During the first times I saw “No-Poo Method” or “DIY Shampoo” on Pinterest I would laugh a little to myself and keep on scrolling down past it– because surely it wouldn’t work. I had made my own disinfecting cleaner for a few years and LOVED it, so I started to do some research.
I read numerous blogs on the subject that offered several variations on the recipe … it seems like everyone has their own unique experience with going No-Poo. But what was I to expect? There are hundreds of different shampoos just going down the aisle at the grocery store. We are all unique individuals with unique body chemistry. My first attempt at going Shampoo Free started on January 22nd 2013. It was a very rough ride – with some wonderful days and then some very scary days. I regretted not taking a more methodical approach and taking note as each day/week passed.
This was my experience:
I never found a perfect recipe. My gross transition time that was “promised” to last no more than 3 weeks ended up lasting close to 5 weeks. Then all of a sudden – my hair looked CLEAN, even after a full day of not washing it with the Baking Soda + Water mixture. I did use Apple Cider Vinegar + Water as a conditioner, and only conditioned my hair from my ears down….
It seems like hormonal changes play a very large role in the amount of oil your skin produces – as time would pass, I would mentally note any female hormonal fluctuations and would see a large increase in oil production. This was VERY frustrating to me – so I would try to adjust the formula, but I couldn’t pin it down exactly.
Then came the Big Mistake. You see, I am a rather OCD individual who loves order & labels – until I get on a crafty/creative streak. When that happens, if I get any thought of “Oh I bet if I try this…!” the idea gets thrown into the equation without any respect to the proper scientific method. My Big Mistake was the result of such a Creative Chaotic Mishap.
I was so thoroughly enjoying the freedom of (or perhaps it was loving the IDEA of) being Shampoo Free that I tried making several household products via Pinterest. I made a Conditioner, an Oil Pulling Mix, Dishwasher Detergent, Laundry Detergent, Laundry Softener Sheets, Glass Cleaner, and an oil based Face Cleaner (more on that here).
My Big Mistake… I’m sure you can imagine what happened. I reached for the Conditioner, but my eyes were closed so I wouldn’t get left over baking soda water in them – and I grabbed the Face Wash. My hair smelled GREAT (lavender!) – but it was a sopping, oily mop. I rinsed and rinsed until I ran out of hot water, then I rinsed with cold until I couldn’t stand to be in there anymore. I tried to dry it off but it wouldn’t dry with the blow dryer. I then washed it (three times) with my No-Poo-Shampoo. When that didn’t work, I washed it with soap (actually its Seba-Med, see my thoughts on it here) by then I was exhausted and depressed so I called it a day and avoided touching my hair or looking in the mirror.
The next day, I noticed my hair didn’t seem QUITE as greasy – but it was still far FAR from being acceptable. It was so bad that my husband asked me one evening if I had just taken a shower – I hadn’t since that morning. The next day was spent covering my hair with dry baking soda and rubbing it in, letting it sit for a LONG time, brushing it thoroughly then rinsing it out – I did this three times. Afterwards, my hair looked only a TINY bit more dry.
So I broke down and (gulp) used real shampoo. It was a lovely thing! I was VERY surprised by how much I had missed the lather! This made a slight bit more of a difference. Pleased that I was making progress, and having enjoyed the sudsy lather on my head, I stuffed my (still greasy) hair into a ponytail and started to do some more research.
What I found was depressing. I had been doing it wrong – almost the entire time. I was washing it entirely TOO OFTEN. The more I strip away the oil the more my body produces – so if I want my hair to return back to its ‘normal’ state I had to just wait it out. This was not encouraging at all. As a matter of fact, it was downright depressing. Greasy hair has a way of making you feel filthy all over, and the older I get the more I enjoy feeling CLEAN. It took about 10 days of waiting. I have used Shampoo some since, but most of the time when I do wash it I will use Seba-Med. At this point, Easter was just a little ways away so I decided to wait until after Easter before I began the No-Poo Transition again. This time, I will make notes and share my learning experience.