Monday, June 16, 2014

My "No (Sham)poo" Experiment

I recently tried the "no poo" method and wanted to compile my results and information in one place.  This method is supposed to rebalance your scalp's oils yielding healthier, fuller, shinier, less frizzy hair.

I've been doing it for over a month now and I love the results! I finally like my hair again for the first time since I've lived in Texas!  That's the first time in 3 years!  I'm convinced that this works well for hair care and I will continue doing it. It stays clean and soft. It has much better body and movement with less frizz.  I absolutely love how light and bouncy my hair feels!  I'm hoping the frizz/fly-aways continue to reduce even more, but I'm happy with where it's at now.  I even have more shine and better color.

Here's the basics:

My routine:
I premix my baking soda solution in a sriracha bottle.  It has a nice rounded tip that makes application very easy.  I use a ratio of 1 Tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water.  I can get 2 batches in my sriracha bottle and it lasts for 3-4 weeks with my husband and I both using it. 

I brush my hair before showering.  In the shower, I shake my baking soda mixture, apply to my scalp, massage for a minute, and then rinse well.  I pour my Bragg's apple cider vinegar to the first line in my cup (2 Tablespoons of ACV) and fill to the second line with water (1 cup of water).  I pour that all over my scalp and lengths of hair. It does not burn my scalp at all. I put my hair in a bun and let the vinegar soak until I'm done with the rest of my shower. Then I rinse well. I brush after my shower and let my hair air dry. I haven't needed any product since doing this routine.

I wash this way about every 4-6 days. If I shower after a work out before then, I just rinse well with water and condition with apple cider vinegar.

The first few washes felt too squeaky clean, dry, gross, tangly, and weird without regular shampoo and conditioner, although it looked and felt amazing once dry.  Now it feels much better while washing. There must be enough natural oils doing their thing. I think I didn't have much of a transition period because I'm a dry person and because I already went awhile between washes. My hair seems to take about 4-6 days to barely start looking greasy. Before, if my hair got oily, it looked flat and gross. Now my hair looks much better, even if it starts getting a little oily. I've heard lots of recommendations for natural dry shampoo to deal with extra oil in the transition phase. My friend uses white rice flour because it goes translucent after it soaks up your excess oil.

My boar hairbrush has made a huge difference in the look and feel of my hair. It helps spread your good oil over the lengths of your hair.

I was really skeptical that vinegar would condition, but it really does. My hair doesn't smell like vinegar once it dries completely, but I have noticed that if I rewet my hair or am in a lot of humidity, a faint vinegar smell reappears.  It doesn't really bother me though.  Most of the time it is completely dry and I pass the smell test.

I took a few pictures during my first month.  They are very poor quality phone pics, but better than nothing.

 Day 1 - 4/30/2014
Week 1
So far my hair is laying better, has less frizz, and is softer on the upper half. I'm getting really excited about how my hair will improve after a few more weeks! I love my new boar bristle brush. It seems to help my hair a lot. I'm getting a haircut today to get rid of dead ends.
 End of week 2
So far loving it and seeing continual improvement in increased body, increased softness, reduced frizz/flyaways, and better curls/waves. Even my hair dresser agreed that my hair is very soft, which is a huge improvement. Texas had really dried my hair out.

End of week 3
I love my hair!  I'm really happy with results and knowing I'm saving money and reducing harmful chemicals touching my body.

6/2014 A summer at the pool disrupted the effectiveness of my no poo routine.  Here is my post about my adjusted summer routine.
6/2014 I tried a deep conditioning oil treatment and a new natural shampoo recipe to combat the very dry hair I was experiencing from chlorine exposure.  For the deep conditioning, I gently melted 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey on the stove until just melted.  I applied to my dry hair and let that sit for a couple hours.  The honey made it really hard to apply.  I may try all coconut oil or this Nourishing Hair Oil Recipe by Wellness Mama next time and see what I prefer.  Then I washed with this Homemade Natural Shampoo Recipe by Wellness Mama.  It took 3 washes until I didn't feel the oil anymore.  This shampoo recipe will not strip your natural oils, so it is safe for a no poo regime.  I LOVED using this shampoo!  It was so refreshing and luxurious after almost 2 months of exclusively using baking soda to wash my hair.  It smelled wonderful and I was surprised by the beautiful lather.  It was more effective and way easier than the baking soda mixture to wash all that oil out!  To make it, I used the canned coconut milk brand recommended (and froze the extra coconut milk into 1/4 cup amounts for future recipes), Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap, 10 drops of rosemary essential oils (I've heard rosemary is good for your hair), and I did add the vitamin E and almond oil since I have dry hair.  I followed with an apple cider vinegar rinse because I read that you should if you've used Dr. Bronner's.  My hair feels restored and happy again!  I'm very happy having some tools to combat the drying effect of the chlorine on my no poo hair!

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