The Oh-So-Popular No-Poo Method: Fail

imageMy girl friends and I have been talking about the no-poo method of washing your hair for quite a while. There are so many toxins and chemicals in our regular store-bought shampoos, which strip our natural oils from the scalp. The foaming action sure feels good when showering, but stripping all the oil from your hair is actually telling your scalp to make MORE oil to compensate for its loss. That’s why our hair gets greasy after even just one day of not washing hair. Well, one way to prevent that over-compensating cycle is to use natural ingredients to restore the pH balance in your scalp – basically training your scalp to eventually stop making your hair greasy so quickly.

You just need baking soda and filtered water for the shampoo, and some apple cider vinegar for the conditioner. There are so many video tutorials and opinions out there of the best way to mix everything, but I’ll just share about what I did.

For the shampoo, I poured about half a cup of filtered water into a bowl and added in about half a tablespoon of baking powder. I mixed it up with my fingers, then during the shower I slowly poured the mixture evenly all over my scalp. This method might feel weird at first because it won’t foam up like normal shampoos, and it just feels like you’re rubbing in water into your hair. But that’s normal. Let sit for about 5 minutes while you wash your body.

imageFor the conditioner part, I mixed one cup of filtered water with 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle. After I rinsed out the baking powder mixture thoroughly, I sprayed the ACV mix all over the ends of my hair. Do not spray onto your scalp because that will be make your hair too ‘greasy’ later. Rinse out immediately with water – you don’t want this sitting in your hair for too long. Side note – it WILL stink of vinegar at first, but that smell will disappear after you rinse with water.

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Here is my embarrassingly greasy hair BEFORE testing out the no-poo method for the first time. I’d like to say that I waited for it to get this oily on purpose, but I’ll be straight with you – I was just having a super lazy weekend, haha. 

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My hair right after the shower. The greasiness went away, and the tangles from my extremely damaged hair weren’t as bad. Usually it takes forever to comb them out, but this time it was a smoother process.

imageMy hair a few hours later, completely air-dried. It didn’t have that super clean/fresh feeling you get after showering with normal shampoo, but at the same time it felt… healthier.  And it DID seem to give my hair more volume (just a tad).

So, why does the title say this was a fail? Well, Day One of the no-poo method yielded the best results, and then it just went downhill from there. I shampooed my hair in the exact same way as mentioned above every other day, but my hair just got greasier and greasier. Yes, there is supposed to be a few weeks’ adjustment period for your scalp to get used to not having to over-compensate the oil, but I didn’t see any improvement at all even after over a week. My hair got so laden down with grease that it felt heavier and coarser than before. And worst of all, I got dandruff for the first time in my life! I wouldn’t have known about it had it not been for my husband pointing out that I had some on the back of my head while giving me a shoulder massage. How romantic.

I’m sure the no-poo method works great for some people, which is great and I’m jealous that it works for them. I lacked the patience to stick with this and I can’t start the new semester teaching my students with greasy, dandruff-y hair. Wow, shampooing with my regular foamy shampoo felt so good after 9 days of walking around with what felt like dreadlocks. Maybe I’ll give this another try someday, but in the meantime I am fine using my normal, toxin-filled shampoo.

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