“Honey, I’m off to massage an egg into my hair” I said, skipping off into the shower
“Alrightie then, dear. Let me know how it goes” replies hubby with barely a tinge of surprise
I have to admit Paul is a very tolerant and supportive hubby. Over the years he’s accepted and embraced all my self-experimentation, often even joining the process along the way. My latest idea was to go ‘poo-free. I’ve been experimenting for a few months now….and I LOVE IT!
Now, no-’poo has nothing to do with fiber-parties or number 2. It’s a movement of shampoo-free haircare and I was inspired to try it after I read technomadia’s post on 4 years poo-free. I’ve always loved natural foods and products and have spent years researching and understanding my diet. Going ‘poo-free seemed an excellent extension of that philosophy…..and a great asset for boondocking too!
The idea behind no-’poo is very simple. Our hair and scalp have natural oils that self-regulate and commercial shampoos strip your hair of that natural protection. This can cause all kinds of issues like hair that gets greasy too fast (from over-production of oils), dandruff, brittle tips, frizz and such…requiring even more shampoo and a slew of other products to manipulate the side-effects. No-’poo says that if you let your hair re-gain its’ natural control many of those issues go away. It’s the promise of easily managed, clean, healthy hair that’s green and cheap too!
No, it’s not “icky”
Yes, your hair is clean
Yes, it works for all types of hair
Yes, you don’t need to wash as often
Yes, your hair becomes soft, silky and manageable…naturally!
I started the process while out boondocking in Borrego Springs and have been experimenting with it ever since. There are lots of resources and support groups out there on no-’poo, but here’s my personal experience on how to do it:
1/ Be Ready For An Initial Adjustment Period
When you first stop using shampoo your hair will likely over-produce oils for a few weeks. It helps to be somewhere where your greasy head won’t really matter (i.e. boondocking!). It also helps to reduce the frequency of how often you shampoo before you start (so, for example if you used to shampoo daily, try once every other day, then once every 3 days). Tie your hair up, use a hat or whatever. This is the hard part, but it WILL pass. Expect at least a few weeks transition period, sometimes more.
2/ Prepare Your New Hair-Care Regime
The most common combo for no-’poo is using baking soda (a very weak alkali which acts as a cleaner) and apple-cider vinegar (a mild acid which is an excellent natural conditioner). The process is an easy 2-step
- Clean – I put about a tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of my hand, add a touch of water to make a “paste” and then massage it thoroughly into my roots. Let sit and rinse.
- Condition – I mix one capful (~1 teaspoon) of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and pour this on the ends/tips of my hair.
When you first start out you might be doing this 2-3 times/week. I’m currently down to about once/week, but I let my hair dictate when I it need to be washed.
3/ Self-Experiment To Find Your Grove
Everyone’s hair is different and you’ll need to experiment a little on how often and how much of everything you use. I have fine, blond hair which is naturally quite oily and I found the paste followed by a very dilute vinegar solution just on the tips of my hair was ideal. Some people use a more dilute baking soda solution (for drier hair), some people use vinegar all-over (for dry hair or folks with thicker, curlier hair), some people use a lemon rinse (especially nice for blonds since it helps bring out your highlights), some add specific herb oils (for aroma or health). And then there are those who use no product at all (water only). This site has great tips on what to do for your individual hair.
Finally there’s the trick of the egg -> an extra cleanser and conditioner all on its own (think of it like a protein-rich shampoo). It’s like a “special treat” for my hair and I use it about once a month. It makes my hair super-shiny-model-blond!
4/ Consider A Natural Boar Bristle Brush
Having fine hair one of the big additions that helped my no-’poo transition was buying a natural boar bristle brush. Boar bristle helps to brush and distribute natural oils through your hair. I do a thorough brushing every evening and it really silkens out my hair. The high-end boar bristle brushes (e.g. Mason Pearson) are super-expensive, but you can get reasonably priced deals, like this one on Amazon.com. For fine hair 100% boar works great (it’s a very soft brush), but for thicker, curlier hair you’ll want a boar/nylon mix (which is stiffer).
And that’s really it. My hair has really loved this transition. It’s got a ton more body than before, has re-gained it’s natural soft curls and feels incredibly smooth and healthy. Lot’s of great resources out there for those looking to try it too:
So, have you ever considered going poo-free?
Where Are We Today?Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, WA
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