Things you didn't know could clean your hair

I admit it- I've consumed the Kool-Aid. I'm one of those people who believes I must spend $20 on a bottle of shampoo or conditioner that is 'formulated to match my hair'. Having curly hair, I tend toward the dry frizzy end, so I go through a lot of conditioner (not as much shampoo, but enough). This means a lot of money spent on home hair care, and a lot of waste for the environment (has anyone found a reasonable use for leftover empty shampoo and conditioner bottles ever?).

Not anymore!

I'm about to try a new way to deal with my hair, which was told to me by two good friends. They both do this instead of shampooing and using conditioner. Neither have curly hair, so I'm a little bit skeptical. However, one has short, fine, thin brown hair, and the other has very long, very thick, blonde hair.

They're been doing this for months now, and their hair never looks greasy or dried out or limp at all. So I figured, what the heck, might as well try it.

Curious? Read on!
You'll need baking soda, and apple cider vinegar, plus a jug or something to keep in the bathroom.
  1. Detangle your hair before it gets wet by running your fingers through it and working any knots out.
  2. Then, before you get in the shower, toss a few teaspoons of baking soda into the jug. You may be tempted to throw more in, but you'll be making a paste and you only need enough to lightly cover your scalp (you won't be working it through to the ends of your hair).
  3. While in the shower, add enough warm water from the tap to make a paste. Massage this paste into your roots and scalp. When it rinses, it will take any grease or grime off the ends of your hair, so don't worry about that.
  4. Rinse the paste off, avoiding getting any in your eyes.
  5. To condition, dilute 1-2 Tblsp of vinegar into one cup of water.
  6. You can either pour it as a rinse, massaging your scalp as you go, or let the ends of your hair soak for a moment in the watered-down vinegar before proceeding to use it as a rinse.
  7. Rinse the vinegar out, and then hit your hair with a blast of cold water to make the cuticles close, giving a sleek shiny appearance to your hair.
Can't stand apple cider vinegar? You can use others (avoid food vinegars, like balsamic), but be aware that they are more acidic and may irritate your scalp.

The soda paste cleans the grit out, and the vinegar rinse conditions, so base your use of each on what your hair needs. For the vast majority of folks, you shouldn't be washing your hair more than once every other day, anyway.

There are alternative recipes out there, using a catnip rinse, but I think my kitty would eat my hair while I sleep, if I tried that.

The biggest bonus, aside from using more environment-friendly products (the baking soda container can be recycled, and the apple cider vinegar can be purchased in larger amounts, or even at your local apple farm), is that you will save a TON on your hair care.


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