It’s been a month since the girls and I have used shampoo to wash our hair, and this has been a great step in our less-processed lifestyle. You can read all about how our journey began here. Going “No Poo” has been a very positive experience for us. Here are some of my thoughts and observations:
It took me a couple of weeks to get through the “transition period” as my hair got used to maintaining its own natural level of sebum. The first week I used conditioner to wash styling product out of my hair (that’s called “co poo,” using conditioner to wash), and my hair felt super greasy. I won’t be doing that again!
I read about using aloe vera gel as a styling product and aloe vera juice for detangling spray/leave-in conditioner/light styling gel. I whipped up some aloe vera juice thickened with xanthan gum to use to help hold my curls naturally. It worked! My curls held through some gusty winter winds and a lot of activity.
If you’ll remember, my younger daughter started this journey with pretty dry baby hair. Her hair is growing out nicely from her last trim, and it’s so soft and manageable! With it being so dry, it was very tangly, and brushing her hair was a misery for us both because of that.
My older daughter has long, thick hair which tangles easily. She complained that the baking soda/apple cider vinegar combo wasn’t getting her tangles out, so it was very difficult to brush. I grabbed my bottle of thickened aloe vera juice, sprayed her hair and set her loose with her brush. She came back ten minutes later exclaiming, “Oh Momma! This stuff is a miracle! Look at my hair!” Her hair was smooth and shiny with no tangles; she said the spray had gotten all the tangles out. I also made up a batch of beer conditioner for her hair to help give it a little extra moisture.
After a couple of weeks of going no poo, I was distressed to notice flakes in my hair. LOTS of flakes! Ew yuck! And my scalp was beginning to itch, too. Oh dear. We simply cannot have that! In addition to that, my older daughter had flakes along her part. Back to the Facebook No Poo group and a whole bunch of handy links to determine how to take care of flakes when you’re no poo’ing. Ah-ha! Our old trusty aloe vera comes through again. A mixture of aloe vera gel and honey (2 parts aloe vera gel to 1 part honey) really hydrates the scalp. So I whipped up some really quickly and ahhh!!! My scalp felt heavenly again.
Over against all this, I have to admit that I just can’t let go of my styling mousse and hairspray, and I’d just bought a brand-spankin’ new can of hairspray before going no poo. I was prepared to use some of my artisan made liquid soap to wash the product out of my hair. After all, while soap isn’t ideal for daily use without a vinegar rinse weekly, it should be OK once in a while, right? So, imagine my excitement to discover that the aloe vera and honey combo breaks down all that styling gunk while it hydrates. Score!!! I get to use my products and have clean hair without having to use soap. Triple win!!!
I’d learned in the FB group I’m in that you can use any acid (within reason) for the rinse, not just vinegar. Coffee and tea are both acids. I didn’t know that. I really wanted to try a coffee rinse with some leftover coffee… Wait. “Leftover coffee”? What’s that? Most of my friends, colleagues and family have no concept of “leftover coffee”; they drink every last drop. Anyway, I discovered about 4 ounces of leftover coffee, so it went up to the shower with me on Tuesday. Best. Rinse. Ever! I did smell a little bit like coffee, but no one here minded.
I’ve learned what “plopping” is. When my mom and I go on our next trip together, she’s going to be looking at me sooo strangely!
That’s my hair after a month of no poo. These are my experiences of it:
- My hair has grown faster than usual.
- I commented to my husband that my hair was curlier and softer than it’d been, and I mentioned the aloe/honey mixture. He said, “No wonder your hair’s been looking happier lately.” I have happy hair! Woohoo!
- My hair is curlier than it usually is this time of year. It’s generally fairly straight during the dry winter months.
- After my last trim, my hair was lank and straight, much like my Grandma’s had been, which was not the look I wanted, especially not at this age. Now it has new bounce and body.
- Of course, I use artisan soap every time I bathe, and this time of year, I expect my skin to be a little drier because of it. (Real soap contains glycerin, which draws moisture to itself. When it’s humid, it draws it from the air; when it’s dry, it takes it from my skin.) The sulfates which are in commercial shampoos dry hair out. I’ve noticed that, as I’ve gone without those sulfates in my hair care regimen, my skin isn’t nearly as dry as it usually is. That makes me wonder if the shampoo was drying my skin as I rinsed?
- My hair has so much bounce and body that it’s been looking cute and styled even when I don’t do anything with it. Another win!
It’s times like this, I think I’m a hippy in the making, but I absolutely refuse to give up my razors! Does going No Poo sound like something you’d dare to try?