August 2, 2011

The No-Poo Adventure!

Alright, let's do this. Let's talk about my no-poo hair!

Guys, or anyone else not interesting for that matter, jump here and click the 'random' button at the top and enjoy this little break. 

For everyone else interesting in my no-poo experience thus far, then stick tight. 'Cause here goes!

Anyone unfamiliar with the whole no-poo phenomenon (can I call it that??), here is a super duper short run down. Basically, you stop and/or cut down on using shampoo. Harsh  shampoos can strip your hair of natural oils, and create a cycle of shampoo - no oil in hair - scalp produces more oil to compensate - get 'greasier' faster - shampoo more. Rinse and repeat, no?!

One extra bad 'culprit' in shampoos is sulfates. They are the ones doing all the lathering in your soaps. Had to google why they are so bad, and long story short Sodium Lauryl Sulfates, along with other really long-winded Sulfates, can be bad for your skin and scalp, contain carcinogens, and can dry out your hair. 

Bad, bad sulfates! (source)

Now, to be clear, this was not why I decided to try no-poo. I jumped into this craze because I am bored and needed something to keep me busy while I wait to go to Finland for the year. :)

That, and I wanted to see if it actually did what it claims to do. I wanted that soft, shiny, maintanable hair without having to wash it every, danged day!

To introduce my hair, I have long, thin (cough, cough) somewhat highlighted blond hair. It dries straight on its own, but can easily hold waves and curls. So I can't speak for everyone on this method, but I know there are a few of you out there that are my hair twin.

So here is how I started. Since living in Europe, I had already discovered this wonderful product called 'dry shampoo'. Oh how I love it!! And there are of course bad and better brands/types to choose from. I really liked this one spray in kind, until I read that the FIRST ingredient was BUTANE! No joke. After that, I chose to stick to my first love, Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo. 

Great at cleaning hair, not great at starting fires...(source)

I pick this up at Sephora (sells for under $20, I believe). Not only does it work wonders, but it strays away from using harsh chemicals and it lasts forever! Seriously, have had one of these bottles for over a year now and it is still going. Just 'squirt' a little of the powder into your hands and rub your hands on your 'grease' sections and roots. 

Wait, really getting a head of myself. 

Back to the program.

So I had already weaned off of shampooing everyday for sometime. I am sure this helped to reduce the dreaded 'grease' stage. That first part of the cycle in which your hair is confused and produces more oil than normal because it thinks you should be shampooing everyday. Smart hair, very smart. 
For the last two and a bit weeks, I have only been 'shampooing' with baking soda and 'rinsing' with apple cider vinegar (ACV). 

Before I get in the shower I add about a tablespoon of baking soda in a large plastic cup. I also  have been making sure to brush my hair very good before I get in the shower. From crown to the ends. Not only will that distribute the oils, but it will get out any tangles and make the 'rinse' stage much easier.

Then, I jump in the shower and wet my hair and add almost a cup full of water to the baking soda (at least 2 cups of water). You want this diluted, because too much baking soda can dry out your hair. I pour a bit on the top, rub it into my roots. Then the same on my sides and crown. Then I flip my hair over and pour the rest on the bottom side of my head. You really want to concentrate this on your scalp, not the ends of your hair. Your roots are what need cleaning!

Just keep those two apart, or you could have a very bad 3rd grade science experiement on your hands! (source)

 I make sure I rub it in real good, give my self a head massage while I am at it, and then rinse it all out very thoroughly. 

Then, I have been keeping a small bottle of apple cider vinegar in the shower with me, and I pour less than a cap full into the same cup (maybe a teaspoon?), and dilute it until I can barely, barely smell the vinegar. ACV can be very harsh on your hair if used alone, so you want this mostly water. I turn the water to cold, and slowly pour the ACV mixture over my hair and rinse with the running cold water. Trust me, you will be amazed at how good this works at getting your hair smooth! You might still smell a tiny bit of ACV, but will go away when your hair dries.

Two weeks in, and on the advice of blogging gal Patty, I am able to just use a cold rinse to close the shafts of hair and make it silky and smooth. 

BE SURE to 'brush' your wet hair with a wide toothed comb, not a brush! Poo or no-poo, this will really help the strength of your hair.  Then style as usual. You can use products, go product free, curl, blow dry, do what you need to. 

Use it! (source)

The awesome dry shampoo mentioned above comes into play on my 'off' days. Those days that I don't wash my hair, I brush it really good. Again, all the way from the roots to the tips to distribute those good oils, and then add a little dry shampoo as needed.

Variations that might be worth looking into: Using sulfate-free (available all over the place now) shampoo on a bi/tri weekly basis. I think I might switch to this, will give it a try this week. Conditioning only the ends of the hair if you feel it is too tangly. Or there are many other 'recipes' out there for homemade conditioner. Some including beer or honey. 

I know, long post, I am trying to wrap it up! :)

So, to recap. No-poo does not mean no-showering. I workout most everyday, I shower everyday. I either don't get my hair wet or I just rinse my hair with cold water (on my off 'shampooing' days). 

You will most definitely have a 'grease' stage, but I think you can counter it pretty good with dry shampoo. Of course using more and even weening on that as you go along. Two weeks in, and I feel like mine is pretty under control! 

So what does 2 and a half weeks with no shampoo looks like?!

Sorority shout out!

These pictures were taken a few hours after a 'wash'. No products were used, and I didn't even blow dry with a brush. But rarely do...

Not too shabby, right?! Look at that sheen, haha.

Benefits so far: Healthy clean scalp (what a bonus, was not even expecting that!). More moisturized feeling face (another added bonus!). Soft and less frizzy hair (although it wasn't ever too much of a problem). Very shiny hair, but not greasy. And I can feel it regaining strength already! Who doesn't want all of that?!?

Because my hand is getting number from typing (hello carpal tunnel!), here is where I will let you do the talking. Have any other questions?? Do you no-poo?? Share your link if you have a no-poo story like this one!

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  1. I normally only wash my hair twice a week, and only put a bit of conditioner on the ends. But I find that by the time I finish one bottle of hair just doesn't seem to feel clean anymore. I rarely use any other products, and never blow dry. But still my hair can either be greasy...or very dry. It's like it has a split personality.
    Maybe it's time to try the no-poo! will let you know.

  2. Sexy hair time!!! I think it looks fab. it's obviously working well for you!! I'm not sure I have the dedication to stick with this one. I do agree that dry shampoo is amazing, I got using that a good few years back when I went to a festival and have used it ever since for my pasky fringe. I use Batiste which I love but I must check the ingredients now!!! Keep going with the no-pooing and look forward to hearing the end results, it's not long before you head off to Finland now?

  3. We are hair twins. :) Can't wait to try this. I am always worried about doing it because I'm afraid the greasy stage will weigh my hair down too much since it is fine and thin. Glad to hear report that you aren't having those issues. :)

  4. My hair is SUPER thin and straight. I wonder if this would give me more body? Right now I only wash a couple times a week anyway and don't condition, as my hair is short, so I don't need it on the "ends" like I used to.

    My boyfriend has super thick, wavy, oily hair. He started shampooing less and his hair is much more manageable now.

  5. I use that dry shampoo as well and LOVE IT! I am definitely going to do this, thanks for much for the rundown!

  6. Hmmm- I've always been kind of interested in this, but never had a good amount of time to do it where I wouldn't be self conscious at work during the transition, etc... excuses, I know :) your hair is lookin good!

  7. I've been reading about tons of people doing this..I'll have to try it, I don't like being left out! ha!

  8. I need to get me some dry shampoo.. I've been using baby powder for ages. I have thin, straight-as-a-board, blonde hair. I'm giving this a try! Anything to have less greasy hair, right??

  9. Awesome, I am so glad that this might inspire some of ya'll!! Seriously, what have you got to loose?! And yes, for those hair twins of mine, I feel like I am starting to get more body and fullness without products!

  10. I'm just going to go the no hair route. Shave it all off and start over again. But seriously...I shampoo every two days and use products with no sulfates. Maybe I should just pull out the baking soda and vinegar to avoid that shave, huh?

  11. I've been using natural shampoo and conditioner as of late, but I'm really interesting in trying this. My hair and scalp are super healthy but my hair goes bananas in the summer and even worse when it's freshly cut. Fingers crossed it works.

    p.s. Saw this and instantly thought of your blog. Title says it all I suppose "Hanging of 'Truck Nuts' Grows into a Free Speech Debate"

  12. The greasy stage is best combated by putting your hair in braids. Double French braids, a single braid, a side-sweeping braid, Heidi braids. I did it all, and came out the other side no worse for wear! Maybe even better than previously ;)

  13. Love your hair, it looks fabulous! I've got natural curly hair and when I was younger auburn, completely opposite of yours. But I might give this a try just to see what happens. I swim a lot in a chlorinated pool and am outside most of the time so my hair is pretty well bleached out...but then being OLDer I also dye it, I wonder if this will strip the color out, probably not. Yours sure looks healthy!

  14. It looks great!! maybe I will try it:))

  15. I've just bought a shampoo & conditioning bar - looks like a bar of hippie soap - but has no chemicals! Haven't tried it yet - but is designed not to strip the hair (especially if 'enhanced') and promises similar results!

    Weirdly, I actually got this from an alternative lifestyle market - the town's real estate business is called 'Middle Earth RE' - so maybe it can't be done outside hippiedom!

  16. Thanks guys! And yes, I used to use baby powder too, but this stuff is way better and worth every penny. @Iris - great idea, I bet braids hide the grease good, and look cute to boot!
    @Wendy - I think it is supposed to be even more beneficial to curly hair, so maybe give it a try!
    @MrsK - thanks ma'am :)
    @Red - I want to try that kind too!! YOu will have to let me know, I was really interested in them! Haha.
    @Anon - haha, I saw that the other day, isn't that too funny! Good luck with the no-poo if you go that way :)

  17. @No7 - hey, I have a feeling you could pull off the Sinead O'Connor look, lol

  18. this is very interesting! i usually only wash my hair 1-2 times a week and with natural products... I use Lush ( their shampoo still have sls in it though) I may try this baking soda., apple cider vinegar thing though! My hairs needs some rescuing!

  19. Loves the dry shampoo. I have such thick hair, I don't wash it daily but use this to help out with my nappy ass rootage! I kid. There's a few salons in the city that make and brand their own 'dry' shampoo here too! Loving the beauty updates. btw-your hair does not look like a mess or anything..but sulfites are a nasty ex-boyfriends ;)

  20. Your hair is glowing it looks that good.

  21. I'm a dude and I have no clue about this no poo. haha

  22. WOAH! Definitely trying this! I am a dry shampoo abuser so this may work on my in between days! LOVE IT!

  23. I don't really do this in the exact same form that you do (baking soda and ACV) although I want to try it now! I'm always down for a new beauty experience!

    I wash only with sulfate-free (and most of the time paraben-free organic stuff... the Organix line is the bomb) shampoo/conditioner and sometimes I'll do what's called co-washing. Meaning, you only wash with a conditioner. You can kind of do it where you ONLY wash your roots with shampoo followed by a conditioner. That has REALLY helped my hair!

  24. i need some serious damage control and this may just be what im looking for! your hair looks fantastic!!!!

    i do already use sulfate free shampoo/conditioner (pureology), and i will NEVER go back to anything with sulfates. i have never felt such an amazing difference in my hair, but with that being said, it still needs help and needs it soon. i am also in the process of trying to dye my hair darker (it's faded out nasty red right now...i miss being able to afford to be blonde). glad this has been working for you :)

  25. @Miss Von - WEll glad you might find it useful! :)
    @Morgan -isn't it great?! What a time saver! Haha, sulfates and ex-boyfriends, great analogy, lol
    @Tony - well thanks Tony!
    @Copyboy - haha, I know guys, sorry for all the girly talk :)
    @Rachel - awesome, hope it turns out as good for you!
    @Meg - Great info!! I think I am going to turn to sulfate free soon, so this will be perfect. Thanks girl!
    @Megan - I have heard that Pureology is amazing. I will have to check this out. ANd then maybe I can compare the two processes :)

  26. A friend had read an article about this a while ago and I just laughed at it! But since I've read this post and the other blog posts about it I'm convinced! I'm on my 3rd day and I'm trying the wash today! My curls are already lovin me, so let's see how it goes! Thanks for the inspiration!! I'm definitely going to blog about this one haha

  27. I just switched out all of my toiletries. I long for the day when I don't have to look at ingredient labels because companies will mindfully create their products.

    In the meantime, you go girl! The hair looks amazing!

  28. Linds I'm curious....why do you think the more moisturized face? I'm gonna try out your little method for sure!

  29. Hi there- stumbled on your blog and am a new follower! I only eash my hair every other day (or longer) and it has always been so healthy! I also use Oscar B's dry shampoo- Love the lemony smell! If you have time, check out my life in South Africa at

  30. YOU BITCH! You and your hair are gorgeous! If I didn't think you were so dang adoreable I would have to hate you...

  31. The butane in that dry shampoo would be the propellant for the aerosol spray...


Whoomp, there it is!