This is part four of a multi-part series on Green Beauty alternatives.
The rest of the series can be found [here]
Part 4: The Mane Question
I have long hair, it is dyed, usually some variance of red. Currently, I am a 350 on the color chart. As I have stated I have REALLY dry skin naturally. This also applies to my scalp. For many, many years I was under the impression I had scalp psoriasis because of how bad it can be at times. I tried every dandruff shampoo, medicated shampoo and homeopathic remedies I could think of to try and clear it up.
A hairdresser friend of mine named Audrey commented that I should try using shampoo that doesn’t have alcohols or sulfates. I brushed it off at first, when looking back I am not sure why. I think I was under the impression that it couldn’t be something that simple. However, over a year later I decided that it was certainly worth looking into. I switched to using the Kiss My Face Shampoo and Conditioner, (which is typically much cheaper from Amazon.com than a local co-op, by the way). I loved the product, but I detested the price. I have a lot of long, thick hair, which needs a lot of shampoo and even more conditioner. This was not a cheap endeavor.
After using the product for a while, I noted that my scalp had almost entirely cleared up. I was overjoyed, but my wallet totally was not. I poked around here and there and tried a few home recipes and did not like them. Suzi commented that she had switched to washing her hair with baking soda and vinegar. I had also read in the book No Impact Man, the author Colin Beaven, switches to using vinegar to wash his hair too.
I have been dragging my feet about switching to this method for almost two years. Then Eowyn, without us discussing it at all, decides to start using the baking soda and vinegar as a wash method. I made the decision to quit waffling and switch to this method after I got back from Burning Man.
After I got back from Burning Man, my hair was FRIED. I do not think I have ever had that many split ends before. I figured I would try out the new washing method to see how it did. I was following a few different blogs that had different recommendations, but realized it really is dependent on your hair/scalp. I started out using too much baking soda, so my scalp got really dry. I realized I only needed to use baking soda about once a week. I also started out using apple cider vinegar, but really didn’t like how it was treating my hair. I switched to using a mixture of half white vinegar/half water and added a few drops of lilac essential oil to give it a little scent. Now it is working really well.
What is particularly awesome about switching to the “No Poo” method is that my hair gets considerably less greasy than it would. You can go days without washing your hair (though I still shower daily). My dandruff is clearing up. My hair is in better condition than it has been in years. I really, really recommend it. Not to mention, you are going to save a butt ton of money not buying all the hyped up hair products. I hated dropping over $20.00 to $30.00 for shampoo and conditioner, every time I needed to re-stock.
A lot of people complain about their hair being really greasy during the transition and honestly, I cannot say I have really had that problem. Again, I have a super dry scalp, your mileage may vary. However, my hair was brittle like straw and it was driving me crazy (because of Burning Man and too much baking soda). Backing down on the baking soda helped give it a more natural feel. With baking soda you also have to make sure you rinse it all out very well. I now make a paste of sorts mixing water and baking soda and only apply it once a week.
I am used to my hair being really soft naturally. My friend Britta suggested a hot oil treatment. I had been thinking about doing it and I agreed that that sounded like the best option. For a hot oil treatment I used coconut oil and steeped some chamomile in it for about a half hour . I took my cue from Crunchy Betty, whose blog I absolutely adore for so many reasons.
I then applied the hot oil mixture fairly liberally to my hair from scalp to tips. I let it sit in my hair for about 45 minutes and wrapped a plastic bag around my hair. I would have let it sit longer, but remembered a barbecue was happening in our yard …. as people started showing up. I was the pinnacle of Not Cute and dashed to the shower. Now, coconut oil takes a major amount of washing to get out. I used baking soda, vinegar and then repeated…. then used a little castile soap as well. Finally, I could tell it was mostly out. After my hair dried for a bit I could tell it was silky smooth. I was petting myself for a couple days afterwards. I have decided that I am going to do a hot oil treatment on my hair weekly to keep it in good condition, it’s fantastic and fairly low maintenance.
That is the recent journey on my hair care. Another article I loved on this subject was this one. Read it if you are thinking of taking the plunge.
My dear friends, have any you tried any of the ‘No Poo’ methods? If so, what is or isn’t working for you?