Saturday, April 26, 2014

The No Poo Project

One of the reasons why I chopped all my hair off five years ago was: the frizz.  It was fuzzy enough as its natural, wavy self.  When I started colouring it regularly in my early 30's, it turned into a hopeless shrubbery.  So, now that I'm growing it long again, I'm determined not to go down the same road.  I have no desire for my head to look like the business end of a toilet brush.

For starters, I'm not colouring my hair anymore.  I have decided to embrace the grey streak in my bangs.  My sister even told me that it suits me, and I didn't pay her to say that, so I feel pretty good about it.

My stylist advised me to wash my hair less frequently.  He said "I know some people who never wash their hair."  Ew, gross.  Well, maybe it works for people who were freakishly born with no sweat or oil glands on their scalp, but it's not for me.  One of my least favourite smells in the world is the reek of rancid hair oil.  Dis-gusting.  That must be avoided at all costs.

I started shampooing less frequently.  If it wasn't a shampoo day, it was a conditioner day.  I would rinse my hair and then condition it, to counteract any potential stinkyness.  I thought that I was simply moisturizing my hair.  In fact, I was unwittingly building up layers of silicone.  Because I use cheap conditioner.  Oops.  So, that didn't work out very well.  My head didn't smell bad, but it felt caked in buildup.  Yucko.

I wised up and decided to do some research.  There's a lot of material online dedicated to "going 'poo-free".  Honestly, I'm glad that Google is a smart search engine, because it never would have occurred to me to include "no poo" in my search string.  That seems much more likely to bring up results involving prunes and Ex-Lax.  Live and learn.

I followed the advice in this article which describes how to make your own "shampoo" and "conditioner" using only baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water.  I didn't have high expectations.  But huzzah - it worked!  I am amazed!  As suggested, I am doing the natural wash thing twice per week.  The process leaves my hair a little frizzy, so I jumped on another natural health bandwagon and bought a jar of coconut oil at the supermarket.  Just a tiny rub of the stuff is all it takes to smooth me right down.  And I don't smell like a piña colada either.

So far so good.  I think I have a winner hair system happening now.  More time will tell.  And if worst comes to worst, I can just chop it all off again.


DarcKnyt said...

We love coconut oil around here. It's an amazing material, very similar to your body's own medium-chain triglyceride cell membranes, so it makes terrific skin moisturizer. It's got wonderful anti-bacterial properties and is just all 'round pretty wonderful.

Welcome to the craze. :)

Jenski said...

So funny you posted this! Someone I know from high school recently made the same switch. It sounded like it took a week or so for her hair to adjust, but that it works great. After I finish my expensive shampoo and conditioner, maybe I'll make the switch too...

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I don't use any soap at all. As an added bonus the layers of greasy residue on my skin repels mosquitoes and small mammals.

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: Anti-bacterial too? I think I'm in love.

Jenski: Aha, it appears that I'm not too old to participate in a trend. You should try it, for sure. As an added bonus, it's dirt cheap.

Ron: So, by "small" you mean anything under 400 lb, right?

Granny Annie said...

As you and others know, I am a bald headed woman. Somehow you have just caused me to feel a lot better about it:) It is so easy just to pop on my wig of choice each day.

Vanessa T said...

Oooh, you wen't no-'poo! I've been wanting to try it for a long time but I'm a bit scared to. I've read that there is a transition period that's kind of yucky. Here I've been using coconut oil for pretty much everything skin related (it's like a miracle!) and even making skin balm out of lard, but the no-'poo scares me. But you inspire me, Spark. I just might brave it soon.

Coconut oil is anti-viral too! Dab it on pimples, cold sores, use it to remove make-up, the list is endless. I'm a huge fan. :) If you melt it, you can add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and then pop it in the fridge for an hour, and have a lovely scented version, too. And the essential oils are healing as well.

Now that you're "streakin'," I bet it's cute on you. :) I'm sure your sister is right. :)

Lynn said...

I wondered what the "no poo" in the title was going to turn out to be. :) I wash my hair every other day - seems to go OK, but will definitely check that article out.

Sparkling Red said...

Granny Annie: My step-grandmother felt the same way about teeth. She'd had a full set of false teeth since she was in her 20's, and she thought everyone should do the same. Why bother with all the flossing and brushing when you can just pop them out and soak them overnight?

Vanessa: The transition period was a bit of a learning curve, but you're still in control. If it starts to get gross you can just do another baking soda wash a little before schedule. Trust me, the baking soda and water mix works like a charm.

Lynn: I can see myself getting evangelical for the cause. Let me know if I can count you among my converts. ;-)

LL Cool Joe said...

I only wash my hair once a week with a boring shampoo and don't use conditioner. As you know there isn't any part of it that is natural anymore ( a bit like me) but because most of it is shaved off I could almost get away with using washing up liquid on it. :D