I don't plan to purchase another bottle of shampoo again. I have discovered a way to clean my hair "Poo Free," free of shampoo.
But what could possible clean your hair better than shampoo?
Baking soda and water.
You've got to be kidding. There's no way.
No, I'm not, and yes, there is. Curious? Read on.
The Simple Science Behind The Poo-Free Method
Shampoo is nothing more than a scented detergent, just like laundry or dish detergent. It strips your hair of all it's natural oils, oils that are produced naturally to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Shampoo is loaded with chemicals, one of them being mineral oil. Mineral oil doesn't sound so bad, right? Think again. When gasoline is distilled from crude oil you get mineral oil. Who wants to rub that on their hair? Mineral oil is added to shampoo to coat your hair and give it shine after it has been stripped of it's natural oils. Mineral oil cannot be absorbed by your skin so it coats your scalp and prevents natural oils and toxins from being released by your skin. Over time your hair becomes weaker and more prone to damage. This is where conditioners come in. They cover up the damage done by shampooing.
Why Going Poo-Free Is Worthwhile
It's safe. It's natural. It's frugal. Baking soda is a natural alternative to chemical-laden shampoos and conditioners. It allows your natural oils to work with your hair making it stronger, healthier and more manageable. Even better, a small box of baking soda costs less than a dollar and can last you several months, or even a year, depending on the length and texture of your hair (compare that to shampoo and conditioner, which cost from $1 to $5 or more each, and last you maybe a month or two). This method is even safe to use on your children if you'd like!
.image source :: supercarrot/photobucket
How To Go Poo-Free
Combine 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup (8 oz) of water. I store my mixture in a clear plastic bottle, but use whatever works best for you.
Wet your hair, and then apply the mixture to hair giving the most attention to getting the mixture on your scalp. If your scalp is cleaned then your hair will naturally get cleaned as well. Be sure to leave this mixture on your scalp/hair for one minute, then rinse thoroughly.
What About Conditioner?
Although some people are fine to just wash their hair, others need some additional conditioning. Whipping up your own conditioner is easy. Mix 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (not white vinegar) and 1 cup (8oz) water. Apply to clean hair, massage into scalp and then rinse. Note: you do not have to do this after every shampoo. Some people find their only have to do this once every 2-3 washes. If your hair seems limp, lifeless or has a residue feel to it after rinsing with ACV then you are using too much - a little goes a long way.
While baking soda acts as a deodorizer and clarifier, apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic and reduces scaling or peeling of the scalp. It also helps detangle hair, balance hair's natural pH and helps seal the hair cuticle (making it shinier and less frizzy).
There are no bubbles. Did I do something wrong?
No. Bubbles, or lack thereof, are not an indication that a shampoo is working or not working. Conventional shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLFS) which are skin/eye irritants that also acts as foaming agents. When mixed with other common shampoo ingredients, SLS and SLFS can create carcinogenic (aka. cancer-causing) substances to form. SLS and SLFS are absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream, and research is now suggesting that these two agents are linked to cancer as well as posing negative effects on the heart, lung, liver and brain and eyes. Children as especially vulnerable to SLS and SLFS.
What about dandruff/dry scalp?
This is a personal struggle for me. Before I shampoo I pour a mixture of 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/2 cup water over my scalp and rub it in thoroughly. I let it sit for a minute and then rinse. When I first started using the Poo-Free Method, I added 1 tablespoon crushed rosemary to my baking soda and water although I don't have to rely on that anymore. I have found this list of herbs to be particularly helpful in promoting healthier hair.
I have white build-up on my scalp. Am I doing something wrong?
You are probably using too much baking soda when you prepare your shampoo, or you are using too much shampoo when shampooing.
Can I still use conventional styling products on my hair (hairspray, gel, mousse, etc)?
Yes, but you will find that your hair is much more management after going Poo-Free. Most people note that they rely on styling products less or even not at all after going Poo-Free. There are some natural recipes for styling products here.
Are there any natural remedies for combating oily, frizzy or limp hair?
Yes. Babyslime has an extensive list of natural remedies for all hair types/conditions.
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Have you gone poo-free? Share your story!