Check out Chance’s new project at Room Farm: an experiment to spring free of commercial shampoos! Can’t wait to see how this works out.
Some Blogger sites refuse to recognize my existence in any permutation, and Chance’s is one of them. So I’ll try just adding my two cents here:
Back in the Cretaceous, we had shampoo but no one shampooed every day. We didn’t have conditioners of the sort available today—to get rid of the frizzies and tear-jerking tangles, we used this pink liquid (don’t recall the brand name) that you squirted on with a pump sprayer and combed through your hair. While it did get rid of mare’s nests and static fly-away, it left your hair kinda limp.
In the absence of hand-held blow dryers, washing your hair was a major project: you had to set your hair with bobby pins (twisting little pincurls allll over your head!) or, in later years, with rollers, and then you either slept in them overnight or you sat under a bonnet dryer for anywhere between one and three hours, depending on how long and thick your hair was.
Women in recent years have been bamboozled into dousing their heads with various chemical brews every day, when really it’s not necessary. One’s hair did start to get a little greasy-looking after a week, but the truth is most women’s hair can go for three days or so before really needing to be washed.
In the past, I’ve used Neutrogena bar soap on my hair. It’s a little harsh, but it will get your hair clean. I found it drying, and if you get the stuff in your eyes it hurts like the dickens…probably not a good sign. Baby shampoo works quite effectively on women’s hair and is pretty mild. Like grown-up shampoos, it contains many ingredients straight out of a chemistry lab.
Hair conditioner alone can be substituted for shampoo, at least for a few washings. It tends to build up in the hair like liquid fabric softener in the washer, not surprising since we’ve discovered that you can use hair conditioner in place of fabric softener. Here in the Southwest, ordinary bar soap makes a mess of your hair, because most areas have pretty hard water. This can be ameliorated to some degree by rinsing with diluted vinegar or lemon juice.
I’ve also used dish detergent in a pinch. It works exactly like shampoo, with exactly the same results…not surprising, since shampoo is your basic detergent. Clear Ivory dish detergent behaves just like shampoo, except at the cash register.
It’ll be interesting to see how Chance makes out with the baking soda-&-vinegar treatment. If you could use that on your hair and olive oil on your face, you’d go a long way toward breaking the grip of the cosmetics industry on women’s everyday lives.