I need to talk to you for a minute about my hair. I don’t go around announcing it because I don’t want people to think I’m dirty, but I don’t use shampoo or conditioner. Seriously. I have been doing what is called no ‘poo for over a month after giving up conditioner for about six months. What happened was this: I ran out of conditioner and was kind of ‘meh’ about it so I never bought more. Then, I ran out of shampoo. I was using something cheap since I can be kind of a tightwad when I feel like it, so my guess is that was chock-full of chemicals and toxins (as all cheapy-cheap manufactured goods tend to be). I started using a tiny bit of my husband’s Head and Shoulders (also chemical-laden but my hubby has dandruff, making his options for shampoo pretty limited) mixed with baking soda. My hair felt squeaky-clean and soft since the dandruff shampoo has tons of moisturizers in it.
Then, I read a few (dozen) blog posts about washing one’s hair with ONLY baking soda and then doing a conditioning rinse with apple cider vinegar. It sounded kooky but I tried it and hey, it works! Sort of. There is a serious transition that takes place on your scalp when you go from using conventional, oil-stripping shampoo to using something milder that isn’t made to dry out your hair. Also, you aren’t technically supposed to wash your hair every day. I have an oily complexion and that includes my scalp; my hair cannot go more than twenty-four hours without being washed else it will turn into a slick mess. That said, I still went for it with the baking soda/ACV no ‘poo plan. I could try it and if it was too much trouble or my hair always looked dirty, then I’d ditch this hippie dippie hair routine and go back to conventional products.
Like I said, I’ve been doing no ‘poo for a month. In this month, I have worn my hair up every single day. It never got past the initial grease pit phase. I only wash it every couple of days, and sometimes I use a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (you have to water that stuff down – it’s some highly-concentrated soap!) when my hair feels super oily. My hair never feels super-soft and clean. I can’t run my fingers through my hair. I also stopped blow-drying it every day and since my hair is never soft enough to brush, I kind of stopped brushing it when it’s dry. You shouldn’t brush your hair when it’s wet, but that’s the only time when my hair is remotely manageable.
Why am I doing this, you ask? I’m starting to ask myself the same thing. At first, I liked the idea of saving money on hair products by using items we buy in bulk (I cannot tell you all of the ways we use baking soda and ACV around the house – if it has to be cleaned, we are using one or both of those products). Then, I learned more about what I kind of already knew, which is that most cosmetic and beauty products are full of unpronounceable chemicals that don’t even provide any benefits to your hair other than temporarily stripping it of oils while adding a layer of wax (some conditioners, like Pantene’s, contain a waxy substance in order to make your hair super shiny). I wanted to keep things a bit more natural with my beauty routine since I already do that with the kids (diluted Dr. Bronner’s soap on their hair and bodies; they get a bath every night but only get the soap once every few days, and we only wash Avery’s hair about once a week with the same castile soap).
I knew that there would be a transition period but it’s been a month and I didn’t even go off conventional products cold turkey so I thought that my hair would accept the change a bit faster. Wrong. I just want my hair to feel clean again! It always looks messy, oily, and grungy. Not a good look. My plan is to cut back on the ACV rinse and see if that helps with the oiliness – I am giving my hair one more week of this hippie routine before ditching it for good ol’ shampoo and conditioner. I just need to find a brand that is all-natural since I still want to avoid putting all of those chemicals on my body.