Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No More 'Poo!

No, I'm not sayin my girl has potty trained, because she hasn't, and if she had, I would be sad to say goodbye to all the Fluff.  I'm talking about shampoo.  I've been wanting to blog about this for a couple days, but time just keeps getting away from me.

I've read about the method thats called "no 'poo" or, shampoo-free numerous times online, but never really gave it much thought. What is it?  Its exactly as it sounds, well maybe not exactly, but its not using shampoo.  Instead of using store bought shampoo and conditioner you use baking soda and vinegar.  Essentially what you do is "shampoo" your hair with baking soda, and "condition" it with vinegar. The most common starting off point is 1 tablespoon baking soda in 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water.  These amounts might change once you figure out what works best for your though (more baking soda/less vinegar if you have naturally oily hair, less baking soda/more vinegar if you have naturally dry hair).

Why would you want to ditch shampoo?  There are a couple reasons. 

Your scalp produces oil naturally because its good for your hair.  The checmicals in the shampoo strips all those good natural oils away, and then your scalp goes into overdrive to produce more oils.  So you shampoo again because your hair is all oily.  Its a vicious cycle.

There are all sorts of chemicals in shampoo and conditioner, chemicals you might not necessarily want on your scalp and skin.

Shampoo and conditioner are expensive! (especially if you have long hair)

There is a wealth of information out there, written by people who know more about all the intricate details of this than I do, so I'm not going to go into it any deeper than that brief summary. 

Like I said, I've "heard" about it a couple times online, mainly on the Crunchy Mamas board on my parenting community.  I hadn't given it much thought before, but lately my hair has been driving me crazy.  No matter what I did or what shampoo/conditioner I used, or how much (how little) I used, my hair felt gross and weighed-down the day after I showered, sometimes even the same day I showered.  So I read about it some more then decided to give it a shot.  Its not like I had anything to lose. 

I did my first No 'Poo wash on Friday. I just grabbed two mugs from the kitchen and put 1 tablespoon baking soda in one, and 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar in the other and then a cup of warm water in each, and stirred the baking soda a little bit.  Then took em to the bathroom.  I pretty much just dumped the baking soda mixture on my head, tilting my head back and using one hand as a visor to keep it out of my eyes.  Then rubbed it all over my hair, making sure to be thorough and not miss any spots.  I let it sit for a little bit, then rinsed it out, making sure it was completely rinsed out.  Next came the mug with the vinegar mixture.  Same as before, poured it over my head making sure not to get it in my eyes, let it sit for a little, then rinse thoroughly.

I was extra thorough with rubbing it all in and rinsing it all out because I had read on other mamas blogs that not doing so could result in problems.  I was also worried about the vinegar smell.  From what I read the only reason you would still smell the vinegar once your hair was dry was if you used too much or didn't rinse it all out.  I was paranoid, especially because the vinegar smelled so strong when I poured it on.  After I was done rinsing though I couldn't smell it all, even though my hair was still wet.  I was relieved.

It felt a little coarse at first, and I had little frizzies (which I had always had before.)  Once my hair was dry though it felt WONDERFUL.  It was soft and silky, smooth.  No frizzies, no greasy/oily/weighed down feeling.  I loved it.  My hair actually felt clean for the first time in awhile.  It was doing pretty good the next day too, didn't feel or look nearly as greasy as it did on the days after I used shampoo.  The day after, I was feeling kinda grungy though, and my hair definitely looked oily.  It was to be expected though, there is a transition period after you quit/reduce shampoo where your scalp is still overproducing oil before it adjusts to the new lower demand. You can either have a longer less noticeable detox by gradually spacing out washes (every day, every other day, etc) or you can get it done all at once.  I read of one woman who waited 13 days before she did another wash, some go a week.  I went two days.  First wash on friday, nothing on saturday or sunday, and did washed again monday morning.  I don't think I could handle going longer than that at this point, just waiting the two days was pushing it for me.  Once the transition is over though, it should be fine.  There were a couple pictures people had posted of their hair on the third day without a wash and it looked like they had washed it that very day.

The results today were the same as the first day, my hair was ridiculous silky and smooth, I just kept wanting to run my fingers through it and play with it.  I went out today and bought little squeeze bottles to use, instead of mugs, so hopefully that will help with application.  Not that using the mugs was difficult, just a pain to carry two mugs and a measuring cup upstairs to the bathroom with me, not to mention the worry of them being glass. 

So final conclusion after two no 'poo washes is that I love it.  We'll see how it goes and I'll try to remember to update about it.  Next experiment is The Oil Cleansing Method.  I bought the oils today, I'll let you know how it goes!


I do the oil cleansing method, and let me tell you, it's the best my skin has looked since pregnancy (I'm now 8 months postpartum.) I had such massive breakouts, I thought it was just hormones going crazy after having a baby. Plus I was breastfeeding. But I decided to just try it, and my skin has cleared up dramatically. I did it every day for about a week, and now I do it about twice a week. Between, I just let the steam from the shower open my pores, and I wipe my face with a washcloth. And every now and then I do a very light exfolliation. Hope it works for you!
Thanks! I've read a lot of positive reviews of it and I'm excited to see how it works for me!

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