So, last week I ran out of shampoo, and thought that circumstance would be a good time to try something I've been curious about for a while... a method of cleaning one's hair without relying on commercial shampoos, commonly referred to as the "No 'Poo Method."
Basically, you use a baking-soda paste to scrub the scalp, then use an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition and add shine. Other people have talked about the chemistry behind this... I don't understand it, but I thought I'd try it. I do know you're not supposed to wash as often, which means your hair doesn't over-produce oils, which means you don't have to wash as often... There are also all kinds of fancy but "natural" things you can do, like adding honey to the rinse or giving your hair a "mask" involving eggs, but I thought I'd stop at vinegar. I like my food on my plate, not my hair!
Anyway, I did the first such wash last Wednesday evening. I was really impressed with the results: my hair felt clean, and didn't smell weird -- in fact, it smelled clean. Also, no added scents, which is nice since I tend to get scent-related headaches a lot. It stayed clean for several days, also. Saturday it started feeling a little grungy and by Sunday evening it was definitely oily and getting itchy.
This is about par for the course for my hair. I haven't washed it every day since my freshman year of college - it's usually every other or every third day, but I've been known to go longer. Wednesday night to Monday morning is on the long end, though, for sure! I washed again today - same method - with slightly less pleasing results. My hair is clean, I think, but it feels heavier and smells a little "hairier", if that makes sense. Not unpleasant, but there. It does seem to have a little more body than usual, though, which is another alleged side effect of this method.
(One seems to have to describe one's hair in order to blog about this properly. So - mine is about midway down my back, naturally very straight, not keen to hold a curl, fairly thick but with very fine individual strands. Inclined to be fly-away and slightly frizzy, especially in humidity. I probably should have taken "before" pictures, which most of the people who have blogged about this have done, but I didn't. But you've all seen my hair before.)
I'll probably keep doing this for a while, partly because it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting my hair, and partly because I'm too cheap to buy shampoo ;-P I'll report back later, whether I end up liking it or not!