So I recently read a post on a blog called Letters To The Editor about natural hair care, thanks to my lovely friend Carrie. I had kind of always had a sneaking suspicion that the stuff we buy at the store was probably not the best stuff to be putting on our scalp, due to the fact that I simply cannot pronounce half the stuff on the ingredients list. I’ve also heard things, but nothing had really motivated me to ditch the suave and go for a more holistic route as far as my hair goes. Well, thanks to that post, all has changed. I didn’t realize that shampoo was basically a detergent that strips your hair of not only dirt, but all of it’s natural oils. It causes buildup which prevents the natural oils produced by the scalp from releasing, which is why we need conditioner. But because conditioner isn’t the real deal, it doesn’t hydrate and take care of your tresses the way your body’s natural process would. Now that doesn’t sound TOO BAD, but as I read on I found that there are other ingredients in store bought shampoo that can be harmful to us over a long period of time. The post is great, you should read it!
Anyways, I decided to use the recipe she provided to make some natural hair wash and rinse. Now friends, I am not about to just give you a little tutorial on something I haven’t tried. I’ve been using this recipe for the past week, and my hair not only feels clean, but it has gotten softer and has stayed clean longer! I’ve used the wash every other day, and the rinse only once. As soon as I share the ingredients, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. But fret not! The hair wash smells good if essential oils are added to it and the smell of the rinse is immediately gone after rinsing!
First, go and read the article and then get these items out of your pantry:
Apple Cider vinegar
Essential oils (not necessary, but will make your hair smell nice)
The recipe for the hair wash calls for 1 tbsp of baking soda per 1 cup of water. She does mention that everyone’s hair is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the perfect combo for you. But this mixture worked for me just fine! The rinse calls for 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. Again, once it is rinsed out, there won’t be any smell. If there is a lingering odor, then you have used too much vinegar. This mixture also did great for me. Here’s what the process looked like:
I took an empty sparkling water bottle and got all the sticky off of it.
Broke out some of Martha Stewart’s craft paint (best craft paint I’ve ever used) and labeled my bottles.
I put 4 cups of water for the hair wash and 4 tbsp of baking soda. For the rinse, I only used 3 cups (since you don’t have to use the rinse every time you wash) and did 3 1/2 tbsp of vinegar.
I added a small amount of Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils to my wash to give my hair the best smell (and the lavender also stimulates hair growth) It’s ok if you don’t want to add any oils. Your hair won’t smell bad, it just won’t smell like anything.
And there ya go! Custom made, simple hair care products. Not only is it healthier, but man is it cheaper, especially if you have long hair.
Her post also includes recipes for other hair stuff like hairspray and hair gel!
Update: Here’s another really awesome, way more popular blog post about this from another woman seeking simplicity. She has been washing her hair with this for over 2 years now, and have a wealth of information! Also, after talking with a lot of people and hearing different takes on it, this method of hair care is not meant for everyone. Don’t just settle for reading my experience, do some more research!
UPDATE AS OF JUNE 2015: I no longer use this as my main wash and conditioner, but as a treatment a few times a month. I have found that I like the combination of this as a treatment with quality shampoos and conditioners, particularly the ones that contain tea tree. I also do a warm coconut oil treatment once a month that makes my hair feel so smooth and strong.