What a time I have had since the last Hair Parlor post! So many things have happened, but despite our travels, odd schedules and what not, I have still been devoting a bit of my time every day to learning more about the many ways we can wash our hair. My how many there are! And so many interesting theories as to the best chemical makeup for the best shampoo, homemade or no. I won’t say that each brand or recipe is the gold star, perfected one. Far from it! What I have learned though within the past month has been of much value to me, and I am going to share with you all what I have experimented with, and the results I found with the few different shampoo methods I have tried.
First we have the No Poo, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar (with essential oil for the flaky scalp). I really began to use this method of cleaning my hair after Charlotte had been using it for three weeks. This was back in the middle of Summer, and I used it consistently until a little voice in the back of my brain said to look up and see if there are any damaging affects in using these strange ingredients on my hair. So I did, and I found that there were several good reasons to stop using them!
Our hair has a natural ph number of either 4.5 to 5. The ph chart goes from 0 to 14. 0 being the most acidic (ex. battery acid), and 14 being the most alkali (drain cleaner). 7 is obviously the neutral number here, and believe it or not, our blood has a natural ph of 7. Now you can see that our hair is slightly acidic if it is 4.5 to 5 on the chart. Baking soda has a regular ph number of 9.5, while apple cider vinegar has a ph number of 3.5 to 4.0, only slightly more acidic than hair. This was a big red flag to me when I found this out! Basically you are subjecting your hair to two extremes – a very strong alkali wash, and then a pretty acidic rinse. Women who have been using this No Poo method for a couple of years have stated the catastrophes they have experienced from the use of this method, and the girls and I didn’t want to be three more in that number! So we tried something else…
Yay! Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap! And what else? Coconut milk and oil? Yes! We got the recipe from a dear commenter on a previous Hair Parlor post regarding dandruff, and this young lady suggested we give it a try. We did. We even brought a small bottle of this concoction with us down to Orlando in case our hair got too dirty. Well, I don’t know what happened, but after a week and a half of using this recipe, our hair began to get incredibly waxy, and even though Dr. Bronner’s soap smells good, it didn’t help our hair to not smell like… well, dirty hair! Mom really didn’t like this, and eventually all three of us gave in on the last couple of days down there and used the hotel shampoo. *Gasp!* Yes, it was that bad. I hate using hotel shampoo! It is my last resort in any form of hygiene when abroad (we usually packed our own). But in this case, we needed to, and within the span of one shower, the bathroom filled with the smell of good, clean hair. Mom was thankful, to say the least. 😉
So after that we went back to…
This! The wonderful Nature’s Gate Shampoo and Conditioner, found conveniently at our local grocery store. Natures gate is a sulfate free shampoo, with a lot of good plant extracts inside. This particular formula is for moisturizing, hence the aloe vera label. As the cold weather sets in for the oncoming Winter season, the moisture found in our Ohioan air evaporates with the frigid temperatures, and is replaced by a lot of static, making our skin dry, and scalps quite flaky. We have actually never tried the aloe vera formula during the Autumn and Winter, and knowing that we would need something to hydrate our skin I decided to give it a try. We have only been using it for a week, but so far our hair smells good, it’s clean, and my dandruff has nearly gone away. This is a wonderful thing for me, and so I know that this shampoo is a keeper.