July 31, 2011

The Shampoo Experiment

Last Fall, The Hubs decided that he was going to eliminate his use of chemical laden shampoos and conditioners.

Needless to say, the girls and I were extremely skeptical.  In fact, the girls are still skeptical....you could say they are still rebelling.  To such an extent that their friends feel sorry for them enough to buy them shampoo and conditioner, since The Hubs and I have stopped buying it.

The Hubs started using a mixture of baking soda and water for shampoo and apple cider vinegar and water as a conditioner.  He used it for 6 weeks before I had to admit that it seemed to be working.  His hair was clean looking, shiny, soft and to our amazement his dandruff had disappeared.

Let me repeat....his dandruff...that he has tried to control with every shampoo and elixir out there....was GONE.

That in itself was enough to convince me, even though I have never had a dandruff problem.  Our skin is a very delicately balanced organ and I believe that all the chemical laden lotions, soaps, balms and hair products that we use daily can take their tole.  In addition to all the chemicals that then enter our water and soil.  I will expand on this idea later when I explain about how we make our own lotion, lip balms and deodorant.  My sister uses apple cider vinegar (ACV) for a hair rinse and this has resolved her flaky, itchy scalp issues as well.

So I started using baking soda and vinegar, exclusively, for my shampoo and conditioner in mid-December of 2010.  This is July, seven months later, and I have to say, my hair is fantastic!  It is healthy, shiny, full of body, everything you could want for your hair.  And this method is easy.  And cheap.

Baking Soda/ACV Locks
I use pure aloe vera gel to keep my hair from frizzing...I do not tolerate the frizz.  I had tried every kind of product out there to keep my hairs in check, from the super cheap to the super expensive.  So I was pleasantly surprised that aloe works so marvelously.  It is light and yet gets the job done.  My husband prefers a gel he makes from boiling flax seeds, it provides a bit more hold if you prefer that.  See the recipes below:

2 Tbls. Baking soda
Warm water
Place baking soda in old shampoo bottle (we use a funnel to get it in there), then fill with warm water.  Shake bottle until the baking soda dissolves.
Use:  Squirt 1-2 Tbls. on your head, scrub your entire scalp, then rinse.

Fill bottom of another bottle 2 inches with apple cider vinegar
Fill remainder of bottle with water.
Use:  Squirt all over all your hairs, let soak into scalp for a few minutes, then rinse.  The vinegar is what helps heal the scalp and eliminates the flaky skin.

Note: Your hair will feel "squeeky clean" while it is wet, but will dry to be soft and shiny.

Flax Hair Gel
1 Tbls. flax seed
1 cup water
Boil flax seeds in water for 5 minutes or until water starts to gel, strain out the seeds.  Put gel into any container you wish, the Hubs uses a re-purposed pump bottle from the face wash I used to use.

Now I know some of you may be thinking of choice names to call me right now, that may include "dirty hippy" among others....and although I am fully comfortable with that title, I am telling you this baking soda/ACV thing works.  I spent my 20's using all kinds of expensive and so-called natural shampoo and conditioning products.  Always searching for the next one that would be "IT"....because as you know you have to keep switching it up as that stuff builds up on your hair and scalp, and then stops workings as well.

But knowing now how well this works and how CHEAP it is, I will never go back.


  1. Ok, Ms. Hippie... I'm trying it! I HAVE to! I am all about saving money, and it is so hard (with two teenagers with the thickest hair I've ever seen) to keep the house stocked with shampoo! I'm not going to stop buying it just yet, but I have to try.

    I will report back in a week.

  2. Excellent, but give it a couple weeks for the hair and ph etc. to balance out!! I look forward to hearing back!

  3. Really interesting... think I've just found what I'm giving up for Lent - shampoo and conditioner.

    That's a 40 day expriment.


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I am curious about how you use the aloe vera to keep down the friz. Do you put it on while your hair is wet? Thank you!