No poo update

I have had so much fun learning about no shampoo hair care! Considering that I am learning how to do almost nothing to my hair, I have to laugh at how much I read about this. And truly, there is quite a bit to learn, play with and figure out in order to be successful at it. It’s just fascinating to me that this works!

I started my no-poo journey using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I did experience a transition phase where my roots were greasy. It wasn’t bad enough that anyone but me noticed it and it only lasted a couple weeks. I wear my hair back most of the time anyway, so it was really no big deal. I also noticed some flakiness. I have never had dandruff or flakes, so I had to read about this. This is how I understand it now. If you notice large flakes and a dry scalp, that is dandruff. Small powdery white stuff is from a buildup of sebum or perhaps even the buildup from your shampoo/conditioner sloughing off slowly. So because my roots were oily, I was having a buildup of sebum. I know it sounds kind of gross. Maybe you are wishing I hadn’t mentioned it. But I don’t want people to freak out and give up if they notice this sort of thing. It’s no cause for a freak-out. It really will pass.

I used to have a slight wave to my hair, very slight. I wish I could show you a before picture, but I am the one taking the pictures usually and I can’t find a picture with me in it! My hair also had a tendency to be dry and maybe a bit frizzy. I almost never wore it down because it would get in my face and annoy me.

When I began no-poo, I started having lovely waves. It is darn near curly! Without residue from my haircare products, my hair feels much lighter, dries faster, feels softer, and looks noticeably better. I no longer need any products to keep it from frizzing because my hair is now coated in natural oils (and don’t say “Eeeewwww!” because I promise it is not at all gross). It lays nicely and stays out of my face. And I LOVE that it smells like nothing! No flowery scents in my face all the time. Just nothing.

I found my curls picture-worthy, so I can share them with you!

Is that not exciting???

Since curly/wavy hair is a new thing for me, I started learning about how to care for curls. I bought some micro-fiber hair turbans and tried plopping. I’m not sure how I got so far in life without knowing this nifty trick.

So, it has been a couple months since I ditched my shampoo. Several weeks ago I decided to also ditch the baking soda. I read a lot about water only hair care and I figure if water is all that’s necessary, why not do the easiest, simplest thing? I experienced another transition period, much shorter and easier than the first. My roots got heavy again. I panicked a little. It just seems reasonable that it can only get worse. How on earth could it get better without using something to strip the oils? Like magic, it does get better. Everything I read said it would, and it did. My body just figured it out. Amazing.

I am still getting to know my hair in its natural state. It is completely different. It feels soft. It looks shiny. When I brush through it at night, it doesn’t get all frizzed out like it once did. It just gets soft and shiny. It even separates back out into nice looking waves on the second day. When my hair is wet, I can feel the oil in my hair and I can see it bead up on my shower comb. That is definitely a new thing to get used to. I feared that it might be tangly and difficult to comb, but it has not been. I worried that it might smell bad, but it doesn’t smell like anything.

The routine I have settled into is to do a distilled water/apple cider vinegar rinse about once a week or so. Otherwise, I just do water only rinses about every 2-3 days. Not because my hair is dirty, but because I like to refresh the curls and wear my hair down more often now that it is so lovely. After my shower, I do my plopping. Ten minutes later I take it out of the towel and I’m done. Each night before I go to bed, I do my scritching and preening with my boar bristle brush. My oldest daughter and I brush each others’ hair. It has been a sweet time with her each evening.

If you are interested in giving this a try, follow my links! These are some of the best resources I found on the subject. Also know that this takes some persistence, patience and tweaking. Tweaking because every person is different, so you will need to get to know your own body and do what works best for you. Patience and persistence because your body will take some time to adjust to your new routine.

 

On pits and poo (SHAMpoo, that is)

I have been running a little experiment this summer. I have always used clinical strength anti-perspirant and STILL been a stinky person. In the shower, just out of the shower, all day long. And I decided if I am stinky anyway, why not try something more natural. What have I got to lose, really?

I interviewed my dear friend, who is very chemically sensitive, on her favorite natural deodorants. She recommended Lafe’s and Desert Essence. So I got both! And I also grabbed some Crystal Deodorant Spray. I figured I would have to hit this hard if I had any hope of succeeding. I tried each alone and then I tried applying the Crystal Spray before applying the Lafe’s or Desert Essence.

When I started the experiment, I thought I was going to have to settle for being stinky, maybe even stinkier than before. I never, ever expected this would work BETTER. It works better. Any of them alone works better, but what works the best for me is using the Crystal Spray and one of the others, either one. I am really completely shocked.

So, with that success under my belt, I am thinking about shampoo.

My kids’ hair has been flaky. I have been finding that none of my expensive and fancy shampoos are working all that great for me lately. Plus, I am someone who needs moisture on my skin, so I find it strange that my hair gets greasy. I am not oily anywhere else. So, just not feeling much love for shampoo anyway right now. Maybe it could go.

I’m only a few days into this experiment. Even after 2+ days of not washing, grease has not been a problem. I have read repeatedly it could be a funky few weeks of transition. No funkiness yet, but I am prepared to ride it out if it happens. Anyway, not much personal experience to offer, but I’ll share some no poo resources for the curious:

http://theartofsimple.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/

http://babyslime.livejournal.com/174054.html#bad

http://fulfilledhomemaking.com/no-poo-shampoo/

And along the same lines of “What else could go?”, it seems baking soda and vinegar could replace not only my shampoo, but ALL my cleaning solutions. Much less expensive than all the natural cleaning products, eh? I like the idea.

Dying playsilks

Several years ago, we bought the kids playsilks for Christmas. They have been used to play pirates, doctor, picnic, forts, dogs, babies, etc. My youngest daughter has many different ways to feel like she has long, flowing hair, but this is one of them:

So the playsilks have been used heavily and after several years, several were worn out. Over time I had forgotten how very much I had paid for those original playsilks. My husband and I did some looking to see if we could make our own. We found some links about dying playsilks with Kool-Aid:

http://www.valleywaldorf.org/adventures-waldorf-toy-making-dying-play-silks-kool-aid/

http://www.artfulparent.com/2008/03/dyeing-playsilks-with-kool-aid.html

I ended up using suggestions from both of the above links. Here is what we did:

We bought 35″ x 35″ scarves , 3 packages of Kool-Aid for every color scarf we wished to make, and a jug of white vinegar.

I filled a large stock pot halfway with water and put it on the stove to boil. Once it was boiling hot, I turned off the heat, added 1/2 cup vinegar, and my three white scarves. I let this sit for about 30 minutes.

In another stockpot, I brought two quarts of water to a boil. I then added 1/2 cup vinegar and 3 packages of Kool-Aid. Then I added one of the scarves that had been soaking in the hot vinegar water. At this point, the kids stirred the scarf around in the colored water for 5 minutes.

We poured the Kool-Aid water and the scarf into the colander and rinsed until the water ran clear.

The scarf then went into the dryer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Once I rinsed the first scarf, I refilled the stockpot and got it on the stove to begin the next scarf. It took us about 45 minutes to dye, rinse, dry and iron the three scarves. With a helper working on each stage of the process, everyone always had something to do and we were able to move right along. This is how they turned out:

We are really pleased with the results. We have already ordered more scarves so that we can try some new colors.