I read this post from Hobo Mama in April, and my hair products have been on my mind (ha) ever since. My hair is just wavy enough to be a disaster, but not enough to be pretty. I’ve spent years blow-drying, flat ironing, spraying, moussing, and otherwise trying to tame it.
Since adding “CVS’ing” to my couponing repertoire in 2007, I haven’t paid more than a few cents for shampoo or conditioner, often getting paid to take it. I’ve tried lots of brands and found a few favorites, but my husband and I just use what we get free.
My own personal care products have been my biggest struggle in my efforts to go green. First, while I don’t hesitate to spend extra on my kids, I can’t bring myself to spend a small fortune on items that may not work for me, especially when I can get them for free! Second, the products have to work. I know what I like, and I can’t deal with something with so-so performance. Last-and the reason I’m most ashamed of-I like my products to smell good. I know, I know! I’ve been brainwashed by marketers blah blah but yeah. I’m that chick in the drug store sniffing the shampoos.
Yes it’s pathetic, but I’m vain I suppose. Environmental and health concerns couldn’t convince me to change my hair care routine, but the possibility of pretty hair did! I’ve never been interested in “no poo” (baking soda, apple cider vinegar etc.) but I was definitely willing to try the curly girl method of “co-washing.”
I’m no expert, but the basic gist I got is that you do not use shampoos containing sulfates, nor conditioners/styling products with silicones. There are lots of variations, but you cleanse with a nice puddle of conditioner, massaging your scalp well while you do it, and alternate washing with water only. The idea is that you will no longer be stripping your hair of moisture with sulfates, coating it with silicones to re-add moisture, necessitating sulfates to remove the silicones and so on.
Again, there’s a lot more to it as far as how you handle your hair & such, but right now I’m just getting a handle on the washing. I need to get my hair cut before I can really see if it does anything for my hair’s waves, but so far I am loving how soft and shiny my hair is!!
Here’s what I’m doing:
I started with a deep clean using Neutrogena Shampoo, Anti-Residue Formula, 6 Ounce. I bought a big bottle of Suave Naturals Conditioner, Tropical Coconut – 22.5oz. and I use a big palmful in the shower. I massage it into my scalp with my fingertips (usually adding a second puddle of conditioner) and use my fingers to untangle my hair while the conditioner is still in it. Then I rinse it out thoroughly. I was surprised the first time I tried co-washing; I expected my hair to be gross and greasy but it did a great job of getting my hair clean! I picked up L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Repairative Smoothing Shampoo, 8.5-Fluid Ounce and L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Intense Smoothing Conditioner, 8.5-Fluid Ounce at CVS for about $2.50 each after coupons & ExtraBucks. Not free, but not too bad either! After my co-wash, I use a bit of the L’Oreal conditioner on my ends and rinse it out. What I do on other days really just depends on how my hair feels. I may “wash” with water only, then add a dab of conditioner to the ends, or I may do another co-wash. If I’ve been sweating, or my hair just feels like it needs a little extra, I will use a it of the sulfate free shampoo.
Time will tell if this will work for me long term, but I am really dying to get my hair shoulder length or so again (it’s mid/lower back now) and see if the waves cooperate with me.
Do you no-poo, co-wash, use natural products, traditional products…?