In case you haven't heard the hype, the chemicals and surfactants in regular shampoos are supposed to be bad for you. For the past couple years, I have dealt with frustrating scalp issues. I tried to note the circumstances that lead up to a rash on my hairline. I tried different shampoos and ultimately concluded that it was my body's reaction to stress. I certainly felt stressed when I had these painful little rash spots along the hairline just above my temples. I didn't necessarily notice the stress beforehand, but I definitely did once they appeared.
Several months ago, I learned about the potential issues (including allergies and rashes) that can occur with standard shampoos. I still hadn't learned everything I needed to know to make an educated decision, so I did the best I could. At that point I knew that the sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates were bad news. I went to the beauty supply store and combed the aisles for my best option. I ended up selecting a tea lauryl sulfate with tea tree oils. I love tea tree oil because it feels so good on the scalp, so this sounded like the best choice to me. It worked well for awhile, then I got another breakout. Since I thought it was stress, I figured it wasn't the shampoo and bought another few bottles.
Then I learned more and found EWG's Skindeep website. I learned about castile soap and that the best shampoos don't act like the typical ones-- they don't suds and bubble. They also don't do it all the first time, so you truly lather, rinse, repeat.
I researched shampoos and hair treatments; finally I selected a gentle, scalp-calming shampoo. I found information on the Healing-Scents website for a treatment that can speed the adjustment period. I'm using that combo religiously, but I'm STILL not through this yet!
If anybody else is bracing to go through a similar transition, here is the process that gives me the most normal hair days. If I can never get back to good hair days, I won't continue all this drama long term. I'll keep you posted to let you know if there's ever light at the end of the tunnel.
Hair Transition Formula, a.k.a. Hair Shots
I adapted "The volcano" method slightly from Healing-Scents to make it possible to do on my own. I've had to use it every time I shampoo for a few weeks now.
If any of you have the cheap plastic take home drink shakers from a restaurant (like this), it's a great way to get this process done on your own. Plus it's super classy to take your drink shaker into the shower with you.
- Put 2 shots of apple cider vinegar and 2 shots of water into the cup. Swish them together and put the strainer piece over it.
- Shake baking soda into the shot glass and fill with enough water to stir it into a liquid solution (about even to the level of the baking soda). I would say 1/3 full is right.
- If you don't have such a classy container for your concoction, feel free to improvise freely with your glass and barware until you figure out what works best for you. Use 1/2 cup ACV with 1/2 cup water.
- Wet hair. Shake the baking soda into your hair. Use a little at a time to work it all around your scalp.
- Tilt head WAY back and slowly pour the ACV mixture onto your hair. It will fizz and bubble, so don't let it head south into your eyes!
- Once it's all worked through, rinse it all out.
- Do your lather, rinse, repeat routine with the castile or toxin-free shampoo.
- Afterward, you can use nothing, a toxin-free conditioner, or another ACV/water rinse.
- Rinse out whatever you used and pray that your hair is manageable enough to get through your day!
Here are a few pics of my hair from Easter weekend. I had blowdried and straightened my hair, and this was the best it got.
Sorry the pic is a little fuzzy. I wore out my arms trying to get a clear mirror pic and this was the best I had. It reminds me of stringy teenager hair. :(
The scalp doesn't look too bad. My hair feels like it's coated in wax.
My hair looks a little better now, and is more manageable (aka, clean looking) as well. It still feels like it's coated in wax, though. If I used styling products, this might be fantastic since it provides its own adhesion. I just want to have it move naturally, though!
So there ya go. All the details.
What do you think? Am I nuts for trying to get my hair and scalp off the suds?! Would you ever consider going toxin-free for your hair products? If you've done this already, do you EVER get past this waxy hair point?!??