Natural shampoo: A + B = C

Did you know that you can use baking soda (bicarb) and lemon juice/ vinegar to clean and condition your hair?

Let’s start with a sensible question:

Why would I not just use shampoo?

  1. Shampoo not only cleans your hair but it also strips it of natural oils that should keep it soft and strong.
  2. Shampoo contains all sorts of chemicals including mineral oil – a byproduct when making petrol from crude oil. This coats the hair to make it nice and shiny. However it also coats the scalp since it can’t be absorbed into the skin and prevents oil from being released. Also, foaming agents in shampoo make hair frizzy, especially curly hair.
  3. Shampoo is expensive. And if you use shampoo you need conditioner. And maybe those other products that promise to breathe life back into your hair.
  4. There are natural products that you can use instead that work really well.

Baking soda for your hair as a cleanser

Baking soda is a natural cleaner. It is a very weak alkaline that cleans away chemical and dirt build up.

Mix 1 cup water with 1 tbsp bicarb (a bit more for curly hair) and use as you would use shampoo.

Vinegar (or lemon juice) for your hair as a conditioner

White wine or apple (or other) vinegar or lemon juice  are all mildly acidic and act like a conditioner, detangling the hair folicles, sealing the cuticle and balancing the pH again.

Mix 1 cup of water with 1 tbsp vinegar/lemon juice and use as you would conditioner.

Practical tips

  • Putting the mixtures in a squeezy bottle (an old shampoo bottle for instance) makes the process of actually putting it on your head easier.
  • You will probably need to play around with the ratios that suit your hair
  • You can add herbs to the mixtures for nice smells and all sorts of different benefits. Have a read here.
  • Use rooibos in the place of the water – it promotes hair growth, adds shine and smells good. Read some more.
  • Do a cursory google search on natural shampoo solutions to find hundreds of blogs on going without shampoo and get all sorts of hints and opinions.
  • I strongly advise against adopting the much-used term “poo free” to describe your natural hair cleaning ways.  Giving people the impression that you have constipation will never sell the green movement.

I’ve tried it and it really truly made my hair literally squeaky clean and lovely.

You might have wondered why A + B = C. This is a complex formula derived by my brother studying chemistry. Acid plus base equals clean. 🙂


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