Almost 9 months ago I decided it was time to make a change to my hair care routine. My hair is fine and had a tendency to frizz. It couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it wanted to be straight or curly. I would wash it, use conditioner and then add product before blow drying it. Split ends were normalcy.
I started reading more about the chemicals found in hair care products (and bath products in general). Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate) are irritants. Fragrance is a neurotoxin. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and can cause organ toxicity.
I tried using shampoos and conditioners that didn’t contain sulfates, parabens or phthalates but I found that they didn’t really get my hair clean and they still weren’t all that safe because they still contained a lot of chemicals.
I had heard about using baking soda and vinegar as shampoo and conditioner and decided to give it a try. I was worried because my hair was oily and since the commercial stuff wasn’t that great at cleaning my hair. What were the chances that simple baking soda and vinegar were going to work?
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been using baking soda and vinegar now for almost 9 months and won’t ever go back to the commercial stuff. I don’t have split ends anymore. I don’t even have to blow dry most of my hair – I just straighten out my bangs and let the rest air dry. It’s shinier, softer and it doesn’t get nearly as oily as it used to. And switching from white vinegar to apple cider vinegar I was able to eliminate dandruff.
Here’s my routine, but people generally choose to do whatever works for them. Some people rinse the baking soda directly with vinegar and then don’t rinse with water. I find this leaves me smelling like salad dressing. Some people use the baking soda dry in damp hair. Some people leave the vinegar in their hair for 5 minutes before rinsing. Just choose what you like to do.
I mix 1/3 cup baking soda with 1 2/3 cup water and pour it into an old shampoo bottle. In a different bottle I add 1 cup apple cider vinegar to 3 cups water.
In the shower I wet my hair and then liberally add the baking soda mix to my hair. I leave it on for about 3 minutes and then rinse it out with water. I then pour on the vinegar and rinse that out with water. That’s it, I’m done with washing my hair.
I find it’s cheaper than buying the commercial stuff too. I can get 5lbs of baking soda for about $2.50 through our buying club. It’s definitely worth it and my hair looks so much better.
4 thoughts on “Eliminating Chemicals From Your Hair”
I've gone shampoo-less for about 5 months now. I use the same baking soda and vinegar mixes that you do, except I make mine a bit weaker. I'm thoroughly happy with the results. It's amazing to think how I've used shampoo my whole life, and it was unnecessary and even harmful to me. Talk about falling for all the Madison Ave hype!
I've only been doing this for about three months or so. The first wash was fantastic, my hair looked great AND was manageable and I love the smell. But a couple weeks ago I started having problems with my hair clumping together a bit and feeling almost greasy in the back after drying. I air dry it and add Rosemary, Sage and Lavender essential oils to the apple cider vinegar mix. I wondered if one of the batches had to much oil in it. I don't measure anything, I guess I should? I bought a shampoo free of parabens, sulfates, Phthalate, and Butylene Glycol for the kids and used that a few washes ago. I found the results of that shampoo and the next two baking soda/vinegar washes (up to the present) have been the same as the first time I used baking soda and vinegar. I don't plan on going back, maybe I just need to keep tweaking the amounts…
I've been off of shampoo for about a year – I started with using my own homemade soap – worked really well even though I have long, thick hair. Recently though, I made a special batch with castor oil included for it's particular lathering qualities and it's even better – with rosemary and peppermint essential oils to boot! …and of course it's just great for the rest of ones shower too! 🙂
I've done this for about a year too. Though I use dry baking soda on wet hair like an exfoliant on my scalp. Great for anyone with dreads who misses being able to clean their scalp well. I also use it on my face. Though you have to be gentle. My scalp and face get squeaky clean. 🙂
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