Hey my dear hair loving friends. Today, I give you “Dirty hair is hot” and ShamPHree inspiration in the form of some lovely hair collages and a couple of ShamPHree journeys documented on other blogs!
I have so enjoyed reading about and corresponding with those of you who have gone ShamPHree. I have learned so much in the process about myself, yourselves, hair, chemistry,natural remedies, and so much more.
If you are anything like me, hearing other peoples positive experiences and seeing beautiful images of natural hair help to iencourage you along your journey. When you have a chance, my ShamPHree pinterest page is where I post natural hair photos that inspire me.
Here are several links to different bloggers who have gone ShamPHree. Check em out and see what has worked for them and maybe you can learn a new tip!
This post is for those of you who want to know exactly how and why the ShamPHree/no-poo method works. I’ve been scouring articles and scientific research to bring you this information, and I am here to make it as simple, straightforward, and pretty as possible.
Also called Sodium Bicarbonate, Baking Soda is the powder form of a natural mineral called Nahcolite. It is a white substance that is slightly salty and alkaline. Most of our countries Baking Soda is mined in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, though traces of Nahcolite is found in Mineral Springs all over the world.
What is Apple cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar is fermented apple cider. This means, simply, that the cider is aged and exposed to natural and good bacterias in our environment that allow it to form alcohol and acidify. It is a mild vinegar that is less acidic then most other vinegars.
The PH scale is a scale to measure Acid or Alkalinity in a substance in the form of hydrogen and hydroxide bonds. It goes from 0-14, with acid on the low end, and alkaline (base) on the high end. 7 is considered a neutral PH, and is generally the PH of water. I could go into depth about the science, but we would both get a head ache. The important points are these.
Alkaline softens. When used on the hair and skin, it opens the cuticle and the pores. Yay!
Acid hardens and tightens. When used on the skin and hair, it closes and tightens the cuticle and shrinks pores. Yay!
Hair and skin fall at about a 5 on the PH scale (slightly acidic!)
The PH of Apple cider vinegar is 2.5.
The PH of ACV when diluted with 2 tblspoons ACV with 8 oz of water is 3.5.
The PH of Baking Soda is 9.
The PH of BS when diluted 2 tblspns BS to 8 oz water is 7.6.
Here is a pretty picture of BS and ACV and Hair on the PH scale that will illustrate to you why ShamPHree works! As you can see, your BS and ACV mixtures fall at just about equal distances from your natural hairs PH. The keyword here is balance!
I am a huge seeker of balance. I am a middle child. I have balanced a life of extremes since birth. I am neutral. I practice anything that helps me find balance. My creative world is born from the contrasts surround me. Beauty happens when things are at balance. Things run more smoothly when things are in balance.
Let’s look at your hair and skin. Your skin and scalp are alive and breathing. They are made up of water, lipids, proteins, minerals, and chemicals. There is a factory of glands and hormones that keep your skin in a healthy balance. Your hair, however is dead protein that’s purpose is to protect and decorate your head and act as a 6th sense. It is a functional but dead extension of your scalp that is directly effected by your scalps ability to produce protective oils. To effectively regulate its own oil production, your scalp needs to be in balance.
Why Natural oils?
Natural oils are to protect and moisturize your skin. They provide suppleness, elasticity, shine, and integrity. They are readily made and re-absorbed into your skin as your skin ‘breathes’
When absorbed by the hair, these oils create a protective barrier that keep your hair happy in the face of environmental and chemical damage.
What Shampoo and Conditioner do to the hair.
Shampoo and conditioner also use the PH scale to help effectively cleanse the hair. Generally, your shampoo will be slightly acidic, and your conditioner will be slightly alkaline. Strange……That’s the opposite of ShamPHree. Here is why…..
Shampoo cleans the hair using surfactants and foaming agents that break down the oil on your hairs surface and removes it. Conditioner uses a slightly alkaline base to soften the hair, and oils, waxes, and synthetic or sometimes natural -ethicones to coat the hair and fill in rough spots on your hair’s cuticle. This eliminates the need to rely on your own bodies self regulating oil production to keep your hair and skin at a balance. You get to rely on a 3rd party to do the work for you.
Cutting out the middle-man…..What ShamPHree does to your hair.
ShamPHree uses the PH scale to balance the hair and scalp. Did you know that the ShamPHree method works wonders on the delicate skin on your face?
The brushing distributes your natural oil from your scalp to your ends while stimulating the skin of the scalp.
The action in the BS gently opens the cuticle of the hair and allows the oils to penetrate into the hair while removing surface non-oil buildup on both scalp and hair.
The action of the ACV closes and tightens the cuticle of the hair while restoring the scalp to balance. It is this balance that allows the scalp to regulate it’s own oil production. ShamPHree essentially doesn’t add or remove anything. IT cuts out the middle-man and gives you great hair without all the products.
What you see here are 2 completely different theories on beauty care. One is not better than the other. They are just different. One removes what your body naturally produces for a reason and then refills it with a synthetic replica, and one lets your body run how it is supposed to. You get to choose. Which one makes more sense to you?
Here is a savvy guest post from a HTHG reader and hair blogger/writer named Abby. We thought you would all like an informative list of chemical ingredients to avoid in your hair and beauty products. I feel very strongly and personally about this subject and I hope that you will take the time to read and consider and share this information. We all need to be informed about what we are buying and consuming and putting into our bodies. And we need to teach our children to do the same.
The skin is your biggest bodily organ, and your hair is an extension of your skin. Everything you put in and on it becomes part of your system. Love and honor it. #shamphree
10 ingredients to avoid in your beauty routine
Be honest – do you take time to check the product label before buying a hair care product? Or you base your purchasing decisions on chic packaging and the like? If you said yes to the latter, then I got some news for you – you could be putting your hair, skin, and body at risk to a whole range of damage.
Take note of the top ingredients that are found in a few hair care products that can have damaging effect to your general beauty and health. Thus, it goes without saying that you need to steer clear of them:
A lot of hair care products have been identified to contain formaldehyde as an ingredient. This chemical is suspected to have carcinogenic effects and thought to cause respiratory illnesses and even cancer. The biggest concern about the manufacture of most cosmetic products containing formaldehyde, including hair and skin care, is that they are often not listed as an ingredient.
2. Propylene Glycol
This product offers no benefit to your hair but added to the formula to prevent the product from freezing during the shipment process. This chemical has been known to trigger allergic reactions and make alterations to your skin structure such that harmful toxins can penetrate through your skin and enter the bloodstream.
3. Synthetic Fragrances
Hair care products containing synthetic fragrances cause damage to hair because they are made of chemicals known as phthalates. Aside from causing damage to hair with overexposure, it has been associated with other conditions such as infertility and birth defects or sperm damage in men.
4. Synthetic Colors
Artificial colors added to hair care products offer no benefit at all. And yet, they are known to trigger skin sensitivity when comes in contact with the skin and even result to skin irritation. Other possible health impacts remain unknown and subject to further investigation.
5. Aminomethyl Proponal
This ingredient is used to adjust the pH levels in hair care products like color and straighteners. However, it has been known to be highly toxic, which makes it dangerous when exposed to humans.
6. DEA or Diethanolamine
This ingredient acts as an emulsifier for hair care products. However, it can oftentimes be used together with other chemicals such as Triethanolamine or TEA that can be dangerous to your skin and lead to eye irritation. Be extra cautious when buying natural hair care products because a lot of companies manufacturing them had been caught using it in creating formulas but not listing it in the label.
7. Petroleum or Mineral Oil
You can find these ingredients in hair care products like pomades and greases but offer no benefits to your hair whatsoever. It even blocks the hair shaft from absorbing moisture from the natural oils produced by the scalp. Hence, it is best to go for hair care products containing natural oils such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil.
8. Coal Tar
You should be wary about anti-dandruff products because most of them contain this particular ingredient. However, a lot of manufacturers do not list it in the label and they use other terms such as “medi-tar” or “clinitar” to disguise its presence in the formula. One reason why you need to avoid hair care products that contain coal tar is due to its carcinogenic properties. Apart from the risk of acquiring cancer, it is also believed to cause headaches, asthma attacks, fatigue, and allergic reactions.
This is made up of a combination of chemicals commonly used in shampoos and conditioners, which include ethyl, butyl, methyl, and propyl. They are added into the formula to fight bacteria and extend the product’s shelf life. But several research studies are currently being conducted to determine the truth behind claims that parabens can lead to breast cancer.
10. Sulfate (also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS)
This ingredient is used in hair care products due to its foaming and cleaning properties. However, they can get extremely harsh and strip away natural oils from your hair to make it more prone to breakage. There are a few studies claiming that it is a potential carcinogen although no real evidence has been shown that link it to any type of cancer yet.
Savvy consumers are more vigilant with their buying choices these days, particularly when it comes to products they use on their hair. Opt for chemical-free alternatives or hair care products that utilize natural ingredients that not only enrich your hair, but protect your body from further harm.
Abby is a writer/social media manager for My Hair Care. She offers tips, tutorials, and other useful information with regards to hair care for all types of hair problems and types. You can read more articles from the official My Hair Care blog here.
When I was a kid, I had a DIY hair ruining experience that traumatized me. My hair melted off and it was my own fault for not reading the warning on the perm bottle. Over processing happens to many of us at some point. But it left me feeling very self conscious about the way I looked. At the age of nine, I had officially became the perfect target market for Big Beauty ad campaigns.
For the same reason that a junkie might turn to jesus, I turned to the enticing promises of beauty products to fix my down-and-out hair. I entered the Big Beauty marketplace as an up-and-coming insecure teenager with bad skin and hair and a will to be beautiful. It took me 20 years to look back and understand the origin of my unwavering belief in the words printed on plastic bottles.
By my late 20’s I had 2 daughters and had slowly emerged from the fog of my young years. I began questioning my own beliefs and reasoning. I started to understand myself better and I saw my own “don’t tell me what to do” attitude morph from a child’s defiance to teenage stupidity and finally into a grown woman’s will to find her own identity despite mainstream standards set by multi-billion dollar industries. This is the will that my children will inherit.
As a hairdresser, I had been hearing about the no-poo method for years. No-poo-ing means using Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice to cleanse and condition the hair. My first thought was 1. Gross for not shampooing your hair, and 2. Double gross for using the word ‘poo’ associated with hair.
But there was something about it that I found intriguing. Everyone I encountered who used this method generally liked their hair while the rest of us (myself included) complained and bitched about our hair, desperate for that hair product system that would magically turn us into Pantene models.
My hair has gone through many changes. Cuts, colors, styles, bangs, not to mention texture changes due to hormones. After I had my first child, my curly thick dry hair straightened out, thinned out, and got oily. Nature’s way of being an asshole while I nursed my colicky baby. nice.
Still I remained, notoriously a hair product whore. I was controlled by my restless and constantly unsatisfied hair. I would find a product or product line that I liked, use it until it ceased to please me, and then move on to another. A new one would work for a while but at some point my hair would inevitably stop liking it, meaning it was time for a switch. I would be happy with my hair for a couple weeks, and then all of a sudden it would be lank, lifeless, and oily all over again. Over my now nearly 30 years, I have spent more money than I would like to admit on hair products.
One day, while watching Mad Men, I had one of those ‘DUH’ moments when I realized that a good ad makes you think that you need something. A necessity. Without even wanting it, it becomes absolutely necessary to have it. I had been naive enough to let myself get tricked into thinking that I needed to empty my pockets to buy my own beauty.
This ‘duh’ moment was the origin of my no-poo journey. I got tired of searching all over for something to fix me and make me beautiful. I was being fed BS by companies who wanted my money in return for my promise to never feel beautiful enough and keep on buying. And as a mother, my bullshit sensors are very fine tuned.
I must add that I am not anti-hair product. There are some great hair product companies out there. I respect the companies that are breaking the mold instead of defining what is “beautiful” and are encouraging people to work with what they have naturally instead of fighting against it. I love that there is more of a focus on sustainability, natural hair, and social awareness emerging within these smaller companies. The industry is slowly changing to suit the wants and “needs” of 99% of the population who are living in an economy that is deep in recession, disillusioned by corporate America. People are slowly starting to get back to their roots. (Pardon the pun)
But it isn’t changing fast enough for me. All I wanted was to like my hair and not pay dearly for it. I started blogging about hair to share my hair trials and tribulations with others. Part of starting my blog was to report about jumping off the hamster wheel of beauty industry standards, into the great black abyss of what I hoped would be a more sustainable and self honoring beauty regimen. I switched to the no-poo method.
First thing I did was rename it the ShamPHree method. It sounded prettier and made it easier to talk about. Sham for Shampoo, PH because it balances the PH of the hair and scalp, and ShamPHree because it is about freeing your hair of shams.
It took a bit of experimenting with different ways of applying the B.S. (Baking Soda) and ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). I went and purchased paint mixing bottles from my local art supply store to use as my applicator bottles. I also purchased some yummy smelling essential oils to add to my ACV so I would still get the yummy clean and fresh scented hair that I missed from my shampoo days.
My hair looked and felt great after my first ShamPHree. 2 weeks in, my hair was better than it had ever been. After 2 months, I had my ShamPHree system down. My hair was Shiny, soft, smooth, and balanced. I could go for 4-5 days in between ShamPhree-ing and it never looked or felt oily and limp like it did before. I honestly didn’t expect it to be such a drastic change.
I am now 8 months into my ShamPHree journey and I have no intention of ever going back. I have spent a total of 26$ on my ShamPHree journey experiment. My hair is as happy and healthy as I could ever have imagined. I have successfully detoxed my hair and mind from the grips of mainstream beauty and now I’m on to questioning and personally boycotting other corporate shams like useless baby gear, Febreze and gimmicky kitchen appliances. I only wish I would have started sooner. But then, had it been sooner……It may not have inspired me to share my journey with you.
Are you on instagram? If so, I would love to see your shamphree journey. Please hashtag your #shamphree photos and help inspire this hair revolution!