Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Poo

No poo. That's right. And I'm not talking about irregularities, as Maggie used to call that discussion at camp. I'm talking about redefining normal and getting rid of the shampoo. Here are my reasons:

1. Shampoo and conditioner are expensive, and it's money that's literally going down the drain.
2. These are full of chemicals that I would be putting on my skin. To find the stuff without chemicals you spend more money. Said money goes down the drain.
3. I try to work out every day, and usually do. However, I tend to sweat a lot when I work out and like to shower after said exercises. I felt like washing my hair twice a day was just too much-I didn't notice changes in my hair itself, but it just felt wrong.
4. In my reading up on this, I found out that shampoo wasn't really common until the early 20th century. That's right folks, it's only about 100 years old, and the shampoo most like what we use today didn't come around until 1930, meaning there are folks out there who predate shampoo.
5. Washing your hair strips it of natural oils. Then your body goes into overdrive to reproduce the oils that were taken out. So then your hair looks greasy and you wash it again.

This isn't some sort of crazy hippie routine (not that I have anything against crazy hippies). It's become more and more common from what I can tell. I tried making my own deodorant, but that didn't work out so well. I'm hoping to make my own laundry detergent once my current batch runs out. And I'm going to try the no poo routine now.

I've read what feels like a ton on this, and they pretty much seem to advocate similar methods, involving a baking soda wash for your scalp and an apple cider vinegar rinse for the rest of your hair (which you don't even have to do every day). Another method is to "comb" through your hair with a washcloth. I'm not sure how that works in a practical way, but it's supposed to spread the oils throughout your hair.

So I've started my experiment. I'll probably do the baking soda/vinegar thing tomorrow night, as I'm going to an ordination on Saturday and have church on Sunday (having a job that requires personal grooming skills and all), so we'll see how that turns out. I thought I'd include a few pictures in this post as well for your viewing pleasure.

Oh and apparently this is supposed to work even better on curly hair. I have curly hair that often turns frizzy, but this should get rid of the frizz (making me exponentially more likely to wear my hair down if it's less than 70 degrees outside) and maybe even make it curlier (a la what my hair looks like in the morning if I go to bed with it wet, i.e. fabulously curly until the frizz sets in). So here are the pics.

These are my materials. And no, I'm not washing my hair with ketchup (or catsup) and mustard, but I couldn't find clear bottles at the grocery store and forgot about the dollar store nearby until I'd already checked out. They were only 2.99 anyway. But I needed something to use for the baking soda wash and for the vinegar rinse. How much did this cost, you might ask? .99 for the baking soda (I splurged and got Arm & Hammer), 1.69 for the vinegar, and 2.99 for the bottles. That's it, folks. And this should last me for quite a while-longer than a .99 bottle of conditioner, that's for sure (considering that the ratio I've seen most often is only 1 tbsp of each to a cup of water). So this is what I have to start with.

Me in my glory. The shirt was tie dyed by R in college but he didn't like it. I think it's an amazing tie dye job and it's one of my favorite t shirts. It was in the Vanagon for a while as a spare until I came along and rescued it. But I digress...

This is me with my hair in it's usual longer state-up and in a pony tail because the frizziness makes me look like a triangle head and invites innumerable and infinite taunts from my brother and sister about it. So I throw it in a pony tail and get on with my day. I washed my hair yesterday morning, so I guess this is day 1 of no poo, with the hair up. I stuck my head in R's face and asked him to smell it. He said it smells like hair, so that's good. And I don't think it looks greasy, but I could be in denial. R had no comment on that one, so I'm suspicious...

And here's the hair down, having gone one day without shampoo. It's still a little damp from my shower earlier (I have really thick hair that some days never dries completely so this isn't a total surprise). Sorry the lighting's not better. I didn't even think to take these pics when it was still light outside, but I tried to get my desk lamp to shine on the hair so y'all could see it. It's definitely less frizzy and it feels a little dirty, but I think that's because I'm not used to not washing it. Anyway, here we go. This should be an adventure, but if it works (and I really hope it will) I imagine getting rid of shampoo will be so liberating!

These are a few of the many websites I looked at in this process, if you're interested:
One Green Generation (this is the website I found the homemade deodorant recipe on too)
This article in the Boston Phoenix
Naturally Curly (this one involves using conditioner and hair product, but I read it anyway)
Google (just search "no poo" and you're off!)

If any of you out there already do this and have tips, feel free to share! I'll keep y'all updated as this comes along.

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