Friday, August 6, 2010

Taking the No-Poo Challenge

~Herbal & healthy?? I don't think so. Bye bye Shampoo!! ~
I was hesitant to write about this. I've just started and wasn't sure if I should write about it now or later. Hmmmm ... what to do??? What the hell, I'll start now.

You may be aware that there is a lot of talk going on about ditching the shampoo & going truly natural. A quick search online will yield a number of sites, blogs, articles, and even videos. Here is a link to the one that made me take the plunge:

Since there is SO much info out there, I won't go into a lot of the why details here. But I will share with you a few that really made me willing to try this:

1) I'm a fan of history and I think most answers can be found by looking to the past to see how things were done then. At least the general day to day stuff. I found this great article online - ~ Did you know the first commercial shampoo wasn't even invented until 1930?? It was Breck. Now, think of all the old photos you've seen of people with very gorgeous hair & hairstyles. Arguably much better hairstyles than we see now a-days too! I think they may have been onto something...

2) Toxins In - Toxins Out. ~ There are some really scary things in shampoos!! Shampoos are detergents. It used to be that people could safely & effectively wash their hair with soap because it can remove dirt without removing important oils. However, when water in civilized areas began becoming more alkaline (mineral heavy), soap quit working as well. The combination makes scales on the hair stand up, making it rougher & weaker. Soap in alkaline water leaves soap scum. So ... detergent "shampoo" to the rescue.
But there are lot of other chemicals in shampoo too! Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLFS) are lathering agents found in most soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and even mouthwashes. They're also known eye & skin irritants. And, just because you're shopping the organic aisle don't think they're not there. I'm looking at my bottle of Nature's Gate Herbal Shampoo & there they are!! Don't believe me?? Here's their website:
Trying to figure out some of the ingredients led me to these websites:

.... known carcinogens, skin irritants, eye irritants, stuff that leads to increases of kidney and liver cancer, and so on and so on. And you want me to put that where?? And use it on my children!?!?!?
We're trying to lead healthy lives, natural lives, safe lives. This isn't what I signed up for.

3) The Benjamins & the Lincolns ~ Let's face it, you can pay a pretty penny for "good" shampoo. Good shampoo that is all natural. That will make your hair vibrant and full. If you've read any of the above links you've already figured out a couple of things: 1st - things aren't as natural as they claim to be; AND 2nd - shampoo your hair, you need to condition it, then you need the styling products, and then you're gonna need that shampoo again. It's a vicious and EXPENSIVE cycle. And I'm just talking about the costs you spend in the hair-care aisle of the grocery store, not the long-term, hidden costs!! Don't know about you, but I have better things to spend my money on.

So there are my main reasons and motivators.

But .. how is it going??? First off - my hair is thick but fine. Typically I can't go more than one day without washing it. Often I can feel it getting greasy by the end of the evening. Bedhead in the morning is a must-wash-out! My hair is also fairly straight, though thanks to pregnancies I now have some slight waves.

Saturday July 31 ~ My first day with no-poo. I used the baking soda mixture to wash my hair and rinsed it with conditioner we already use (beer, chamomile tea, and lemon juice). My hair was actually feeling really nice after this.
Sunday August 1 ~ I dyed my hair this day with some henna dye. I broke down and used the shampoo/treatment & echinacea conditioner that came with it.
Monday August 2 - Thursday August 5 ~ My roots have been feeling good, not greasy at all. However, the rest of my hair has been feeling dried and fried. Luckily it is Summer & my hair is up, so it isn't noticeable. I skipped washing my hair on Thursday, thinking I could maybe go a day without now. I could, but by Thursday evening my roots were greasy & I was beginning to freak out a little. Was my hair fried from that last time I dyed it blonde?!? Was I doing something wrong? I went online for more research. -- Deep breath .. your hair WILL go through a transitional period. I heard of other people going through this and how it eventually went away. I decided to take a nice bath and relax. While soaking, I laid down with my hair under the water and worked my fingers from scalp to ends repeatedly. When I got out of the bath I immediately noticed a difference. My hair that had been feeling fried wasn't anymore. I think I can persevere through.
Friday August 6 ~ This morning I went to the gym. Nice & Schweaty. Got home and noticed some dandruff on my scalp. Ok. Washed my hair with the baking soda mixture & rinsed it with my usual conditioner (though I have added a little bit of apple cider vinegar to it). My hair is no longer feeling fried, which is nice. The roots are still feeling a little greasy, but not in the "normal" way. My roots aren't glued to my scalp and looking nasty as usually happens when my hair is greasy. I actually have volume! A quick look in the mirror reveals shiny hair, something else I've been lacking for a while. Definitely not looking like "dirty, greasy, needs-to-be-washed!" hair!!
I've read people talk about feeling a "coating" on their hair, where the natural oils have begun to return and coat hair as they're meant to. I'm guessing, hoping, this is what I'm feeling now. We'll see.
There ya go though. I'm a little under my first week of the no-poo challenge. I'll update again as I continue on. I plan to give this challenge, at the very minimum, two weeks. I've read where people advise giving it 4 - 6 weeks though, and I think I'll really shoot for that. If it works out, it'll become a way of life.
And, yes, for the record, the kids are going on this challenge with me. When camping last year we noticed that Shannon's hair looked better and better the longer we went without shampooing it. Tristan's hair is more like mine or Justin's. He has a cradle cap spot that has never gone fully away, so I had broken down and bought some Nuetrogena T-Gel shampoo (which DID get rid of it!). But we're working on switching him fully over too. Justin hasn't been convinced ... yet. I'm not going to force him to switch. I might try to convince him, but I won't force him. At least not until the shampoo supplies completely run out. ;) hahaha

Have you taken the No-Poo challenge?? How did it work? How long a transition period did you have to go through? Did you like you hair? I wanna hear from you!!

1 comment:

Carole and Chewy said...

Not sure if I can do this one - but I'll think about it - I already use my own sage rinse, and vinegar, but still use storebought shampoo/conditioner )and the cheap stuff to boot). I'll be watching your results.