My "Natural Hair" Secret...

03 July 2008

Yes, this is another post about my hair.

As many of my friends can attest to, my hair is a big part of my image, my Island Girl look.
So, when I got so many compliments on my hair in my video post, I was overjoyed, over the moon, over so many things I was literally floating on air and dusting the top of my cupboards. No, not really - I hate dusting - but I was happy. Thanks again, y'all! *winky-wink*

And now, at the risk of freaking out my friends, I will tell you my gorgeous-hair secret: I don't use shampoo.

Yes, you read right. No need to re-read. I sport a No 'Poo 'Do. How's that for minimalist/low-maintenance hair?! :)

Why No Shampoo?

For the same reason why I stopped using facial cleanser. Facial cleanser, like shampoo, cleans too well.
Shampoo can be too harsh for your hair and scalp. It strips away all the sebum (natural oils), leaving your hair and scalp dry. So, in response, your scalp then produces more sebum, resulting in greasy hair fast.
Thus begins the vicious cycle: Your hair is greasy, so you shampoo, which leads to more grease.

Besides, it's more natural to clean the body mechanically (scrubbing action) rather than chemical (grease-cutting of soap). And I like to use the natural approach.

How Did I Do This?

So, I broke the shampoo-grease cycle about 6 weeks ago, I think it was, after reading about it first at Sarah's no 'poo adventures posts.

Now, when I hop in the shower, I - with water, my fingers, and a good wide-tooth comb - scrub my scalp to clean it, and comb my hair to redistribute the natural oils. I then rub conditioner into the ends.

From various sites, I was told to expect really bad greasy hair for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months until the oils normalize. And for about 2-3 weeks, it was really gross.

Imagine what it feels like to have a large lump of clay moulded around your head... for 3 weeks. Yeah, like that. Sexy, eh? I seriously contemplated doing a Brit. Nasty.

After the GTP (Gunky Transition Period)...

My perseverance paid off beyond my wildest expectations. I noticed the following things start to happen post-GTP:

  • My hair has more shine, natural bounce and volume... even when I air-dry!
  • My waves are fuller (more curly than straight).
  • More good hair days... even after just rolling out of bed.
  • Less hair in the shower drain catcher.
  • The dandruff problem that plagued me since my teens started calming down - less itching, less flakes.
Moreover, I love that it's simple, fast, cheap, green, and natural. I don't have to use any more styling product, to waste time blowdrying and styling, and to chance poisoning my body through my skin.
And I'm not pouring toxic, unnatural chemicals down the drain and into our lakes and rivers. Sweet.

The Future...

As soon as my conditioner is used up, I'll start looking into using coconut oil instead. I've read that it prevents product build up, yet provides good moisture for those of us with flaky/dry scalps.

Oh, I may even add some ylang-ylang essential oil to get that pretty, 'just showered' smell.

Tips for Those Interested...

Some No 'Poo people use baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar to clean their hair, so if you're apprehensive about going cold turkey, you can try that in the interim.

Some great info can be assimilated at The No-'Poo Do, so check it out!

Any questions? Hit me, baby! :)



14 comments - LEAVE YOURS HERE...:

myrtle said...

Well, I'm about one wash away from the end of my shampoo bottle so I just might join you.

I've never used shampoo on N with the idea that if I don't start, maybe he'll never need it. We'll see what happens when we hit the teen years :-)

Jen Hill said...

I've been no-pooing for a year now, ala the naturally curly hair way. My hair looks and feels so much better. Excellent points Nenette!

harmzie said...

I'd say you're crazy, but I secretly adopted your no-cleanser face washing protocol a while back with nice results. I tried it mostly because whether I used cleanser or didn't use cleanser, the results seemed to be the same (so at $11-$20 a bottle, what's the freakin' point?)

I use an "aggressive" washing technique, borrowed from a tutorial on exfoliating linked from, I think, Bionic Beauty (I think: I scrounge a lot of your links). Top with a little moisturizer & blam! one step! Nice.

I'm still not convinced on the hair thing, but I'm not going to come right out and say you're crazy! ;-)

Albert Bannatyne said...

And so it begins... on the edge of the slippery slope ... :-)

Today it's forsaking shampoo, next week it's crossing off toilet paper.
(Hmmm, I'm thinking to myself... will that plant the seed, and now she'll feel compelled to research it by going to www.poopreport.com? Am I contributing to her alternative lifestyle?)

But I do admire your courage in sharing your secret. Your hair is your business and I'm not about to question what works for you (but I'm not going to try it on myself, at least not until civilization collapses and we're all scrounging for berries in the woods). But posting that info takes some courage, it reminds me of Ruskin building up the nerve to ask "that question" of his classmates.

I guess my work here is done... :-)

Sarah said...

Oh wow, your hair really does look fantastic! :) I'm so glad it's working for you. Woo hoo!

Nenette AM said...

@myrtle -
It won't hurt to try it for a little while. You can always go back to shampoo if you don't like it.

I've only been at this for 6 weeks, so I won't say that I won't go back myself. I'll definitely use shampoo for paint in the hair days, glue in the hair days, drywall dust in the hair days...

@Jen Hill -
Thanks! Wow, you no-poo too?! You know, I had no idea how BIG the no-shampoo movement had become.
I'm surprised how many people have kicked their dependency on shampoo. There are so many!

@harmzie -
With the hair, as with the face, using an "aggressive" washing technique is key.
This is still hygiene. You still want to get the dirt off and get clean - you're just using a different method.

Meh, you've known me long enough to know that I'm crazy... for many other reasons! :)

@Albert -
*overly-dramatic gasp* YOU, my friend, are showing lots of courage by comparing me to RUSKIN, aka Dude Who Masturbates With Pizza! (Seriously, folks, straight from the horse's mouth. Hand to heaven.)

Meh, it actually took significantly less courage for me to divulge this than it took to reveal that I watched Mr.Baseball no less than 50 times or that I actually enjoy Hannah Montana.

Naw, there are limits to my foray into the alternative lifestyle... I think I may have reached it with this. :)

@Sarah -
Thanks for the compliment! And thanks also for the inspiration.

harmzie said...

Nen, Nen, Nen... you must remember that Albert is a baiting you, and that he is a MASTER at it...

>pause for effect<

Nenette AM said...

@harmzie -
how the h3ll do I respond to that?!!! LOL :)

Bionic Beauty said...

WOW! No poo! Your hair does look super healthy. I finally got mine to accept the sulfate free shampoos (after much trial and error to find the right one), so I guess that's my first step towards no-pooing. Baby steps are better for me since I have *always* been a shampoo lover. I literally celebrate when a bottle is done and I can shop for a new one. Ah well, it's the little things.

I've also switched to a very mild, no soap, no chemical face washing routine that has really normalized my face. I went off of it for convenience during the move, and my skin freaked out! It's starting to calm down now that I've got my kit back out (i.e. unpacked).

Thanks for comin' out, Nen! ;)
I think I'll be joining you and Jen soon... "All the cool kids are doin' it!"
Jami

Zandria said...

I've heard about this! I bet it was hard going through those few weeks when your hair was such a mess, but it sounds like it was worth the trouble and it's made a big difference. :)

http://zandria.us/

Toni said...

Oh wow. You're such an inspiration. I'm not sure if I can do this but I won't really know till I try right? Yikes yikes yikes. Let me gather my courage first.

Now what's this about facial cleanser? Maybe I can do this one first. Baby steps. :D

Nenette AM said...

@zandria -
oh, yes, it was tough, and totally worth it! I highly recommend it :)

@toni -
Stopping your use of cleanser/soap on your face is a great baby step!
I used to use cleanser to wash my face, and it always dried out, even with moisturizer. The irritation led to all sorts of acne problems, not a lot, just enough to be annoying.
Then I stopped using it and just used a face cloth and water, and then followed that with moisturizer.
I stopped getting pimples! Try it, I think you'll like it!

I recently learned that my mother-in-law has never used cleanser either... and she has gorgeous skin at 80 :)

Nenette AM said...

@Bionic Beauty -
I didn't think I'd be able to kick the 'poo myself. I just loved the fresh clean tingly feeling that I got from my favourite tea tree shampoo.
But I'm glad I did it.

Come to the no-'poo side... It's not that dark ;)

Sareli said...

I am inspired and I will be doing this. Thank you. I have been debating about a natural solution lately and thanks for this post.

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