Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Quit Shampooing My Hair

It's true.  I went no 'poo six months ago and haven't looked back.

Are you wondering what I do if I don't shampoo or condition?  You're probably already guessing; it's all over the internet with opinions at both ends of the spectrum.  It's either adored or detested.

Simply - I use baking soda to cleanse, and apple cider vinegar to rinse.

Here's the cast of characters:

Looks kind of like a science project, doesn't it?  That's just drama for the camera.  It's actually so simple.

I purchased two inexpensive squeeze bottles that hold 1 cup each.  Into one of them, I use a funnel to pour about 1 tablespoon of baking soda, add water to fill.

Then into the other one, I use a funnel to pour 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and add water to fill.

Voila, your cleanser and your rinse.  Notice the baking soda settling to the bottom?  That's typical - I just give the bottle a good shake before I use it.  These one cup portions give me three applications.

I wet my hair first, then squirt the baking soda/water all over my scalp and work through with my fingers.  No need to apply it all the way to the ends.  At first I really missed the lather, but it doesn't bother me any more.  Rinse it out with water, then apply the apple cider vinegar/water in the same fashion, and work through.  I leave that in for just a couple of minutes before rinsing.  I'm not sure it's necessary, but it's a habit from my conditioner days.

This is my hair after not shampooing it (and using the bs/acv method, instead)!  I've always had a funky, frizzy texture to my hair and was hoping that this new concoction would enable me to get rid of the straight iron, but no.  While I'm satisfied with my clean hair, the new method didn't fully eliminate the frizzies.  My hair is still my hair.

(This shot reveals I could have done a better job with the straight iron, but I was running late for church and knew I still wanted to snag an over-the-shoulder picture for this blog post!  Most days it appears smoother than this...  Oh well, it's what I get for hurrying.)

So... why did I make the change?  I'm trying to be purposeful in eliminating toxins from our products wherever I can; in our diet, in our household cleansers and in our personal hygiene products.

"Most commercial shampoos have ingredient lists that include chemicals that are difficult to pronounce. These man-made ingredients are slathered onto your scalp, and your children's scalps, on a regular basis. Simply because a product is on store shelves and available to purchase does not make it 100 percent safe. There are several common shampoo ingredients that are toxic in nature.


Read more: (Livestrong)

Shampoo is a harsh detergent that strips our hair of it's natural oils which our body produces to keep our hair strong, yet supple.  It's also riddled with chemicals that seep into our bloodstream through our pores when we scrub it into our scalp and let it run down our bodies.  We're being so cautious about what we eat, it only makes sense to also be aware of what we're slathering on our largest organ (our skin)!

Plus, shampoo is expensive... and the more you use, the more you need because of the unnatural byproducts that wrack havoc on the natural process. It's a vicious cycle that requires more expensive products to combat (artificially) the damage the shampoo is doing.

Enter baking soda.  The alkaline is mild and gently removes build-up from our natural oils and environmental substances (pollution).  If you try it, you may need to adjust the amount of baking soda/water ratio.  One tablespoon to one cup of water is good middle ground, but you may need a touch more if your hair is thick, or a touch less if your hair is thin.

The apple cider vinegar is a mild acidic and is a good companion to the baking soda providing your hair an appropriate PH balance.  I find that after leaving it in for a bit, if I gently run a wide tooth comb through my hair, it acts as a detangler.

If you plan to give it a try, expect an adjustment period.  Your hair is used to being stripped of it's oils, so there will likely be a period of several weeks that your hair seems more oily than usual as it adjusts to the new regime of a gentler system.  It took about  4 weeks for my hair to seem normal - but even the adjustment period, for me, wasn't unbearable.  I wore it up more often than usual during that period, but I didn't feel like I had to hide it under a hat.

The formula may take some tweaking for your hair type... a little less of the baking soda / a little more of the vinegar, or vice versa.  If you stick with it, I think you'll be pleased.

And just imagine the money you'll save!  It now costs just pennies to wash my hair!

But, the best part...  my hair would come out in [alarming] handfuls when I was giving it its chemical bath a couple of times a week.  Now, only the typical few strands are released each time I wash.  It's really astounding (and relieving), and it's been that way from the first application of this kinder-to-my-hair method (and I don't have to wash it as often).

I couldn't be happier with the no 'poo method.


Anonymous said...

I have read recently that this method is not good for you long term. The raw honey method is suppose to be better.

Mom said...

Well, I tried this method for only to shampoos and gave up! Having much shorter hair, I can't wear it "up", but perhaps, I could wear a baseball cap for the duration!! Your hair looks wonderful, and I love the color! Very natural!!

Pam O'Brien said...

Ah... I hadn't heard that, Anonymous, but I'll look into it. Do you have a link to share?

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to damage caused by no poo method

Pam O'Brien said...

Thanks for sharing the link, Anonymous. While it's been 6 months and I haven't personally experienced the poor effects that the author of the post did, it's nevertheless some good food for thought which deserves serious consideration. Being prone to the frizzies, I'm particularly intrigued by her claim that the raw honey method helps to reduce that.

Haycraft said...

I have been using the baking soda and vinegar "no poo" for about 18 months. I use far less of each than many others use and I have had stellar results, even including the elimination of eczema on my arms and legs (now we know it was from my "natural") shampoo.

I use a small amount of baking soda, about 1 teaspoon to 4 cups of water. And then I rinse with a lot of water. I don't always use the vinegar, only about once a month, but again, I use a very small amount, 1 teaspoon to 4 cups of water.

No damage, no flaking, no itching, and my hair is in the best condition ever. And, it's frugal as well as healthy as far as has been my experience.

Julie said...

A bit of coconut oil or homemade lotion after the shower really helps tame those frizzies :)

Pam O'Brien said...

Haycraft - interesting that you use so little of the BS/ACV. Maybe I'll give that a shot, too.

Julie, yet another way coconut oil is valuable (and amazing!). Thanks.

Victoria Gibson said...

I've been wanting to try this, but have extremely long hair, down to my hips. I have to use the conditioners with silicone in them because my hair tangles so easily. I try to keep it up, and it does seem to help, but when I was using ACV for a conditioner before, it didn't seem to help. Now, it might be because I was using a regular shampoo, not sure. Any suggestions (other than cutting my hair, lol)? BTW, my hair is a bit weird. I can shampoo twice a week, but it's getting oily on top by the second day and the ends are still dry and frizzy when I shampoo. It's not colored or permed either.

Anonymous said...

Victoria I haven't don't the whole b and acv but stop my and daughters hair going dry but rubbing in coconut oil and leaving overnight. Wash out next day. So soft and no tangles, I had hair your length until recently and worked great. Katie