I am always looking for beauty hacks that avoid any kind of unnecessary plastic waste. I only have few prerequisites: it should be easy to use, be effective and shouldn’t cost a fortune!
I have recently researched a bit on the topic of hair-washing. Are there any good alternatives to using chemical shampoos stored in plastic bottles?
Might a NoPoo (no shampoo) alternative be suitable for my hair?
For nearly the last 2 years, I have been using a hair soap instead of standard plastic-packed shampoo. I have tried several soap bars, but my current favourite product at the moment is the Rapunzel shampoo concentrate by Schwesterchenchwesterchen.
The small soap-like bar is 100% organic, contains nourishing oils and forms a good foam – something that other soap bars normally don’t do. For my shoulder-long hair, the little bar lasts for up to 6 months! After washing my hair with the Rapunzel bar, my hair feels clean and combs easily. I only need to wash my hair every 4-5 days since I have started using Rapunzel, my slightly wavy hair stays in shape beautifully for 2-3 days after washing & styling it. The 4th day normally is bun day J
There is another advantage: I create nearly no waste! In 6 months, I would normally use 2.5 bottles of customary shampoo – for the same period, I only need 20g of the Rapunzel shampoo concentrate, which is only wrapped in a thin plastic wrap with 1 sticker. That’s all the waste there is!!!
The Schwesterchen production site is in Northern Germany and the lovely owner Maren sells the products on several farmer markets, Christmas markets or festivals throughout the year. She publishes the dates of when and where to find her on her website. Whenever she comes to Hamburg, I see her and send half a fortune on her lovely products. This way I stock up on everything I need and avoid any shipping waste. However, if I order her products online, the products are shipped in cardboard boxes with paper wrapping – all of this can be recycled.
Even though I am very happy with the Rapunzel bar, I was curious whether there are any further eco-firendly and waste-avoiding alternatives to wash my hair. Thus, I found and tired the following: rye flour and an apple vinegar rinse!
I had read about it before and decided I wanted to try it! Thus, I went shopping in my local drugstore for rye flour (in paper wrapping) and organic apple vinegar (in a glas bottle).
Before taking your shower, you mix 3 table spoons of rye flour with a little water and mix until it forms a slightly runny dough. If you don’t like the dough smell, you can add some drops of essential oils. I used peppermint oil as I had it on hand. The mixture then normally needs to sit for up to 2 hours – well, I used it direcly after mixing. Worked anyway!
Wet your hair and add the rye flour mix to your hair. Massage into your hair as you would do with shampoo and let it react for 1-2 minutes. Now came the interesting part: Would I be able to rinse the dough or would it stick to my hair forever, forcing me to shave my scalp? I was surprised at how easily the rye flour rinsed from my hair – just make sure you don’t forget to rinse your backside ear, too. I had forgotten this and only realized when I grated my back ear at the office and found some half-dried rye flour dough there. Not sexy!
After washing the residues out of my hair, I rinsed the hair with 1/10 apple vinegar, mixed into 9/10 of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Finish this with a quick splash of ice-cold water – wow I was awake after is!!!
After slightly drying my hair, it combed and syled beautifully. It fealt good and smelled slightly of peppermint. I went to the office, where my colleague asked my whether I had dyed my hair this weekend as it had such a beautiful shine to it. Ha!
On the second day after washing my hair with rye flour and apple vinegar, my hair is still fluffy and in beautiful shape, however, it doesn’t smell peppermint-y any more. As I am still in the testing phase, I cannot tell yet how long it will take me until I need to wash my hair again.
But so far so good: This nopoo alternative is easy to handle, cost-effective and eco-friendly. There are no chemicals nor micro plastic or tensides washed down the drain – I like it!
I think for traveling, I would still use the Rapunzel soap bar as it is very small and works excellent. However, at home, I might experiment some more with the rye flour method!