OK. So I admit it. I finally took my proto-dreadlock hair down to Trader Joe's and bought a sulfate-free shampoo. I guess going shampoo-free is a little like being vegan... it works fine for some people, who seem to have fantastic results doing it, but my own results aren't the same. All this talk about your scalp adjusting to the lack of 'poo is, in my opinion, not as big a factor as everyone seems to think it is. The lifestyle you live and how sweaty and dirty you get on a daily basis is.
My hair is normally very dry, and because of that, it's more dirt and grime I'm concerned about than actual oil. In fact, this brings up the second part of my compromise -- I am using a commercially-produced shampoo (minus a few nasty ingredients most shampoos have) but I only need to wash my hair about every five days now. With the baking soda, I was having to wash every day, which meant I used a lot more water than normal.
Using the new 'poo is not only the most water-conserving, but also gets my hair clean, soft and manageable, unlike the other way, which left my hair clumpy and dull.
Just goes to show you that not ALL grandma's home concoctions are better than what's made today...at least for some of us. So until the Zombie Apocalypse happens and I can no longer drive to Trader Joe's, I have a new shampoo and clean, soft hair once again. But at the same time, I'm regretful I couldn't find a homemade 'poo that worked well for me.