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Sunday, July 31, 2011

How do YOU Shampoo?

Editor's note. I have been enjoying the no poo method now for 3 months, and my hair is soft with its natural wave back. My daughters are still enjoying the no poo method too. 

Last week We talked about shampoo. Shampooing our hair on a daily basis was uncommon until about 20-30 years ago. Before that women would wash their hair less frequently. Perhaps it all started with the Farrah Fawsett ads on TV for Faberge. I don’t remember that one. But I do remember this one.
Shampoo Commercial
And I remember wanting to be a Breck Girl too. I used to have long hair that I would wave about behind me. I would like to say that this picture is me, but sadly it is not. It is Brooke Shields as a Brooke Shields Breck shampoo[3]Breck Girl, circa 1974. You see I thought I was that little girl,  Brooke is about my age after all.
Before my current generation, ladies did not wash their hair so frequently.  However now it is has become part of our daily hygiene routine. Some young people wash their hair more than once a day.
When you wash your hair frequently you strip the natural oils, or sebum from your hair and scalp. Most shampoos contain detergents and it is their nature to strip oil and dry out. When you dry your scalp out it will overproduce sebum, in an attempt to balance out your body’s natural ph and moisture.
We talked about some of the options to shampoo last week.  By now some of you may be considering those options. We have been trying a few of them here at the Granola Catholic house.  No I am not using my family as guinea pigs. They just did not have any other options when we ran out of usual shampoo. So what options did they have?
  • Natural Soap bought at the Farmer’s Market
  • Liquid Castile Soap diluted with water
  • Baking Soda Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
I let my family choose their own preferred methods.
What did they choose?
Deacon G has been using the Natural Soap in a bar form. He has put all the scraps of soap in a soap bag and just runs the soap bag over his head once a day. He said it gets oily. Although he admits that he washes it to get it to lay down too.  We still need to work on him.
I tried the Castile Soap method and found that it left my thick hair feeling sticky and it did not give the lather I was thinking it should. In retrospect I think this is because I did not dilute it enough. Since then I have diluted it more and it does a fantastic job on my son’s hair. I put it in an old pump style shampoo bottle and he finds it easy to use. With all the swimming we have been doing he has been washing his hair about once a week, but rinsing it out with clean water in between.
The girls and I have been doing the Baking Soda/ACV Method.  I have been using it for about 2 weeks now. I tried it a couple of years ago and it worked well for me. I simply mix about 1 tbsp. baking soda with a cup of water then massage into my scalp for about a minute. A follow up with a rinse of ACV that I have diluted with water about 50/50.  I have put the ACV into a plastic spray bottle and spray my head then rinse. You may be looking for bubbles. There are no bubbles with this method.
The  baking soda acts as a deodorizer and clarifier, while the apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic and reduces scaling or peeling of the scalp. In addition, ACV  also helps detangle hair, balance hair's natural pH and helps seal the hair cuticle (making it shinier and less frizzy).
Last Wednesday, I was thinking to myself “I don’t think this is working, my hair feels oily”. I then remembered that the last time I had washed  my hair had been Saturday. As I think about it now I had been to a water park on Tuesday that left my skin awfully dried out. I am certain now that it dried out my scalp too. Even though I rinsed off in the shower. We have already established that drying out your scalp causes it to overproduce sebum, so I am thinking that is what happened there.
Peanut and I are having great success with the ACV method. Pi is not so sure, but her hair looks wonderful.
I guess the lesson from this experiment is that one size  does not fit all. We all have slightly different hair and body chemistry. Lets face it if one method or shampoo worked well for everyone then we would have a much much smaller shampoo section in the stores. For now our chosen methods are working well. So will be continuing on our hair care routines.

Linking up with Simple Lives Thursday,Natural and Green Mama's


Nanny Anna said...

Hi, Just Hopping By from the Not So Moody Monday Blog Hop :-)

I MUST Shampoo everyday...I wont even leave the house or let company in until my hair is shampooed. Programming I suppose. I too grew up with all the hair care commercials...they started before your generation I'm afraid :-)

I am now your newest follower. I hope you will stop by my blog as well, at

Anna said...

It's true that the less you shampoo, the less you need it. You just have to bite the bullet and deal with a week or so of greasiness if you're used to shampooing every day. My hair is so much shinier and my curls so much nicer since using baking soda and ACV.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I have to say I "wash" my hair twice a week, but I do rinse it when I am sweaty or have been swimming in a pool. But before I switched to the no-poo method I was washing my hair every other day. I have always had dry hair and scalp. And with thick hair it takes a lot to wash dry and style. We have been very happy with our methods. When school starts in 10 days or so we will begin adding tea tree oil to our "shampoo" to ward of nasty critters.

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

We don't shampoo. We wash with baking soda water and rinse with ACV/ess. oil mix. It take about two to three weeks for your hair to balance and not be oily. I only wash once a week at the most and my hair is more manageable than ever.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Megan, what oils do you like to use? The girls and I like lavender. But when school is in session we add a little tea tree oil to the mix to ward off the nasty critters.

Katie said...

I used the baking soda method for quite a while a loved it. I need to go back to it.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Baking Soda ACV method has been working well for the girls and I. I think we are past the awkward phase. I easily go 3-4 days between "washings" now and so does the teenager.

simply heidi said...

I am so interested in this, but haven't quite become ready to take the leap.
I read this post a few weeks ago about how to make Castille soap work better as a shampoo:

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Heidi, I love Crunchy Betty. I recently did her honey challenge. While reading her castille soap and coconut milk recipe, I realized that I was not diluting the castille soap enough. I have changed that part of the equation but have not yet gotten the coconut to make the milk. When I get bored with this method. I plan on trying Crunchy Betty's method.

The Sage Butterfly said...

Some very interesting ideas! I have used ACV as a rinse, but I have not tried it as a shampoo.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I was using ACV as a rinse before going back to this method for real. In my younger years I used witch hazel as a rinse with a gylerin soap to wash my hair.

Kelly Evans said...

I started no poo just over 2 weeks ago. The first week I did water only as a more intense detox you could say and then started with the baking powder/Acv. The first week was terrible!!! It was really hard I must say. I normally shampoo every single day and dry/straighten my hair. I made a commitment and just stuck to it. I'm glad I did. Things are going great and at the end of my second week I was able to style my hair like I normally would and it stayed nice and non greasy for 2 days! I'd like to add that the type of water you have Really makes a difference (hard vs soft) I work in another province every other week that has really hard water and my home has soft. I had a great week at home with ACV and now being back to work (hard water) I've got a bit of the greasies again.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

It does take your hair some time to adjust to a more natural method. I have been doing the ACV method for 3 weeks now, But I notice that when I swim in a chlorinated pool my hair dries out then over compensates by getting oilier. So i do my best to rinse my hair out while it is still wet after being in the pool.

Free Range Mama said...

Interesting post! I too am very interested but have not let go of my shampoo bottle yet. I am using Green Beaver all natural shampoo which I like, and my psoriasis on my scalp is completely gone which I struggled with all my life. I am on the fence and teetering...


Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Interesting experiment! I wash my hair every other day, and I use shampoo from Whole Foods that has no parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrance, etc, etc. I know several of our friends in the Natural Parenting community do No Poo. I'm not quite ready for that, but I would try another natural shampoo method. Thanks for the ideas and for linking up again at Green & Natural Mamas Thursday!

queentob said...

I have not tried this yet. I have finally stopped washing my hair every day and now try every other, or every third. it makes a HUGE difference. I don't wash the children's hair every day either. I am new to the "no poo" idea. I do use an eco friendly shampoo and have used castille soap in the past (i cant get it to not burn! tried the sensitive type too) we used to use vinegar to boost the sheen in our hair (as kids) and I do that now and it def. works.
as a nat. blonde and one with long hair, I am willing to try a new method if it means less work, and nicer hair :) great ideas!

Good Girl Gone Green said...

I have been "no-pooing" (Baking soda/ACV) for 3 months now and love it!! Won't go back to shampoo and I use Dr.Bronners diluted for my daughter for full body and hair! :) Great post!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I am loving the no-poo method I have been using it now for 2 months. I have been able to stretch my "hair washing" to about 3 days. I never washed the kids hair more than twice a week. My kids tend to have dry skin and hair. Now if my son (7) gets dirty playing soccer, I will have him rinse his hair with water, between shampoos and that works. As someone with thick naturally wavy hair the ACV rinse is a must for me. And after two months of the noo-poo method I am happy to say that my naturally wavy hair is back, NO FRIZZ! My 13 year old's hair looks beautiful, not greasy and nice and fluffy. Her hair was limp before. If she does have some of the teenage oiliness she will do a quick "dry shampoo" method. This morning she used some cocoa powder. I think she likes the red tint it gives her hair too.

Gaby @ Green Baby DS Blog said...

Thank you for this! We linked up to you on the Green Baby Diaper Service blog because we are doing a No Poo challenge this month and would like our readers to be able to take advantage of all your great tips and information.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I hope I can help them with the No Poo challenge.

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