Wow! you sure all talk alot
I'm going to try and answer several things in this post:
Madrone - the witch hazel I used is distilled witch hazel (no alcohol in it - that's an ingredient to watch out for if you buy it already bottled).
However, if you have access to the herb you could try making an infusion or decoction and see how that works; it seems a shame to waste an opportunity to play in the kitchen! - I'm not sure what sort of texture the dried 'herb' is - is it very woody and stemmy or is it more like a dried culinary herb or the sort of texture you would make tea from?
If it is the former then you would make a decoction - a method more suitable for the harder parts of the plant like the bark, berries and roots:
Add 30g (1 oz) or 60g 2 oz of fresh hearbs to 750 ml (3 cups) of cold water.
Bring to the boil in a saucepan.
Simmer uncovered to reduce.
Strain and bottle.
if the latter then an infusion will do -this method is suitable for extracting medicinal componds form leaves and flowers:
Add 500 ml (2 cups) of just boiled water to a total of 30g (1 oz) dried herb, or 60g of fresh herb
Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain the infusion through a clean muslin cloth or tea strainer. (just like making a cup of tea!!)
You could keep either in the 'fridge for a week or two - let your nose guide you.
In answer to your questions, the reason I shampood so much before was because my hair 'needed' it. It would get VERY oily and lank and would kind of hang in 'rats tails' as my mother used to kindly point out.
It took me a good couple of months to break the cycle of more washing equals more oil being produced by the body - I think you were really close too, at a month and a half - have another go!!
Hi Lisa - advice as to getting over the 'hump period'?? Hmmm, a will of iron maybe, scarves and hats and basically being accepting of the way you look and feel in the knowledge that EVENTUALLY your body is going to thank you for it.
I kind of feel that when people are asking this question, they are asking for the 'magick product' that will end all oiliness and flakiness, but that isn't the case. Firstly there is no one thing that is right for everybody and I think that 'hump period' is a time of great seeking within for the answers and perhaps a shift in awareness or attitude.
It's much like 'coming off' anything else - cigarettes, coffee, sugar - we all expect a withdrawl or some detoxing and it is no different with our hair - extra oiliness, flaking, stinkiness, dreaming about sweet-smelling bottles of shampoo, shaking everytime you go to the bathroom and have to walk past your husband's bottle of shampoo (HA- only kidding!!), but you get the picture. I guess the most important thing is to question the reason *why* you are doing this, and to use that as your motivation.
For me, I had paid good attention to my diet for many years and suddenly I realised that 60% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream, then I read the crap I was putting on my hair and body and the decision was made - plus, being pregnant with my child I was looking at ways to keep her as 'unprocessed' as possible, so figured I needed to try anything I was thinking of putting her through. I didn't want to be slathering chemicals on my skin if it meant they would eventually get through to her. That questioning of myself, my motitivations and the research I did about chemicals was enough to keep me going through those 'would-you-like-to-fry-an-egg-on-my-head kinda days. It depends which means more to you - long term health or short term vanity??
Oh, talking of eggs - has anyone used them as a shampoo or conditioner - they work suprisingly well
I guess I'm a bit of of a paranoid one really - I seriously believe that shampoos are *designed* to strip our hair, in order to make us produce more oil and viola - we are trapped in the cycle of 'needing' to wash our hair. Just like I believe that washing the vernix off our babies is a ploy to get us supporting the drugs companies and that so called 'mild baby products' strip the skin, so that we need to buy the moisturiser and then we need to buy the oil, and then that screws up the delicate balance of our child's skin, so then they get eczema and hey presto - steroid medication; just as the drugs companies want. but, that's just me and my very overactive immagination!!.........
I'm not familiar with Mothering, no - but I believe we can get it in the UK by subscription. I read and have written for 'The Mother' are any of you familiar with that?
As to whether the baking soda / vinegar will interfere with the natural balance of oils I can't say for certain - I'm not a chemist or anything like that, but I feel we have a better chance using this than we do using harsh chemicals that they put into mainstream hair products. If you are concerned I would seriously recommend you growing some soapwort - it grows like mint, even the most black thumbed of us can't fail and it makes a wonderful mild cleanser for body, hair, and fabrics!
Someone elso asked if the theory goes that you can go without ever washing your hair. When I said I had not shampoo, I meant no shop-bought product - sorry for any ambiguity there!
I use the bicarb and cider vinegar (or lemon juice, or fresh rosemary or pineapple juice - whichever I have to hand) a couple of time a week. I believe that in my utopian world where we eat local, seasonal organic food and there are no pollutants in the atmosphere, where we have adequate exercise and rest and are not plagued by stress, then yes, just grooming would be sufficient for sweet-smelling, glossy hair, but we don't live in that world I have created so I think we do need something with *some* sort of alkaline / acid product.
My brother once decided to stop shampooing, so he shaved his hair off before going on holiday, and just used water to rinse; after 6 months it looked no better than when he was using commercial products (he suffers from dandruff), so like I said before to Lisa, there is no one answer for everybody. It's just a case of questioning your motivations for going no-poo and when you are convinced it is for you; for whatever reason, just experiementing to find the best for *you* as an individual. On our case, my hair responds best to green clay (but we aren't financially flush, so bicarb is the next best and much cheaper), for dh it is soapwort. Just play and have fun! I also feel that diet has a HUGE role to play in the state of our hair
And the lady who threw up - was that Michelle?? Michelle, perhaps a rosemary and mint infusion might suit you (especially lovely if your hair is dark) or lemon juice (use like vinegar - say 1-2 tbsp in a couple litres warm water) or pineapple juice (used straight out the carton - make sure it is sugar-free though eh??!!).
blessings all you inspiring, inspired, wise, creative, fragrant mamas