The Hair Saga

I’ve been reading here and there around blogland for a year or more about hair care regimes that do not include shampoo and conditioner. As I’ve been trying to minimize our use of harsh and unknown chemicals for the last several years, the idea has fascinated me. From all I read, people are having great results with very simple hair care. However, I also read that during pregnancy is not the best time to switch from using shampoo, due to all the changes already going on with the pregnant body. So, I set aside the idea at least until Andrew arrived.

In mid-August, I finally made the leap and dropped the shampoo. (How’s that for a visual?!)

Here’s my routine: 
“Washing” – I put 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda in one of my little squirt bottles (a peri-bottle works great, for those who save them from post-birth care), fill it with 6-8 ounces of water, and shake.  Once I’m in the shower and have wet my hair, I shake my baking soda again and proceed to squirt it all over my head, focusing on the scalp, not the hair.  I give it a good massage, then rinse well.  Sometimes I leave an inch or so of baking soda solution in the bottle on the first round, add more water, massage and rinse again.  A wise friend suggested a second wash with a lower concentration of baking soda, and this is my lazy way of accomplishing that.

“Conditioning” – I have a spray bottle in the shower that has water and apple cider vinegar in it (1T to 1c water). I use cheap ACV from the grocery store, not my good Bragg ACV. My method has morphed over the last month into me holding my hair in a “ponytail” with one fist and spraying what’s long enough to stick out from my fist with the ACV solution. This is to keep the ACV from getting too close to my scalp (you can read all about why in the links above). I usually proceed with the remainder of my shower routine and rinse before I get out, but I think that’s a holdover from my slathering conditioner days, not a necessity.

How is it?
I love it. My hair feels soft and silky, it tangles much less and has more body than when I was using shampoo and conditioner. I had a fairly easy transition, with just a few days of feeling a little “gunky” as the baking soda worked out build-up of product. I’ve started washing my girls’ hair this way, and it works great for them as well.

I would defnitely recommend that you give it a try for at least a month and see what you think. I’d try to pick a month when it’s not a huge deal if you have a few “off” hair days, especially if you currently wash your hair daily.  Again, see the links above for more information. I’m not an expert, I’m just sharing my experience.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessica Kerr
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 10:26:47

    I’ve been doing this for almost 6 years now. Eventually the baking soda didn’t agree with me so much and was more work than we liked, so now we use Deva Care No-Poo. It’s a little expensive ($13/bottle on Amazon) but not bad when we only use it twice a week. For people weirded out by baking soda this is a good alternative.

    Reply

  2. Tab
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 16:23:46

    I am so amazed! I’ve been hearing about this no shampoo thing a lot lately. My hats off to you! I wonder if I’m brave enough to try it…..?

    Reply

  3. smithlaurel
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 17:35:51

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Jessica. I didn’t know I knew anyone that was doing this, but now that I think about it, I bet there are others from FoMM who do!
    Tab, go for it!

    Reply

  4. postrechica
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 20:07:35

    I’ve thought about doing this off and on for the last couple of years but always chicken out. 🙂 Good to know it actually is do-able. I’ll have to wait until after the baby comes but may take the plunge in the spring.

    Reply

  5. Gracie
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 19:10:08

    Laurel,

    I enjoyed this post and your one on plantain! I’ve been becoming increasingly interested in healthy changes like your new hair regime, and been enjoying learning more about and using herbs. I recently tried making a couple salves for the first time… and at least one of them had plantain! I’ve really been enjoying http://www.bulkherbstore.com/. They have lots of super info. and herbs at excellent prices!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    Reply

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