Green things, Thrifty

This post really is about Bicarbonate of Soda

19 January, 2012

Just a warning, this could be the most boring blog post you read for a while. Feel free to stop.

It is about Bicarbonate of Soda and not washing my hair.

It is an ode to Bicarbonate of Soda, to be specific. And a bit of info about how I have stopped washing my hair.

I know:  Worst. Post. Evs.

So, Bicarbonate of Soda. It is just so GREAT, this wizardly white powder that costs tiny pennies. I can’t get over it. It has slashed our cleaning budget and removed a host of toxins from the prying hands of our little tot. I buy it in bulk from Ethical Superstore (along with my coconut oil and apple cider vinegar) and use it for EVERYTHING!!!

For a few years now I have used it as deodorant – yup, dip your fingers in and dust it over your just showered pits and it keeps you dry and stink-free all day. And I am totally not a naturally, smells like roses kind of a girl. I have been trying out more natural deodorants for sometime, like the mineral crystal shizzle, but with no luck.

I have also begun using it for cleaning – sprinkle it’s antibacterial self around the mucky bits of your bathroom, mix with water and spray onto the surfaces of your kitchen.

I use it as a gentle face scrub.

I also, as of last week, use it instead of shampoo.

You see, I am weaning off shampoo. I am 10 days in and so far I only look like I have missed one shampoo wash. It is a little oily, but not stay-in-isolation- oily.

I read recently that women on average put over 500 chemicals into their bodies everyday just through their skin and healthcare regimes.  What the? This is madness! I am sure no one would do this knowingly. This is a rubbish fact for both women and the environment.

I also have a (maybe naive) conviction that, for the most part, our bodies were created to cope sufficiently on their own, and that too much interfering can mess with the body’s natural ability to do it’s thing.

Shampoo is a good example – we strip it of it’s natural oils every time we wash, so it goes on overdrive creating more oils, but then we have to wash it more, until we are on a once a day hair wash rhythm. Meanwhile we are also drying it out, putting random
chemicals on our scalp, and rinsing this chemical cocktail down the plug into the system again. Ramona shows this to be true- 15 months old and we’ve only shampooed her hair a handful of times. So although I use an organic shampoo I have still decided to try “no poo” out on my own locks. I did it once before, mostly out of curiosity, but my hair was cropped, it was summer and I didn’t have a job – it was okay to look a little, um, au natural. It lasted a couple of months and didn’t really revolutionise my hair care.

This time I have just begun back at work (first week back has been excellent, although I do miss Ramona  still) so need a certain hair standard and my hair is long, but I do have a few more tricks up my sleeve to do this effectively:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda – whenever it starts looking a bit needy just make a little paste up and put it on scalp, rinse and Ta-daaa!
  • Lots of “No-Poo” forum and websites for support and tips
  • A bristle brush – I am currently looking for one of these, do you have one? It helps distribute the oils. It means I have to start brushing my hair though, rather than back combing it. I am yet unclear as to how this will effect my quiff, long term. 🙂


There it is.

I will let you know how I get on, as I know you are particularly riveted by this most riveting of subjects!

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  • Valerie 19 January, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I have heard about quite a few people doing this, but they mostly seem to go back to shampoo at some point (all be it earth friendly or similar). I hear tell that bicarb is pretty effective on hair but its just not as good as shampoo so needs a period of getting used to. I also read that a final rinse of 1 part cider vinegar and 2 parts water helps with the rinsing out and shine, because bicarb doesn’t leave a shine like shampoo does. I will be interested to know how you get on. I have naturally oily hair, but I have chemical dye on it (the ends especially), so it is hard to manage, oily roots/dry ends.

  • Liese S-P 20 January, 2012 at 3:23 am

    I have been doing the bicarb thing for a year now – would never look back (but I also rinse in diluted apple-cider vinegar afterwards and I think I would’ve gone back to shampoo if I didn’t do the vinegar). My hair has never ever been better. So many less split ends, so much more manageable and so much cheaper! Plus it never gets overly oily or dry, and I don’t have dry ends anymore either 🙂 If you can stick to no poo it is so worth it.

  • Becca Williams 19 January, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    This is pretty intriguing!! Look forward to hearing how you get on

  • lulastic 20 January, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Awesome, cool to hear from you all, thanks for popping by. Yup, totally hearing that it is all about the cider vinegar. I will get some today and will let you know how long I last. Hoping for good, but we’ll see!

  • Andrew 20 January, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Don’t forget, when you make it past three months with no-poo, to change your “about” page!

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  • Kate 29 August, 2014 at 12:52 am

    I am intrigued. And I am also going to dreadlock my hair….do you think I can be ‘No-Poo’ and have dreads..???

    • Lucy 1 September, 2014 at 9:43 am

      It might be harder to shift the sebum down your hair shaft – but then you could still massage the roots. I think it would probably work. (When I had dreads I didn’t shampoo at all anyway!)