I didn’t walk into this no poo experiment with much of a plan. It was more the case I hadn’t washed it for about 2-weeks (possibly more) and a no poo experiment seemed the natural progression. Of course in this time it began to look greasy, especially at the front. I delt with it by wearing a wide head band to disguise it. And later, after three weeks added flour. Considering I haven’t read that much about other people’s no poo journey or read much about the pre-shampoo era (basically anything before 100-years ago was the no-shampoo era) this means I have so far been properly winging it and amazingly, it doesn’t look half bad. Which is why I am as curious and determined to continue on this hair detox.
What people (especially those that tend to grimace when you admit you’re going no poo) don’t fully understand is no poo basically means avoiding nasty chemicals that are bad for our hair, our skin, our bodies (everything we put on our skin gets absorbed) and it’s bad for our environment, which then goes on to having a myriad of repercussions, and if the ingredients are toxic, none of these side effects are positive. A no poo lifestyle means you DO wash your hair, but you choose gentle alternatives, ones you generally won’t find in your local Boots, but probably in your kitchen cupboard. I don’t know why, but I get a buzz from making my own cleaning products for the house. I get a buzz from knowing that the simple infused vinegar, which can be ingested, is so safe for my family, I can use it without ever questioning its safety. This mindset is fast spreading to every single aspect of my life.
When I wrote you are more likely to find no poo in your kitchen cupboards, this is completely true in my case. So far I have added the following to my hair:
1.Bicarbonate of soda
2.Rye flour with lavender
3.Cider vinegar with lavender
4. Soap nuts and clove no poo rinse
5. Coconut oil
I found this a little harsh to be honest, even after just one wash.
Method: I read that you add the powder to your hair, add a little water to make a paste and scrub using your nails. Then you rinse thoroughly, following up with a conditioner of your choice.
Would I use this method again: No and simply because I consider the flour option to be much gentler and equally grease absorbing. It mimicked squeaky clean hair, but didn’t look like freshly washed hair. I read about this affecting your ph balance on your scalp and therefore shifted to flour.
The rye flour:
Like the bicarb, the purpose of the flour is mop up the grease and rinse it away, following up with a no poo conditioner.
Method: Much the same as the bicarb, apply to your hair, concentrating on the grease areas. Mine tends to build up right at the bottom by my hair line and underneath which I find a tricky area to get to, and of course the hair around my forehead.
Would I use this method again: SO far, I am really happy with the rye flour and mixed the second batch with dried lavender. I might try cornflour as it’s lighter, but only once my rye flour has finished. Yes, I am going to stick with this- I loved it and it works well as a dry shampoo as well.
Homemade soap nut and clove no poo rinse:
So, Thursday eve I got a bit frustrated with my hair. It’s gone bit matted and dry at the ends and the underneath looks heavy and lank. As I had visited Amphora Aromatics that afternoon and bought Clove essential oils, I decide, totally on the cuff, to boil up a no poo hair rinse. Soap nuts or berries produce a gentle, natural surfactant capable of lifting the grease and grime.
Method: Boil about 6 soapnuts and roughly 1tsp of whole cloves for about 15 minutes until the water has turned brownish. When it has cooled add a few drops of clove to the mixture. Wet your hair as normal then add the rinse , gently rubbing all over scalp, rinse thoroughly.
Would I use this method again: It’s not bad, so YES! I am quite pleased I conjured something effective. My hair looked really shiny and clean
Cider Vinegar and lavender rinse:
This is my usual hair rinse and something I am unconvinced by as my hair always looks really shiny afterwards.
Method: Add 1 part cider vinegar to 5 parts water with clove, lavender or any essential oils with antibacterial properties of your choice.
Would I use this method again: Well YES! I have been using it for years.
I had read that coconut oil is terrific when you go no poo, and as my hair felt very dry I decided I would give it a go. One thing I would say here is, I have been using coconut oil for years on my hair but usually follow with a shampoo to remove it, otherwise I feel it lingers and makes your hair feel heavy and look greasy. I did begin to wonder whether flour and water would effectively remove it.
Method: Apply as much as you need to your hair ensuring you massage it into the dry hair. I left it on for AGES, then added some flour before rinsing but I could feel the oil wouldn’t rinse away and it took three washes or so before it was fully out.
Would I use this method again: Only if I could find a way I could rinse it out.
Conclusion of this NO POO 4-week update:
I am now entering my fifth (possibly sixth) week of no poo- the exact start date escapes me! I am really excited to see if the theory of no poo will eventually mean your hair and the sebum readjusts to become ‘baby-like’ hair, or whether I will just turn into a greasy lanolin scented lady covered in flour…hmmmm, the no poo journey continues…