Saturday, May 21, 2011

Liberate Your Hair

Did you know that, when you open up that bottle of tropical flower scented shampoo that  has the (apparent) power to give you some jollies in the shower when you rub your head to a fro-like lather, that not only are you getting your hot, steamy groove on, you are also getting your potential premature aging, headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, coma, eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and carcinogens on? Yeh- SEXY! Give it to me baby! Oh, wait...

I am not going to go into every potential ingredient and it's nasty side effects, but instead I will offer you this link:
Which is one of MANY links out there that has information about the chemicals we use every day.

So what now? Well, I am certainly not the type of person to offer a problem without a potential solution. What is this solution?

Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar.

It might sound a little too much like Grandma's pantry for some of you, but I like it because it is simple. I like to K.I.S.S. or, in wiki terms, "Keep it simple stupid!" Seriously, do we need 30 ingredients in a product that is meant to get the dirt out of our hair?

Now, some of you out there may have heard this concept referred to as the "No Poo" method. Please feel free to follow the wiki link to read about it in depth.

Mindi and I have been cleaning our hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar for about 3 months. Our hair is soft, shiny, and clean. Want to try it? Do this:

*Fill a jar with about 1/4 baking soda and 3/4 water. Need a jar? Eat some pickles. Label it with the date somehow- stickers work well.
*Stick it in your cupboard/pantry/vanity/medicine cabinet for about 2 weeks (this helps it rinse out more easily come shower time).
*In a separate squirt bottle (preferred) or jar (manageable) mix 1:3 apple cider vinegar and water.
*Shake the baking soda jar vigorously and put contents into a squirt bottle of some sort, or just use from the jar (I prefer the bottle).
*Wet your hair and apply baking soda wash. It will feel slightly gritty. Rub a dub dub. Make sure you get all your hair. Rinse.
*Apply the apple cider vinegar rinse. Use whatever amount feels right to you. Let it sit in your hair while you wash your junk, then rinse.

*Try not to get either the baking soda or vinegar in your eyes- ouch-ish
*You can use the baking soda left on your hands to lightly exfoliate your face
*I only use the vinegar rinse about 1 time per week
*Your hair will only smell like vinegar until it dries
*As with any new hair care regimen, allow at least 2 weeks for your hair to become accustomed to the new method before you judge the outcome.

If you are not in the mood to eat this much granola, but you are interested in avoiding potential premature aging, headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, coma, eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and carcinogens, then when you are reading the back of the label of the lotion at Whole Foods (or wherever you shop for natural skin care), make sure that the ingredients list doesn't end with "fragrance". The ingredients list could be short and filled with enticing botanical names, but if it ends with "fragrance" then all bets are off. "Fragrance" is present in most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care, and baby products. Many of the compounds in fragrance are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most of all of them are synthetic." -Home Safe Home.

I managed to convert Mindi, and she can be a tough nut to crack! I feel better about what I am exposing myself to, what I am sending down the drain to our waterways, and I feel great that I can buy a huge bag of Baking Soda the size of my daughter at Costco for less than 5 bucks.


  1. Great tips. As I am also in possession of the Costco bag-o-baking soda for other cleaning, I'll give this a shot.

    I wash my face with almond oil from the grocery store and thats another "Grandpas Pantry" cleaning solution I highly recommend. Dilute PCV also makes a great toner/mild acid peel for the face.

    I love it when my skin care and salad dressing ingredients are identical.

  2. If you want something that's all natural (especially minus the petroleum...ewww) there's a company based out of California called 5 star soap. All natural ingredients, and oh my do they smell heavenly. They are based out of almond oil and orange peel for the most part and the smell lasts in my hair all day. I love that!! Not sure if they are as cost effective as this, but they are fabulous products. They have dish and laundry soap as well as a few other things too. Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents here. Much love from Texas!! :o)

  3. Do you know if this would be safe for colour treated hair (yeah, I know, hypocritical)? I would love to try it!

  4. Ninefirefly- Hey you! long time no hear! I have read that Vinegar "sets" color when dying fabrics and people aslo use it to "set" the color when dying their hair too, so with that logic, I don't see anything wrong with someone using vinegar on color treated hair...
    Let me know if you give it a whirl!

  5. I can't bring myself to be as crunchy as you are, so instead I use the Skin Deep database to drive my purchasing decisions. It appears to me that it rates products for all the things mentioned in your article and seems to be well respected.

  6. Hi....I've been reading your blog for a while but this post deserved a comment as I wish more people would give no poo a go. Thank you for spreading the word :-)

    I've been doing this regime for about 2 months now, occasionally i get greasy hair but I put it down to not washing the bicarb or vinegar out properly so I've started using a comb on my hair whilst in the shower and increasing my vinegar rinse to 2 times a week.....I love the results and I love not putting more harmful chemicals on my head. It's how we plan to wash our daughters hair, fingers crossed she wont ever have to use shampoo (unless it's for medical reasons).

    p.s you seem really cool and quite similar to me in the fact you are realising you're a hippy and trying to navigate the world with new eyes :-)

  7. I may have to give this a try! It's incredible all baking soda and vinegar can do. I've been making my own dishwashing detergent and I'm trying to make my own laundry soap. It's a great money-saver.


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