DIY Hair: One Year Without Shampoo
I can't believe it's been a year since I've pooed.
Actually, it's been a little bit longer. I started on my no-poo journey in the week before travelling to the Bonnaroo music festival last year. I know, how hippie of me.
I had my reasons. I had just gone on a magical hair-dying journey, which involved damaging the mess out of my locks. I chopped them off and looked for ways to finally have healthy hair again. I stumbled upon an article about being poo-free, and the photos were great. Plus, this girl was saying she only had to wash her hair once a week. HELLO?!? Sign me up.
So much has happened in the last year of being poo-free. I actually broke into modeling, and subsequently broke out of it (creepy photographers, limited time, etc.). I've dyed my hair a few times, discovered essential oils and their benefits, made no-poo friends, and even converted a few of my own girlfriends!
Here's the thing: it's a little difficult at first, and it takes some commitment, but the results are fantastic. I'm talking super soft, faster growing, healthier hair... That only needs to be washed once a week! Plus, you save a ton of money NOT buying stuff that damages and dries your hair.
How it Works
Maybe it sounds too good to be true. I mean, you're still putting something on your hair. You're actually using baking soda and apple cider vinegar (full process here), BUT NOT TOGETHER. That means volcano on your head, don't ever do that.
This whole thing is about science and shit.
See, you use baking soda and water to create a paste, and apply it like you would shampoo - except you only do this once a week. The baking soda removes excess oils from your scalp, cleaning your hair without drying it out. Then, an apple cider vinegar and water mixture serves as a conditioner, adding shine and softness and balancing the pH of your head.
The problem with shampoo is the sulfates. Sulfates dry out your hair and strip your scalp of the oils it needs. Then your head gets pissed off, and produces MORE oil to make up for all that it has lost. This is why your hair gets super greasy after a few days.
I'm sure you've heard that you shouldn't wash your hair every day. You're drying it out!
With this whole no-poo thing, you cut your hair washing down so much. Once you start the baking soda/vinegar wash, your head stops over-producing oils, and your hair can be silky soft and balanced for days.
This week in particular, I used the wash on Wednesday. As I'm writing, it's now Sunday... And my hair is good to go. I'll probably rinse it with hot water tomorrow, and then again in another three days, and then wash it again sometime around the end of next week.
Truly, doing water rinses can last me for a while. If my hair does get a bit too oily at the roots and I don't have baking soda on hand or time to wash my hair, I use corn starch as a dry shampoo. It works like a dream.
The First Month
So this has to be gross at some point, right? The first month is the worst, because you really quit cold turkey. One day, you just up and decide to no longer poo.
Your head is going to keep overproducing oils. Your hair will look funny. Suck it up and wear a hat, because that first month is worth it.
Eventually, your head will realize you're not taking away its precious oils anymore, and it'll stop making so damn much. It takes a few weeks to shock your head into being in its balanced state. During this time period, you're not supposed to use products on your hair. Just a simple water rinse every so often.
Then, after about a month, you introduce the baking soda. That first time you use it is immaculate - your hair is so smooth and soft and light and perfect. It's amazing after having a month of pretty dirty hair!
Conditioners and Oils
I really try to take care of my hair, so that I can destroy it with dye and bleach and it won't be so bad. I mean, I dye it a good amount. And the whole no-poo thing has helped it to remain healthy and awesome throughout the process.
I use conditioner sometimes, but I check the ingredients first. If there are words that are too complex and sciencey, I try to avoid that product. Stick to things that have natural ingredients, like coconut oil (!!!).
In fact, I make a hair oil spray that I spritz on if my ends are feeling dry. It's got olive oil, peppermint oil, coconut oil, and water, and I can spray it and leave it in. It smells awesome, and it takes good care of my ends.
I was doing the no-poo thing for healthier hair. But... It seems being poo-free has provided several other benefits. My hair is now thicker, and, where it was once very flat and lame, it now has body and volume. I rarely style my hair because being poo-free has brought out some natural waves in my 'do!
I hope you'll give no-poo a chance. You'll have healthy and generally kickass hair, while saving money on shampoo and conditioner. You won't have to waste as much time and water in the shower washing your hair every other day, either. And the biggest benefit of all? When you go on vacation, you no longer have to waste space in your luggage with shampoo and conditioner bottles. That means more room for alcohol!