November 10, 2010

No 'Poo Experiment

So...I've been slowly trying approaches to homemde hygiene--the latest being no shampoo. Well, I use baking soda with a vinegar rinse.

Why? You may ask.... Because there's a lot of stuff in shampoo nowadays that I'm not sure of and many contain harmful ingredients. The big hype is SLS being in shampoo. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is an inexpensive cleansing agent used in many skincare and home cleaning products for the removal of oil, dirt and residues--and is responsible for the suds and bubbles you see in cleaning products. Because SLS is a charged particle that attracts dirt, removing it from the pores and the surface of the skin, it causes irritation. So, for this reason, SLS is now being avoided in many professional skincare products. Whenever we use shampoo, we need to remember that what we are using gets rubbed onto and into our scalp, and therefore into our body.

I like to think of myself as not being a high-maintenance girl, but we live in a high-maintenance society...when it comes to commercialization and need for all these unecessary ingredients.

So...I decided I wanted something simple and effective for my shampoo, so I spent a few days googling and reading all sorts of blogs and posts, etc. about what others have done in their quest for no 'poo hair (there's even a wiki page under "no 'poo." (I didn't make that phrase up).

So far... It's been three weeks. There was a slight transition time for my hair to adjust, but it wasn't very bad. Basically you want to use 1 cup water with 1 T baking powder and scrub it into your hair. Followed by a 1 T apple cider vinegar in 1-2 cups of water as a rinse afterwards. With the goal being to only wash your hair about 2/wk.

I use a plastic cup and keep a jar of baking soda on my counter and a bottle of vinegar in the shower. That way I can put a T of soda in the cup right before I hop in. I add the water during the shower and mix and apply and then rinse. Then after the wash, I can pour some vinegar into the cup and add water; apply then rinse with cold water (this help close your pores and blanace out the pH levels of your hair).

However, if you do this, you just have to realize that your hair needs to adjust and will feel and possibly look slightly different. No one has noticed or said anything to me, but mine just feels a little different and it actually styles a little easier I think. I admit that sometimes it seems a little greasy, but I think that's when I don't do the vinegar rinse.

ADDED NOTE (since Megan's Comment):
here are some of my dilemnas I forgot to mention:
1. When I only used baking soda wash my hair was a little greasy and clumpy/heavy and there was either dandruff or soda residue like powder. I wasn't sure.
2. When I used too much vinegar, there was also greasy hair, though it was a more shiny and light grease than the baking soda.
3. Then I tried putting a little sugar in the soda wash to add a mild srubbing effect that wasn't too harsh (unlike salt) to help with the white stuff. Right now I'm trying to decide if that's what's helped the grease calm down, or if it's just because I reduced the amount of vinegar.

I've also read a lot about other things you can use in your hair, so that is what I'm currently experimenting with.I'll keep you updated...but here's a glimpse of some of the things: coconut oil, banana or honey ingredients in a some other interesting ones I can't recall right now. Or lemon instead of vinegar in the post-shampoo rinse.

**updated 12/10/2010
So far I've done this for 2 months and I just stopped. So, like I said in my post, if you do this, you have to realize that your hair will have a different feel and consistency than when you used typical commercial shampoo. This is because your hairs natural oils aren't being stripped away anymore. Due to this, my hair always felt a little greasy underneath. You couldn't always see it, but I could tell. And, since I recently cut myself some bangs, I noticed you could tell more with those. So it won't work for me right now. For now, I'm still experimenting, but no firm conclusions. I tried Dr. Bronner's soap for two days, but that didn't work. That may require another adjustment period...I'm not sure. I also spent a month or two trying redmond clay, but it dried out my scalp (during winter). But, I'd be up for hearing anyone else's experiences. I also tried coconut oil for conditioner, but it was was too oily and I couldn't get it out very easily.

So alas...back to square one. One day I've love to figure this out!

1 comment:

  1. I've done this! I had a hard time with it, I think i went about 6-8 weeks, and then my hair just wasn't looking very good. I've heard so many great things about though, maybe I should try it again. I probably just needed to find the right balance for my hair. Good luck! :)