Is your hair care routine doing more harm than good?
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. This is what we have all been taught from the time we were old enough to begin bathing ourselves. Using shampoo and then conditioner is the norm. But have you ever taken a look at the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner? If you do you will probably see a list that looks something like this:
Water , Amino Methyl Propanol , Ammonium Laureth Sulfate , Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Lauryl Glucoside , Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate , Glucoside , Sodium Methyl Lauroyl Taurate , Sodium Lauroamphoacetate , Fragrance , Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose , Ammonium Chloride , Propylene Glycol , Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride , Dipropylene Glycol , DMDM Hydantoin , Citric Acid , Persea Gratissima (Avacado) OilOrganic , Sodium Xylene Sulfonate , Quaternium 80 , Bisamino , Bisamino PEG/PPG 41/3 Aminoethyl PG Propyl Dimethicone , Disodium EDTA , Alcohol , PEG 18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate , Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf JuiceOrganic , Polyquaternium 7
The average person probably understands two or three of these ingredients at best. Your shampoo and conditioner contain a lot of chemicals and not very many natural ingredients.
What are those chemicals doing?
Well, the primary ingredients in shampoo are detergents. They take all of the grease and grime out of your hair. But they also destroy all of the natural oils your hair produces. After you shower your scalp goes into overdrive making oils to replace what your shampoo stripped out of your hair. Which means that your hair will get very oily and need to be washed every day. The majority of the other ingredients in your shampoo are fragrances some of which are listed by the EPA as human carcinogens or known allergens.
There are a number of natural shampoos on the market though some of these still contain some not so natural ingredients. Luckily, many viable options for shampoo and conditioner alternatives can be found in your kitchen!
What can I use instead of shampoo and conditioner?
One good alternative to shampoo is baking soda. At first using baking soda might take some getting used to. It won’t lather like normal shampoo and it won’t have the scent of your old shampoo. But it will clean your hair just as well and you will start to notice that your hair will become less greasy as quickly over time. This is because your scalp adjusts to not being stripped of all its natural oils and stops producing so much extra oil.
As a substitute for conditioner you can try apple cider vinegar (ACV). This might sound odd, but apple cider vinegar has the same pH as your hair, which is about a 5. This allows your hair to get back to a normal pH after being in water, which has a pH of 7. To do an apple cider vinegar wash, you should make a solution of 8 oz water to 1 tablespoon vinegar. For most people, the vinegar smell goes away when your hair is dry. (And good news apple cider vinegar is safe for color treated hair!)
Another option for natural conditioner is coconut oil. Coconut oil has tiny molecules that actually get in between the cells in your hair and nourish it from the inside.