A man in the shower.

It’s a vicious cycle…

Stripping your scalp of oils (sebum) and moisture stimulates the skin to produce more. To avoid that oily look and feel, you wash again and again.

Why shampoo less:

Healthier environment

No matter how “green” the shampoo, manufacturing, packaging and transportation use energy and resources.

Fatter wallet

Certified organic and cruelty-free shampoos cost more. You save money using them less.

Healthier hair and skin

Let your scalp do its natural balancing act. (Ask hairdressers how often they wash their hair!)

How to kick your daily shampoo habit

Warning: It can take up to a month of oily itchiness before your scalp and hair feel balanced.

Gradual

Skip one shampoo day this week, two next week and so on until you’re only shampooing once or twice per week. Try diluting your shampoo with water to help the weaning process.

Cold turkey

Try mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Apply to scalp and hair. Do this monthly. Condition with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar mixed into three cups water. Rinse. Do this every two weeks.

Dry shampoo

Between washings, sprinkle plain arrowroot powder or cornstarch onto your hair. (Or try the recipe below.) Massage into your scalp and brush through.

How to make dry shampoo (that’s also body, baby and shoe powder)

Before you could buy dry shampoo, many people used baby powder. But that contains fragrance and talc…

Fragrance (a.k.a. parfum) is one of our Dirty Dozen ingredients to avoid. Some ingredients:

  • Trigger allergies and asthma
  • Link to cancer and neurotoxicity.
  • Harm fish and other wildlife

Talc is a made of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Once it contained asbestos! It’s:

  • Toxic if inhaled — DON’T sprinkle baby powder on infants
  • Linked to cancer

Dry shampoo recipe

This mixture absorbs excess moisture, prevents chaffing and soothes skin. (For external use only. Avoid inhaling.)

Preparation time: five minutes
Shelf life: about six months

62.5 ml (1/4 cup) cornstarch
62.5 ml (1/4 cup) arrowroot powder
15 ml (1 Tbsp) white clay (found at health food stores)
Optional: 6 drops essential oil

  • For dry shampoo: Try lavender, rosemary or ylang ylang.
  • For baby powder: Add three  drops of sweet orange, two drops of ylang ylang and one drop of geranium essential oil.
  • For athletic gear: Try antibacterial and antifungal essential oils such as tea tree, lemongrass or eucalyptus.

Mix ingredients together. Store in airtight container.

How to apply:

  1. Dry shampoo: Apply to oily parts of your scalp. Comb through.
  2. Body powder: Sprinkle between toes and under arms.
  3. For babies: Ingredients are non-toxic and food grade. To avoid risk of inhalation, dab on babies. Do not sprinkle.
  4. Athletic gear: Add to running shoes, hockey gloves, etc.

Queen of Green image that reads: David Suzuki's Queen of Green gives you tips and recipes to live sustainably.