It’s been just over a month since I stopped shampooing my hair. Yeah yeah everyone say ewwww. Okay got that out of the way? Now on a more serious note I have to say I am really getting used to it, that is once you get your hair type figured out, and then it’s a great thing. It’s called the “No-‘Poo” method and you use baking soda to wash and apple cider vinegar to rinse. No harmful chemicals, no expensive shampoos and conditioners, and eventually less washing of your hair, really a win-win situation.
The first two weeks I stopped shampooing I was still using a spray-on conditioner but now I have stopped using that so no chemicals at all now. The first few times I no-poo’ed I was just willy-nilly dumping a handful of dry baking soda in my hair and rubbing it all over, leaving it on for 5 or so minutes, and then rinsing. This is bad, really bad… well for me anyway because I have dry hair and it was drying it up faster than walking in a desert. Now I put one tablespoon of baking soda in a small tub (really it’s an old Philadelphia spreadable cream cheese container but who cares when it’s in your shower) add enough water to fill, and stir it up. Pour this over your head and let it sit for about a minute, then rinse. For my conditioner I have an old spray bottle of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water and when I get out of the shower I towel dry my hair. I then spray the vinegar/water mixture and leave it on. Yes it smells vinegary but when it dries you smell nothing, really! Although if you go for a walk in the rain the smell will come back until your hair is dry again.
So far it’s been working for me, and working well. Many people go through a transition stage and you might get really oily hair but it will calm down and regulate because you have stopped stripping out the natural oils that shampooing does. For some people this could take from a few weeks to a month or more, everyone is different. My daughter Sydney is currently doing this and her hair was quite oily for the first couple of weeks but is starting to level out now. My oldest daughter Dallas has just started and is adjusting things already. The longer you can go without washing (with baking soda and vinegar) your hair the shorter the transition stage, you can still wet it just try to stretch out the time between the no-‘poos.
We shampoo because our hair gets oily and we strip out the natural oils when we shampoo. Our body then over compensates and produces tons of oil making our hair oily and we shampoo again, and strip out the oils again... well you get the picture. I’m no expert but for years I thought I had oily hair, for years I always bought products for oily hair, little did I know until the first week of trying the no-‘poo method I had dry hair! In fact my hair was so dry I had to reduce the amount of baking soda and leave the vinegar in. I also did a deep conditioning treatment consisting of coconut oil, shea butter, and a touch of honey, I let that sit for a few hours and then did the no-poo method. My hair is much softer, less fly-away, and feels wonderful but it is a little greasy on the ends because I put on way too much of my homemade deep conditioner, next time a little less but lesson learned. If I see my hair drying out again I’ll rub in some coconut oil but very very little and stick to once a month or so for the deep conditioning.
Dry hair: take it easy on the baking soda and use lots of vinegar and don’t rinse it out, try a homemade deep conditioner or simply rub (very sparingly!) coconut oil into your hair.
Oily hair; use more baking soda and less vinegar, you can rinse the vinegar out in the shower instead of leaving it on, and try putting it on only the ends of your hair and not all over your whole head.
It’s all trial and error depending on your water, your climate, your hair type, but you will figure it out eventually, don’t give up! Not only are you using less chemicals but you will find you can go quite a few days without washing your hair and it will still look great.
For helpful advice just google no-poo hair or check out these links:
If you need a green hair gel after you've no-'poo'ed you could try this Flax Seed Hair Gel recipe: http://www.ashleysgreenlife.blogspot.ca/2012/12/how-to-make-flax-seed-hair-gel-video.html