Happy New Year! Could No ‘Poo be Your Resolution?

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s 2010, and time to crank out the New Year’s Resolutions.  I think I have the easiest one to offer up for anyone who gets enjoyment from eliminating chemicals from their life:  Go no ‘poo.  If you’ve been following along this week, then you know I’ve been sharing posts from 2009 when I decided to ditch the shampoo and let my hair go all natural.  No, that doesn’t mean don’t wash your hair.  It only means washing your hair differently, and ultimately reclaiming the hair you should have had all along. Following is a post I wrote back in September cataloging my personal no ‘poo experience.  This  is the time that settled it forever for me, the time that convinced me there’s no turning back to shampoo and chemical hair dumps:

No ‘Poo Update: How I Almost Threw in the Towel, Shaved My Head, and Other Really Bad Choices

Going Bald Wasnt a Great Look for Britney and it Probably Wouldnt be so Hot on Me Either
Going Bald Wasn’t a Great Look for Britney and it Probably Wouldn’t be so Hot on Me Either

I ditched my shampoo back in June, and it was quite an adjustment at first, but I was so curious about the great results I’d heard others had had, so I stuck it out.  After a month or two, I was thoroughly convinced.  No doubt this was the way to go for me.  I learned how to use baking soda to scrub my scalp and apple cider vinegar to give myself a conditioning rinse.  My hair became soft, manageable, and curly.  I didn’t need a comb in the morning like I had my entire life to untangle my wet hair.  I didn’t need mousse, styling gels, or even a hairdryer.  I loved it!

But I made a couple of big goofs that almost threw me off the no ‘poo trail.  

Goof #1: I colored my hair.  Although I use a natural hair color and have for a long time, this particular product must still manage to strip the natural oils despite its lack of chemicals.  I was initially afraid to color my hair, but with about 2 inches of dark regrowth staring at me in the mirror, I decided I’d do it anyway.  It dried my hair out pretty good.  But I carried on.  After about 2 weeks it was almost back to what I loved about no ‘poo hair.

Goof #2: I went to the hairstylist.  My sister is a hairstylist and usually does my hair, but she lives a good distance away.  So when I just can’t stand it anymore, I go to a local salon for a trim.  Not usually a big deal, and this time I really needed it after the hair color incident.  My ends were pretty much shot.  I washed my hair before going for a cut, thinking I’d tell my stylist to please not shampoo me.  I even went in with slightly damp hair.  But when she stuck my head in that bowl, we were so busy yapping that I forgot!  She glopped on the shampoo and I said, “Oops!  I just washed my hair.”  (Yes, skeptics – no ‘poo girls doindeed wash their hair – just not with the stuff from the store.  I get that observation a lot.)  She said “No problem!” and washed the soap right out.  But something odd happened.

What happened when my hair met shampoo after 4 months? It went limp.  Dull, straight as a board, flat to my head.  For DAYS.  It became a terrible rat’s nest that I couldn’t undo, even after major conditioning.  And I could smell the shampoo in my hair for a week, no exaggeration, even after massive amounts of baking soda scrubbing, vinegar rinses, rosemary treatments… But the worst part was that it was like starting all over again.  My hair went into major oil overload.  The only reason I can think of is that shampoo does in fact strip the oil from the hair, forcing your body to produce more oil.  That’s why most people, even with expensive shampoos, can wash their hair in the morning and have an oily scalp by evening.  I’ve gotten used to waking up in the morning with hair that’s still soft and clean from the morning before.  

At first I’ll admit it, I wanted to give it all up and cry, cut my hair extra short, and go back to shampoo.  But then I remembered the reason I started it all in the first place, and I reminded myself that my stylist had used a brand of shampoo that, once upon a time, had been my favorite pricey brand.  And that it had taken out all the curl, given me snarls, and made my hair completely unmanageable for almost 3 weeks.  So that was that.  I’ve toughened it out and for the first time since my haircut, I enjoyed manageably curly hair yesterday.  My husband even commented on how cool all those curls were.

What was that expensive shampoo that turned my hair into a rat’s nest?  Hmm.  I don’t want to type it here or else those Google ads on my site will start spitting out advertising for it, but his initials are PM.  I think you can figure it out from there.

So for now I may be done with the no ‘poo updates.  It’s no longer an experiment; for me, it’s just become how I do things.  Yes, I’m enthusiastic about it, especially when someone who hasn’t seen me in a long time plays with my hair and tells me how great it looks.  And especially when I realize I’m doing something really good for my health, not just my appearance.  

I’m a no ‘poo girl.  ‘Nuff said.