Thursday, April 28, 2011

Overly detailed post regarding the no-shampoo thing

I've been meaning to post about this for awhile. I've got a super-easy pasta sauce to post, but I keep forgetting to type it up when I have my recipe notes nearby, so that'll have to wait. Instead I'll go in for the possible overshare. 

So...I don't use shampoo. It's been a year since I made the switch to a baking soda "shampoo" and a vinegar rinse. I had been considering it for a few months, but I was afraid of a greasy, horrible transition period. Then in mid-May of 2010, all in the matter of a couple of days, the following occurred. I bought Angry Chicken's eMailorder #11, which happens to contain baking soda shampoo instructions. My sister sent me a link to this video from I saw this post from Creative Kismet. And I ran out of my big bottle of commercial shampoo. How could I not give this whole not-shampooing thing* a go?

I know this has been going around the web for quite some time now and is unlikely to be a revelation to anyone at this point, but I found it really helpful to read other people's takes on the baking soda/vinegar haircare routine as I tried to work out my own. So just in case this is useful to anyone, I'll lay my routine out there.

Here's how it goes: I keep a squeezy water bottle and a spray bottle in the shower. In the squeezy water bottle I mix up a little less than two tablespoons of baking soda and a little more than two cups of water. Shake it up well before each use, squirt it all over my roots, massage it in, rinse well. That mix will last for three or four showers. In the spray bottle I mix up about one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of water. After I've rinsed the baking soda out of my hair, I spray the vinegar mix all over my hair, run my fingers through it a few times, and then rinse it out very thoroughly. That mix will last for three or four showers as well. The end.

At first, I tried leaving off the vinegar rinse, but I found that the baking soda shampoo alone left my hair a bit odd to the touch. Not oily or powdery or dry or anything, but stiff or slightly waxy, maybe? And I found that pouring vinegar on my head (either straight-up or diluted) left my hair feeling great, but the smell! True, the vinegar smell disappeared as the hair dried, but it takes so freakin' long to dry, and the vinegar smell during that time was not good. And then if my hair got wet again - say I got caught in a sudden downpour - the vinegar smell suddenly returned. Not okay. The spray bottle lets me use a lot less vinegar while still fully coating my hair, and that seems to be working. So there we go.

And it's really simple. I now keep a jug of vinegar and a box of baking soda under the bathroom sink for quick, easy pre-shower mixing (and for other nontoxic cleaning uses, because baking soda and vinegar rock my world). The most time-consuming part is all the thorough rinsing, which seems to take a bit longer and tire my arms out a bit more than rinsing out commercial shampoo/conditioner, especially with longer hair (like mine is now...when it was chopped off chin-length-ish it was much, much easier). I think the little bit of extra time/effort is totally worth it to avoid all those creepy chemicals, and the fact that it is super-cheap is a nice bonus.

*I absolutely cannot stand the phrase "no 'poo" used so commonly to refer to this. Even though it may be the least clunky way to refer to not shampooing with commercial shampoo, I just refuse to use it. So apologies for any clunky turns of phrase that may result.

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