The history of shampoo is actually quite an interesting one.
Before all modern shampoos, people used soap based cleaners and this would happen seasonally as soap would strip the hair.
Like literally, strip it of all moisture, etc.
The old school shampoo was a mixture of lye-based soaps and herbs for fragrance. Those who had hairdressers or wealth could afford better quality extras and therefore set the class standard for nice and manageable hair.
The term shampoo comes from the Hindi word chāmpo, which means to knead and massage. This process was done using natural oils and herbs that would stimulate circulation, cleanse the hair and scalp as well as being a form of meditative relaxation.
The first modernized liquid shampoo came by the way of German inventor Schwarzkopf in 1927.
The subsequent use of shampoo throughout history has negated the need for conditioner.
Once you strip it down, you have to moisturise.
Add in all the surfactants (detergents) that are used to make every hair treatment unique, and you have a society buying plastic packaged products that they’ve never needed, and in fact, damage your hair more than they realise.
Really couldn’t find an ad image for actual textured hair to include.
Why I changed
My original reason was because of the cost.
I’m very privileged to have straight, flat hair, which I’ve never dyed and rarely cut. This is mainly because it doesn’t grow much at all and I’ve always felt my hair and its colour are a direct link to my ancestry and I hold this in great importance.
Totally want to shave my head someday though.
So seeing as I was bouncing between products that I’d hoped would make my hair longer, less brittle, not so oily, more shiny, less shiny, more manageable, more able to be styled, more easily to detangle… Bla bla bla.
This cost me on average $7 a bottle every three weeks to a month. So annually I would spend almost $730. So I’ve been buying my own since I was 15, I’m 30 ow, so all up in my lifetime I’ve regularly spent almost $11,000 on regular shampoo and conditioner alone.
This doesn’t include all the extra hair care stuff I’ve bought for styling, fixing, masking and god knows what else.
This was taken an hour after I got it styled. It was supposed to be curly.
And this is for someone who has VERY manageable hair.
For someone with 4C textured hair, the costs alone could make you a property investor. Hell, you could be a politician with all that spent money!
On top of the costs it seemed no matter what I tried, all the products I used and all the haircuts in the world weren’t making my hair feel healthy or fresh.
I’ve never dyed my hair!
For this reason, as well as the desire to steer away from plastics, I decided to make my own.
What I use
This process needed to be as convenient as possible.
Not too expensive, time-consuming or difficult to remember or comprehend.
This is why what I use now is a DIY mixture.
I put it together in a small cup and whisk until liquid enough and then I knead it through my hair and rinse.
So what is actually in my little mixture?
Firstly I needed to know what my hair actually needs.
So coconut oil.
Secondly, it needs to be cleaned.
The soap I use is castile soap that I find very cheap, I can get it at my wholesale bulk food shop and I fill a jar with it.
Soap works by being both attracted to water and afraid of it at the same time. Soap molecules like to grab onto non-water soluble molecules like dirt, oil as well as little nasties and by rinsing it out of your hair, (or anything really) it drags the dirt and oil with it.
Lastly, it needs to smell nice.
I chose lemongrass essential oils.
I figured if my pits smell nice so will my hair.
That’s all there is to it.
Sometimes if I’m fancy ill put honey in it. Unfortunately real honey is hard to come by due to industrial farming so I only use it when I go visit the Honey World just outside of town. So not everyone will have access.
Also, some people make use of tee tree oil for its antibacterial properties.
I mainly avoid this because I have a cat and was advised it’s severely toxic for her.
I also trust in my skin and normal bodily processes to protect me from harms that could come through my skin on my head. That’s what skin is there for.
I don’t have a set time that I wash my hair. I live close to the beach so sometimes I go down and dunk my head. When I don’t do that, I wash my hair only when it needs it.
If it gets too oily and is unmanageable I’ll wash with less oil. I’ll do the opposite if it’s dry.
On average I wash my hair maybe once a week but sometimes I’ll stretch it out to see how long I can gather the natural oils.
I know I mentioned this briefly however it needs to be plainly put and very obviously explained that hair is something that is unique to every person. Your type of hair, its colour and habits all derive from your genetic makeup.
This is never going to change.
So know that your hair is unique, learn the origins of this hair type and the types of others. Celebrate all the different types and respect them.
Understand that all types of hair have history, some more than others, and this history has been a base for discrimination and oppression.
All hair is incredible and all should be celebrated.
I will be doing some collaborative work in the future regarding different hair types and solutions for more environmentally as well as economically friendly solutions for different types of hair.
Wrapping up, Hair care is expensive and wasteful.
The amount of crap we pour on our hair and down our drains is killing the oceans, our planet, our hair and our wallets.
Seriously how in the f**k did it equal to $11k?!
So with simple cheap ingredients, you can begin to take back your hair’s health and save some casholas.
Natural soaps and oils are what has been the base of every hair care treatment from the beginning of time.
The best thing you can do is try it out. Hair can be very resilient so unless you’re pouring chemicals on your head, your hair can stand some natural oils.
Finally, remember to respect and celebrate other’s hair as well as your own. All types of hair are another person’s story and all should be equally admired.
This is how my hair looks now after it’s been rained on. Very satisfied with its volume and health.
I’d love to hear from you all and learn what type of hair you have, listen to your hairetage stories and learn from you too.
What have you found works for you and what would like to see more of?
Hit us up in the comments.
Or if you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.
Here’s some further reading with a few of my sources: