Shampoo or no-poo?

Hair care products produce, in addition to unnecessary  waste, some cumbersome rashes and itching to some people. People like me. I’m fine washing my hair with market shampoos every once in a while but doing so constantly requires me to really get into the INC list. Even the occasional wash makes my scalp itch in a way that can be easily mistaken for head lice.

I don’t even know what it is I’m allergic to or if I’m allergic at all or if I just have a dry scalp. So it’s best to keep my distance. For example, hair dye hurts me badly so I prefer just dipping the tips.

So what did I try?

I’d prefer using just water. And I tried that at some point but with my thin hair it simply didn’t work: my hair got too greasy. I could’ve used a beanie for six months, hoping for my mane to restore itself but you know… so I gave hair soap a chance. It didn’t itch but it did create a layer between the hair and the scalp and after a month my brush was icky, to put it lightly. A Tangle Teezer lets me know if I have something extra on my head. I tried several different brands, too. And these were actual bars of soap.

Not going to lie, I’ve also tried eggs. They worked but it got too complicated. The water can’t be too warm or the yolk coagulates and transportation was a nightmare. It might be your thing, though! Just wasn’t mine.

Someone gave me a bar or Lush shampoo for traveling but a small bag of white powder doesn’t exactly scream effortless trip on airports. It also has a heavy scent to it. But I have to say, they don’t itch as badly.

What did I choose?

Right now I’m going with something simple: a salt mixture called MeineBase as means to wash and a very mild vinegar solution as conditioner. I still go back to hair soaps sometimes but not as often. A year’s worth of testing has proven MeineBase and vinegar as the winning combination. I’ve also accepted the Roots conditioner from Lush as a close second for practicality over vinegar.

Using MeineBase was a tip I saw in Maria Nordin’s blog and after I tried it, there was no going back. The container is almost empty after a year and with three people digging in, 30 euros is a not a bad deal. Apparently it’s just baking soda, salt and minerals. I also bought a travel sized container for 10 euros, as a me-gift.

It doesn’t have a smell, it doesn’t sting (unless you get some in your eyes, it’s salt, after all). Even if you have a dry scalp, it’s perfectly safe to use.

In the beginning I poured some in a bowl, mixed it with water and washed my hair with my head upside down. Nowadays I just get some on my hands and use it like any other shampoo, so I don’t have to carry a plastic bowl around.

Afterward, my hair looks like I just washed them with shampoo but my scalp is itch-free. Even the usual dry skin issue in Wintertime has subsided. You can use MeineBase for your hair, face, feet, body, you name it! And no, they don’t sponsor me but it is a very versatile product.

A few footnotes

I don’t know how it will affect a scalp that’s basically raw. Mine had small lacerations and I was fine, though.

I have no experience in what it will do to dyed hair.

I also have no idea how it reacts to hairstyle products. But if you have an itchy scalp, just lose those things.

And I also don’t know if the salt and baking soda have any negative effects to your household plumbing etc. I sure hope not because I wouldn’t want to give up on the only thing that works for me. Had I used regular shampoos, soaps and conditioners, I would’ve produced a significantly larger amount of waste by now.


And if someone feels like chiming in with “your hair is thin because of all the salt”, I’ll have you know it was much worse before. At least now my hair feels lush and  flowy after a shower and I occasionally get to have a good-hair-day. And it doesn’t take too much space in the backpack either.

//Anne

P.S. If anyone thinks they look hideous in pictures, you’ll be happy to know the feeling passes after/at around 35. You can’t really write a blog post about hair without photos.. of hair.

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