Monday, August 15, 2016

No-poo journey

Early in the year 2014, I stopped using shampoo. I was fortunate in not having work at that moment, because I heard that your hair goes through some really oily phase as it adjusts to not being washed as much. I tried a variety of things at first, but thanks to this blog post (which shared actual scientific reasoning as to why baking soda is bad for your hair), I knew to steer clear of the most commonly discussed method of going “no-poo” which would be a baking soda and ACV wash/condition method.

I had done a lot of reading leading up to my decision, and got many ideas for things to try. First up was just water. Literally just water. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but I knew that around week 4 was supposed to be the greasiest your hair looks with any no-poo transition, so I decided at the start I wouldn’t judge until at least week 7.

Week 7 and my hair just wasn’t feelin’ it. My hair is very thick, and it is naturally a bit oily. It just looked bad with plain water. Thankfully, with no job at that point, I didn’t have to worry about professional appearances, and would just throw a bandana on over my hair when I had to step out, hoping it would pass the greasy phase.

June 2014 (nothing)

I decided to revisit the post linked above and tried out the rye flour method of shampoo. I just mixed in a bit of rye flour with water until it was a paste, used that to rub into my scalp, and rinsed. I used ACV/water for conditioner.

May 2015 (Rye flour)

The above worked really well, and I continued doing that for the last year and a half (if not a bit longer). It was especially nice when I would cut my hair short, but I recently started using shampoo again, for simplicity’s sake.

June 2016 (Rye flour)
I know it sounds like not much work to pour a bit of rye flour into a bowl and mix with a bit of shower water. It really wasn’t. I stirred it with my finger. It took basically no time. The hard part was rinsing it out of my hair. If I had thin hair, I think it would be a totally different ending to the story, honestly. Rye flour has little pieces of the shell (husk) in the flour. It is great as an exfoliator for the scalp, but isn’t a friend to thick hair. I found that if I didn’t take the time to use the highest pressure and carefully blast every part of my hair, the tiny little pieces of husk stuck to strands of hair. This looked bad. Not just like a weird piece of fuzzy in someone’s hair, weird… but it looked like a piece of dandruff, or worse, a louse egg.

If I switched to the tub faucet and rinsed under there, it was easier to get it all out, but it just was such a water waste. That, and it hurt my neck to do that. It was more of an inconvenience, and my hair was longer by this point. Thick, long, heavy hair… and having to do that.

I truly believe that if I had very fine, straight hair, this would be a non-issue. Sadly, my hair is not only very thick, but naturally wavy (not curly). I loved paying only a few dollars a year for rye flour and having it last so long, but now I’m back to shampoo. I’m actually really sad about it, as I really wanted to never go back. My hair already feels less healthy, but I’m trying out more natural shampoos and hoping to find the perfect one for me. It will probably be a lot of trial and error until I find one I like, and it isn’t going to be as cheap as the rye flour (nothing would!).

If you’re looking to go no-poo and have thin/straight hair (or just short hair), I highly recommend trying the rye flour option. Otherwise, I’m interested in hearing suggestions for other no-poo alternatives (or good, natural shampoos)!

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff is responsible for the content of this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

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