Two years after quitting shampoo, my hair is happy as ever

At the beginning of 2015, I challenged myself to stop using shampoo and conditioner. I really cannot believe that it has been two years already. In the last two years, I have not purchased shampoo or conditioner, and I haven’t looked back.

I have switched to using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, or as it’s sometimes called, ACV. I was tired of buying plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and wanted to lessen my plastic consumption. I found out about washing your hair with the combo of baking soda and ACV and figured why not give it a try?

Before I made the switch, I already had a big bottle of a combo shampoo-conditioner. I’ve kept it and used it a little at a time whenever I go on trips. I just put some of the shampoo-conditioner into a travel-sized bottle so I don’t have to pack baking soda and ACV. Sometimes, I have also used the complimentary travel shampoos at hotels. I’ve also had to use my back-up shampoo a couple times when I’ve run out of ACV and need to wash my hair before my next grocery store trip.

So there are times I have used regular, consumer shampoo and conditioner, but I’ve cut my use of it to almost zero.

I think the next time I go on a trip, I’m going to mix up some baking soda and ACV in some travel bottles and give it a try. I always premix my ACV, but I never premix my baking soda. I will try it out and see how it goes.

It’s not just more friendly for the environment, I actually like how it cleans my hair better.

Even on short trips, I can tell a difference in my hair when I use my baking soda and ACV vs. shampoo. I just love the way my hair feels when I use the baking soda and ACV — it’s softer, smoother and just feels better.

I recently tried adding in some essential oil to my apple cider vinegar to make it smell less like vinegar, but it left my hair feeling kind of oily and I didn’t like it. Though it does work for some,

I much prefer the smooth, light feeling I get when I rinse my hair with just apple cider vinegar.

If you’d like to try what I use, the ratio that has worked best for me is one-third of a cup of baking soda and two-thirds of a cup of water. I use this same ratio for ACV. But feel free to play with the ratios until you find one that works for you.

I always buy big boxes of baking soda so the ratio of packaging to product is lower. I do the same thing when I buy my ACV. I feel bad that my ACV comes in a big plastic bottle, since plastic is what I’m trying to avoid. But the ratio of packaging to product is much lower than if I were still buying bottles of shampoo.

I keep a small bottle of ACV and water mixture in the bath and refill it as needed. I have a measuring cup just for my baking soda. I measure out my baking soda in a one-cup measuring cup, and then I mix it with warm water.

I have tried using baking soda and conditioner, but my hair doesn’t feel as clean.

I’ve also tried using regular shampoo and rinsing it with my ACV mixture, but it doesn’t feel great, either — baking soda and ACV really are a team and need to work together.

I know that this regiment isn’t going to be for everyone, but it’s worked out really well for me. I know people who have tried it and loved it, and some others who have tried it and hated it. Either way, they gave it a try in an effort to help keep the environment a little more free of plastic, and every little bit helps.

Amanda’s Animal Fact of the Week

Hippos are nocturnal. While some animals are nocturnal to avoid predators, hippos are nocturnal to avoid sunlight on their sensitive skin.

About Amanda Wheeler

Amanda Wheeler is the children and teen services librarian at the Lincoln County Public Library. She has a master's in zoology education from the University of Miami and has taught as an educator at the Cincinnati Zoo.

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