Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Great No-Poo 'Do Experiment

One interesting effect of Pinterest is that I am finding all sorts of alternatives to self-care and household products. One that keeps popping up is the idea of a no-shampoo hair care regimen. At first I was repulsed and ignored it completely. I mean, really - who wants to not wash her hair? It brought up all these images of nappy matted smelly hair. Gross. Plus my hair is really oily and the thought of not using shampoo was mildly terrifying.

But it just kept coming up, and the more I got to reading, the more curious I got. It seems the majority of folks going No-Poo were doing it because of the horrific effect of the gawsh-awful chemical in the shampoo.

I decided to give it a go, but my reasons are not nearly so altruistic. I'm cheap, and baking soda and vinegar (yes, you read correctly - baking soda and vinegar replace shampoo) are really cheap - especially when you consider that you dilute them in water.

The other reason is that my hair is falling out. My hair is as thin as the little old ladies in a nursing home. No joke. It's just on top, but of course that's what everyone sees. I'm terribly self-conscious about it. I recently chopped off a good 14 inches, which helped somewhat, but it's still really really thin.

I hate that.

So I decided to give it a whirl, since many people said their hair felt fuller and healthier. I'm up for that! Anything to make my mane a little healthier - and it doesn't hurt that it's so cheap!

I'm told there's a breaking-in phase, where you hair thinks you're punishing it and pours out all kinds of oil. It supposedly can last one week to several months. I washed my hair with the baking soda/vinegar combo yesterday morning, and while it felt sorta greasy all day today, it didn't really look greasy until tonight. We shall see how this progresses in the days to come.

Here's how I did the mixtures: one tablespoon baking soda to one cup water. The water will dissolve the baking soda and it won't settle. Just pour it over your head and massage gently into your scalp. It won't make any suds whatsoever, but the cool water actually feels pretty good, and after a bit of rubbing, my hair starts to feel smooth and even a little slick. I let that sit on my hair while I take care of other stuff (like my prickly legs), then rinse out.

The next step is a vinegar rinse. Strangely enough, the baking soda replaces the shampoo, and it's the acidic apple cider vinegar that replaces the conditioner. My feeble brain just cannot work that one out. How in the world something as acidic as vinegar can condition is beyond me.

But I digress. . . . I used the same one tablespoon to one cup water ratio for the ACV. Both concoctions are in bottles in my shower. I am buying spray bottles tomorrow to make it a little easier to apply. The vinegar should be applied to ends only (especially if you have oily hair - or so I'm told), and that's pretty hard to do when you have short hair and the vinegar-water just pours right through your fingertips. Anyway, I do the best I can to get it on the ends, and then rinse it out fairly quickly.

I don't dry my hair any more than absolutely necessary. I let it air dry most of the way, and then break out the dryer to keep it from being too flat.

So far, my hair doesn't really look or feel much different, though I suspect that will change over time.

I will keep you posted. :)

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I am interested in this too because, like you, my hair is terribly thin (and getting thinner -- not to mention baby fine, ugh). BUT, also like you, it's really oily. I think I'll just read what you're going through, let you be my guinea pig, and then decide from there. :-)