Thursday, May 15, 2008

No 'pooing

As I have mentioned before I am a granola momma. I ooze all things natural. Last June I switched to friendlier hair care products and cut back on the amount of product I was using. (All those chemicals being so close to my brain had never occurred to me before that.) I had known that the less often I shampoo my hair the better it would look and the healthier it will be. My dad told me stories about how the old ladies my grandmother nursed as a young women never washed their hair. They used cornmeal and a boars bristle brush and had beautiful glossy hair. Being a person with L-O-N-G hair (it's currently past my waste) and a person looking to be even more back to nature, I tried it on a few gross hair days while weaning my hair away from being washed everyday. (The cornmeal works, y'all, but it is sooo much work. all that brushing) Gradually I was able to go every other day without looking greasy, and now I need as little as 2-3 washings per week. My hair is looking great and it doesn't stink! (i was worried about that part of less shampoo.) I know, it seems to contradict western thinking. How can washing my hair less, make it less greasy?

Our bodies make natural oil to coat the hair. By washing it away we are stripping it, and telling our body to produce more oil. By gradually cutting back on the times between shampooing, my body has regulated how much oil is really needed up there. I used to think I HAD to shampoo every day. Now I know I don't.

So I've been shampooing less often, cutting out silicone based products, and sodium laurel sulfate products, and switching from a brush to a comb (especially when it's wet). My hair has been through some damage. I swim all summer which is bad for it and then last Christmas I actually caught it on fire. I had to cut several inches off. I was hoping I wouldn't have to chop it all off, and now I don't think I will.

So i first heard about no pooing quite a while ago. (Last year sometime?) When I first heard of no pooing I thought "ewww! gross" even though the reasoning behind it made sense (less chemicals). Don't we need shampoo to get our heads clean? Slowly the idea started to seep in and I thought that someday I may give it a try. After all, I had found making laundry soap to be pretty painless. As time went on though, I became even more diligent about chemicals out of my life. I had switched to homemade cleaning products years ago (hello vinegar!), quit using deodorant (hello salt crystal! and NO i don't stink!!) and have been eating organically for years and years (thank you Mr. Nature Dad and Organic Gardening). Why not try giving up the shampoo? Still, it has taken me weeks to get the courage up. Tonight, though, I did it. I didn't use shampoo to wash my hair. Instead, I no 'pooed.

I took my 1tbsp to 2c. water into the shower, along with my apple cider vinegar and gave it a whirl. First I wet my hair, (i brushed it really well with a boar's bristle brush before the shower though.) then I used one of 5yo's play teapots to distribute the bs (baking soda) mixture across my scalp. It got slippery (like i had used a soap that didn't bubble.) I used my finger tips to scrub my scalp from front to back until the hair began to feel rather squeaky clean. I used this as the signal to rinse. After that I used a ACV rinse and let that sit a few moments while I washed my face and body. Right before I got out i rinsed the ACV mixture. My hair felt funky. kinda sticky and I thought there was no way I was going to be able to comb it. I was worried I need conditioner but thought I'd try to go without and then hop back in to shampoo the correct way if I needed. When i finally was ready to comb out my hair I was pleasantly surprised. Not only could I get a comb through it, but it was easier than if I had used shampoo and conditioner. Go figure. My hair feels light, and soft and silky. I had 10yo smell it ( i was worried it would smell like dirty hair) but all she could smell was the faint smell of vinegar (which I'm assured will dissipate quickly.) I'll fill you in tomorrow to see if it actually looks clean. My only complaint so far is that my scalp feels a little dry.

I've read a few theories of how some think no poo work. I'll write about them later, after I see that it really does work. I'm not totally ready to give up the shampoo. I like the Giovanni triple minty type thing I just bought. It left my hair looking great (even without the SLS or 'cones).