About 10 years ago I switched from shampoo off the shelf to a slightly more natural shampoo bar made by a local soap artisan. It wasn’t as far as I wanted to go in making my hair as healthy as possible, but it was all I knew at the time. I was also creating my own cleaners (gotta love baking soda and lemons). But finding a natural way for my body care was a little more tricky.
A few years ago I learned about the “No poo” movement – which is kicking out all chemical hair soaps and washing your hair naturally…. WITHOUT SOAP. In our society, that almost sounds sacrilegious, doesn’t it? Well, I found a recipe for a baking soda shampoo (1 Tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup water) and a recipe for a rinse (1 Tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup water). I tried them for four months, but my hair just got oilier and oilier and yet at the same time dryer and dryer. I finally went back to natural shampoo bars (which are still chemicals) because I didn’t know what else to do.
This last winter, I was getting edgy about the chemicals I was continually putting on my skin. I had a major chemical burn on my stomach due to a ‘safe chemical’ that I bought so I knew I needed to find something better.
So I did a whole bunch of google searches on nopoo. And found some great pieces of information such as: the finer hair you’ve got, the longer it will take to get used to. That you only want to use the baking soda/water wash once a week at most and scrub your scalp in the shower on the other days. I also found that certain essential oils could fight against dry scalp or oily hair. Hallelujah.
So I have been doing this for two months and I am finally at the point where my hair doesn’t look impossibly oily as it has for the last 8 weeks. My body’s natural ability to create and temper oil has come back and my skin AND hair are much healthier. I used to have hair that looked brittle and old. It is now vibrant and shiny.
So, you have to fine tune your way to nopoo, but this is what I do. (Keep in mind I shower and wash my hair at night.) It’s set on a 7 day week:
No Poo Shampoo: Mix 1/4 tsp baking soda with 1/2 cup of water. Add in 1 drop tea tree essential oil and 1 drop lavender essential oil. (I make it new each time.)
Rinse: Add 1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar to 1 cup water. Add in 2 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oils. (I make this ahead of time and put it in a spray bottle. It lasts for a long time.)
Oil Water: Mix 1 drop each of lavender and tee tree oil in 1/2 cup of water. (mix it fresh each time)
Tea Color: (Natural hair dye using tea really only works, or so I’ve heard, if you use a color that matches your natural hair. So red rooibus tea for a redhead, black for brunette or raven hair, and chamomile if you’re a blonde.) 5 tea bags + same amount of dried sage (I put it all in some cheesecloth and the sage helps the color to cover gray) + 2 cups water. Boil for 10 minutes (30 minutes for the chamomile). Take off stove and let cool over night. Next morning, separate it into 4-5 small containers, each one to be used as a single application. (I like using small 2 oz plastic bottles with pour spouts that I get from the dollar store.)
(Do not put essential oils on your skin in their pure form – they can cause major reactions.)
Day 1: I mix the shampoo. Then I wet down my hair and scalp and slowly pour the mixture over my head, using my fingernails to work it through my hair and and scalp. Then I rinse it off. My hair feels a little odd, but that’s okay. Then I spray the Rinse over my hair and the scalp and rinse off.
Day 2: I do not use shampoo or the rinse on those days. I just wet my head and scrape my scalp with my fingernails.
Day 3: I mix the oil water, wet my head and then slowly pour the oil water over my hair. Using my finger nails I work it through my hair and scalp and then rinse with water. I spray in the Rinse and rinse out.
Day 4: I repeat Day 2
Day 5: I repeat Day 3
Day 6: I pour Tea Color over my hair and leave in over night and rinse out the next morning.
Day 7: I repeat Day 2
Then I start all over again with Day 1.
It’s taken 8 weeks before I feel like I can leave the house with my hair down and not have to put it up in a bun to hide its greasy nature. But OMG, I am so happy with the results. This is so much better than having to rely on chemicals to make my hair look and feel so good. No split ends. No dried and brittle hair. It’s longer, thicker, and fuller than ever. (though keep in mind, I have very fine hair so it still looks fine, but it’s at least no longer fly away :D)
If you decide you want to try it, I highly suggest it. Depending on your hair, you’ll have to figure out how often you need to use the baking soda/water concoction. For instance, I always shampood my hair every day. So it’s taken awhile to reach the point of where I’m at now. However, if you only wash your hair once a week because it’s thick already, you might be able to find you can stretch your need for the baking soda/water shampoo to monthly after awhile.