Hair care and “no poo”
This journey has certainly been an eye opener. I never ever thought I’d be a person with a hair brush collection. Warning before you read any further – this post does comtain some rather daft selfies.
About four months ago, I decided to see what would happen if I banished shampoo from my life. My reasons for this were:
- I have never liked my hair. I have never found a style that I feel suits it and I always wear it tied back because it annoys me flying around everywhere. What did I have to loose in that respect.
- My hair has alwaysbeen very oily and very tangly. Maybe allowing it to find it’s natural state would improve this.
- I had become a slave to daily shampooing and I’d had enough of it.
- Shampoo comes in plastic bottles and inevitably contains palm oil. Time to let it go.
- I’m on maternity leave so I have an opportunity to get away with looking a bit scruffy for a while.
I have held off writing this post as I was hoping to be able to write it with sparklingly successful claims of how amazing “no poo” is. It’s still a work in progress; however, it has been a quest that has taught me a great deal.
The problem with going natural is that everyone’s hair is as individual as they are and thus there is no one magical method; there are hundreds to read up on and try. So a lot of reading is required before you try and find a method that works for you. Some people find it easier than others. My husband has joined me on this venture and annoyingly, it has all gone much more smoothly for him than it has for me.
If you’re considering trying it, there are an awful lot of blogs and websites detailing individuals’ “no poo journey”. Some of them are helpful, some are really not. I have found the best support through a facebook group called “No Poo (no shampoo) and Low Poo Hair Care Group Forum“. They have a collection of files which really are helpful and they’re also really lovely to newbies asking daft questions.
I have tried quite a few methods now:
Baking Soda/Apple Cider Vinegar – this is ok but I worry about the pH impact of Baking Soda on my skin.
Water Only – I would love to do this. It works for my husband but I just can’t make it work for me. Our hard water makes my hair go waxy and it never seems to break through this.
Egg – You can use an egg to wash your hair! And it really did make my hair feel amazing, but unfortunately you have to have a cold shower to avoid a head full of scrambled egg.
Soapnuts/Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – This is the method I’m currently trying. Soapnuts are Indian berries which a natural cleaning quality. They can be used for lots of household cleaning too which I’m yet to investigate. The berries are boiled in water then strained out and the liquid can be used to wash your hair. You can buy soapnuts online. I got mine from here and there are loads of youtube videos showing you how to prepare them. I have found they seem to dry my hair out a bit so I may need to combine this method with something else or adjust my recipe.
So what have I learned:
- It’s not that bad. I can recall a few days where I have felt a little itchy. There have been a few times where my hair has smelled a little like a wet dog. There have been quite a few days where I’ve definitely needed to keep my hair tied up. But on the whole it hasn’t really felt anywhere near as grubby as I’d feared.
- It’s not an easier option. You have to trial and error methods over a few weeks, brush your hair a lot and spend time preparing potions.
- I’m definitely converted and not going back. I can now go 4-5 days before my hair is oily and requires washing. Of my aims above I would say I’ve achieved half of them. My hair is less tangly but still quite fly away and as my dye grows out the mousey natural colour is returning. But I’m no longer a slave to the daily wash and I’m confident that I can manage to look professional for my return to work. And above all I’ve banished some more plastic bottles and palm oil products from my life.
If you are considering trying “no poo” here are some things to think about before starting:
- Get a hair cut before you start. It could be a few months before you can brave the hairdresser.
- Find out whether your water is hard or soft.
- Get a decent Boar Bristle Hair Brush.
- Join the facebook group I mentioned above – it really did help me.