Baking soda shampoo is an important part of all natural hair care.
Most popular shampoos have harsh or even toxic ingredients that can irritate your scalp and/or enter into your bloodstream (see safe cosmetics for more info).
Baking soda is a safe, gentle, natural and (as a nice bonus) inexpensive way to get your hair shiny and clean.
This "shampoo" is really just a mix of baking soda and water and is also known as the no shampoo method (or no 'poo method for short).
For those that have soft water, the process is quite simple. Those with hard water (like me) will have to do a little more work.
But it's worth it.
My hair is the healthiest it has ever been (and as of the time I'm writing this I have been shampoo-free for over a year). And it looked very healthy before the switch!
You'll need a squeeze bottle or some other container to hold the baking soda/water mixture.
An old shampoo bottle will work fine - just make sure you rinse it out really well.
You'll have to adjust the amount of baking soda you'll need depending on how long your hair is, how much chemical buildup you have, whether it's curly or straight, etc.
The general formula is 1 tablespoon of baking soda (~15 ml) to 8 ounces of water (~240 ml).
Shake it up well and it's ready to use.
Wet your hair and apply the baking soda shampoo to your hair, concentrating on the scalp. Work in it with your fingers.
Don't worry about working it through your hair. Remember, the scalp is where all that oil originates. Plus, when you rinse the baking soda out, it will run through and clean your hair.
Rinse out and follow with a vinegar hair rinse.
Don't skip the vinegar step. It's important to balance your hair's pH and seal the hair cuticles.
Plus it works great as an all natural hair detangler. And don't worry, you won't smell like vinegar once your hair dries.
Yes, it is a little more work to get the no shampoo method to work in hard water. But not much more.
I have VERY hard water (it practically knocks me over in the shower) and long hair (down past my shoulders). If I can do it, so can you.
The problem with hard water is that it is difficult to get the baking soda to dissolve. Therefore, using the method above will result in greasy hair. No worries though.
The trick is to boil the water first before adding the baking soda.
Boiling will cause some of the minerals (that make the water hard) to precipitate out. You'll see a white film in the bottom of your pot when you're done boiling. Those are the minerals you removed.
You'll want to measure the amount of water you add so you'll know how much baking soda you'll need.
A good place to start is 1/4 cup of baking soda (~60 ml) per 16 ounces of water (~470 ml).
I make 48 ounces at a time. That's just because of the size of the container I use to hold the mix.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Let it boil for about 10 minutes to give the minerals time to precipitate out (yes, the time is important).
When the time is up, turn off the heat and add the baking soda (in this case 3/4 of a cup).
Add the baking soda SLOWLY as it will fizz and bubble up and you don't want to make a mess.
Let the mixture cool and pour into whatever container you want to use.
Avoid pouring the minerals into the container (the white stuff in the bottom of the pot).
That amount of baking soda shampoo lasts me and my husband over a month. I only need to wash my hair about once a week now. It is soft, shiny, beautiful, and incredibly easy to manage. I'll never go back to using shampoo, which made me have to wash my hair at least once a day.
The rest of the directions are the same whether you have hard water or soft.
Wet your hair and apply some of the mixture to your scalp.
Work in well with your fingers. Your hair should feel slippery from the softened water. If not, you need to add more baking soda or boil for a little longer.
Rinse out and follow with the vinegar hair rinse.
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