Why I Threw Away My Hair Products

I haven't shampooed my hair in almost a year.

And before you run far, far away, let me explain: I found a very cheap, natural, and easy way to care for my hair, and it does not include shampoo, conditioner, mousse, gel, or any other mass-produced hair care product.  Now, all I use is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

That's it.

Admittedly, I was a skeptic at first.  I read plenty about the "no poo" method and how it can restore your hair to its natural balance of oils and help you escape build-up from all the hair care products made with lots of chemicals.  But still...I had my doubts.

So I chose to stop using shampoo in November, right around the time all my friends left Uganda for the holidays so I could avoid any judgment and keep my friends if it all went wrong.  And in fact, I'm kind of glad I did.

There was a bit of a rough transition time, which lasted about 5 weeks for me, when my hair was quite oily.  This, I've read, is very normal.  Since my hair was used to its oils being stripped away every other day when I shampooed, it over-produced more oils to try and regulate itself; so when I stopped shampooing, it took my scalp some time to get the memo and stop producing so many oils.

Another confession: I tried several methods and recipes for natural shampoos from ingredients I could find in Uganda and I stubbornly refused the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method for several weeks.  I even tried making shampoo out of the hibiscus flowers in my yard and the eggs from my chickens!  There was something in me that wanted to be awesomely self-sufficient and raise my own ingredients, but in the end, this was really stupid.  I finally got so frustrated with my grease, that I gave in to what everyone else to the interwebs was saying and I scrubbed some baking soda into my scalp then rinsed it with a mixture of ACV and water.

And when my hair dried - OMG - it wasn't greasy!

Since that glorious day, I haven't looked back.  My long locks love my boycott of shampoo - I've had significantly less split ends and, since my scalp has learned to regulate its oil production, I often go 4 days without washing!

Earlier this year, during our trip across America, I ran out of baking soda and I badly needed to bathe.  I begrudgingly reached for the shampoo sitting in the shower and I used it for the first time in about 6 months.  When my hair dried, it was a frizzy disaster!  That shampoo stripped all those good oils my scalp had lovingly produced and I was required to use some mousse in my hair to control it.  Ah, yes.  This is why I don't use hair products anymore.   It was a great confirmation that I'd chosen well with my cheap and dear baking soda and ACV.

I won't be changing this habit anytime soon.