07 September 2010

abandoning shampoo ?

foodie blogger extraordinaire amy strauss of apples and cheese, please showed me this blog post about abandoning the act of shampooing our hair.

with the goal in mind to always question everything, while appreciating life all the while, i stopped to consider this idea. i knew that hundreds of years ago, or even a century ago, people washed their hair less. but i hadn't thought about the commercialization of shampoo leading to our more american, everyday shampooing routine.

most people i know shampoo their hair everyday. i usually do too, but sometimes i skip a day.

and i don't handle greasy hair well. but overproduction of oils to keep up with the stripping of them by shampoo's efforts makes some sense. i'd thought about that in the past, but again, i never imagined that hair could do its own work if i just let it.

plus, the harsh, unnatural chemicals leaking into your scalp before rinsing, well-- sadly, i hadn't pondered much on that front either.

this article had some additional eye-opening tidbits to absorb beyond what was mentioned in the links in the blog post referenced above.

last night, i skipped washing my hair. that's no big change of pace, as i do it once a week or maybe every two weeks. although i'm always grateful to wash my hair again the next time then, like ahh, how refreshing it is to be clean-clean-clean.

i figured i might test this out eventually. but for once, i had all the needed ingredients already in my house, so i'm doing it up. 

i used just 1 tablespoon baking soda with 16 ounces of water, scrubbed finger-wise at my scalp and throughout my tresses that reach just a few inches shy of my elbows. afterward, i mixed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water and applied it to my hair. i did soak the ends of my hair into the golden-hued liquid of the measuring cup, as i have devastatingly knotty habits per strand sometimes. i read to let the vinegar sit for a minute or two, so i rinsed it out as well as i could afterward.

most people note that the stench of vinegar won't stay in your hair if you rinse it out well. i really tried to rinse it out thoroughly, but i still detect a hint of it at my shoulders every now and then. it's noted to use apple cider vinegar, as white vinegar is a bit too harsh for this purpose.

i was surprised to discover that my hair didn't feel clumpy, knotty, and dirty after i used the baking soda. and in fact, i was a bit caught off guard by it almost feeling smooth post-apple cider vinegar.

the ultimate test came when i brushed my hair. if i don't use intensive conditioner (leaving it on for 5 minutes) after using shampoo, the bristles of my brush fight very hard with my proverbial locks. but a pleasant shock resulted instead; the brush ran smoothly through almost all of my hair except for a few wads of knotty layers. that is not bad at all compared to when i don't condition at all post-shampooing, which is rare.

and now i'm noticing that my hair doesn't feel heavy but instead refreshingly light and clean. and an hour or two following the regiment, i stepped into the bathroom and realized that my hair looked more dry at the roots, but the good way (as in, not greasy or oily) but also fluffier, of more air, like volume ?

but the scalp and hair's time needed to adjust healthily to non-shampooing can range from several weeks to months. so the actual differences to be seen haven't had a chance to happen yet. 

the word balance, in the natural sense, which seems to be the only sense i can imagine or picture, is something i'm appreciating more lately. maybe my scalp will as well.

we'll see if i can keep this up, and hopefully i won't run back to shampoo and conditioner. no promises, but i will try my best at this one !


  1. Nice! I should give this a try. Long time no read Jenny :) Keep on the green quest. M'darling.

  2. i wondered where the heck you were ! i was ready to ask rupande about you.

    i'm on day three of the new regiment. not too goopy yet, thank goodness. i can't wait to wash again though. i think twice a week is supposed to be okay. i should compare shampoo and conditioner costs to these kitchen ones, for how long each lasts in my bathroom.

    ladylove, miss !

  3. haha I'm here, always have :) just not publicly much.