Less is More | Tried & True Healthy Hair Tips

If you were to look in my bathroom and shower two years ago, you would have found drawers and cabinets filled with dozens of different hair products, all cruelty-free and non-toxic, of course 😉 Shampoos, conditioners, gels, styling creams, pomades – you name it! Then add the hair dryer, flat-iron, and various brushes and combs…I could have opened up my own shop. The sad thing was, I hated all of it. All the time I spent trying to tame my then curly hair (sadly, the pregnancy changed the chemistry of my hair, it’s now straight), all the money spent on products that didn’t do as I had hoped, and the damage all the heat did to my hair. I struggled with frizzy, wild hair and a lot of split ends and rather than trying to repair the damage I had done, all I was doing was covering the problem up with expensive hair products! Well, about two years ago I learned more about the “No-Poo Method” and a few other tricks to get healthy hair and I’ve never looked back.

Some of you might be wondering what the “No-Poo Method” is – it sounds silly, I know! It’s basically washing and moisturizing your hair without your standard shampoo and conditioner and replacing them with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I LOVE apple cider vinegar – I drink it, bake with it, cook with it, and now it’s my conditioner! Most shampoos strip away your hair’s natural oils and block the normal hair follicle function – even slowing the hair growth. Throw in your chemical-laden shampoos & conditioners and you’re really doing some damage to your hair, not to mention your health.

What you need:

  1. Baking soda (*PLEASE don’t support Arm & Hammer as they test on animals. We use Bob’s Red Mill)
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar (we LOVE Braggs organic raw apple cider vinegar)
  3. Filtered or spring water
  4. Two spray bottles (I found mine at Target in the hair and beauty department, near the travel sized items)

photo 2

Prep it:

Baking Soda “Shampoo”

  • 1 – 1.5 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • Fill the spray bottle with cold filtered or spring water. If you’re using a larger size spray bottle, I’d use about 1 – 1 1/4 cup of water.
  • Shake to mix.

Apple Cider Vinegar “Conditioner/Moisturizer” (if you have an oily scalp, you can skip this and just do the baking soda, but I highly recommend it for those with a dry scalp):

  • 1 Tablespoon – 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (start small if you have thin/fine hair)
  • 1 cup of filtered or spring water
  • Shake to mix.

How to:

  1. Wet your hair like you normally would before you apply shampoo.
  2. Spray the Baking Soda “Shampoo” (shake the bottle first) generously all over your hair and massage/scrub like you would do with your old shampoo – but you won’t get a lather of suds.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Next spray the Apple Cider Vinegar “Conditioner” (shake the bottle first) all over. What I found works best is to then scrunch your hair to lightly massage it in. * If this is your first time, you might want to start with a small amount and spray lightly on the ends of your hair.
  5. I learned this tip from Ashley’s Green Life – if you have long hair, clip it all up and let it soak in while you do your usual shower routine.
  6. Lastly, rinse thoroughly – I’ve heard from some people who say rinsing with cold water is best, but I just can’t do it…I like my hot showers!
  7. You’re done! Now you can go on with your normal hair styling routine.

I know a few people who complained that they smelled like an Easter egg…I have never had that problem, all I’ve noticed is that my hair is shinier, softer, stronger, and growing faster! Like everything, this method may not be for everyone, and it may take some time to notice a difference….especially if you’ve been using shampoos/conditioners that have sulfates, parabens, or other harmful ingredients. For me, it took a few days to notice some big changes – other people I know who have tried this said it took up to a few weeks – so hang in there, I promise it’s worth it. Especially if it means saving your wallet from the hefty prices of shampoo and conditioner – hard to believe I was spending $20+ for a couple of bottles that would last me a month or so. A spray bottle of baking soda and apple cider vinegar lasts me the same amount of time at a fraction of the cost!

Ok, so here’s some other tips/tricks I’ve learned that have definitely helped bring back my healthy hair and sped up the growing process.

  1. Get a shower filter! We’ve been using Aquasana for a few years and LOVE it! If you’re using non-toxic, all natural products on your hair, why rinse it with water that could contain chemicals?! This alone will make a huge difference!
  2. Use a hair towel! For years I was just using a regular old bath towel and wrapping it around my head. This actually can lead to hair breakage and frizz….two things I was trying to fix! So you know those silly infomercials for the Turbie Twist? They work like magic!!! You don’t have to get that specific brand, there are many different ones on the market. My hair dries faster and is no longer frizzy. Rather than squeezing out all the excess water and rubbing your hair with a towel, gently blot it with the hair towel.
  3. Ditch the brush and comb! I used to comb the heck out of my hair when I got out of the shower – for those with curly hair, you know how bad this can be for your hair. Instead, I just gently use my fingers to style it.
  4. Stop using all the heat from a hair dryer, curling iron, and flat-iron! This is how split ends and breakage happen. Since I became a mom, I don’t have the time to dry and style my hair…this has actually saved my hair. I think using these things occasionally will be ok, but every day use is when problems start! Just think of what you can do with all that spare time 🙂
  5. Take Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3 – it’s a water-soluble vitamin that has been known to stimulate hair growth. In my case, it has strengthened my hair and nails – they grow really fast!! We’ve been using Nature’s Life for years.
  6. Take Biotin, otherwise known as B7 or Vitamin H – it’s also a water-soluble vitamin that contributes towards healthy hair, skin, and nails. If not in supplement form, there are many foods rich in biotin, such as carrots, almonds, Swiss Chard, cauliflower, and berries.

***With the supplements, I am not an expert, so please consult your doctor and/or nutritionist before using them.

So, there you have it, my tried and true hair tips! Since using all of these tips simultaneously, I no longer need to use styling products! No joke!!! My hair has completely changed for the better and the dumb pixie cut I chose to get back in February is now a bob! Here are some pictures and proof that all of this can aid in faster hair growth and healthier hair. I apologize for the horrible picture quality and the selfies….I really don’t like selfies.

pixie cut photo 1 present day

The first picture was from February 2013 | The middle pic is from the end of September 2013 | Last one from Wed., November 20, 2013.

Please let me know if you try any or all of these methods – I’d love to hear if they worked for you too!