Clicky

rss feed facebook  pinterest twitter instagram youtube

Giving Up Shampoo

Early last week I was hanging out with my sisters in Kansas, visiting our dad and step-mom, and we managed to stop talking about our kids for a few minutes and got on the subject of hair. My sister Cara said that she’d been washing her hair for a while with baking soda.

Now, a few other people have tried to get me to try this, but I wasn’t sure that they really understood how greasy my hair gets. Think, hobo greasy. Since Cara and I share some genetics, and she lives in St. Thomas where the humidity is about 99% all the freaking time, I thought maybe she understood what I was up against.

Her routine was simple: grab a handful or two of baking soda, mash it into her scalp, scrub with her fingers, and rinse out. She follows it up with a little conditioner on the ends. Her hair looked great, so I decided to give it a try!

I have no vendetta against shampoo. I don’t think that it’s going to give me cancer (yes, some people believe this). I don’t think that I use enough of it to harm the environment. I don’t necessarily think it’s bad in any way if it’s working for you. But I don’t think it’s working for me. In the summer I have to wash my hair every day if I don’t want it to look greasy, and every other day in winter. I get terrible dandruff in winter too. What could it hurt to try this? I mean, it couldn’t be much worse than the status quo.

I didn’t wash my hair for four days. We’ll pretend that I did that in preparation for this experiment.

Check out the grease. No, my hair is not wet or sweaty in this picture. Gross, I know.

My greasy hair after four days of no washing

Also, I didn’t photoshop out the zits on my nose, to make the rest of you feel better about yourselves. I’m a giver.

So, armed with a container of baking soda, a spray bottle of white vinegar, and my hobo hair, I got in the shower.

My hair cleaning tools: baking soda and vinegar

About twice a year I douse my hair in vinegar and let it soak in, and then rinse it out and follow with shampoo. Supposedly it gets the built-up shampoo residue out of your hair. I thought maybe it would help with my extra-greasy hair. Plus, I was hoping it would foam up on my head like when you make a volcano in school. (Sadly that didn’t happen.)

I got my hair nice and wet. I grabbed a handful of baking soda and mashed it into my hair, near my scalp. About half of it fell out onto the tub floor. For the next handful I made a paste in my hand. That worked better. I used way more baking soda for this first time than I imagine I’d need normally. Once I had scrubbed it into my scalp I sprayed the vinegar on, and rubbed some more. Then I rinsed well and put a little conditioner on the ends.

A few hours later my hair was mostly dry, and I was amazed: it looked great! It wasn’t greasy at all!

My hair after washing with baking soda

And the rest looked normal. It wasn’t dried out or frizzy.

My hair after washing with baking soda

This is promising.

I’ve read a lot of contradictory stuff about giving up shampoo. Some people claim that baking soda is too harsh for hair. Some also say that the main theory behind this movement – that shampoo strips natural oils from hair, so your scalp produces even more to make up for it – is BS. All I know is, if I try it and it works, I’m happy.

For a lot of people, the goal seems to be washing just with water. That seems a little extreme to me. My hair gets dirty – I have to clean it with something.

The other common advice I found is to condition with apple cider vinegar, mixed in equal parts with water. I’ll try that eventually.

The biggest issue that my research turned up, however, is that this movement is called the “no poo” movement. Um, no. Don’t call it that, not even once.

Invisalign–Video Proof Of My New Smile!

Invisalign–Video Proof Of My New Smile!

1 week ago

[I am a member of the Invisalign Moms Advisory Board and received complimentary Invisalign treatment.] I can’t believe that I’m basically done with Invisalign! It feels so weird not to be wearing them all day now. Take a look at how my teeth turned out, compared to a video I added in from a few years ago – the one that got me thinking about Invisalign in the first place because my teeth looked so terrible in HD!! I am a member[...]

A charity Walk That Won’t Give You Blisters

No thumbnail available

2 weeks ago

[The following post was sponsored by the Light The Night Campaign.] If you know me you know that I participate in a lot of walks and runs. Sometimes for charity, sometimes for a medal, sometimes just for the satisfaction I get from crossing a finish line. While I like challenging myself, I do realize that many people want to help a cause without training for weeks or risking injury. The Light The Night Walks, happening[...]

What A Nine Year Old Can Do

What A Nine Year Old Can Do

2 weeks ago

  On Tuesday, my friend Anna sent me this poll, because she knows how I feel about kids being able to have some independence. The headline of the article was, “68 Percent of Americans Don’t Think 9-Year-Olds Should Play at the Park Unsupervised.” I wasn’t really surprised by what the poll had to say. If anything, I was surprised that as many as 32% of people polled thought that nine-year-olds should play unsupervised. When I get into Facebook discussions about this, it’s[...]

Doing Pinterest Right

Doing Pinterest Right

2 weeks ago

I think I follow too many food boards on Pinterest. But at least I have my daughter’s lunch packed for the first day of school. Thanks for the inspiration, Kelby![...]

Emmy Recap In Award-Winning GIFs*

Emmy Recap In Award-Winning GIFs*

2 weeks ago

[*I may have presented those awards to myself. Anyway…] The 2014 Emmy Awards finally got underway last night after 17 hours of red carpet shows, each more vapid than the last. It’s pretty simple: I just want to see what everyone is wearing. Maybe hear about their next project. Anything more than that gets awkward fast.    Everything that Amy Poehler did was perfection. I know that she has kids and a life and everything, but I think it’s her duty to get[...]

Olive Oil Popcorn Follow-Up: Blind Taste Test

Olive Oil Popcorn Follow-Up: Blind Taste Test

3 weeks ago

  While I did write a sponsored post for Pompeian Olive Oil recently, this video was done on my own and was not sponsored in any way.[...]

How Free Play Changes Kids’ Brains

How Free Play Changes Kids’ Brains

3 weeks ago

[The following post is sponsored by Playworld Systems.] I really loved writing about the benefits of free play last month. Playworld Systems makes the kind of playground equipment that helps free play thrive, letting kids take risks and figuring things out for themselves. When they pointed me in the direction of this NPR piece on how free play actually changes kids’ brains, I jumped at the chance to write about it. Play Actually Changes The Brain A Canadian neuroscientist explained in the NPR[...]

And The Grossest Spoiled Food Item You’ve Ever Found In Your House Or Car is…

And The Grossest Spoiled Food Item You’ve Ever Found In Your House Or Car is…

3 weeks ago

Yesterday I was tidying up the house a bit in anticipation of the kids coming home today from sleep away camp. Jake’s been gone for almost two weeks, Fiona for almost six. Basically I didn’t want them to know how slovenly I’d been while they were gone. I came across Jake’s NY Yankees lunchbox in the front hallway. It was still zipped shut. Crap. Before opening it I tried to remember what I had packed him for his last day of band camp, three[...]

Keyless Home Entry With The Touch Of A Finger

Keyless Home Entry With The Touch Of A Finger

3 weeks ago

[The following post is sponsored by Kevo] When I was a child I was promised a lot of things for the future. Rocket cars were at the top of the list, and that hasn’t happened yet. We do have robots, but all they really do is vacuum our floors. That’s a far cry from a robot maid. And as far as I know, we’ve made basically no progress towards teleporters and replicators (that 3D printer that makes pizza just isn’t the[...]

FitBit Update: Bracelets and Wristbands

FitBit Update: Bracelets and Wristbands

3 weeks ago

*** UPDATE: FitBit responded (first on Twitter, which might have gotten my case moved up), and they are sending me a new wristband. *** I’ve been using my FitBit since June. I really like it. But a few weeks ago, a teeny tiny little tear appeared in the back opening of the wristband, where you put the FitBit device. Up until that point I’d been treating the wristband and FitBit reasonably carefully. I take it off to shower, and every four or five[...]