I stopped using shampoo and conditioner and I love it, all I can say is why did I not go 'no-poo' years ago! My hair feels amazing, I am saving a fortune and it's dramatically cut down plastic and waste.
Before we get started, in case you haven't heard of no-poo, it doesn't refer to never washing your hair, but means that you opt for a natural alternative such as this recipe, or even just plain water.
My prompt for doing this was my hair had been a bit lack lustre for months and we have been trying to reduce our household waste, including loads of plastic waste that we seem to generate from the bathroom. so I thought, what have I got to lose?
Just about all store bought shampoo and conditioners contain the dreaded Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. It is in a host of bathroom products including soaps, body wash, shampoo bars and even toothpaste. I've read a few articles on how it can impact your health (I still don't know if this is true or not and I'm not sure I care that much) BUT what I do know is that it is actually bad for your skin, scalp and hair as it dries everything out.
As someone who suffers from intermittent dandruff, eczema, psoriasis and sensitive skin, this is pretty important. I honestly couldn't count the thousands of dollars I have spent trying to help or prevent skin complaints and the frustration when anti-dandruff shampoos no longer help.
I was on a bit of a shampoo/conditioner roller coaster for years and would easily have spent a small fortune on hair conditioning and leave in products. At one stage I thought the magical keratin would give me the miracle I'd been looking for. I don't know if I'm allergic to it or what, my hair likes it, but it makes my scalp itch like crazy!
Anyway, you're not here to listen to all my woes!
I'm sure you have plenty of your own too regarding hair products.
Here's a little snapshot of just some of the bathroom products I gave away in my quest for more natural, zero waste products and I think half the items were hair related!
Since the swap I haven't looked back and now my friends and family are starting to give no poo a go too. I also noticed that the seasonal dry skin I used to experience particularly on my legs has disappeared and I think this is a result of not having all the hair products that inevitably get washed over the rest of my body.
If you're aiming for zero waste or just want to go a little plastic free, then this is a great routine to test out.
DIY 'No-Poo' Shampoo Instructions
Add 1 Tablespoons of Bi-carb Soda + half a cup of water into a bottle and shake.
Pour over wet hair and leave for a few minutes before rinsing out.
If your scalp is dry, experiment with lesser amounts, and if your hair is oily, this should help to control it.
DIY Conditioning Rinse Instructions
Mix 25 mls of Apple Cider or white vinegar with half a cup of water.
Pour over wet hair, leave a few minutes and rinse off.
Optional: Add 1 drop of Lavender essential oil and/or a 1 drop of Rosemary, this combats the vinegar smell, contributes to healthy hair and can provide relief for sensitive scalps.
I have recently started adding Rose Geranium, it's a gorgeous scent (reminds me of Turkish Delight), I read somewhere that Egyptians used this oil to promote radiant skin (I have no idea if this is true, or how anyone would know this, I just love the smell). Go light with this oil, one drop is fairly strong.
NB: Quantities do depend a little on hair length, I have thick med-length hair so you may want to experiment a little with quantities until you work out what level gives you the best result. The amount you begin with may change too as your hair and scalp adjust to not having chemicals over time.
I expected the vinegar to make me smell like a fish & chip shop, but the smell is almost gone after rinsing and by the time my hair dries it is undetectable. Here are the containers I repurposed, not exactly glamorous but they do the job just fine....
Oh, and do add the water once you are in the shower.... The first time I did this, I premixed everything and it was extremely refreshing to tip freezing cold rinse over my hair!
If you're not quite ready to give up the shampoo and conditioner, or are looking for something a little more exciting, you could try this DIY Herbal Infused Hair Rinse (It is super simple, I promise!)
After relying on this for about 2 years, my hair did start to become a bit dry and hard to manage. I still use the bicarb/vinegar mix on a semi regular basis but I alternate between this and shampoo and conditioner bars - which I find are much better on my hair. The journey of finding the right shampoo bar has been another adventure. Do check the labels and avoid SLS if you have a sensitive scalp.