Sunday, December 14, 2014

Going No Poo - Week 5

This week begins my 2nd month without commercial shampoo! Last week I promised that I would take a picture of my hair everyday, and I actually remembered! I "wash" with honey on Sundays and go the rest of the week with acid rinses (ACV, herbal tea rinses, and now coffee!), about every other day.

This week has had a lot of hair-firsts for me, so let's talk about those instead of the usual day-by-day routine! It's getting a bit repetitive since a routine has developed.

Remember, this is all still pretty new to me, and I'm by no means an expert. Every hair type is unique, so yours may not respond the same way mine has to these treatments.


First Haircut Since Going No Poo

I mentioned in Week 3 that I needed a trim, and was curious as to what my hairdresser would say about not shampooing anymore. Well, I finally got that trim, and it was probably one of the highlights of my week! I was very nervous about this appointment, because I was afraid they would think I was weird/dirty/crazy... in fact, I felt like I was going on a date! I had butterflies in my stomach, and I kept wondering, "what will she think?"

When it came time to wash my hair, I politely asked Ashley (we have the same name!) if she could simply wet my hair without shampooing it. She asked why, and I explained that I quit using shampoo a month ago and my reasons for doing so.  She completely surprised me by being awesome and supportive! She listened thoughtfully to what I had to say without judging, and actually told me she thought what I was doing is cool! Her only concern was whether or not honey is actually removing product buildup from my hair. She recommended using a acid such as lemon juice to remove buildup, and I let her know I rinse with apple cider vinegar (ACV). We then had a lovely discussion on how awesome ACV is, and she let me know that she uses it once a month!

A lot of folks in the group I belong to on Facebook have talked about how their hairdressers tell them their hair is severely damaged, or they just don't believe in not using shampoo. Some mentioned their stylist talking them into a shampoo while they were there and they regretted it. I can't advise anybody on what to do in this situation, only offer my own perspective. If my stylist would've insisted on a wash, I would have just left. I'm sure there are plenty of other places that will take my money even if I don't let them wash my hair, and I've worked too hard avoiding "full poo" products (other than some occasional hairspray). After hearing some of these stories, and even how some people feel forced to trim their own hair out of embarrassment, I feel extremely lucky to have found an awesome stylist that is supportive. I will definitely be going back to see Ashley again!

First Event Since Going No Poo

I really wish I had taken this before the party and not after.

Another highlight from this week is that I went to a Christmas party! You may be wondering how this is related to not using shampoo, but I promise it is! It was a big milestone in my no poo journey, because it was the first semi-formal event that I've gone too since giving up shampoo! I felt confident about my hair, and not at all self-conscious. I even took the opportunity to wear a dress!

First Espresso Rinse

Leftover espresso in my hair & used grounds on my face.
Needless to say, I smelled yummy!

I mentioned using coffee as a hair rinse in my post on Herbal Tea Rinses, and I finally got around to trying one! Most use coffee, but I only have an espresso machine. So don't fret if that's all you have as well. My favorite beauty/health treatments are the ones that don't cost any extra money, and this one fits the bill! I always end up with extra espresso in my carafe, and I know a lot of other people have the same problem with their coffee. Pouring it down the drain is such a waste! Why not use that leftover coffee/espresso as a conditioning hair rinse?

My Method/Experience:

I used the espresso while it was still lukewarm, with about a teaspoon of honey and a splash of lemon juice. Please be careful not to use the espresso while hot; it can cause serious burns! I applied it with a squirt bottle (think old, clean ketchup bottle) to dry hair (it's very DARK and messy, so I suggest standing over the tub or shower), massaged it into my scalp and through the length of my hair, and wrapped it in a clean T-shirt. Although you don't have to leave rinses in like a mask, I ended up leaving mine in for about an hour. This is perfectly okay - in fact, some people don't even rinse them out. (I may try it next time!)

I LOVED this rinse! Don't get me wrong, I love my apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse too, but the espresso was a nice change of pace. First of all, OMG the SMELL!!! This might not be normal, but I totally wanted to eat my own hair. The smell faded after my hair dried, just like the ACV, but the smell in the meantime was divine! It also left my hair lustrous (shiny, not oily!), soft, and with more curls! I know that coffee is great for naturally highlighting dark hair, so I can't wait to see how it looks after a few more rinses!

This is my hair after the espresso rinse and air drying.
Look at those curls starting to happen on the sides!

First Time "Plopping"

A lot of girls in the No Poo group on Facebook have been talking about plopping. If you don't know what plopping is (I sure didn't), it's basically flipping your head upside down and wrapping your moist hair in a T-shirt to accentuate your natural curls. If you let your hair dry like that, then you should have nice, bouncy curls. Well, it didn't work so well for me. Maybe I didn't do it right, or maybe my hair is too short. Either way, I think my curls look more defined when I wrap my hair in a T-shirt the same way I do a towel.

Just letting it dry wrapped in a T-shirt
(like a towel)

 For more detailed plopping instructions, click here.


A few important tips I've learned in the last 5 weeks:

  • Boar bristle brush (BBB) my hair before washing
  • Pour wash or rinse onto dry hair rather than wet
  • BBB dry hair only to avoid breakage and split ends
  • BBB hair from all directions (forwards, backwards, away from the part), making sure to flip hair over and BBB underneath as well
  • Stretch out washes longer with acid rinses (ACV, tea, coffee)
  • Experiment to find what works!

If you're curious about the rest of my journey, you can read about it here:

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