Wednesday, January 20, 2010

everything you ever wanted to know about no 'poo!

this is a REALLY long potentially boring post regarding my recent foray into the world of not using shampoo...warning, unless this is something you may be interested in (for environmental/health purposes) you probably do not want to spend the next 30 minutes of your life reading!

i blame pioneer woman…it all started when i was reading older posts on her blog and saw one about rinsing your hair with vinegar to make it shine…i was intrigued…so a quick internet search later and i was introduced to the world of ‘no poo’ (which means no shampoo…not the other thing)…

i’m not going to link to any particular website or blog cause I’ve read literally about 100 posts/descriptions about going no ‘poo and they are basically all the same…if you are interested, just google ‘no poo’ and about a zillion entries will come up…i promise..

edited to add a link that describes WHY & HOW to go no 'poo: click here

so WHY go no ‘poo? well commercial shampoo is laden with all sorts of weird chemically ingredients…and you put it on your scalp - often (for me it was everyday)…scalp is skin and skin is your largest organ…ninety something percent of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream…no thanks! i’ve been slowly replacing most all of my skin lotions and potions with ones that are paraben and SLS free…so i figured I’d give no ‘poo a try and here’s how it’s gone down:

*january 6th i used my regular shampoo and did a vinegar rinse in lieu of conditioner and skipped mousse and hairspray (and have not used mousse or hairspray again)…result: post blow drying my hair was shiny with plenty of volume.
*january 7th same process
*january 8th added some baking soda to burt’s bees (paraben and SLS free) shampoo to ‘clarify’ my hair and get rid of all the excess gunk/buildup caused by all the hair care products i was using (like mousse, gel, hairspray, shine spray)…result: shiny, plenty of volume
*january 9th i didn’t wash my hair (it was a saturday and i had nowhere to go so it didn’t matter what my hair looked like…i do this often on weekends)
*january 10th (leaving for DC) repeat of january 8th
*january 11th i used only baking soda to ‘wash’ my hair and did a vinegar rinse…i let my hair air dry and it was super wavy but a bit fly away…i used a TINY speck of conditioner that was at the hotel and rubbed it on the palms of my hands and then worked thru hair to calm it down…it was really cold and windy in DC so my hair looked like crap anyways…this was the sole reason i started this venture at this time…cause i was going out of town and wouldn’t care if my hair looked like crap!
*january 12th…my hair looked like a grease pit when i woke up so i used shampoo (burt’s bees), did a vinegar rinse and let it air dry…it looked like total crap again…i blame the weather and the fact that my scalp was trying to figure out what was going on…i’ve read that it’s common to experience an adjustment period where your scalp produces excess sebum while it’s trying to adjust to not being stripped of oil daily by normal shampoo…
*january 13-15 i used baking soda and vinegar rinse and blow dry (had to go to work) my hair looked fine but was a bit staticy so i would use a tiny bit of conditioner to tame it down
*january 16th didn’t wash my hair (saturday)…it looked fine until that evening when i took it down from a ponytail and it looked like a grease pit…i brushed it out with a boar’s hair brush i got at the grocery store the nite before to get the sebum from the scalp down to the ends and called it a nite
*january 17th…my hair was so greasy when i woke up i was sure there was NO way baking soda would get all the oil out but i stuck with the program and washed with baking soda and did a vinegar rinse…after blow drying my hair looked fabulous, really full and shiny)
*january 18th washed with baking soda and vinegar rinse…decided that evening that it looked a bit oily so did research and learned that vinegar rinse daily could be the culprit.
*january 19-20 washed with baking soda only and all is well

what does the future hold? who knows…but i’m dedicated to really trying to make this work…

here are the particulars of MY plan (which may not work for everyone) and things in general i’ve learned:

*It is important to brush your hair daily to get the natural oils to the ends…i’m using a boar’s hair brush in the morning and evening…about 20 strokes each time
*in order to maintain tangle free hair post shower/washing i make sure to comb my hair out with a wide tooth comb before getting in the shower
*i’m using NO other hair products: mousse/gel/hairspray (and i think my bathroom floor will thank me…hairspray buildup on the tile floor is nasty but i’m scrubbing that up this weekend…hopefully for the last time ever) and my hair is a lot fluffier…i think they just weigh your hair down…
*i do blow dry as i like my hair to be really straight…i’m finding that it does hold the blowout better than when i used traditional shampoo and products
*if i DO occasionally have to use shampoo it will only be a natural shampoo free of parabens and SLS
*i use one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a little water to form a loose paste in the palm of one hand…with the other hand i work a bit into each side/temple area, the top and the back and then work in gently circles to give my scalp a nice massage…i do not work it all the way to the ends…i just let the baking soda wash thru when I rinse…baking soda makes your hair fairly soft
*my vinegar rinse is one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to one cup COLD water (makes the hair shinier)…i dip the ends in the concoction and swish them around and then dump the entire cup over my head…and rinse out…then i turn the shower to cold for one blast and jump out as fast as i can…i am going to try doing this 2 times a week only and see how that goes

so in conclusion, my hair is not greasy, does not feel dirty…i feel truly liberated from using SO many hair care products! in addition, im saving money by not having to buy all that stuff…baking soda and vinegar have a LOT of other household uses (which i’ll delve in to next week) …and i feel like i’m taking better care of my body!

if you feel like living on the edge, jump on the no ‘poo wagon with me! if you think it’s not for you, that’s fine but perhaps you could manage adding a bit of baking soda to your regular shampoo about once per week to clarify and rinsing with vinegar for shine…i promise you that you will be happy with those results!

if you have any questions about this new venture please ask…i will periodically post to let you know how it’s going…

tomorrow: revealing a new smile…



Pug(s) and Bugg said...

What is your hair like normally? I too saw that on PW and was intrigued. Although my issue isn't shine... it's INTENSE oiliness. I have a ton of hair but it's all thin which makes the oiliness worse.

My scary Russian hairdresser (who talks like Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle) told me to stop shampooing it everyday. I shampoo it Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat. Tues Thurs and Sun are "off" days. I blow dry it daily, but I don't heat style (curler/iron) it unless it's a huge occasion - but that's sheer laziness, since I'm growing it out for the wedding.

So far? My hair's a little nicer on the shampoo days. It's a GREASY mess on the non-shampoo days! Brian's aunt said something about my hair being wet AND IT WASN'T! IT WAS JUST GREASY!

I'm going to try the brushing it more to distribute the oil I guess?

Want to trade hair? Anyone?

Gerry said...

Sounds like a great idea. I am going to try it. Can't wait to see your braceless smile. You'll be a new woman !!!
xxoo lilly

Sandy said...

Very hair tends to be really oily if I go more than one night of not washing it. I did buy some conditioner on QVC from Chaz...He was saying that his models only use this conditioner to wash their hair and use no shampoo..I'm not real sold on it yet. Can't wait to hear more tips on the vinegar and baking soda.

Emily said...

awesome! i was wondering how it was going.

i might give this a try.. being home every day all day makes it easier for me to care less about my hair looks. ha!

girlville said...

answers to questions/comments so far:
1. Pug(s) and Bugg: i would say my hair is normally (before starting no poo) fine, wispy, flyaway, limp, greasy when i don't wash it everyday. i agree with your hairdresser BUT it will take an adjustment period to get over the intense greasiness. your hair is use to being stripped of oil from shampoo and makes up for it by producing MORE oil. it has to 'learn' that that's no longer necessary. that's why i did this on a 4 day weekend (cause i didn't care what my hair looked like). i would for sure try to get a boar's hair brush and brush it at nite. you may also want to try baking soda on your off days or use it instead of the shampoo and still do nothing but water rinse on your off days.

2. Sandy: there is a whole other thing called co-washing which is washing your hair with conditioner only. google it. i think it's better for people with curly hair which tends to run dry but i didn't research it very much at all.

3. emily: yes, try it!!! it would be easier being at home cause it wouldn't matter if you went thru an oily transition period and you'd be less likely to give up, start on a monday then you've got an entire week before church. i've read of people using it on their children too. go to the Angry Chicken website, she washes her girls hair without a search on her blog.

Amanda said...

Wow, very interesting. I've never heard of no 'poo! So I'd love to see pictures of this process...did you take any where we could see the stages? If so, please post. :)

Pam said...

interesting! I pretty much went product free many years ago but I still do use regular Aussie shampoo and conditioner. But lately, I've been using a smoothing gel (a little dab) rubbed through the damp hair before blow dry and flat iron. That's really made a difference in the static. But anyway, the vingear rinse intriques me. My hair gets so oily on the weekends if I go a day without washing it.

hmm...the baking soda bit though seems weird. I'm so use to the lather and the feel of clean. I guess it's psychological. Did you have problems with that?