hair care sans shampoo

Posted on August 26th, 2013 by mountain girl  |  12 Comments »

Since my last hair post, I’ve changed my hair care regime again.  You might remember that coconut-clay recipe I came up with to help me adjust to going shampoo-free.  That recipe was great for the transition, and helped alleviate my “greasy hair syndrome”.  Now that my hair has adjusted and regulates its own oils, I’ve switched to something simpler: baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

When I tried baking soda at the beginning of kicking shampoo, it seemed like it broke off my hair too much.  Now I’m really careful when I use it, and I only use it about every other washing.  In between, I just rinse my hair with water, and I no longer have the breakage problem.

Here’s how I wash my hair with baking soda:

1. Rinse hair well with water, massaging scalp with fingertips.

2. Put about a teaspoon of baking soda into a tall cup and fill with warm water (about 4 cups water).  Pour mixture over scalp and hair (you can massage it gently, but don’t rub hard).  Rinse with water.

Here I usually add a dime-size amount of natural conditioner, but that’s optional, since in the next step the AC vinegar acts as a conditioner.  My hair tends to be really tangly, so extra conditioning helps.

3. Put about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in a tall cup and fill with warm water. Pour over scalp and hair. You won’t need to rinse it out.

Alternately, you can make a hair tea to use as a rinse in place of the vinegar.  I steep some herbs (rosemary, nettles, and calendula), strain and cool the tea, and pour it on clean, wet hair.  Squeeze hair gently to work the tea in.

Rosemary and nettles are great for strong, healthy hair and they promote hair growth, but both can darken light hair.  Calendula adds warm (as in reddish) natural highlights and shine, and can help relieve dandruff and scalp irritation (it can also help alleviate skin problems like eczema).  Some people even use strong calendula tea to cover gray hair!

So, in a nutshell, that’s my hair care routine these days.  As you can see from the pics, I’m not much of a stylist, and I don’t even own a curling/straightening iron.  But my hair is healthy, strong, and grease-free.  Now all I need is a little humidity in this dry Colorado air to give me back some curl and bounce!

I’d love to know–do you have an out-of-the-ordinary way to take care of your hair?

12 Responses to “hair care sans shampoo”

  1. Jaime says on :

    I love the baking soda and apple cider vinegar regimen! I’ve been doing it for about 3 years now and my hair is so much happier than it was with shampoo.

    Your hair looks gorgeous!

  2. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Jaime! Glad to hear the baking soda and a.c. vinegar works well for you too!

  3. Appleshoe says on :

    Oh wow! I’m so glad you posted this. I have persnickety hair and have been admiring yours. I’m always interested in ways to save my hair. Going to look for your other hair posts now. Be well.

  4. mountain girl says on :

    I hope it works out for you…let me know! Going shampoo-free can be a frustrating process, but I think it’s well worth it in the end.

  5. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says on :

    Your hair is gorgeous! You would never guess you’re not using shampoo. I would love to go shampoo-free but I’m a little intimidated by the idea of it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Tiffany says on :

    What a great post! I have been trying to wean myself off of shampoo for the last few weeks now and don’t know too much about natural hair care. I have only been using it every three days or so. I tried coconut oil and it made my hair pretty greasy. Thanks for sharing your tips! 🙂

  7. mountain girl says on :

    You’re welcome, Tiffany!

  8. Poco Mountain Girl » Blog Archive » a morning routine: two versions says on :

    […] started swishing, rubbed some honey on my face, and got us both into the bath.  I was just pouring baking soda-water on my hair when I heard a plopping sound. I looked up to see a startled expression on Cash’s […]

  9. Chantal says on :

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I have started no poo at the beginning of december (2013) and am still searching for the best way to clean my hair. The greasy fase seems to fade a bit now, so that’s nice ;-)I will try your clay-recipe. Hope it does the trick! How much is needed on medium long hair, the full recipe or less? How long did it take your hair to adjust? Hope you have time to answer my questions. Thanks in advance! Kind regards.

  10. mountain girl says on :

    Hi Chantal,
    The clay recipe makes a lot–just keep in the fridge what you don’t use the first time. It took my hair at least a couple of months to adjust to no-poo, but the clay recipe was key for me to make the adjustment.
    Now I use baking soda or Dr. Bronner’s soap (with Bronner’s just be sure to rinse with apple cider vinegar, since it leaves a sticky coating).
    Thanks for your questions–let me know how you like the clay recipe!

  11. Chantal says on :

    Thank you so much for your reply. At this point I am washing my hair with Saponaria officinalis (it’s a “soapherb”. I boil it in plain water (1 TBS per cup of water) for 15 minutes (covered), I strain it and let it cool. I then wash my hair with it as if it was a bakingsoda “shampoo”. It works quite well. I am 2,5 months shampoo free and my hair still gets better every day. So confident that I will make the transition succesfully.

    Kind regards.

    PS: Hope there are not to many spelling-mistakes in this tekst. English is not my home language 😉

  12. Beth says on :

    Once my hair detoxes, is there a problem going back and forth between no poo and clay shampoo?

    Also, I have been coloring my hair for several years (professional color) but am trying for healthier hair and ingredients. My hair seems very dry and damaged. I am thinking of switching to henna color. Does this work well with the clay shampoo?