I had been bathing my scalp in shampoo and conditioner while trying to remove all other chemicals, and that's uh, the closest skin to my brain.
I researched and saw all these people talking about a "no poo" method. Sounds crazy, right?
It might be, but I haven't shampooed my hair in almost a year.
Now before you start scooting a few seats away from me on the bus, your not just removing a chemical dependency but replacing it with something natural to wean yourself off of over cleansing completely.
People have been cleaning themselves for a lot longer than shampoo has even existed, did they smell great, I don't know, If I had a time machine I'd likely go back and tell myself not to waste my money on Ghost Rider (Don't even stop to watch this movie if its playing at walmart in the electronic section) rather than sniff random people but I can say with the wonderful advancements of showers and hot water we don't have to worry about smelling like a farmer from the 1860's.
I spent most of my life with thin, frizzy, unmanageable hair that used to bring me near tears when trying to get ready for dates or any social life whatsoever.
I have struggled and struggled and now, giving up all the costly hair care products that the beautiful air-brushed botox babes tell us we NEED, now my hair is silky, smooth, easy to brush, lays well, curls naturally loose and softly, straightens easily and just makes me want to slap the $23 bottle of shampoo out of your hands before you waste the two hours you spent working to buy it.
I cannot praise this method enough, "no poo" has literally changed how I feel about my hair, and its saving me money and time, now here's the thing that's really going to shock you...
I don't have to "no poo" my hair every day, or every other day, or every three days.
I can go up to two weeks without washing my hair and it smells clean, looks soft and smooth and usually at the end of the two weeks my hair has just started to get a little greasy so I'm uncomfortable with it (I cannot stand feeling greasy/dirty) and I have to deep cleanse my scalp with two ingredients.
That is all I use to clean my hair. Period.
I would never have believed caring for my hair could be so easy, so not frustrating, so cheap and make me feel so much better about myself by doing LESS for my hair than ever.
There is a catch, there is something called a break in period.
I used to wash my hair every other day, I had to, my hair was an oil slick, it was disgusting.
If I went more than three days it smelled like body odor and felt like a dirty frying pan under my fingers.
The break in period for me, and I hair fine naturally curly hair that is very long, just above my behind, took three months.
That's three months of greasy uncomfortable hair, three months of feeling self-conscious and knowing that if I gave in and scrubbed the natural oils out of my hair again I'd be back to square one.
I held out and it worked flawlessly.
So here's the deal, our bodies produce natural oil for a reason, its healthy and if left alone and mildly cleansed naturally we'll be less sick, less uncomfortable, less stressed and having more time and more money to boot.
The reason we are in the infinite loop is because once you strip those natural oils away your body goes into over-protect mode and doubles or triples oil production to keep bad bacteria at bay.
We are handing over our pay-checks, hours of our life to be stuck in an endless cycle of harming our bodies and wondering why we don't get the desired results.
Using these products are like using paint thinner, its very damaging and then we wonder why we have brittle, breaking, split ended hair.
Now that my little rant is over, here is the deal, step by step
Buy a box of baking soda (if you don't already have one laying around)
Get a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
I use 2 cups of very warm water out of the tap and about three tablespoons of baking soda (I eye-ball it) mix with your fingers until you get a chalking looking water. Put your head under the shower, rinse well then shut the water off, then slowly pour the mix over your head with one hand while massaging your scalp all over with the other, I do this upside down because baking soda burns your eyes. Rub your scalp with your finger tips like your doing a deep tissue massage, but don't bother to work the mix into the rest of your hair, you don't need to, the scalp is what needs scrubbing, the hair will get the baking soda water as it rinses over the strands and the extra unwanted oil and dirt will be removed, the healthy shining needed oil will stay in place, condition the hair and leave it better than before.
After your deep scrub (really massage your head, your not going to do this every day after all) rinse well. REALLY well. You don't want the baking soda in your hair when you go to rinse with vinegar, remember your volcano in middle school science? Now same as with the baking soda, add to very warm water (the ACV is cold so you'll want the water almost full hot) then add one part ACV to one part water.
Pour over your head massaging in a little more smoothly than you scrubbed with the baking soda.
I let this soak in a while, 5 mins maybe? Then I only rinse the crown letting the ACV stay on the ends to smooth an condition. Then I'm done.
You don't need anything else, no straightener, no hair dryer no leave in goop your paid too much for.
Now can you do these things? Sure, I've straightened my hair out of boredom, and guess what, because I don't have to wash my hair all the time, my hair stays straight, even in high humidity.
I bet that sounds crazy to anyone who deals with hair like mine, I used to have a frizz ball on my head at the mere idea of rain, now, natural oils protect it so well nothing seems to bother it.
Its not for everyone, as is with anything but, here are a few friendly helpful tips that will keep you from no poo fail.
DO NOT try this like its shampoo, washing your hair once a day, every other day or even every three days with baking soda and vinegar. That's crazy, the whole point is to let your natural oils come back in, it drives me nuts when I read comments saying, "My hair felt like straw after my third wash in three days!!" Well, yeah, your NOT supposed to wash your hair with any method that often, it makes no sense to have to either. This is supposed to be liberating! Can you imagine a two week blow out or curl or straightened style? No joke, two weeks of your hair looking just like when you last styled it? Think of the damage reduction your strands will gain! That alone will add glossy healthy shine!
DO wash once a week in the beginning, pick a time of year you won't be going to anything where you have to look like a model, choose a spring or summer with ponytails or updos are needed because its hot anyway.
DO NOT expect perfect hair overnight. Imagine a few weeks with pretty dry or oily hair, then imagine every day it gets a little better, softer, thicker, healthier. That is what happens, it will not be photo shoot ready in a few days.
DO use a dry shampoo to make it to no poo day whatever day that may be you've chosen during the week, please make it yourself! Its so easy, dry shampoo can be cornstarch or arrow root, blended with coco and cinnamon or brunettes and ravens, left alone or with some turmeric or even some chamomile for blondes.
For this method I usually dip my fingers in the dry shampoo and rub it into my roots vigorously, I do this liberally and then shake my head like I'm at a concert.
Get every inch of your scalp, and leave it go for a while if your dealing with oily hair then either blow dry (on cool) out the mix or just shake and brush.
The volume this gives hair is awesome, like a date night blow-out I'm pretty in love with my dry shampoo.
This method not only saves me huge-
Fancy shampoo - $8/$20
Baking soda - .50(small box lasts about three/four months)
Fancy conditioner - $8/$20
Apple cider Vinegar -$5 (big jug has lasted me a year)
Leave in conditioner - $5/$10
Curling gel - $3/$8
Mousse - $3/$8
Also I only have to color (henna but I'll get to that in another post) my hair once every 5 to 7 months now. And I only have to do my roots :)
-But this will also give your healthier hair, a healthier scalp and skin all over.
The amount of junk found in our skin these days is scary, because the beauty industry acts as its own police they are not held to a high health standard. These products are labeled as inedible, so the ingredients are much more toxic than the normal toxins we eat in prepackaged foods, yet smearing toxins on our skin doesn't mean that we don't absorb them, we all know what our bodies biggest organ is right? And our skin can only take so much, that's why we need to hold ourselves accountable first before we assume big biz will change. They won't, but we can.
Every time you buy shampoo that burns the natural pro-biotic protective oils off, you are voting.
You're telling them we'll let them keep dumping cheap waste on us, and we'll keep working our tails off to pay for it.
Every person who switched to this or a hundred other methods that work WITH our bodies instead of AGAINST them, we're forcing change in the most gentle and simple way.
Even if you don't try this method, try something that is kinder to yourself, try something that works with your skin, hair, organs.
You won't regret it, after all, we only get 100 years right?
I now only have to wash my hair once a month and dry shampoo once maybe twice in between.
My hair does not smell.
My hair does not feel greasy.
Its still the best its ever been hands down.
I've read a few comments about how damaging this can be to hair, which makes little sense whilst using five different products and styling with heat every other day, which sounds more damaging?
Yet, I have thought that it may me detrimental to use this method too much (because of potential stripping the same way over use of shampoo does) so I'll restate what I posted above.
DO NOT us this or any other method more than once a week.
You really shouldn't be shampooing your hair more than once a week either, I know you'll say, "It so gross if I don't!" it does because its like pus coming out of a scab you won't leave alone, the more you pick, the more scarred and infected it becomes, needed more help to heal than a typical wound.
If we didn't over clean our bodies, they wouldn't reek or become oil slicks after one day.
This only started because smart business men and women know how to market their products.
And we buy in big time don't we?
I'm sure no one ever found a date, a job, a home, a partner and had children successfully without crest whitening strips right? If you hadn't been wearing that Gucci purse when you met your soulmate I'm sure he would have kept walking...
Sooo, before you plunk down a weeks worth of your hours away from your family for something that'll collect dust in your closet soon, just take a look at what your great-grandparents lived on and ask yourself, "Do I need this? Or am I being told I do?"
I recently say this quote being passed around and I like it so much I have to alter it to be complete.
If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. – Dr. Gail DinesWhat about, "If tomorrow humans woke up and decided they really liked themselves, just think about how much pain, stress, suffering, anger and incompleteness would fade away."
Or even better, "If tomorrow mankind awoke understanding that completeness could be found within, what could we do without?" The possibilities are endless.