Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No shampoo experiment

Over the last few months, something went wrong with my hair.  I'm not sure what happened, but it had just become more and more difficult to manage.  I consulted hair stylists.  I got a new cut.  I "invested" in some pricey, salon quality shampoo and conditioner.  It seemed the harder I tried to make it look ok, the worse it looked.  I just started pulling my hair up in a ponytail every day because I couldn't do anything with it.  I am way too cheap and way too low maintenance to put a whole lot of effort into my hair.

I should add that most of my life I have had stick straight hair.  However, the older I get, the more waves and little curls I get, especially in the back of my hair.  Odd.  I also should confess that I tend to have dandruff too.  Yuck, I know.  I've tried most of the anti-dandruff shampoos available, with minimal benefit.

Anywho, I had been hearing some about this no shampoo method and I was a little interested.  I read a few websites about it just to get a sense of what it was.  I found this site helpful and interesting.

Then I ran out of my $10 bottle of investment shampoo.  So what better time than the present to try it out?

Here are the supplies:

And here's my method:
1.  Use baking soda mixed with a little bit of water to scrub your scalp with your finger tips after your hair is wet.  I read a bunch of different ratios online, but the one I tried first was 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 2 tablespoons water.  I found this too thin.  Now I just eyeball it, putting a little bit of baking soda in a small bowl and sprinkle water on it until it gets like I want it. 
2.  Rinse hair out.
3.  Use a apple cider vinegar and water mixture to "condition" your hair.  This ratio I use is 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water.   I put this is a water bottle and squirt it on my hair.  You are supposed to stay away from the roots of your hair, as this will make it look greasy.
4.  Rinse out.

That's it!  I've been doing it almost three weeks, and I love it.  My hair looks a lot better than it has in a long time!

The dandruff is gone, my hair is less greasy and feels softer, and I haven't needed to wash it every day!!  It is super, duper cheap, and gets rid of a few more chemicals in my house.
As far as the ratios are concerned, the general consensus seems to be: do what works for your hair! If your hair is more greasy, use more baking soda. If it is dry, use less.  Or if it is greasy, use less vinegar and make sure to stay away from the roots of your hair.  Some people dissolve the baking soda in water, some people make it into a paste.
The only real downside is it doesn't feel as "luxurious" to wash your hair.  The baking soda/water mixture doesn't bubble or feel smooth over your hair like traditional shampoo.  But it's not a big deal to me.
After a few weeks as your scalp adjusts to having less harse stimuli, you are supposed to be able to stretch out times between washing.  The lady from the website above only washes her hair about once a week.  I'm not there yet, but I could probably go to every third day now.  Some people have a "transition period" where their scalp goes into overdrive with oil production in response for a few weeks, but I didn't have that.  There is a ton of information on the internet about this method and a million different ways to it, and I encourage you to try it out.


Betsy said...

Your hair looks good! This post reminds me of a hair experiment that Andrea did last year. Maybe you read about it on her blog:

Amy said...

I used to use apple cider vinegar for dandruff! I haven't tried the baking soda trick. Interesting.