For those of you who have been following my DIY adventures, this post will likely seem like the craziest one yet. Trust me, I'm with you: in the beginning, I thought this was absolutely crazy. But I wanted to give it a fair shot, so I've been using it for a few months. And now I have to tell you: I wouldn't go back to regular shampoo and conditioner. It took some getting used to, but this weird DIY shampoo and conditioner works for me.
Let's start with the shampoo, which I found on DIYNatural.com. You will need TWO ingredients:
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup water
Whaaaat?! You can clean your hair with a little bit of baking soda and water? And it works? Yes and yes, but with a few caveats. Anyone who is used to using traditional shampoo (so: pretty much everyone) is used to using a product with big, foamy lather. Washing your hair with baking soda and water (which is often referred to as no-poo) feels nothing like washing with traditional shampoo. Washing your hair with no-poo feels like you're washing your hair with water. It feels like nothing. And for the first few weeks I used it, it seemed like I was washing with nothing: my hair was greasier than it's ever been.
But I waited it out. After a few weeks, the grease went away and I started noticing a new glossiness and softness to my hair. Whether this can be attributed to my DIY shampoo, conditioner, or a combination of the two, I'm not sure. So let's move on to the conditioner, which is also from DIY Natural.
The conditioner again requires only two ingredients, which are:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
Is this some sort of joke? Is someone really trying to tell me I can replace my normal rich, creamy, luxurious conditioner with a bunch of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar?
People, let me be clear here: as crazy as it sounds, it works. Not only that, but it works SO much better than traditional conditioner. I feel slightly guilty for saying this since I just returned from Morocco, home of the much-hyped argan oil. Had I taken that trip a few months earlier, I likely would have loaded up on hair products when buying souvenirs. But since I've started using this funky apple cider vinegar concoction, I no longer have a need for such things.
Here's what happened. My hair has an interesting texture. On the one hand it's incredibly thick and on the other it's quite fine. I've worn it long for many years now, so I have a lot of hair. I always pull this hair back when I'm exercising, especially when I'm running. I often run in the rain thanks to Portland's gross, disgusting, never-ending rainy season (can you tell how over it I am?). When I come back from these runs, my hair is a tangled up, snarly mess. In the past, it has taken me a good THIRTY MINUTES to comb conditioner through my hair and try to work through the tangles and knots. With the apple cider vinegar, I don't know why and I don't know how, the tangles are gone in SECONDS. That's all the proof I need.
But here's a little more, just in case. This past Saturday, I went to my first hair appointment in eight weeks. My hairstylist told me my hair and skin have never looked better. She wanted to know what products I was using. When I told her I was making my own out of basic ingredients I had around the house, she was floored.
I'm floored too. At first it felt so weird, like I was literally washing my hair with water and doing absolutely nothing productive. But then I saw the results. And now I wouldn't go back.