Friday, July 16, 2010

The Two Week Challenge: No Shampoo

Did you see the look of terror in my eyes?

Two weeks without hair products.

Is that even possible?

I told my brother what I agreed to do and he was literally speechless.

I seriously had no idea there were women out there who have gone YEARS without using shampoo and conditioner in their hair. It's called the "No 'Poo" method; a horrible name, but it's guaranteed to grab attention. Audrey's chosen to go shampoo free because of the chemicals that are in shampoo and conditioner. I did a little research and was surprised at what's in shampoo. Mineral oil, found in conditioner, is a by product of petroleum. It coats the skin like plastic and clogs pores. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers, and it's found in most hair/skin products that produce foam. It's surprising to me! My hair dresser once told me that I could use store shampoo to whiten my clothes because of the amount of detergents used to create the product.

So...if you don't shampoo/condition your hair...what do you use to clean it?

Audrey sent me some great sites to look at with natural, chemical alternatives. After reading through her favorite sites and doing a little googling of my own, here's what I've figured out:

The basic "shampoo" formula: 1 Tbls baking soda to 1 cup water

The basic "conditioner" formula: 1 Tbls apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water

Both are basic ingredients that I've got in my kitchen cabinet. I used half of each mixture in my hair this morning. After I got done using the baking soda mixture, my hair felt really clean. I applied to just the roots, massaged it into my head for 30 seconds to 1 minute and let it sit on my hair for about 2 minutes. Next time I feel a build up of hair product in my hair, I'll use this as a clarifying solution instead of purchasing a clarifying shampoo. The vinegar scared me. My biggest fear is that my hair would stink. Guess what? Nothing. Nada. No smell at all. I applied the mixture to the ends of my hair and left the vinegar mixture on for 2 minutes. When I rinsed it out, my hair felt soft. I was shocked.

My hardest part with this process will be the lack of hair care products - no gel, no hairspray. You know I love my hairspray. I seriously was ::this close:: to crying this morning when I couldn't spray my hair. I can't believe I'm such a sissy. So instead of getting myself worked up over hairspray of all things, I decided to search out natural hairspray and gel recipes. There is actually such a thing!!! This morning I made my own hair gel and worked pretty nicely.

Basic Hair Gel: 1 cup of water + 2 Tbls flax seeds; boil together, let sit for 30 minutes, strain, and when completely cool add in a drop or two of essential oil (I used tea tree/lavender oil)

This weekend I will be making NATURAL HAIR SPRAY!!!

Basic Hairspray: 1 lemon or 1 orange, sliced + 2 cups water; boil until reduced by half. Cool, strain, and place in a spray bottle with 1 oz rubbing alcohol. Keeps for 2 weeks.

So I'm fully committed to doing this. I gathered up my shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and various other asundry hair products, put them in a box, and am giving them to Jack for the next 2 weeks (my father offered his truck to haul them to the station - very funny, Dad!).

Pray for this Arbutus girl.

Please. Ha ha!

Want to go shampoo/conditioner free? Check out the following articles on these sites:

Audrey recommends:

I discovered:


  1. Erin I think you're brave for taking on a challenge like that. Most of us never pay attention to the ingredients in the products we put on our skin or hair. Kudos to you!! Thanks for the tips and links. I just might try it!!

  2. Wow! You are brave, Erin! I will look forward to hearing more about your two-week challenge! Jack, I think you should try the challenge, too. =)

  3. You're right about the chemicals in haircare. It's in skincare and makeup too. I discovered this information about 7 years ago and found that the chemicals in my products was making me sick. I switched to Arbonne products because they're toxin free - no mineral oil, animal products, chemical dyes and fragrances, etc. If you don't already know an Arbonne consultant I'd be happy to send you a shampoo sample. It's the best shampoo and conditioner I've ever used!


Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts - we love it when you do!

~ Jack & Erin

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