I'd never thought before of washing my hair with a bar of soap. I'd always assumed that I needed shampoo and conditioner. I'm about to test out washing with bar soap and rinsing with apple cider vinegar. Many of you may have tried this before and I'd love to hear of your experiences.
As plastic-free July draws to a close, I find myself still stopping each time I find another thing that always enters my house in plastic and consider the alternatives. This is today's new experiment. Shampoo bars can contribute to a zero plastic waste household. I think they'd be a handy thing to travel with too - no oozing bottles.
In the past, I have tried to choose the most natural shampoos and conditioners I can find. However the list of ingredients is still long and incomprehensible, and the plastic packaging significant, - even if recyclable. Besides, those shampoos are loaded with so many synthetic materials and chemicals that I can actually no longer use them - my scalp screams and my eyes hurt. Beware of the commercial shampoo bars - they are full of chemicals too.
I really like refilling my old bottles with bulk shampoos from my local cooperative shop, but now it's time for something different - a new experiment in simplifying:
- Shampoo: Paper-wrapped organic fair trade bar soap
- Conditioner: Diluted Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (bought bulk in glass jars). Use 1tbsp to 250 mls water.
I'm pretty keen to embark on some of my own soap making soon using natural ingredients - such as coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and natural essential oils. Until I do, I'm going to buy some natural bar soap. Actually I am going to begin with the bar I bought for my DIY laundry powder and go from there.
My inspiration for this was reading the packaging of the Dr Bonner's soap package and seeing it was good for hair too. I have been enjoying the peppermint one grated into my laundry powder mix and of course as a hand and body wash.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
After washing my hair, I'm going to try rinsing with raw apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp: 250 mls water). It is meant to help balance hair pH, remove the build up of silicone sludge from commercial hair products, smooth the hair cuticles, treat an itchy dry scalp, work as a natural de-tangler and promote healthy hair growth. Just pour it on (avoiding eyes), massage in then rinse - you don't need a conditioner. While your hair is drying it may smell of vinegar, but once it's dry, the smell goes.
I love multifunctional things - a great permaculture principle. It makes me wonder why we clutter up our laundries and bathrooms with so many products when a handful of good ones can do the job of many.
I'll let you know how I go with this and would love to hear your experiences of abandoning commercial shampoos and conditioners.