Are you wondering what I do if I don't shampoo or condition? You're probably already guessing; it's all over the internet with opinions at both ends of the spectrum. It's either adored or detested.
Simply - I use baking soda to cleanse, and apple cider vinegar to rinse.
Here's the cast of characters:
Looks kind of like a science project, doesn't it? That's just drama for the camera. It's actually so simple.
I purchased two inexpensive squeeze bottles that hold 1 cup each. Into one of them, I use a funnel to pour about 1 tablespoon of baking soda, add water to fill.
Then into the other one, I use a funnel to pour 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and add water to fill.
Voila, your cleanser and your rinse. Notice the baking soda settling to the bottom? That's typical - I just give the bottle a good shake before I use it. These one cup portions give me three applications.
I wet my hair first, then squirt the baking soda/water all over my scalp and work through with my fingers. No need to apply it all the way to the ends. At first I really missed the lather, but it doesn't bother me any more. Rinse it out with water, then apply the apple cider vinegar/water in the same fashion, and work through. I leave that in for just a couple of minutes before rinsing. I'm not sure it's necessary, but it's a habit from my conditioner days.
This is my hair after not shampooing it (and using the bs/acv method, instead)! I've always had a funky, frizzy texture to my hair and was hoping that this new concoction would enable me to get rid of the straight iron, but no. While I'm satisfied with my clean hair, the new method didn't fully eliminate the frizzies. My hair is still my hair.
(This shot reveals I could have done a better job with the straight iron, but I was running late for church and knew I still wanted to snag an over-the-shoulder picture for this blog post! Most days it appears smoother than this... Oh well, it's what I get for hurrying.)
So... why did I make the change? I'm trying to be purposeful in eliminating toxins from our products wherever I can; in our diet, in our household cleansers and in our personal hygiene products.
Shampoo is a harsh detergent that strips our hair of it's natural oils which our body produces to keep our hair strong, yet supple. It's also riddled with chemicals that seep into our bloodstream through our pores when we scrub it into our scalp and let it run down our bodies. We're being so cautious about what we eat, it only makes sense to also be aware of what we're slathering on our largest organ (our skin)!
Plus, shampoo is expensive... and the more you use, the more you need because of the unnatural byproducts that wrack havoc on the natural process. It's a vicious cycle that requires more expensive products to combat (artificially) the damage the shampoo is doing.
Enter baking soda. The alkaline is mild and gently removes build-up from our natural oils and environmental substances (pollution). If you try it, you may need to adjust the amount of baking soda/water ratio. One tablespoon to one cup of water is good middle ground, but you may need a touch more if your hair is thick, or a touch less if your hair is thin.
The apple cider vinegar is a mild acidic and is a good companion to the baking soda providing your hair an appropriate PH balance. I find that after leaving it in for a bit, if I gently run a wide tooth comb through my hair, it acts as a detangler.
If you plan to give it a try, expect an adjustment period. Your hair is used to being stripped of it's oils, so there will likely be a period of several weeks that your hair seems more oily than usual as it adjusts to the new regime of a gentler system. It took about 4 weeks for my hair to seem normal - but even the adjustment period, for me, wasn't unbearable. I wore it up more often than usual during that period, but I didn't feel like I had to hide it under a hat.
The formula may take some tweaking for your hair type... a little less of the baking soda / a little more of the vinegar, or vice versa. If you stick with it, I think you'll be pleased.
And just imagine the money you'll save! It now costs just pennies to wash my hair!
But, the best part... my hair would come out in [alarming] handfuls when I was giving it its chemical bath a couple of times a week. Now, only the typical few strands are released each time I wash. It's really astounding (and relieving), and it's been that way from the first application of this kinder-to-my-hair method (and I don't have to wash it as often).
I couldn't be happier with the no 'poo method.