Out of all the weird things I do, not washing my hair with shampoo has got to be in the top 10 weirdest.
It’s not that I don’t wash my hair at all—just not with normal, chemically, lathering shampoo. Instead, I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
There are a lot of benefits to tossing your shampoo. Before I switched over, I used to have very frizzy, dry hair. I would always have to straighten it or pull it back before I went out, and it would frizz up again anyway. The struggle was real.
Normal shampoos clean dirt and oil from your hair, but also strip the natural oil you need to keep your hair healthy. When you do this consistently, your body starts over-producing oil. This means your hair gets oily more quickly, causing you to shampoo more often. This then strips your hair again, throwing you into a cycle of greasiness and bad hair.
When I wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, it washes out dirt and grime, without completely stripping my hair of everything. Since I’m not completely getting rid of all the oil in my hair, I now only need to wash my hair about very three days (with the help of a little dry shampoo on the third day).
Using natural shampoo is also a huge cost savings. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are super cheap, especially compared to all the fancy hair-care products I would use to combat what normal shampoo does to my hair.
Switching over to natural shampoo is fairly easy. If you’d like to try it out, the “recipe” is below:
What you need:
— squeeze bottle (holds about one cup)
— pour bottle (holds about two cups)
— baking soda
— apple cider vinegar (This does not have to be the all-natural organic kind with the floating bits. I use the Kroger brand.)
— warm water
— conditioner (optional)
Making the shampoo
1. Spoon a few spoonfuls of baking soda into the squeeze bottle. Depending on how thick, long, or greasy your hair is, you may need to adjust how much you use. I have quite thick and long hair, so I use about two to three heaping spoonfuls. Thinner or shorter hair will not need as much.
2. Fill the squeeze bottle with warm water. The baking soda should almost completely dissolve into the water. You may need to shake the bottle a few times.
3. Fill the bottle with warm water.
Using the shampoo
1. Rinse your hair with warm water. It should be completely soaked
2.Squeeze the baking soda and mixture over your scalp. You should not use it on the actual ends of your hair. Make sure to get the sides of your head, too.
3. Massage the baking soda in a little bit, then rinse well.
4. Pour the apple cider vinegar and water solution over your hair, making sure it runs through the ends.
5. Let this sit for a minute or so, then rinse well.
Optional: If you have naturally ridiculously dry hair like I do, this would be the time to use a deep conditioner. Make sure to use one that washes out easily and is not too greasy. Once you have rinsed the apple cider vinegar out of your hair, put the conditioner on your ends (not your roots). I like to tie my hair up, finish the rest of my shower, then rinse it out right before I get out.
Although apple cider vinegar is a great conditioner, it does not do much in the way of detangling. So if you have especially long or thick hair, I suggest using at least a little bit of store-bought conditioner. After all, if you rip all your hair out trying to comb it, it won’t matter what kind of shampoo you use.
Rinse again with cold water for extra shine.
Tips and tricks:
— There is an adjustment period to washing your hair with natural shampoo.
Since your scalp is used to overproducing oil, it will need a little bit to adjust. I suggest starting with washing your hair everyday, then cutting back to every other day. If you have hair that does not get greasy quickly, you can even do every third day.
— Do not try to mix everything up in the shower.
I keep a container of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar on my bathroom counter and put it all together while the water is heating up.
— Do not. Use. Hair masks.
I can’t stress this one enough. Since this shampoo is gentler than store-bought shampoos, it won’t wash out heavy oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, or mayonnaise hair masks (yes, it’s a thing) will take about three or four washings (actually, scrubbings) to fully rinse out. Learn from my mistakes.
— If you find your hair is particularly greasy, you can use make a runny paste out of baking soda.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, your hair just turns into a grease bomb. Instead of double washing your hair (which, although effective, takes longer), you can make a runny paste with baking soda and water and massage it into your scalp. It does not take much, and the extra baking soda plus the rubbing with clean your hair really well.
— It will probably sting, just a bit.
I hate to say it, but while baking soda and apple cider vinegar make great shampoo, they can also affect your skin if it’s not healthy. Baking soda will sting on dry skin, and apple cider vinegar stings in any cuts or open scabs you have.
— You’ll smell like apple cider vinegar, but it will go away.
This often happens while your hair is still wet, but it will go away once your hair is dry.
— Dry shampoo is cool too
On the days I just can’t take the time to wash my hair (the problems of having incredibly thick hair that takes forever to dry, even with a blow dryer), I like to use baby powder as dry shampoo. I have blonde hair, so the white doesn’t stand out, and baby powder doesn’t leave a residue like spray-in dry shampoos.
Washing your hair naturally is completely worth not only the money you will save, but how your hair will look. I don’t feel like I have to always straighten my hair when I go out anymore, because now I like how it looks naturally. It’s easier to manage and not as frizzy. There’s so many benefits and I really recommend you try it.
And if nothing else, you get to enjoy the looks on people’s face when you say you don’t wash your hair.
If you have questions about washing your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, or about how else I take care of my abundance of hair, leave a comment below.