What? No Shampoo?
I’m always interested in reducing the amount of waste I produce and the chemicals I expose myself to. When I came across Amber’s blog post about not using shampoo, I was skeptical. But her hair looked so good, even after almost two weeks without using shampoo. How could a few mere teaspoons of baking soda be enough to clean my hair with and be effective?
Thumbing through my copy of Raleigh Briggs’s Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills looking for an anti-bacterial bleach-like cleaner, I came across her recipe for baking soda “shampoo”. Like Amber’s blog post, Raleigh suggests using a few teaspoons of baking soda – made into a paste with a little bit of water – and massaging it into your wet hair in the shower.
So being very curious, I tried it and holy moley – it works! Ten days into no-shampoo, and my hair is shinier, bouncier, and more full. It’s also softer and, surprisingly, it dries faster. And because my hair isn’t stripped dry by harsh chemicals, it’s not nearly as frizzy as I imagined it would be. I have slightly wavy hair that likes to get a wee bit frizzy in places, and I always need to use a conditioner with shampoo. Best of all, my hair doesn’t get tangled and I can easily brush it out while it’s still wet, which is amazing since with shampoo this is impossible. I still have to wash my hair as often as I did before – every other day or so. And because I have long, thick hair, I use 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of baking soda to cover my scalp and the rest of my hair.
No – you won’t end up with grungy, greasy hair if you stop using shampoo. I’m super conscious of my personal hygiene, and I would never stick with this if it didn’t leave my hair looking anything but better than it does using conventional shampoo. Baking soda has a soapy feel on the skin and hair when combined with water. I am convinced baking soda is a wonderful alternative because:
- you can save loads of money (max $1.99 for a big box of baking soda versus as much as $9.99 or more just for one bottle of vegan shampoo, never mind conditioner too)
- you keep harmful chemicals from entering the water system, thus protecting you, wildlife, and the environment. Baking soda is immediately biodegradable, whereas I believe many shampoos likely take several days to biodegrade with some not biodegrading at all (depending on the ingredients)
- you significantly minimize the number of toxic chemicals your body is exposed to on a daily basis
- your hair will still smell good; it’ll smell like your own good, clean hair. If you like, you can even use essential oils mixed into your baking soda paste to give your hair a nice scent and your body and mood a natural, healthy boost
- it takes no more effort to use this method of washing your hair than using shampoo, and it is perhaps even less fuss
- baking soda doesn’t sting the eyes like shampoo can, making it a great alternative for babies and children
Give it a try over this long weekend or on another weekend and see what you think. You have a whole lot more to gain than to lose.