“Low-‘Poo” and Pictures from my “No-‘Poo” Journey

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Ok ladies, today marks 6 weeks since I started my ‘No-Poo’ journey, and I am going to be switching to ‘Low-Poo’ (for now, at least). I was hesitant to tell you this, since many of you have either started ‘No-Poo’ or are seriously considering it. Let me explain what ‘Low-Poo’ is. Basically I am just going to be switching to an all-natural or organic brand of shampoo and conditioner.

I am training for a 5K that I’m running in November, and I’ve been noticing that I haven’t been running as much on ‘No-Poo’ as I should be to get ready for this thing. I like my hair on the days in between washes, so I’ve been skipping runs in order to avoid having to wash it. I wrote Alex Raye (writer of Almost Exactly blog) a few days ago and told her my concerns. For sweaty days on ‘No-Poo’ I’ve been using a lemon juice mixture to sop up the oils from my hair, which totally works, but I’ve been concerned that I have been doing too much to my hair.

Alex agreed with me that if I’m going to be running almost on a daily basis, the baking soda and lemon juice washes would be too drying for my hair. With this said however, I don’t want to discourage any of you that have started ‘No-Poo’ or are wanting to try it. I think every girl should give it a try! I’m soooo glad that I did, and I’m not saying that I will never do it again. I’ve had some of the best hair days in my life during these last 6 weeks! Haha. 🙂

If you are exercising 3 days a week, or if your schedule/circumstances don’t allow you to exercise as much, ‘No-Poo’ would definitely work for you! If your normal routine is anything like last week was for me, I highly recommend ‘No-Poo’ for you! Here’s how my week went, followed by pictures. My mom was in town, so I didn’t run for the week so that I’d have more time to spend with her. (We had a blast by the way! I’m so glad she came!) Anyway, Monday night I used the baking soda and vinegar method. Tuesday morning I curled my hair and I didn’t do anything else until a deep conditioning treatment on Saturday night. Best hair week ever, seriously! Look at the pictures:

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Top picture (with my beautiful momma) was taken on day 35 (Tuesday). Middle picture was day 37 (3 days after washing it and sleeping on my curls every night). Bottom picture was day 38 (4 days after washing it and sleeping on my curls). 🙂

Can you see why I love it so much? I basically had to come to  the point though, where I needed to give up running if I was going to stick with ‘No-Poo’. And I think my transitioning period on ‘No-Poo’ (where I watched my hair go from greasy mess on non-wash days to the point where my scalp was used to the routine and my hair days were amazing) will allow me to have no problem with a natural shampoo. I tried a natural shampoo for awhile before, and it left my hair really oily. But now that I know what I know about silicones, waxes, sulfates, etc. in conventional shampoos that coat your hair with chemicals and strip it so much of natural oils that are necessary for healthy hair, it totally makes sense to me that I needed to go through a transition with that, too.

I hope you understand the reason behind why I’m choosing to go the ‘Low-Poo’ route for now, and I really hope this doesn’t discourage any of you from trying ‘No-Poo’! If your daily routine allows you to go that route, I think that would be awesome. And if you’ve been thinking all along that you’d love to try ‘No-Poo’ but weren’t sure if you could or not, go ‘Low-Poo’! Let’s have healthy, chemical-free hair! 🙂

P.S.-PLEASE visit Alex Raye’s blog almostexactlyblog.com if you still wanna go the ‘No-Poo’ route! She has lots of info about ‘Low-Poo’, too, and all kinds of other all-natural beauty routines!

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Homemade Dry Shampoo for ‘No Poo’ Hair

Before I started ‘no poo’, I was actually washing with my shampoo bar every other day and using homemade dry shampoo on my non-wash days. The first time I tried it, I was so surprised that it actually worked for me, because I was one of those girls who, if I washed, say on Sunday night, by Monday night my hair already looked really oily. Now that I’ve started ‘no poo’, I’m still getting a lot of use out of it. 

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • For all you lovely ladies with dark hair, you can add unsweetened cocoa (amount will vary depending on how dark your hair is).

I store mine in a glass jar.

To use it, just rub a little amount in your hands and run your fingers through your hair/massage it in starting from your roots and working your way out. Flip your hair and do the same to the underside of your hair. Repeat in places that you get oily. But don’t forget to use a tiny amount! A little goes a long way! Leave it alone while you do your make-up or something else for a few minutes, then comb it through to get rid of the powdery look.

It totally soaks up the oil! I’ve had a few days where I put it in, still see oiliness, say, “Whatever, I’m just gonna look like a grease ball today, I guess.” but then…when I get to wherever I’m headed, I look in the mirror and it looks great! 🙂 (Usually, I can tell that it’s worked before I leave the house, so don’t worry.)

I use my dry shampoo on days when it’s not a baking soda and vinegar wash day but I could use a little “touch-up”. 

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I took this picture on day 7. Please ignore how tired I look and check out my hair. 🙂 I had only let my hair air dry the whole first week. No styling whatsoever, but look at how much volume! I never had this much volume before starting the ‘no poo’ method, no matter how hard I tried! 

Deep Conditioners for ‘No Poo’ Hair

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On the ‘No Poo’ method, you have to keep your hair moisturized. I’ve been trying to do a deep conditioning treatment once a week. I wanted to share a few that I’ve tried. I got them all from Almost Exactly Blog. (almostexactly.wordpress.com) Deep conditioning is a necessity for ‘no poo’ because the baking soda would be too drying on your hair if you didn’t moisturize regularly. These are to be done alone, no washing with anything after. 

1. Yogurt and Egg Yolk 

  • 1/2 cup organic PLAIN yogurt
  • 1 Egg Yolk 

Mix together in a bowl until combined. Put all over your hair-roots to tips (with your fingers…it’s messy!). Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse out in the shower. 

2. Yogurt and Honey 

  • 1/2 cup organic PLAIN yogurt 
  • 2 Tablespoons RAW honey 

Combine in a blender. Put all over hair-roots to tips. Leave on 15-20 minutes and rinse out in the shower. 

3. Avocado and Egg Yolk 

  • 1/2 Avocado (DON’T use a whole avocado! I did that the first time and it was so thick it left my hair super greasy!) 
  • 1 Egg Yolk

Combine in a blender. Put all over hair and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse out in the shower.

4. Avocado, Banana, Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1/2 Avocado 
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • I also added 2 TBSP water to mine. 

Blend together in a blender until smooth (til there are no chunks). Put all over hair and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse out in the shower. 

I use my fingers to put the mixtures in my hair. And I stand over the sink for the 15-20 minutes so that if it drips it doesn’t get all over my floor. (Gives me an excuse to play on my phone for a little while!) I usually have a mess in the sink to wash out once I’ve finished applying it to my hair. 

Confession tIme! Deep conditioning day has been when I’m most tempted to give up ‘no poo’. I haven’t found one yet that I absolutely love. It feels awesome when I get it into my hair, and I can tell it’s really moisturizing, but this has always been my greasiest day. I’m still trying to get a good routine down. I was deep conditioning on Wednesdays, but then by church it looked very greasy. 😦 This week I deep conditioned as soon as I woke up this morning (Saturday). Based on what your week is like, you’ll have to figure out the best day to deep condition for you. (Hat day!) I’m still experimenting and trying new mixtures every week, so if I find one that I fall in love with (not leaving my hair greasy-looking) I’ll definitely let you know! I think the one I like the best out of what I’ve tried so far has been the egg yolk and yogurt. My hair has looked the least oily with that one, but the egg doesn’t smell pleasant, just for a heads up. 

After reading that last paragraph, you may be thinking, “Why is she doing this, then? And do I really want to try it?” Despite my greasy deep conditioning days, I’m lovin’ the way my hair looks on the rest of the week, so I’m finding it’s worth it. And it could be that I’m still so new to this that I’m not completely out of transitioning yet. And hey, if nothing else, it gives me an excuse to wear a cute hat once a week, right? 

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Baking Soda and Vinegar Wash for ‘No Poo’ Hair

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On the ‘No Poo’ method, baking soda serves as your shampoo and vinegar as your conditioner. HOWEVER, this is only to be used about once a week (longer the more used to this method your scalp gets). I know you are probably thinking I’m crazy, but I’m telling you, I am loving this and it’s totally working! I can tell a difference in the length of my hair and it’s been 14 weeks since I last got a trim and I don’t have split ends! My hair has so much volume and I try to get away with air drying it as much as possible. On days that I don’t style it, it is full of volume and naturally has a perfect wave to it. On days that I use a curling iron (way less than I did before) I can get away with curling 3-4 pieces and the rest is perfectly wavy as is. 

Here’s what you need for your baking soda and vinegar rinses:

  • 2 spray bottles
  • water
  • baking soda
  • vinegar (either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)  

You’ll kind of have to play around with amounts and see what works best for you, but this is what you’d typically use:

  • 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda in 1 spray bottle
  • 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in the other spray bottle 

The first time I made my rinses, I used tap water. The next time I used distilled. I think I like distilled better, but it could be that my hair was a little more used to it by the second bottle, so tap may be fine. Depending on if you have hard water or not, you make the decision on whether distilled is the better option for you. Also, the first time I made my baking soda rinse, I used one tablespoon of baking soda, the next time I used 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. I read that it was supposed to feel “slimy” and one tablespoon didn’t feel slimy to me. But, depending on the thickness and length of your hair, what works for you may be different than what works for me, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Also, I use white vinegar right now, which is working fine for me, but I think based on what I’ve read that I may switch to apple cider vinegar the next time I make it.

Method:

FIRST: CLARIFY! I did not do this (you live and learn) but I guess I was supposed to and it would have made my transition easier. Since I skipped this step but don’t recommend that you skip this step, I’m going to give you the link to Almost Exactly Blog’s step by step on clarifying: http://almostexactlyblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/extra-thoughts-on-going-no-poo/ Step SIX is where she explains how to clarify. (I apologize for overusing the word step in the last two sentences.) 

Anyway, after you clarify, this is what you’ll do 3-5 days later for your first baking soda and vinegar rinse. 

1. Get in the shower and wet your hair like you’d do before shampooing.

2. Spray your scalp all over with the baking soda mixture. Lift your hair up in places to make sure you are getting your whole scalp.

3. Rub/massage into your scalp like you would with shampoo. Like I said before, it should feel slimy. I usually try to do this for about 2 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly while rubbing/massaging your scalp to make sure it’s all out, just like you would with shampoo.

5. Next, spray only the length of your hair with the vinegar mixture. It will smell like vinegar when you spray it in the shower, but I promise you will not smell like vinegar when you get out! (I was worried about that the first time I did it, so I know you’re wondering about it, too.)

6. Do the other stuff you do in the shower (shave, body wash, face wash, sing, etc.) while you let the vinegar rinse sit on your hair.

7. Right before you get out of the shower, rinse out the vinegar.

And don’t forget! This is only for once a week, tops! All my hairstylist buddies that are freaking out about how dry and damaged my hair is going to be, I know it would be bad for my hair if I did this every day…I assure you that I am not doing this every day! 🙂  

(More posts to come featuring deep conditioners (which are important) and how to wash sweaty work out hair on your non-baking soda and vinegar wash days.) 

 

Why I Decided to Give Up Shampoo

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(This photo was taken on Day 2. Day 1 consisted of a Baking Soda and Vinegar wash, air drying, and no styling. Day 2 I used a tiny sprinkle of homemade dry shampoo.) 

 

I am going to start by saying that I am not an expert on the “No Poo” method. (And that I did not come up with that name!) I want to, right off the bat, refer you to almostexactlyblog.wordpress.com. Alex Raye is the blog writer, and I have been visiting “Almost Exactly Blog” quite frequently since I started this. If you are thinking about going ‘no poo’, I’d recommend you read every blog post she’s written on the subject! 🙂 She has been doing this for years…as I am writing this post I’m only on my 38th day.

I personally started ‘no poo’ for two reasons: hair growth and health. Since I’m in the process of growing out my hair, one night I was researching natural ways to grow it out longer and faster. I came across a few blogs of girls that were doing ‘no poo’ and it really caught my interest! I read up on ‘no poo’ so much that night! For the next few days, I researched and researched, then made a little list of things I needed to go buy if I was going to experiment with this.

I had been using “Lush” shampoo bars for awhile, but one day (a few days before starting to research ‘no poo’) I came across a catalog that a girl who worked at “Lush” had given me. I started looking through it and was shocked at what I found! Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates were the first ingredient in every product, followed by a few natural/organic ingredients and ending with every artificial color you can think of. They claim to be so good and natural and organic and full of essential oils. I had been duped. Sure there were those few good ingredients in the middle, but why’d they have to leave the chemical ingredients out when I went into the store and interrogated them about what was in the shampoo bar I was thinking about buying?

I thought I had a totally clean, natural and chemical-free home: my kitchen finally held all natural and organic food, my make-up was all-natural, my hygiene products were all 100% natural, my laundry detergent was all-natural, and up until the point I found that “Lush” catalog, I thought my shampoo was, too.