Monday, 16 February 2015

No-Shampoo... No Problem! A diary of my first fortnight going 'no-poo'

Hi Guys,

Firstly, Happy Pancake Day for tomorrow! I do love Pancake Day, and Lent is like a time to start (or re-start) any Resolutions you didn't begin in January! Check out my favourite blueberry pancakes recipe just in time for tomorrow!

Right, on to the main reason for this week's post. I've been toying with the idea for well over 12 months of going 'No-Poo', meaning giving up using shampoo. 'Eww Gross!' you might say, but I'll list my reasons below:

  1. I have long hair which seems to go greasy at the scalp after less than 12 hours.
  2. This means I need to wash my hair everyday (I try to do every other day but I just feel plain rank doing this).
  3. Blow drying and straightening my hair so often has made the ends go really dry and frizzy.
  4. I'm convinced the shampoo companies WANT us to get greasy scalps everyday so that we use more shampoo.
  5. What did people do before shampoo was invented?!
I luckily had some free time at the beginning of this month, so I was able to use the time hiding at home, if need be, whilst the dreaded 'transition period' occurred. The transition period is when your head, not used to caring for itself, keeps producing sebum (grease) at the rate it did whilst you were shampooing your hair. This causes the hair to get greasier quicker and is the main stumbling block for going 'No-Poo'. I thought I'd list my 'No-Poo' journey in detail, to help others wanting to make the leap!


1st February - Ordered a 2kg bag of baking soda online from eBay. In the evening I washed my hair with what baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) was left in the baking cupboard, mixed with equal parts water to make a paste. I used about 2tbsp of baking soda. I'll be honest, it was like washing my hair with sand... I really gave my head a good massage and used the baking soda as a face scrub too, which seemed to brighten my skin (bonus!). After rinsing, my hair felt REALLY clean! 

I then decided to massage some coconut oil into the tips of my hair to combat the dryness. It was like running chip fat through my hair but I persevered.

After getting out of the shower I blow dried my hair. The coconut oil made it SO greasy that even when dry, it still looked wet because of all the grease. It was gross! I got back in the shower and shampooed the coconut oil out of my rank hair, I had to use a minimal amount of normal shampoo as I didn't have any baking soda left. I tried not to get any shampoo in my roots though.

Blow dried my hair. It felt amazingly soft and fluffy.

2nd February - Woke up and my hair didn't feel greasy at all. At this point, after a night's sleep, I can usually begin to spot a little grease above my ears and at my crown, but there was nothing. In the evening I was just beginning to get a little grease, and the ends were becoming dry, but on the whole a very promising start!

3rd February - Hair just beginning to go greasy, if I was going anywhere though, I would have been happy to wear my hair down still. This evening I decided to wash my hair with just water (baking soda from eBay still hasn't arrived...) I massaged my scalp fully and squeezed any oils in my hair down towards the tips as best I could.

Afterwards, blow dried my hair, it was still a little greasy around the crown and a little dry on the tips.

4th February - Woke up. Hair has the greasiness it would normally have on the second day of washing, which is good seeing as I haven't properly washed it with real shampoo in 5 days! Just hope the baking soda arrives from eBay either today or tomorrow, as I have to leave the house on Friday, and didn't want to be a grease-monkey! Showered this evening with a minimal amount of shampoo.

5th February - Spent the day running errands, hair feels healthy and clean.

6th February - This morning I showered properly with normal shampoo and conditioner as the baking soda still hadn't arrived. As predicted, an hour after getting out of the shower baking soda arrived... *eye-roll*

7th February - Spent the day at home, hair down and noticeably less greasy still.

8th February - Hair was increasingly greasy during the day, washed hair at night with baking soda only. Sprayed some leave-in conditioner on ends of hair after whilst drying to detangle. Hair feels thicker and full of volume!

9th February - Awoke and hair is still not greasy, volume has remained but the texture isn't as smooth as I'm used to, hair feels coarse and strands seem to clump together towards the ends.

10th February - Awoke and hair didn't seem very greasy at all, however as the day went on the great seemed to 'appear' out of nowhere, so-much-so that by late afternoon I had to put my hair up out of my face. Showered in the evening before bed time with baking soda and used conditioner on tips as they were becoming very dry. Let hair dry naturally overnight.

11th February - Woke up and hair felt fine, it had less volume but I'm pretty sure this is because I didn't blow dry it before going to sleep. A little greasiness beginning to appear on crown and above ears.

12th February - Wore hair in a top-knot all day as greasiness beginning to show through. Washed hair with baking soda and conditioner in the evening.

13th February - Wore hair down today. It feels healthy but still feels like it is sticking itself together. The sensation is difficult to describe, it feels a little like there is a build up of product on my hair. I'm unsure if this is caused by the baking soda or conditioner, but it seems to be getting worse with each wash...

14th February - Wore my hair up again today, it became increasingly greasy as the day wore on. Decided (due to the product build up) to wash my hair in the tiniest amount of regular shampoo to get rid of the 'claggy' feeling of my hair. This worked.

15th February - Wore hair down today, it looked healthy and shiny and the tips are not as dry as they have been in the last week or so.

Overall, I haven't seen much of a result. I began this journey in order to wash my hair less often, but since my initial hair wash in baking soda, it seems that my hair gets dirty in the same timescale it always has. I'm going to persevere though and look at changing the amounts of baking soda I use to tailor the mix. 

Also, if the 'claggy' texture continues, I think it may still be worth washing my hair at least once every 3-4 washes with regular shampoo just to deep clean the hair.  

Check out part 2 here! Love Jo xx

Note: Just so that you know, I was having regular 'body-only' showers throughout this process and was using a shower cap to cover my hair. I wasn't just not showering at all for 4 days!

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