So I haven’t used shampoo for a little over 3 months now and I figured I’d give a bit of an update. About 3 weeks ago I was really, really close to calling it quits. My hair had gone through transition….and then it felt like it was regressing. I wondered if some of it was giving birth to Zane and the resultant hormonal turmoil, but I just could not get rid of this waxy film that was worst along my part and along my crown. The truth is, although I had a few good hairdays after transitioning, I still didn’t feel like I had reached some super hair nirvana like all the no poo fanatics raved about. I tried water only (WO) in between wash days, using a wash cloth to help scrub, cowashing (using a silicone, sulfate, paraban free conditioner as a wash), switching to distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider for my rinse, skipping the rinse, faithfully brushing with my boar bristle brush….the buildup started getting worse! I was at the end of my rope and scouring the support group on facebook’s files they have written about no-poo and low poo.
And I finally realized the problem-hard water. 😦 The water here is so loaded with minerals that I actually can’t stomach drinking from the tap and I am usually NOT a picky water drinker. I had even mentioned to Brian before all this no poo nonsense that sometimes I felt like I could never get completely clean in the shower. Apparently, some types of hard water react badly with baking soda, and even using WO was leaving my hair coated with mineral residue instead of being clean. Well, I tried using rain water, boiled water, and water from our filtered water pitcher-but only for parts of my wash/rinse because I just couldn’t give up the niceness of standing under a hot shower. So I was still having waxy residue left in my hair.
I did an egg wash, still trying to convince myself that somehow I didn’t really need to give up my hot wash under the shower, that my hair would magically adjust and stop being all icky, and that actually halfway worked-but I did it in the shower, so still some residue. I waited a week and did the baking soda wash using room temp filtered water, left it on my head while I washed the rest of me without letting the shower water hit my hair, rinsed with more filtered water, did my DWV rinse and let that sit for a little before dumping a bucket of rainwater on my head to rinse it out. It worked beautifully! No oil, no residue, that night brushing my hair I actually had static-static! I was so excited.
I’m typing this 8 days later as my hair dries from being washed, and I can’t stop running my fingers through it, it’s so soft and smooth and silky! I think the biggest thing for me is how healthy it feels. There are no split ends, no dandruff or scalp issues, my hair is sleek and shiny (good shiny) when I pull it back, it doesn’t break as easily, it just feels really, really good.
So, takeaway from all this: it isn’t really any more convinient than using shampoo. It actually takes quite a bit of effort to figure out what works best for your hair and scalp, and there are a LOT of factors that influence the outcome. It DOES, however, work. My hair is indeed clean and pretty, and I don’t use shampoo. I’m going to continue to try and stretch my time in between washes (I’m at once every 7-8 days right now). Some people use WO and others go completely sebum only (don’t let water touch their hair) and I don’t know if I’m that brave just yet, but I am enjoying being able to not wash my hair for several days and still look presentable. And I’m also kindof enjoying the off the wall-ness of not shampooing, haha. I think I’m going to try a peppermint tea rinse around Wednesday/Thursday to see what that does. 🙂
Oh, and I haven’t shampood Cade’s hair in months. I switched to the Aveeno baby wash about a month ago and washed his head once with it (after more than a month of not using any shampoo on it) and it left his hair weird and clingy and tangly-like knock-off Barbie doll hair that been dumped in the public swimming pool. So he’s WO and is back to having soft, fluffy hair 🙂 Apparently his hair/scalp aren’t bothered by hard water. Completely not fair, haha.