I have a love hate relationship with my hair. My hair is long… like long long. And its super thick and kind of wavy….ish? I get many compliments on my hair but I think that when your hair is long and thick people are willing to overlook a lot.
My hair tends to be super dry, totally broken and frizzy, and I actually have to put a lot of work in to leave the house not looking like something a crazy cat lady coughed up.
Since I don’t really have the time (and can’t be arsed) to try and look like a pageant queen, that means I am rocking a messy bun (but not one of the cute ones; I’m talking one that’s like super nasty and totally unbrushed) most of the time.
I have tried pretty much everything through the years to get my hair to be more manageable, soft and nice. I have tried everything under the sun that promised to define my waves so they weren’t just a fluffy mess. I have spent way too much money on products that ended up untouched because they were no match for my hair.
I am basically a wig with a large appetite and mental health issues
— Healthy Living for Hot Messes (@HLFHM) February 18, 2018
So, with my recent foray into natural living and all that hippy shit, I decided to give going “no poo” a go.
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What is the No Poo Method?
“No poo” is a method of washing your hair that doesn’t use traditional shampoo products. No poo doesn’t mean that you wash it less often (although I have heard that some people do end up needing to wash it less often once your hair stabilizes) or that you don’t wash it at all. It simply means that you are using alternative methods for washing your hair.
There are many reasons why going no poo is appealing to some people. These reasons might include:
- Limiting exposure to chemicals
- It’s a cruelty free option
- It’s frugal and simple AF
- Your hair care routine produces less plastic waste
- Some people swear it produces softer hair and manageable curls
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the reasons to go no poo, however these were all very appealing to me.
Which No Poo Method to Use?
When I first went no poo, I read a lot of stuff about baking soda and it’s effect on the hair and some of it was pretty negative (keep reading to the bottom of the post for more on this!). Additionally, most no poo methods use Apple Cider Vinegar, and I couldn’t wrap my head around this because my hair is so dry. I was terrified to even try it.
So when I started, I decided to try a method I saw that used aloe vera gel and coconut milk.
For the first week and a half I washed my hair every second day with this mixture. It did NOT agree with my hair! My roots and scalp were a hot mess and almost…. sludgey. It was true dirty hippy city. It was equal parts GROSS and FUCK NO.
Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and switched to a baking soda and water mixture, followed by an apple cider vinegar and water mixture that I saw on Mind Body Green. The instructions can be found here.
I followed the directions exactly as they appeared on the link I posted, down to the time spent prior to rinsing.
I use a squeeze bottle in order to distribute it evenly though my hair, and am taking care to really scrub it into the roots as well.
My Experience with the No Poo Method
After just over month of doing this, my hair was way softer than it was before- I found this counter-intuitive because of the harshness of vinegar, but hey, I never claimed to be a scientist!
I had never been so happy with my hair. I didn’t see much in the way of definition for my waves, but that’s ok. My hair was still fluffy/frizzy-ish, but it seemed to be a bit better than before.
Another added bonus was that my psoriasis (which has been terrible lately- DO NOT sleep with wet hair frequently!) seems to be getting better.
However, I am strongly considering finding another method that does not use as much baking soda. Here’s why.
Is the No Poo Method Right For You?
As you can see, my experience has been pretty great. That being said, I have heard VASTLY mixed reviews on how it has worked for other people. Some people have a terrible experience with it and some people have a great experience with it, and many end up needing to try something else later.
All I can say is that for me, this has been a hairsaver (at least for now) that has saved me a ton of time with managing my hair day to say, and soothes my frugal soul.
But… because I believe that no one thing works for everyone, I wanted to also save you some time visiting Doctor Google and drop you a link about how this method might not be a good one to use, especially long term. My intention with this post is not to persuade; but to share my own unique experience. Whether or not you choose to try this method is up to you- however I think it is important in any endeavor to see multiple sides and outcomes!
With that in mind, here is an article about why this method might have nasty consequences for your hair, which also outlines some scientific reasons that using this approach might not be good for your hair. Since reading this, I am considering looking for an alternative method going forward that will use baking soda less often. Still on the hunt!
Although truth be told my hair is looking so nice that I might be dragging my feet to find another method.
What does your hair care routine look like? Would you ever go no poo?