It’s been a while since my last post on my No ‘Poo experimentation. It’s been quite a journey since my absence! I have stuck with it, with some breaks in-between because I love experimenting with my hair. (In a natural, non-harmful way, of course.)
I have tried….
1. Baking Soda and ACV Rinsing. (Apple Cider Vinegar)
I had a transition period that came and went for a few months; during that time I was tweaking my measurements for the mixtures, and it always came with a grease slick on the back of my head, or really bad dandruff. This time period it was noticeable I was doing (or NOT doing something) to my hair. I was determined to get it down, and I did.
My hair was clean, the concoctions were cheap, easy, and sustainable. I washed my hair every two or so days, but any more than that and I would be pushing it.
Whenever the topic is introduced, I always encourage the use of switching to a Baking Soda and ACV rinse. You can use it in place of Shampoo and Conditioner, during your daily shower. Typically, though, when people switch to No ‘Poo, it’s to stretch washes and to not depend on them as much. Why? Because Baking Soda can dry your hair and scalp out.
After a while, my scalp became itchy, dandruff appeared and never left (even though baking soda was supposed to help dandruff problems), and my curls were FLAT. I was a 2a or 2b at the time. My hair got lighter, which can be a sign of damage. I decided I needed a (nourishing, moisturizing) change, and having never pampered my curls, I switched to..
2. CurlyGirl Method (CWC – Condition Wash Condition)
I had saw the cover of this book online, and was intrigued ever since. Once I had checked it out from the library, but at the time I was just beginning my No ‘Poo journey, and wasn’t too interested. But now was the perfect time.
I used an herbal, natural conditioner, like the book recommended, and saw amazing results the first night! I had great, chunks of spirals from the scalp down! I did it at night, in fear my hair would be left greasy from all the conditioning. (A fear many tend to have..the important thing is the time the conditioner is left in, not how much. Rinsing, of course, also becomes a factor.) Shame, because I would have had a great hair day! lol I believe I slept with my hair down, and in the morning I separated the curls a bit, and still had great ringlets! And let me tell you, my hair was so SOFT and felt so healthy!
It didn’t last a long time, however. I was still using a commercial product, and it wasn’t very self-sustainable. The conditioners you want to use…can break the bank. (For some.) It was just a little much for me. I like simple routines, and ones where I don’t feel totally dependent on. (One reason why I do not wear make-up.) So after that short little stunt, I went back to No ‘Poo, but mixed it with something that would moisturize and nourish my hair.
3. Deep Conditioning (Back to No ‘Poo)
During my hair journey I was also learning about “Real Food” and changing my diet. Traditional foods, good fats, etc. (For an introduction, check out the Weston A. Price website.) This is when I discovered Coconut Oil. The Miracle Food. Coconut Oil can be used for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Ailments, beauty, cooking, detoxing, nourishment, etc. It’s good for you, and so extremely useful! If I were to choose just ONE beauty product for the rest of my life, I would choose coconut oil. My body LOVES it. And so do my curls.
Once I week I would deep condition with coconut oil, applying it before a wash day, leave it overnight. You don’t need to use a whole lot, but I would apply plenty on. Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shafts after a certain period of time; your hair actually absorbs the oil! You should notice that in the morning, your hair won’t be as oily has it was the night before. (It is best to wear a headcovering such as a silk scarf or shower cap so you do not stain bedclothes/linen. Unless you use an old pillowcase and don’t care, like me. 😉 I would wash in the morning.
The best method to wash out a deep conditioning treatment using the No ‘Poo method is to rinse your hair with an ACV solution, followed by half your Baking Soda solution, rinse that all out, wait a bit, rinse again with Baking Soda and finish it off with ACV. Really massage your scalp and hair when doing this. You should feel the oil leaving your hair on your hands. Rinse very well after the ACV+Baking Soda rinse. (Don’t rinse in-between each as the ACV and Baking Soda react to each other, which is good to rinse any oil residue off.) This did wonders with my hair. I coupled it with Castor Oil after a while, which left my hair thicker, darker, and with new hair growth! My hair grew a tad faster during this time period.
But I found that I used a lot more baking soda, and it left my hair dry after a conditioning treatment. My hair wasn’t as damaged, but it was still dry. So I took a break, and decided to do deep conditioning on an “as needed” basis.
4. Tea Rinses + ACV Only Rinse
Do you like herbal teas? Well, they’re not only for your insides. They’re great for your hair! Certain teas leave your hair healthy, enhances coloring, and treat your scalp. If you have dark hair, such as I do, using black tea can darken you hair. If you have lighter hair (blonde), chamomile can lighten your hair. All natural, fairly cheap, and nourishes your hair instead of drains it. If you grow an herbal garden, even better! It seems that pretty much any herb can be beneficial for you hair, when used as a rinse. Rosemary, basil, mint, raspberry, etc.
I myself stuck with black tea, so I could darken my hair. (As I said before, it seemed my hair had gotten lighter during my initial No ‘Poo adventure.) After my shower, I would rinse my hair with black tea (usually, it was just Lipton, which isn’t necessarily black tea.), leave it in for ten minutes, then rinse with cold water. Be easy your shampooing/rinsing with baking soda, because Black Tea helps break down sebum, the oil in your hair, so it shouldn’t be quite as necessary.
I noticed my hair became stronger, and it did darken. I stopped the rinses once I began a new hair journey, however I hope to start them up again. You can also choose a tea to rinse with based on scent. Which is great, since I miss out on all the pretty flower smells that regular shampoo and conditioners contain! (Not necessarily the “exact” scents..What they got in there is very well worth skipping out.)
After all that experimenting, researching, and time, I have finally come to this point.
To the point of
Water Only Washing.
More on that in another post!
If you have any questions or would like to share testimonies, please check my “About Me” page, or leave a comment.