Let me preface this by saying I’m not a crunchy granola hippie kind of girl. I eat foods full of things I can’t pronounce. My body wash contains Red #5 (or some other dye just to make it a special color). And I drive a car with a Turbo-charged engine (though, to be fair, I’m currently averaging more than 28 mpg, so it’s no monster SUV).
But then there’s my hair. It’s nothing special – medium brown with three super-special waves that make most haircuts look just plain wrong. (Layers, people. More and more layers.)
I knew you weren’t supposed to wash it every day. And I didn’t. But man, did it look bad on the off days. Hair down on wash days, hair up on off days. Why? Because I could practically slick it back with the amount of oil in there.
So I thought I’d give sulfate-free shampoo a shot. Little did I know that was considered a “low-poo” method of hair washing.
Wait, wait. It gets better. Because when you decide on a new hair-cleaning method that doesn’t use shampoo, that’s called “no-poo.” Seriously, people, if you want this to catch on, you have to come up with a better name. I want nothing to do with anything that has “poo” in the title. What about “sham-free”? I’m going to lead the way on that one.
I started researching solutions for my greaseball of a head. And I found no-poo (sham-free) methods. They all seem to involve baking soda of some amount (amounts vary), and vinegar.
Wash Day 1: I tried a small container of baking soda in the shower, using about 2 tablespoons, but it was very hard to distribute on my hair in paste form. I tried to work it in and ended up just pulling out a lot of hair. I let it sit for a while, waiting for the “slippery” feeling bloggers had mentioned. It didn’t happen. So I rinsed it all out. And had a few flakes left after I towel-dried it. Bleh.
I was supposed to use vinegar as conditioner, but I didn’t have any. So I just used a bit of leave-in conditioner. No big deal. I let my hair air-dry … and found a fluffball on top of my head. It didn’t look bad. It was just kind of … poofy.
But then three days went by. And I hadn’t washed my hair. AND it didn’t look bad or greasy! What the heck?! I still put it in a ponytail, anticipating the worst. But it didn’t look slicked back or dirty. It was amazing.
Wash Day 2: So I washed it again on Day 4. Again, I had no vinegar. This time I used a squirt bottle with 2 tablespoons of baking soda filled the rest of the way with water. I shook it up and had no problem pinpointing my roots. The interwebz recommends sticking to your roots and avoiding the ends with the baking soda. I let it sit, and eventually did get the “slippery” feeling.
Once again, I let it air dry. It wasn’t fluffy. It wasn’t cottony. It was just plain CLEAN. But also a bit dull. There is a reason you use vinegar with the baking soda method. Something about hair follicles. But you’ll learn all about that on your research.
Wash Day 3: I finally bought apple cider vinegar! Now, I was doing my research and trying to figure out how much to use. Full strength? Diluted? Here I found that no one can agree. It ranged from 1 tablespoon vinegar to 3 cups water, all the way to half and half. I bought a big spray bottle, so I did 1 cup of vinegar to 3 cups water. And I added about 9 drops of sweet orange essential oil.
I washed with the baking soda like normal, then started spraying the vinegar.
I smelled like a salad.
But I rinsed and rinsed, and eventually, the smell was gone. Also, the essential oil was useless – no smell left in my hair at all.
It turns out that my mom used vinegar on her hair every day growing up. She had the most glorious, long, luxurious locks. Hair to envy. And now I know why.
When I got out of the shower, I swept a comb straight through my hair with very little resistance. No big deal, right? WRONG. I have always had tangly, snarly hair. The most terrifying words of my childhood, often uttered by my grandma, were, “Go get the comb.” It wasn’t pretty for anyone involved.
But with vinegar? No snarls! NONE! What?!
So it’s been about two weeks since I used shampoo. The greasy, gross mess that was my head is gone, and my hair looks healthy and happy.
It would appear that starting with “low-poo” helped with the transition.
Word needs to get out on this!
I’m sham-free. Are you?