“Your hair is so healthy; I can tell you use professional products.” Needless to say, my then-new hairdresser was shocked when I responded by telling her I didn’t use hair products at all. My healthy and shiny locks were the result of soap, apple cider vinegar, distilled water, and the occasional homemade treatment. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had one styling product to my name, a travel sized bottle of Aveda hairspray that I use to hold the curls when I set my hair.
Fast forward a few years, and there’s been alot of talk about the affectionately named ” no-poo” method. The premise behind it is ridding your hair of the chemicals in shampoo in favor of a healthier scalp and shinier hair. Some folks even take it to the extreme of only rinsing their hair (which is pretty gross in the eyes of those of us with a strong preference for smelling fresh)!
When I decided to try this method for the first time, all I had was a bar of soap,and the word of a girl who worked at our local health food store. Given the fact that her hair looked like a tangled mess of hay, I had my doubts, but I ignored them. I was determined to go natural! The outcome was my hair looking and feeling like what I could only describe as gummy straw. My first attempt was unsuccessful and short lived, but eventually I got the whole “no-poo” thing figured out.
As I was to find out, the no poo method carried with it a bit of a learning curve as well as an adjustment period. While my initial attempt yielded poor results, making every mistake in the book taught me what I needed to know. I’ve been using this method for a long time, and am happy with the condition of my hair.
You’ll need a few things to get started:
*A bar of soap or liquid castille soap
*1/2c Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in with
4c Distilled Water
A few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent (optional)
Note: You may choose to experiment with different concentrations of vinegar.Oily hair likes more, while drier hair requires less. Don’t overdo it, as it can be drying!
*Applicator bottle for the vinegar rinse
Let’s get started!
1.Wash your hair, using soap as you would shampoo. Rinse well.
2. Pour the some of the apple cider vinegar and distilled water mix over your head. After about one minute, you’ll notice the tangles dissolving right under your fingers
3. Towel dry and style your hair as you normally would.
4. If your hair could use some extra moisture apply a few drops of argan oil to smooth it out.
Now for a little Q&A:
1.Why is there a transition period, and how long is it?
Your hair will go through a transition period because synthetic shampoos and conditioners coat the hair with chemicals and silicone which take a while to be fully removed. I can only speak for my transition which took about two weeks. During transition time, hair tends to look a bit messy; style it into a braid or a bun, and no one will know the difference.
2.Why distilled water?
If you have hard water washing with soap will leave your hair with a waxy coating (aka soap scum). The mixture of vinegar and distilled water combat this problem perfectly. If you have soft water, or a home water softener, you can skip the distilled water and use apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle for any tangles.
3.Is my hair going to smell like vinegar?
Only while it’s wet. I can promise the scent dissipates completly once your hair is dry. If you choose to add a few drops of essential oil to your vinegar and distilled water rinse, that will scent your hair nicely. Otherwise, once dry your hair will just smell clean.
4.How has the “no-poo” method changed your hair?
My hair used to be so oily that washing it every day was a necessity. When I first ditched shampoo,I was able to go every other day. Now, I can wash my hair every third day, and as a result my hair feels and looks much healthier.
5. Can I replace the vinegar with lemon juice?
Since soap is alkaline, the idea of the vinegar rinse is to restore the scalp to its acidic nature. It’s also clarifying and an amazing detangler. You may use lemon juice as an alternative to the vinegar , but know that it will probably lighten your hair.
There you have it my guide to trading out your overpriced chemical-laden shampoo and conditioner in favor of healthier and more economical ingredients. Your hair will look and feel better than ever.
Will you try it? Have you tried it? Tell me about your experience.