This post is long overdue! I talk about it all the time. I’ve told the story of what I do SO many times. But for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to type it up and put my official endorsement on it. I think mentally I wanted to REALLY make sure I believed in these beauty methods before I advertised them. I wanted to make it through sweaty months and dry months (those are the two seasons for the South right?) and make sure I still thought it worked. And guess what? I do! August 4th was the last time I used shampoo. Sometime in June or July was the last time I bought shampoo, conditioner, face wash, or scalp treatment. I haven’t shampooed my hair in almost 9 months. Sitting here typing this, I haven’t washed my hair at all in four days and it looks as fresh as ever. Adopting this DIY beauty routine, I went from NEEDING to wash my hair every day or every other day if I used dry shampoo, to washing it every 5 days. Intrigued? Grossed out? Keep reading! :)
THINGS YOU NEED:
- baking soda – baking isle for a smaller box, laundry isle for a big box (Generic brand is fine! I used to get the big box from Wal-mart for $2.50. 1 box lasts 3 months for my long hair. I recently bought a HUGE bag from Sam’s. It will probably last me over a year! )
- regular apple cider vinegar – usually by cooking oils (Generic brand is fine!)
- raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar – sometimes with regular vinegar, sometimes in the organic section (It will say “with the ‘mother'” on it. Don’t ask me what that means, but it’s not clear like the other kind and a little bit more expensive. I use Bragg’s, but Heinz has one too I believe.)
- organic coconut oil – sometimes on the regular cooking oils isle, but also in the organic section (All brands are pretty much the same, just get organic.)
- essential oil – usually organic section (I use lavender, but tea tree oil smells good too. I just just have a sensitivity to it.)
- cornstarch – baking isle (Generic brand is fine!)
- cocoa powder if you have dark hair – baking isle (Generic brand is fine!)
- Wilton icing bottles – specialty baking isle (They come in a pack of two, are cheap, and perfect for this! You can also use hair color bottles from Sally’s.)
- miniature spray bottle – travel section (optional)
I’ll talk about what each product can be used for, how I use it, why I think it works, and answer questions people frequently ask.
My fellow blogging, nail polish addict, and make-up loving friend Jessica over at Meet the Magnolias told me about this “no-poo” (short for no shampoo) method by sharing her experience with me! First, I don’t like to call it “no-poo” because well, it should be obvious (it sounds gross!). Second, I’m much more likely to try something when someone I know tells me it really works. The link she shared that I base my mixture off of is from Mind Body Green.
Why switch? It works and it’s healthier for your hair! Shampoo, though a genius marketing move, is actually really bad for your hair. Without fail when people tell me my hair looks so good and healthy and I announce that I haven’t washed in 3-6 days or used shampoo in 8 months the first words out of their mouths are always, “I HAVE to wash mine everyday, it’s so oily!” Our hair is oily BECAUSE of the shampoo. I used to HAVE to wash mine every day too. Shampoo strips your scalp of oils it actually needs. As a result, your scalp is constantly trying to rebuild those oils. THUS oily hair. It’s a trap. You wash your hair daily because it’s oily. Because you wash it daily the scalp works fast to replenish needed oils. Therefore you wash it more and more. Then it gets and feels unhealthy because of all the washing. Therefore you have to spend more money to buy treatments and super strength conditioners. Whew! That makes me tired enough to try something else. And… I don’t know very many women who ENJOY blow drying their hair everyday. Which guess what? Blow drying every day is also bad for your hair!
Do note that there is a transition phase! You probably will have to wash more often in the beginning. Give yourself 4 to 6 weeks and then you’ll start to see the benefits — faster growing hair, healthier hair, less frizzy hair, stronger hair, etc. Just google it! Tons of people have written about it and the benefits. Google baking soda shampoo or no-poo shampoo. My transition phase was about 2 weeks, but I had already trained my hair to go 2 to 3 days without washing. If you are an every day washer, your phase might take longer. Just give it 6 weeks! During the 6 weeks, DO NOT wash your hair every day. This method isn’t actually good for you hair if you do it everyday! The point is to not need to wash it daily. Be sure to find a dry shampoo you like because you will need it during transition phase.
-FAQs on Baking Soda as Shampoo-
- Is it safe for color treated hair? I color my hair every 3-4 months at home. I personally think it makes my color keep longer. I’m a fake red head, red fades the fastest, and mine really doesn’t fade all that much. When I color my hair, I DO use all the components of the kit. It doesn’t mess me up. I’ve read suggestions for people who get color in salon to definitely let them wash your hair when you get it colored (necessary!), just request a sulfate free shampoo. Apparently 99.9 % of salons have it. According to my reading, it only sets you back a few days in the training you’ve done to your hair.
- Don’t you miss suds? I did at first! I’m used to it now. The benefits outweigh the luscious feeling of a lather.
- What if you have a scalp condition? I have scalp psoriasis. It neither makes my scalp better or worse. It burns slightly, but so do expensive shampoos I buy for my scalp. I can’t speak for whether it makes dandruff worse. Usually in the winter I get a little normal dandruff along with my scalp psoriasis, but this winter while using this method I did not.
- What about working out? I pull my hair up in a no crease hair tie, pin back any bangs and pieces that don’t fit, and I’m fine. I know some people get sweaty scalp, but I don’t! If I do, it’s around the edges, and once I get home I wipe around my face and the face framing portions of my hair with a baby wipe then blow dry any damp pieces.
- What about salon visits? Having someone wash my hair and the salon when I go in for a cut is what I miss most! Someone else washing your hair is just a lovely feeling. But I willingly gave it up! If you prefer a wet cut like I do, wash before you go. I wash my hair right before I go, and then I opt for letting them fix it. It feels just as relaxing for someone to dry and style your hair to me as it does for them to wash it.
FOR FACE WASH:
When I realized baking soda actually worked for shampooing, I was amazed and wanted to know what else it did. This post and this post convinced me to try DIY beauty full force, and now I’m sold. In a mini mason jar with a plastic lid, I keep a mixture of 1 part baking soda to 1 part water to use for face wash. I’m uncertain on exact measurements of this, but it should be a liquidy paste consistency. Runnier than toothpaste, but not as liquid as your shampoo mixture.It shouldn’t feel too gritty. I rub a little between my palms each morning then gently rub my face to cleanse it. I can’t answer questions about how this works for problem-prone skin. I was blessed with freckles and clear skin. The most blemishes I’ve ever had at once are 2. It’s perfect and gentle for me. I have combination oily/dry skin and I’m fair, so slightly sensitive skin, and it feels gentle, cleanses my face perfectly, and leaves my skin feeling ridiculously smooth. You can use less water to use it to exfoliate.
There are even more ways you can use it for healthy skin from this site! Apparently it can even be used for sunburn relief or a detox bath!
FOR TEETH WHITENING:
DON’T do this everyday! I’d do it one time a week at most. I usually do it once or twice a month. That being said, you can dip your wet toothbrush into a little baking soda and gently brush your teeth with it for whiter teeth.
I use the same mixture I use for washing my face mixed with a tiny bit of coconut oil for shaving “lotion” and it works perfectly!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
For a conditioning rinse to follow the baking soda shampoo, I use regular (not the organic) apple cider vinegar mixed with water and lavender essential oil. You can use the organic here if you’d like, but I tried both and don’t notice a difference and the regular is cheaper! This is also in the Mind Green Body post and the other DIY beauty posts I mentioned. The vinegar rinse helps add shine to hair, and also releases tangles. For my length hair it does not release all tangles, but it definitely helps! Under coconut oil I’ll discuss a option for additional detangling help.
One thing to note about this is that if you know for some reason you’ll be getting your dry hair wet, you might want to skip the rinse for that washing day. So for instance if it’s 100% chance or rain for 3 days and you aren’t good at remembering to have your umbrella handy or if you’ll be going to the beach or swimming. Once you dry your hair, or once it air dries, the smell is completely gone. But for some reason when it gets wet the smell is slightly reactivated.
Again, I also keep a mason jar full of this in my bathroom. In one of my Wilton bottles, I fill it 1/4th of the way with vinegar. I add 5-6 drops of lavender oil and fill the rest of the bottle with water. For my length hair, I use the entire amount. You might not have to. After rinsing my baking soda shampoo out, I squeeze this mixture all over my hair. I turn the water to as cold as I can handle it, and rinse it out with cool water. Rinsing with cool water also helps with shine.
-FAQs on ACV for Conditioner-
- What about the smell? As mentioned above, it really does go away when it’s dry! With the lavendar oil, the smell left behind is faint. But once it’s dry, especially if you blow dry, it’s gone.
- What if my hair is still tangled? Read below about coconut oil detangler! You can also use a normal detangler, but this is about DIY methods! Be sure to only spray detanglers on the ends of your hair as spraying them on roots can add some extra, unneeded oiliness.
Use diluted organic apple cider vinegar to spot treat blemishes! If I have one and do this the night before, it’s usually gone by morning. You can also dilute it even more and use it as toner. I’d suggest adding some lavender oil with it though for smell. But don’t forget to dilute! It will make your face red if you use it all over at full strength.
FOR UNDERSKIN INFECTIONS:
TMI here, BUT it works so I’m sharing. I had one of those hideous underskin infections on my leg last summer. I knew it had potential to get worse, and I had read that organic apple cider vinegar and some antibacterial properties. I put some on a cotton ball full strength, spot treated the infection, the next morning it was GONE! NOTE: Do not do this on any sort of open infection or sore. I would imagine that would burn like heck and have no idea if it’s good for it.
FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
You can actually drink a little organic apple cider vinegar every day and it’s good for your immune system! There is lots of information out there and I am not an expert and can’t speak on it. I do it and it seems to help. When I feel a cold coming on I drink 1 tablespoon of organic ACV a couple of times a day mixed with cranberry juice and chased with water (it’s nasty, fair warning). There is lots of info and lots of “recipes” for daily elixers to drink. Just google apple cider vinegar drink.
AS A DETANGLER:
In a travel size spray bottle I mix a little coconut oil, less than 1/4th of a bottle, and fill it with warm water. I spray it on my ends to aid in combing out tangles before blow drying. Coconut oil is a hard oil, so the oil will harden between uses. I hold the bottle under hot water each time I need to use it to dissolve the oil then shake it up and use it.
FOR CUTS, SCRAPES, AND SORES:
Coconut oil is sort of magical and has healing powers (again, I’m not an expert, google it!). Coconut oil can be used in place of neosporin under a bandaid. It can also be used on a burn where the skin isn’t broken (I used it on a curling iron burn recently). I also use it when I have sores on my scalp from my psoriasis (how much more TMI can this post get…). To use it in these ways, I scoop some out of the jar I keep in my bathroom, let it sit in my palm for a minute to melt or rub some between my palms to melt it, and then dip a qtip in the melted oil and spot treat the areas in need.
FOR CUTICLES & MANI/PEDI CARE:
FOR DRY SKIN:
FOR EYE MAKEUP REMOVER:
FOR DRY SHAMPOO:
If you have lighter hair, you can use straight cornstarch as dry shampoo! If you have darker hair, you can mix cocoa powder with it to get your desired color consistency. I use a makeup powder brush to apply it around my hair line, along my part, and at the crown of my head and store it in an emptied, cleaned makeup container.
HAIR ROUTINE RECAP
A perfect 6 day wash:
Day 3 – Style hair (which usually just involves brushing it, straightening any pieces that got unruly in the night or curling the ends and sometimes on this day I might pin back my bangs if they are looking a little oily from touching them too much).
Day 4 – Use DIY dry shampoo and style hair (you get the picture of what styling involves).
Day 5 – Use store bought dry shampoo on oily areas and style hair.
Day 6 – Wear hair in an updo or braid.
A little less than perfect 5 day wash:
Day 3 – Use DIY dry shampoo and style hair (you get the picture of what styling involves).
Day 4 – Use store bought dry shampoo on oily areas and style hair.
Day 5 – Wear hair in an updo or braid.
And for a final note… Many times when I’ve told someone I only wash my hair every 5 days, they immediately say, “I have to shower every day!” Hair washing does not equal showering! I shower [almost] everyday! I just pull my hair back with a no-crease hair tie, push my bangs back with a loose head band, and shower. PLEASE SHOWER EVERY[ISH] DAY!