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I’ve been a little confused about sites like this that actively promote using Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda, introducing foreign oils into the scalp etc… It’s all a bit counter intuitive no?
The whole point of no-poo is to reduce the washes by training your scalp to ‘fend for itself’ more often, thus in turn, using less mixtures on your scalp that can leave damaging residue and otherwise screw with your hairs natural ecosystem?
What are you putting on your head???
Baking Soda is harsh on hair, period. It strips the hair bare; This is something you use ‘once in a blue moon/year’ type thing to ‘reset’ your hair and scalp It damages the hair, it dries and can destroy the scalp over long periods of use, even more so, if your using it on a frequent basis.
Ladies, you should know baking soda intimately, it’s a fantastic cleaning product labelled ‘white gold’ for a reason, it will chew through limescale, eat the most stubborn pan grease etc, it can outperform even the most destructive oven cleaners: Why? Just why?
Vinegar doesn’t fill the void from Baking Soda’s destructive nature; You want to bring the PH of your scalp back towards it’s natural acidity level, not increase the acidity or nuke it entirely with other products, if you use Vinegar, you need to use something to counteract the acidity. Too acidic and the natural bacteria can’t do its job and you kill it off, too neutral/alkaline and the bacteria runs absolutely rampant, it smells, it’s horrible, nooo.
NOTE: Adding oils as barmy as it sounds if you must, comes with it’s own risk. It’s alright going “use coconut oil” but which one, coconut oils on the market come in a range of designs, some are highly alkaline and some are highly acidic… And some are ‘just right’ - Make sure you get the appropriate one for the task. Make a shopping plan for your ingredients.
This could explain why so many people we’re having long-term bad experiences, or prolonged periods of recovery (only takes one swim in a chlorine filled pool to throw everything into chaos; Swim hats!).
I’m no ‘rocket scientist’, but it all makes sense to me, feel free to correct me, I am human after all, mistakes may be made.
So… I started with something simple… Cornflour, a plastic comb.
Why? Animal dust baths. Chickens do it, dogs do it, horses, rodents, even monkeys do it, so there must be some sense to it… Because they all look fabulous at the end of the day.
It binds to the grease, it dries out, falls out, it’s a simple, cheap, and not aggressive on the scalp.
Cornflour is also the main ingredient in a lot of dry shampoos, bundled along with other chemicals. Though, I imagine any fine and fairly neutral PH (6~8) flour would work.
So… Let’s give it a go!
Note: My hair would need washing every day prior to this, it was a grease producing monster.
The first week or two was a nightmare!!!
I’d go from putting way too much into my roots just to make the hair feel clean. This caused a clumping of cornflour and grease on my scalp, clogging everything up. But… Putting too little in and I looked like I had escaped a mental institution in the middle of a rainy night.
Did notice if I turned ‘white’, a spray of water on the top of the head and a comb-in, does wonders for hiding that flour. Smells a bit, but nothing too obvious.
…But I set myself a limit; At least one month, maybe there is some sense to this.
Second week ponders.
The itching was annoying, many wet-finger scalp massages, the scalp flaked, it was horrendous… I started getting in-grown hairs… I cursed… A lot. I did get some relief just tying it up into a ponytail (no one else could tell the difference). Hair started to get very thick, very heavy, very fast. Maybe I should give up… I said a month, ugh, push on.
Third week; things started to change.
Literally one day overnight, I started to notice my hair was lighter, softer, it felt better. It wasn’t perfect, but something was going on. Obviously at this point, my scalp was adjusting it’s new ecosystem.
I started using less cornflour on the roots, if at all, only rubbing it in my hands and working the strands. The scalp started to calm right down, less cornflour residue, the scalp could breathe, the flaking started to stop, no itching at all.
The ingrown hairs; no new occurrences, not a single one. There’s quite a bit of hair breakage from combing (still less than a shower would produce).
The hairs developing it’s own soft curly personality and put on volume; No smell. It’s certainly a learning curve it seems.
Forth week; routine!
Nights: Flour up the strands > sleep.
Mornings: Light flouring on the strands to take away any greasy feeling + what I call ‘heat treatment’ here and there.
Heat seems to work well with grease, hair straighteners (<170: Low as mine can go) seem ensure the grease is distributed fully along the strands, when it cools, the hairs a lot more manageable, brush-able etc. It also brings those greys into submission, otherwise they stick out like a wonky wire brush.
I prefer the straighteners, because I like my hair straight, it’s below my shoulders and curly hair just ‘gets in my face’ too much when I’m doing what I do. Straight hair just tucks away behind the ear nicely.
Fifth week+; Pretty much done…
It feels softer, stronger, etc. Still got a bit of frizz up top that pops up like I’ve been dragged out of an anime, but it seems to be going down some, maybe that bit just needs more time, or maybe, that’s just my hairs unique quirk [shrugs]. I did notice the lack of static when combing, and a bit of colour occurring in the hair itself (It was really dark with the greys standing out like an eyesore). Might actually get the courage to pop down to a hairdresser, since it’s not been to a hairdressers in years.
1 month, almost an 1 inch of hair growth, not bad.
All in all, the hair doesn’t feel ‘poo-clean’, it doesn’t feel remotely horrible either, and, has started to develop a nice sheen - Getting a lot of compliments.
Honestly, I’m happy with it and will continue to work on it - How’s that for “no poo”?
Excuse the red face, fell asleep in the sun yesterday … (>.<)
Edit: Sooo happy, scalps covered up nicely, no longer think I’m going bald, Super manageable. Worth it.