Two weeks ago I, a wash/dry/style-hair-daily, mane-obsessed Leo, went no-poo. That is, I ditched my beloved Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner (and leave-in conditioner, and volumizer, and hair oil, and hair spray) and started using bicarb soda and apple vinegar. Straight-up. No joke.
The purported benefits of no-poo is that it regulates your oil production as it doesn’t strip your hair like regular shampoo and conditioner. This stripping encourages oil production and your hair gets oily and needs washing more frequently, and so on, in a vicious circle.
This experiment was prompted by the fact that now my hair has grown out past my shoulders I don’t want to wash/dry/style it every day. However, the roots were getting a bit too oily to pull that off in a professional office environment and I don’t like wearing my hair up at work. It was also getting to feel a little overloaded with product even after it was just washed. I had stumbled across a few blogs on no-poo in the course of my web surfing-addiction for all things natural, vegan, and a little crazy so thought I’d jump on the band-wagon… better late than never right?
I don’t want to get too much into the ‘how you do it’ stuff and just thought I’d provide an overview of my experience to help with your research if you’re interested in trying it out – I found (and still find) the whole thing very confusing and contradictory so figured the more info the better. That being said, however, buy two spray bottles to spray it on (highly recommended), and started out with 1tbls bicarb soda to 1 cup water for shampoo and 1 tbls apple cider vinegar (ACV) to 1 cup water for conditioner but think I need to increase this – some recommend as much as 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 cup water. You can google ‘no-poo videos’ and find loads of different opinions and techniques.
And so, the chronicles…
The results of the first time was amazing! My hair was so soft and clean-feeling. Washed it in the evening and let it dry naturally. My natural waves (usually a bit haphazard with the weight of regular shampoo and conditioner) were forming wonderfully and everything was hunky-dory. It survived a night of sleep and I floated around the office with a ‘look at my hair’ shimmy all day… although to no comment. Ego bruised.
Let it go a second day without washing. Looked ok in the morning but by the afternoon the oil production had started. This is natural as your body starts to adjust – I’ve read it can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks until things start to settle down… who has that kind of time (or patience) I ask?? I had intentions not to wash it too often but caved in the evening – I have a reputation to maintain at work after all!
Hair starting to feel a little brittle at the ends – sad face. I had read that the bicarb soda can have this effect on some people but was determined to stick with it as per the 4-6 week time window mentioned above.
Oily! It was Friday though and I didn’t have any meetings planned so thought I could get away with it. But as per Murphy and his stupid (accurate) laws, I ran into a very senior leader who is always impeccable dressed in the elevator looking like I just walked off the beach… and not in a good way :S
Washed in the morning, let it dry naturally while studying. Roots loving the cleanliness. Ends still undecided. Might need to increase ACV ratios…
Pulled it back as was spending the day travelling to Puero Rico for a week vacation at the beach, woop woop! What better place to carry on a no-poo experiment.
Day 7 – 13
At the beach every day, staying in tree houses with cold showers. Hair loved the salt water and cold rinses, and being allowed to dry naturally. Washing with bicarb soda ‘shampoo’ every 2-3 days helped produce some self-proclaimed, awesome beach hair. Compliments. Happy ego ;) Didn’t take the ACV though as thought it might leak. Used coconut oil in the ends a few days as was smearing it all over me anyway, which seemed to provide some nourishment.
Last day of vacation, staying in a luxury resort. Novelty of beach hair wearing thin in such a fancy environment (especially without the ACV) so succumbed to the hotel shampoo and conditioner – although in doing so, discovered a very nice vegan line of toiletries if you’re interested… Clear By Jean-Jacques. I love the body soap so bought a few home with me!
Arrived home at 7:30am after about an hour of sleep in the last 24, caught in the car during a seven hour drive from Baltimore to Boston after a missed flight connection. Bags were lost in the drama so no bicarb soda in reach so used traditional means in order to turn myself around for a day in the office in an hour. Hair lovely and shiny after the mini-detox with bicarb, but ends still dry.
Second day post-poo and roots are oily but ends are feeling happier, although probably hanging out for a trim next week.
Think I’m back on the no-poo tomorrow morning. Going to up my ACV ratio though so see if that helps with the dry ends. Need to keep experimenting…
So I went back to no-poo on day 17 and hair was happy – I used the same 1 tbls baking soda but tried 1/3 cup ACV and 1 cup water and ensured I only put it in the ends which worked much better for me. Today (day 18), the ends were fine but roots a little flat for my liking, guess I’m re-adjusting from the ‘poo’ usage, so wore it up… still going to stick at it for a few more weeks…
Would love to hear from others!