30 March 2016

No More Shampoo

Two things prompted me to drop lather from my hair cleansing regimen—after many years of using and loving a doctored up mix of Dr. Bronner’s; laziness and curiosity.

  1. With my micro-locs, it is necessary to re-twist my hair after each of my usual twice-per-week washings; natural dreadlocs get a bit loose at the root, once wet. The re-twist takes at least an hour and must be done on wet hair… a hassle if I need to re-wet my hair using a spray bottle.
  2. Products like Wen have been spreading the gospel of no-lather cleaning, and it’s a reasonable argument. A good friend of mine from work tried a different lather-free cleaning last year, with mixed success. Needless to say, my curiosity has been piqued.

I opted to use a product I already employ in each wash, apple cider vinegar. Instead of using it as my conditioner, it replaces the soapy mixture that I've used for years. Here’s how it works:
In a plastic condiment bottle, mix 1 part vinegar, and three parts water before each wash… this entire bottle will be used up during the wash.
  • Before shower, I twist 3-6 locs into a braid
  • Then, in shower soak my hair and massage scalp.
  • Squirt diluted mixture on scalp, and massage through my hair thoroughly, paying close attention to the scalp. 
  • Let sit for a minute or two, then rinse thoroughly and repeat once more.
  • Finish showering, and let hair air-dry.

Because of the thin braids, my hair dries in roughly the same amount of time as usual, and I end up with a wavy style that lasts all week.

An unexpected result of—now 2 months—of this washing technique, is that I wash my hair once a week instead of twice… there’s none of the usual build up of oil and dandruff, my scalp feels clean. I’m still surprised how well this works for me, and have no plans to switch back to lather.