Originally published at Ladybud Magazine
Lately, I have been getting a lot of compliments about my hair and of course, a lot of people asking what my “secret” is. I have stopped washing it. Well kind of, I wash it about once a week but I don’t use shampoo and conditioner.
I stopped washing my hair out of sheer laziness, after years of bad dye jobs and short hair cuts I have decided to let it grow long and one unified color, but washing that much hair is a lot of work that involves serious scheduling and I was sick of having my social life dictated by my greasy scalp. As time progressed I convinced myself that I hadn’t been washing my hair because I was lazy but because I am occupying the shampoo-industrial complex. Sure, its a vain way of fighting the man but you really don’t need to wash your hair. Testimonial after testimonial has emerged of people, particularly women, claiming they have stopped washing their hair, it’s not greasy and it’s the healthiest it has ever been.
Just like Chapstick brand lip balms actually dry out your lips, making you feel like you always need to be using it, shampoo strips your hair of the natural oils that keep it shiny and healthy– and in comes conditioner to put it back! Your hair literally becomes so addicted to the stuff that you are dependent on it. The entire beauty industry has been designed around products that solve the problems they actually create.
First, its good to have a nice dry shampoo to stretch out the days between washing. I always have a bottle of Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo on hand. As soon as my roots start getting greasy or heavy (about 3-4 days after a wash) I spray it directly on the scalp in patches, allow to dry and then brush it straight through. You can easily buy an extra day or two before the next wash. While there are many other dry shampoos available I prefer Oscar Blandi’s because the powder that sprays out isn’t dyed a blondish-yellow or brownish-brunette color, which usually ends up coloring your scalp. Additionally, it doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, petro chemicals or GMOs. But, you can always make your own dry shampoo with a little corn starch.
I have replaced my shampoo and conditioner with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It sounds gross, but its very cheap, it’s natural and it works better than any commercial shampoo and conditioner you could possibly buy.
My new shampoo and conditioner set.
Start with the baking soda, mix a bottle or jar of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup warm water. Be sure the water is warm or you will get a cold shock when you pour it over your scalp in the shower. It will be runny, and don’t expect a lather like you see with traditional store-bought shampoo. Although you don’t see the lather, it’s working, massage it into your scalp and rinse thoroughly. Follow with a rinse of 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to one cup warm water, leave on for two minutes (I usually wash my face or body in that time) and rinse thoroughly. Again, don’t expect a lather or thick coating. Your hair will not smell like vinegar if you rinse well.
To my complete shock the first time I did this, my hair had never felt or looked better. It is so effortlessly beautiful and there isn’t one crazy chemical, fragrance or dye in it.
An easy way to do this: mark the line that makes one cup on two jars or plastic bottles and put them in the shower. Fill with one wash worth of vinegar and baking soda in each. When it’s time to wash your hair just stick it under the hot water and fill to the line. Shake and pour!
There are also a variety of natural deep-conditioning methods out there if you aren’t keen on dousing your hair with vinegar: egg yolks, beer and mayonnaise just to name a few.
For a lot of people, the decision to go natural is usually a tough one– a lot of the beauty products available in the whole food’s stores just don’t seem to work or are very, very expensive. Without getting into the whole mess about people-corporations and phthalates though, just ask yourself what the purpose of each of your products really is before using it. The answer might be right under your nose, or in your refrigerator.