Going shampoo-less

Monday, May 27, 2013

I have great hair. I'm pretty lucky: the only real problem I ever have to deal with is a bit of dandruff. My hair is also about 2 feet long, and is well cared-for. I rarely blow dry it, and styling implements (aside from barettes, hair elastics, and chopsticks) are rarely used. It's in phenomenal shape (especially for its length).

A couple of months ago I decided to try the whole poo-free (shampoo free) thing. I've read up on it, and the theory is sound. A bunch of people have good information on it:


I managed to go for 3 weeks, and then shampooed while dying my hair for comiccon (ran out of time). Since May 8th, I have again been poo-less. This blog is about my experiences thus far (officially at the 1/2way point of the 6 week "adjustment peroid").

1. The first thing that had distanced me from the idea for so long was the fact that I LOVE hot water. I didn't think I could live without it. Key here? I don't. I still shower almost daily. Sometimes I'll have my hair up in a clip, some days I'll keep it down and just rinse it, and some days I will "shampoo" with baking soda.

2. Figuring out how much baking soda to use is the hardest part. At first I was using too little, and my hair wasn't getting "clean". Then I was using too much and my hair was taking on a "crunchy" texture (not quite frizzy, but it would stick together when I tried to brush it). This texture problem has been my biggest stumbling block to staying on the bandwagon.
> ordinarily, my hair is very silky, smooth, and soft. It requires very little effort other than brushing and braiding. If I want it straight, I just blow dry it upside down for volume and shape.
> lately the texture has been very different. Not silky. I'm having trouble balancing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar applications so that my hair comes out somewhere between rough and static-y/oily. Some days I will dip my fingers in coconut oil and run them through my hair while towelling it dry, but even that is up in the air.

3. I've noticed that a lot of people will gloss over their issues or not discuss them at all. I'm not dissuading others from trying this, but I would've liked to have had more specific information on problems that can arise before I started. I never anticipated my normally silky-smooth locks would rebel so strongly. I figured, oily? I can deal with that! It's summer, I'll have my hair up most of the time anyway. This, though, has been less than ideal.

My hair still looks normal. No one (literally) whom I haven't told has noticed a difference in my hair, and even then, they see no difference until I put it into their hands. It isn't gross, nor visibly greasy. It is merely not acting the way my hair always has.

I've been looking for troubleshooting tips and am going to try a few of them. I like the idea of a vinegar rinse beforehand: it might help the dandruff that I still have.



One thing I have found useful was a little plastic travel hairspray container. A lot of these sites warn about over-vinegaring your hair (it makes it greasy). So I mix (in a 1:5 ratio) apple cider vinegar and water in the little spray bottle and then spray it onto my hair. I have yet to refill it for more than 6 weeks, and the apple cider vinegar ends up only where want it. I don't risk pouring it into my eyes (something many poo-free-ers mention as a VERY BAD THING), and if I do want to do my scalp, a minimal amount ends up there, so my roots never end up limp!

So 3 weeks in and I'm not sure I'll continue after the "adjustment period". I started this because I like the idea of reducing the number of chemicals I apply to my skin, but I really do love the way my hair normally feels and acts. All in all, it's been an interesting experience. I may or may not try other new things (I'm intrigued by Oil Cleansing www.theoilcleansingmetho
), but that will have to wait until my hair has figured itself out.

Happy Monday!
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