My No ‘Poo Journey

Having discussed in my previous posts about why perhaps you should ditch commercial shampoos and how I suggested you should do that – I thought I would use this post to discuss my personal experience with going No ‘Poo.

I had previously started a blog in January talking all about my No ‘Poo hair journey and doing a week by week account of what changes were happening to my hair. I never kept this blog up though and decided to delete it in favour of starting this blog (which I have already been so much more successful with writing!). So I thought I would rework that previous post from my old blog to here and explain my hair journey.

If you have read my previous blogs on this subject I would have hinted previously on my hair condition and the fact I had alopecia (hair loss). So I thought I would give a brief history on my hair what I did with it and then go into my No ‘Poo transition journey.

My hair was naturally very, very fine, straight hair. It could never hold a curl and it was also quite prone to fly aways. When I was a teenager, I was a bit of a punk and experimented with hair dyes – I went red, purple, green, black, cosmic black (black with a very cool hint of blue). All these were home dye kits. One day I ordered a cosmic blue hair dye kit and I dyed it myself. Big mistake – it was a permanent dye and I had not applied it evenly. I added up with Black with a hint of blue hair…with bit streaks of my natural brown. IT DID NOT LOOK GOOD. I immediately tried to correct this disaster and tried stripping and fading the colour with Baking Soda – not to self or anyone else who has ever done this. Black Hair dye gets into you hair shaft and is VERY hard to remove, you can lighten it, but you cannot get it to go back to your original colour…you must grow it out. Naturally I was heartbroken (teenagers are always so dramatic) and I went to a hairdresser asking them to fix it, they couldn’t so they just covered all my hair evenly black. I wanted a very long time to grow that black hair dye it. It put me off black hair dye so I usually stuck to red after that.

When I developed Alopecia when I was 19, I stopped using dye altogether, naturally after Blackgate, I always got a hairdresser to dye my hair. With Alopecia they wouldn’t touch dying my hair in case it irritated my scalp even more. At this point I also stopped applying heat to my hair – after all I was straightening my ridiculously straight hair anyway…just thinking about that now…I think what an utterly pointless task. My hair was so damaged because I kept straightening it – that I needed to straighten it more. Now my hair is beautiful straight and I don’t do anything to achieve it. I stopped with fancy shampoos as well and tried to stick with brands like Simple, which had no perfumes or things like that. I didn’t comb or brush my hair when wet. These changes really helped improve the condition of my hair…but eventually I switched to more commercial shampoos and for a long time favoured Lush shampoo bars and Schwartzkopf. However, Lush bars in particularly use to dry out and irritate my scalp.

One day I stumbled across blogs on No ‘Poo and became very interested. I decided I wanted to try this but wanted not to waste my shampoo products – so vowed to use them up before making the switch…this took a long time and eventually I got bored of waiting – I still have a lot of conditioners lying around in the cupboard, I did manage to use up all the shampoos though.

Eventually I got to try no ‘Poo and used a Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar combo – which is quite popular in the blogging community. Looking back over my old blog post, it suggest that Week One of my No ‘Poo journey was fairly straight forward…I went to the hairdresser and she washed my hair, and then I just didn’t wash it for the week. This was quite normal…as I had trained my hair, when using shampoo to not need to wash it more than once a week – it would be greasy and it did need washing…but it wasn’t horribly awful (just no perhaps anything more than a day in the house watching movies hair).

Weeks Two-Five my hair was nice, fluffy and clean. My Baking Soda would do some funky crystallising within the bottle, which I googled but it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. I had been given the all clear with Alopecia for a while and had been dying the ends of my hair again. So every two weeks I would use a natural shampoo bar to clean the ends of my hair and and put purple dye over my bleached ends.

By about Week Six, my hair had become itchy on the scalp and super dry at the ends, almost straw like. It looked horrible and I really missed conditioner. I decided to put an intensive hair oil conditioning treatment in the bottom. BIG MISTAKE. If you are No ‘Pooing a golden rule is do not mix Commercial with Natural Products. If you decide your hair is dry and you want to use a commercial product…that’s fine but wash it out with a commercial product. No natural products will get that out. The intensive oil stayed in my hairs and they looked like I hadn’t even attempted to get it out with a natural shampoo. I managed after two shower attempts and a vigorous scrubbing with a natural shampoo bar to get it to a manageable state. But the problem with my hair was not solved. It was still straw like – so not having learnt my lesson, week seven came along and I did exactly the same thing again…clever me! My hair had also developed a reaction to static it would be do flyaway it and weird. I’ve hardly ever experienced it before but it happened a lot those two weeks.

I had however started reading about dry ends and how to fix them…enter the Boar Bristle Brush. I bought one and I can’t believe I had attempted seven weeks without one. If you have read my previous blog you will see that I said it was essential – and believe me it is essential. By this point I was largely shampoo free – however the putting of the oil into my hair twice a week had left me no option put to wash it out with commercial shampoo. I couldn’t believe it – I got out the shower and my hair was clean, beautiful, soft. Nothing like it had been for weeks – the straw ends had gone. No itchy scalp. My hair was clean – no random parts still greasy from missing the Baking Soda mixture. I felt confident about my hair again. I nearly gave up my No ‘Poo journey at this point.

My old blog ends with Week Eight, which says I have gone back to No ‘Poo but I was less than impressed. My itchy scalp had returned and my hair didn’t look clean. I decided that Baking Soda was just not for me any more and I remembered Blackgate – my hair went straw like then too and was awful and the ends were breaking off. I decided Baking Soda just was not good for my hair and I shouldn’t be using it. I looked for alternatives and that when I picked Rye Flour.

I have not stuck faithfully to rye flour – sometimes if I wake up in the morning and my hair looks like it needs a wash and I have to be somewhere – I will just jump in the shower and wash it with commercial shampoo. I like the reliability of commercial shampoo. I know my hair will be clean no matter what. However, since using Rye Flour my hair is always clean…it just takes longer to get there. I normally leave it on for 20-30 minutes…which I don’t always have time to do. With my Alopecia, I developed a patch of white hair than have never regained it’s hair colour (all my hair started off white when it was regrowing before going back to my natural brown). I have started dying this with a Schwartzkopf brown hair dye that matches my natural colour.

My hair doesn’t really get unmanageable between washes – I normally leave it at least a week, possibly ten days before washing. During that time, one good spray session with a dry shampoo (or I use a homemade dry shampoo which is actually a liquid) will get my hair looking as if I have just washed it…if I do that normally on day five, I can go ten days without washing my hair.

I have learnt a lot during my journey. That’s not to be afraid of the odd commercial shampoo use. If you do not use it twice in a row and if you are keeping a regular washing cycle (Ie. you wash your hair once a week whether it’s a natural or commercial method). You will not affect your transition method.

My hair now is very lovely, it is soft and silky – it can hold hairstyles. The other day I put a plait in on Sunday and it stayed and looked good until the Wednesday! It just looked slightly more scruffy each day, but I was happy to go out in public with it like that and it looked good. Am I glad I went No ‘Poo? Yes I am. My hair is thick and lovely. It is growing really well and it is in great conditioner – despite the fact I dye it. My hair grows very quickly and I am happy. I like that I can just get up give it a quick brush and go, if I want to do something more fancy that works too. It’s great. I am in love and happy with my hair.

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