Tag Archives: hair care

Still Playing with Washing My Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar

I’m still trying out washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar. The first day didn’t go great, but things have improved since then.

I rewashed and rinsed my hair with the baking soda and vinegar, this time using the full tablespoon of baking soda in a bit less water, and a bit heavier concentration of the vinegar too. This time my hair feels much better.

I don’t use products in my hair very often anyhow aside from shampoo and conditioner, so I can’t say that there is much excess residue to come out from anything. No old hair spray or whatnot. But I am definitely noticing that my hair feels just a little lighter. It’s soft in a slightly different way from how it feels after using shampoo and conditioner, but definitely soft.

A big difference is that it feels to me as though the natural oils are moving further down the hair shaft between washings. Maybe I’m imagining it, but that’s how it feels, and I don’t mean that my hair is looking more oily right off the bat. It does seem that using this method I may need to wash my hair a little more often than I did with shampoo and conditioner, which I had down to every 5 days or thereabouts. When I shower without washing my hair it just goes up in a knot. I don’t even use a shower cap. Long hair has its advantages!

Washing My Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar

I finally got around to trying a baking soda wash with a vinegar rinse for my hair, as I said I would at the start of the month.

Most places I read about it said to use 1 tablespoon of baking soda in warm water, although others said to make a paste of it. I used probably a half tablespoon to try things out as some people found the full amount made their hair really dry. With hair as long as mine I tend toward the cautious side of things.

The mix is applied to the scalp, not the length of the hair. Overall I think I used too little, but I could definitely tell when the oils by the scalp started loosening up and moving. There was a definite change to the feel of my hair as I scrubbed it. Can’t say lathered it, as obviously there’s no lather with baking soda.

The vinegar rinse was made in the same way, one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of warm water. That was applied to the length more so than the scalp.

First try, I’m not ecstatic. I’ll try using a bit more baking soda next time and maybe a bit less water and see if that helps. The hair near the scalp was left just a bit too oily.

One Small Change Month Two & Month One Review

Here we are in the second month of the One Small Change challenge. Month one went all right for me. I didn’t get to go to the co-op as often as I would have liked. First week was easy, but the second and third weeks weren’t possible.

The last weekend of the month we were out of town. My grandfather’s 90th birthday and my daughter’s first birthday were the same day, so we had to have them together. The family had a big party for grandpa, mostly. But having them together like that was pretty special to me.

We’re still planning on continuing with the co-op as time allows. The produce was good.

So What About This Month?

This month I’m going to focus on what I use for hair care. I’ve kept it simple for a really long time – almost never use hair spray or other styling products, and I’ve found it rather thrives on being washed just over once a week. Unlike the rest of me.

No, I haven’t really tried delaying washing the rest of me for a week. I’m joking!

My hair is very long. I can almost sit on it. I’ve been meaning to switch from traditional shampoo and conditioner for a long time, but haven’t gotten around to doing the research to figure out quite what I want to do. I’m so far not up to the “no shampoo” level I’ve heard about. I’m considering the baking soda and vinegar route for starters.

I already use coconut oil sometimes in my hair. Makes it amazingly soft and is supposed to penetrate the hair. It’s also a good reminder to myself that natural products can work really well. I’ve tried jojoba oil too, which is lighter and also does a good job. Either only needs to be applied to the length and ends of the hair, not the scalp.

Greener Hair Care

I have long hair. Really long, as in I can sit on the tips if I’m not careful. I’m also very aware of how much it can take to care for this kind of hair, and how damaging certain products can be, not just to my hair, but to the environment.

These are some tips I know work for me. They may not be for everyone, as different hair types will react differently. But the only way to find out is to experiment.

1. Wash hair less often.

I do not wash my hair every time I shower. I absolutely know that I can get away with washing it about twice a week. Possibly less, but my current routine allows me to wash my hair on mornings that I do not need to be rushing out the door to anything. That has pretty much kept me from trying to stretch it further.

With long hair, washing less often offers two advantages. The most obvious is that I use less water, as washing long hair takes time.

It’s also better for long hair, or at least mine, as the natural oils get stripped out less often.

2. Limit which parts of the hair get shampoo and conditioner.

I read about this a couple of years ago, and it really works for me. Shampoo is for the hair closest to the scalp, not the length of the hair. The length of the hair will be sufficiently cleaned as the shampoo rinses off the hair closer to the scalp.

On the other hand, the hair closer to the scalp has less need of conditioner. That is primarily for the length of the hair, which gets fewer of the natural oils produced in the scalp.

3. Use a boar bristle brush.

You may have read about how women used to brush their hair 100 strokes every day. Know what?

It works wonders if you do that with a boar bristle brush. I do have rather mixed feelings about them, as I’m not sure how the bristles are collected, but I must say they do a marvelous job.

I untangle my hair with a regular brush first. I’ve never had any luck detangling with boar bristle brushes. But once that’s done I go at it with the boar bristle. 100 strokes, all from scalp to the tips of the strands. I can feel the difference when I’m done.

The natural boar bristles collect the oils from near the scalp and spread it along the entire length of the hair. It’s amazingly good for it.

If you buy one, go for quality. No point to buying something you’d have to replace more often than necessary.

4. Jojoba oil or coconut oil for deep conditioning.

If I get too busy to use the boar bristle brush with any regularity, either jojoba oil or coconut oil can work wonders. They’re very light oils, so they won’t weigh hair down to heavily, at least for me.

Depending on my needs, I can apply it as soon as my hair is dry, or put in extra the night before or even just shortly before washing my hair to act as a deep conditioner.

It takes literally drops of jojoba oil. Coconut oil is often a solid, but it takes a very small amount. In either case, you warm it by rubbing it between your hands, then stroking your hands down the length of your hair. I do several strokes, the first ones just of the last few inches, then covering more of the length as I go.

5. Rare use of styling products.

I hardly ever use any hair styling products. Not even hair spray. I use the length of my hair, elastic bands and hair sticks to create a nice variety of hair styles, and for the most part I really don’t need to spray or smear  any chemicals in to keep it in place. This is no doubt a part of why I can get away with washing it less. Nothing added to make it sticky.

Except maybe sticky-fingered hugs from my kids, that is. But we won’t go there right now.

Things I’d like to try

I’m on a tight budget, so I haven’t tried all the green hair care solutions I’d like to. Some are cheap enough, but remembering to do them with 3 kids underfoot, one a young baby, isn’t easy. But in the near future I intend to try:

1. Baking soda and vinegar rinse.

I’ve heard a lot about this, and I really want to give it a try. Hair is washed with baking soda, then rinsed with vinegar. I see a lot of people specify apple cider vinegar, but I don’t know if that matters or if plain white vinegar is good enough. It’s something I just need to research a bit more.

2. Greener shampoos and conditioners.

Most of the ones I’ve seen cost a bit more than I’m willing to budget on shampoo and conditioner just now. I don’t buy the exceedingly cheap stuff now, but what I use is still rather typical stuff you can get at any Target that has been available for years and years. I’m not that loyal to a particular brand or anything either.

But I really want to start working through some of the brands I see listed as better on Skin Deep. Much better all the way around, potentially, for me and the environment. I like that.

What about you? Any products you particularly like? Anything you do with your routine to keep things greener.