I'm with you Jill! I have long hair and need some GOOD shampoo and conditioner or my hair would be an absolute mess.
Also- I looked at the link Scott posted on this- and I saw at Bea's Whole Foods- they have bulk Shampoo and Conditioner.. But- when referencing "bulk shampoo"- is this actually something you can bring your own containers and refill?? Or are these just very large bottles of shampoo- thus less purchasing of small plastic containers?
You all should definitely check out Lush (http://www.lushusa.com/shop). They have wonderful bar shampoo that lathers better than any bottled shampoo I have ever bought. They give you a small round tin to store your shampoo bar in, so there is no waste. It is also GREAT for traveling. One small shampoo bar lasts for 80 washes. You can check out their policies at http://www.lushusa.com/shop/about-lush/articles/. All of their product is incredible!
The bulk shampoos that Bea is referencing are containers with pumps at the store that you use to fill your own bottles that you bring. You may want to buy the large containers at first that you mentioned, so you have ones with pumps in your own shower, but then either bring them back to the store to refill, or bring a more portable container that you prefer and transfer the soap at home. If you want to reuse an original shampoo container, you should be able to sharpie out the barcode and have the checker charge you by the ounce (not for the original bottle) but check at your local store. At Whole Foods, you can find the bulk shampoos and soaps on a counter in the personal care area-just ask for them.
I buy all my hand soap, Ballard Organics, at my local coop in my own 32oz container that I bring to the store to refill. I then take it home and refill the hand dispensers next to every sink. Definitely saves money and I don't have to feel guilty about tossing the dispenser each time I see them get low.
I have to say I'm not a fan of LUSH shampoos-they use tons of sulfates, one of the "dirty dozen," which is why they lather so much. I tried their Squeaky Green Shampoo Bar and found that it really stripped my hair of natural oils which didn't leave it very pretty. There are also lots of other options of shampoo bars out there.
In the last few months, I've fallen into a good groove of shampooing 2-3x/week, then either using pure cornstarch as a dry shampoo on off days, or using baking soda with a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse instead of shampoo. Though I wouldn't only use this method because the oils can build up after a while which doesn't really work with long, fine hair, overall my hair is much shinier and healthier with this varied method, versus shampooing every or every other day where my hair gets greasy really quickly. The baking soda really seems to remove dirt without removing oils so my hair doesn't start producing more oil right after I've washed it, and the vinegar is definitely a shine treatment. The one drawback: getting my fiance used to the smell, but it goes away when it's dry unless you're using too high a vinegar to water ratio in the rinse, I think 30% vinegar, 70% water is about right. I refill an old Kiehl's bottle with this solution and it works as a great dispenser.
I use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap to wash my hair, but not for zero waste reasons. I have very oily hair, and most shampoos just don't get my hair clean enough at the roots so it looks oily by the end of the day. If you use soap to wash your hair you need to follow it with an acid for pH balance. I was using a cider vinegar rinse, but aside from the smell, my hair ended up looking like a Brillo pad. I decided to go with the company's recommendations and now use their Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse and on occasion use the Lavender Hair Conditioner on the ends.
Both come in small plastic bottles, but there's a reason for that. The Shikakai Rinse is not very chemically stable so you need to use it up pretty quickly after opening before it gets clumpy. At least it is concentrated--one capful to a cup of water and then you pour the mixture over your hair to correct the pH. And the Hair Conditioner is VERY concentrated. Just a tiny squirt is more than enough for my ends. It will take me a year to get through the bottle.
As far as I know I can't get the Castile Soap in bulk here in Boston, although I do get the large size bottle and then pour into smaller containers. I might start using the bar soap or see if I can find the gallon containers.
At least the Hair Rinse bottles (and the other bottles) are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
I do find even with using the Bronner's rinse that my hair does well if once every week or two I use regular shampoo. Usually I will use my daughter's shampoo, but every few months I will use Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo and conditioner. I find that product too harsh to use all the time, but it is excellent for stripping off any built-up residue from other products.
If vinegar is too pungent with the baking soda thing, why not use lemon juice? Lemon has a nice scent and the acid effect is the same as vinegar. It's not that much more expensive than vinegar if you buy it bottled.
Thanks for the tip on alternating shampoo with baking soda. I just tried it and the baking soda removes dirt without stripping my hair of oils, just like you said it would. I have not found a place where I can refill shampoo and conditioner bottles yet. So, at least with this method I will be able to use less shampoo.
I hope it’s okay if I clarify one thing that was said about sulfates and the ‘dirty dozen’ of ingredients to avoid.
Sodium laureth sulfate is on the dirty dozen list because it is a surfactant (detergent) that has been found to contain traces of 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. This contamination occurs during the manufacturing process. Consumers have been warned to avoid sodium laureth sulfate completely because it is impossible to tell from the label if the product you bought contains the contaminated detergent or not.
The Lush shampoo bars contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a similar sounding ingredient that is frequently confused with sodium laureth sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate has not been found to be contaminated with carcinogens and is actually a common surfactant found in ‘green’ dish soap and laundry detergents (including those from Seventh Generation, Bio-O-Kleen, and Method). The EPA’s Design for the Environment labeling (http://www.epa.gov/dfe/index.htm) currently approves of products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
So, the Lush shampoo bars should be okay to use if you were worried about this point. Sodium lauryl sulfate has been shown to irritate skin and eyes at high concentrations, so if you have a sensitive scalp you may want to try a different shampoo.
OMG! I clicked on your link to check it out- and discovered this is these are the products I was JUST looking at when I was at the mall the other day! I have a "Lush" store 20 minutes away from me (Aventura Mall, Aventura, FL) ;o)
Thanks to your link in the cosmetics thread, I was able to find a natural foods store that sells shampoo and conditioner in bulk. Is there a particular brand you'd recommend for bulk shampoo/conditioner? Has anyone tried the brands Alaffia or Griffin Remedy? Thanks for your input!
I have been using baking soda mixed with water at the last minute ( in a coffee cup) for shampoo since october and I have long hair. I think I've had the best hair of my life since I've switched. I also bleach my hair so you'd think that would be the ultimate test. My curls are curlier my hair is bouncier. I've been using up conditioner and leave in conditioner but have also tried white vinegar w water and apple cider vinegar w water. I read about putting a cinnamon stick or vanilla pod in the apple cider mix to reduce the smell and it does really work. I have the rinse in a large mason jar. Totop it all of I am a fully licensed and qualified hairdresser (but I don't let any co-workers or clients know my secrets).
Stephanie, I have been doing the no 'poo for 2 weeks now, using baking soda with water every 3 or 4 washes (I have to wash my hair everyday as I practice Bikram yoga daily and my hair gets, well, covered in sweat too). It's so good to read that you hair has never looked that good before since Bea said she did it for 6 months and it didn't work for her. Right now mine is still quite oily and I really have to fight the urge to go and put some shampoo on it.
Please just tell me it'll all be fine very soon :)
I tried the baking soda thing and it made my head itch. So I stopped using the baking soda and started using a 1/4 C apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup water rinse. It left my hair oily. Now, I am using lemon juice in place of the apple cider vinegar and my hair is awesome! It also solved the problem of the smell. I stuck a cinnamon stick in the bottle with 1/4 C lemon juice and 3/4 C water and you can't even smell the lemon, only cinnamon.
Hey Alex, keep giving the baking soda a little more time. I know at least with my hair that if I get into the routine of shampooing everyday, it gets oily REALLY quickly-like it'll feel gross by the end of the day that I've showered, which sucks. Shampooing again the next day just makes it worse and keeps the oily cycle going. And yes, if you're in that cycle, baking soda isn't going to make it feel super clean unless you use a ton of it.
Since you practice Bikram, I understand that you definitely need to shower daily, but I would let your hair get greasy for a few days with no shampoo-maybe just rinsing or use some baking soda-to "reset" your sebaceous glands so they're not producing so much oil (that's getting stripped off so quickly). If I've gotten into a routine of shampooing daily and then don't wash my hair for 3 or 4 days, when I finally do wash it, it's super clean the first day and pretty clean the second day.
Corn starch does wonders to get the greasy shine out of your hair for off days. I sprinkle it on a brush then sweep my hair in a soft ponytail that looks pretty clean. May help if you're trying to reset for a couple days.
OneHotMomma, I think if you're scalp is itching from the baking soda, you might be using it incorrectly. Don't rub it into your scalp-just your hair. I wet my hair and scalp and then take handfuls of baking soda and rub into my hair on the top and sides of my head using my index, middle, and ring fingers, my pinkie and thumb sort of hold the baking soda in place as I clean my hair-I do not rub it into my scalp. The texture is super weird when you're used to a regular lather, but you'll get the hang of it. You have to work it into your hair to clean it. I haven't tried diluting the baking soda with water ahead of time and with my method, I'm not sure if that would be as effective. While I'm at it though, its a great exfoliator for my shoulders, neck, and decolletage! Hair and skin feels pretty amazing when you rinse :)
Sandra, I haven't bought any bulk shampoo other than Everyday Shea, which I haven't used yet, so I'll have to get back to you. I love Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo (and am close to finishing the bottle) and I have a sneaking suspicion it's the same as Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo, which my coop sells in bulk, so I'll probably move to that next. Since tea tree works nicely on oily scalps too, I think it's a great complement to the baking soda if you're finding some oily build up from it.
Thanks for all the info Katie. I gave in yesterday, I didn't have any shampoo and home so I washed my hair with the soap bar (all natural and organic) I had at home. This is just how desperate I was!
I'm going to keep on trying the baking soda thing but at that point my hair had gotten too greasy and it looked and felt absolutely horrible.
Maybe because I have been washing my hair everyday for so long, I can't just go cold turkey... Hopefully with time I won't need the occasional shampoo or soap anymore:)
I have to chime in and say that I use a TON of LUSH products (Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Massage bars for lotion/moisturizing, Face Soap, Body Soap, and bath bombs for relaxing...) and LOVE all of them. The people in the store are always so nice and supportive when I express my concerns about packaging (their products are not packaged and the little bags they give you to put them in are compostable) and don't make weird faces at me when I put their stuff into my own containers and plop it into my purse (after I pay of course).
I tried Alaffia and Griffin Remedy shampoo and conditioner. Both are wonderful! Allafia is a bit heavier, due to a large amount of shea butter in it, and works best on curly hair. As for Griffin, the formular is so light that it can be used on all hair types. I get Griffing Volumizing in bulk from Green11 Refill place in San Francisco. The place carries personal care and houshold cleaning supplies with eco-friendly attributes. Everything sold by ounces, great discounts on gallon volumes (I paid 55.00 for a gallon of ShiKai Yuzu shower gel. Not bad at all!). One location in Noe and one more in Inner Sunset: http://www.shopgreen11.com/
Thanks, Olga! Since I last posted, I've tried both the daily and volumizing versions of Griffin Remedy shampoo and conditioner. I agree that they work great, even on fine hair. I'll keep Green11 Refill in mind the next time I'm visiting SF. Wish they had locations in my area!