Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Breakup Road to Shampoo Freeville

If you look up alternatives to using shampoo you will get bombarded with a lot of different options. I've done a lot of research on the subject over the past several years, and found many similar directions to go in, so I meshed some together and came up with this!

A lot of people will tell you going cold turkey when you're quitting regular shampoo and conditioner to go "poo-less" is the best option. But that doesn't work for everyone. It definitely didn't work for me. I tried, and felt like my hair wasn't clean, and it got extremely tangly.

It was hard for me to go from the familiar mountain of suds to nothing. So I eased myself into it. I actually waned off shampoo and conditioner for a year before going completely without it.

But let me tell you,

It was worth it!

My hair has always been thick, curly, dry as hay, and extremely frizzy. If I didn't drench it in conditioner, and add a ton of leave in conditioner and hair serum before it dried, it wasn't manageable at all. And even then I usually ended up just putting it in a ponytail or bun or straightened it because I hated how it looked otherwise.

This was my hair on a bad day. Frizz-Central Station.
Here was my hair on a good day. You can see how dry it is.

Now my hair is touchable, shiny and healthy, and has hardly any frizz. Finally, I'm at a point where I'm loving my hair, and let me tell you, it is liberating.
My hair Now: no flash, with florescent lighting.
With the flash turned on you can see how shiny my hair can be, and how non-frizzy it is now.
So I'm going to go through the steps I took to get here. I ended up doing each step for around three months before switching to the next step. Basically, I went through each step until my hair was used to it and was looking better, and I was ready to try something new.

All you need are a few things:

1 - Water :D

2 - Baking Soda

3 - Apple Cider Vinegar

4 - A squeezable bottle with a lid. This one is 12 ounces.

Here's what I did:

Stage 1:
Shampoo -
Mix equal parts shampoo and water.
Conditioner -
Mix equal parts conditioner and apple cider vinegar.
(That sounds like a lot of vinegar, but I promise it's not since you're only using a tablespoon or so at a time)

Stage 2:
Shampoo -
Mix one part shampoo with two parts water
Conditioner -
Mix one part conditioner, one part apple cider vinegar, and one part water.

Stage 3: (Where it starts getting exciting!)
Shampoo -
Mix two cups water with 1 Tbsp Shampoo and 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
Conditioner -
Mix Two cups water with 1 Tbsp conditioner and 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Finally - Stage 4:
One cup of hot water and 1 Tbsp Baking Soda*
(the hot water helps the baking soda dissolve faster)
One cup of water and 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar*

Instructions for Step 4:
Apply the baking soda mix directly to your scalp and massage it in, working out to the ends. Rinse thoroughly then apply the ACV mix also directly to the roots, then on the ends, covering all of your hair with it. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing out.

NOTE: At this point I make the cleanser and conditioner by the gallon. I use empty vinegar gallon jugs and pour one cup of baking soda in one jug and one cup apple cider vinegar in the other, then fill the jugs the rest of the way with water and shake. Then it's good to go and I can just refill the squeeze bottle I keep in the shower when I need to.

A lot of people will tell you not to put the ACV mix directly on your scalp, but my philosophy(and proven fact with my hair) is that you need to take better care of your roots and scalp than the rest of your hair because if that area isn't healthy then the rest of your hair won't be either. Apple Cider Vinegar is the same pH range as your hair. Many shampoos and conditioners are the wrong pH which throws your hair out of whack and it tries to compensate in all the wrong ways, and its growth can be stunted as a result. (More proof with my hair - It used to grow half an inch a month. Now it grows a whole inch per month.)

A couple more notes: I always use a leave in conditioner or oil spray like the Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition oil sprays. This one is my absolute favorite. Also, instead of hair gel or hairspray, which generally dry your hair out and cause a whole other set of problems, I use Aloe Vera gel(not the stuff you use for sunburns, but natural, virtually plain, Aloe Vera gel) or Vitamin E gel. It sets your hair like a gel but when you run your fingers through it, there's no crunchy feeling. Just soft beautiful hair. After I add these to my hair I comb it with a medium wide toothed comb and let it air dry, placing a couple bobby pins in to help my bangs dry the way I want them to.

* - Next week: Troubleshooting for when you're completely “poo-less” (Like how I ended up needing to double the ACV amount and add honey because of my dry hair), more details of my routine and why I do it, and fun things to add to the cleanser and conditioner and how they work.


SFeldt said...

Great! I tried cold turkey with baking soda and acv and my hair always felt greasy. Went back to shampoo when I went back to work and my eylashes are itchy. Thanks for the breakdown.

Camille A.D. said...

Cool! I hope you try it and that it works for you. :)

Cheryl said...

Okay, you have my attention now.
So, basically you weaned off of shampoo and conditioner.

I used Pantene for MANY years and then it changed. This last year I have used Aussie.

I am quite interested in this concept.

Thanks for sharing.