Archive for January, 2010

No ‘poo: First Week Conclusions

Ok, so it’s not strictly a week, but with a toddler you have to blog when you can and make up your own timescales!  I’m over the moon about how my hair feels after the last two days concoctions and I absolutely cannot get over the fact that I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner since Sunday.  I’m sort of dreading suddenly going through a detox period that a lot of people mention, where you suddenly get the greasies, itchies or waxies (sexy nicknames huh?) – I feel a bit like I’m getting away with something at the moment!

This week I’ve ended up doing a ‘wash’ of some kind almost every day, which isn’t really the ultimate aim.  But I love making mixtures wanted to experiment with some of the different ingredients I had read about online.  And I’m impatient, so I couldn’t contemplate spacing these experiments out over weeks!

No 'Poo

Alchemy...the posh name for makin' mixtures

I’ve definitely reached some conclusions:

  • BS either disagrees with my water or hair
  • Salt is a great alternative cleaner
  • Beer is great for shine
  • I really like the tea/honey/salt/WV combos

Things I want to test out next week:

  • Whether the tea/honey/salt/WV combos are making my hair great on their own, or whether the grapefruit rinse is helping with that
  • How my hair behaves if I do a water only (WO) wash plus citrus rinse every other day, with a ‘concoction’ wash on the other days
  • Whether I can mix up a big batch of tea/honey/salt/WV and keep it in the fridge to use over the course of a week (as it’s water-based I don’t really want to keep it in the warm shower room or for longer than a week)

So, so far, so good.  If you’re still dithering (or going, “Ew!  Smelly woman!”), trust me – I could not have been more of a shampoo-is-my-crutch person, right up until last week.  I honestly thought my hair would be gross without it.  So my advice is…get over it, you big wuss, and give it a go 😉


No ‘poo: Days 4 – 6

Day 4:

Wash:  *gulp* – Water only

Rinse: 1 pint tea (1 chamomile & 1 peppermint teabag), 1 tsp honey

Result: Hair is definitely softer and still clean.  The greasy feel has completely gone, but it still feels a little dry – it is hard to run my fingers through the finer hair at the front.  It is still quite flat-looking.

Notes: Chamomile is good for softening and lightening hair.  Honey is a good moisturiser (use some on your face then rinse off – it’s gorgeous!) – just make sure you rinse well to avoid any residual stickiness.  To combat the dryness, I run a little aloe vera gel through it before bed, which helps.

Day 5:

Wash: 1 pint chamomile tea, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp white vinegar

Rinse: GF as before

Result: Wow!  This is a very good hair day.  My hair is clean, soft, with no trace of greasiness or dryness.  My usual volume has returned.  I am really, really pleased with how it looks and feels.

Notes: I can’t believe I’ve gone without shampoo for five days and don’t have a trace of the itchies, flakes, smell, grease…anything!  I used to wake up with blood under my fingernails from scratching in my sleep if I went more than one day without ‘poo and conditioner.  I’m completely stunned.  And very overexcited!

I used salt because sea salt is suggested as an alternative to BS for those who don’t get on with it (sea salt rather than table, because you don’t want the anti-caking agents in there).  White vinegar is an alternative to ACV and is usually an acid rinse, but it also acts as a water softener, so I thought I’d chuck it in.

Actually, those last seven words pretty much sum up all my recipes – food-wise and cosmetics-wise.

Day 6:

Wash: 1/2 pint water. 1/2 pint flat beer, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp salt

Rinse: GF

Result: Mmm…stroke-able.  Fantastic hair again.  Clean, soft, light, shiny, bouncy, volume…it’s lovely.  I reckon there’s a faint beer whiff, but Hubby swears he can’t smell it (although that might be like asking a pig if they can smell muck!)

Notes: Yeah, I know, it seems a bit of random wash concoction today.  Hubby left half a glass of beer sitting on the side last night and having read that beer is great for restoring shine to hair, I pounced and declared it mine in the name of science.  Luckily Hubby is one of the few people who don’t consider my ‘natural’ forays slightly mad, so he managed not to laugh.  Usually you just do a beer rinse, but I’m still finding it hard to give up on the idea of having some kind of cleaning agent in there (salt).  And the honey?  I just gotta thing for it.

No ‘poo: Days 1 – 3

Here we go!

So, my starting point, as mentioned previously, is that I shampoo and condition my every day.  If I don’t my scalp gets very itchy and my hair greasy.  I reckon it smells a bit too, but I think I’m paranoid!

Hair type:  very thick (as in lots of it).  Coarse at the neck, becoming finer and lighter towards the hairline.  Blonde lengths which have been previously dyed, with dark roots growing out.  Chin length, with annoying random waves!

Natural Shampoo

No 'Poo will make you look this cute. Swear.

Day 1:

To really test this out, I skip a day of shampooing and conditioning.  By the end of the day, it’s driving me nuts.

Day 2:

Wash: 1 tbsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda, diluted in 1 pint boiled water

Rinse: Juice of 1 grapefruit, diluted in 1 pint boiled water

Result: Well, it ain’t itchy!  My hair looks clean.  It feels clean too, if a little…odd.  Sort of dry and a bit greasy at the same time, like when you’ve been swimming too long.  It seems heavy, with no body or bounce.

Notes: I boil the water because we have very hard water here.  This apparently softens the water a little, making it work better with the baking soda which can react with hard water to leave a soap-like scum in the hair.  Any water in further notes is always boiled first.

I have not used the usual no ‘poo method of an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse, as this can apparently react badly with hard water too.

BS is an alkali substance, whereas the scalp is naturally slightly acidic.  This is why you tend to rinse with something mildly acidic afterwards.  In place of ACV, white vinegar or any citrus juice can be used – all I had was a very old grapefruit sat at the back of the fridge!

Day 3:

Wash: BS wash as before

Rinse: GF rinse as before

Result: Hmm.  Exactly the same as Day 1.  It’s clean, but I don’t want my hair feeling like this.  It also looks pretty dull.

Notes: Think I’ll skip the BS tomorrow and see if it helps. The point of the BS is that it cuts the grease in the hair, making it easy to rinse out.  In this respect, it’s not really helpful to use it every day – you are effectively doing exactly what you do with shampoo, which is stripping the hair of its natural oil, causing it to overcompensate and produce too much, causing you to overcompensate and wash too much!

No ‘poo. No, not that kind.


Make. It. Stop!

Well, first blog post and I thought I’d better make it a good’un.  Not that this is going to be literary gold – but the subject is one I never imagined I’d find myself writing about.  ‘Cause honestly, in the world of going natural, ditching my shampoo addiction always seemed like a step too far.  Next stop, sack cloth dresses and walking barefoot through the snow.

Wait.  I  mixed up my images.  Dancing naked in the snow?  Yep, that’s better.

Or not.  Um, ok…yeah, so going no ‘poo (so called by the internetters who swear by it) was not something I was prepared for.  I’ll post my reasons for going natural later.

Using only natural face, hair and body care is a pain when you live in a town that worships high street fashion and alcohol, but very little else.  The only other things we have are a Wilkinson, a couple of Holland & Barretts, the usual chemists and Lidls (randomly).  So all our toiletries need to be bought online.

Now, as total internet ner…uh, aficionados, that’s fine.  Only,we’re not very organised.  Well, Hubby couldn’t care less what we use (unless we run out), so I’m left with, “Whatever you get I’ll use,” and the fact that I’m hopelessly disorganised.  Which leaves me getting in the shower in the morning, remembering we’re running out of stuff, swearing to buy some more the second I get out and then  utterly forgetting until the next morning’s shower.

Added to this, I have a terminally itchy scalp.  I say terminally because one day I’ll wake up dead, having bled to death via my scalp after an all-night scratchathon.  I had hoped going natural would help, but I still had to wash my hair every single day, otherwise the itchies were enough to make me kick small kittens (not actual kittens you understand.  Just imaginary ones.  In my head.  Um….)

So yeah.  Shampoo was doing naff all for me, other than irritating me by maliciously running out, perpetuating the itchies, and getting rid of grease, dirt, smells…pff, next to useless.

So, with about a week’s worth of shampoo left, and vaguely remembering something about ditching the shampoo, I got reading.  Then I got totally overwhelmed and very confused.  So I read some more and I got some stuff and I mixed some things…

Ok, I didn’t keep it short. Sorry. If you want to find out more about the no ‘poo method, check out The No ‘Poo Community and The Long Hair Community for as much info as you could ever want.

If you need further persuading/disgusting/spectating, I’ll blog the results and tell you what works, what doesn’t and how I’m getting on.

See ya in shampoo hell babies.