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Sunday, August 12, 2012

No Poo! Who Knew?

I wanted to start this blog months ago so I have to pace myself a bit. I wanted to post about hair chalking today, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. So much to talk about, but I suppose I should start at the beginning.
When I met my husband he made me promise I would never become "crunchy granola." I've made good on the rest of my promises.
I first read about going 'poo free" on Cafemom, a social networking site for moms. I'm always looking for ways to reduce chemicals in my life and after reading a little about it, I thought I'd give it a shot.
There are tons of organic and phosphate free shampoos on the market but I saw all these women with gorgeous long locks who were using nothing but baking soda and vinegar. Well anyone who knows me knows I have plenty of both on hand.
I've never had great hair. It's dry, fine, thick and frizzy. It falls out in the shower, it falls out when I brush it, it falls out when I stand still and do nothing. It doesn't grow past the bottom of my shoulders before it starts to break off. Also, the maintenance was a PITA. I had to wash and condition, then brush and blow dry, then use a flat iron. I always envied the women that could wash their hair and then let it dry all on it's own. When I did that, my hair looked like this.
This is no exaggeration. 
After my blow dry, flat iron and a good palm aid this was my every day look.
Looking back at these pictures I can't believe how dull my hair looked. Anyway, the poo free journey which claims to right all hair wrongs is a long and terrifying one. The idea is that shampoo was never meant to be used daily and conditioner was only invented once people began to regularly strip their hair of natural oils using shampoo. When our scalp is functioning normally it detoxifies itself and produces the right amount of oil. Now when we use shampoo and strip our hair of oil over and over again, it's puts our scalp in to overdrive. The scalp over produces the oils and therefor makes us dependent on the shampoo.This is said to cause all kinds of problems.
If there is one thing my hair has it's a bunch of problems, so I did it. I took the plunge on May 5th 2012. That was the last time I used my yummy smelling, silky feeling, expensive Rusk shampoo and conditioner. 
For the first several weeks I only "washed" my hair once per week hoping that it would speed up my transition process (the time it takes for the scalp to even out and stop the over production of oils)
1 tablespoon of baking soda per 8 oz of
water becomes your wash
1 tablespoon of vinegar per 8oz of water
becomes your rinse.

I bought two 8oz travel bottles at Target which I use for my BS (baking soda) and ACV (apple Cider Vinegar) wash. This is what I would use for the next 7 weeks to wash my hair once per week. On the days I wasn't washing my hair, I simply rinsed my hair with water thoroughly. 
I'd be lying if I said the next 7 weeks were a picnic, but at the same time it actually wasn't that bad. I never felt like my hair was so gross looking that I couldn't leave the house, although the way it felt in the shower was a different story. When I got it wet it literally felt like I had Crisco in my hair. Yuck. For the most part once it dried the greasy feeling was gone. Then one day around week 7, my hair suddenly felt great. It had movement, my color lightened tremendously, it no longer fell out all the time, there was no frizz and it was very manageable. A far cry from what my shampooed hair was. My hair also started to get a bit curly in the middle of transition but unfortunately the curl didn't last. Here are some photos of the transition.
Here is a picture before I started the process. I got my hair cut before I started but my hair was not colored at all.

week1week 2

week 4

week 6

week 7

Now when looking at the pictures, other than some hair chalking purple streaks which you can see a little on the left side of my head in the week 6 picture, my hair has not been colored . The biggest transition though is what my hair looked like as it air dried. Remember how I'm not one of those girls that can leave her hair to air dry? I am now. Check this out.

 Before. Again, no exaggeration this is what my hair looked like if I got out of the shower, brushed it, and left it to dry on it's own.
This is around week 5. I literally scrunched my hair with my fingers, I used no product and let it air dry and this is what I got.

This is what it looks like now when I air dry it. 
Now it's been three months and I have a different solution I use for conditioning my hair and I'm a bit more experimental. I love my hair now. I would never had said something like that before. NEVER. I've always hated my hair and all the work I would have to do it. 
Please feel free to ask questions in these posts. I am happy to be your guinea pig. I will be posting in the future all the stuff I experiment with for my hair along with results. No Poo! Who Knew?


  1. I've been no poo since march!! It's awesome!! Took my hair months to adjust. But now my hair has more bounce, body, wave and shine than EVER. And I only have to wash every 5 days. Love it!!!

  2. Rachel, it really is worth it in the end if people can make it through the transition. I have talked to so many people that give up after 3 or 4 weeks thinking their hair should be better by then. It's a commitment, but worth it in the end. I can't believe the time it saves me. I had no idea how much time I spent washing and drying my hair every day. I feel like I've added years to my life. lol

    1. Me too! I don't even get it wet in the shower unless I'm washing it. I wear a shower cap. I save so much time... That was one my main reasons for choosing this method (and not giving up when the transition was taking so long). The thought of putting shampoo in my hair is creepy now!

  3. Here are some questions...
    1. I color my hair, how does this affect color-treated hair?
    2. My hair is long and tangles, how can I even get a brush or comb through if I don't condition?
    3. I only wash my hair twice a week as it is, would I continue to wash it the same amount? Wont that take longer to adjust?


    1. From what I have read online, colored hair should be okay. I also washed my hair twice a week before starting this method, and now I can get away with every five days. It took me longer to adjust (several months) than most people. You might be surprised at how easy it will be to comb or brush after washing. The vinegar rinse helps with this (and you can always add honey if you need more moisture). I also rub vitamin e oil on the ends. I highly recommend this method!!

    2. Everything Rachel said. It should actually keep your color longer because shampoo fades hair color. Baking soda can be hard on someone's hair so personally I would start with once a week and wait for transition. Once you get a feel for your new hair you will know how often it needs to be "washed" Don't worry about the tangles, they will go away. Every person that I have talked to who has claimed that they can't get a brush through their hair without conditioner later tells me it was the shampoo that was creating the tangles in the first place.

  4. Hi, my hair is always frizzy and I can straighten and it will last a day at most, I have to constanty brush too to keep it nice looking when I have it down. I have partial coloured hair would this work for me? I am from the Uk how bigger bottle would I use and would I mix anything extra in for my hair being coloured or frizzy?? Really intrested here..Please email me

    1. From what I hear it works on any hair type. My hair is definitely less frizzy and it shouldn't affect color. If anything it should make your color last longer. You shouldn't have to mix anything extra in your BS or ACV rinse. Once your transition is over you may benefit from some honey in your rinse to help soften the hair. The basic mixture is 15ml of baking soda for 250ml of water and the 15ml of apple cider vinegar for 250ml of water.