Sunday, November 30, 2014

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: 

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