I posted my DIY Honey Shampoo in May and it has received a ton of questions and comments. It currently has about 350 comments on the post… which is more comments than on any other recipe on Empowered Sustenance! I thought it was about time to answer some questions, as well as give an update on how I’ve changed around my hair care routine.
The comments seem to divide into two similar categories.
Here’s an example of Category 1 Comments:
I tried this for the first time yesterday, and my hair feel amazing. I was trying the BS and ACV method, and my hair was so dull, and my ends were super crispy. Today it still feels soft and clean. I’m very impressed.
Category 2 Comments, however, look something like this one:
Been doing the honey poo for about three weeks. My hair still feels gross. It feels dirty and my scalp is itchy. I know transition can take a while longer but…is this normal? My hair is long and not really thin or thick. Every time I wash it I think maybe today will be the day it doesn’t feel dirty and itchy. I’m sticking with it though.
My response to Category 1 Commenters: “Whoop whoop! That’s awesome!”
My response to Category 2 Commenters is more complicated, though. First, I think I said this in the original post but let me say it again: natural hair care is very personal. Honey Shampoo won’t offer Covergirl hair to everybody because we are all – you guessed it – unique.
So the hard part is knowing when the transition period ends and when the honey shampoo just isn’t working for you. Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question for you. But I share my experience with Honey Shampoo in more detail below, so you can glean some tips for getting through the transition period.
My updates with the honey shampoo
I used my honey shampoo for about two months. For me, the transition period was about 3 weeks. It was a welcome change from the No ‘Poo method which I had used before, which left my hair chalky and brittle. But yes… I’ve made some changes.
When I mentioned doing an update post on the Honey Poo on Facebook, a thoroughly unpleasant lady commented that I should have ensured this method was perfect before posting it (that’s paraphrased so it is acceptable for mixed company). Natural hair care isn’t like a baking recipe, though… it changes from person to person and from season to season. So just because I changed my routine doesn’t mean that this isn’t the right recipe for other people. After all, Honey Shampoo has received glowing reviews on Facebook and the blog. It’s all about what works for YOU.
Here’s what I loved about the honey shampoo:
- It strengthened and moisturized my hair
- My usually frizzy hair had very little frizz
- It was economical and eco-friendly
- I could go a week between washings
Here’s what I didn’t love about it:
- Two months into it, my roots felt just slightly weighed-down. I don’t know if it was oiliness or what, but I didn’t like it.
- My hair was difficult to brush when wet or dry. It was soft, but not silky.
So, even though I felt a keen sense of betrayal towards my beloved Honey Shampoo, I decided it was time for some changes.
The most important change was investing in a shower filter and bath filter. I knew that my chlorinated tap water was toxic to drink (hence my Berkey water filter for drinking and cooking) but I had no idea the toll it took on my hair!
The most important change was investing in a shower filter and bath filter. I knew that my chlorinated tap water was toxic to drink (hence my Berkey water filter for drinking and cooking) but I had no idea the toll it took on my hair! Also, since chlorine is absorbed through the skin and through inhalation while bathing/showering, a filter protects your health.
I bought this shower filter which only cost about $30 and it is supposed to last a full year. My bath filter was same price and lasts for 6 months. Immediately after screwing the filter on my shower, I immediately felt a huge difference: the water felt soft and satiny. Post hair-washing, I noticed a softer texture and less “stickiness.”
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinses
Second, I began using weekly apple cider vinegar rinses. Wait, you may be thinking, I thought you told us that damages hair! Yes, I did explain that the popular No Poo Method can cause drastic damage to hair. This is because the contrast between the alkalinity of the baking soda and the acidity of the vinegar strips the hair. But an occasional vinegar rinse will not harm hair if used alone. I began following my weekly honey shampoo with an ACV rinse. It made my hair super silky when wet and dry.
Eventually, because it was easier and I noticed no changes in texture, I stopped using the honey shampoo altogether. Now I wash my hair only once a week using a vinegar rinse. I wouldn’t use the vinegar rinse more than once a week, because it may be to harsh on a more frequent basis. If you are currently using Honey Shampoo, you may find using this vinegar rinse weekly gives your hair a silkier texture. It may also help reduce oiliness during the transition period.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Rinse recipe: mix 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup filtered water.
Second update as of January 2014: My natural hair care journey has been a long and adventurous one, as I tried the No Poo Method, then my Honey Shampoo, then ACV rinsing. I went more than a year without purchasing shampoo. I was ready for a change and, quite frankly, was ready for the convenience of a pre-prepared shampoo. Finally, I found 100% raw hair care products that met my holistic philosophy – including balancing the pH of the scalp. I was so amazed by my results with the products that I shared them on the blog with a review. While I still eagerly share the honey shampoo recipe, because it works extremely well for many people, I have switched to this raw hair care method.
Honey Shampoo FAQs
How long is the transition period? Is my hair supposed to feel so nasty?
I can’t tell you how long your transition will be. Mine was two months. And my hair did feel greasy during the transition period.
Is there anything I can do so ameliorate the transition period?
Use a weekly ACV rinse and get a shower filter if you have chlorinated tap water.
I just don’t like the honey shampoo. Is there another natural shampoo you recommend?
Try using an ACV rinse once a week. You could also try clay washing.
I’ve heard that honey can lighten hair, just like lemon juice. Will the honey shampoo lighten hair? Is it safe for color treated hair?
It’s only on your hair for a minute or less, so I don’t think it would make a difference in color. I have brown hair and it has not lightened it. I don’t know if this is okay for color-treated hair.
Have you tried the Honey Shampoo and what was/is your experience? Have you tried other methods of natural hair care, such as “water-washing” (using just water) or the No ‘Poo method?
I live in a dry climate, so I need a shampoo that is very moisturizing, but wont strip my hair while cleaning it. Been using the Somaluxe Clarifying Shampoo for 2 months now – its very moisturizing and perfect for dry weather climate. It gives my hair this bouncy young look
I have heard that something that makes the transition period a whole lot harder and longer is if you were using products with silicone that coats the hair. You need to cleanse with a shampoo free of this before starting any sort of No Poo Method. Just something you may want to look into.
I was using a milk shampoo (MooGoo) for seborrhea dermatitis. Then I abruptly switched to a Manuka honey mask and my scalp was itchy, so I switched back to the milk shampoo and scalp cream for dermatitis. I am 77 years old and my hair is white and very dry. I recently tried the same honey mask overnight which is hydrating and gives my hair a soft off white color. What made the difference this time was that I got rid of the milk shampoo residue with Miracle II as a shampoo for a few days. Then I had good success with the honey mask. I think the combo of cow’s milk and honey caused the itching. By cleansing my scalp before applying honey, there was no milk residue on my scalp when I applied the honey.
Hello! Could i add honey to my homemade shampoo do you think? Containing castile soap, essential oils, almond oil (maybe replace oil with honey).
Wondering if honey will mix well with all of those?