Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baking Soda Shampoo

Since last summer or maybe before that, I have read about different bloggers deciding to go shampoo-free. It sounded kind of gross, until I realized that it didn't mean going without hair washing. There are other, cheaper and possibly cleaner ways to get hair clean than to use shampoo. Who knew?

I first tried my own experiment in April. I lasted a week, and then I got to Mama's house and her shampoo smelled So good. I couldn't resist. The first week or two is the hardest, and since I hadn't really gotten the hang of being shampoo-free, it took me a while to try again.

In mid June, I decided to give the experiment another try. I took some of my old shampoo and conditioner bottles and filled one with a baking soda/water solution and filled the other with a vinegar/water solution. (I used white vinegar for the first week or so and then switched to apple cider vinegar.)

As I said, the first week or two is the hardest. Your hair is getting used to its own oils again, and over produces. I was getting used to a different texture, and I probably over washed. I missed the lather sensation. It just took some time to get used to the whole process.

After about two weeks, the oil production started to slow down, and I could go several days without washing my hair with no changes in cleanliness. This was a huge shift. I normally wash my hair every day or it gets greasy and disgusting. I was absolutely shocked when that stopped happening. Another thing that surprised me is that I can now rinse my hair with water between washings without dire consequences. When I was using shampoo, if I planned to shower without washing my hair, and my hair got wet anyway, I had to wash it. Getting my hair wet made it even greasier. Now, I can rinse it to keep it clean, and I don't have to use the baking soda every day (since baking soda can be drying).

I started adding a sprig or two of lavender to the vinegar solution because I hate the smell of vinegar. It helps a little. I read somewhere that adding essential oil can help, too, and I may try that. My one issue with the whole thing is that I like the smell of shampoo and I don't like the smell of hair. I've gotten used to not using so many man-made fragrances, but I really like herbal shampoo smells and I just don't get that herbal smell even from my lavender sprigs.

If this sounds intriguing at all, here are a few places to do some research.


  • Info: Shampoo Free @Baby Slime - This is the post I turn to for all my questions about going shampoo free. Every once in a while, I have to go back and read up on it.
  • How to Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo @SimpleMom - This post also has a lot of useful information.
  • Shampoo-Free: Why and How @SortaCrunchy - Another mom discussing why she went shampoo-free.
  • Weekend Bonus Post for Frugal Beauty Hacks @What Do We Do All Day? - One blogger who decided to get rid of excess packaging and chemicals and save a few bucks at the same time.
  • Green Cleaning And Body Products @The Artful Parent - Discusses several homemade body products, plus her method of baking soda shampoo. I think when I cut my hair again, I'll go with her direct approach.
  • Melts for the Tub @Angry Chicken - This is probably the post that started it all for me. I know she only briefly mentions going 'poo-free, but I thought the rest of the post was interesting enough to include.

So there you have it. I hope I've inspired you to save some money while avoiding nasty chemicals in your shampoo. Have you tried this before? How did it go?

1 comment:

Kelli said...

I have been contemplating going shampoo free, but I too love the smell of the natural and herbal washes. I have long hair again, and the texture has changed quite a bit from my illness. It's coming out again too and is drier. I have a lot of hair so typically it doesn't affect the appearance too much. I wonder if this would help it some. I've also thought about dreads, but I don't know if I'm brave enough for that either. hehehe I'll check out some of these sites.