For the last week or so, I have been reading about the no-poo method of hair care. People do this for many reasons, for the environment, for frugality, for chemical-free lifestyles. I’m intrigued for a very different reason. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to manage very fine, oily, stringy hair. At any length longer than a crop, it is very limp and flat unless I take on a lot of extra work. It requires a lot of effort with blow-drying or curling it, simply to give it some body. I’ve tried perms which do nothing but dry my hair out, as well as break pieces of it off. My hair is fragile and can’t handle a lot of management. Some of the reason for this is simply that I wash my hair every day. That’s right, EVERY day!
For as long as I can remember, I have washed my hair on a daily basis. My scalp is very oily and with fine hair, even a tiny amount of oil is noticeable and to me, it look bad. Skipping a day on shampoo always results in a bad hair. This is a guarantee.
So what if I could find a method for my hair that didn’t require a daily shampoo? That would mean less time drying it in the morning, and the possibility that I can concoct of an elaborate hair-do that won’t get washed away the very next day. That could be the inspiration for a lot of new looks.
So despite all the other reasons why this method is worth a try, those are my reasons. So how to I do this without the well-known transition period? From what I have read, shampoos strip the hair of sebum. The body makes up for it by producing more. And because one strips their hair of so much of the natural oils that it needs to be healthy, one has to add conditioner back to the hair. And it becomes a vicious cycle. So the standard method of starting this is to go cold turkey and just deal with icky hair. I’m not sure if I can stomach this radical transition period which can last anywhere between 2 weeks, to 2 months. Do I want to have my hair look like that?
The No-poo method involves cleaning of the hair, just not with shampoo. Some people use the water only method which involves vigorous massage. Most washing their hair with a baking soda / water combo and rinsing with apple cider vinegar / water combo. The proportions of both are about 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water. The baking soda cleanses and the apple cider replenishes the ph in the hair. But this is all done AFTER people have gone cold turkey.
Today is Day 1 of this. I washed my hair but with only water. I scrubbed my scalp vigorously. My hair does NOT look it’s best but it doesn’t look awful. This isn’t the traditional way to do this kind of transition, but there is no way I’m going to allow myself to walk around looking like some sort of grease-ball. The idea, again is to be able to go more days between washing it. While I did wet it, since I didn’t shampoo it, I thought that would be a start to retrain my body to produce less and less sebum. My transition period may take longer, but hopefully damage my vanity less. 🙂
Tomorrow, if my hair looks particularly bad, I might try a little baking soda. If it doesn’t, I’ll just go with it, slick it back into a pony-tail. I will wash it Monday morning for sure with baking soda and see how it looks. We shall see.