Monday, April 4, 2011

no'poo


What's so wrong with shampoo and conditioner?  
Shampoos commonly contain detergents which strip the hair of natural oils so that your hair gets that 'squeaky clean' feeling in the shower.  Google the facts for yourself and you will come to this basic conclusion:  detergents = bad, natural oils = good.  

What do you need?  
Baking soda and vinegar -- I use apple cider vinegar because I love the smell but white vinegar works just as well.   Think about the baking soda as shampoo and the vinegar as conditioner.  Baking soda washes away the grime by opening up the hair cuticles and vinegar closes and softens the cuticles.

What do you do?  
1. Gather your ingredients and find a method to pour the liquid into your hair while in the shower.  I had these two squirt bottles on hand from a time when I asked Taylor to buy me two spray bottles.  Yeah, I had a good laugh when I saw these "ketchup" bottles that hearkened back to my post-childbirth days.  A cup would work just as well although these squirt bottles are really ideal.  

2. The basic ratio is one tablespoon of ingredient to one cup of water.  Before I get in the shower, I dump a tablespoon of baking soda in the bottle and add a cup of water, then add a tablespoon of vinegar to the other bottle and add a cup of water.  Initially, I had little lines on my bottles indicating the tablespoon and cup marks but they quickly washed off in the shower and now I just know my measurements by sight.  

3. Wet your hair.  Add the baking soda mix to your hair, scrubbing at your roots and rubbing all the way down to the tips.  Wait a minute or so before you rinse your hair.  Pay close attention to really scrubbing your roots during the rinse because baking soda looks suspiciously like dandruff if you don't rinse well.  Repeat with the vinegar mix.

Troubleshooting:
*You will likely notice a "detox" period in which your hair recovers from years of chemical washes.  Depending upon your hair type, your hair might seem greasy or dry for a few weeks.  Personally, my hair seemed a bit greasy but balanced out within a few washes.

* The one tablespoon: one cup is the basic ratio.  Different hair types and different water types might call for more baking soda or more vinegar.  It's really just a test of trial and error. 

* The goal of no'poo is for your hair to be weaned to longer periods between the baking soda and vinegar washes and eventually look good with  just water washing.  I've been using this method for about 2 months and I no'poo about every other shower and do a water rinse in between washes.  Granted, I don't shower every day so this equates to using the mixes 1-2 times a week.

If you know me in real life, you might be thinking:  Ummm, Laura, your hair is always in a braid or in a knot on top of your head.  Why would I go to you for hair suggestions?  Yes.  My hair is always in a braid or a knotted up on my head for a number of reasons, not limited to the fact that Liza loves pulling my hair and my hair is so ridiculously long that I am waiting a few more months then chopping it off and donating my braid to Locks of Love.  But, my hair is softer than ever before and is the least frizzy of my entire life.  

No'poo is:  
Better for my hair by allowing it's natural oils to do their thing.  
Better for our budget because baking soda and vinegar is ridiculously cheap.  
Better for the envirorment by reducing my personal use of plastics and harmful chemicals.

Do you no'poo?
Would you no'poo?

20 comments:

childsplay said...

I shampoo once a week and condition daily (or when I shower)...I've read that if you have curly hair no shampoo is the best thing anyway so that's why I go once a week...I want buildup to "try" and keep the frizz tame...

Dusti said...

We no poo and love it!!

Dusti
http://www.wheresdusti.blogspot.com

Mandi S. said...

Have you done this yet or have you been doing it? Interesting about the curly hair aspect...

I tried it a few years ago for almost 6 months and I just never liked it. I hated the way my hair felt and the way it would style (and I use that term loosely b/c the majority of that time I had long hair and would just braid or ponytail it) but once I cut it all off and still did no'poo, I still hated it. I tried every troubleshooting tip I could and still no avail.

Will just uses Dr. Bronner and I do sometimes, but I really like Head organic shampoo and conditioner. I get it in frontier co-ops so it's cheap, cheap. I do have a major problem with commercial shampoos/conditioners and the ingredients therein. I've been pretty anal about what goes in and is put on my body for a long time now and personal care products are no exception and as crunchy as I may be, the no-poo did not work for me at all.

Dusti said...

Mandi, I have wavy/curly hair and my hair has never been healthier, curls more defined, or less frizzy! Might want to give it a shot :)

Dusti

Mandi S. said...

I *did* give a shot for 6 months, lol! It just did not work for me!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Lizbeth, you should give this a try. I wonder how your hair would do with it.

Mandi, I've been doing it for a few months. My hair actually seems less curly and just more wavy. But, a part of that is how long it is. I'm really curious to see how it does when I get my hair cut off.

Dusti, do you use any product since you have curly hair? I use a smidge of coconut oil when it's still wet but I'm thinking about making a shea butter/coconut oil mixture to use.

BrownFamily said...

I've thought a lot about doing this but haven't tried it yet...Do you know if you have to make the mix everytime you get in the shower or can you make enough for say a week? I'm all about less work lol!

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

In the picture, you can see the baking soda in the little tupperware and the vinegar in that random glass bottle. I keep those in my bathroom and make the mix right before I get in the shower. It really only takes a second to mix so I do it while my water heats up.

Not sure about how mixing it ahead of time would work....

tia said...

I want to do the whole no poo, I make my own mix of different oils and vinegar but have stopped using any kind of shampoo or conditioner. they just make my hair look greasy. I also let my hair air dry- no straightener and no blow dryer :)

it's nice to meet you.
http://twobirdsonwire.blogspot.com/

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Tia, I hope to just do water washes eventually.....but honestly, I don't really shower that much so I suppose I rarely wash my hair anyway. I'm dirty like that :)

The Conner Clan said...

I'm growing my hair to donate to locks of love too! A friend of mine did it last year and it got me thinking "hey, i gross this stuff for free and it goes towards a worthy cause...why not?!" I just wish it was long enough already cause I'm starting to get tired of having crazy long hair. I will say you've intrigued me with your whole no'poo thing...I might just give it a try. But, I am worried my hair would get overly greasy...

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

I am so sick of all this hair. Right now my ponytail is 12 inches so the haircut is coming soon and I can't wait.

If your hair tends to be greasy, you will want to use less vinegar and more baking soda. It's really trial and error but I'm sure you can figure out the proper ratios for your hair.

But, if you are like me with too long hair, it's in a ponytail anyway....

KazVik said...

I used to wash my hair with rye bread. And it worked great. I love it! Unfortunately they don't sell Russian rye bread here, and the one that I can get I don't want to use on washing my hair. I also read somewhere(but I haven't tried it yet), that you can wash your hair with egg yolk mixed with honey (2 egg yolks, 2 Tbsp honey.)

Alix said...

We've been doing this same thing for about half a year now, and we love it. We don't use any commercial products whatsoever. It's wonderful!

Rebecca said...

I do my own modified version of this. I only shower every other day as it is and I wash my hair once a week with an orgnaic, sulfate free, tea tree oil shampoo. That's only because of my irrational fear of lice. Tea tree oil repels lice for some reason :)

I've donated my hair to Locks of Love probably 3-4 times. I don't style my hair so haircuts often go forgotten. In fact, the last time I got my hair cut was in June (almost a year ago). My hair grows really fast and I love the drastic change. so why not donate it?

Laura @ our messy messy life. said...

Vika, how did you wash your hair with bread? I'm intrigued.

Alix, I really like it too. It's nice to repurpose things we already have in the house for yet another job.

Rebecca, I remember well your irrational fear of lice.... I always wait so long between hair cuts that I should have been donating my hair all these years. I feel good about it because at this point all this damn hair is starting to feel like a cross I have to bear.

Jodie said...

Laura-
I have a friend who does the no-poo thing. She really likes it and has super think beautiful hair. Right now I use Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle-it's super cheap, is SLS free, gluten free, and free of all the commercial brands harsh chemicals as well. Once that's gone, I may get up the courage to do the no-poo thing. I just worry cause I have super fine greasy hair. I have to shampoo everyday or it looks like a set it in lard, literally it looks sopping wet! I kid you not. So we'll see.

KazVik said...

Laura,

You need to soak it in the hot water to make a mushy substance and then rub it into your hair. Leave it there for several minutes and then rinse (rinsing can be a pain). But it works. I don't know if you can do it with any rye bread. When I lived in Kazakhstan I used the Russian rye bread. I can buy it here sometimes in Russian food stores (I think you can also find it online), but I don't want to use it on my hair.

woyujune said...

Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

cialis

Anonymous said...

laura i find you so inspiring
im 16 and ive recently moved out of home not only am i looking for ways to save money but ive always wanted to be green i grew up with a very wasteful family so thank you for all your help and information merry christmas and happy new year to you and your beautiful family!