By Mandi |
Here’s a secret shampoo makers don’t want you to know: you can have clean, lustrous and healthy hair without their products. That’s right, whether you’re spending a buck for a cheapy bottle at the drugstore or shelling out $20 or more on high-priced salon stuff, you can save your money thanks to one of your pantry’s hardest working ingredients — baking soda.
Why ditch your shampoo
OK, so it’s not glamorous and it doesn’t smell of bergamot or coconut or lavender or whatever scent is hot these days. But baking soda will leave your hair and scalp scrupulously clean for pennies. And you avoid subjecting yourself to harsh detergents and chemicals found in many, if not most, shampoos. Remember, the skin is the largest organ in our body and whatever you put on it, can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream. Plus, shampoo strips away your scalp’s natural oil, the same one that naturally protects and nourishes your hair.
How to clean your hair without shampoo
The basic formula is this: 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup of water
It’s that simple.
You may find you need a bit more baking soda if your hair is very thick, or you may have to use less if your hair is thin. The most convenient way to use it is to make the mixture in a plastic squeeze bottle or an empty shampoo bottle and keep it in the bath.
First, soak your hair through with plain water from the shower. Then apply the baking soda and water “shampoo” to your scalp and massage in. Focus on the scalp, but you can apply some to your hair, as well. Baking soda and water is an excellent clarifier. After a minute or two of massaging the mixture into your scalp, rinse thoroughly.
If you typically need conditioner, use an apple cider vinegar rinse. If your hair is normally on the oilier side, try using 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. (Very oily hair may do well without any at all.) If your hair is dry, bump the amount up to 1/4 cup of acv. Pour the mixture on your hair, leave on for a minute or two, then rinse out. Any vinegar smell vanishes when your hair dries.
Living ‘poo free
Baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner might take some getting used to. There are no soft, comforting fragrant suds. And your hair may look oilier at first. But that’s because your poor, long-suffering scalp is so used to having its oil harshly stripped away that all this time it’s been overcompensating. It might take it a week or two to realize it doesn’t need to produce excess oil anymore.
Many ‘poo-free folks report that they no longer need to use styling products, or they’ve cut down their use dramatically. (More savings!) Hair washed this way becomes more manageable and less frizzy.
But you tell us!
Whether you’re a longtime eschewer of shampoo, or have just started, share your experience with us. Leave a comment below.