Saturday, October 13, 2012

The No 'Poo Diaries: Week 1

So it has finally come to this.  I started cleaning my toilet with it, then my laundry.  I haven't gotten to brushing my teeth with it yet, but I have now started washing my hair with good 'ole sodium bicarbonate, aka Baking Soda.  Come on, I know some of you were expecting this.  My crunchy granola-ness has finally taken me there.

Here it sits, ready to clean our hair.
For those of you unfamiliar with the No 'Poo phenomenon, it's basically the new hippy-dippy fad of washing your hair with baking soda and conditioning it with apple cider vinegar.  It supposedly helps your hair retain its natural moisture, aids in good scalp health, helps you avoid harsh chemicals that are often found in mainstream shampoos, and is more environmentally and financially friendly.

I've been hearing and reading about this for a little over a year now.  I was always curious about it, but was afraid to try.  Then my hair got long.  And dry, and angry, and split.  It was totally gross.  I don't cut my hair much, and it really shows after a year or so in between cuts.  So I cut it last week.  Then I decided that it would be a perfect time to start the No 'Poo challenge because it's nice and short and impossible to tangle.

Reading through testimonials of people who have done this resulted in, of course, mixed opinions.  Some said that their hair was gross for a while and took a few weeks to get used to the new routine, some had an easier time, some used a whole quarter cup of the miracle white powder, some used only a tablespoon.  Some used a cup of undiluted apple cider vinegar as conditioner, some diluted it and sprayed a bit on just before stepping out of the shower.

After reading several opinions, I gave it a try.  Here is the day to day breakdown of the first week.

I haven't washed my hair since Saturday afternoon, so it was nice and dirty and greasy.  I put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a cup and took it into the shower with me.  I also filled a spray bottle with a 50% apple cider vinegar dilution.  In the shower, I added about 1/2 cup water to the baking soda and swished it around until it was well-mixed.  Then I poured it slowly on different areas of my scalp and rubbed it in.  Of course, it didn't get foamy and the bit that dripped into my mouth tasted awful.  But it felt good to massage my scalp with the baking soda since you can feel the exfoliating and scrubbing.  After rinsing it out, I spayed the apple cider vinegar all over my hair until it was "well-coated."  What does that mean?  I dunno, maybe 30 sprays.   I ran my fingers through my hair to untangle, and though it didn't feel anything like regular conditioner, it actually did the trick.  That rinsed out really easily and I was done.

Afterward, my hair didn't feel the same after I got out and while it was still wet, but it definitely didn't feel dirty anymore.  I let it air dry a bit and then blow dried.  This was the real test to see if the greasy-ness was gone.  And guess what?  It is!  It took a bit longer to dry, I don't know if there is something in regular conditioner that helps hair dry faster, but it took a bit longer.  My hair feels nice and soft, and clean.  And no vinegar smell.

This morning, it still looked clean, though it seemed a little flat.  It lasted the whole day and I was happy that it didn't look greasy all day.  I normally wash my hair every other day and I thought about washing it again, but decided to keep my normal routine to see how long the "cleanliness" lasted.  It still doesn't really feel the same, though I can't say it feels dirty.  Just a little heavier and maybe a little sticky.

I woke up to maybe some greasiness and the same flatness from yesterday.  I put it up halfway to hide the greasiness.  Throughout the day, it stayed about the same, and by the end of the day was looking like I hadn't washed it in 48 hours.  So I repeated the same washing process from Monday.  After I blow dried, my hair feels pretty great, and SUPER soft.

It feels pretty much the same as on Tuesday.  Though what I noticed is that it is able to avoid bedhead.  My bangs sometimes look really scary in the morning, and they've been looking pretty good since I started this new regimen. 

Oooh, should this hair be in a Baking Soda commercial?
It's a day off for me, and since my house isn't heated during the day, I decided to take a nice hot shower to warm up.  This was my third baking soda hair washing, using the same process as the last two times.  I blow dried as usual, and this time I noticed it was a bit fuller than before, and felt a little cleaner.  It still feels great and looks good too.  Is this really going to be this easy?  What I've noticed today is that the smell from my old shampoo and conditioner is still lingering.  My hair still smells like the other stuff, even though it hasn't been used to wash my hair in a almost a whole week.  Crazy.  So maybe my hair is still hanging onto chemicals.  I wonder how long it'll take for all that to wash out?  Or does apple cider vinegar just smell really good when heated?  Who knows.  This is fun.

This morning I woke up to fabulous hair.  I think this new fad is for realz.  Oh, did I mention Shawn is doing this too, and totally loving it?  Yeah!

Move over chemicals, Baking Soda and Vinegar to the rescue!

Trying to take a picture of your own hair sometimes results in awkward kitty photos.

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