SUPER IMPORTANT: If you’re not familiar with the principles of Paleo/Primal/Real Food Nutrition, you must understand that they are the foundation of any body care routine. My recommendations are meant to build upon the foundations of healthy eating as defined on my “What is Primal/Paleo?” page. No amount of oil cleansing can fix a nutritional deficiency, and nutritional deficiencies set the stage for acne, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, and – yes – stinky pits and bad hair. The quality and sources of our food – the only fuel we have – determines how well every single bodily process works.
Nope, we’re not talking about digestion. We’re talking about Shampoo. Which, when broken down, turns in to several very unsavory words: Sham and Poo.
After my experiment of the last few weeks, I’m pretty convinced that my shower routine over the first twenty-(blah) years of my life was just that – a sham. And a crappy one at that. (Giggle.) Trust me, my hair hasn’t always looked like this:
When I discovered Wheat Protein (aka, GLUTEN) in my conditioner, I circled the globe (virtually) in an attempt to find a better option for shampoo. I found the Gluten Free Savonnerie – see my post here.
So the drugstore-SHAMpoo jig was up. No more weird & wonky ingredients. I’m an Oil Cleansing Method devotee (see my Cleansing: Redefined post), so simplifying the hair routine was right up my alley. While I LOVE the G-Free Savonnerie, CocoaPink, and a few other crap-free, simplified yet delicious-smelling hair care products, there IS a cheap way to defray the costs of using “gourmet” shampoo.
And it’s NO ‘poo!
I was introduced to this concept by the blog of Crystal Di Domizio – see her write up here.
The intent of this procedure is to STOP letting commercial shampoo confuse your hair by stripping oil, replacing oil, and telling your hair it will call when it won’t. After a rough introductory period, my hair is doing extremely well. For this cheap, super simple routine, Baking Soda clarifies and removes build-up and Apple Cider Vinegar restores your scalp’s natural pH balance.
Combine 1-2 Tablespoons of baking soda (available verified Aluminum-Free from Bob’s Red Mill) with warm water. Gently work mixture through your hair and rinse. Next, add 1-2 Tablespoons of unfiltered, unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar to a cup of warm water. Soak your hair, leave in for a few minutes, then rinse.
It will take your hair/scalp a few weeks to adjust to this routine (bobby pins and ponytail holders, folks), and you may have to play with proportions, but once your scalp has regained its ability to regulate its own oil production you’ll have a much happier head. I keep a huge mason jar full of baking soda in the shower and use it to exfoliate, de-stink, and gently wash my hair. I’ve also taken to wearing my Birkenstocks and Phish T-shirt in the shower, but I’ve been told that’s a natural part of the hippie transformation and nothing to worry about.
I worked this into my regimen slowly, alternating every few days with shampoo & conditioner from the Gluten-Free Savonnerie, until my scalp adjusted.
The suck factor? ACV stinks. It will also on its own as your hair dries, but I add a few drops of essential oil (lots of EOs available at Whole Foods) to cover up the acrid smell.
I’ll be posting more on Paleo-style self-care soon for CrossFit Love’s 30-Day Paleo Challenge, so keep an eye out! There’s no reason to keep putting crap on your skin when you’ve eliminated the junk from your diet. Primal-ify inside & out.
What are your crap-free skin secrets?