Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My 'no poo experience

For those who aren't way super green, going " no-poo" is referring to no longer using commercial shampoo's on your hair. It is a transition from shampoo to no-poo, using a paste of baking soda on your scalp and hair, then rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar, let sit, then rinse.

Going no-poo (or "no shampoo") takes a few weeks before your scalp stabilizes. Commercial shampoos strip the hair and scalp of natural oils and dirt, which causes your scalp to over-produce it in an effort to keep hydrated and covered. When you go no-poo, most people have a few weeks of very oily hair (due to overproduction of oil) and it takes a while for the scalp to adjust. Once the scalp HAS adjusted, there is less need of washing as frequently, hair may become curlier and more manageable. Plus, it is less harmful to the environment and water supply.

I went no-poo last August. I have chronically dry scalp and hair, so I have always drawn out the time I wash my hair, going two to three days between washings. I avoid nearly all hair products (I will use a little gel from time to time, but not regularly), and do not use any hair tools like dryers, curling irons or flat irons. Trust me, it isn't an economic issue, it is a laziness issue. I'd rather read a book or work on an art project than mess with my hair.

So, started the no-poo in August. I never went through the oily phase. Just never did. (For those wanting to try no-poo, the recommendation is baseball caps and ponytails. Don't fall off the wagon and wash your hair with shampoo, it will only make this stage longer.) I followed the instructions, and cleaned my hair with baking soda (BS) and apple cider vinegar (ASV) three times a week.

Result? My hair always smelled funny. For the first day after washing, I always smelled faintly of vinegar. And I RINSED my hair really good! Also, my hair had some weird film on it. I adjusted the amounts of BS and ASV, tried some coconut oil to condition it, tried waiting it out. Still felt filmy and very blech.

I wasn't a fan of how long the process took. Normally, I wash my hair when I bathe, and this process wasn't conducive to doing while bathing. So, washing my hair became separate from it, creating another step in my hygiene process (I know, big deal, whoop-de-do, but remember....I refuse to own a curling iron or blow dryer because it wastes my time.)

I tried it and stuck with it for over three months, through most of the fall. This is a large enough time to judge whether or not something fits into my lifestyle, and this particular way of cleaning my hair didn't fall into that.

The positives are, I now know a good alternative for washing my hair. If the worlds supply of shampoo suddenly disappeared overnight, I could survive! I like knowing that I have a method of taking care of myself that doesn't rely on big business, and that is less expensive.

I would encourage anyone wanting to try going no-poo to give it a whirl. Definitely stick with it for at least a month or longer to get a good idea if it is working or not. Some people love being no-poo, and good for them! It just wasn't the best choice for me.

Leave any comments on how no-poo worked for you!

1 comment:

  1. Wanted to let you all know. I also tried the no-poo. Still use it but changed it a bit. I put my baking soda in an old peanut butter jar, about 1/3 full then fill up with water. After wetting my hair I give the jar a shake to mix well and then fill the lid and dump on top of my head I usually dump once on the front and once on the back. Rub it all in good and then rince. As for the vinager and water that I do too. I use an old conditioner bottle 1/3 vinager and the rest water I do only condition the from base of neck down. But most times I rinse almost as soon as it is on. Just me but I usually shampoo last. It does seem to work for me and I've only heard once the vinager smell. Hope this helps someone.