I’ve decided to share one of my secrets with all of you: I haven’t washed my hair for two months! Now, when I say that I actually mean I haven’t washed my hair with commercially-made, chemical-filled shampoo or conditioner for two months. I’ve been making my own shampoo and conditioner at home and couldn’t be happier with the results.
Why I made the change:
I have very curly hair that was getting very lack-luster and dry, especially during the winter. I first decided to stop using heat on my hair, in the form of hair straighteners or curlers. However, this did not yield the results I was looking for, so I started to look for a new route. I stumbled upon the “no-poo” method on one of my random internet adventures and decided to try it out. Basically this method consists of making a baking soda and water mixture to use as shampoo and a lemon juice (some use vinegar) and water mixture for the conditioner.
Two addition benefits of this change are that it costs much less than commercial shampoo and it is much better for the environment. Yay, looking out for the planet!
Now I’ll quell your fears:
This homemade shampoo gets your hair just as clean as any commercially-made shampoo. Plus it doesn’t include all of the sulfates (which are to blame for drying out your hair in the first place), dyes, parabens, etc. Normal shampoo strips the hair of all of its natural oils, which are super healthy for your hair! The no-poo method works by slowly allowing the natural oils to balance out again without stripping them with every wash. The conditioner then works to balance the pH of your hair. All in all, with this method your hair will become more natural and healthy than you ever thought possible.
Okay, you can have one fear:
There is one set-back: there can be a transition period when switching to the no-poo method. This means that your hair will continue to produce an excess of oil (because it was used to overcompensating for the damaging shampoo). Your hair will most likely have a span of time where it is absolutely oily beyond belief. But, this usually only lasts for a few weeks. Once you get past this, your hair will reward you by being much more shiny and smooth than before. So, stock up on hair bands, bandannas, and hats for the transition period. Hey, you could even start a new fashion trend! ; )
The Method Itself:
Now what you’ve all been waiting for; a recipe for making your own shampoo and conditioner!
What you’ll need:
- Containers to fill with the shampoo and conditioner (I use old shampoo and conditioner bottles as well as water bottles)
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar if you prefer)
- A liquid measuring cup
- A tablespoon
- And finally, a funnel
The shampoo is made with a ratio of one part baking soda (1 tablespoon) per one part water (1 cup). You want to use the funnel to add your baking soda to your container first. Then, if you have hard water (like I do) you want to boil your water in the microwave before adding it to the baking soda. Be very careful when working with the boiling water, my burnt thumb can tell you it’s no fun to mess around and get hurt. Anyway, after boiling the water, use the funnel to add it to the container. Mix slowly using caution as the carbonated solution can bubble up, like those baking soda volcanoes from elementary school, if you aren’t careful. Then your shampoo only needs to cool before using it!
The conditioner is also made with one part lemon juice (1 tablespoon) for every one part water (1 cup). Just simply add the water and lemon juice, using the funnel, to the container, shake, and it’s ready to use. Hey, that was easy wasn’t it?
After you get past the transition period you will find that you will need to use the shampoo and conditioner solutions less frequently. I am at the point where I can wash my hair using my homemade creations once in a two day span, while I can simply use water in the shower for the other day. I hope you have as much success with this as I have, and feel free to let me know any of your comments, concerns, questions, successes, horror stories (I hope not!), etc.
Enjoy your new shampoo-free lifestyle!