Our skin is a coat of armor that shields us from the elements. It also acts as a sensor, communicating important information with our brains about the environments we negotiate. The daily duty of stripping the oils it produces with soap and then replacing moisture with oils and creams seems like an agressive treatment of our bodies’ largest organ. Why have I bought into the cycle for so many years? The notion that we are born equipped with the faculties we need to thrive makes sense to me on a logical and intuitive level. But old habits die hard.

I’ve been buying shampoo in bulk (pumped out of a plastic gallon jug) from the co-op in wakefield. It’s not a trash-free solution but it’s a little better than buying smaller bottles of product. I tried “no poo“—an idea I can really get behind, but a practice I could’t stick with. I have long, fine, straight hair. Washing it with a baking soda and water solution left my scalp dry and without conditioner, I could hardly get a brush through the ends of my hair. I’ve tried bar shampoos, but they all seem to leave a waxy buildup behind.

I daydream about cropping my tresses close to my head or even going Sinéad and shaving them completely. When my brother recently shaved his head and it looked good, I found myself comparing the shape of his to mine, wondering if I could pull it off too. How wonderfully low maintenance it would be. But the truth is I’m pretty attached to my long hair. That is to say it’s been attached to me for quite a while, and in some ways is a part of my identity. So for the moment, bulk liquid (sulfate, paraben, and phthalate-free) shampoo is where I’m at. But my work towards using fewer and fewer beauty products continues…

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5 Responses to Shampoo

  1. cp October 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Having a lovely time reading through your articles

    Just in case – you need to do an acidic rinse after the alkaline baking soda
    People say apple cider vinegar – but I find lemon juice in water to be fab
    With maybe a little tea tree oil every now and again – antibacterial etc
    Takes persistence but now my hair washing needs are down to once every five/six days

  2. Michael Payne March 18, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Kudos to you and thanks. You are living cheaper, cleaner, easier and smarter. I am the founder of Waste Erase. The objective with WE is exactly what you are living. WE has the logistics to save us all, more than money. WE is trying to bring this choice to most retail outlets.

    You may contact Waste Erase email

  3. zuperserena August 1, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    I don´t know if you are vegan, but if you aren’t, washing with an egg yolk and one third cup hot water mixed in instead of shampoo really cleans hair. I have only used it once, but my scalp and roots were very greasy and it left them actually cleaner than shampoo, and my brother commented on how shiny my hair looked. I´ve got a bloodhound nose and I could only smell the faintest trace when my hair was drying, not while I was washing. I just dabbed a tiny bit of fragance I had, but planning on using a herbal rinse next time. Before I washed, I massaged my scalp and did my best to distribute oil along hair shaft. Also, I´ve been spacing out shampoos, and plan to try to combine this with water only or herbal rinse washing.

  4. suelen September 9, 2015 at 1:09 am #

    Why I don’t tr, coconut soap it clean much better than the other soap, plants has saponins like yucca, tea, aloe with essencial oils. You can try one by one or mix them.

  5. Helen McCarthy November 13, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    I tried no poo, and it was okay for a while, and I still only need to really wash and condition my hair maybe two or three times a week, but I can’t give up on conditioner especially. For shampoo though, something I recently saw was someone using natural Saponins in either Soap Nuts or foraged chestnut leaves, and making a tea of them to use on their hair! Maybe something worth trying?

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