23 January, 2012

No Poo


ok... ok I don't mean constipation.
When I first heard the term "no poo" I really thought, without reading further, that someone was talking about not pooping.
I was wrong, now I am "no poo" too, and you can be too!

I have read about non-healthy (possibly cancerous) additives in cosmetics, shampoos, and conditioners - and read and re-read arguments supporting and disputing the additives in all these products, and have basically come down to one decision: better safe than sorry. I recommend reading up on it for yourself and making your own decision.

Several months ago I decided that I wanted to go "no poo" (no shampoo), meaning I would not use commercial shampoo or conditioner anymore. I waited until I was finished using my expensive commercial shampoo that I thought would be healthier for my hair, so that I could use its cool looking, clear bottle (and of course, not waste money) before I started.
I will admit that going in, I was a bit skeptical. I was not sure that baking soda alone could conquer my oily mess of a head.
Also, while I was considering switching to "no poo", I decided to cut all my hair off. I CHOPPED it. Well... I had it chopped. It was chin-length, but after not coloring it for 5-6 weeks, my roots had grown out considerably, and I just decided to have it cut super short - like Anne Hathaway in the movie "One Day" - and it ended up shorter so now I mainly have my natural hair color and will not be coloring it ever again.
I figured, what better time to start "no poo" than now? Also, it perfectly coincided with my hair-chopping, so really, what excuse did I have?

After reading a few other bloggers' attempts, failures, and successes with baking soda and the whole "no poo" thingie, I decide that I would use just plain ole water mixed with baking soda in my old shampoo bottle. I mixed 5-6 heaping teaspoons full of baking soda into the bottle, then filled with with water and shook it until all the baking soda was dissolved.

I have used this solution for nearly three weeks now, and I must say that my hair looks very nice. It feels clean, and has a lovely natural shine to it.

My shower regimen is as follows:

  • Get water to temperature and wet my hair
  • squirt baking soda/water solution all over my hair
  • rub my scalp vigorously with my fingertips, making sure to cover my entire scalp
  • rinse baking soda solution out of my hair with water
There are about a million and a half sites, suggestions, magazine and newspaper articles, and all kinds of things that suggest apple cider vinegar to be used as a conditioner, so of course I decided to use that as well. My husband actually made his own vinegar out of pears... so really, I'm using homemade pear cider vinegar, but it works beautifully. I pour a diluted solution (I keep a mixture of 2:1 water to vinegar in my shower as well) over my hair and rub it in, then do the rest of my shower hygiene before I rinse it out - so it gets to sit in my hair for about a minute or two.

The end result was not impressive when I first started.  For the first week or so, the crown of my head was much more oily than I was used to, but after the first week, my hair and scalp have returned to normal. In truth, I really prefer how my hair looks now as opposed to when I was using commercial shampoos. I always had to switch shampoos each month, because I would get "build up" and though I have been using this method for only three weeks, my hair actually feels cleaner than it did previously. Surprisingly, it feels thicker too, and has much more volume, making my short hair stand completely on end! I almost look like a late dandelion... hehehe! Good thing I don't mind.

My husband describes my hair as smelling "Earthy" (in a good way) and he's surprised to find that my hair does not smell like vinegar at all after my shower. In fact he has even used vinegar after his shampoo (sadly, to no avail) to try to emulate my "Earthy" smell because he likes it so much.

Annnnyway, I suppose the point is that I have switched to baking soda instead of shampoo and I am actually much happier. Our pocketbook is much happier, and I don't have to fret about getting sick from the crap that goes into commercial hair treatments. I recommend switching over for at least three weeks before you make your final decision. The most negative things I've heard about it is from a friend of mine who is also trying out the "no poo" method. She misses the lather from commercial shampoos and feels that her hair isn't getting as clean as it could - but she has used different methods than I have. I have suggested a natural shampoo bar to her and perhaps she will try it and we'll see how that goes for her. In the mean time, I am loving all the extra time that I have from not washing lather out of my hair... though when my shower ends after only five or so minutes, I still stay under the warmth of the water because it's quite lovely :-)

Have you tried going shampooless? What is your experience?


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