That's not strictly true. Every 6-8 weeks I visit my stylist for a cut and colour, and she uses shampoo. And last September I stayed in a hotel and used the posh shampoo in the room. But at home, none at all since late May of 2010.
And this from someone who used to spend about $200 on professional colouring, and $80 on fancy shampoo and conditioner, every month. I was drawn in by the promises of the latest botanical extracts and bought a lot of different products in search of perfect tv commercial hair.
And still, most of the time I looked like this:
|Dark roots, frizzy, and unmanageable. That's about $3500/year. Not very good value for money.|
A bunch of different factors led me to change my hair regimen.
When I was pregnant, my sense of smell, mostly absent or defective my entire life prior to that, went crazy. I became really sensitive to chemical smells - the scent of our regular bathroom cleaner sent me running, gagging, out of the apartment as I begged HWSNBN to stop using it. I figured my newfound sense of smell would fade away once the baby was born, but it didn't, so we switched to unscented products, and even they were too strong. Eventually we started using baking soda and vinegar to clean almost everything in the house.
Including my hair.
|My new hair regimen: apple cider vinegar, $8. Baking soda $1.|
Inspired by the likes of my friend Amber, I'd planned to go "no poo" for a while, but it was seeing my then almost-two-year-old manage to open a shampoo bottle and try to eat its toxic contents that really convinced me to give it a try. (Here's how.) And I haven't looked back.
It was weird, at first, to wash my hair with no suds. It felt like it couldn't possibly be getting clean, but it was - almost too clean. I used to wash my hair every day with shampoo, and adjusting to the baking soda/apple cider vinegar routine took a while to figure out. I fiddled with the amount of baking soda to find what worked for me. At first I was still washing my hair every day, then as my scalp adjusted, every couple of days. A year later, I wash it about once a week, more if I've been swimming in a chlorinated pool or had an evening out where I used lots of product.
I've been asked, "Doesn't it hurt to get it in your eyes?" I imagine it would sting, but after 30+ years of washing my hair with chemical-laden shampoos, I've managed to get pretty good at not getting stuff in my eyes. If I ever do get to experience baking soda in the peepers, I'll update this post. But I can't imagine that it would be any more uncomfortable that getting an eye-full of shampoo.
I've also been asked about odour. To be honest, I haven't noticed any. Neither has my husband, and he would tell me. He thought I was crazy when I started this, but he's begrudgingly come around. It's true, the apple cider vinegar rinse does leave me smelling vaguely like a salad until my hair dries, but after that, no scent to speak of, and certainly not the unpleasant "dirty scalp" smell that I feared would be the result. Just clean. What I do notice, though, is the overpowering smell of regular hair products. The time I used hotel shampoo, I didn't like how I could smell it for hours afterward - well into the next day.
|About a week into the baking soda treatment - smelling good enough for Rachael to get close for a photo at a Vancouver Yummy Mummy Club tweetup. (photo credit tjrossignol on flickr)|
|Sue from Raspberry Kids, unfazed by my hair smell, at the Vancouver Mom Top 30 Mom Bloggers party in May (photo credit Elayne Wandler at Bopomo Pictures)|
What does my hair look like now? Well, aside from the grey that insists on sprouting from my scalp despite my best attempts to hide it, I think it looks great.
Here it is a few moments ago, air dried out of the shower, no product, no styling. (I'd usually do something with it, but wanted to give you a "naked" look, direct from my webcam, at my hair as it is right now.)
|I have a lot of hair, thick and wavy.|
|My best "Cousin It"|
So what do you think? Are you going to try and smell my hair the next time you see me? And would you give up shampoo?
*Not including professional colouring to hide the grey, which costs about $800/year.