I’m now four months shampoo-free and in love with the results! My hair has never been so soft, frizz-free, quick-drying and easy to brush out. It feels healthier, and if I do say so myself, it looks great.
Shampoo and conditioner were the last products in my shower rack loaded with carcinogenic chemicals. After a year and a half of struggling with acne–brought on initially by pregnancy hormones, and persistent after my daughter’s birth–I ditched the half-dozen expensive facial cleansers that seemed to sustain my skin woes and against all advice began to use our homemade soap on my face. The results were almost instantaneous– finally, clear skin. Add to that the knowledge that I was saving money and sparing my body the exposure to the proven toxins in bath and body products, I couldn’t be happier.
My hair is very, very thick, coarse, and wavy. Since I don’t blow-dry, washing it means hours of wet-head, and if I dare to put it up in a pinch, it will stay wet easily all day long. When I used to blow-dry, the process took at least 45 minutes to an hour and resulted in ultra-frizz. Even washing takes forever. Since I dread it so much, I wash about every 4 to 7 days.
The thought to try out an alternative hair care came late last fall. As cold weather set in, dry scalp was another annoying issue that I hoped a new method would solve. Fortunately, it was. I read an article in Tree Hugger about a baking soda and cider vinegar treatment, and I gave it a shot. With a few modifications, it’s what I do to this day and foresee no change. I’m hooked.
The moment the vinegar goes into my hair, I can hardly describe the silk. I can run my fingers through the coarse locks instantly, and combing is totally optional.
Here’s what I do: We keep a bottle full of cider vinegar in our shower rack, as well as an enameled metal camping mug. We keep a box of baking soda in a bathroom cupboard. When I’m planning to wash my hair, I grab the mug and shake about a tablespoon of baking soda in (that’s for my heavy-duty hair; my husband uses about a teaspoon). Then I put it back on the shower rack. When my hair is wet, I fill the mug– right under the shower head, so it gets mixed well– with about a cup of water and swirl it around to be sure none is stuck to the mug. (Reminder from third grade: residual baking soda + vinegar = volcano!) I squeeze a bit of water out of my hair to help absorb, and pour the baking soda right onto my scalp. I scrub a bit with my fingers, then rinse really well.
Next I add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar. (Again, considerations for hair quantity.) I mix with another cup or cup-and-a-half of water, give my hair another squeeze, and pour it over. I let it just drip down into my hair, then rinse immediately. Yes, it smells like vinegar at first. Expect it, and you’ll get over it fast. It doesn’t bother me at all. And run your fingers through and you’ll forget the smell. After a good rinse, there is zero residual odor, I promise.
When I do have any dry scalp or flakiness, the solution is simple. About an hour before I am going to wash my hair, I rub about a teaspoon or so of coconut oil into my scalp and give it a good brush to distribute and open the pores. Then I proceed as usual. Results are immediate.
It takes about five weeks for the natural scalp oils to regain their rhythm, which better prevents frizz. In the first couple of weeks, I used a tiny amount of coconut oil rubbed into my fingers to tame the fluff. It can be done wet or dry. But when I applied it wet, it tended to be uneven– some areas still fluffy, others visibly oily. Once the natural rhythm of oils returned, my hair stopped looking greasy, no matter how long I go without washing.
My new hair regimen is incredibly affordable. An 80-cent box of baking soda and few-dollar gallon bottle of cider vinegar goes a long way. And the coconut oil I’ve used regularly has amounted to probably a tablespoon or two at most. Plus, all ingredients are always on-hand at all times, at least at our house.
This post was shared on the Homestead Blog Hop.