For over two years now I've not used commercial shampoo, conditioner or any other hair "care" or styling products. I go by a no 'poo method. You know about no 'poo, right?!
Commercial shampoos--and styling products, too--are full of stuff our hair really doesn't need. They contain silicones and waxes--forms of PLASTIC! (Don't get me started on that! ;) And they contain LOTS of chemicals that destroy the natural chemistry of hair and strip away the good oils. Our scalp's natural oils--sebum--is meant for the natural conditioning of our hair. Natural hair care methods will, usually, over time, result in hair that's healthier, stronger, soft and beautiful. There are lots of online articles and resources for going no 'poo, recipes for homemade natural hair care, and much more. It's a method of personal hygiene that can take some time getting used to. And not everyone's hair and spirit thrives with this method of hair care. But years ago, the less chemicals and less plastic won me over!
My daily hair care involves scritching and preening. Scritch means massaging the scalp with fingertips. This loosens dead skin cells and gets the natural oils moving. Preening means first using the fingers to gently draw the oils down through the hair, and then brushing the hair with a natural bristle brush, which continues to pull the oils from the scalp, down hair strands, to the ends. (The brushing also helps to remove dust, which, unfortunately, naturally clings to hair, and especially more so when doing no 'poo.) Every 3-4 weeks I water wash my hair and use an apple cider vinegar rinse (sometimes with essential oils added, and now using herbal vinegar). I gauge washing mostly as needed, though. You really get to know your hair when going/doing no 'poo. It's easy to learn and make adjustments.
When I first began with no 'poo, I did a period of clarifying my hair with dry shampooing using baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. After a few months I switched things up and began using fine rye flour instead of the baking soda. (Rye flour matches almost perfectly the ideal pH balance level for hair/scalp.) I found the baking soda after a long time became too drying for my hair and scalp. I used rye flour dry shampoo for many months, then went over to water washing only along with a vinegar rinse.
The blend of herbs I made for my Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse includes--basil, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, mint, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
I add the herbs to two cups of apple cider vinegar in a big jar. Let it "steep" for four weeks, giving the mixture a good shake every day. After a few weeks it's ready to use! I blend a tablespoon of the herbal vinegar mixed into one cup of water, and massage it into my wet hair. I finish with rinsing with cold water. If you'd like to learn more about herbs for the hair, there's a great article on herbal hair care from Mountain Rose Herbs blog.
This is NOT a very good photo... We've had m-a-n-y days of grey and rain lately... So not the best one to see how shiny and healthy my hair actually is! A couple of months ago, during a mini heat wave we had, I cut a good 2 1/2 to 3 inches (6-7 cm) off my hair. It's in a growing out phase right now. The no 'poo method actually seems to help my hair grow faster. And the herbal vinegar has made a great extra addition to my hair care routine. Using the apple cider vinegar plain, or with essential oils, works well, too. But I'm really liking the "little extra" that using the dried herbs steeped in the vinegar is doing! A kind of tea party for my hair... :)))