Haare mit Stärke

For a long time now I wasn’t very happy with the fact that I could find shampoo only in plastic bottles and mostly filled with who knows what exactly. This got me started in looking for alternatives. How did the people wash their hair back in the day when there was no shampoo from the supermarket/factory?

I saw a short report on TV a few years back, where there was a guy cleaning his hair by “rolling around in the dirt” like his donkey did. I was kind of confused how that would actually CLEAN the hair, but didn’t pay any more attention to it.

A little later – by semi-chance – I stumbled across a blog post about a “water only” method (text in german, but helpful pictures) that explains how brushing your hair correctly (from all sides, from the hairline to the ends, and at least 25 times each side) with a boar bristle brush – try saying that three times fast 😉 – can reduce the need for cleaning your hair immensely, so most of the time, only water is needed to wash it.

As an extension to the first one, I also found a second post on this blog on DIY dry shampoo (text again in german, again helpful pictures). In this post, the author explains how to basically use corn starch or medicinal clay to clean your hair. Just put it on the hairline and use the technique of brushing your hair from all sides (back, right, left and front) to brush out the corn starch.

Cleaning the brush often is also very important, because if the old dirt stays in there, the new dirt has nowhere to go. I haven’t found the perfect technique for that yet, but using a little soap and another brush to rub against and really foaming it does the trick pretty well.

I’ve tried this combination of techniques for almost three months now and that’s what I can tell:

  1. The corn starch really does clean out the sebum! – Yes, I was surprised myself!
  2. I had a long-lasting problem with scall – that’s gone now! The hair is still dry in parts, but it’s continually getting better. Even my hairdresser mentionned that my hair is thicker and stronger now.
  3. It does need some time getting used to that type of hair care. But for me it’s worth it.
  4. I have some natural curls that are usually almost gone as soon as I brush my hair, so for a long time I didn’t brush it at all (only after washing), so I actually need more time for hair care, now that I’m NOT washing my hair 😉
  5. For the “problem” of losing my curls, I just used a little water and let the hair air-dry.
  6. There is a risk of using too much corn starch (happens to me a lot). I haven’t observed any pros, but it takes forever to brush out, it stays on your skin – particularly in that spot behind your ears, or sometimes IN your ears -, and it might make the hair look a little pale or dull. Also if you wash it with water right after, and there is still starch in the hair, you might just have to do the whole procedure again when the hair is dry, because it’s sticking together. So USE WITH CARE 😉
  7. I clean my hair with corn starch about once a week, sometimes less, but I do maticulously brush it every day.

Some impressions of my own:

before - dirty hair hair with corn starch after - clean hair

Conclusion: I haven’t stopped experimenting completely, but I found a direction of where to go. It just makes more sense to me to use a method like this than buy chemicals in plastic bottles to put on my sensitive skin.

What do you use as shampoo alternatives? What different experiences did you have with them?

bad hair day?
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