Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baking Soda Shampoo and Lush Conditioner: An Update

I'm back and here to report that I am no longer clapping my hands with joy about my baking soda shampoo and Lush conditioner development. In fact, I'm actually quite melancholy because my hair is pretty gross right now.

Here's why:
  • The baking soda shampoo worked well for a few days, but an icky build-up has made my hair feel strange and wiry.
  • The Lush conditioner worked well, but it has a very strong smell and my friends have started asking me things like, "Um, do you smell like pachouli?" Not good.
So I guess I'm going back to the alternating between the Lush and Burt's Bees shampoo bars and then using a vinegar rinse. My hair looks good when I follow this routine, but is it nice enough to make me clap my hands in happiness? Not quite.

16 comments:

acjenks said...

Have you tried washing with herbs? Shikakai, aritha, and amla are traditionally used as shampoos in India. If you have blond hair they can be slightly staining, but I believe soapwart can work also. You can usually get the herbs at a health food store or Indian grocery store. The forums at the Long Hair Community have some good discussions about herbal washes, and there's a soapwart shampoo recipe at http://www.pioneerthinking.com/shampoo2.html.

Good luck!

Michelle said...

I love just using baking soda. I don't use anything else, occasionally I'll do a rinse with vinegar (about 1x week or so). It took me about two weeks in the beginning before it was not 'yucky'. My hair feels thicker, I think it's the natural oils. Maybe you need to just do the BS and skip the Lush until your oils balance out? I don't know. I second the Long Hair Community forums though.

arduous said...

How often are you washing your hair? If you wash your hair too often it will get icky build up. Most people shouldn't wash their hair more than twice a week.

What you have to remember is, when you cut down to twice a week, your hair will get really really gross for about 2-3 weeks. This is because your hair has to get used to the idea that it's not being washed everyday and that the oils aren't constantly being stripped from it. So for a few weeks, I am sorry but you will have to live with nasty greasy hair. But once your hair starts to realize, hey I don't need to produce this much oil, it will become much happier and healthier.

Heather said...

Have you tried a white-vinegar rinse before the baking soda? In the no 'poo community, they talk about how baking soda + hard water = soap scum. I experienced the same thing as you when I first tried baking soda, and then read that doing a vinegar rinse before shampooing helps. I did that and my hair came out much better. We have extremely hard water here in SoCal, so I would have to do that every time I use the baking soda, and then follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Good luck!

MandyPandy said...

Are the Burt's Bees Shampoo Bars any good? I've never tried them, and am looking for an alternative to my current shampoo.

Rachel said...

Have you ever heard of/tried Chagrin Valley Soap and Shampoo bars? I've been reading a bunch of people's blogs about shampoo and conditioner bars, because I'm also trying to reduce my plastic use, and this family run business seems to have quite a following. I haven't tried them yet (I ordered some samples and expect them in the mail sometime this week). I'm not sure how they will be packaged in the mail, so hopefully no plastic. I wish I could find a local business like this so that I could reduce the carbon footprint, but I'm doing what I can! Anyway, just thought I would suggest it since you seem to be unhappy with your shampoo alternatives. Their website is http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandcraft.com/index.html. Best of luck!

CherylKatz.org said...

I'm new to this no-'poo thing, but what I have read indicates that using a solid castile soap like Dr. Bronner's can work as well as shampoo but isn't as harsh as shampoos with SLS in them. I have also heard great things about the natural shampoos at Walk In Beauty (http://stores.walk-in-beauty.net/Detail.bok?no=173)

Here is a pretty exhaustive beginning primer on no-'poo that I found very helpful.

I just wanted to say that I recently found your blog, and really admire what you're doing. I've tried to reduce my footprint lately and taken some of your tips to heart. It's a big change in lifestyle, especially for someone like me who was very into getting "stuff" and who has a kid and kid-related product needs. But I'm glad I have you to look up to on this. :) Thanks for setting a great example.

Sharon S. said...

I've never tried to wash my hair with only baking soda, but I might just have to give it a try. After becoming a full-time stay at home mom my need to be out in public often lessened so I started trying to pamper my hair and scalp by cutting down on washings. I noticed that after 2 weeks or so, as mentioned, the itchiness and gunkiness went away. Now I may wash my hair 2 or 3 times a week and rarely does it have a dirty smell - unless I do a lot of outdoor work. I noticed that if I wash it too often it get's oily much faster.

Irshad said...

Your choice for hair care Baking Soda shampo and the Lush conditioner seem good for hair. I spent more time for searching about the good products for hair loss and hair growth and as hair loss treatment specified the qualities for the suitable products for hair your both choices shampo and conditioner seem approperiate for hair care.

Anonymous said...

Vermont Soap Works
-also has organic, and pure soaps and shampoo

carrie said...

i have been using baking soda wash and vinegar rinse on my own and my daughters' hair for about a month now. It was great for about a week, then ours also felt gritty and straw-like. i increasd the vinegar rinse to make sure i was getting out all the baking soda. i kept at it and that feeling has gone. i know only have to wash my hair a couple times a week instead of every day. it is just an adjustment your hair is going through, keep at it. i would also recommend doing an avacado conditioner regularly and brushing nightly with olive oil and essential oils to keep it conditioned. good luck

Vanessa said...

Hey now, I think patchouli smells great.

My ex, on the other hand, doesn't.

Oh well. That's why he's the "ex", right? =P

Anonymous said...

I just scrub my scalp with a tablespoon of baking soda made into a paste with water, rinse and then let apple cider vinegar water combo sit on my hair for a few minutes while I shower and then rinse. My hair feels amazing! I naturally have very dry, wavy, difficult hair and use a lot of conditioner and then hair oil. Since I started the baking soda/apple cider vinegar I don't need anything else and my hair is silky and soft. Couldn't be happier! Keep at it and maybe cut out the Lush conditioner.

Anonymous said...

I use a thick paste of water and baking soda and lightly rub it into my scalp and the first two inches or so of hair. I leave this on for a few minutes. Then, I rinse it well. Last, I pour a 1:4 apple cider vinegar and water solution over my head. When I use shampoo, no matter how 'good' or pricey, my hair has many fly away strands and appears overall frizzy even though it is straight (with body/some wave). I find if I skip the vinegar rinse, my hair is knotted and almost sticky and dry feeling. The vinegar makes it soft and easy to comb without detangler. I wash in this manner every 2-3 days. I used to NEED to wash my hair every day when I used shampoo and conditioner. I use the same process on my 2 and 6 year old girls. Our hair looks great. My fine hair actually feels and looks thicker. Many people cannot believe we are 'no poo'. There are times when my husband bathes the girls that he use shampoo. Their hair does not look much different. Mine, however, is a frizzy mess when I use shampoo. I use it when I am in a hurry sometimes and always regret doing so.

Anonymous said...

Ive also used the baking soda method and my hair feels stripped! At first , it felt great..now I feel like my hair is gonna fall out!I just ordered a shower water softener and not sure what else to do. ive tried the honey mask and olive oil to help restore it. I workout everyday so I have to wash my hair or it smells sweaty..I can barely comb through my hair out of the shower now...any tips???

Veronica Watson said...

baking soda has a ph balance that throws is not similar to the ph balance our hair should be thats why your hair felt stringy. vinegar has a ph balance closer to the ph our hair shold be so it balanced it back out. you shoul do some reserch on ph balance of our hair