I didn’t shampoo my hair for 2 1/2 months. Sounds gross, doesn’t it?
Back in November, I mentioned that I might give going ‘poo-free a try. Right before New Year’s, I began using baking soda and vinegar to clean my hair.
Why on earth would someone do such a thing? Several reasons, for me. My family history of cancer is pretty grim. My grandma had cancer, my grandpa died of it, my dad died of it (at age 51), and now my mom is in remission from it (at not too much older than 51). I am very much at risk. What can I do to give myself and my children a fighting chance? Eliminate carcinogens from our daily lives.
None of us are smokers or are exposed to smoke regularly. We don’t drink a lot of alcohol. We exercise regularly. So three major risks are out of the way. But there are still a lot of horrible things hidden in stuff we eat, stuff we put on our bodies, and in our environment. We haven’t made any giant, life-changing leaps as a family, but our small steps in the right direction are overall indicative of life change. We filter our drinking and shower water, we buy organic when the price isn’t prohibitive, we make most of our food from scratch. Most recently, I have been looking at the products we put on our bodies. Many lotions, washes, and hair products have nasty things like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and other carcinogens. I began by purchasing organic lotions and shampoos. Then I started seeing blog posts about making my own (which seemed cheaper and actually, less time-consuming than driving all the way to the natural foods store in my area).
So first up, shampoo and conditioner. I began with Simple Mom’s method (click on the word “posts” in the previous paragraph), a baking soda and water solution massaged into the scalp. I used this method for about one week, “washing” every other day, and my hair was dis.gust.ing. Greasy, and about 12 shades darker than normal. I apologize to all of you who saw me during that phase (which was right around when Markus was born). I took her advice and eliminated the vinegar from the equation. Better, but still gross. I decided I must be in “transition time.” After about three weeks, I was feeling so dirty that I was ready to give up, but then I tried Mrs. Boo Radley’s method (here outlined on Sorta Crunchy’s blog) and found it worked much better on my fine (yet thick), greasy hair. I didn’t need the apple cider vinegar rinse at all, though.
After 2 1/2 months of using baking soda, I still considered Day 2 to be a “ponytail day,” and I wondered if there was another product I could try that would still be economical but do a better job. Some people had recommended Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, so I bought a bottle online. Can’t say I liked it! You could have topped off your car with the oil on my head that day! I didn’t have time to re-wash, so I put on a hat and went on with life. Thankfully Dr. Bronner’s can be used for a million other things, so it wasn’t a waste of money. :)
The next day I used a little bit of my old organic shampoo. My hair was soft, shiny and blonde again for the first time since Christmas. It was also lifeless.
For now, I continue to “wash” with baking soda every other day, and I have added a very light apple cider vinegar rinse (about 1 tablespoon ACV to 1 cup water) now that my hair has finally gotten used to the baking soda. And every third or fourth wash, I use my organic shampoo to get me back to a normal hair color and rid my scalp of any build-up. My hair has much more body than it ever did with daily shampooing, and it holds styles much more easily. It still doesn’t look fabulous the second day, like photos I’ve seen of other ‘poo-free people…anyone know if there is a remedy to that? It’s been three months now, so I figure my transition time must be over.
You may notice I called this an “experiment” in the post title. Since I’m not yet fully convinced that it is something I will stick with (especially if I found an organic shampoo that worked well with my hair), I still do consider it an experiment. Only time will tell if it will become part of my routine.
Next up, my face.