Monday, October 11, 2010

The Side Project - No Shampoo

On Saturday, October 2 a good friend of mine, N.M. (Natural Mel), sent me an email. She explained that because I am a tree hugger and a cheapskate, she had an idea for me.

The idea: wait for it, wait for it.....*No Poo*.

Now, before you get too gross out, let me explain.

"No Poo" is short for "No Shampoo". It is a movement for people to not use shampoo and use natural cleansers and oils instead. This doesn't mean you don't clean your hair, let me repeat, this doesn't mean you don't clean your hair...the difference is that you don't clean your hair with shampoo because people argue that shampoo has harsh chemicals, such as sulfates, in it. It is true that some/most shampoos on the market have sulfates, however; I already use shampoo without sulfates so I was not sure that this experiment was really for me.

Instead of shampoo, you are supposed to give yourself a baking soda scalp massage (which some hairstylists use on scalps to get rid of hair product build up anyway) and rinse with apple cider vinegar (you know that is my favorite thing!). But, instead of embracing NM's suggestion, I wrote her an email back pretty much making excuses about why I couldn't do it right now. But, I knew I was making excuses and that bothered me.

So to make myself feel better, I did some research because I was curious/nervous about hair products. Could I still use them? I have frizzy (which no poo is supposed to help) curly hair and I was afraid that during the "transition period" (more to come on that), my hair would just be a shit show. After some research, I found some pretty interesting natural home recipes for hair gel, which I used and like so far. Turns out you can still put that regular hair product stuff in your hair, the baking soda will take it all out, but of course all the hippy dippies don't think you should use it. Which I think I will embrace.

My other excuse not to do "no poo" had to do with the transition period. Websites say that it will take 1 - 3 weeks for your scalp to stop overproducing oil. I guess because we dry our heads out with shampoo, our oil glands make up for that by producing a lot of oil. So when you decide to go No Shampoo, the first couple of weeks your head still produces that oil and then it finally settles down and gets into a natural rhythm. I told NM that I didn't want greasy hair at work but then after thinking about it, I don't wash my hair that frequently anyway (about 3 times a week because I don't want to dry it out) and I will just have to wear pony tails before revealing my new luxurious hair styles which really isn't so bad.

As you may have guessed, the day I got the email and told NM I wasn't going to do it, I started doing it because I couldn't not try it. It is too environmentally friendly and if it really improves my body, I HAVE to try. I am all for being healthier and not having so many chemicals in/on my body. So, Saturday night 10/2, I washed my hair to get all the crap out of it and now I am on day 7.

Day 2 - oh yea, I got my hair cut off too

Turns out my hair never, or hasn't yet I don't know, gone through a greasy period, it just is a little more limp/not as curly. I think I never had greasy hair to begin with. I wasn't one of those people that ever looked like I had greasy hair. My hair just used to feel dirty when it had product in it.

I am hoping that within a couple weeks my hair will be more curly and look better. Right now, I am trying to get used to working with it (it doesn't help that it is rainy). I still pretty much do the same thing but it does act a bit differently so I am seeing if that works out all right because, yes, I like having my hair look good. sorry.

I am also wondering what this will do for my scalp. During the winter my scalp gets really dry and itchy (I know, gross but you can't tell or anything) so I am curious if this will help. We shall see.

But, for a while, I am going to give little updates hither and tither about the process.

Who knows, maybe it will inspire you.

Day 5 - couldn't get my bangs to work that day


Honest to Christina said...

My good friend is a No Poo-er! I have been tempted, but worried for the same reasons as you. Also my hair is really (too) long right now, so I am worried about tangles. Like you, I use VERY minimalist shampoo and conditioner for the same reasons (scary chemicals RIGHT into my body, great plan...)

All this to say, I am curious as to what you are using instead, since we have similar hair?!

Ms. Molly said...

oh, i totally have the greasy hair...i think i should try this but it scares me a little.

Melody said...

I am glad you are trying this out - I was a little surprised by the email I got back from you I was going to try to talk you into if further but never found the time. I don't do the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. What I do with my hair is I wash it about 3 times a week with Doctor Bronners bar soap. I have been trying that for about a few weeks now I might try the baking soda and apple cider vinegar after a bit but so far I like the Bronners. My hair is a lot less greasy than it used to be.