The term “no-poo” makes me cringe. Seriously? We couldn’t come up with a better name for not using shampoo and conditioner? And I can’t say “I’m not washing my hair” because that’s not true. I am. It’s just with household products.
It’s not the first time I’ve done this. I did it around two years ago, but the difference that time was I stopped brushing my hair, and started letting it dread. A fun process in which I was pretty shocked with how quickly it started to form. That lasted for a few months, and then I decided I wanted to be able to curl my hair, and I didn’t really want dreads. So I brushed it out.
But recently I noticed my hair was just sad and limp looking. There was no texture or volume. And it got greasy fast. It was really meh and I wanted to inject a little life back into it!
The easiest option was to start using the baking soda/vinegar rinse mix, which I have been using once a week. And my hair is already looking much more voluptuous.
I keep around a cup of baking soda in a mason jar because the cardboard box you buy it in doesn’t fair well in the bathroom. And I mix up a vinegar rinse using apple cider vinegar, water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil (to mask the ’salad’ scent). I think my ratio is something like two tablespoons or so to a cup of water.
So, how do I do it?
After wetting my hair I sprinkle about a tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of my hand and drizzle a tiny bit of water to achieve a paste-like texture. I then try to equally distribute that onto a few different spots on my scalp — above my forehead, my ears and the nape of my neck. I think usually go in and mix another batch of paste to spread around the crown of my head, where I get most of the build up and oil.
When I used this method in the past I would mix baking soda with water in a small bottle and it was more water then paste. I find using the paste method works better for my hair type, and I’ve had better results.
After I’ve deposited the paste into the different scalp locations I then go in for a nice scalp massage, really focusing on scrubbing away any gunk. I picture it as exfoliating my scalp, focusing my efforts at the roots, trying not to spread the mixture through my hair.
I scrub for around a minute and then rinse it all out. One thing to note about this method is you’re going to have to spend more time rinsing your hair than with traditional shampoo. I go through my hair a few times scrubbing as I rinse.
After I feel like my hair is good and free of the baking soda mix I’ll move into the vinegar rinse. I also just have this in a jar. I will carefully pour a bit of it on the bottom half of my hair and then finger comb it through before rinsing it out with water as well.
I go through this process around once a week, and have found that my hair doesn’t get greasy until the last few days, and I can usually hide the fact that it’s messy by throwing it up.
In between “cleanings” I will try and give myself scalp massages every other day, especially towards the end of the week when there’s more natural oils in my hair, in an effort to work it down into the rest of my hair.
And I find that this helps disperse the oil from the roots of my hair, and almost acts as a “dry shampoo” of sorts. It doesn’t always work, but usually it helps make my hair not look quite as oily and therefore I can get another day or two of wearing my hair down before its too oily and I have to wear it up.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome and how simple it is. In the future I’m interested into looking into and trying out different no-poo methods like soap nuts, but for the time being this is simple and I have everything I need.