Since I gave up processed food for the Whole Life Challenge, I’m getting more interested in going chemical-free in other areas too. I’ve seen recipes for homemade cleaning products on Pinterest but I haven’t gotten the gumption to make them.

Last night I watched the movie Chemerical on Netflix. It was about a family who did a three month challenge to remove all chemical cleaning agents and personal hygiene items from their house. It wasn’t the best documentary ever but it made me do some research this morning and I went out and bought some ingredients to try some of these myself.

But, I must confess. I have been doing one thing for close to a year now. I quit shampooing and conditioning my hair.

This is what I keep in my bathroom now. I read a lot of recipes about how to do this. I think I have it down to the absolutely easiest way to do it because I am lazy.

1. Pour about 1/8 cup of baking soda in the measuring cup. This is enough to cover the bottom of this cup. It isn’t measured exactly.

2. Fill it with hot water from the shower and stir it with your finger until it dissolves.

3. Pour it onto your hair.

Most of the instructions want you to make it ahead of time and add in pretty smells. If you make it in large batches then it is relatively colder than your shower when you pour it over your head and that did not make me happy.

This mixture doesn’t suds up or do anything when you apply it. To wash your hair, you scrub your scalp more with your fingernails than you need to do with shampoo. I let it sit for a bit and then rinse it well.

When you start doing this the websites say to be ready for a 2 week to 2 month adjustment period. Here’s how I understand it. When you use shampoos you strip the oils out of your hair and scalp. To compensate for that your scalp makes extra oil. I have super fine, very dry hair. When I was using shampoo once or twice a day, if I skipped a day my hair would get really oily. I thought that was weird because my hair is so dry. I was using Wen and other fancy stuff to try to put moisture back in my hair while at the same time fighting the oil that shows up if I didn’t shampoo it daily.

When you use the baking soda you don’t strip the oils but your body doesn’t get the message right away. It keeps kicking out the oils. So until your body understands and slows the oil production your hair may be oilier than usual. But hang on because the results are worth it.

I started this when I was out of town for a conference. I figured if it turned out that my hair was nasty at least I didn’t know anyone. At first it felt like I wasn’t really getting my hair clean. You don’t get the “squeaky clean” feel like you do with shampoo. My transition lasted about 2 weeks.

Now, my hair is softer and easier to manage. The husband says it looks healthier. I only need to wash my hair every few days even when working out. If I’m sweaty I can just rinse my hair well and it comes clean. I also have scalp psoriasis. I don’t see a huge difference in it but it can’t hurt to keep chemicals off the damaged skin.

The second part of the routine is the vinegar rinse. I put about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the cup and fill the rest with water. I pour it on the long parts of my hair mainly. I let it sit for a minute and then rinse.

This made an immediate improvement for me. Super fine hair tangles if you look at it wrong. This stopped that after the first application. I was in Florida when I started this. My hair gets super frizzy in Florida. I was piling leave in conditioner in it and anti-frizz serum and flat ironing it. One application of vinegar and the frizz was gone! I didn’t have to use anything else.

I know this might sound weird but it is worth a try. It has worked so well for me that I can’t imagine going back to regular shampoos.

Over the next month or so I’ll be making detox baths, facial cleaners, soft scrub, laundry detergent, and whatever else catches my eye. I’ll let you know what works.