Part One: The Dirty Truth

This will be a fun two (or three) part series on shampoo!

Today we are talking about what shampoo actually does. And to do that we need to talk about what soap actually does.

It works because soap is made up of molecules with two very different ends. One end of soap molecules love water – they are hydrophilic. The other end of soap molecules hate water – they are hydrophobic. Hydrophobic ends of soap molecule all attach to the oil.

“Now the reason this is important is that water molecules have a high tension because they cling together so well. That’s on of the reasons why oil and water don’t mix. So oil will mix with other molecules like dirt and germ molecules but not as easily as when they have something like soap to help break that tension. This helps shampoo wash away and dirt and grime.” – Cleveland Clinic

Next question is how dirty is our hair really? As a modern society we have been taught a lot of things about our anatomy that just simply isn’t true and that can be hard to overcome. Just some of the things we are told are; our vaginas should smell like roses, and our sweaty pits are dirty, and that our natural skin and hair oils are dirty. None of these are true.

Now we want to smell clean and that is perfectly fine! I believe that we can smell good without viewing our natural biology as dirty. Just like we love the sand on the beach but if it gets in our carpet we are going to vacuum it up.

So coming from the position that our natural hair oils are not the enemy, and that sweat isn’t dirty how does that change our perspective on our scalp? Maybe it can cause us to view any washing we do as a managing work rather than a cleaning work. Similarly how we view hair spray or mousse.

Now for the real dirty part of this blog post. Shampoo.

There are a few things in your shampoo that are unnecessary and potentially harsh. Anything from preservatives, extra foaming chemicals, color additives, and detergents.

So if shampoo is not the saint that big companies tell us then what should we do?

Thankfully there are a lot of alternatives!

  • Baking soda shampoo.
  • Apple cider vinegar hair rinse.
  • Aloe vera hair treatment.
  • Soapwort shampoo.
  • Calendula shampoo.
  • Coconut oil conditioner.
  • Egg yolk shampoo.
  • Tea Hair Rinses.

These are many natural options but probably the easiest thing for any of us to do is to lessen how often we wash our hair. For a fun experiment try cutting how often you wash in half! Maybe even cut how much you use in a session in half as well. Remember your body is not naturally dirty. Your hair is not the enemy. And neither is shampoo! It’s a tool not a savior.

Here is a fun video series I did recently on this topic! Check it out!

Share your alternative or adjusted shampoo lifestyle! I love new ideas!

Abbey is a Birth, Postpartum, Bereavement, and Sibling Doula, Breastfeeding Educator, Post Abortion Counselor, Photographer, and Artisan in Fort Worth Texas. Abbey strives to make services available to everyone through financial assistance, income based services, and more!

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