My shampoo is b.s.

February 29, 2008

Baking soda, that is.

That’s right. I use baking soda to wash my hair. Mix in a little water, paste it up, massage it in. Rinse and repeat every third day or so.

Why do I do this, you ask?

A) Because it protects my hair, my drainpipes, and the soil from nasty chemicals. Baking soda is paraben- and sulfate-free. No suds, but no side effects, either.

B) Because my hair is healthier. For reals. Baking soda paste doesn’t strip my hair of all of its natural oils, as does shampoo, thereby cutting out oily overcompensation. This leaves my hair “cleaner” longer, which also saves on water. Cool.

C) Because I don’t have to buy and toss shampoo bottles. I can buy soda in bulk at the co-op; or, in a pinch, I can buy it in a compostable paper box.

Some people (like My Main Man) follow up the b.s. wash with an apple cider vinegar rinse to balance out the basic properties of the soda. This makes him smell like salad dressing for a little while post-cleanse, but, eh. Okay. Others complain of an adjustment period, in which their hair goes wickety-wack for a few weeks; neither my husband nor I experienced this phase, but know that it may happen.

So. That’s the sitch. Shower in good health.

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10 Responses to “My shampoo is b.s.”

  1. […] While the initially lavendery nose doesn’t last all day, as do market perfumes, I’m guessing this water-based jazz does better by your skin and by other people’s sniffers. I spray it on my pressure points, and I mist it over my hair between washings. […]

  2. […] in harsh chemicals that fill our lungs and our water pipes, we’re cleaning green — think baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, […]

  3. Amanda said

    I thought you had posted something about this–here it is. Any word on what this does to, ahem, colored tresses?

  4. A: So, after some research, I found that the vinegar rinse can strip color from your locks. The baking soda paste shouldn’t, however. You could consider a bs shampoo, followed by a trad (but green) conditioner. Check out what Lush has to offer in that department. I’ve never tried their conditioners (the solid Jungle Conditioner looks about right for curly girls like youse and mes), but I <3 their products all the way around.

    If you’re willing to try the vinegar rinse, here’s a spicy-sweet recipe for a white vinegar/cinnamon infusion. Snappy!

  5. Natalie said

    Hi,
    I’m currently working on a project looking at environmentally friendly personal care products. I presume the baking soda paste is lacking in the fragrances some people prefer in their shampoo…would you recommend adding any essential oils to add to the paste to help give this added scent or would that effect the cleaning of the hair?

  6. amanda said

    Hi, I have actually been using the b.s. shampoo for a week now. I am a huge lavender fan, so I’ve been putting 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil in the paste. It is now 2 in the afternoon, and my hair still smells good! Also, cinnamon leaf, eucalyptous, or tea tree would probably smell nice.

  7. Great suggestions, amanda. I haven’t added any essential oils as yet, but I think I might try now!

  8. Elena said

    Do you have to make the b.s./water solution every time you shower, or make extra and leave the rest in a container?

    I read elsewhere you’re supposed to use it immediately but it’s faster not to do that before every shower.

    • Good question, Elena: We keep the baking soda paste in a little container in the shower, which we refill about every three days. I haven’t heard that it should be used ASAP; not sure why that would be, given that there’s nothing that will go “bad.” Good luck!

  9. Crystal said

    Would you suggest a proportion of b.s/water? For
    curly-short-haired girls?

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