Thursday, 24 October 2013

The "No-Poo" Saga

My "low-poo" shower :)
    As I have mentioned, in my wee rants many times, I have been experimenting with "No-Poo". "No-poo-ing" is when you basically give up shampoo, yes you read right. The most widely-used method of "no-poo" is baking and water as your cleanser and vinegar and water as your conditioner. I know, it does seem odd to put these ingredients on your head, but as a team they work well to encourage a PH-balanced scalp, since baking soda is so alkaline and vinegar so acidic.

   A word about going "no-poo". If you decide to try this out clarify your hair FIRST! If you have been using regular shampoos and conditioners you likely have product buildup on your hair, including but not exclusive to silicones.

    To clarify your hair you can make a baking soda paste and RINSE WELL. However, I preferred  clarifying my hair with a vodka rinse. I basically made a vodka water and put it in a spray bottle, it worked well and left my hair SUPER soft!

Vodka Clarifying Shampoo
-1 C distilled water
-1/4 C vodka
-1 lemon squeezed

*spray evenly over hair let sit 1-2 minutes then rinse WELL.

    Once you have clarified your hair, prepare yourself for many days of hats and ponytails. If you are going to really try "no-poo", give it 3 weeks minimum. People usually go through a transition period of 2 weeks to 2 months of oily/dry/what happened to my hair. Theoretically, once through this transition period you hair will look healthier and lovelier than ever before.  I will say that although I settled on going low-poo + no-poo conditioning, my hair is shinier and healthier than ever before. I also have trained my hair to go 3-5 days between washes! Less washing = healthier hair.

    If you use baking soda as you cleanser, once you are through the transition period it really shouldn't be used more than once a week. Too much baking soda ain't great. This also goes for vinegar, of any kind. I only wash my hair about twice a week, which means I also only use my vinegar conditioning rinse about twice a week.

     The first thing I did was try the baking soda/ ACV method. My mistake is that I made a baking soda paste which essentially clarified my hair (which I didn't know), leaving my hair feeling less than great, so I immediately abandoned this method and went on to experiment for 7 weeks! Because I tried so many different little concoctions I am going to present them in kind of a list form so you can get the jist, but quick!

1) Baking Soda PASTE cleanser and Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner
- 1 T baking soda
- 4 T distilled water

- 1/4 C ACV
- 1 C distilled water

* This left my hair very poofy and dry. However, it was also quite soft, almost weightless. I assume the soft is from the vinegar. This method gets a 5/10

2) Raw Organic Honey Cleanser/Conditioner
-1 T Raw Organic Honey
-1 C distilled water

* The ph of honey is close to the ph of our scalp, therefore no re-balancing is needed (no vinegar necessary). I should say that I really tried with this method because I LOVE honey as a face cleanser. I washed my hair with honey for about 4 weeks, and it wasn't horrible. However, I finally had to admit that my hair was just always a tiny bit waxy. My hair also felt a bit heavy and didn't always move like hair, if that makes sense. I give this method a 7/10

*This has also become a widely used method. Definitely worth a try if you are going "No-Poo".

3) Aloe-Lavender Shampoo and ACV Conditioner
* inspired by my merry messy life
-1/4 C pure aloe vera gel
-1/4 C vegetable glycerin
-1/2 C distilled water
-few drops essential oil

* I think this method may work better for thicker hair/curly hair (I have fine waves). This left my hair super shiny but too shiny almost kind of a wet look to it. I give this method 4/10

4)Raw Organic Honey and Aloe Vera and Vinegar Conditioner
-1 T raw organic honey
-1 C distilled water
-3/4 T aloe vera gel

- 1/4 C ACV
- 1 C distilled water

* Same results as with raw honey except a little more heavy. I give this method a  6/10

5)Baking soda, Aloe Vera Gel and Lavender Oil Cleanser and Vinegar Conditioner

-1 C distilled water
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp aloe vera gel
-4 drops lavender oil

- 1/4 C vinegar
- 1 C distilled water

* This was probably the closest I came to finding a "no-poo" shampoo that made my hair feel like hair, but I still found my hair felt slightly waxy- it felt like it should feel on  the day AFTER washing your hair. I give this method an 8/10

FINALLY I settled on this LOW-poo method:

6) Hugo Naturals Smoothing and Defining Coconut Shampoo Cleanser Rice Wine Vinegar Conditioner

-Hugo shampoo

-1/4 C RWV
-1 C distilled water

I love this shampoo! It left my hair feeling soft and lovely! Obviously a 10/10!

    Hugo Naturals Coconut Shampoo is a highly-pure shampoo. Firstly, on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, this shampoo scores a 0! Yes, that'r right a lovely no-health-risk 0! This Hugo Naturals Shampoo is vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and cruelty-free. It also does NOT contain any artificial colors, aynthetic fragrances, propylene glycol, phthalates, petroleum products, silicones , PEG'ssulphates, phenoxyethanol or parabens! LOVE!

    Now a quick note on vinegars. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the go-to for conditioner use, however, I found the sugars in it made my hair feel unclean and as I have mentioned many times, waxy.

I also tried plain old White Vinegar, which I actually really prefer to the ACV, but thought I would look for something equally as awesome, but less harsh.

*White vinegar is a good choice for blondes as ACV can eventually distribute a bit of color/brassiness on some hair types.

I ended up really liking Rice Wine Vinegar. Apparently wine vinegars are supposed to be gentler, and I got great results! I use dilluted rice wine vinegar in place of conditioner and love it!

    I know I have not given you a got-to "no-poo" recipe, because well none of the ones I tried fully worked for me, but that doesn't mean they won't work for you! One of the things that made me try no-poo, aside from the insanely bad chemicals in most run-of-the-mill shampoos/conditioners, is all the positive things I have read about other people's experiences with going "no-poo"! In all honestly, I would have stuck it out even longer if I hadn't found a great natural shampoo...and it rates a 0 people!  A zero rating is the best you can get on this database-so that's good!

   If you have any great healthy chemical-free products you love or love to make, please share them!

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