It’s week three and this week has been quite interesting in the no poo experiment. (No shampoo, rather than no poo for weeks – that would be a whole new wrong)
Last weekend I gave in and dyed my hair as my roots were driving me crackers and I’d faded to a lovely shade of bright orange. That had been the first time a chemical had touched my hair in a fortnight. So in went the dye and out it washed and I have to confess to using the conditioner… And it felt clean, although still a little waxy. And it smelt lovely.
Since then I’ve been WO (water only) and its hardly been oily at all. Today, after a whole six days it’s finally decided that it could probably do with a wash soon. We had family day today which meant swimming followed by a roller disco after lunch with one of beanpole’s friends, so I have fallen onto the trusty ‘up do’. I have a thing about the 50s look and with just a bun donut, a hair band and a million hair pins this maintains my mild stalkery obsession with Betty Page. Frankly, it’s all about the bangs.
This has got to be one of my favorite ways of keeping my hair in check and after 10 hours of abuse with swimming, and generally goofing about I don’t look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards for a change!
(ignore the foot – husband is in one of “those” moods!)
I’m now contemplating whether I want to go back to BS and vinegar as I don’t want to fade my colour, but the tea didn’t work well last time. Maybe I’ll try again and see if its any better without the coconut oil. I could of course just go for another egg wash.
My confession – I miss shampoo. I have until Easter to become a convert, but week three is when the willpower is waning.
Day 11 of No Poo and after 4 days my head feels a bit itchy and could do with a wash. This is a distinct improvement, and after the success of the weekend egg on my head experiment, today, I’m trying out tea.
More specifically chamomile tea (technically this should be roobios tea as I’m an unnatural redhead) with a teaspoon of manuka honey and another of coconut oil mixed into a pudding basin of boiling water.
I used three tea bags, and have left the water to cool (I’m not about to pour boiling water on my head as mental as I may be). Tea is mildly acidic, as is honey which whilst cleaning off the excess oil, helps to close the hair follicles to give the shiny just stepped out of a waterfall look.
Why tea? Well, I’m totally determined to stick this out, but I had a conversation with my long suffering husband that went a bit like this:
H: you could just wash you know
Me: I AM washing, just not with shampoo
H: but you smell like a salad
H: not much, just your scalp, but it smells weird
Me: weird how? *Sniffs hair in a panic…. Smells nothing*
Small child: *sniffs my head* “yep. It smells weird”
H: it just smells of nothing really… Just a bit weird… I used to like smelling your hair
Me: I’m not bloody washing it. I’m doing this…..
H: it’s FINE, I’m not asking you to. Just don’t stop shaving or anything like that…. *mutters under his breath* mental hippy
So in the interests of not smelling weird, I’ve just tipped several liters of herbal tea and honey on my head. I certainly don’t smell of vinegar, but I do smell quite strongly of health food shop. I don’t think that’s going to win me any anti-hippy points.
Edit: tis the morning after having let my hair dry naturally all night. Hair does not like tea and I have returned to looking like an unwashed 80s rock icon. So an emergency egg in the shower this morning it is!
Seems a bit weird, but I’ve now started getting my long suffering husband to take photos of my hair (if nothing else but to prove that I don’t look like the child from The Ring or Gollum since I stopped using shampoo). Poo free transition seems to be on its way out, as the photos below are 48 hours post egg & ACV wash and showing no real signs of dirt or grease.
My roots need some attention in terms of colour, but aside from that its not looking too bad (it’s gone very straight?!).
The only thing I will say is that I’m thinking of making a hair perfume from lavender or similar just to get the smell back. It smells of nothing in particular, but the plain hair smell is weirding my long suffering husband out. He keeps sniffing my scalp suspiciously and no spouse should do that. Not unless they’re pregnant, and he assures me he isn’t.
I added a few extra things to my no shampoo journey last night. If I’m honest, it was out of desperation – I had a head full of oil (seriously, day 7 of no poo and Americans would have declared war to get to my scalp) and we’d just been swimming so I’d combined head slick with chlorine. I had started to resemble Wurzel Gummage only a week into my experiment. This was mightily depressing.
I wasn’t quite ready to give in, so I tried an egg wash which had been mentioned on other blogs. Basically, I took an egg in with me while I had a warm bath, cracked it into a bowl whisked it with my fingers then rubbed it all over my scalp whilst my hair was dry (raw egg is grim, but actually once it was on my head it felt good). I’ll admit to having a moment of looking at myself rubbing raw egg into my head and thinking I’d finally lost it. Perhaps I have, I’m not sure normal people find themselves in the bath massaging chicken ovums into their noggins. But here I was.
Making sure I rinsed out the egg wash, I rinsed my hair with a couple of cups of apple cider vinegar in water (about 10ml per cup of water) then gave it a quick rinse. There are lots of stories online about women scrambling eggs on their head by using water that was too hot, but I appeared to escape that (seriously, how hot must their shower water be?!).
And the verdict? My hair is soft and my scalp is clean! Shampoo clean? I’m not sure. It’s more moisturized than shampooed hair, but then I wanted that.
Feeling more confident, I also went on the hunt for a bristle hair brush. This is the secret weapon for long haired Victorian women who washed their hair once per month. The bristle brush removes dirt, skin and dust from the hair whilst also pulling the oil down from the scalp through to the ends of the hair where it works like a leave in conditioner (rather than making it lank and yuk, it make we it moisturized and thick). There was one issue with this. No bugger sells them! I’ve found some beautiful brushes online which will be making it to the Christmas list, but fair now I’ve created another dirty secret – my brilliant new wooden handled bristle hair brush was originally designed for…. A dog. Before you laugh, it does the job. Tonight I spent a good 30 mins with a daughter laying across me having her hair brushed and enjoying every second (normally I have to chase her down to pull a brush through her tangled tomboy locks) and off she went to bed with some very silky hair. The same goes for my own mop – a few minutes of grooming with the “soft strokey brush” and I have some really shiny soft tresses. Static, but soft. I can live with that.
So, last weekend I was mulling over things to give up for Lent. What could actually be difficult to live without (my iPad was a step too far) and would have a lasting impact on me as a person?
Well, anyone who has met me within 24 hours after visiting a hairdresser will know I’m precious about my locks (woe betide those who cut it too short, and as for those scissor wielding maniacs who smile and nod when I show them a Betty Page fringe, the just hack in a straight line….). I digress.
The idea of 40 days without putting any horrid chemicals on my hair can only be good for me. As my hair has grown longer (we are now at the below boobs long stage) for us in the UK, that’s actually bicarbonate of soda, not baking powder as that has other stuff in it.
The idea is:
Shampoo with a mixture of a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in a 200ml empty shampoo bottle filled with water (with my mega thick long hair, this works for two washes)
Condition with a cup of water with a teaspoon of ACV in it over the roots, then some neat ACV on the ends because they are DRY.
All the websites mentioned a transition period where your hair gets mega greasy because you’ve stopped stripping the oils from your head. Well, I’m a week in and I’m inclined to agree! It’s not like I’m walking around with the ability to fry things on my scalp, but it’s just more noticeable. One thing that has happened though is the ends are better. By better I mean less dry. And I haven’t looked like a fraggle all week – it’s just not frizzy.
One thing I have read this week is that in the days of women with mega-long hair but no shampoo the way that women kept their hair soft and conditioned was to use a boar’s hair brush to brush their hair through every day (remember the Victorian thing about 100 brushes a day?) – they did this to remove any dust from the hair and to bring the natural oils from your scalp all the way the ends. That’s not as gross as it sounds. The oils from your scalp are just a natural version of conditioner and built for that purpose.
So this weekend I’m going to give the bristle brush a go and start of week two of being an unwashed hippy.