Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hair care for cheapskates

After trading in all of my skincare products for one bottle of coconut oil last year, I became leery of "traditional" self-care products. I've decided that the ingredient list shouldn't take longer to read out than it does to use the product.

Take shampoo, for example. The print on the sticker is such a pain in the ass to read because they have to shoehorn in flavor text that no one seems to read anyway and list what goes into that [magic ingredient]-infused anti-dandruff pro-hair shine concoction

I learnt from a soapmaker/chemist that the later an ingredient appears in such a list, the lower its concentration in the product. So, you usually don't get your money's worth for [magic ingredient], even though it might be splashed all over the front of the bottle.

The general wisdom is that the fewer components an item contains, the less likely it is to be harmful. With that in mind, I gave baking soda shampoo a go. I figured I had nothing to lose because the "scalp care" shampoo I was using at the time did not leave me with a happy scalp. I will end that TMI right there.

The amounts vary depending on the person: I have fine hair, so I dissolve a little less than half a measuring tablespoon of baking soda in 500 mL water, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar* in 500 mL water to condition.

To be sure, there was some initial trepidation, but it passes the boyfriend test (and the kepochi brother test, and the fussy mother test) in that my head doesn't smell like a salad after a shower, so that's that. My hairdresser doesn't even broach the subject of a hair spa now, it looks so sexy and fabulous.

*Almost everyone says to use apple cider vinegar, but I'm stingy. I might try it though, when I'm feeling flush.


Snuze said...

Huh. I'll give it a shot. Couldn't find a shampoo that works for me anyway.

Angela Gripesalot said...

Cool, let me know how it works out for you! Remember that the baking soda must be dissolved completely before use. Note that some people mention a "washout" period when you start with baking soda shampoo. I didn't have much of one though!