Friday, July 2, 2010

random… and a little bit weird

i did something this morning that a lot of people will probably take as further proof that i’m completely off my rocker. well, i’m kind of coming to accept that about myself, so oh well. what was it? i washed my hair with baking soda.

this is something i’d heard of awhile ago, though random surfing, and had kind of wanted to try… just hadn’t gotten around to it. i’m always looking for ways to cut down my waste – both solid and chemical – and shampoo is one of those things that has always really bugged me. i figure that, simply by taking a shower every day, i’m using up more than my fair share of water and electricity. then i add to that by pouring chemicals down the drain, which come in a plastic bottle. i’ve bought all the fancy, natural, organic, whatever shampoos before, but they’re really expensive and still come in a plastic bottle! and sorry, but my $1.50 bottle of suave, or whatever is on sale, is just too tempting! at any rate, throughout my life, i’ve hardly ever been an every day hair washer. the only time i’ve ever really done that is during brief periods where my hair has been relatively short – and that’s not because my hair needed to be washed, so much, as it was because my ‘style’ couldn’t survive a night’s sleep without needing to be redone… yet another reason for me to NOT have short hair. generally, i would wash every other day, and sometimes every 3 days. lately, i suppose i’ve been trying to ‘ween’ myself off of shampoo to some degree, and have been averaging every 4 days.

i think a lot of people think they have to wash their hair every day, just because that’s what we’ve been taught to do… probably by shampoo companies who want us to buy more of their product. of course, by using the shampoo every day, we strip our hair of it’s natural conditioners, and therefore have to also buy their conditioner, which we also use every day. good deal for them. the other thing i don’t think people realize is that washing your hair frequently actually causes you to have to wash it more often! your hair is designed to maintain it’s own levels of moisture, and stripping it of that through frequent shampooing, causes your scalp to produce more of the oils it needs to maintain that moisture!

so today, i figured it was about time for me to wash my hair, so i decided to try out the baking soda thing. according to some instructions i found online, i mixed half a cup of baking soda with 3 cups of very warm water, just before i got in the shower. then, when my hair was wet, i stirred it up good and dumped it over my head. that part was a little weird. btw, it’s a good idea to wash off your face really well before opening your eyes. baking soda stings a little. so then i scrubbed it in, like i would lather shampoo… except there’s no lather. that part was also a bit weird. then i finished my shower, leaving the baking soda mixture on my hair, and finally began to rinse. i rinsed REALLY well. having white, gritty powder in my hair is not really the look i’m going for.

i was really curious at this point, what my hair was going to be like. i was skeptical, since my hair is relatively curly, i have always ‘needed’ to use conditioner in order to brush though it with relative ease. so i kind of expected a big, tangled mop that i would have to spend hours trying to brush though. not so! i actually had no more trouble brushing though it than i do after a usual washing with shampoo and conditioner! the other thing i was wondering about, was if my hair would be a big frizzy mess. part of the reason that i have always preferred to go a day or two between washings is that my hair is frizzy, flyaway, and generally unruly on the first day i wash it. i guess i have really fine hair, and that paired with the curls makes it not like to lay down well until the next day. anyway, in that regard, my hair seems to be quite a bit more tame, now that it’s dry, than it usually is the first day i wash it. my hair is also soft AND shiny.

so far, the baking soda is 4 for 4.

i’ll have to see how it holds up after a few days, if i feel like i need to wash it sooner than i do when i’ve used shampoo, or maybe i’ll feel like i could go longer. i’ll have to wait and see.

but, my initial analysis of this idea is completely positive, so far. assuming it works at least as good as shampoo, i’m sold. baking soda is natural, safe, and CHEAP! not to mention, it freshens my drain!

(oh, and because i know someone out there is wondering this, head lice are no less likely to settle in hair that is washed daily than they are in hair that is not washed daily. in fact, there is some debate as to whether they might actually prefer ‘clean’ hair because it is easier for them to stick their eggs to. but that’s more or less irrelevant – i have kids, so it’s pretty much always a risk, regardless. i just figured i’d cover a subject that might be cause for someone’s skepticism.)

of course, if you happen to see me and think my hair looks terrible or disgusting, please let me know! this is, after all, just an experiment!


  1. I am SO trying that!!! I have baby fine stick straight hair and have been trying to go at least every other day between washing but somewhere between the 24 & 36 hour mark it HAS to go in a ponytail because it feels disgusting to me. If I remember I'll try tomorrow morning and maybe put an update on my blog tomorrow? ;) I'm curious to see how long it lasts for you Rachel!

  2. so how's this working out for you? Are you still doing it? Does baking soda really remove dirt? I can see it removing oil, but dirt has to have something to bind to to leave your body and I dont' know if Baking soda is something to bind to. Not that we end up with actual dirt in our hair very often...



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