No, really. I'm serious.
Why? Take a look at this ingredient list:
Would you drink that? Hopefully not. It's Suave shampoo. Most like if you found this blog you don't use that kind of shampoo though anyways. (Because, of course, you know it contains paraben, phthalates, petroleum byproducts, and other dangerous toxic chemicals.) You probably go for something more natural. Like this one, right?
(It's Burt's Bees.) Would you drink that one? Hopefully not. But you'll put it on your body? C'mon. Think about this. Whatever you put on your body goes into your body, right? (I hope you know that.) If you wouldn't be comfortable drinking it why would you be comfortable slathering it all over your head?
I first started to think about this when I got into more "natural" food and body products about five years ago. Rather than spend two dollars on a seriously cheap (in all senses of the word) bottle of shampoo I opted for the more expensive, more "organic", more "natural" shampoos for ten to fifteen dollars. It seemed like a lot to spend on shampoo but it was worth it because it was better for me. Right? At least it wasn't Suave. But really, folks? Turn over that bottle of 'natural' shampoo. The ingredient list is at least close to as long the generic shampoos. Can you pronounce half of those ingredients? (If you can, props to you. Must be a chemistry major.) Do you even know what a third of them are? (If you do that's also awesome. Must be a science geek).
I'm not a chemistry major. Or a science geek. And I'm also lazy. And cheap. So rather than either a) looking up all those ingredients to find out what they are or b)spending a ton of money continuing to buy expensive, organic, unpronounceable-ingredient-filled shampoo, I wanted to find a less complicated, less expensive, more natural way of cleansing my hair.
What did I land on? Baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Surprise. Or not. I'm guessing you have probably heard of this. Most likely you even know someone who does this (At least you would if it were common among your community to talk about personal hygiene choices...). It has become more popular to use a bit of baking soda as 'shampoo' and then apple cider vinegar as 'conditioner'. (If you want more info on how exactly to do this check out this fabulous mommy-blogger)
So what's the problem with those things? Nothing in particular. It mostly worked fine. My hair is auburn so the baking soda did turn it a little more red than normal. My hair (used) to be greasy--the baking soda would dry it up a little more and crack it a little more than I would have liked. The vinegar? Just made my hair greasy. So, really, I guess it didn't work.
I tried different ratios of baking soda to water or vinegar to water, tried doing the vinegar rinse just once a week, or month, tried only 'washing' my hair once a week. Blah, blah, blah. And so on.
It was better than shampoo, but I still wasn't really happy.
Drum roll please.
I'm here to reveal to you something wonderful.
You can skip it all together. I haven't used baking soda or vinegar or any other form of shampoo for close to a year now. (I got really freaked out of the "organic" ingredient list when I was pregnant... I didn't want that getting to my baby). That's right. I do nothing with my hair. Well, not nothing. I probably rinse it around twice a week in the shower. And occasionally if I am feeling very fancy revert to using the baking soda or vinegar rinse. Oh, and I comb my hair every once in awhile. And about once a year I go to an Aveda salon to have my hair trimmed. (Note: the stylists always comment on how healthy my hair looks!) But that's pretty close to doing nothing, right?
But that's it. And my hair is fine. It took a few months for it to adjust to not being washed, but now it's great. In fact, it's super healthy. It's the healthiest it's been in a long time. It doesn't vacillate any more from super greasy to cracked and dry. (Granted, with a four-month old who is wanting to grab and put everything in her mouth you probably wouldn't know this if you saw me because my hair has adopted the elegant 'hey-everyone-I'm-a-mom-I-wear-a-per-ma-bun'-style.)
Give it a try. Allow your hair a while to adjust and then let me know what you think. It doesn't get much easier than this.
(p.s. Oh, and just in case you ever stay over at my house I have to warn you... There is no shampoo in the shower. My husband doesn't use it either.)
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