family

On going without shampoo

I first stumbled across the no poo thing over at the Crunchy Chicken. It wasn’t going well for her and my only real thought was, “Well, duh…” Now, I know there are environmental concerns for just about every chemical on the market. Even deodorant! I’m never sure how to take all that. I mean, I also know that as much as we think about the “olden days” as “golden days,” we used to do a lot of nasty things to our waterways and natural habitats.

Then there are those who worry not so much about what all those chemicals are doing once they go down the drain, but what they’re doing on their very own heads. Some people just don’t like spending that much money on their hair.

Mix in a few people who actually like the way it made their hair look and, well, curious me was curious. My curiosity likely would have ended there. After all, I wasn’t that curious. I sort of like my hair, most of the time. Thick and bouncy and right after it’s washed it’s even all soft and snuggly. The next day . . . eee, not so much. It becomes sort of unmanageable, with a will of its own. Funny thing is, I like it again the day after that. And the day after that is OK, except that it starts to look like maybe I gelled it and I can’t stand that look. And things go down hill from there.

So yeah. [shhh!] I’ve never really done the daily shampoo thing. I fit in much better in Europe than here in the US, but so long as you don’t, like, actually talk about it, no one really notices. Or they’re all just too polite to say anything.

Anyway, after all that curiosity, we moved. One of the first things that needed to be done after sorting out the plumbing was replace the bath tub and shower. We’ve gotten to replacing the bathtub. . .with a nice deep air jet tub with a motor that doesn’t work. But we don’t have tiles on the walls, so showers aren’t such a good idea just yet.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to wash your hair in a bathtub, but it doesn’t work very well. Everyone talks about build up and such from using various products, but wash your hair in a tub once or twice and you can feel it. It gets all sticky underneath and feels worse than before you washed it. Of course, there’s always washing over the sink, but that is tedious, especially for extended periods.

And the baking soda/apple cider vinegar thing came back to me.

And we tried it.

And I wouldn’t say it is working wonders, or anything. I’m not walking around town thinking my hair looks better than it ever did, or getting inquiries from stylists about what I use. But my hair feels a lot cleaner than it did washing it in a bathtub. The stickiness is gone. I can get a brush through it again.

It feels sort of like it used to that third day after not washing it. I don’t get that super soft bouncy just washed feeling. But I like it just fine. And it beats trying to stick my head in the sink.

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10 thoughts on “On going without shampoo

  1. You know we have been doing this for (apparently judging from my blog) 2 years. In fact, the blog post I wrote about it gets hit daily, at least 5 times a day, and gets a comment about once a month. Kind of crazy.

    Anyway, we started because due to allergies the shampoos and conditioners we needed to buy were $8 to $10 a bottle and with two preteen girls, most of that got poured down the drain–and with multiple hair types….. it saves us some serious money. We also find that, it works well for all our hair types (and gets rid of Rachel’s dandruff and Esther’s knots). We also added peppermint/plantain/celendula tea to the vinegar, which leaves the hair smelling nice and helps heal sores and bug bites in the hair (the sores a food allergic reaction my husband gets).

    After a month or so your hair texture may change slightly. It’s something to do with the oil on your head adjusting to the change (shampoo saps the oil out or something like that). Mine is much much nicer now that it was when I had to use all sorts of styling products and we all can easily go 4 days without washing our hair which is very nice–unless of course we have been swimming in the pond in which case we must all immediately bathe lest we stink up the house. 🙂

  2. I think I read your entry. 🙂 I don’t like how it leaves my Bug’s hair. Hers is naturally curly, but this leaves hers sort of flat and lifeless. But it is working fine for everyone else!

    And my son loves it. The first time we did it, I went from memory on the recipe and had him scrub with baking soda and rinse with the apple cider vinegar. He LOVED the bubbles.

    Now I do it the “correct” way, but he’s sticking with the fun way.

  3. Huh…That’s funny…we’ve lived in a house for over 6 yrs with just a tub, no shower installed, and I never have thought my hair wasn’t getting as clean as it could with a shower! I guess I’m one of those people who are concerned about what some of those chemicals are doing to our hair. I don’t shampoo every day–never have. Every other day, usually. Might try baking soda and vinegar. Does it make your hair smell funny? Like a salad? : )

    1. No, it doesn’t. Well, right after you wash it it does smell like vinegar. The odor is gone as soon as it dries.

      And I have super thick hair. As in the hairdressers always make comments and give up on the spray bottle in favor of the sink to dampen it. The tub seems to work fine for the kids, but I can’t get the soap rinsed out.

  4. I tried that baking soda and water then cider vinegar rinse for myself and my hair was totally different (better) and also didn’t get as greasy. I slacked back to chemical shampoos as the cold water premix with baking soda and 60 degree cider vinegar was too much for the cold winter months. I also have a free supply of shampoo and conditioner and the frugal person in me wants to use up the free stuff.

    My husband is using homemade deodorant I make for him.

    I am using homemade hand salve (natural) for nightly lotion and more during the day in winter months or after gardening and it’s way better than any chemical store bought product I’ve ever used.

    1. The premix made me gasp the first time. Then I decided it is way better to just mix as you go with the nice warm water. Much more comfortable!

      I am hoping to start making our own soaps and such soon. I have a basic recipe for us to try to learn how but I’d eventually LOVE to make our own from our bee’s honey and our goat’s milk. (Of course, I need bees and goats and the knowledge of how to do it first!

  5. We were doing no ‘poo when Hannah was first born. We all were … even the girls. It was working just fine with everyone except me. My oil production just never decreased. Instead of finding a natural way of, hopefully, dealing with that, we just started using Kiss My Face shampoos and conditioners.

    But $7-9 a bottle is a LOT. That’s not even counting getting conditioner too (I have thick hair and can barely get a brush through it if I don’t use conditioner every other washing).

    We were running out, so I got some of our old favorite: Garnier Fructis. Oh YUCK. We could immediately feel the difference in how our hair felt. After just one washing.

    So. We decided to go back to no ‘poo. A LOT cheaper. I have a few things I can try to help with my oil production (I may have to boil the water first, before adding baking soda … then, obviously, let it cool. An egg wash could help too).

    Psssssst, we don’t wash our hair every day either. 2-3 times a week is our normal.

    1. That is a lot! Wow! I hope you find something that works well for you. I thought the big problem with the baking soda was a slight tendency to dry out your hair, but I guess it is different for everyone. We’ve been doing this for awhile, and we didn’t have any “transition” period. Maybe it is yet to come, and maybe it is because I never shampooed daily to begin with.

  6. I have been at this for a few week now and love it… I put the baking soda in a small bowl, add some warm water from the shower, rub the paste into my scalp, rinse… then I put some cider vin in the bowl, add some water and rinse with that.
    I have hair down to my waist and was worried about getting it all clean but love what it has done for my hair and how it looks.

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