Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pin It To Win It!

In order to celebrate my awesome readers (you guys!), I decided to have a Pinterest contest! Since I'm just getting started, and this prize is coming out of my own pocket, the prize is a $5 Wal-Mart eGift card - but an extra $5 never hurt!

I am not being sponsored or paid in anyway by Wal-Mart. This prize is coming out of my own pocket.

This contest is open to anybody with a Pinterest account and an email address! All you have to do to participate is follow Happy Modern Hippy on Pinterest, and comment on this Pin by answering the question “What is the first commercial beauty product (shampoo, makeup, hair dye, etc.) you’ll give up, or have already given up?” After that, all you have to do is share the pin! Complete all of this by January 31, 2015 and you'll be entered for a chance to win! The winner will be chosen at random by February 5, and the Wal-Mart eGift Card will be emailed by February 10, 2015.

Going No Poo - Week 3 (& Hairstyles for Transition!)

Wow, I can't believe I'm actually in my third week without shampoo! For those of you that have been following along on my no poo journey, thank you so much!

For those of you new to my no poo journey, check out Week 1 & Week 2!

Some of you may be wondering about the abbreviations I use sometimes, so I decided to make a short list of the ones I use most often:
  • WO = water only
  • ACV = apple cider vinegar
  • BBB = boar bristle brush
  • SMP = scritching (spelled with an "i"), massaging, & preening: very lightly making circular motions with the nails on the scalp, massaging the scalp with the pads of the fingers in a circular motion, and pulling the oil down the hair shaft with your fingers or palms.

It is officially Day 16 (Wednesday) since I've used commercial shampoo. It's been 3 days since my last honey mask/wash (with a dollop of yogurt and a splash of lemon juice), and my hair is still feeling great! It's been pretty consistent about getting oily at the roots around the third day after a wash, but a WO wash (and sometimes and ACV rinse) along with a BBB can help stretch washing another day or two.

Speaking of BBB, guess what I just found out: you have to wash your boar bristle brush! This makes sense to me, because the bristles are actually hair, and hair needs to be cleaned. Mine is recently bought, so thankfully I found out before it got yucky.

According to members in the no poo group that I belong to, how often you wash it is on an as-needed basis. So if you have oily hair (if you're going through transition, for example), you'll need to wash it more often than somebody with dry hair. I suppose it also depends on how often you brush your hair. I only use my BBB every few days, and use my fingers to brush the rest of the time. Some folks suggest once a week cleanings for your BBB, but if you don't brush that often (like me) then you'll be able to stretch out brush cleanings by a lot more.

Apparently they take a very long time to dry because the bristles are packed so closely together, so don't clean your brush if you have to be somewhere (with brushed hair) in 30 minutes.

Boar Bristle Brush
Image Source: Think Before You Buy

I'll go into more detail on how to clean your BBB next week, but here is the gist:
  • Remove all of the hair from your brush
  • Wet your brush, apply soap (or your old shampoo), and scrub with your hands or an old toothbrush
  • lay on a towel to dry, bristle side down
  • allow to dry before using (I'm not sure how long this takes yet)
It's Day 17 (Thursday), and Thanksgiving! Care to guess what I'm thankful for this year (other than the best son in the world)? I'm thankful that my family is so understanding and supportive of my no poo journey! A lot of people who begin this journey get discouraged by family members, so I'm definitely counting myself lucky!

It's been 4 days since my last honey wash/mask, and my hair is pretty greasy! Up until now, I've been washing with honey if my hair gets this oily, but I'm going to try stretching it one more night with an ACV rinse. I'd like to get to the point where I only need to wash once a week, eventually.


Friday (Day 18): before Oolong/ACV rinse

Today is Day 18 (Friday), and I'm pleasantly surprised by how good my hair is doing this long after a honey wash. As I already mentioned, the last 2 weeks my hair has gotten oily enough for me to wash it around 3 or 4 days after a wash. However, I decided to keep pushing past my usual wash day... basically just to see what happens. At worst, I figured I just wouldn't leave the house (thank goodness for the holiday break, and not having to go anywhere). I planned on doing an ACV rinse last night, but I never got around to it. I definitely couldn't get away with skipping the ACV rinse today, but I tried a few new things:
  • I only had a little bit of my ACV rinse left, and I've been wanting to experiment with tea rinses, so I brewed up some oolong tea with mandarin orange peels and rosemary to mix right in with my ACV solution. (I plan on going into more details in a separate post, so keep an eye out!)
  • Thanks to a tip from someone from the no poo group I belong to, I decided to try putting the rinse on my hair while it was dry rather than wet. The theory is that dry hair will absorb the conditioner better than wet hair; if your hair follicle is full of water already it won't absorb the conditioner as well. However, I couldn't find any reputable sources for this information or science to back it up. I did notice that I used a lot more of the rinse to saturate my hair than I would normally use on wet hair, so that is something to think about.
After using the oolong/ACV rinse, I immediately noticed that it had a much more pleasant smell than just plain ACV and water - almost minty. It faded as my hair dried, but it was still nice while it lasted. After that, my hair just smelled like clean hair. It was still looking oily at the roots, so I waited for it to air dry to BBB. It still looked just a bit oily at the roots, but a little SMP solved that problem.


It's now Sunday (Day 20), and I once again didn't get around to rinsing my hair last night. I blame schoolwork, and Thanksgiving. My kitchen is still not fully recovered from all of that cooking! Anyhow, I can't believe it's been 7 days since any kind of wash (other than water or ACV). There is no doubt that my hair looks oily, but I'm honestly surprised that it doesn't look worse. I think my little experiment of seeing how long I can go without washing is over - I have to take my son to school tomorrow, so I'll definitely be doing a honey wash tonight!

No Poo Week 3 Breakdown:

  • Day 15 (Tuesday) - 2 days since my last honey wash/mask, and my hair feels great still.
  • Day 16 (Wednesday) - My roots are a bit oily. 3 days since my last wash, so right on time. WO wash tonight.
  • Day 17 (Thursday) - Happy Thanksgiving! My hair is pretty greasy today, so I'm going to use an ACV rinse tonight.
  • Day 18 (Friday) - Skipped the ACV rinse last night, but tried a new rinse today: ACV and oolong tea. Love the smell! I'm very happy with the results after letting it air dry, BBB, and SMP. I'm probably going to use a honey mask tomorrow, but I'll play it by ear.
  • Day 19 (Saturday) - My hair feels wonderful, but looks pretty oily. Pretty good for not washing it with honey in 6 days, though! My dark roots are growing out, so the darkness on top only adds to the oily looks. A haircut that gets rid of my over-dyed ends should help considerably; only one more week until my trim! 
  • Day 20 (Sunday) - My hair is visibly oily, but it doesn't feel dirty or greasy. I can easily run my fingers through it, and it feels healthy and soft. I plan on doing a honey wash tonight.

Tips for dealing with oily hair:

  • Try to touch your hair as little as possible. Oil from your hands will only make your hair look greasier.
  • Don't forget to BBB! Your boar bristle brush will really help move the oil down the hair shaft, helping your roots look less greasy.
  • When the BBB isn't quite cutting it, SMP (scritching, massaging, and preening) helps to loosen up sebum, dead skin cells, and product buildup. Massaging the scalp also provides some lift to your roots, giving your hair some of the body the BBB takes away. Make sure your hands are clean, so you're not just adding to the oil!
  • Sometimes you have no choice but to hide it. Read further for ideas!


How to hide an oily hair day:

Even though I didn't really go through a transition period (yet!), I realize everybody is not as lucky. That's why I decided to share some ideas for what to do with your hair when it's just too darn greasy to wear down!

The "bump" and the headband are my go-to solutions on greasy days.
What a difference it makes!


Short Hair

Unfortunately there aren't that many ways to hide your oily locks if they're short like mine, other than scarves, bandanas, or hats. Seriously Google "scarf hairstyle" or "scarf hairstyle short" and be amazed at all the possibilities! Wide headbands are your friend also.

Long Hair

  • French braids, if you're good at it
  • The side braid, also known as the Katniss or Elsa braid
  • There's always the obvious ponytail or bun
  • Scarves, bandanas, or hats if you're in a hurry


Double Duty Long Hairstyles

These options are great because they help hide oily hair and look like you spent an hour styling them! Oily hair is actually better for these styles, because dirty hair is just so much easier to work with than clean. Sounds wrong, but that's why people have to put product in their clean hair to hold a style. Here are a few somewhat easy options, that don't involve French braiding (goodness knows that I can't do it):



      What are some of your go-to styles on dirty/oily days?


    Click here to read about the rest of my journey: 

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Going No Poo - Week 2 (& Moisturizing Honey Mask for Split Ends)

    Welcome to Week 2 of my no poo journey! Last week I left off on Day 8 (Monday). If you haven't read about my first week going no poo, check out Week 1!

    So far so good this week, but it's still only Wednesday (Day 10). I've also been warned by fellow no poo peers (try saying that 10 times fast!) that sometimes "transition hair" doesn't kick in until Week 2 or 3! So now is the time to be wary... I'll keep y'all updated though.

    I'm still using the honey washes as my no poo method, although my last honey mask/wash was 4 days ago. My scalp and hair still feel good, and I feel like I could probably go 2 more days without washing with honey. The oil is sitting at my roots a bit, so I think I'll definitely need a water only wash tonight to help distribute that sebum (maybe even a apple cider vinegar rinse). I've noticed that the hair around my face gets oily first, probably from touching it and pushing it out of my face so much. I did get a tip from somebody in my Facebook group though: if my hair starts to get waxy (from a buildup of sebum, products, or hard water), an applesauce mask will help! They made sure to tell me that only sugar-free applesauce  will do (baby food or homemade would work also). Sugar can have a bad affect on the hair and scalp.

    I did notice some split ends where there is still color in my hair (I chopped as much off as I could 2 months ago, but there's still a bit of color on the ends). That means I will definitely need a trim soon, and I'm certainly interested in hearing what my stylist thinks about all of this.

    No funky smells either! My hair just smells like clean hair. Not the kind of perfume/flowery-clean that you may be used to, but there is definitely no stink.


    It's Thursday (Day 11) now, and my hair is still looking great other than some split ends. I found out the hard way not to brush with a boar bristle brush while the hair is wet; apparently the hair is very weak while wet, and brushing with anything other than your fingers or a wide-tooth comb can stretch and tug hair leading to breakage and split ends. Lesson learned. Hopefully a honey mask tonight will help tame them until I get a trim in a couple of weeks. I'm also avoiding brushing as much as possible until then, using my fingers instead.
    After my ACV rinse last night (Day 10).
    It's clean, but look at those split ends!
    Other than some split ends from rough brushing, my hair is looking great! It's clean and soft, and not at all what you'd expect hair that hasn't been washed in 10 days to look like!
    Today is Friday (Day 12), and I'm very happy with my hair today! I used a honey mask last night to try to smooth my split ends and moisturize my hair, but it was a little different than I normally use. Rather than slather on honey alone, I added a little bit of hot water (just enough to thin out the consistency a tiny bit; I didn't measure, but if I had to guess a ratio I'd say 1 part water to 2 or 3 parts honey), a dollop of Greek yogurt (for protein), and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil (to soothe those split ends). I was VERY careful not to add too much oil though! I once had a bad experience with an olive oil hair mask; I looked like a grease ball for a whole day! I put all of the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shook, shook, shook! It really doesn't take much shaking to mix together though.
    I left this mask on for 2 hours (I probably would have left it on longer, but it was getting too late), and rinsed very thoroughly with warm water. I followed that up with 2 apple cider vinegar rinses (one would've sufficed, I'm sure. I was just paranoid about my hair looking too oily).
    My homemade honey mask/shampoo!
    A little goes a long way.

    Moisturizing Honey Mask/Wash for Split Ends:

    • about 1/8 RAW honey*
    • dollop of PLAIN Greek yogurt
    • 2-3 drops of extra virgin olive oil
    • water, just enough to thin out the consistency
    *1/8 cup of honey is an estimate. Use more or less depending on how long/thick your hair is.

    Mix ingredients in a jar or container with a lid by shaking or stirring. Apply to wet hair, massaging into the scalp. (I did this part standing in the shower. This mask is thinner than what I normally use, so it drips quite a bit.) Leave in for as long as you can (at least 30 minutes!), and rinse thoroughly with warm water (not too hot, because the heat can make split ends worse). Follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse (1 part ACV: 3 or 4 parts water). Allow hair to air dry.
    It's important to note that this is a pretty messy treatment, so a little bit goes a long way. It's definitely necessary to use a shower cap or wrap your hair up with an old, clean t-shirt (that's what I used). Try to remember there is no other way to fix split ends other than cutting them off. This is simply meant to be a temporary fix until you're able to get a trim.

    Wow, look at that difference! You can still see some split ends, but most of them are tamed for now.
    I mentioned that I was worried about the extra virgin olive oil leaving my hair greasy, but it didn't at all! In fact, I think I'm going to incorporate this new mask into my routine about once a month.

    Breakdown of my no poo week:

    • Day 9 (Tuesday) - 3 days since last honey wash. Hair is still soft and smells nice, but there's a bit of oil at the roots.
    • Day 10 (Wednesday) - "Washed" with my apple cider vinegar rinse, air dried, and finger combed. I noticed a lot of split ends.
    • Day 11 (Thursday) - Moisturizing honey mask to smooth split ends. Worked very well, without leaving hair oily!
    • Day 12 (Friday) - Another good hair day! My split ends are tamed for now, and my hair feels wonderful!
    • Day 12 (Saturday) - My hair looks and feels great, but I did notice a couple of pimples in my scalp. I'll definitely keep an eye on that.
    • Day 13 (Sunday) - I'm not sure what caused the pimples, but one honey mask (with some yogurt and lemon) took care of them.
    • Day 14 (Monday) - Today is a good hair day, other than feeling like I need a haircut. My short, layered 'do is in need of an update.

    Unexpected benefits of no poo:

    • When I used commercial shampoos, before making the switch, I shed A LOT of hair. I usually noticed it most in the shower; after shampooing my hands would be covered in hair! Sadly I came to accept this as the norm. However, last night in the shower there were maybe 2 strands of hair on my fingers after my apple cider vinegar rinse! That's the first time since I was a teen that I haven't shed a handful of hair after a wash!
    • Little did I know that honey contains an enzyme (glucose oxidase) that produces hydrogen peroxide. Does anybody know what hydrogen peroxide does to hair? Yep, it lightens it! Seriously, what can't honey do?! I feel like my greys have become less noticeable because of this, but they may just be all in my head (ha-ha, get it?). Even if that isn't the case, I've noticed the rest of my hair turning a lovely red that I'm really digging.
      For more info on lightening hair with honey and other natural alternatives, check out this blog post From Living the Nourished Life: How to Naturally Lighten Hair
    11/16/14: After 2nd honey mask
    11/21/14: After 3rd honey mask
    I know that seems like a big difference for one mask, because I thought so too. It turns out that the enzyme in honey that produces hydrogen peroxide increases by a factor of up to 50,000 when diluted with water (Source: Honey can be Used for a Variety of Medicinal Purposes). So basically it lightens a lot better when mixed with water, and that's exactly what I did with my moisturizing honey mask!

    Stay tuned for Week 3, which will include some ideas for "transition hair," and what to do when your hair looks to oily to wear down. Also, please feel free to comment with questions, suggestions, or even your own no poo story!

    Honey, Yogurt, and Lemon Face Mask

    I usually make my own Greek yogurt, but sometimes I feel lazy.

    As you may or may not know, I LOVE honey - almost as much as I love DIY, all-natural beauty products! Well, this post combines my two loves!

    For a long time I used commercial acne products on my face, with little improvement. The only time I quit using them is while I was pregnant with my son 6 years ago. Most skin care products contain salicylic acid, a mild acid used to treat acne and other skin disorders, which is actually advised against during pregnancy. The reason doctors caution pregnant women against using salicylic acid is that high doses taken orally have been shown to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications (Source: Safe Skin Care During Pregnancy). It never occurred to me back then to search for a safer alternative; I just dropped the face wash from my shower routine. Thankfully, my pregnancy acne never got too bad.

    Before I started on my journey to be toxin-free, I actually tried this DIY honey, yogurt, and lemon facemask because I ran out of my old commercial one and didn't feel like shelling out $5 for a new bottle. Other than being toxin-free, what better reason is there to try an all-natural alternative than saving money?

    The original inspiration for this mask comes from Alyssa & Carla, however I did tweak it a bit: Greek Yogurt Mask.

    This recipe is so easy, it only calls for 3 ingredients: honey, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice! Fortunately, I usually have these three things on hand (I actually make my own Greek yogurt!), so when I came across it on Pinterest I had to give it a try.

    First let's discuss the benefits of these ingredients, and why they're good for fighting acne:

    • Honey - honey is an antiseptic, therefore it prevents the growth of the bacteria in your pores, and disinfects your skin. In fact, if honey is applied to a fully developed pimple or whitehead, it can stop the infection in your pore from worsening (Source: Honey and Acne). Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce swelling and redness that can accompany pimples. Finally, honey is a humectant which preserves the moisture in your skin and draws moisture from the air, which leaves your face moisturized without feeling oily.
    • Greek Yogurt - the lactic acid in Greek yogurt helps to exfoliate and the fat moisturizes (which makes it great for dry skin). The yogurt itself acts as a very mild bleach, making it good for evening out complexion and calming skin.
    • Lemon Juice - Lemon also helps to lighten the skin and even complexion, while the citric acid exfoliates. Since lemon juice is an astringent, it also dries the blemish. *Since it can be drying, it's important not to add too much lemon juice, especially if you have dry skin.*
    After trying out the original, and adjusting it to my preference, I found that I preferred to add a bit more honey to help reduce redness more and fight bacteria better.

    Honey, Yogurt, and Lemon Face Mask:

    • 1/8 cup RAW honey (very important that it's raw, and not processed with corn syrup or any other fillers)
    • 1/8 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (must be plain, with no added sweeteners)
    • splash of lemon juice (less or none for dry skin)
    Combine ingredients in a small container, mixing thoroughly. Apply mask to clean face with hands or clean foundation brush. Allow mask to dry (about 20 minutes, depending how thick you apply it), then wash face with a wet washcloth (or clean hands) and pat dry. Store leftovers in the fridge (or eat it, because it's completely edible!). This face mask is gentle enough to use more often then commercial ones, but I'd still try to limit it to 3 or 4 times a week.

    After I use this face mask I apply a homemade toner of diluted apple cider vinegar (the same one I use to rinse my hair, about 1 part ACV to 3 or 4 parts water), although that is completely up to you. It is perfectly safe to use a toner after a face mask; in fact, it tightens the pores! I usually just hop in the shower to wash the mask off, follow up with my ACV toner, and then rinse my face with cool water.

    A foundation brush can help apply an even layer of face mask.

    The great thing about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are edible, so you know that it's safe to put on your skin! You can play with the recipe to find something that suits you better, if you'd like. This could also make a wonderful gift for the holidays! (Just be sure to remind the recipient to keep refrigerated!)

    I've had someone mention concerns about the lemon juice stinging their face, but I can assure you that I've had no trouble with this. However, every skin type is unique. As I mentioned before, lemon juice is an astringent so it has a drying affect. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you may want to leave the lemon juice out.
    Some people have mentioned having an adverse reaction to honey and/or lemon juice, so be sure to test this recipe (as well as any other) on the inside of your wrist. If you feel any stinging or burning, wash it off immediately and DO NOT use it on your face.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Going No Poo - Week 1

     Hi, and welcome to my first ever blog post! Today I'm going to dive right into the whole reason I started this blog: "no poo." I know what you're thinking, because every person I mentioned it to thought the same thing - "Does it mean you're constipated?" Nope, but I see where the confusion comes from! "No poo" is actually an abbreviation for "no shampoo," which basically means ditching commercial shampoos that contain damaging sulfates, parabens, or silicones. Using a shampoo that is free of these chemicals is considered "low poo," while opting for an alternative washing method is considered "no poo." There are several different no poo methods (baking soda and apple cider vinegar, water only, acid only, sebum only), but first I will explain some of my reasons for ditching the 'poo.

    Please keep in mind that I am by no means an expert. I'm only sharing my personal experience with no poo, and it's all still a learning experience for me. You should also keep in mind that each individual's scalp and hair is unique and responds to no poo methods differently. Many factors such as age, region, climate, and even hormones can affect your hair.

    Reason #1: Scalp Irritation

    Over the past five years, I developed a terrible case of scalp irritation! It took me that long to even realize that it was a combination of my shampoo and hard water. This is hands-down the biggest reason for my switch. I had little red pimples in my scalp that were incredibly painful. I tried parting my hair different ways to avoid the pimples, pulling my hair back, leaving it down, olive oil masks, switching up how often I shampooed, cutting my hair so it'd be lighter... no matter what I tried, my head and scalp hurt. It seemed like even my hair hurt sometimes, and I was ready to chop it all off - which I ended up doing. It took me a long time to realize the cause, because my head was fine until we moved into our current apartment which has hard water (water that has high mineral content, such as limestone, chalk and dolomite). In fact, I just recently (like in the last 2 days) found out that minerals in hard water actually interfere with the "soap" (saponification, if you wanna get technical) in your shampoo (as well as certain no poo methods that involve saponification; baking soda, Castile soap, and shampoo bars, for example), leaving the soap, dirt, and minerals all in your hair and scalp. I'm now happy to say that eight days into my no poo journey, my irritation is completely gone!

    Reason #2: More Money and Time

     Since my scalp irritation became unbearable, I'd been searching for ways to fix it, and most of them cost money. At times I thought my hair was too heavy, so I tried haircuts. I also tried buying new shampoos that claimed to be safe. It felt as if I were throwing my money away though! I was also washing my hair at least every other day, using more water than I needed to. Once I quit using commercial shampoos that strip my hair of it's natural oils (leading my scalp to go into overdrive and produce more oil, leading to another wash, leading to more oil...see a pattern?), my hair and scalp adjusted to it's normal oil (or sebum) production and I was able to wash less frequently. Less washing = less water and shampoo used (or whatever your alternative is), which means less money spent and more free time!

    Reason #3: Healthier, Luxurious Hair

    I know this sounds a little crazy, right? Healthier hair with no shampoo? It's definitely true, and I have first-hand experience! Most people go through an awkward "transitional period" when their hair is adjusting to no poo (although I didn't!), but after it's back to normal you should have gorgeous locks! I'm currently on day 8 without commercial shampoo, and my hair is amazing right now!
    No Poo: Before and After
    Before: 4 days before my last commercial shampoo
    After: 8 days after my last commercial shampoo
    I know it doesn't look like there's much difference in these two photos (please forgive my poor photography skills), but consider that the second photo is 7 days since washing my hair! Now take a closer look. Can you see the difference in oiliness and volume? That first picture is a freshly washed head of hair, yet it looks limp and weighted with oil compared to the second photo. My hair has actually regained some curl as well! My hair went completely lifeless after I got pregnant with my son 6 years ago, and hadn't held a curl since (no matter how much hairspray I used!)

    Reason #4: Less Chemicals

    This is another important reason to me (and the main reason I consider myself a modern day hippy)! I'm trying to cut all of the toxic chemicals out of my life, making little changes for the better when I can.
    Commercial shampoos (as well as toothpastes, deodorants, moisturizers, and more) are linked to all kinds of nasty things; here are a few articles:
    I quit dying my hair, and started embracing my grays, partially for this reason. (I was also tired of feeling like a slave to dye. "Oh no, look at my roots! I better dye before work/school/my date/being seen in public..." Sound familiar? That's a post for a whole other day though.)

    Do you have any scalp problems, or do you feel that you're spending to much time and money on your hair? Want to simplify your routine or cut out toxins? What are your reasons for considering no poo, if at all?

    No Poo Methods:

    Thanks to the awesome No Poo (No Shampoo) & Low Poo group on Facebook that I'm part of, I've learned about several different methods, but I will only describe some of the most popular and my own method for now.

    • Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

    There are many different no poo methods, but the most popular one is baking soda (to wash) and apple cider vinegar (to condition). After a lot of research and reading other people's experiences, I decided not to try this method. Not that it's a bad method, I just wanted to try something gentler because of my scalp problems. I'm unsure of the exact amounts, but it usually consists of mixing baking soda with water for your "shampoo" and diluting apple cider vinegar with water as your "conditioner." (Side note: I actually used an ACV rinse instead of conditioner while I was still using commercial shampoos. It works wonderfully as a conditioner as long as it's diluted enough.) Do not use this method more than once every 4 days though!

    • Egg Wash

    Another popular no poo method is egg: either the white, the yolk, or the whole egg
    The yolk and white are both okay to use once a week (although that can be too much protein for your hair; too much protein leads to stiff hair and breakage), while the whole egg is not recommended more than once a month. Be sure to rinse with cold to luke-warm water or you'll wind up with scrambled eggs in your hair though!

    • Water Only, Acid Only, and Sebum Only

    The names of these methods are a bit telling. Water only means only using water to wash your hair. Acid only consists of washing your hair with a diluted acidic rinses such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or any other acidic rinse (although these are technically considered "conditioners," they are used to help distribute the sebum down the length of the hair). Sebum only is probably the most hardcore of the no poo methods! It means no water or washing of any kind (referred to the "caveman" method in my no poo group on Facebook), and simply using a special brush or your fingers to distribute the sebum to the rest of your hair.

    • Honey/Aloe

    As far as I can tell from the experiences of others, honey and aloe work in very much the same way on the hair (however, I've only ever tried honey). Although technically considered a "conditioner," honey or aloe may be used to "wash" the hair. More to the point, they are particularly useful against a dry, itchy, or irritated scalp. They can be used to wash more often than harsher methods, such as baking soda, since they don't strip very much sebum, and they leave your scalp and hair feeling amazing!

    • Dry Shampoo

    Although dry shampoo can be store bought, there are usually a multitude of ingredients; and it's often hard to tell which are safe. If the reason you're starting no poo is for less toxins (or to save money!), you may want to consider making your own dry shampoo. It's so easy you won't even need to write it down! Ready? Grab some cornstarch. sprinkle some in your hands and apply it to your hair, near the roots (where the excess oil is). Shake off the excess powder, and voilĂ  - all done! If you have darker hair like me you can add some cocoa powder for color, although I've done it with plain cornstarch before, and it's not very noticeable as long as your shake off the loose powder.

    For more info about different no poo methods, check out this link (or do some of your own research):
    Top 5 “No Poo” Shampoo Alternatives 

    My Experience/Method:

    As I mentioned already, every scalp and head of hair is different. Factors that can affect your scalp are: age, region, climate, and even hormones. Before I describe the method I found to be most effective, I'll tell you a bit about myself. I'm 25 years old, and a Florida-native. I became pregnant with my first and only child at the age of 19, six years ago, and gave birth to him in 2009. I have short, average (not thin, but not too thick) hair that tended toward oily while I was using commercial shampoo.

    My whole no poo journey started with researching a home remedy for the scalp irritation I felt, and I came across honey! More specifically, honey masks/washes. I already hadn't washed my hair in two days, but this wasn't planned. If someone told me I wasn't going to shampoo my hair for a week the day before I tried honey, I probably would've laughed at them and imagined a rat's nest. I read to leave it on for about 30 minutes, but I'm scatterbrained so I ended up leaving it on for closer to an hour. The good news is that it doesn't matter! In fact, the longer you leave it on the more it helps your scalp! I took some honey and rubbed it onto my hair, massaging it into my scalp. (Tip: Wet your hair first! I learned the hard way that sticky honey + dry hair = painful pulling! Also a shower cap would come in handy to avoid messiness.) Some people dilute the honey, but I found that wet hair and hands makes it easy to spread and rub in. I actually threw in a dollop of Greek yogurt for protein and a splash of lemon juice.

    After waiting about an hour to rinse the honey (I got caught up cleaning and cooking, so I lost track of time), and using an apple cider vinegar rinse, my hair felt AMAZING! It was soft, shiny, and clean! My scalp irritation was almost completely gone after the first use as well!

    Sorry about the closet selfie!

    Just look at how clean and shiny it looks after my first honey wash! If only you could run your fingers through and feel how soft it is! After that I decided I was never going back to commercial shampoo!

    Allow me to give you a breakdown of my first week no poo:

    • Day 1 (Monday) - Last commercial shampoo EVER!
    • Day 2 (Tuesday) - Scalp irritation is driving me crazy!
    • Day 3 (Wednesday) - Honey mask/wash with Greek yogurt and lemon juice. Scalp feels pretty much all better, and my hair feels soft and silky!
    • Day 4 (Thursday) - Dry shampoo (cornstarch and cocoa powder) to absorb excess oil. (Although in hindsight, the dry shampoo was unnecessary.)
    • Day 5 (Friday) - Scalp is getting a bit itchy, but hair looks great!
    • Day 6 (Saturday) - Second honey treatment for itchiness. Irritation is completely gone! Laying off the dry shampoo for a while, unless I absolutely need it.
    • Day 7 (Sunday) - Hair still looks great!
    • Day 8 (Monday, again) -
      Before Water Only shower: My hair still looks good enough to go in public, but there is a little oil on my roots.
      After Water Only shower: All it took was "scrubbing" my scalp and hair to break up the oils and distribute them a bit, along with a boar bristle brush after it dried.

    Day 5
    Day 7


     These pictures are from Day 8 before my water only wash. A bit oily at the top, but still looking great!

    This picture is from Day 8 after my water only wash, and a thorough brushing with my new boar bristle brush! These natural brushes are great for distributing sebum, so that all of the oil isn't sitting at your roots.

    So basically, I "wash" my hair every few days with RAW honey (the raw part is really important guys! A lot of commercially produced honey is processed with corn syrup. No good, y'all...), rinse it thoroughly with warm water, and then do an apple cider vinegar rinse. For the rinse, I simply use about 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water. I mix it ahead of time, add it to a dollar store spray bottle, and keep it in the shower to use as needed. When using this rinse, I spray it into my scalp and massage it in, working it (and the sebum) through the length of my hair - which isn't much right now. Most ratio mixes I read were 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, but after trying it I felt this was too strong for me. If you're just trying this, start with a 1:4 ratio to be safe. Experiment to find the right ratio for your hair. Too much vinegar can dry out your hair. Also don't worry about the smell; you won't smell like pickles, I promise! Rinsing well will help, but the smell goes away as it dries. Occasionally, if I get sweaty I'll notice a faint vinegar smell, but it's not unpleasant. No complaints from anybody so far!
    On days that I don't "wash" my hair with honey, I go the water only route. On days that I shower, that is. No, I don't shower everyday. (I'm a hippy, remember?) I promise I still smell good, and my boyfriend can attest to that! Besides, I don't wanna ruin all this hard work (or lack thereof?) by getting rid of too much sebum and drying my hair out. Then the oiliness cycle would start all over again! If you're the kind of person who absolutely must take a shower everyday, then I suppose a shower cap would suffice. When I wash with water only I scrub my scalp, just like when I used commercial shampoo, under the running water, making sure to work the sebum through the lengths of my hair. If your hair is too thick or course to run you fingers through, you could always use a bit of the vinegar rinse to "condition" it.
    I just let my hair dry naturally now, and brush it when it's dry with my boar bristle brush. I'm actually trying to space out my honey washes gradually, since the honey does removes a bit of sebum, and the whole point of the no poo thing is to wash your hair less often. I will keep you guys updated as time goes on!

    Unexpected Benefits of No Poo:

    While I entered this journey hoping to get rid of my scalp irritation (Success!) and use less toxins, there were a few happy surprises along the way!
    • I've had painful cysts behind my ears since I was a young adult. I'm happy to say that they've completely disappeared in a week!
    • I've also regained some texture and life to my hair! Before I got pregnant with my son six years ago, I could scrunch my hair easily. However after his birth, my hair wouldn't hold a curl or scrunch no matter how much or little product I used.
    • My acne has cleared up! Albeit I still have a pimple here or there, but I haven't had a bad breakout in a while! My idea of a bad breakout is a large cluster of pimples that are close together. This could also be attributed to the occasional Greek yogurt/honey face mask that I make though. One more reason to LOVE honey!


    So 8 days with no shampoo, and I don't look like a grease ball at all! Not everybody has an easy transition like I have so far though. I've heard a lot of stories about transition lasting anywhere from a week or two, up to a few months and beyond. What is "transition," you ask? It's the period when your hair is adjusting to it's own sebum production. Why does this happen? If you've ever breastfed, then this analogy will be helpful: The more your baby nurses, the more milk you produce. Same with your scalp and shampoo; the more you strip your hair of sebum with harsh shampoos, the more your scalp will produce. And what happens when baby is weaned from breastfeeding? You get engorged at first with all of the milk your baby isn't drinking, but your body produces less with time. When you quit shampooing, your scalp is still producing the same amount of oil but your shampoo isn't stripping it anymore - and this can leave you with very oily hair. During transition, your scalp will gradually produce less sebum, resulting in beautiful, natural hair!

    Tips/Theories on my easy Transition:

    • For starters, I'd been using a vinegar rinse on my hair after commercial shampoo for a few months before I went no poo. This helped me to stretch my washes out, by a day or two at most, before my hair got too greasy to go into public. Perhaps the fact that I was sort of stretching out my washes already made it easier to transition.
      For more info on apple cider vinegar rinses, check out this link: Make Your Own Natural Vinegar Hair Rinse
    • I have very short hair (which I love), as you can see from the pictures above. I feel that having short hair allowed me to distribute the sebum easier than somebody who has medium to longer hair - it has less of a trip to make from root to tip!
    • The boar bristle brush I bought (you can find them I most stores fairly inexpensive) a few days ago, made a lot of difference regarding the oil sitting at my roots. Plastic bristle and combs just weren't helping move the oil through my hair. Some prefer to preen (using your fingers or palms to slide the oil along the hair), but I just don't have time for that. I learned from my Facebook group to only brush with a boar bristle brush when the hair is dry or it could cause tearing and damage if done while wet. I'm also trying to just brush with the boar bristle brush at night and "finger comb" or use a wide-tooth comb the rest of the time.
    Please keep in mind that all of these theories are based on my experience and my unique hair. Just because it works for me does not mean it'll work for you. A lot of no poo is trial and error until you find the right routine for you - there is no one size fits all.

    Does this sound like something you'd be willing to try, or have tried? If so, please share your questions, comments, and experiences with me! Good luck guys!

    Read about the rest of my journey here: Going No Poo