Some of my most popular posts can be found under the tag “Clean&Simple”.  Here I’ve posted recipes as well as stories from my journey toward using fewer commercial products for cleaning my home and my body.  A lot of these stories have gone very well, and in fact when I get home from this rotation I’ll probably make up a big batch of this laundry detergent so that we don’t have to buy any more until, oh, around 2016.

One of the most popular posts over the last few months has been my confession that I stopped using shampoo last year.  The no-‘poo craze has really caught fire on the internet, gaining avid supporters at Mark’s Daily Apple, Simple Mom, and other sites that I frequent.  After reading about it at MDA last June, I bit the bullet and gave it a try.

In that post I wrote about my trials with various shampoo alternatives; it worked well for a few months…worked a little less well for a few months…became a troublesome subject for a few months…and then last night, I gave up the ghost.  My hair had become less “rich and thick”, and more…well, heavy and stringy, oily yet dry and brittle.  I worried that it was starting to break off from being so brittle, and none of my earlier remedies were working.

So I shampooed.  First I combed in my favorite pre-shampoo conditioner from Burt’s Bees (I also use it as an after-shower hair product) and let that sit for about 45 minutes.  Then I gave my hair two rounds with the old ‘poo.  It wasn’t even a great option, just the hotel mini-bottle, but I must admit that today my hair feels better than it has in a long time.  It’s light, clean, and surprisingly manageable considering the dryness still evident at the ends.  I’ll probably have to do a little work to restore moisture, but I think I’m on the right road.

I still don’t relish the idea of using commercial shampoos; I have absolutely no interest the regular use of sodium lauryl sulfate or propylene glycol on my body.  But I know there are gentle, natural, and effective solutions out there.  In fact, I’m heartened to read the ingredients on the Burt’s Bees products and find none of the truly toxic chemicals that I avoid.

Today’s lesson?  Giving up isn’t always bad; sometimes it frees you to try something new.  Even ideas that sound great, that work great for others, have to be surrendered when they aren’t working for you.  So I’m on the search again, this time for something that will clean my hair effectively without exposing me to a lot of harsh chemicals.  Maybe Burt’s Bees will have the answer; maybe not.

Got any ideas?  Share ’em!

{photo credit}

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