A safe alternative to shampoos is to wash your hair with baking soda mixed with water. I have thick hair, so I use about ½ cup of baking soda mixed with about ¾ cup of water. I pour it on several places around my scalp and gently massage it in. I’ve been doing this since 2007 with no ill effects. A partial measure or transitional method would be to add one drop of shampoo to the baking soda and water mix. The baking soda makes a little bit of shampoo super-effective. Color treated hair may lose its color faster when washed with baking soda.
Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about it April 5 2012:
“The first synthetic shampoos were introduced in the 1930s, with daily shampooing becoming the norm in the U.S. by the 1970s and 1980s. Proponents of “no ‘poo” practices believe that shampoo removes the natural oils (sebum) produced by the scalp causing the scalp to produce more oil to compensate. They also believe that regular shampooing causes a “vicious cycle” to develop as it becomes necessary to shampoo regularly to compensate for the excess oils (that were stripped by shampooing). According to some dermatologists, a gradual reduction in shampoo use will cause the sebaceous glands to produce at a slower rate, resulting in less oil on the scalp and hair. The time taken to break the cycle after adopting “no ‘poo” practices varies, however a “two- to six-week period” is typical.”
My hair took about a week to adapt. The site where I first read about this suggested not making the change during a time when you have a job interview or a big date.
My hair is a bit dry, so I looked for a way to make a moisturizing shampoo. I mixed baking soda and water in a Parmesan cheese container and added a squirt of coconut oil soap from the health food store. The effect was nearly magical. My hair came out more moist and glossy, and without any greasiness.