I quit using Shampoo

About a month ago, I switched to organic skincare and mentioned that I was looking for alternative hair care options as well.  After reading several articles about how traditional shampoo damages hair and strips away the natural oils it needs, I boldly declared that I was ready for the challenge.  I committed to using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean my hair (an all natural alternative).  And I did it publicly.

I have never regretted a statement quite so much.

The idea is that instead of using a traditional shampoo, baking soda and apple cider vinegar can be an acceptable substitute.  First, wash with baking soda, then rinse very well and follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse – 1-2 tablespoons mixed with about a cup of water.  I used an organic baking soda as well as Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

I would use about 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda.  I just took a tiny bowl of it into the shower with me and added a small amount of water to make it into a paste.  Be warned, this will not make nice frothy bubbles in your hair.  It will feel like you are dragging a bunch of gritty sand through it.  It will not smell good.  It will not make your hair feel clean.  It is hard to spread through your hair and when it is rinsed out, your hair still feels dirty.

After you have rinsed out the baking soda, follow with the vinegar rinse.  The theory is, when mixed with water, the vinegar has a ph that is very similar to what your hair should be, so it’s a great natural way to keep your hair soft and shiny.  I used an empty cup to mix the ACV and water, and I would soak the ends of my hair in the water for a bit first before rinsing the rest of my hair.  I let it sit on my hair for a couple of minutes, and then rinse.  Try not to let it get on your face or in your mouth.  It’s not a fun taste during your shower.

For me, the ACV rinse was the only thing that somewhat saved me.  I have been traveling quite a bit during the last month and so I brought baking soda with me but I didn’t typically take the vinegar.  You don’t want to try this without the vinegar.  It made a huge difference in the softness and cleanliness of my hair.

I have been shampoo free for a month now.  During the first week, it wasn’t too bad.  The first time I showered, I did nothing to my hair, just rinsed with water.  Halfway through the week, I washed with baking soda and did the apple cider vinegar rise, and then again on Saturday.  My goal was to wash my hair only twice a week (since all the article I read said that I washed much too frequently, and the less you wash your hair, the less you need to…)  So I washed my hair following this method on Wednesdays and Saturdays and the rest of the time, I just let it be.

During the second week, I almost quit.  I made a trip to Lush, one of my favorite mostly natural stores, trying to find an alternate solution.

lush fresh cosmetics store mall okc no shampoo no drought review

To my dismay, they only claim to be 67% preservative free and working on the rest…

67 percent natural lush no shampoo

So after reading every. single. shampoo bottle in the place, I left with just a dry shampoo that I thought might be a worthy addition to my routine and a hair mask that was all natural and claimed would brighten my hair color.

On Wednesday of the second week, I tried the dry shampoo (No Drought).  I was disappointed.  I went ahead and washed with the baking soda routine after all.  I can see that it would be great in a pinch, like if you just finished a workout and needed something to use until you could find a shower.  But it definitely wasn’t a shampoo substitute.

Here is a pic of my hair around the two week mark – it doesn’t look bad, but it felt stiff and greasy.  Not pleasant at all.

two weeks with no shampoo my hair

The next day, I tried the hair mask (Marilyn), and honestly that’s just because at this point, I was so discouraged by how my hair felt.  It felt greasy, dirty, stiff, and I was very frustrated with it.  And when I finished it that evening, my wet hair felt wonderful, silky and smooth, like you would expect.  But the next day when I got up, it was greasier than ever.  So I washed it again with the baking soda but stuck to my guns that was all I would use.  I haven’t used either of those products again.  I think they both serve a great purpose, but they don’t really help if the goal is to go all natural.

During the third and fourth weeks, I think it got better.  I stuck to the Wednesday/Saturday washing routine.  My hair feels less greasy, or maybe I’m just getting used to it.  I actually did have a compliment on my hair this past Sunday, but they also knew I haven’t been using shampoo, so maybe they were just trying to make me feel better.

Since I started this, my hair has been in a ponytail almost every single day.  I just can’t stand the way it feels.  I can’t forsee myself doing this long term in the future… because honestly, I don’t want to.  It might look okay in some pictures, but it feels gross.  And while my philosophy hasn’t changed – I am still working really hard to go organic and all natural in every area of my life following my cancer experience – I just can’t give up shampoo.  I am giving this two more weeks because I have heard that sometimes it takes up to six weeks for your hair to adjust to the change, but unless there is a big improvement, I will be starting the search for an all organic or mostly organic option that foams up, smells good, and makes my hair soft.  Because honestly, life is too short to be miserable about my hair everyday.

DIY Banana Face Mask

banana face maskAs I have shared before, part of my post cancer journey has been purging all chemical and artificial things from my life.  Up until now, that has included the food we eat, the cleaners we use, and medications.  For the most part, we eat organic, non-gmo whole foods.  I use primarily homemade, chemical free cleaners.  And I have forgone typical medications in favor of more holistic treatments and essential oils.  But one area that I hadn’t addresses, and to be honest, I hadn’t thought much about at all, is my bathroom products.  I’m talking about skin care, makeup, shampoo, bodywash, etc.  Until two weeks ago, which is when this happened:

breakout after face peel chemical reaction

Madison and I were having a girls day – doing nails, face masks, etc.  For Christmas, my mom put a face mask in her stocking – one of those $1 things you can get at Target or Wal-Mart – so we got it out and put it on her face.  We left it on for about 5 minutes, per the instructions, and when we took it off, this is what her face looked like.  And it burned so badly, and for a while, I thought we were headed to the doctor.  It did clear up after a little while but it really made me step back for a minute and evaluate some things.  I have been working so hard to get rid of chemicals, but I’m still putting them on my face everyday?

So here is the first step in the next stage of my healthy journey – cutting chemicals out of our skin care products.  After this disaster with the face mask, I told Madison to look up natural recipes and we would make our own from now on, and here is our first try.  It was a big success and my face felt very moisturized when I was done.

Side note to moms – this is a fun project to do with your girls… but you might not want to let them apply the mask… just a tip from a mom who has been there…

Banana Face Mask

banana face mask


1 banana

1 egg yolk

1 T. avocado oil

Step One:

Mash the banana.  Here’s a neat trick – before you start mashing with the fork, use it to poke the banana full of tiny holes and the mashing will be MUCH easier.  And one more thing – mash that banana as fine as you possibly can – the less chunky it is, the better it will feel on your face.

banana face mask

Step Two:

Mix all the ingredients together.

banana face mask

Step Three:

Apply to your face and let sit for 20 minutes.  Here is where my advice will come in really handy… unless you want Banana Face Mask in your ears, in your hair and down your shirt, think twice before you let your ten year old daughter apply it…  and just be warned it is very cold.

banana face mask

(She really looks like she is having a little too much fun, doesn’t she?  Don’t worry, I took a video when it was her turn!)

Oh, and PS – the cucumbers are optional but I think my daughter has been spending a little too much time on Pinterest; she insisted they were necessary and to be honest, they were a nice addition.  My eyes felt very refreshed along with my skin.

Step Four:

Rinse face with cold water and enjoy your fresh smooth skin!

So why did we decide on those particular ingredients for our face mask?

Banana – the Vitamin C cleans skin and helps repair blemishes and antioxidents neutralize free radicals that case early aging!

Egg Yolk – Vitamins B2 and Zinc can help heal and prevent acne, and the B3 in them aids with circulation for a healthier feel!

Avocado Oil – rejuvenates dry skin and also help prevent signs of aging.

Hope you enjoy!

Amy Allen star diamond coach