Saturday, December 27, 2014

Going No Poo - Weeks 6 & 7

I've been pretty busy with the 7 Days of Christmas, so I was pretty late getting to Week 6. The week was already almost over by the time I got any free time, so I figured I'd just combine Weeks 6 & 7.

Giving Up Honey

I seriously LOVE honey. I love it! Have I said that enough yet? Despite my love-affair with honey, I actually haven't washed with it since Week 4 (well, maybe a drizzle in my rinses here and there). It doesn't mean that I don't love honey anymore (I swear, I do!), it was just time to switch things up! I felt like my hair was getting too weighted down, and I also felt like I could stretch out the days between washes a bit more. I decided to finally try out an espresso rinse in Week 5, and LOVED it!

Can you see the difference in body? The espresso enhances my curls as well!

I did use a honey mask after a failed experiment left me with some scalp irritation. Read Trial & Error below for more details.

What Am I Using Now?

Since I recently made some homemade yogurt, I had plenty of whey leftover (a byproduct of yogurt). I tried a whey rinse back before I made the switch to No Poo, and I loved it then. I had espresso, I had whey, and somehow they ended up together in my hair. It was awesome, and the smell was delicious! My favorite part was that it was the closest to a lather I've gotten since going No Poo! The whey has a bit of a thickness to it, and that's what sort of feels like it's lathering up. I've also been experimenting with adding a ginger/rosemary tea to the mix (simply ginger and rosemary boiled in water and steeped for about 20 minutes). I usually leave it in for a while, but it works pretty well as a quick rinse too. This is just a personal preference, but I like to apply the espresso/whey mixture over the kitchen sink, then wrap my hair in an old, clean T-shirt and allow it to dry before rinsing it out with water.

Acid rinses (like apple cider vinegar, certain teas, and coffee) are not technically washes; they're considered a conditioner, so you can use them daily if your hair responds well to it.

Since the Switch

Since I've quit using a honey wash every week, and have switched to acid only (AO) rinses (espresso and whey, specifically), my hair has had so much more body! My hair loves espresso! I usually do them every other day, but they are fine to daily as well.

Trial & Error

One thing I sometimes miss about shampoo is the smell. My hair doesn't smell bad at all; it just doesn't have a smell. Sometimes I miss that freshly shampoo'd smell (think flowers or fruit), although not enough to actually use any. I decided to try a little scent experiment with vanilla extract. I don't have any EOs (essential oils, for you EO virgins like me), but I have seen vanilla extract in some DIY recipes (for lotion or soap perhaps). Well for those of you who don't know, most vanilla extracts are made with alcohol and sugar or corn syrup. Although alcohol is found in many commercial shampoos (why?), it's extremely drying. After going this long without commercial shampoo, even 10 drops of vanilla extract was enough to inflame the scalp irritation that going no poo helped get rid of. The irritation was bad enough for me to use a honey mask the next day, which helped immensely. Lesson learned: don't use vanilla extract on my hair.

Some people like to leave their conditioning rinses in, and I though it would be great to try with espresso! Wrong. It left brown marks on my hands anytime I ran my fingers through my hair. It also left my hair feeling a bit stiff... I'm not sure that's the right way to describe it, but I can't think of a better word for how my hair felt. I'm going to stick with rinsing the espresso out. 

Unexpected Benefits of Going No Poo

  • Stronger nails - since giving up shampoo I've noticed that my nails have gotten stronger, but especially since using my orange/rosemary herbal tea rinse on my hair; just the act of rubbing it into my scalp was enough to strengthen them. I wish I had a before and after picture to show you. My nails usually break off right above the pink, but in the last few weeks, they've gotten unbelievably strong! Since I don't use the herbal tea rinse anymore, I'd like to incorporate it into a nail care routine. 
  • New hair growth - believe it or not, those little hairs I circled below are actually new growth! I attribute it to the rosemary in the rinses I've been using (rosemary is great at strengthening hair and even promoting new growth), along with the fact that I haven't been using any harsh chemicals on my hair or scalp!
    I'm sure these little hairs are new growth and not breakage for a few reasons:
    1) I haven't been doing anything to cause split ends (tying my hair up, using harsh chemicals, brushing too hard and/or too often).
    2) I examined them to make sure there were no frayed or stressed ends. 

For more information on breakage and new growth, check out

The most important thing I've learned from all of this is to experiment! Every wash or rinse you try won't work for you, but when you come across what does work for your hair you'll be over the moon. I thought I had found what worked for me with honey, but if I didn't experiment with new wash methods I wouldn't have found this better working one!

To read about the rest of my journey, click here: 

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