No ‘Poo continued

April 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , ,

Part 2

So it’s been 7 days since I started this No ‘Poo trek and there have been a handful of interesting developments. It seems that I am the guinea pig amongst those closest to me. Truthfully, I’m kind of enjoying the weird status I’ve achieved. So many people are happy to hear the good things so far, but today… alas, I break the bad news.

I knew going into this that it couldn’t possibly be all these great and wonderful things only. I had an additional challenge with my long tresses as well. But before I share in the troubles of going No ‘Poo, lemme tell you about all of the good things!

So the lack of flaking head from dry scalp… well, it has gotten better. As the day(s) wore on there flaking started a little bit here and there, but it was noticeably less. When I looked at my hairline on that first day I could still see some skin even though it wasn’t flaking while brushing or blow drying. On the second washing it was even less and today, I don’t have any dry skin along my hairline. This is great news! Here I was thinking I was in dandruff denial, when it really was dry scalp all along (outside of the flaking I had none of the other typical dandruff symptoms).

Today was no ‘pooing 3… no 4 in the last 7 days. I’ve had to make the baking soda mixture once more (after the initial mixture) and the citric acid mix is still the first bottle. I have no itchy head problems like I usually do, even when I have my hair pinned up and pulled back in a pony tail. I still have no tangles when my hair is wet after washing it. Not one. So I’m going to guess that the dry scalp, itchy head and tangles are all problems that have come to existence because of the shampoo/conditioner combo.

Now for the bad news. The detox. I read that there was a detox period. I knew it was coming. The stage where the scalp is still producing the same quantity of oil as though you were stripping it of all of it’s natural oils, blah blah blah. But what no one bothered to mention was HOW MUCH oil the head was producing.

Holy effing crap Batman, I mean really now?! I feel like I’m showing in baby oil. Or better yet, vegetable oil! My hair has been pinned up AND pulled back because he greasy mess that it’s turned into is nearly impossible for me to stomach. I know and understand that it will go away. I mean, logically, I get it. But there’s got to be something in the meantime, right? Some way to lessen the gross-factor of my hair being plastered to my head and wanting to stick straight out in any direction I brush it, right? RIGHT?!

The answer is simply no. Short of going back to my old shampooing ways, there’s no other solution. I looked. I googled. I found other people who couldn’t make it through the detox phase because their bucket of goo head was driving them mad. Believe me, it’s tough.

So today I was talking to K at work and she was thinking of being her home’s guinea pig. Trying to ween herself off of the shampoo by doing every other day with the traditional shampoo and the baking soda exchange for a week and then every 2 days, etc. Thus making the detox phase less traumatizing but postponing the “All clear” for longer as well. Today I used a bit of shampoo. I get it, I’m setting myself back a few days. I know. Trust me, I know.

I’m just a weak soul. Especially when it comes to my hair. I don’t have a tiny body. I don’t have long legs, or an actress’ face. But I have always had really awesome and beautifully healthy hair. And this greezy mess is making me want to shave my head. No really, it is. So I broke down and used some shampoo first thing in the shower. Then proceeded to do the baking soda/citric acid combo. It didn’t fix the problem. Hell it didn’t really remove all the oil from my hair either. But it’s slightly more tolerable than it had been.

Noah asked me in a comment on my first post about what I was doing for the citric acid ratio. The first bottle I used was 1/2 tablespoon of citric acid crystals to 1 cup of water. This is roughly half what I saw posted regarding how much lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to use with water. Maybe this is just much more than needed. Next bottle I’m going to try 1 teaspoon of citric acid crystals to 1 cup of water. Maybe this will also help with the greasy factor. Maybe skip this phase once a week. In the meantime, I’m going to use a tiny bit of shampoo once a week until this entire greasy head thing has ceased.

Other than that I have no complaints. It’s super easy. I’ve adjusted to the method of rubbing my scalp instead of trying to get a lather. I’ve also read some more on SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and what it does exactly. It’s basically an irritant and the foaming agent. Yay foam! I love the foam. But I’m working on getting over my foam love in favor of the other benefits.

Here’s to getting through this detox phase… cause I’m over that part.

No ‘Poo has gone viral… almost

April 15th, 2010 | Tags: , ,

Part One

The other day, while on Facebook, a friend of mine linked an article about how to clean your hair without shampoo. I read through the article, and then decided to read through a handful of other articles (there are 5 different links in there, if you’re curious about what I’ve been reading) before making a decision about this process. When I turned around and shared the link with my own friends… I won’t lie, I was surprised by the amount of interest from so many others. At least 3 other people relinked the same article and there were TONS of comments on everyone else’s posts as well as my own (and by ton I meant more than 4).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m internally a hippy, even if on the outside I refuse to wear patchouli or burn incense ALL the time. I don’t smell like sage, and I don’t own a single skirt that goes to my ankles. But I am interested in decreasing my own personal carbon footprint (to be PC about it) as well as decreasing the quantity of junk I put in my body as well as what I put on my body. There are a hundred different reasons for a thousand different people, but mostly it’s because I’m tired of having weird unexplainable crap happen to my body. It’s time to make my body a place of zen… again… like when I was a little kid. It’s my own little personal biosphere, really, when you think about it. Why not make it a happy place instead of an always conspiring against you place. And yes, my body is constantly conspiring against me.

Going No 'Poo!!In almost all of the pictures I’ve seen about what people’s hair looks like, the styles all seem to be of a short nature. I have absolutely nothing against short hairstyles, but I do not have one of those. My hair, at the longest point, goes to the middle of my back. I believe this poses an entirely different set of rules and processes while going No ‘Poo. Like my hair did not feel “de-greased” when I used the baking soda mixture. I used it, rinsed, used it, rinsed, then finally broke down and used a teeny bit of shampoo to actually degrease my hair, used the baking soda again.

Now here’s where my crazed yarn love and small stint in dying comes into play. When you dye natural fibers (like wool and silk), you need to make sure the dye is acidic. It is also suggested that you use similar ingredients as the ones mentioned for the “conditioner” portion of all of this. To balance the pH of your hair and bring it back to normal. So instead of using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (which is hard to find sans sugar and other junk in it), I have citric acid crystals (or powder). You need a lot less of this in your conditioner mixture, but it accomplishes the same thing as the vinegar and lemon juice. It also has no scent or color what-so-ever.

I noticed a definite difference in the texture of my hair when I put the “conditioner” in my hair and let it sit for about 15 seconds or so. After rinsing it out I finished my shower like any other. The real interesting stuff seemed to be things I noticed after I was dressed and dealing with my hair outside of the shower setting.

Even with shampoo and conditioner, when brushing my hair (yes while wet… yeah yeah, I know the warnings and I don’t care) I often had tangles. With the baking soda/citric acid combo, I had not even one tangle. This may have been a fluke since it really is only the first day and I have nothing else to compare it to, but if this is a trend that will continue, my hair and head will be happy for the change.

On a typical shampoo day, it takes somewhere between a half hour and an hour to deal with my tresses. That includes putting some sort of shiny-fier if I’m going out and want extra shiny hair, blow drying and flat ironing for lack of fly-aways and style. Half hour is pretty generous for short timing, as it’s usually much longer. My hair always seemed to hold gallons of water even after I had towel-dried and even somewhat air-dried my hair. However, with the No ‘Poo process I had none of this. My hair started to have the dry-flippy bits within minutes of towel-drying. Also, blow drying AND flat ironing took half the amount of time it normally does. Half. This is mind blowing. I decided on a hair style that requires me to actually DO something with it all the time. It was a poor choice, but a cute hairstyle. What’s a girl to do?! Apparently, ditch the shampoo and you are blessed with you time being yours again.

Another thing to note is that I have dry scalp. It flakes like dandruff, but isn’t dandruff. But I have super oily hair. It’s really quite the conundrum. It doesn’t even make sense!! Until I read through so many things regarding the detergents in shampoo. I understand the biosciences of the body and know that my scalp is working overtime to adjust, but I’m stripping everything with shampoo. Got it. While my scalp is still┬ánoticeably┬ádry along the hairline, there was no flaking. No flaking while blow drying my hair. No flaking when brushing AFTER it was dry. No flaking the next morning (aka this morning).

Again I point out that this is all stuff that stuck out for me. Things I definitely noticed without realizing that there might be a difference. I know there’s a detox period of about 2 weeks in which my scalp still produces the same quantity of oil as it was when using shampoo. So I might find that I’m “shampooing” every other day for the first couple of weeks while I try to keep my hair from turning into a fire hazard.

I will keep you posted on the progress and changes. I figure there will be complaints at some point about the process, and I will gladly document those too.