Friday, June 11, 2010

No Poo for Me!

Shhhh, I've been keeping a secret for a while, that very few people know about, but I'm about to let EVERYONE know.

I'm coming up on my one year No Poo-iversary.

That may sound quite painful and uncomfortable to some of you, but really, No Poo has nothing to do with bowels. Clearly, it needs a new name, but No Poo is basically abandoning shampoo and conditioner, for others methods of cleaning. There are many ways to go No Poo, but the most common involves ingredients of baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

The Beginning
I first heard about this phenomenom when I was 19 years old. It wasn't called No Poo then; it was simply called Stop Washing Your Hair with Harsh Chemicals and Your Hair Will Self-Cleanse. Someone had told me that if you stop washing your hair with shampoo, and only use water, your hair will naturally start a self-cleansing process, after an arguous "finding it's identity" process. Little hippie me wanted to try this, but I started falling in love with this man named Dallas, and that took precedent in my life. I forgot about everything else. :)

I've never been a big hair washer, usually washing every two days, sometimes I could stretch it to three, but could only stay home because of greasiness. I can't clearly remember when the NO Poo idea starting seriously entering my head again, and I don't know what took me so long to decide to do it, because after one year, I couldn't be more pleased with the results!

How It Works

The idea with No Poo is that your hair detoxes from the abuse of shampoo and conditioner, then learns to function mostly on it's own. If you think your hair will be a greasy mess if you went No Poo, you couldn't be more wrong. Shampoo strips your hair of it's natural oils, and therefore, our bodies naturally produce more oil to meet the loss. That is how you get greasy hair. When you stop stripping the natural oils out, your body slows way down on oil production.

My Story

My hair went through a small transition stage, where it tested me, and a couple times I would want to grab the shampoo bottle so bad, but I persevered. The first three weeks were the hardest, but looking back I washed too often and didn't trust that in time, my hair would not only adapt, but become fuller, less greasy and more manageable than ever.

I now wash about one time a week. If I workout or get sweaty, if it's too early for my regular washing, I will quite often just wash my hair with plain water, and it works.

I know, you don't believe me that washing your hair with plain water can be sufficient, but with the No Poo method, it really is sufficient. Again, if you strip your scalp of it's natural oils, it will be quick to replenish those oils, leaving you greasy in a short time.

How To

First, I mix 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water and gently massage it into my scalp. I sometimes will let it sit for a minute or two, then rinse.

For my "conditioner", I mix 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 cup of water.  Add a drop or two of Young Living ylang ylang essential oil, which has NOTHING on the scent of Herbal Essence shampoo and it will help mask the vinegar scent.  I dump it on my head, but I normally keep it away from my roots. I'm not sure why. Just a habit, I guess. I maybe will let that sit for a minute or two, then rinse.

About every other wash, I put a natural conditioner on the tips, and then rinse that out. And I'm done. I started by using apple cider vinegar, but switched to regular vinegar with the same results.

If you think the vinegar will make your hair smell - wrong. Come smell mine, it doesn't smell like vinegar ever.  Believe me, I asked my husband this question a million times over!   Again, make a spray of Ylang Ylang essential oil with some water and spritz that in your hair if you want a good smell.  I also stopped using all styling products as my hair gained a lot more body and I felt like gels were weighting it down. I do use gel, mousse or hairspray for special occasions though.

There you have it. My secret is out. Can you see why I didn't want to go blabbing this experiment to the world one year ago?  I feel very confident with my hair now, and don't feel like there is anything to be embarrassed of. I'm saving time, money, decreasing the amount of chemicals I come in contact with, and helping the environment, all while staying clean and having nicer hair than I had before!

Win win.

No Poo hair. Not the best picture, as my dark hair next to  my highlights make it look greasy....but it's not!

MSNBC article on the growing No Poo movement.
A mom tells her No Poo story.
No Poo Basics - While I disagree with her baking soda paste recommendation, she has a basic, brief overview of the chemicals in shampoo and conditioner and the dangers of them that's very easy to understand.

I'm no expert in this, but feel free to ask questions! :)

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