I’m feverishly trying to catch up from my 9 day vacation away from my blog. I’ve waded through hundreds of emails, managed to catch up on sponsorship duties (thanks for being patient ladies), and am just now working on my blog comments. Thank you so much for hanging in there with me!
I have a couple posts in which I receive at least 4-5 comments a day from, and those are my posts about ‘No Poo’. It’s a nightmare to me to even think about trying to answer all those comments from vacation! So I’ve decided to write yet another follow-up to my original post: I Don’t Use Shampoo.
It’s been well over six months since I’ve stopped using shampoo and conditioner. If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘no poo,’ it basically means nixing shampoo and conditioner out of your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. Instead, I use baking soda and vinegar to wash and condition my hair. You can read more about it here and here, with some FAQ’s here.
No poo has been a huge trend lately, and I’ve received tons of traffic for my posts about it. There have also been quite a few alternatives that have come out besides the baking soda and vinegar rinse. For me, this one works best. For you? Maybe honey in aloe, a tea bag rinse, an egg mask, or maybe even using water only. I’m part of a Facebook group supporting no poo, and have learned tons of cool tricks of the trade from those ladies.
I know this is going to sound like a bit of an infomercial about no poo, but after six months I can say it’s left my hair feeling shiny, happy, and healthy. I have also seen the amount of split ends in my hair go from a million to almost none. That’s a crazy feat to be claiming there. Before no poo I was washing my hair (and heat treating it) every other day. Now I wash it every 5-6 days, heat treating it only on the days I wash it. This could be a huge reason why my split ends have gotten better, yes?
I’ve also decreased the amount of baking soda I use for my washings. When I first started no poo I needed 2 tbsp per 1 cup of water; now I use 1 tbsp per one cup of water. My scalp has finally gotten the picture that it doesn’t need to hurry up and produce a ton of oil. I rarely use dry shampoo (cornstarch) on my hair either anymore.
There has been some debate that baking soda is bad and can ruin your hair. After extensive researching and talking with my gals on the Facebook group I have come to the conclusion that yes, baking soda by itself can be bad for your hair. It can dry it out and make it very brittle. However vinegar has a property to it that balances out the harsh PH of the BS, leaving your hair replenished, controlled, and overall more healthy. I have yet to experience dry, brittle hair. If you do it may be because you’re not adding enough vinegar to the length (and roots) of your hair.
Now, on to a few new FAQ’s (READ OLD FAQ’s HERE):
“I’ve been trying to grow my hair out, so just wondering how long has your hair grown?” I’m glad this is being addressed! My hair has grown a solid 3 1/2 inches. It sprouted like a weed when I first started no poo, and I could see results within 2-3 weeks. Now it’s slowed down a bit, but it’s still growing twice if not three times as fast as it used to! I need to find a good ‘then’ and ‘now’ picture.
“Are you using the full mixture each time?” Heavens no!!! One mixture can last me three weeks. I use a mixture of 1 tbsp bs to 1 cup of water for my baking soda scrub. I think I use about a 1/4th of a cup each time I wash my hair. Same goes for the vinegar rinse. I have noticed that the baking soda mixture can go bad…it starts to turn a bit off-white and can smell weird. When it gets to that point I throw it away.
“How long is the transition period?” Honestly it varies for every person. It also depends if you have hard water or soft water. My transition period was less than two weeks. For my friend? A month. I was used to washing my hair every 2-3 days, whereas she was used to washing her hair every day. Another factor that can come into play is if you have naturally oily or dry hair. The quickest way to get over your transition is to adjust your baking soda and vinegar amounts to best suit your hair’s symptoms (oily hair= more baking soda, dry hair=less baking soda and more vinegar).
“Is it bad if I wash my hair with this method every day, instead of waiting?” I wouldn’t use it every day. The whole point to giving up shampoo and conditioner and using this as an alternative is the fact that your hair doesn’t need to be washed every day! If you need to, you can rinse it as many times as you’d like. You only need to wash your hair if it’s feeling greasy.
“No poo won’t work for many because of hard water. I never got over the transition period doing no poo the traditional way.” I have yet to find soft water in South Korea. I have lived here for two years, and even in the most expensive of hotels you’ll find hard water. I haven’t had a problem with my transition and it was over in two weeks. The key is to adjust the amounts of ingredients depending on the way your hair reacts! I think too many people just stick with the core recipe and find out after months that it’s still not working for them. If you need to add more vinegar? Add more vinegar. If you need to decrease your baking soda? Do it.
Have patience. A lot of people keep a hair journal at first to figure out what works best for them. You may not figure out the formula that works best for you right away!
“I have colored hair, will it fade my color?” There are so many girls that no-poo with colored hair! I think fading really depends on the individual though. I have SUPER porous hair and my dyes tend to slip out of my hair real fast. In my case no-poo is the equivalent of just using regular shampoo on my hair instead of color safe. For others? It works BETTER than regular shampoo and keeps the color in longer!
“I was wondering what to do on days I swim because of the chlorine I have left in my hair after I swim?” From what I’ve heard fully soak your hair with water before you swim. This will help saturate the hair follicle to keep the chlorine out. Now, baking soda and vinegar don’t get the chlorine smell all the way out sometimes…so you can use sulfate, silicon, and paraben free shampoo to help.
I feel like I am still in the transition period because my hair is still pretty greasy by day 3 but I put on a hat for the next 2-3 days. I am aiming to only wash only once a week. How have you extended your wash times? I started out just like you. I could go three days and then my hair would just get super greasy! I can’t wear hats at school (I’m a teacher), so I started using cornstarch as a dry shampoo. I have light hair so it works perfectly. If you have dark hair I suggest using cocoa powder. Red hair? A mix of cornstarch and cinnamon, or cocoa powder and cinnamon.
It’s been a slow process, but I work my way towards the extra days between washings. I do it by stretching out my wait time just one extra day (if possible) than I would normally go. I’m pretty content at washing every 5-6 days, but I’m sure I could go even longer.
Please let me know if you have any more questions! I’d love to do a third FAQ someday!