goodbye shampoo?!

(Plastic goes somewhere. Even if you recycle it, think of all the water and energy (aka oil aka we’re partly to blame for BP and the gulf) it takes to convert it to something useful. REDUCE is infinitely better than RECYCLE.)

So I’ve been reading this blog recently called Passionate Homemaking, and it’s one of those that portray this woman effortlessly eating grass fed beef, sewing her own clothes, homeschooling, gardening, canning, making kefir, drinking raw goat’s milk, reading a ton, and generally being awesome at life. Needless to say, sometimes it makes me want to throw up a little, with all of the perfection, but whatever. I still love it.

Anyway, she has a post titled 4 Items You Don’t Need in Your Bathroom (conditioner, shaving cream, makeup remover, aftershave). She links to a recipe for homemade shampoo that is basically a mix of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, apple cider vinegar, and a couple of other things.Ā I just whipped some together (fortunately had some Dr. Bronner’s soap and apple cider vinegar on hand). So I just made some and used it, totally hating the way it felt (it doesn’t lather like “real” shampoo, curses upon it) and doubting whether I would be able to get a brush even one inch through post shower. It just felt like putting water onto wet hair, and smelled vinegar-y. But lo and behold I went to brush, and I brushed all my hair with perhaps even less difficulty than I normally have. It’s shampoo and conditioner in one! Is this goodbye bottles and chemicals? (I guess if you were to use this recipe you still have to buy bottles of Dr. Bronners and ACV, but you water them down so much, and the bottles are bigger, and think of all the terrible suds that you save from the water! And the chemicals from your poor scalp!)

My hair is still wet, so we’ll see how it dries. It could be terrible…

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40 thoughts on “goodbye shampoo?!”

  1. I’ve just started to experiment with ACV for allergies – seems like this is the new “super” remedy for everything! However I don’t want my hair smelling on vinegar! does it smell pretty vinegary?

    1. No, the end result doesn’t smell like vinegar! I added about 20 drops of essential oil to the bottle, which may have helped…. Unfortunately as my hair has been drying it is feeling a little tiny bit greasy…. I may not have rinsed it enough! Or the recipe may need some tweaking!

  2. You should also check out Lush’s solid shampoos! All the benefits of conventional shampoos but no packaging. With no water (you provide that!) they also last more than one bottle would.

    I think I’ll try out that shampoo you did though! Sounds like it will turn out well. šŸ™‚

  3. So, my girlfriend and I have been experimenting with not using shampoo. We simply scrub hard with water. Here’s what we have noticed… the first week or so your hair feels very oily because your scalp is used to putting out extra oil to compensate for the oil that is washed away with shampoo. After a week of this “detox”, your scalp quits secreting as much oil and your hair becomes more healthy. I haven’t used any soap or shampoo on my hair in about 10 months now, and it looks and feels pretty much the same way it did when I used shampoo.

  4. I’m thinking I might try this. My hair is long and tangles easily though so I need heavy conditioning without the grease. Keep us posted on how you tweak the recipe. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  5. When The Body Shop was still young and green and the lovely Anita Roddick was in charge – you could take your plastic bottles back to the shop and have them refilled.

  6. My aunt has her own shampoo from aloe vera- it does work well, she has shinny black hair, though she is not young anymore

  7. Years ago, I stopped using shampoo on my hair, only a type of deep conditioner and an occassional clarifier. My hair never looked dirty. Now I’ve stopped using soap or facial cleanser or moisturizer on my face. I only use Albolene Cream-very pure. I stopped using deoderant as well, because of the chemicals. I started using the “crystal.” Works for most of the year. In summer, I go back to deoderant. I’ve never used shaving cream-totally worthless. I’m not at the do-it-yourself stage, but I’ve eliminated a lot of products and packaging.

    1. Wow, that is awesome! I tried the crystal deoderant, but it didn’t work very well. Arm and Hammer has a GREAT natural deoderant that I LOVE (no aluminum, no parabens, with a great mint scent). Works a million times better than other natural brands, even in the dead of summer in a really hot climate. It’s amazing how many things you can simply eliminate…

      1. The crystal deodorant workd well for me if I follow it up with Burts Bees herbal deodorant spray. On their own both are questionable – I can workout fine with the two together (crystal seems to cut down on the moisture & BBs makes it smell good). I’ll definitely try out the Arm & Hammer one though! Thanks for the tip!

  8. I stopped using shampoos due to a severe scalp irritation that resulted in flaking. I tried every type of therapeutic shampoo and finally realized that it was the shampoo that was causing the problem. Instead I use a 1 to 10 solution of Aloe Vera juice, or instead of the Aloe, Hydrogen Peroxide. It actually works great and my scalp is the healthiest its been in years. About once a week I wash my hair with a non-detergent shampoo. I’ve always like Dr. Bronners and we all have to find ways to use less plastic.

  9. I totally se the point of creating your own cosmetics and soaps etc. But is also fills me with separation anxiety…I am addicted to mine! I am happy to recycle but I will hold on to my shampoo!!

  10. That’s so wonderful! I am glad that you’ve made this change. It’s amazing, when we really stop and think about, just how much unintentional harm we are doing by living our normal work-a-day lives. Nearly everything we use can be “down-sized” in one form or another, so as to have much less impact on the environment (in a negative way).

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  11. I use a baking soda and water mixture to clean my hair, and an ACV and water mixture to “condition”. I love this method! I also make my own deoderant, and have been using Dr. Bronner’s for my shower soap. I feel so much better knowing that I am not putting anything toxic on my body and that I am reducing my waste (chemicals in the water, plastic bottles, etc…).

    Great article. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Great post! We’re also on a plastic free plan. I first wrote about it in January, http://yourfoodchoices.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/a-plastic-free-dream/. I started using baking soda for my shampoo and love it. My hair never gets greasy and I don’t have to wash it everyday, if I don’t want to. I’m not that convinced about the shaving cream alternatives, especially since I kick the conditioner habit. Keep up the good work and if you get time check out our blog.
    Cheers,
    Jason & Steve
    http://yourfoodchoices.wordpress.com

  13. You all might enjoy the documentary, “No Impact Man”,about a NYC family that lives off the grid, vegan and no waste for one year (experiment. Imagine, no toilet paper never mind shampoo). The hilarious wife, a columist for a political magazine sneaks off to buy Starbucks and cries over eating root vegetables all winter.
    Nice post “Hair still wet”.

  14. This has been a lot of very interesting reading. I will try the shamoo idea as I have had some success with apple cider vinegar removing a mole that I had. All you have to do is soak a piece of cotton in the acv, put it on the mole, then put a bandaid over it. Every night before bedtime. I have to say the first one I did, I did tie it off first with floss. I don’t know if that matters or not. They have to be some what loose, round. not flat.

  15. I’m currently feeling so stupid for never even considering how much waste my cosmetics generate – I was still riding the feel-good wave for recycling everything. After having read this post I definitely intend to make a few changes to my bathroom supplies! And the extra bonus is less packaging, less clutter in my bathroom!

  16. You may find that your hair still feels oily. This is ok. Stick with it. Normal shampoos use sodium laureth sulfate (also used as engine degreaser, and workshop cleaner) to strip the natural oils from your hair.

    Natural shampoos will not strip the hair of oils, so you may find your hair feels greasy, until the scalp grows accustomed to not having to produce as much oil (because the oils are not being stripped away anymore). This can take up to 6 weeks, so stick with it!

    Well done for having a go.

  17. This is awesome. I have been on my own journey to change products and eliminate chemicals for just over a month now. I’ve been chronicling it all on my blog. This is great stuff!! Thanks for sharing. I’ll now consider efforts to reduce packaging waste.

  18. I washed my hair with Dr. Bronner’s and it felt like straw afterwards. Fortunately they make a very nice conditioner šŸ™‚ I recently switched to a shampoo bar. My friend’s mother makes and sells them. If I use her shampoo bar I don’t need conditioner!

  19. Interesting idea I’ll take into account. We dome homemade soap with the oil from cooking. It really works and we prevent thousands of litres of water from being polluted.

    Thanks for the information and cool post.

  20. Will you send me the recipe? What is ACV? For shaving cream, I’ve used Basic H from Shaklee diluted in 1/2. It makes water wetter. Maybe Dr. Bronner’s would do the same thing. Let me know how your hair is. When I was a teen, we rinsed our hair w/ cider vinegar to make it shiny.

    1. ACV= apple cider vinegar! So sweet that you used the very same thing when you were young! The recipe is in one of the links I posted– basically ACV, Dr. Bronners, water, and if you want a little Vitamin E oil (not much) and some essential oil.

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