Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baking Soda is Your Friend!

I don't use shampoo anymore. Yes, I do wash my hair - every day, in fact. But I use baking soda instead. The concept is called "No 'Poo" and if you Google it, you will find many converts to this age-old wisdom.

The way I understand it, and feel free to do more research than I have, is that shampoo is a detergent. Detergents strip not only dirt from your hair, but everything else too, including the natural oils your hair needs to stay healthy. Thus the need to follow up with conditioner.

What you've bought into then, is a complicated, often expensive, system to clean something that can be easily, thoroughly, and cheaply cleansed with humble baking soda. Since going "no 'poo", my hair has become shinier, healthier, and has actually encouraged a lovely natural curl that I've always wanted. And don't get me wrong - I'm an avid hairspray user (when my hair grows out long enough, we will be weaning ourselves off of that one too) and the baking soda removes it much more effectively than shampoo ever did. With no buildup.

I simply mix about a tablespoon of baking soda in about a cup of warm water, pour it over my wet hair, rub it around a little (but not necessary), and rinse. It works beautifully! Then, to soften and shine (and reduce frizziness and static), I mix a splash (about a tablespoon?) of apple cider vinegar in about a cup of warm water and pour again over my wet hair. Rinse, and beautiful soft, shiny, detangled hair is the result.

I have very fine, non-colored hair. I cannot guarantee what the results would be like on chemically-treated hair. I gave up coloring my hair a while ago because I couldn't be bothered to keep up with it. (We'll see if I change my tune when the gray starts to appear....) But I do know that my hair has never looked better and that I love that I don't need to use over-priced, over-marketed, unknown chemicals when there's a simpler, cheaper, healthier way.

Something to keep in mind, is that if you are considering going on the "no 'poo" adventure, that your hair may need to go through a transition period before it stabilizes into its ideal. But once your oil glands have understood that you're not stripping them with shampoo anymore, they get all happy again and produce their natural oils the way they're supposed to.

So, get your lonely box of Arm & Hammer out of the back of the cupboard and dust it off. Try out a natural way to care for your hair, but don't stop there! Baking soda makes a really good gentle facial scrub cleanser too!


Dana said...

Wow, I knew that baking soda was a great multi-purpose cleaner (and it does a great job of getting the smell out of my microfibre cloths) but I never would have thought to use it as shampoo! I will definitely give this a try. Keep the tips coming!

V. said...

You know...just this week, I saw that SUGAR WATER works as hairspray...


When I' ready to go No Poo again, I might try that too.


Anonymous said...

Ixnay on the Apple Cider Vinegar! My mother used to use that on my long hair when I was a kid to rinse it after shampooing. To this day I can't stand the smell of that stuff!! Ken (dh) however, insists to drink the stuff every day in a glass of water. He claims it cures all!
Laurie Nes...