Quitting Shampoo – Week 1

People have always said I have nice hair. One of the reasons for that, my guess anyway, is that I’ve always used as few products as possible. I own products, and I have used them. But it’s pretty rare. I like to be super gentle, I don’t even blow dry except on rare occasions when I have to. Another reason I hate products is that it would just be too gross, because for the last few years or so I’ve been seriously cutting down on shampoo, and days of product buildup would be gross. I want to keep it relatively natural, and I don’t want to be high maintenance. I do what I need to do to feel hot, but I won’t do anything unnecessary or not fun. And now after slowly spacing out my shampoos more and more, with the help of dry shampoo in between, I can go 6-7 days between washing my hair. Awesome.

Well I’ve become even more interested in this since I heard of the “no ‘poo” movement, and since I dyed my hair this outrageously pretty and bright pink-red color I wanted to shampoo as little as possible to keep it looking good. So I did some research. I have to say it looks pretty damn amazing. Save money, help the environment, and have the best hair you’ve ever had in your life? Hell yes. There are a ton of great resources about this on the web, here’s one of the more popular ones http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too.

So now I’m trying it. And here’s my progress.

Before. This picture is a tad old, but accurate nonetheless.

Before. This picture is a tad old, but accurate nonetheless.

Feb 3rd. It’s Sunday, and I haven’t washed my hair since Thursday. Normally I wouldn’t wash it again for another few days, so I figure it’s a good time to test this out and see if it looks totally clean. I see that people are generally using baking soda as a substitute. I couldn’t find any baking soda, so I mixed a teaspoon and a half of sugar in conditioner because I read that one person used that too, and it’s gentler anyway. To my surprise, the sugar-conditioner mix actually lathers a tiny bit. Also, that lather is WHITE. With shampoo it immediately turns hot pink. You know what this means? It’s not stripping color out of my hair! Awesome! My hair looks pretty bright and clean, but I think using conditioner on my scalp put too much moisture in it and it’s weighing it down. Next time I’ll just dilute it in water or something.

Feb 4th. Ok, so my hair WAS clean, really really, but all that conditioner was really weighing it down and making it look greasy. I didn’t look so great. So instead of waiting 4-7 days I decided to try the more traditional baking soda method today. I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar for conditioning, so I used regular conditioner on the ends.

My hair is definitely clean, the conditioner is gone. I’m feeling like this is definitely something I can keep up. For better and for worse though, it feels like it was rinsed with salt water. It feels a bit dry and it’s a bit hard to comb, but it has some badass volume, and I’m always looking for more of that. I’d even venture to say it looks a little teased. Mike says he might try it. Maybe I used too much baking soda. It does have to be used pretty sparingly, and I didn’t measure when I put it in the bottle. A little bit of detangler has helped pretty good though. I’m tempted to rinse it again. But I kind of just want to wait and see what happens instead of messing with it too much and driving myself crazy.

Just look at my big stupid grin. This is me, not believing my hair can be this thick after just air drying.

Just look at my big stupid grin. This is me, not believing my hair can be this thick after just air drying.

Feb 6th. By today my hair still looked pretty ok, but it was starting to feel a bit greasy and look a bit stringy. Right on track as it’s been 6 days since my last shampoo. It was MUCH less than it would normally be at this point though, I’m sure nobody would even notice, but it was enough to prompt me to try this again. This time I used a VERY small amount of baking soda, less than half what I did before, and rinsed it really well to make sure it was all out of my hair. I also only used about a third of the bottle. Someone suggested pouring it over dry hair so you can tell if you’re getting it everywhere, and that’s all it took. It’s just as clean as last time and still has that same feeling, I guess this might just be normal. But I’m really looking forward to trying this with baking soda that isn’t years old and adding a vinegar rinse. Both have been added to the shopping list.

Later: My hair is greasy again like it was this morning. It’s pretty safe to say it’s entered the transition phase. However it is really shiny, and my rings, which have been tarnished for quite some time, are really shiny too! Never buy jewelry polish again!

Feb 7th (one week). I scrubbed really hard with water today. And, ok, one little squirt of the baking soda mix. Even though my hair still looks ok, I just don’t like how it feels. The shampoo is calling me. I’m also starting to break out, so maybe it’s time to put this bitch up in a ponytail. But I will persevere. I also haven’t been curling it, first of all because greasy hair doesn’t curl, and secondly because I really want to witness what my hair does in its natural state. It’s winter anyway, so I haven’t been wearing any pretty vintage-y dresses that need curled hair to look right. And in my new position at work, I sit where nobody can see me or the weird shit that may pop up on my screen. Perfect timing.

Later: I went to visit my former boss, a super cool chick, and told her I was quitting shampoo. She looked totally perplexed, and stated she couldn’t tell at all, my hair looks perfectly clean, and asked if it smelled. I let her have a whiff. It doesn’t 🙂

I was going to put this all into one article, but it got ridiculously long. Coming up next is week 2 🙂

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