UPDATE JANUARY 2016 (2+ YEARS AFTER STARTING): http://kaseyajohnson.blogspot.com/2016/01/no-poo-update.html
Conversations lately have gone like this:
Friend - "Your hair looks so good!! What are you doing?"
Me - "I don't wash it" [insert big grin]
Friend - "You don't what your hair??"
I haven't washed my hair with traditional shampoo for about 4 months. I have also received more compliments on it than ever.
I have fine, wavy hair. As many people with wavy hair can attest, it is not easy to take care of...
To tame the frizz, I have used every gel, cream, mouse, etc. Different shampoos and conditioners. While this does help with frizz and curl definition, it doesn't help with volume. My hair usually looked limp, pasted to my head, or crunchy.
This is me trying really hard on a hot date... mouse and hair dryer diffusing!! I've got pretty good volume, but see all the crunch?!
I ran across a no poo blog... did some more research, and figured it was worth a shot! Here is my hair now...
The above after photos are without any product (no shampoo, conditioner, mouse, gel, etc.), and it is diffused with a hair dryer. That's it! I also haven't "cleansed" it for about 2 weeks.) It's not a big grease ball!
These photos are also with no product, and with hair dryer diffusing.
So... what is no poo?
The idea is that your scalp produces oils. It should produce a normal amount, but because we use shampoo with harsh chemicals, your hair is stripped of all it's natural oils. Because of that, your scalp goes on oil-producing overload. This is why most people can't go more than one day in between washing their hair.
The result is that you need all kinds of product to put the moisture and texture back in to your hair. But, like I described above, it usually has an effect that is less desirable that just leaving your hair natural!
Here was my process:
I started by going cold turkey -- No washing my hair until I absolutely couldn't go any longer. The first time I think I lasted 6 days. My hair was greasy. For about 2 weeks, I did a lot of braids, and buns. It wasn't pretty.
Everyone looking fabulous... me with slicked back hair... haha.
After the initial 2 weeks, my scalp readjusted, and my hair started to change for the better.
For the first month or so, I washed about once a week. The second two months have been more every 1 1/2-2 weeks.
When I'm ready to wash, I cleanse my hair with diluted baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar. I dilute about 2TBSP of Baking Soda in about a cup of water. I use a squeeze bottle. The BS only goes on your roots. You squeeze it on and massage it in to your roots until your hair starts to feel slippery. This means the BS is breaking down the grease. Then you rinse it all out - really well!
I put the ACV in a spray bottle. About 2TBSP for 1 1/2 cups of water. This gets sprayed on your ends. It acts as a conditioner. Then you rinse that out well.
These amounts work for me, but it took me a little bit of time and trial and error to get it right. Many people start no poo and can't get through the transition phase. But keep going! It really is worth it. Invest in a couple cute hats :)
A big key to this process is a 100% natural boar bristle brush. This helps distribute the oils to the ends of your strands -- so it's not all sitting on your roots. I think my transition would have been shorter if I had gotten one of these sooner.
My process now is like this:
Before I get in the shower, I brush my dry hair with the natural bristle brush. I still shower and get my hair wet every day. If it's not a "cleansing" day, I massage my roots with my fingertips in the water for a bit. Then, while still in the shower, I use a wide-tooth comb to get all the tangles out. This cuts down on snarly frizz, and all my strands are "pieced" together, so I get nice waves, and not frizz.
Once I get out of the shower, I don't touch my hair. No towel, no brushing, no scrunching, that's it. When I air dry my hair, this is what it looks like.
As you can see, there is less volume than when I diffuse with a hair dryer, but still a drastic improvement over the before photos.
On days I want more volume, I still don't brush, use product, use a towel --- nothing! I just diffuse with a hair dryer.
Lastly, at one point, my hair was feeling a little dry. I diluted raw honey in a spray bottle. About 1/2TSP in 1/4 cup of water. And I would spray that on my ends every day. I didn't wash it out. Sort of like a leave in conditioner. I also put a couple drops of essential oils. Your hair doesn't smell like ACV, and it doesn't stink... it just kind of smells like hair. So a little Essential oil is nice.
The only issue I found with the raw honey is it molds kind of quickly in the bottle. I'm currently looking for a new solution.
An unexpected pro - When we go out of town, I only need to bring my brush, comb, and hair dryer. I used to have an entire bag dedicated to hair product!
And that's it! I'll never go back.
Feel free to leave questions :)