This post is part of the series “How to Green-Up Your Life Without Getting Overwhelmed.”
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Usually I’m kinda proud of my different crunchy endeavors. But some things can give people the wrong impression. Want to freak out an acquaintance? Tell them you’re trying the “No ‘Poo Method”. You’ll be able to laugh at their expression later, if they give you the chance to explain yourself.
Thankfully the “No ‘Poo Method” is not nearly as gross as it seems. We’re talkin’ no SHAMpoo. When I first heard about it, I was intrigued. The idea is that most of the stuff in commercial shampoos is really doing the opposite of what you want. The harsh chemicals strip your hair, leaving it thirsty for some moisture which causes an overproduction of oil, so you wash your hair more. Vicious cycle and one that I battled with constantly. I can’t wash my hair at night because by noon the next day, my hair will be too slick for public eyes. In high school, it was so bad that I often showered twice a day because I didn’t want a cute boy to think I was dirty. Fast forward a couple years and a couple kids and I no longer have time to shower every other day, nonetheless twice a day. My hair was gross and I was desperate. I’d read about the “No ‘Poo Method” and decided to try it.
First attempt: I tried using just Castile Soap. My hair has never felt so dry. Straw-like and extremely tangle prone, my hair was in complete rebellion. I couldn’t comb through my usually tame hair and it was even more oily and just plain nasty. It was a total disaster. But I’m stubborn. I had heard that it might take time for the scalp to adjust. So I just kept at it, pulling my rats nest into a bun and hoping no one thought I was homeless. My husband is a saint for putting up with my experiments. I eventually started using regular conditioner. I also would occasionally add backing soda to the castile soap, but the results were unacceptable. Sorry to all that knew me at that time. There are no pictures from this attempt since every camera that tried shattered into a million pieces.
Second attempt: I read this article about how to balance the pH of your scalp and how my first method was probably too harsh. I highly recommend you explore her blog about natural hair care because everyone’s skin is different and usually a lot of experimentation is needed to find something that works. I was really excited to try her recipe. She simply mixed aloe and coconut milk. At first I thought, whoa, only moisture/oil is NOT going to clean my hair. But I have started washing my face with oil and that’s been working out swimmingly. So why not my hair?
Yea. There was no point that my hair could have even passed for clean. I’m not convinced I used the right ingredients (Do you know how many different types of aloe vera and coconut milk there are?) And this still might work for someone with dry/damaged hair. I’ve got some extra in my freezer if you want to give it a try.
Third attempt: One thing I gleaned from that same article was that some people follow-up their castile soap/baking soda mix with an apple cider vinegar rinse. I really didn’t think it’d make much of a difference, but since I had all the ingredients already, I gave it a shot.
BINGO! Clean hair!
Let me take you step by step.
|Grab about a half-dollar sized heap of baking soda. Squirt a quarter-sized dollop of castile soap.|
|Rub it all together. It will be pasty and more thick than the shampoo you’re used to.|
|Massage into your scalp. Let sit for a bit while looking like a wet dog/wild squirrel.|
Fill a spray bottle about a quarter full with apple cider vinegar and top it off with water.
Spritz into hair, letting soak into scalp. (I didn’t take pictures because there’s just nothing to see.)
I’m thrilled with the results! I’ve gone from having noticeably greasy hair 12 hours after shampooing to being able to stretch it to 48 hrs.
|See how gross conventional shampoo left my hair after 18ish hours?|
|Here’s my hair after nearly 24 hrs with the “No ‘Poo Method”. This is clearly a super flattering angle for my nose.|
I also love how cheap it is compared to what I was shelling out of a store bought yet slightly eco-friendly shampoo. I use these ingredients for everything anyway.
So there’s the secret to why I vaguely smell like the day before Easter. (…Vinegar… get it? I’m just kidding, I don’t think you can smell it at all.)
|Next is to learn how to style dry hair that’s been slept on. I’m pretty clueless. Exhibit A.|
Have you tried to use a more natural shampoo solution? Was it a quick fix or lots of trial and error? Share your thoughts and recipes below!