Looking to adjust your hair care routine? Maybe you want to simplify, skip the toxic, chemical-laden products, save some money, or just change things up?
Good news: there’s no need to go to the store to buy that new organic, “all natural” (and of course, expensive) shampoo blend. Simply reach into your cupboard and give these three weird (but very effective) things a try.
Egg yolks contain hair-healthy protein along with lecithin, a lipid material used in many hair products to leave hair looking and feeling shiny and soft. For the best results, alternate this egg-yolk cleaning regimen with your normal shampoo routine, or use it as a post-shampoo hair mask.
Scramble one egg yolk (two if you have long hair) with about a quarter cup of water. Pour the mixture over your wet hair, scrubbing it into your scalp as you would shampoo, making sure to distribute it along the length of your hair as well. Rinse immediately, or if you’re using it as a mask, let it sit for up to 5 minutes before rinsing.
Pros: Will leave your hair feeling awesome.
Cons: Depending how often you do it and how many eggs you use, it can be expensive.
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
Probably the most popular method, baking soda is thought to clean your hair as well as shampoo—without the sulfates and parabens—while the vinegar rinse leaves it feeling and looking as soft, shiny, and balanced as a conditioner would. Do this routine in place of your normal shampoo/conditioner regimen.
Mix one tbsp. of baking soda with three tbsp. of water. Apply the mixture as you would shampoo, by scrubbing it into your scalp and then slowly moving to the ends of your hair. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then rinse it out with cool water.
Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water, adding some essential oils like lemon if you like to minimize the smell (just a few drops will do).
Close your eyes, tilt your head, back, and pour the mixture along your hairline, allowing gravity to take it down the sides and back of your head. Then, tilt your head forward and pour the mixture along the back of your head, until all of your hair and scalp is covered. Rinse well with cold water.
Note: You may need to adjust the amount of baking soda and vinegar used over time, based on your hair type. Dry hair means you’re using too much baking soda, while overly brassy-looking hair suggests too much vinegar. Feel free to play with it and figure out the best recipe for you and your hair!
Pros: All-natural, inexpensive, leaves you with soft, shiny hair
Cons: Can leave you smelling like vinegar if you don’t rinse well.
Strict adherents of the “no poo” method swear that using only water to wash your hair is the best way to go. You’re probably wondering how it’s possible to wash your hair without, well, actually washing it. The answer, according to no poo-ers, is that shampoo strips our hair of its natural oils, causing our scalp to produce more and more to overcompensate.
When we replace shampoo with warm water and some vigorous scrubbing, our scalp stops overproducing oil, thus making shampoo unnecessary. This method is best for those with curly or thick hair.
Before you shower, rub your fingertips firmly, quickly, and repeatedly all over your scalp to loosen up any dead skin or oil that may be there. Then, section by section, use your fingers to move the oils from your scalp along the length of your hair to naturally condition it.
Next, brush your hair with a bristle brush, preferably one made of boar bristle, to spread out the oils a bit more and detangle your hair. Finally, shower in warm water, and again use your fingers to scrub your scalp as you would if you were using shampoo, making sure to cover your entire scalp. Rinse with cold water and you’re done!
Pros: It’s free and totally sustainable
Cons: It can take an oily month or two for your hair and scalp to adjust to the new regimen.
It’s important to give our hair a break from the chemicals and hot water that most of us damage it with daily. So, whether you decide to only use these techniques once in a while, or find they make you want to totally give up your current hair routine, be sure to give them a try!
-The Alternative Daily