People have been cleaning and bathing with mild, naturally occurring baking soda since ancient Egypt. It is great for scouring and deodorizing many surfaces, from tile to toys and hands. Borax is an element that forms crystals in arid regions. It makes a good cleaning agent, disinfectant, mold killer and stain
remover, from the laundry room to the bathroom. Both substances are cheap and readily available.
Shampoo is a detergentShampoo cleans your hair, but it also strips it of all the healthy oil your body naturally produces. These oils protect your hair and keep it soft and strong.
Shampoo was only introduced in the early 20th century — before that, people relied on good-old soap, which can wash hair just as well without removing important oils. But soap doesn’t work well in alkaline water, and when water in civilized areas started becoming more mineral-heavy (read: alkaline), soap became a challenge. It made the scales on hair stand up, making it weaker and rougher. So shampoo was introduced, marketed with its only benefit of working in both hard and soft water.
Detergent is harsh, I doubt we’d use the same type of stuff to wash our bodies as we would our dishes, but that’s essentially what we’re doing with shampoo.
Shampoo has all sorts of chemicalsSkin is our largest organ, and it’s extremely porous — substances can easily enter the bloodstream directly through our skin, and they can stay for a long time.
Since we try to avoid food that has unpronounceable ingredients, we thought it only made sense to adhere to the same standards for the stuff we slather on our skin. This includes shampoo.
Most shampoos also contain mineral oil, which is a byproduct when gasoline is distilled from crude oil. It’s added to shampoo (along with hundreds of other products) to thickly coat the strands, giving hair an artificial shine. And since it can’t absorb into skin, like the other ingredients, it acts as a barrier on our scalp, preventing oil from being released — thus requiring more shampoo to strip away the grease. This is why the more shampoo you use, the more you need.
Shampoo is an unnecessary costSo because shampoo isn’t really necessary, using it creates this cycle that requires a dependence on the stuff, along with other hair products. In order to combat the stripping of protective oils, we need an artificial protectant called conditioner. And because now my hair is coated with unnatural substances, it requires more unnatural substances to keep it styled, strong, and workable. The list of hair pomades, waxes, gels, mousses, and detanglers available could take up pages.
Baking Soda is Your Friend
Baking soda works wonders on hair, along with its other many household helps. It’s gentle, it’s the weakest alkaline, and it very gently clarifies hair from chemical buildup.
Like many natural cleaners, the recipe isn’t static — it can be tweaked to suit your needs. The standard amount for hair care is one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water. Those with curly or thicker hair might need a bit more baking soda, and those with thin or fine hair might need less. Experiment, and see what works for you.
Fill a squeeze bottle (like a old syrup or ketchup bottle) pour in a baking soda with a funnel, then fill up the rest with water. Shake before every use and squirt at the roots of your hair.
Remembering that this isn't going to look or feel like any shampoo you're accustomed to. Think of it more like a shamp-paste. There won't be mountains of foamy bubbles (you get those in commercial products because of the chemicals added to get all that lather). Work the paste through your hair, concentrating mostly on the scalp and rinse thoroughly, for unexpectedly clean and remarkably shiny hair.
Apple Cider Vinegar is Your Next Friend