This post was most recently updated on November 25th, 2019
I have been no ‘poo for over a year now. I will never go back to commercial products now that I have found a way to get clean hair without shampoo.
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To read my journey and reasons for going without shampoo you can read my post Without Shampoo – Why I prefer no-poo.
Basically what it boils down to is I don’t like being held ransom to buying a product that humans have survived without for millennia. I like the basic, cheaper options.
I don’t like being sold to, especially when using the product means that you also then have to another product to counter the dryness that the first one causes (but don;t worry, they can sell that to you as well!)
Most people that go ‘no poo’ use baking soda to help remove that greasy scalp feeling, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Washing your hair with baking soda is totally great if it does work for you, don’t get me wrong. But I have found something even better.
What is Better than Baking Soda for Washing your Hair without Shampoo?
Baking soda does work, but I don’t like the gritty feeling, and I miss the silky massage-your-head feeling when you rub in shampoo.
But that all changed two weeks ago.
We had run out of baking soda! I neeeeeded to wash my hair.
I walked into the craft room where the now empty sack of baking soda lives. The washing soda caught my eye… I wondered if washing soda would work. I figured I have nothing to lose but my greasy hair, so I gave it a shot.
Guess what? It does work, it really really does! Better than baking soda even.
What is Washing Soda?
Washing soda aka sodium carbonate (or soda ash), is a natural cleaner and a powerful water softener. It is baking soda’s bigger, stronger (and cheaper!) sister.
Washing soda is not the same as baking soda. It is not edible, and it is very alkaline – with a pH of 11 rather than baking soda’s pH of 9.
A pH difference of two might not seem like much, but you have to understand that the pH scale is not a straight line, it is exponential. Every 1 unit up the pH scale is 10 times the strength of the unit before.
So this actually means that washing soda is 100 times stronger than baking soda.
However, do not panic. The Environmental Working Group still gives it an “A” on their scale, meaning that it is safe and non-toxic.
Where Can You Get Washing Soda?
Washing soda is freely available in the laundry section of most big box stores. I prefer the powder (looks like baking soda) over the crystals as it dissolves much faster.
You can also make your own washing soda from baking soda. Because it is about 100 times stronger in its pH, you get more bang for your cleaning buck converting baking soda to washing soda.
How do you Wash your Hair with Washing Soda?
I use washing soda in much the same way that I was using baking soda, with one slight, but incredibly important change.
You only need 1/4 – 1/3 of a teaspoon to get super clean hair.
I put my little dash of washing soda in a cup and add about 1 cup of warm water from the shower. The washing soda dissolves instantly and then I pour it on my head and rub it in.
The washing soda is by far a much nicer feel than the baking soda when I use it in my hair. It is ‘slimy’ but in a good way. Like soft and swishy, not grippy and gritty like I found the baking soda.
Once I have massaged it in, I rinse it out again and follow with a vinegar and water mixture. 1/4 C of vinegar made up to around a cup of shower water.
1/4 C of vinegar made up to around a cup of shower water. Pour this through your hair and rinse out.
The vinegar smell dissipates as it dries, so your won’t be left smelling like a can of pickles.
Please don’t get this in your eyes. The same goes for baking soda or vinegar.
To remedy this, run plenty of water over your eye to flush it out. Luckily you are in the shower with warm (hopefully!) running water when it happens.
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Have you tried going no ‘poo? What method do you use? Let me know in the comments below!
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