Embrace the Dirty Hippie

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Ok, ok, it’s mean to keep referring to hippies as dirty, but in this case I feel like it’s a propos. For the past 5 weeks I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in my hair. See? Dirty hippie kindof applies. For those of you unfamiliar with the “No Poo” method, here are a few links that provide different perspectives on the shampoo free bandwagon.

http://www.nopoomethod.com/

http://www.elle.com/news/beauty-makeup/shampoo-free-no-poo-method

http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/treehugger-town-country-no-shampoo-experiment.html

There are a myriad of reasons for not shampooing your hair, from conspiracy theories about the shampoo industries to avoiding products that use animal testing to saving the environment from harsh chemicals to wanting healthier hair. I attempted it for two reasons:

One: If it DID work, it would be really convinient. If I could get to the wash with baking soda/vinager once a week or less with my hair still looking great in between AND be good for my hair and scalp, well, with soon to be two little boys that sounds like a GREAT idea.

Two: I was curious. This was actually probably the driving motivation. I’d always wondered how people cleaned their hair before shampoo and conditioner came on the scene, and this was an experiment I could do with minimal side effects to keep me occupied during the last months of pregnancy.

Ok, and it’s cheaper, too. I went through a lot of shampoo and conditioner and Brian and I are trying to maintain a budget. Honestly, I saw the cheap factor as a perk, though, it wouldn’t’ve been enough without me being curious in the first place.

Without further ado, here’s my experience with the “No Poo Project.” I’ll try to keep it brief.

What I Did

First week I used the Baking Soda mixture twice, rinsing my hair with just water in between. Second week I continued with the Baking Soda but added the Apple Cider Vinegar halfway through the week and I think I actually washed 3 times (I was desperate, as I’ll explain below). Third week I definitely washed three times and I tweaked my baking soda to water ratio. Fourth week I washed twice, and I actually skipped rinsing my hair with even water at least once (so I completely didn’t wash it for 48 hours). Now I’m in week 5 and I’ve washed once with BS and ACV and rinsed the rest of the time with just water as needed.

What Happened to my Hair.

It was pretty darn disgusting, to put it mildly. My hair went through this weird cottony/straw texture at one point during the first week, and was so greasy I could literally mold it during the second week. Blech! I almost called it quits, it was so gross. BUT, I had done my research and was aware the transition could take up to 6 weeks so I perservered. By week three I noticed improvement, especially in the bottom layers of my hair, but because the top and back of my head was so greasy still I bemoaned the fact that it was probably going to take the full 6 weeks. I wondered if all the testamonials about how “manageable” people’s hair was after quitting shampoo was because the residual grease acted like a mousse and hairspray all in one. By week four, however, the grease was barely noticable. Brushing my hair I could tell it wasn’t quite back to what I was used to with shampoo, but it was for the most part back to being soft and non-slimey. Now in week five, I can’t tell the difference between how clean my hair feels now and how it felt with shampoo.

Will I Continue?

I see no reason not to. Since I’m preggo, my hair is really thick and it feels different from my non pregnant hair, so I want to wait till after I go through the shedding period post partum before I decide whether to return to shampoo. Also, it is nice not worrying about my hair looking like a grease bomb if I miss a shower here and there, because life with a newborn means you miss showers regularily.

Tips

Rinsing with hard water (which we have) actually made my hair feel worse when I did it frequently (twice or more a day). Because of the hard water, I also upped the amount of baking soda. AND, with the baking soda solution, it seemed to work a lot better when I made sure I massaged my scalp REALLY well.  ACV works well for getting rid of tangles, but they say to only soak your ends and not let it get on your scalp. Well, then I ended up with tangles up high. So I dipped the ends of my hair in the ACV solution, let it stay in while I finished washing the rest of me, and then when I went to rinse my hair I poured the remaining solution over my head immediately before rinsing it out. This got rid of the tangles without letting the ACV sit on my scalp and do whatever horrible things ACV supposedly does when it touches your scalp. Also, clean your brushes/combs. Especially during weeks two and three, the visual icky buildup on my brush bristles was substantial. I think after a few more months of this, if I’m still doing it, I’m just going to get new brushes entirely.

 

Ta da! No shampoo for over a month and my hair looks and feels fine. 🙂

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