My skin is sensitive…. scratch that, my skin laughs in the face of ‘sensitive‘ products and breaks into dancing rashes. Having dealt with this glorious aspect of myself for my entire life, I am normally pretty good at negotiating sanitary items that will gel with my skin’s moods…. except when they don’t, or when my skin decides that something that usually agrees with it doesn’t anymore… just to toy with me. Does anyone else have skin that hates them?
After a recent rash (used in every form of the word) of skin distaste, I decided in my wisdom to trash everything I had and start over. My usual culprits hit the trash – even the ones I had exonerated of any wrong doing. It didn’t matter, this was war, a war that I was (am?) determined to win after 30 some odd years. Laundry soap? Gone! Body wash? Gone! Moisturizer? Gone! Shampoo and conditioner? Gone!! At that last spasm of joyful trashing, I paused…. shampoo and conditioner. I love them. Truly, I do. My husband mocks my attachment to thick, goopy conditioner that never helps my dry frizzy hair anyway, but I love it. What would I use in place of this staple? Well, as luck would have it, I recently ran across several well-written blog posts (here, here and here) that wax eloquently about the benefits of ‘no-poo.’ Love Pinterest… seriously, I LOVE that site. It seemed simple enough.
For the shampoo:
1 tbsp (more or less depending on hair consistency and grease level) of baking soda. This powdery goodness is placed in your hand with a touch of water added – enough to make a paste, then the entire mixture is placed on your head and worked through your roots. The actual method here varied depending on source, one person diluted the baking soda in half a cup of water then poured on, one used the powder dry and added it to wet hair – etc, etc. The point was clear. Baking soda – place on head, scrub in with nails. Ok, got it.
For the Conditioner:
Like the baking soda, the actual amount used here varied, but they all ran along the same theme: Round about 1 tbsp of good Apple Cider Vinegar (also called ACV)- some sources mark Raw, unfiltered ACV (2tbsp, 1/2 cup… etc, etc…) diluted with water then poured over the head with a strong focus on the tips. While the incredibly strong smell of ACV is supposed to dissipate with a good, long water rinse – a few drops of your favorite essential oil can be added to help that along.
It is noted in every single place I looked that there is a ‘transition’ period, a time when your hair will basically freak out and punish you for trying to strip it of the shampoo manufacturer’s attention. That period is supposed to last anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, even longer for the unlucky few. After that…well…. the amazement that was expressed by practically every blog or post could only be likened to worship, or a cult following. I was intrigued, enough so that I took the bait and dipped my hair into the ‘no-poo’ world.
My results – were not so good. I will be 100% honest here, my failure is most likely – well actually, it probably is completely my fault. I gave it a full try for 2 and 1/2 weeks…. and I caved. I lost it. I couldn’t stand the feel of my hair, the smell of the ACV – which prior to this experiment had been a salad staple. Now…. umm…. no. Just no. I know there will be advocates of the method that while regale me with how I failed at this, what I did wrolng – and I welcome it. I truly do. I know that somewhere, somehow, I did this wrong. It is the only conclusion when I think about the thousands who tout this method. I fully intend, hopefully in the near future, to dip my hair into the ‘no-poo’ waters again. Maybe that future time will prove different, maybe I will be able to outlast my hair’s transition period without resorting to violence… I don’t know. My hair will see – and I will tell you if, and when, it does.
On another different, but so related note, My skin DID heal quite well after I ditched the shampoo. A point in favor of the method and a strong indicator that I will return the baking soda to my roots.
In the meantime, I have found another shampoo and conditioner – a pairing that I will write about tomorrow in another post. Stay tuned.
If you HAVE had success at the ‘no-poo’ method, please share in the comments. If you haven’t, share too! I want to hear it all, and I am most especially interested in how I did it wrong…. because I am pretty sure I did.