Feb 22, 2012

No Shampoo Saga {My Experience}

I'm a little nervous about this post.  It's a little weird, which may lead you to think that I'm a little weird.  Which may be true, but I may not want you to know that.  Read at your own risk, m'kay?  Thanks.

Ever heard of the "no shampoo" hair care alternative?  The first time I heard about it was on a crunchy, all-natural forum.  I rolled my eyes at the time, but now it has become a rather trendy movement.  I am by no means completely sold on the all-natural, organic movement, but this idea intrigues me.  The basic gist is that you quit washing your hair with commercial shampoos and conditioners, and you use a basic wash of dissolved baking soda with a rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar.

So I'm giving it a trial run. To be honest, I am not unhappy with my hair, I am just plain curious.  So January 27 was my last shower experience with shampoo. After three weeks, here's my research, opinion, and experience.

Why on earth would someone follow a no-shampoo hair regimen to begin with?  From what I could tell, it came down to these three basics:
  1. To reduce exposure to harmful chemicals in hair products. ( Shampoos and conditioners generally have an ingredient called sodium laureth sulfate, sometimes shortened to SLS.  This chemical is easily absorbed through the skin and eyes, can store in quantity within organs, and can combine with nitrates that are present in the detergent as well, to create a potent carcinogen.)
  2. To save money. (A box of baking soda costs $.38 and would last a decade or two.)
  3. To restore the natural pH of their hair, as well as balance oil production from scalp glands.  (Shampoo is actually a detergent that strips all oils from the scalp and hair, disrupting and speeding up the natural production of oil, which acts as a natural barrier and moisturizer.)
Every post I have read guaranteed that there would a transition period from a week to up to 6 months.  Since I stay home every day, I figured transition wouldn't be bad.  Nobody but my husband, the occasional neighbor, and sometimes the mailman to scare off. The first week was rough, as I tried to figure out how to actually wash my hair with baking soda.  I finally discovered I wasn't using enough.  Once that was resolved, I determined to cut back on the number of times I actually washed my hair per week.  Right now, I wash my hair on Saturday and Tuesday.  I've always been an every day, or every other day kinda person.  The first time I went that long without washing my hair, it was not pretty.  Slick Willy to the max, my friends. 

It is getting better. I can't wait to wash my hair by Tuesday and Saturday, but I'm not a complete grease ball.  As far as hair texture goes, there hasn't been any perceptible change.  Many people comment that their hair has become very manageable and soft with reduction of frizz, hair that finally holds a curl and hairstyle well, and natural waves and curls that are more pronounced.  I haven't noticed any thing.  Yet.  They say you need to stick it out 2 months to see noticeable changes.  I'm giving it the full 2 months, and then I'll give my final analysis.

Here's my hair Monday afternoon--straight out of a pony tail.  I haven't washed it (with baking soda) since early Saturday morning.  Obviously, I couldn't be bothered with makeup today either...

My current regimen is 1 Tbsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 cup water.  I have it in a narrow opening squeeze bottle, so I just squeeze about 1/2 cup solution all over my head.  I scrub my scalp lightly with my fingers and massage my hair, then allow the solution to soak for a couple minutes before rinsing out.  That's it.  Some people recommend a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioning, but it made my hair greasy. 

7 lovely comments:

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

this is very interesting can not wait to see what you think after 2 months. I love how open you are to new and unusual things.

Kari said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow...you are very, VERY brave! Your hair looks great though. Can't wait to see how it turns out after two months.

TyKes Mom said... Best Blogger Tips

I attempted this, as well as some other natural and frugal beauty routines (you can see them here: http://the-north-forty.com/everyday-beauty-products-for-cheap/), a while back. It did work to clean my hair, but my hair is naturally lifeless and drab, so it just made it worse. I loved the savings and would do it again if I needed to cut back, but for now I splurge on regular shampoo and conditioner. I am interested to see your experience with it!

content2be said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed reading through your link--thanks for posting! Gonna try that facial cleansing method. I think it would help with dryness that I experience currently.

Rebecca said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't think you're weird. :)

I would definitely try this method but I "need" my hair to look decent 7 days a week -- so it would be very difficult for the experiment process. I've cut back on the amount of times I wash my hair -- only 3x per week and I'd love to cut it down to 2x per week.

Can't wait to hear how it continues to work for you.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips


It is past midnight and I am sitting here cracking up at this post!!! You have not changed a bit, my friend :) I love the "slick willy to the max" part......hilarious! I can hear you saying it too haha! I'm anxious to see the result after 2 months.

Stephanie Cervantes

content2be said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Steph,
Long time, no talk! Did you give up Facebook for Lent or something? How's school? And what are you doing up past midnight?! Nice to hear from you! I have been thinking about you.