I’m not quite sure how I started using all-natural hair care methods.
I certainly didn’t plan on it and I didn’t do it cold-turkey. But I’ve come to the point where I can say that I haven’t washed my hair in 9 weeks.
Gross, I know, right? But I haven’t and after a few bumps in the road, I can confidently say that my hair does NOT smell dirty and that is softer than ever!
How about a little hair autobiography before I share the “no-poo” all-natural hair care recipes?
I have for most of my life been blessed with a head of very thick straight hair. It’s been neither oily nor dry and I’ve not had to fuss with it too much. That is until I started having babies.
I didn’t notice anything with my firstborn. Way back then, I was sporting a pixie cut until I decided to grow my hair long to donate.
When my second child was born I began to have to deal with this teeny little wave in the center back of my head. Nothing a round brush and a blow dryer couldn’t handle, but the situation has become increasingly worse over the years. As the waviness has increased, so has the dryness. (A common problem for those with curly or wavy hair I understand.) I kept pulling vigorously and drying it straight. I didn’t want to use a straight iron and damage the hair because by this time, it was getting pretty long. I had begun to notice that my hair was much more manageable and less frizzy on the days where I skipped washing it and I found myself skipping a day or two here and there more and more. Over the years, I was needing to skip even more days in order to maintain a presentable, frizz-less style.
It had progressed to the point where, just a few months ago, I was washing my waist length hair every 5 or so days using an itchy scalp as an indicator that it needed to be washed.
(I can’t believe I’m admitting this to you!! How embarrassing!)
When I did wash, I would shampoo just the top and condition just the bottom because the top seemed the “oiliest” (if you can even consider it that) and the bottom was still super-dry despite my daily brushing with a 100% all-natural boar bristle brush. (LOVE my boar bristle brush!!!)
When I was fed up with my husband making fun of me saying I looked like this guy, I went in for my donation cut and walked away from the wash tub with curly hair.
I was so shocked. I thought I had straight frizzy hair and it never occurred to me that one can develop curly hair over time!
It’s been quite a struggle for me. I feel like an entirely different person. For so many years now I’ve been wearing a smooth appearance. That was my “style” and I liked it like that. I’ve had to learn all about what works for curly hair and what doesn’t. (No more towel after a washing. You have to “plop”.)
One of the things that works best for people with curly hair is to avoid shampooing. Curly hair is naturally dry and shampoo dries it out even more. All this time I had been letting my hair tell me what it needed and it was leading me in the right direction. I committed to not washing my hair full-time and that was, like I said, 9 weeks ago.
Please excuse the excessive use of fill light in order to make the curls visible on my dark ole head of hair, but this is pretty much how they look once dried after washing. I think the most noticeable difference between three and nine weeks is the improvement of wave around the crown.
So what have I been doing?
Well, first I realized that I needed to concentrate on repairing my scalp. The shampoo had left it very dry and very itchy and I was able to fix the damage by simply massaging food-grade aloe vera gel
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon aloe vera gel
1 orange, peel removed and chopped in pieces
1 lemon, peel removed and chopped in pieces
2 cups water
Add all to a small saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Strain and add to a bottle outfitted with a spray pump. Use as you would hairspray, but keep refrigerated or it will begin to smell badly after a few days!
A few cons to this is that it is obviously less of a convenience. You have to prepare your hair care, but ultimately, it takes just a few minutes. A second would have to definitely be that it is cold. Shampoo and conditioner are much warmer than these water-based products. But I just try to trick myself by using the word invigorating to describe it rather than freezing. It has a much more pleasant connotation, don’t you think?
I’m not done experimenting with different recipes. I have a few deep conditioners that I’d like to try and also a recipe for a natural gel. I’ll post them if I have any success, of course.
Now it’s your turn to chime in. Please, please, please if you “no-‘poo” join me in confession. What tips and tricks do you have to share?
Edited: I tried to answer many of the questions asked here in a “No-Poo FAQ” follow-up post so they might be a bit easier to navigate through.
Check out these other awesome all-natural DIY beauty recipes!
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