Tag Archives: Health

Saying Goodbye to Shampoo

Kamisuki (Combing the hair), A colour woodbloc...

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Conventional shampoos are no friend to you or to the environment.  They’re full of chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens that irritant your skin and strip your hair (in addition to posing other health risks).  These ingredients also pollute the air and water in their production and when you wash them down the drain.

So when I finally used up the huge bottle of Pantene I’ve had the last two years, I decided to try the “no ‘poo” method.  I’ve been cleaning my hair with baking soda and conditioning with apple cider vinegar for three weeks now.

The result?  My hair is no better and no worse than before.

On the plus side, my hair seems to need less washing.  I used to shampoo every other day but now every three or four days seems to be just fine, which makes me happy since I like being able to do less.  And besides not adding chemicals to my body or the environment, other benefits include buying fewer plastic bottles and saving money.  Baking soda and vinegar are pretty cheap!

But alas, all is not perfect with the no ‘poo method.  I need to mix the solutions each time I wash which is a bit of a pain.  I’ve tried pre-mixing but I hated pouring cold water over my head (especially in the winter).  In addition, I now have to separately condition my long hair when my old Pantene was a shampoo and conditioner in one.  And lastly, I have to admit that I miss the lather and the nice scent of shampoo.

But in the bigger scheme of things, I’m willing to live with these small downsides in light of the environmental and financial benefits of washing with baking soda and vinegar.

If you’re interested in trying this simple method,  here’s what I do:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm or hot water.  Shake well.
  2. Wet hair with water.  Pour and massage baking soda solution onto scalp and hair.  It will not lather at all but may feel slippery.
  3. Rinse well
  4. If you want to condition, mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.   Pour over your head and work into hair.
  5. Rinse well.  Don’t worry the vinegar smell will dissipate quickly.

It’s really quite easy but you may need to play with ingredients a bit to find something that suits you.  For instance, you may want to use less baking soda if 1 tablespoon is too drying.  Or if the smell of vinegar is really intolerable, you could replace it with lemon juice instead.  See this post for a detailed guide and FAQs regarding the no ‘poo method.  There’s also a forum devoted to this topic if you want more info.

If you try it, let me know how it goes!  If you don’t, at least consider switching to a more natural shampoo.  Your crowning glory and mother earth will thank you.