For a long time now, I have been using homemade cleaning products for cleaning lots of things around the house. Actually, homemade is really a misnomer as there is little to no making involved. I use baking soda and vinegar (or a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water) for most of my cleaning tasks. It is a great way to clean (these products often work as well as or better than chemical laden commercial products), my house doesn’t smell like chemicals and it is
Recently, I have been giving more thought to what we clean our bodies with. The things I use are relatively basic, relatively odour free and so I didn’t give it much thought. Until now. Duh! One of the main reasons I switched to my alternative house cleaning products was the horrible chemical smell of the cleaners that we being used all around me. They really bothered me. Several years ago, I also stopped using most scented products in my people cleaning products and because they don’t smell so badly, I guess I have been ignoring this whole topic. Duh! Again!
I’m trying to rectify the situation now. This post, is in a series that will address my search for simple, home-made cleaning products for people.
Here, I address shampoo. I have done a lot of research on the Internet, and come up with using the most basic cleaning regime for hair but added my own little twist. The basic recipes combine baking soda with water for an alternative to shampoo and apple cider vinegar and water as a conditioner. The mildly alkaline baking soda cleans the hair and scalp. The mildly acidic vinegar solution restores pH balance and makes my hair smooth.
There is some evidence (see this link, this link and this link) that suggests that green tea is helpful for your scalp and hair and that its use may help prevent everything from dandruff to psoriasis and even balding. I am very skeptical about any grand claims, but think it probably cannot hurt and so have added it to my recipe.
I have been using these recipes for several months now and I love my new hair care products. Many people have reported going through a time where their hair was really unsavoury for a while before it adapted to the new products. Possibly because I was already not washing my hair daily or because I was using only a bit of shampoo when I used commercial shampoo, I did not have that experience. At first, my hair did feel somewhat straw-like in the shower after I washed my hair and before I used the vinegar solution. However, after the vinegar rinse it was squeaky clean and soft. Over the months, I have found that I no longer even need the vinegar rinse most of the time and do without it.
I wash my hair about two to three times a week and have clean, natural hair.
Not to trust to my own opinions, over the last few months, I have asked friends if they have noticed anything different about my hair. No one was able to actually see any difference (though I did get a lot of “did you cut your hair?” even when I did not).
This experiment a total success as far as I am concerned. I tried to get my husband on the band wagon, but he has no interest. After my success with it, I may urge both him an my son to give it a try and we will see.
Magda’s No-poo Hair Cleaner:
- 2 cups strong green tea (cooled to room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda*
Combine the cooled, brewed green and the baking soda. I make my tea in a large mug and then add the baking soda and stir. It creates a lovely beer effect for a few minutes.
Pour into a squeeze bottle (I use an old honey jar) and just drizzle the solution over my wet hair. I tried a pump bottle, but because the concoction is so runny, this was not really effective.
Just a note, the mixture darkens considerably over time, but seems to work equally well.
Shake thoroughly before each use.
Magda’s No-poo Hair Conditioner:
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
Pour both into a squeeze bottle. Shake.
Shake before each use.
*Notes: I have seen several recipes for various products that call for “aluminum–free” baking soda. As far as I know, no baking soda contains aluminum, so don’t worry about trying to find aluminum (or aluminium – if you are British, Australian or from New Zealand) free baking soda.
Of course, as with everything, it is best to buy organic and natural products. However, if you don’t have those, use what you have and then move on to more natural products with time.