Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My adventure without shampoo

This is by far the most "crunchiest" thing I have done! I think our family and friends have gotten use to not having paper towels at our house, reusing baggies, composting, homemade everything and even cloth diapers, but no shampoo is a different story! 3 of my sisters are hair dressers!  My mom even asked me if I am going to quit shaving my armpits! Umm, no.

First off, why am I doing this?
This is a huge info page of all the reasons behind no 'poo and why it works but I will give a few highlights:

Basically going without shampoo puts your hair in its natural state. It will be healthier, prettier, shinier, and easier to manage.
Shampoo is a detergent, just like laundry detergent, dishwashing powder and the stuff you use to clean your bathroom. It cleans out the dirt in your hair, but is very harsh and also takes the natural oils that make your hair shiny, soft and strong so then you need conditioner to cover up the damage in your hair and make it manageable again.

Most shampoos contain mineral oil. A byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil, mineral oil is what's left over. It's so abundant that it costs more to dispose of it then it does to package and sell it, so it ends up everywhere. It's added to shampoos and conditioners to give hair an artificial shine caused by coating it with a thick oil. Mineral oil cannot absorb into your skin like other oils do, so it sits on top and forms a barrier preventing oils and toxins from being released as a normal part of your skin's lifecycle. This is one of the reasons you'll find that the more shampoo you use, the more often you need to use it. In the long run, coating your hair with mineral oil makes it weaker, and more prone to damage.

Shampoos also include SLS and SLFS (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate) which are skin and eye irritants that also acts as a foaming agent in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, dishwashing liquid... and just about anything that produces a foamy lather. The Materials Safety Data Sheet cautions to avoid body contact with SLS, it also puts infants and children (whose eye are developing at a more rapid rate) at risk for improper eye development when it's absorbed through the skin and accumulates in eye tissues.

Hmmm... this is scary stuff! So I am going to quit slathering those chemicals on our bodies each day.

So how do I wash my hair now?
Well I "shampooed" with 1 TBSP of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water. I mix this in an empty ketchup container but you can use any squeeze bottle. Squirt on scalp, scrub in, and rinse after 1 minute. Then I "condition" with 1 TBSP of vinegar mixed in 1 cup of water. Same application. Make sure you rinse really well or else you may smell like vinegar! :)

The first time I did it, I was really worried that I would never be able to comb through my hair to fix it and was very surprised when it was super easy to comb. My hair was super soft and manageable. When you first start, there is a detox period where your hair tries to figure out what to do! By day 3 I was a super grease ball. Good thing I'm still on maternity leave and can hide out in my house. I gave in and washed my hair again with the baking soda and vinegar. I am now on day 9 and have "no-pooed" 3 times. I am hoping this detox thing is almost over. My hair looks really good and although I haven't really tried to fix it (thanks to a certain little girl who throws up on me all day long) I think it would still curl and look nice. I am hoping to eventually only wash my hair once a week (I will shower and shave mom, I promise!).

Now if only I can figure out how to keep coloring my hair... henna maybe?

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