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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


My No 'Poo Experiment

A couple of months ago, I started hearing and reading about no-poo adherents; people who don't use shampoo to wash their hair. I'm not sure where exactly I started seeing this (someone's blog, I'm sure), but I've decided to see if no 'poo will work for me.

I've always had long, straight, hair, fairly fine, but lots of it, and I've never been much for primping, so most of the time, I have it back in a ponytail and up in a clip. This is because when I wear my hair down, I look like I've got a bad case of helmet head - my hair just clings to my scalp and lays there, clean and shiny and limp.

I've used cheap shampoo and expensive shampoo, and I've got to tell you, I've never noticed enough of a difference in my own hair to make ANY shampoo worth $26.00 for a 16 oz bottle.

What I'm wondering, though, is if ditching shampoo altogether might give me different results.

For now, I'm mixing about two teaspoons of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste, enthusiastically rubbing it into my head (scalp only), and then letting it sit for a slow count of thirty. A good rinse to remove the baking soda, and then I pour a mixture of 3 parts apple cider vinegar, seven parts water over my hair, everywhere but the scalp, wait about a minute, then rinse.

I started last week, and I had a bit of a rough start - the first time, I rinsed with straight apple cider vinegar, which did NOT rinse out well. It worked very effectively as a cat-repellent, though, so I may just do it again when I need a good night's sleep. So far, I'm really surprised that the vinegar rinse works as well as it does to detangle my hair. REALLY surprised, since my hair tangles fairly easily, and is normally kind of a pain to work with.

The first little while is supposed to have a pretty high "ick" factor, and yes, my hair is very icky right now, after one week. It's heavy and limp, and feels like greasy straw. It also smells vaguely like salad dressing (my last rinse was still 50% vinegar, 50% water - my mistake), which is making me hungry.

On the other hand, it looks very shiny and very thick, and has a very slight wave to it. A lot of people claim that their normally straight hair regains a natural wave after a while on no 'poo, which would be pretty exciting for me, personally, since I've never actually HAD wavy hair.

Apparently there are a couple of ways to do it; one is to stop shampooing, cold turkey, which is what I've done. Since your scalp is used to having to produce a LOT of oil to keep up with the speed at which you strip it out with shampoo, when you cut out the shampoo, your scalp just goes along, merrily producing excess oil for awhile, until it realizes the extra isn't needed.

The other, and probably more sensible route, is to start by watering down your shampoo a bit each time you wash, until what's left in your shampoo bottle is pretty much nothing but water. It takes more time, but it seems to me that your scalp would handle the change a little better if it were a gradual change.

Since I went with the hard way, I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. If it works, I'll post before and after pictures. If it doesn't, I'll let you know!



for this post

Blogger Marjie Says:

From someone with stick straight hair that won't grow long enough, and doesn't curl much even with a perm, I'll be interested to see your results. BTW, I've never been able to shampoo more than twice a week, because if I do, I actually create dandruff due to dry skin!

Blogger Deirdre Says:

Interesting post. I have long hair and I've been getting concerned about that lack of oil at the ends, so I've stopped shampooing every day but conditioning and using hair wax every day.

It'll be interesting to see your befores and afters.

Blogger Sara Says:

Wow, I never heard of that. Definately let me know if it works since my hair is straight and fine! Sounds just like yours - helmet head and everything! I have never used high end shampoos since I don't seem to get different results either! I hope it works and I may have to try it if it does!

Blogger Juliet Says:

I have coarse, thick, and frizzy hair and I live on the coast. The humidity sometimes expands my hair into a mini-afro. A hairdresser suggested I wash my hair with shampoo every 3-4 days and use conditioner the other days. Since I've been using 'poo about twice a week, my hair has not been frizzy. It still gets fluffy afterwards, but a putting it in a ponytail calms it down. But more importantly, my hair has been shiny, which it hasn't been since I was 6.

I've been lucky... my sister and brother-in-law own a cosmetics company and I have not had to buy any hair products in years.

Blogger cidell Says:

I rarely shampoo, and when I do it's with Dove or Suave. But, I do pre-poo. Now, I have to go back to your updated post and see the results!


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