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Recently I've come across way too many Curlie Girls that are talking about going without shampoo and our beloved conditioners!!  Gasp!  But I started paying attention to this "no-poo" craze which literally means going without shampoo because each winter, I do my own version of what they are calling "no-poo" when I get my hair blow dried and keep it for two weeks!  I brush and brush and brush encouraging the natural oils to distribute through my dry winter hair and use a dry shampoo at the scalp (packed with chemicals) to tame the "dirty feeling" when I can't take it anymore, but this no-poo all year round was something that really caught my attention!!

Here's me straight out of bed, the morning I cut 14 beloved inches off of my curly hair.  So ya, let's say I've done my share of crazy things, but it was a decision that took four years, and a donation of my locks to making a wig for a child with cancer.

I loved the freedom that wearing my curly hair shorter afforded me but WOW was there ever a lot of maintenance to keep it looking good!!  No ponytails meant I had to keep washing and syyling my hair with products, and getting it trimmed and shaped every 6-8 weeks and it was getting expensive!  That was in 2010.  I've since grown it all back and enjoyed the styles in the growing out process, but I also enjoy having my ponytail again.

Have you seen the TV commercial for Wen haircare?  Looks fabulous right, well here's a DIY version of the same principle using ONLY baking soda and vinegar, yes, I'm serious!!  Same concept but with things you have in your kitchen!

  1. Shampoo replacement:  Baking soda acts as a clarifier. This is the part of the recipe that needs to be customized to work best with your hair, you need to experiment, that's why I'm keeping this as my online journal.  My thoughts to start are that I'd dilute it more with water since I tend to be dry already.
  2. Conditioning rinse replacement: The vinegar rinse seals the cuticle after the baking soda cleanse, and the lime essential oil I chose to add will make me feel better about the smell.

Oh, and just for good measure - to really illustrate the risk of going poo-less - this is me after swimming in the ocean on vacation and the hot sun dried my salt water drenched hair in all it's frizzy glory!!  It's gotta work!!

Week 1

I spent some time at the natural foods store to choose a scent that would help mask the god awful smell of vinegar, I chose a good quality lime essential oil, and since it's July, I thought if I ended up smelling like limes, that would be simply wonderful, so I was armed with baking soda and vinegar and my lime essential oil, and two squeezie containers (plastic ones that would be used for ketchup type thing). 

Here's me one week into going "poo-less" - July 21st.

1 part baking soda : 3 parts water, shake very well
1 part vinegar : 8 parts water + 5 drops of lime essential oil
Week one: I've washed with no-poo twice on the first day, and once on the 4th day.

After my first no-poo wash I treated my hair to warm coconut oil and slathered it all over my hair (not the scalp) and brushed and brushed and brushed it throughout my entire head of hair.  I'm a dry curly girl, remember.  Then I braided it and let it dry.  That night I washed it again using the no-poo method and rinsed it very very well.   It's no fun brushing out those tangles with no-poo though, lemme tell you - that's nat'u'ralllll hair, no slippery help from the conditioner!  I'm so glad I started with the coconut oil infusion.

Note: The tangly/dry feeling your hair gets after you drop store bought shampoos and conditioners is just your real hair, minus the chemical and wax coating, due to heat, dyes, and other store products you’ve subjected it to.  Soo... for now, I'm going to use coconut oil to help add moisture to the ends and in the thickest part as needed since I have some layers.  If there are any dry scalp issues, I've read that a drop of tea tree oil in the baking soda will take care of that.

My routine is that I brush my dry hair 50 strokes before each shower to get that natural oil moving down the length of my hair every day.  I'm wearing my hair in a braid straight out of the shower all day every day to keep the frizzies and tangles at bay, but truly, my hair is very very soft and feels light and fluffy when dry after one week of going "poo-less" and  I rinse with water every day just because the braid looks better when I braid it wet.

Why am I doing this?

I decided to stop using shampoo because for some, commercially made hair washes/shampoos strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils which makes your produce more and more which makes you rely more heavily on soaps to clean it. Mine not so much.  My scalp is dry and itchy when I over wash my hair, and curly hair by nature tends to be dry dry dry so I am hoping my natural oils wll make my naturally curly hair fuller, healthier, happier and prettier.  When using commercial shampoos, your hair's natural oils never get a chance to make it to the ends of your hair, you have to rely on conditioners to soften it and protect it. And I'd use 3 times more conditioner to the amound of shampoo I was using to compensate.  Shampoo manufacturers sure know what they're doing!!  It's a dependance they're creating, and a multi-billion dollar industry.  Is my hair addicted to the stripping shampoos and conditioners used to apply moisture plus the styling products that do their fair share of depositing unnatural chemicals in my hair??  I wonder.  

Stay tuned for my no-poo hair journal weekly updates.

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