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There seems to be yet another reason to kick shampoo, if you're using it every day.

Where California goes, the rest of the country tends to follow, and here is something that may just catch on.

According to the  Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, it seems most brands available in the store contain the ingredient Cocamide DEA, which has been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a suspected human carcinogen. The scalp is an area of the body richly supplied with blood, possibly compounding the exposure of somebody who shampoos regularly.

My tip? Stop buying shampoo altogether. Stop using it. As I advised in a green-living-themed diary earlier this summer, your hair really can look just fine without it. If you kick the shampoo habit, you'll cut your personal chemical exposure and help the environment, too. Probably, you'll also save money.

I haven't shampooed in one year. Good riddance. Following is my own hair-care regimen. It gives me shiny and manageable hair if I use it most days.


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Other people who kick shampoo describe a rocky transition, sort of like "shampoo withdrawal," when they first stop shampooing and their hair looks greasy all the time. I was no exception. I just had to be patient for a couple of months and outlast this unpleasantness.  During this period, I found baking soda rinses helped with the worst of the greasiness. I slowly adapted and perfected my hair-care routine, and am relating the most evolved form of it today.

You'll need to adapt my procedure for such variables as personal hair amount and texture and scalp chemistry. Also, you'll need to take into account whether your region has hard or soft water.

I have chin-length, abundant, fine hair, and quite an oily scalp, it seems.

Before my shower, most days, I dissolve in 1 cup of warm water: 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 6-7 drops of lemon essential oil. I work this into my hair and wrap it in a towel, which I leave on for a moment or two. I rinse it in the shower, comb and dry it, and I'm ready to go. I use lemon oil sparingly enough that residual grease isn't a problem on any surface it has come into contact with. I don't need conditioner.

The baking soda costs pennies per application. The lemon essential oil, from the local health-food store, cost me less than $7.00 an ounce, which lasts me about 4 months.

If you're considering giving up shampoo, here are  a few different online resources that might help you.

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