How to wash your hair in a vegan way? Even better, how to do it without using shampoo? It has now been two years since I last washed my hair with shampoo, and I am not planning going back to it anytime soon. There are thousands of ways out there to wash your hair without shapmpoo, but now I'm just going to share the routine I have acquired so far. It works incredibly well for me, but I cannot guarantee it will work equally well for all hair types. The only way to find out what works for you is through experiment. Let the science begin!
Things you need:
- Baking soda (for you Swedes reading this, note that this translates to bikarbonat, not bakpulver)
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Camomile infusion (optional, mainly recommended for blonde hair)
- Coconut oil (optional)
- Prepare the shampoo substitute first. I do this by taking a small plastic bottle and filling it about halfway up with baking soda. Fill about half of the remaining space with maple syrup (if you like), and then fill up to the top with water. Give the bottle a good shake, until everything is mixed into a slushy consistency. The stuff will separate with time, so you will need to re-shake it before every use.
- Next, prepare the conditioner substitute. I usually take a plastic litre-bottle, pour in about half a deciliter of apple cider vinegar, and fill up the rest of it with cold water. Give it a good shake, to mix it up. If you like, you can use camomile decoction (like camomile herbal tea) instead of water. I do this when I remember to prepare it well in advance so that it has had time to cool. Supposedly the camomile should lighten the hair colour somewhat, but mainly it smells nice.
- Start out the washing by thoroughly wetten your hair in warm water (opens up the pores in the scalp, making washing more efficient). Pour a bit (about 1-3 tsp) of the baking soda mixture into your hands and smear it evenly across your scalp. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips (not the lenghts, just the scalp!) for a few minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse your hair and scalp with warm water, making sure to remove every trace of baking soda. Take your time, it will need a bit longer than ordinary shampoo to wash out. When you're done, swiftly rinse with cold water. This will close the scales on the strands of hair, leaving them less prone to break.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar-mixture over the hair, making sure to incorporate it into the entire hair as well as the scalp. This is important in order to neutralise the base of the baking soda. Do not rinse afterwards!
- All done! If you want to treat your hair as gentle as possible, let it dry on its own accord, and do not comb or brush it until completely dry. If you like, you can apply a tiny bit of coconut oil on the hair ends as it dries, to protect them from splitting. I only do this once in a while.
Like I said, this is a process that works for my hair (which is, for the record, long, straight and blonde). I have acquired it through a bit of experimentation back and forth over the past two years. As of now, I wash my hair on average once every five days, and it has become stronger and better-looking than ever before. There are many reasons not to want to use shampoo, but I will blather about them another time. For now I shall simply say: good luck with the experimentation, if you feel inclined to give it a try. I'd be delighted if you shared any experience on the matter with me.
Oh say, can you see my eyes?
If you can, then my hair's too short!
Love and haaaaiiiir,