The hair epiphany I’ve had was borne out of laziness. I was out of both shampoo and conditioner yesterday, and I didn’t feel like making the trip out to the store to buy anything. So I did a little searching online to see if I could find something in my house that I could use to wash my hair. This wasn’t such a stretch for me, as I’ve always been fairly open to experimenting with beauty products.
A Bad Hair Decade
Let me just backtrack and say that I have rather unmanageable hair. It’s hair that many people envy, because it’s thick and full and very dark, but it’s also frizzy and hard to tame. I usually straighten it, because otherwise it’s somewhere between wavy and curly. When it looks good, it looks really really good, but when it looks bad (which is often) it looks horrid. My hair is especially hard to tame in the humid six-month-long summers we have here in South Florida. I’ve purchased all kinds of hair products to attempt to lessen the frizziness, with varying levels of success.
Anyway, my research uncovered this website, which describes how to wash your hair with just baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Luckily, I happened to have both of those things in my fridge. I also felt like I needed something else to tame the frizziness, so I pulled out my jar of coconut oil. You can check out the link above for more exact instructions, but here are the steps I followed:
- I mixed the baking soda with water to form a paste. I rubbed that paste into my scalp and through the ends of my hair, and then rinsed it out. This acted as a shampoo.
- I mixed the apple cider vinegar with water, and then poured that mixture over my head and rinsed it out. Believe it or not, this mixture acted as a conditioner.
- Then I rubbed a small amount of coconut oil in my hair, and let it dry overnight.
This morning, I just ran my flat-iron through my hair, and it looks great. It took even less time to straighten than it normally does, and it’s as shiny and straight as I’ve ever seen it. And it was cheap! 1 tablespoon of baking soda costs around $.03, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar costs around $.02. The kind of coconut oil I use is around $.25 per ounce (2 tablespoons), but I use way, way less than an ounce, so I would say that the amount I used cost around $.01. This means that my costs for the entire shampoo, condition, and de-frizz were around $.06. If I wash my hair every other day, I’ll spend around $11.00 for the whole year. That’s pretty hard to beat!
So the point of this whole post isn’t really how good my hair looks when I use natural ingredients on it. It’s that you shouldn’t always trust marketing.
Beauty companies spend billions of dollars a year to try to convince you that you need certain products to look good and fit in. But that definitely isn’t always the case. In fact, many of the products that we think of as necessary today didn’t even exist 100 years ago. I’m not advocating that you completely stop using these items, but you don’t necessarily need to buy them. The average woman spends hundreds of dollars on hair products per year, and even more than that on other personal hygiene products.
But you can often make personal hygiene products from things you have lying around your house, and you can do it a lot more cheaply then you can buy hair products. And you’ll be doing it with far less impact on the environment. Plus, you won’t expose yourself to the harmful chemicals that make up many of these products.
Check out Real Simple or Wellness Mama for some easy recipes for natural beauty products. What’s the worst that can happen? In the case of hair products, all you have to do is rinse them out if they don’t look good.