April 21, 2008

eco-friendly hair care

as maryanne just taught us all, baking soda + vinegar are miracle products, and are practically the only things you need to have a clean and fresh-smelling home.

and now i'm here to tell you that they can work equally miraculously on...your hair.

i've fought a long fight with shampoo/conditioner. the day i washed my hair, no matter how well i conditioned, my hair looked and felt like straw. it would be okay the next day, good the next, perfect the next, then all of the sudden super greasy and gross the next, and i'd start the dance all over again. then i read about the natural method of cleaning your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. possibly better hair plus better for the planet? sign me up.

the process is fairly simple. wet your hair thoroughly, then take about a tablespoon or so of baking soda and plop it into your palm and splash in some water to make a fairly watery paste. get the paste onto your fingers and work it all over your scalp, starting at the crown of your head and working outward. massage your scalp with the paste for about 1 minute (for extra green points, turn off the shower while you're massaging:), then rinse. do another rinse using a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in about a cup of water (i keep a large chinese take-out soup container in the shower for this purpose...), then rinse that out thoroughly. that's it!

it does take a little perserverance to make the switchover from shampoo to this method. everything i read about it warned that you'd have "yucky" hair for the first couple of weeks, because your scalp would continue to overproduce oil, as it had been doing to compensate for all the oils that the shampoo stripped away. i could never get a more precise description than "yucky", but now that i've lived through it i can give you one: my hair felt like it was coated in a mixture of wax and motor oil. by day 13, i was getting a little cranky, and tired of bandanas. but then like magic, on day 14, my hair was perfect and soft and glossy.

you may have to fiddle with the proportions of baking soda and vinegar a bit—everyone's hair and scalp are different. if you use too much baking soda and your hair turns out dry, you can use a little bit of natural oil to even it out; just smooth a tiny bit over your hair, avoiding your scalp, once your hair is dry.

and no, you won't smell like a big pickle. :)

- cakehouse


KimmChi said...

I'm scared of the 14 days of waxy motor oil hair - but my gosh, think of the $$ i can save!

Kate said...

Great read! I love that you threw in your personal experience with this how-to! Makes me feel like I know what's coming. I'm totally gonna give it a shot!

Miss Fruitfly said...

I'm going to give this a try. I'll let you know if waxy motor oil makes an appearance. Thanks for posting this.

cakehouse said...

hey miss fruitfly (and everybody), definitely check back in with your progress, i'd love to hear others' stories! maybe yours will be like a mix of, say, molasses and spray starch...:)

Anonymous said...

How frequently do you use this? I wash my hair every other day with shampoo. Do you use this daily?

nina kuriloff said...

this is very interesting.

cakehouse said...

i wash my hair about every third day, but my hair tends toward dry. you certainly don't need to do it every day for it to work.