I wash my hair maybe once a week, and when I do, it’s with Dr. Bronner’s Magical Botanical All-One-Or-None. It works pretty dang good:
Why no shampoo? Because it’s expensive, for one thing. For another, it’s full of phosphates, which (in addition to being hard on your hair and scalp) can kill fish and other friendly things. Personally, I felt like shampoo was killing my hair and making it break too much.
Becky Striepe at The Green Upgrader switched to No ‘Poo last year. She uses good old baking soda and apple cider vinegar, with water and some scenty stuff to mask the vinegar smell.
The results have been the best yet! My hair comes out super soft and only needs to be washed about two to three times per week.
I’m using a mixture of 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water and the same ratio of apple cider vinegar to water. Just mix up the two solutions in separate bottles. Bonus points for reusing plastic bottles that would have been headed for the landfill! For the vinegar rinse, I added 20 drops of tea tree and lavender essential oil blend to mask the vinegar smell a bit.
I’ll definitely be trying that mixture soon (especially since I can’t get Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap in Reno). I might use her winter formula, which includes brown sugar and agave nectar for a little extra protein. Even in summer, these desert winds are intense.
More on No ‘Poo, including what to expect for first-timers: What the Heck is No ‘Poo Anyway?
More on what you can do with these amazing wonder ingredients: Baking soda and vinegar are cool.
UPDATE! (january 2011)
I tried baking soda and vinegar on and off for about 5 months. It worked well, but as my hair got longer I found it was hard to wash. I’d recommend this solution for people with less BULK than I have. I also noticed some breakage and dullness, and that really bothered me since I’m trying to grow it out.
So I’ve gone back to Dr. Bronner’s, with lots of conditioner and shea butter hair cream. For my dry, thick hair, oil is crucial and I think the baking soda-vinegar thing was just too harsh a cleanser.
Still, sometimes when my hair feels too oily or matted, I give it a rinse with ACV and water.