LITHESTYLE 23 Aug 2012


One of my favorite things about working with and teaching so many women through Lithe is being exposed to a ton of great fashion and beauty secrets. At the front desk, I will notice someone's glowing skin, healthy hair or just plain great style, and ask...what are you using? Or where did you get that? And everyone is always eager to share.

Remember Jeanette's 25 Things where she divulged that she doesn't use shampoo? Here's the whole story!

Back in November last year my hair was in a really a bad state. After just one day of not washing it the roots would get greasy, the ends dry, and the whole thing would look flat and frizzy at the same time. Not a good combination. So I turned to my hair stylist (fellow Lither and owner of Juju Salon) Julie Ebner for help. "Ditch the shampoo" she said. I tried the "letting your hair clean itself" approach (basically not using anything, just a little bit of conditioner), but that didn't work so well for me. I know it's supposed to take a few weeks until your hair starts "cleaning" itself, but with sweating through four or five Lithe classes a week, I needed something to clean my hair with now!


I did some research for alternatives to shampoo, and decided to try the baking soda method: Mix one tablespoon baking soda with one cup of warm water in an old shampoo bottle, shake well, and apply that mixture to wet hair, making sure to really massage it in to the roots for a minute or so. One cup is enough for about two washes for my hair. I still use conditioner on the ends, although I may one day try replacing that with an apple cider vinegar rinse. I wash my hair no more than twice a week.


This has been my hair care regimen since November 2011. The result? Smoother hair, cleaner roots and softer ends! Not to mention fewer harmful chemicals being absorbed through my scalp, and more money in my pocket. Talk about a win-win situation!


Two things to note about washing your hair with baking soda:


1) It will not work in hard water. I live in center city Philadelphia where the tap water is fairly soft, so baking soda does a great job. I spent a week in Italy earlier in the year, and trying to wash my hair with baking soda in the hard Umbrian mountain water was a complete disaster; the result was dirty, greasy hair and a grumpy, very un-glamorous feeling Jeanette.


2) When mixing the baking soda and water, make sure you use warm, not cold water. For me, it just doesn't seem to clean the hair as well when it has been mixed in cold water.


*About three weeks ago, I noticed my hair was not getting clean, no matter how much I washed it. My hair looked and felt the way it had done in Italy. I was convinced that PWD had changed our water supply overnight, as I refused to believe that the baking soda method was failing. After a week of this I finally gave in and bought a very mild, natural cleansing shampoo (from Juju) and washed my hair with it once. Then I went back to the baking soda, which is now working fine again. I later figured out that I probably didn't use warm enough water when mixing the baking soda, but who knows, maybe something really did change in the water...


Images of Jeanette Boorstein via Laura Mackie at Old City



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My two cents about no shampoo:

I've been doing "no 'poo" for a couple of months, and have found my hair to look as nice or nicer than when my hair was on shampoo, BUT I only need to rinse with baking soda twice a week.
I also use apple cider vinegar as my conditioner, and find it does the trick and definitely makes me hair a lot softer.

Also, brushing your hair a bunch helps with keeping your hair looking good. It helps to spread out the natural oils on your scalp!

I only shampoo my hair twice a week. I use Big by lush which is chock full of sea salt and leave my hair soft, with tons of body and smelling great!

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