Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giving up Shampoo (Days 1-5)

A little over a year ago, I colored my hair and put the little conditioning cream on it after I finished. The next day, my hair was a lovely color, but the heaviest, waxiest, greasiest mess. I washed it three times and it didn't seem to improve at all! I did a little google research and learned that it was the silicone on my hair and that I could use a clarifying shampoo (which I didn't have) OR I could use baking soda to clean it out and then rinse with vinegar and that would take care of the problem. I figured I didn't have much to lose, so I gave it a try! It worked WONDERS! Several years back I read a blog of a woman who decided to go all natural with her body. I don't recall the blog or I would give her credit, but I remember that she didn't wash her hair at all for several months it seemed. I don't think she used soap on her body either.

Several months ago I started becoming very interested in DIY cleaning products. I now make my own laundry detergent and disinfectant cleaner. Pinterest is partly responsible for this. :) I already knew that you could use baking soda as an exfoliant (or epsom salts). I knew that you could DIY deodorant (um, no thank you). So when I stumbled onto the "no poo" movement (hmm, perhaps a bad combination of words?) I was interested. As I read more I became very intrigued and decided I wanted to give it a try. My straight hair might become wavy or curly?! I'm IN! No more spending $15 a month on shampoo and conditioner! YES! Have more body and use fewer styling products! I can do that! I blogged about it on my more private blog and learned that several of my friends wash their hair only once a week or have give up traditional shampoo entirely. I hesitated to announce that I wanted to try going no poo because EW!, right?! I felt like I would be viewed as one of those weird Asheville hippie dread-locked pot-smoking artist people... except that I don't live in Asheville, I'm not a hippie, I don't have dreads, I don't smoke pot, and I'm not an artist.

I originally read about going cold turkey on shampoo and only rinsing your hair in the shower and massaging your scalp so that was my original plan. I was going to tough out the weeks of greasy hair and one day wake up to less greasy hair. Maybe... I was still thinking about whether or not I would survive all the bad hair days and when to start it since I am looking for a job right now. Interview + greasy hair = no job offer. Then my friends started talking about baking soda and weaning off shampoo and the transition being easy... so I decided to just give it a try. No more shampoo but I could use baking soda and I could start "washing" less frequently. If I had an interview or job hunting day and baking soda wasn't doing the trick then I could wash my hair for that day.

I have not shampooed my hair since Tuesday. I have not missed shampoo (except the smell of it). My hair has a ton of body, it curls easily, it is shiny, and my fly-aways seem to have flown far, far away. I never had frizzy hair or dry hair or unhealthy hair. My hair is naturally straight, somewhat fine (but I have a lot of it), and generally does what I want it to do with minimal difficulty.

Day 1 -- Rinsed and finger scrubbed my scalp. Blow dried my hair and styled it with my curling iron. It looked okish, but felt flat and heavy and gross. I put it in a ponytail and that solved the problem.

Day 2 -- Mixed up some baking soda and water and scrubbed that into my scalp in the shower. Rinsed it out really well and used some conditioner on the ends just so I could get my round brush through my hair while blow drying. My hair looked really good. Lots of body and only needed a few turns of the curling iron it get it all going the direction I wanted. I have a good cut that is growing out nicely (I'm growing my hair out) so the ends typically flip on their own. My hair was soft and shiny. It felt a little different than I was used to at the roots -- not really greasy but kind of waxy. I was able to wear it down all day without feeling like it was dirty. It didn't tangle as easily as normal and kept its body all day even after I took a nap on it and had baby hands in it.

Day 3 --  I just used a little conditioner on the ends. My hair felt pretty good, but a little waxier than the day before. It looked good and clean. I probably could have tolerated it being down all day, but we are in the process of moving so I put it up to keep it out of my face. I used my curling iron and it curled even better than the day before!

Day 4 -- Baking soda and water with tea tree and lemongrass essential oils for the roots. White vinegar and water rinse for the ends. Blow dry, hot rollers. I did use hair products on Day 4 because my hot roller curls tend to poof out and not stay nicely defined so I scrunched them with a little oil and then used some hairspray to keep it all in place. The curls held all day (not unusual for me).

Day 5 -- Nothing until about 6 PM. Put it in a ponytail and loaded the moving truck. Told some friends who were helping us about the no poo thing. They are interested! Ran their fingers through my hair... it was soft, not greasy, not heavy... shiny and looked great. I think I am at the point that I can skip a day of washing and not notice! This evening I just used a little baking soda and then a white vinegar rinse to remove yesterday's styling products. I didn't put much effort into styling my hair, but I did blow dry it and it looked good for the amount of effort I put into it which was very little. It feels good though.

I will try to keep you updated on my progress, but so far I am loving it! I have noticed that conditioner makes it feel heavy. I'm not sure if I like the white vinegar rinse -- it doesn't seem to improve things... in fact it might make it lose some of its body. I didn't notice yesterday (Day 4) because it is always very full when I use hot rollers. I think I will just use the baking soda or nothing over the next few days and see what happens.
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