and a clean scalp. Once that’s done, simply rinse your hair to remove the residue.
It feels a little funky after being used to the slick feeling shampoo can leave, but don’t worry.
Now take your apple cider vinegar- about 2 tablespoons, and add about a cup and a half-2 cups of warm water. If you like you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I’ll have to try this soon!). I’ve also heard you can use honey or lemon juice, but I’m not sure about the results of those.
When you’ve mixed up your ‘ conditioner’, pour it on and work it in just like you did the baking soda. When you’re satisfied, rinse thoroughly. NOTE: Putting it in a squeeze bottle (like one for condiments) works GREAT.
Once your hair dries, the vinegar smell is completely gone (though you’ll be aware of it while it’s still wet, but it’s not overwhelming).
Does it work? So far, I like what I see!
Pics to follow….