I No-Poo

For those of you who are a little more "main stream" in your way of doing things, this might push me over the edge of the "crunchy" cliff, for those of you who baby wear, home-birth, make everything from scratch, etc. this may seem common sense to you. Either way, however, I would encourage you to try this...

I "no-poo" - no, I'm not having digestive issues, thanks. I'm talking about hair and for this, I'm bring up my two favorite household staples - baking soda and vinegar. You will need a separate container for each mixture. Two old tilt top shampoo containers will do... or an old water bottle w/ a pull-out nozzle or whatever. You will also need a spouted measuring cup (or cream pitcher...), if available.

For a standard size shampoo bottle, dump about 1/4-1/3cup baking soda into the measuring cup Add just enough warm water to the measuring cup so the baking soda begins to evenly dissolve. Pour into the shampoo bottle. If there is a lot of baking soda left in the bottom of the measuring cup after you've dumped it into the bottle, add more warm water to the measuring cup and pour it into the shampoo bottle. Top the shampoo bottle off with warm water.

Using a similar size shampoo bottle, pour vinegar - I typically use white, but have also used apple cider - into the bottle. I don't really measure, but for those of you who like exact measurements, use a ratio similar to the baking soda combination. Top off this bottle with warm water as well.

To use: The baking soda "no-poo" doesn't come anywhere near sudsing, but it will leave your hair very clean... just start at the hairline and slowly pour it over your scalp and run the mix through your hair with your fingers. Leave this mixture on your hair about as long as you would regular shampoo. Rinse well. Like regular shampoo, any excess left behind will leave your hair looking and feeling dirty. Once you have rinsed out the baking soda mixture, repeat the process, this time, using the vinegar mixture. Let sit for a minute or two. (Yes, it does smell a bit like vinegar while it is on your hair, but once you have rinsed it out, you shouldn't really be able to smell it. You might get a trace scent every now and again for a little while after, but no one else should be able to smell it.) Rinse. This leaves your hair very silky and shiny.

Why I love this method - it is easy and it really works. It will also keep your hair clean for several days without needing to repeat the process. Just before Erin was born, I started no-pooing... I was sold before she was born, but it was a life-saver with a newborn. I was tired and I really didn't want to take forever in the shower. But, because I have thick, longish hair, washing it does not help speed up the showering process (did I mention how long it takes to dry my hair?!). Yet, I didn't want to look as though I'd been annointing myself with oil. No-pooing allowed me those five-minute showers without adding anything else to the process. Of couse, I no-pooed when necessary, but it meant I could usually go every other shower without washing my hair and it was still genuinely clean.

Anyway, there are a few variations on these recipes, but the above mixtures work just fine for me. I had gotten out of the habit of no-pooing because we had some shampoo to use up, but I just recently started again and there really is no comparison. No-pooing works waaayyyyyy better. If you try it, give it a week before you evaluate its effectiveness- this should be long enough to get out any kind of build-up from your current shampoo and conditioner and then you will see the true results. But, you should see some benefit after the first wash. :)


2blessed said...

hooray! :) i LOVE my no-poo... and... if you want a funny feeling... forget to wash the baking soda out before pouring on the vinegar! :) you can turn yourself into an elementary school science project. and it feels very interesting on your scalp... :)

Rachel said...

I've heard that you give it at least two weeks to let your scalp oils adjust. I actually started no-pooing nearly three months ago, and I didn't use anything except a washcloth to "brush" with in the shower and occasional silicone-free conditioner. (A combination of no-poo and curly girl method, though my hair is not curly it used to be very dry.) My hair was about third-day greasy for two weeks, then it eased up. My hair was starting to look too greasy again this week, so I tried baking soda, and since my scalp has already acclimated to producing less oil, three days later, my hair still looks great! We'll see how it goes from here, but I'm hoping to limit my baking soda/vinegar use to once a week or less. I may still need to brush with a washcloth in the shower a few times in there.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is Sara Ward. I found this post very interesting since I have been looking for something that would create shine. I have very long, thick, curly, dry hair...which is dyed... could this hurt my hair color? does it help with frizz?

I love the blog! I recommended it to my mom recently and she loves it too! :)

Take care!

Rebekah said...

Sara - unfortunately, the vinegar will probably strip the color if you've died your hair. However, you might be able to swing just using a baking soda/water combination to treat your hair. Also, you could add about 1T honey to each cup of water (along with the baking soda) and see how that works. Honey is actually remarkably good for hair and it is water soluble so it comes out very, very easily.

Rebecca said...

Have you seen this? It's a great resource for the no-poo method! http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174054.html