Natural Shampoo Regimen

In this post: A series of health problems, disappointments, and outright crises forced Mary to take a look at her health to see if there wasn’t more she could be doing. It was time to shed her skin and build some healthy new habits in the process. Here she shares her new hair care program. Click here to read  the first installment of Mary’s Summer of Molt. 

by Mary Duggan:

Shampoo and Conditioner Recipe:

Put about a 1/2 inch of borax in the bottom of an old shampoo bottle. Add warm water and shake. Then you just squirt a bit on your hair. It doesn’t lather but feels kind of slippery so you know where it is. Rinse it out with 1\8 tsp -1\4 tsp citric acid in 16 oz of warm water – we use an old cream rinse container. Then rinse out the citric acid. It smells fresh and wonderful.

More on the Borax Shampoo:

While the borax shampoo does not lather it nonetheless goes right to work removing sweat and soil without stripping your color or natural oils. It inhibits scalp bacteria and stops flaking and itching. Hair gets squeaky clean so quickly (just a few squirts does it) that you might think nothing has happened! You will soon be accustomed to non-lathery soap. Clare has super oily hair and she has found a few techniques to help with this. Sometimes she takes her lavender and tea tree stinkstick® and rubs it on her fingertips and then into her scalp before shampooing with the Borax. Or she takes any of our washup™ soaps and rubs it into her scalp for the extra boost from the coconut and palm oils. Either of these techniques has helped her get great results with the new hair care program.

More on the Citric Acid Conditioner Rinse:

Rinse very thoroughly to leave your scalp slightly acidic. Take a pint container to the shower with you. Place 1/4 tsp. citric acid crystals in it. For long hair use a quart of rinse. Only citric acid is strong enough to get the borax out, lemon juice and vinegar are not. After shampooing, fill the container with water and rinse. Rinse your whole body, too, since citric acid is also anti-bacterial. All hair shampoo penetrates the eyelids and gets into the eyes although you do not feel it. It is important to use this natural rinse to neutralize the shampoo in your eyes. Shampoo affecting the health of my eyes was a big motivator for me trying this healthy protocol.

New Color or Curls?

Some people have stated that citric acid makes their hair curlier or reddens it. If this is undesirable, use only half as much citric acid. Citric acid also conditions and gives body and sheen to hair. Neither Clare nor I have had our hair color change. Clare has highlights and lowlights and neither seems to have been affected.  We both can’t get over how shiny and healthy looking our hair is following this new regimen. It has lots of body and looks great without any styling products.

Shampoo recipe adapted from The Cure for All Diseases by Hulda Clark, pg.525-530


About the author:

Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters.

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks.  We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

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11 Responses to “Natural Shampoo Regimen”

  1. Libby says:

    I’ve been trying no poo for about 3 months. Reading everything on the web. Due to hard water, I tried borax & citric acid. I am not boiling the water as some sites recommend. Baking soda seemed too drying or it was the hard water. But borax seemed not quite right either so I mix a little baking soda in with mostly borax. Sometimes it’s beautiful when it dries and sometimes it never feels dry- so I guess it’s oily? I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. My hair was not oily before no poo method. Could I be using too much? My hair is half-way down my back but not thick. Any advice?

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Libby, Sorry to be so slow with a response. I am really slow to learning all the ins and outs of blogging. What’s with “no poo?” Am I missing something? I have never heard this old-fashioned hair cleaning technique referred to as such.

      I can only repeat the recipe I use. 1″ borax in quart bottle with water gives me about a week of shampoo. I do not shake it up each day before use. Just the amount of borax in the water is enough. I do not need to activate the borax grit, so to speak. I rub it in like commercial shampoo. Then I grab my bottle with 1/8 tsp of citric acid and the full quart of water and pour the entire solution slowly on my short hair and then I rinse like crazy. I comb, dry and go and my hair has never looked better. I am sorry that I have no knowledge about hard water. I am sixty years old, with short hair, and not too oily. Maybe you want to do the process twice one time and see if that deals with the oil. Or maybe do the rinse with citric acid twice and see if that works. Best of luck, Mary

  2. Jamie says:

    This is wonderful, but what do you do for conditioner? Thanks!

  3. Jamie says:

    This is great! But what do you use for conditioner?

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Jamie, sorry to be so slow with responding. Just now figured out how to do it. Actually the 1/8 tsp of the citric acid is the conditioner. It rinses out the borax and then I rinse it thoroughly as well, comb, dry and go. Absolutely no need for conditioner or any styling products. I just love it. Be well, Mary

  4. Andrea says:

    Hello, I would like to know if the Borax liquid soap lightens hair(black). Thanks in advance.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Andrea, What can I say? I have blond hair and no experience with folks with dark hair. I will say this, it did not seem to alter the color of my hair at all. Yet somehow it looks better than ever. I have gone without highlights for a year or so; just wanted to see how that felt. I was delighted to find out that at age 60 I had not gone gray. In the past few weeks I have added in a small amount of blond highlights. I was afraid this simple system would strip the color; but it appears to be just fine. Can’t say enough how much I love this system. Cheap and more importantly to me, healthy and my hair has never looked or felt better – without any styling products. Be well, Mary

  5. Susan says:

    Where do you buy the borax and citric acid? I’ve tried numerous shampoos and my scalp is constantly itchy. Will this help?
    Thank you.

  6. Dagmar says:

    Hi Mary, I just got my citric acid powder. There’s a warning on the bag that states: wash hands thoroughly after handling. wear eye protection. Do not get into eyes or skin or clothing. Can produce harmful or irritating fumes. Since I’ll be placing into the pint jar and mix it water and then rinse my hair and body I will inevitably inhale fumes and obviously have it touch my skin even if it is diluted. I have never used citric acid for anything so I’d like to make sure it’s safe to use in the this dilution. Thank you!

    • Clare Duggan says:

      Hi Dagmar! You’ll only be using a small amount and you’ll scoop it with a spoon into the bottle. I believe these warnings are more for folks who would put their hands INTO the bag of powder. We use it for lots of things around here: my shampoo, a 1/4 tsp in the water when we soak beans or nuts, etc. Don’t worry about those full strength warnings.

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