A few years ago I tried going “No Poo” (shampoo, not poo) in some weird experiment where I gave up shampoo for lent. I used baking soda to wash & vinegar to condition my hair.
I smelt like a chip.
My 2nd attempt is a bit different. I’m following the curly girl method which is based on a book by Lorraine Massey and I’m actually 4 weeks into my new experiment. It’s based on actually conditioning curly hair over washing it to destruction and getting rid of all silicone & alcohols.
Since my hair decided to fall out & grow back, the wave has turned into a curl & fierce frizz, so I decided to tame it and whoa nelly! This is actually working.
Ok, I’m sporting the knackered look here, but I’m so good at that recently. However, this was my pre-curlygirl hair using just a spray gel.
Now, my 11pm messy hair after 4 weeks. (Someone needs to remember to take a photo during the day!)
The fear of returning to feeling like a chip is widely over as I have a set routine of detangling & co-washing once or twice a week with Tresemme Botanique conditioner and a 1p size of the shampoo if we’ve been swimming. It’s really hard to find a silicone free shampoo in the UK, but I’ve lucked out with these. After washing, and each morning after dampening with water from a spray bottle, my curls are spritzed up with Tresemme Make Waves spray gel, scrunched and left alone to go crispy. Just before I head off for work, I SOTC (scrunch out the crunch) – essentially, the curls have set now, so squishing the gel makes the curls softer now they’ve set. Note the lack of brushing; with set curls, nothing gets tangled so I only detangle before I wash. The longer I leave it, the more corkscrew my curls get!
So, here I am, growing back my locks but this time in delicious spirals that make looking after it a million times easier.
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.
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.