Thursday, 26 June 2014

In the Mirror: No poo hair cleansing method

As a first time guest on the blog, I would quickly like to thank the Midwest Girls Society for the invitation to post about my experiences! What a unique and fun pleasure it is!

Ok, so a little bit about me: I'm the fine and oily haired type of woman who was always utilizing drug
store and salon quality shampoos/conditioners, washing my hair every day – this combo caused major disrepair on my tresses. So, I decided to cut the washes down to twice a week, which did give me more moisturized hair and less damaging results, but I still wasn't sure about the shampoo I was putting on my locks.  About four years ago I began researching the harsh chemicals that were in these products - parabens, DEHP, polysorbates, laureth sulfate, and the ingredient list goes on and on. These chemicals break down and strip your hair and can often cause skin irritation. They also throw off your natural ph levels. That was scary and so I quickly changed to an organic shampoo/conditioner. Still not sure about some of the ingredients in my organic shampoo/conditioner, I decided to just go for it and try the no poo method. 

What is the no poo method??!! The no poo method is simply “shampoo-free cleaning”; cleaning your tresses in a more healthy and natural way without any harsh chemicals. For my personal take on the no poo method, I have experimented with: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and a little coconut oil. First of all, baking soda is a great cleaning product that is a minor alkali with fine abrasive particles. Because of these properties, grease and dirt are broken down. I also read and have found from personal experience that baking soda is not a common skin irritant. Then I use Apple Cider Vinegar, which I will refer to as ACV. ACV complements the baking soda and aids in the restoration of your hair's natural ph levels. ACV also helps lock in moisture and destroys bacteria. As you can see from my photo, a neat trick I found on Pinterest was to use a sprayer head from a new or recycled bottle (make sure you clean it first) and literally just screw right on to the top of the ACV glass bottle. How cool is that?! Coconut oil can be used in the no poo method, but I would use sparingly at first, because it does make your hair feel very greasy. Since I have oily hair I use about 1/2 teaspoon as a leave on conditioner, applied when my locks are still damp, once every 4 – 6 weeks.  My friend used the no poo method for 4 months and all of a sudden her hair became dry, so this is why I have been incorporating coconut oil (sparingly) in to my hair regimen over the past year. Since coconut oil is greasy, I would recommend applying before bed, so it can better absorb and condition while you are getting your beauty sleep. The next day may also be a “wear a hat” kind of a day.

Baking soda application:

1.     Gather your supplies: baking soda, water, and a container with a lid - something you would find around the house works just fine - I use a recycled glass canning jar. Mix 1\4 cup water: 3-4 Tablespoons baking soda. You want the consistency to be a little on the thicker side. (I had better results with a thicker paste versus a thin solution).
2.       In the shower, wet your hair like you normally would, as if you were going to wash it with shampoo.
3.       Section out your hair and apply baking soda mixture just to the scalp, not the ends because   baking soda can dry out your hair.
4.        Mildly massage mixture in to scalp, and let it sit for 30 seconds.
5.        Rinse very well.

ACV application:

 1.  Right after completing the baking soda application, section your locks again and spritz with ACV.       Make sure to spray all over!
       2.  Mildly rub in.
        3.   Let ACV sit until you are about to get out of the shower. I usually shave my legs while I am                 waiting for the ACV to fully soak in and moisturize/condition my hair.
       4. Rinse very well! Otherwise you will smell like vinegar.

Now as I mentioned before I only wash my hair twice per week, therefore, I would not recommend using the no poo method more than 2-3 times per week because it will dry out your locks if over washed. I also noticed that my hair felt a little greasy after the first two weeks, but a couple of friends that use this method and blogs that I follow all reported the same conclusion - this is normal and your body is just trying to adjust back to its natural ph levels. So if you can live with greasy hair for a couple of weeks, the benefits will amaze you.

As for styling: I usually let my hair air dry, but there are those occasional times when I need to blow dry and flat iron my hair for a date night with the fiancĂ© or a girl’s night out. In this case, I have noticed that my hair looks cleaner when I blow dry versus air drying. Also, I do not use styling products so I have no experience with whether the no poo method clashes with certain styling products and which ones work better, but you can always research that before you start the no poo method yourself. Or just by trial and error.

In conclusion, after three weeks my hair is still smooth and shiny – but I must add that I have virgin hair (no hair dyes/perms/relaxers/etc…) so results may vary. My hair feels as clean as it did when I used an organic shampoo, so I know it is working. For me, the purpose of the no poo method is to challenge myself to be as eco-friendly as I can – another small step towards cutting out the harsh/toxic chemicals from my everyday life and feeling better about my decisions. So far, I’m set on the no poo method and will continue this DIY regimen as long as I keep receiving positive effects. Another small victory towards living a happy, natural, and non-toxic organic life!

So there you have it! Go for it! Challenge the inner green goddess in you!

Thanks for reading - Natalie

Check me out on Instagram @vintagemintchic or on my blog at:

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