Here is the post to start off my exploration into more natural living. I am by no means an expert. I am learning as I go, and sharing what I learn with you. Maybe I can save you from making a mistake I have made, and maybe you can leave me a comment with advice on how to do something better.
The first thing I have eliminated from my life is shampoo. Gross, right? Well I still wash my hair, I just don’t use commercial detergents and I no longer spend $10-$15 a bottle for shampoo and conditioner. I also like the logic of why shampoo in unnecessary and maybe even more harmful than helpful. Here it is, so, shampoo strips your hair of the dirt, oil, and general nastiness that an accumulate from the day. This should be a good thing, but your hair needs those natural oils that shampoo strips away (called sebum). We try to artificially replace those oils with conditioner, but our hair doesn’t know that is what conditioner is for, so it produces sebum, which makes our hair look greasy, so we shampoo the sebum away, etc. You get the idea, shampoo creates a cycle that requires more shampoo. the a month and a half of using these ingredients,
I started with the traditional method that is easily googleable (is that a real word?). I used 1 tbls of baking soda to 1 cup of water. I mixed this in a cheap dollar store water bottle for easier application in the shower. I used the same ratio with the apple cider vinegar in the same type of water bottle. I kept the mixes in different color water bottles so I could easily identify which was which. After month and a half of using these ingredients, I really like it, but have changed my method a couple of times.
Since I normally washed my hair every other day, I kept with the same schedule with my new “shampoo” and “conditioner”. Day 1 I was really impressed. My hair felt clean, didn’t smell like anything and wasn’t greasy in the morning (I shower at night). It wasn’t as manageable as it usually was, but not terrible. By that night, it was greasy looking. I had to resist the urge wash my hair, as you are supposed to try to extend the days between washing in order to “retrain” your scalp to produce less sebum. The next morning I could feel the grease making it’s way down my hair. My hair was plastered to my head with oils. I read on a blog that you could distribute the sebum and make your hair look better by brushing with a natural bristle brush. I grabbed a wood bristle brush and a boar bristle brush and went to town brushing. This didn’t help much, it was a hair in the bun kind of day.
I could not wait to scrub my hair that night. I read of an alternative method where you make a paste of baking soda with water in your hair and scrub that into your scalp. I tried that thinking it would help cut the greasiness (I conditioned just the ends of my hair with the Apple Cider vinegar mixture). It didn’t work. My hair felt dry and greasy at the same time. It felt like there was a coating of wax on my hair. My hair felt clean when I got out of the shower, but the next morning it was greasy. I kept this up for just about 2 weeks. I had a lot of pony tail, braid, bun and hat days for 2 weeks. I read this was normal, and I need to power through the greasy hair in order to get the beautiful, more volumous, healthy hair I desire.
I did fight. I wanted so badly to just grab a bottle of shampoo and feel that beautiful lather and smell that beautiful (artificial) scent, but I didn’t. After the first week my hair was still greasy, but less so. I would wake up in the morning and hate my hair a little less every day. By the two week point I woke up with my hair looking like clean, fresh washed hair.
Now at a month and a half, I have added an extra day between washing without ill effect. I have also added a tbls of baking soda to my mix, so I use 2 tbls of baking soda to 1 cup of water. I also moved my apple cider vinegar mixture to a spray bottle. This helps me to better target only the ends of my hair , which helps to prevent the greasiness. I use the second bottle that did house the “conditioner” to make a second batch of my baking soda “shampoo”. I read that if you let your mixture sit for about 2 weeks, it works better (we will see).
I am now really liking my hair. I have better volume, great shine (not the oily greasy shine, healthy shine) and my hair is so soft and much more manageable, and I am saving a ton of money. I have started using this on my two year old daughter, and since she hasn’t come close to hitting puberty yet she didn’t have the greasy adjustment period to go through. Her hair is now constantly getting compliments.