He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

21 April 2010

No Poo Experiment

Over six months ago one of my brothers commented on a thing he heard about called "no-pooing". I thought the idea of skipping the suds sounded awefully silly however I was intrigued. More recently, I have made a consorted effort to start working our family back to the basics with food, medical treatments, household cleaners, body care, etc. I figure that the closer to God's creation something is, the better it is. Man's tampering with things seems to have really thrown our bodies off and now I watch the news and see nothing but people chronically struggling with health problems and it only makes sense to me that we did it to ourselves.
So here we are... one of my many steps to going all natural was to take the no-poo experiment. I figured if anyone else wanted to know more about it or take a stab at it themselves, my humble experience might sway them one way or the other.

Prior to this experiment I had to wash my hair every day. I was coming off a pregnancy so my hormones were out of whack. I was trying to wean myself off the daily washing but I was a greasy mess by 36 hours. I used a couple of VERY expensive products to get back to only 3 or 4 washes a week but made no progress.

I got my recipes and troubleshooting ideas from
Natural Living Des Moines
Natural-Forces and
Nature Moms

So, here goes...
Day 1 - Friday - My hair needs to be washed so I've decided to start today. I mixed a couple of tablespoons of BS in my palm with water till it formed a paste and rubbed it into my scalp. I rubbed it in and rinsed. Then took about 1/2 a cup of ACV in a 10 oz cup and filled it the rest of the way up with water and dipped my ends in and let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing. It felt heavy when I got out of the shower but I was able to run a comb through it with no problem (not normal) and it blow dried normally and is nice and smooth.

Day 3 - Sunday - Had to wash my hair. I was silly and put product in my hair so now it's gross. Same procedure as Day 1. Same result.

Day 5 - Tuesday - Whereas I had to wash my hair every 24-36 hours, I have been able to go 48 before it started feeling like it needed to be washed. It feels heavy and oily but I'm going to wait until tomorrow because I have to go somewhere in the morning and would like to shower before I go.

Day 6 - Wenesday - Washed the same as Days 1 and 3. Same procedure. Same result.

Day 8 - Friday - Bought applicator bottles from Sally Beauty Supply so I don't have to keep a box of BS in my bathroom anymore. Washed as normal. Same result.

Day 10 - Sunday - Washed for church, usual results.

Day 12 - Tuesday - Tonight my hair feels gross...needs to be washed. I washed it and let it dry overnight. I also put coconut oil on my ends but I think I put too much.

Day 13 - Wednesday - Woke up, hair looks like you'd expect after falling asleep on it wet but tonight it feels a little heavy and I noticed dandruff in my hair for the first time EVER. Not happy about it but maybe it's just part of the process. I won't quit this 2 month experiment though so, ugh!, here we go! By the way, I am definitely planning to BS and ACV in the morning.

Day 14 - Thursday - I washed my hair this morning and SCRUBBED my scalp with the BS mixture. I finished off as usual and put the teeniest amount of coconut oil on my ends. There's still some really minor flaking but not as bad as the other night. I'm thinking I went too long.

Day 15 - Friday - Hair is looking kind of flat so I used hairspray... yeah, terrible idea! Of course I went out with friends tonight and had a massage so I felt just fantastic having someone rub my neck anywhere near my hairline (yuck!). I chatted with a fellow "No Poo Expirmentor" and she too has dandruff. We've agreed that too much BS is the cause so we'll give it a go tomorrow. Can't wait to wash my hair tomorrow.

Day 16 - Saturday A.M.- Washed my hair with MUCH less BS. I used the recommended recipe (1 TB BS to 1 cup water). I didn't feel like I was using enough but my hair felt MUCH better after rinsing this time around. I used the ACV as usual and let my hair air dry. It feels just as clean as when I used more BS.

Day 16 - P.M. - I've discovered that since I've been so focused on washing my hair less and less I kept forgetting to shower altogether. Gross yes, but thankfully I'm a housewife and get to stay home with my kiddos so they were the only ones to suffer. Anyway, tonight I use a boar bristle brush for the first time which you're supposed to use at least once a day, better if twice, to spread the oils from your roots to your ends. I did that and then took a hot shower (I'm putting a nightly shower into my routine to spare my poor husband for any more forgotten hygene) and just rinsed my hair with water.
NOTE: I've been doing this for over two weeks and my natural wave is back. I thought I lost it because of my two pregnancies but another "No Poo Experimentor" had the same thing happen. Huh.

Day 17 - Sunday - Hair looks just fine. I let it air dry last night and it's wavy but since I had church this morning I decided to boar bristle brush it and then use a hair dryer to get it straight. My hair gets frizzy when I use the boar bristle but a little coconut oil on the ends (or olive oil) and I'm good to go. I did another hot water rinse tonight.

Note on using oil... I've needed so little to do this it's not even funny! I've used too much, and felt like I needed to wash my hair again right after. With both the coconut oil, I dipped my three middle fingers into the jar, no rubbing, no scooping, I just let the oil melt onto my hands. With the olive oil, I put a dot on my hand. Then, with either oil, I rubbed the oil onto my hands like lotion, until I was afraid I didn't have enough to put into my hair. That's when I know that I have just the right amount. Then I rubbed my hands through my hair and into my ends, avoiding my scalp. That's it. I've done this with wet and dry hair. I think I prefer it when it's wet but it doesn't really make a difference for me.

Day 18 - Monday - Since I slept with my hair wet, it's a crazy wavy mess but it's not oily. I really think the boar brush and water rinse are making a difference.

Day 19 - Tuesday - Regular wash with BS and ACV and let it air dry. No problem.

Day 20 - Wednesday - Hot water rinse and boar bristle brush.

Day 21 - Thursday - Hot water rinse and boar bristle brush.

Day 22 - Friday - Regular wash with BS and ACV and dried with a blow dryer.

Day 23 - Saturday - Hot water rinse int he a.m. and blow dry. Lots of sweating today in the nice sunny weather as I did a little wood work outside. Showered at night for church tomorrow.

Note... This has been going really well. I think my hair looks great, when I take the time to do something with it, and I love the feeling of doing something healthier for myself and my kids. Sweet Hubby hasn't joined in yet (he cannot stand the smell of vinegar) but maybe one day.

Day 24 - Sunday - Plain ol' water rinse.

Day 25 - Monday - This morning my hair felt nasty (haven't washed in a few days) but the weather is uber muggy so I waited to wash at night since it would be a waste and I'd want to wash it again. Regular wash of BC and ACV and air dried while I slept.

Day 26 - Tuesday - Hair is nice, full, soft and wavy.

Days 27 through 35 - Washed every few days, hot water rinsed and bristle brushed. Still having good results though I'm not doing ANYTHING with my hair during the day. I just leave it wavy from the shower the night before and sometimes put a headband in or click my bangs back. I really ought to do something!

Day 36 - Washed (BS & ACV), dried with blow dryer, curled, used hair spray.

Day 37 - Hot water rise, blow dry, hair spray... Hair looked nice and clean after rinse, hair spray from night before was gone. Hair cleaned up nicely but with my super fine thin hair I have a hard time getting it to do much without hairspraying it again. (It was like that with regular shampoo too.)

Day 38 (May 16, 2010 for anyone who's keeping track) - Hot water rinse, blow dry


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