This post is alternately titled: “Finally Answering the ‘Are You Still Doing That No-Poo Thing?’ Question”. I get that question a lot, and I totally understand the curiosity. I was the exact same way before I started my no-pooing (ie. no shampooing) journey.
On February 1, 2014, I went to the stylist for a wash and trim. That was the day before I dove head-first (pun intended, you’re very welcome) into the world of “No-Pooing”. Since it has been over four months now, I thought I’d finally give you a bit of an update, and to reassure you that I’m still not a smelly and dirty hippie. I’m a clean, good-smelling one.
No-pooing is the term used to describe using alternate methods to keep your hair clean, other than commercially-made shampoo and conditioner. If you’ve never heard of it, it might sound crazy. BUT, it’s not all that nutty when you really think about the various motivators.
1) Health (avoiding nasty ingredients in conventional shampoos)
2) Money-savings (you could save hundreds of dollars a year)
3) Effectiveness (the pursuit of “hair nirvana”)
There are excellent alternatives to conventional shampoo and conditioner that work well, leave your hair and scalp healthy and clean, and allow you to reduce the frequency of washing without compromising on cleanliness.
I know, already you’re saying “Enough with the jibber jabber, woman. Cut it out and hook me up with the scoop.”
(When I try to do an imitation of a cool person, it ends up sounding like a bizarre mishmash of Uncle Joey from Full House + every hero character from every movie in the 90’s. I’m sorry.)
Today, I’m going to tell you all about how the last few months have been for me, and then later this week I’ll share a more formal how-to with plenty of resources and information for those who want to try it for themselves.
Image by D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr CC
In February, I went through the typical transition time of weaning my hair from being accustomed to shampoo/conditioner. It lasted about 3 weeks for me, which meant that my hair would look okay when I washed with baking soda and ACV, but then quickly deteriorate into grease-land after that (as per usual when I was shampooing every day or every other day).
It took a few weeks of sacrificing myself to a greasy head before my scalp clued in that things were different, and then calmed down on the oil-production hyper-drive. I used a lot of dry shampoo (check out my 2-ingredient DIY version!) and sock buns to get me through.
One of the biggest benefits to no-pooing is that you don’t need to wash your hair every day in order for it to look good. I currently am going four days between washes, and I’m loving the convenience of this. It gets greasier as the days go on, of course. Here’s my typical hair schedule:
DAY 1: Shower and wash hair with baking soda + white vinegar (my tutorial with exact steps will come later this week). Gorgeous, shiny, healthy hair. I usually do nothing to it, and let it air-dry.
DAY 2: Still gorgeous and healthy. A bit flat. I typically leave it down again on this day, maybe with the sides pinned up with a bobby pin or two. Maybe flat-iron it, maybe not.
DAY 3: Still looking good, but the roots are getting greasy. I might use my dry shampoo. I typically throw it into a low ponytail or sock bun. As it gets longer I anticipate many loose side-braids in my future.
DAY 4: This is the day that’s typically a required up-do day. I often employ the trusty sock-bun on this day. Looking forward to a fresh start tomorrow morning.
DAY 5: Another shower and hair wash day!
1. Yep, I do go that long without a shower. If necessary, I freshen up on Day 3 with a bath or even a shower if necessary, without washing my hair. Most often in the summer or at that time of the month. My non-shower-day morning routine includes a warm washcloth with a touch of castile soap on an as-needed basis.
2. My hair is very fine and it gets greasy super easily. Many no-pooers go even longer between washes, but this is the max for me. Also, some people have much less greasiness, even on day 3 or 4. My hair has just always been sensitive to being greasy easily.
3. I did wind up switching from apple cider vinegar to white vinegar instead. I was told it was a bit less moisturizing, and since I have the opposite of dry hair, it was the better choice for me.
To demonstrate just how healthy and, well, normal my hair looks, check out the most narcissistic collage I’ve ever created in my entire life:
These pics were taken last week, on a wash day. There was a wee breeze, but I think you can tell that my hair is shiny, healthy, and most pertinently… clean!
So, what’s the bottom line? Will I keep going? My answer is a big ol’ resounding YES. I love no-pooing, and I can’t imagine ever going back.
I’m compiling a list of FAQs to add to my next no-poo tutorial post. If you have any questions, leave them below for me!
How do you wash your hair?