Wednesday, 29 January 2014

ShamPHree: My journey to "no-poo" or NO SHAMPOO (my first 6 weeks: detailed 42 days)

This is a very recent transition and is still in progress.

A few weeks ago I read that shampoo isn't necessary in A Good Life by Leo Hickman (great book!). I showed my husband the page and he read it. We discussed it and I decided to do more research about the topic. Last Friday (5 days ago) I washed my hair as usual and then read some more articles online about not using any shampoo. That day I decided I would give it a go. Here I will talk about the process and journey and I hope you will be inspired or share your own no-shampoo experience if you are a 'no-poo-er'. By the way I don't like the term "no-poo"... but it works 'cos shampoo is a bit pooey. I prefer the term ShamPHree... It's smart and witty ;-)

To find more information on the no-poo way and to know reasons why people do it, you can google it; many others have spoken and written about it.

[Blue highlights show when I washed my hair with soda. It's to make it easier to visualise on which days I did it.]

So here goes:

Day 0, Friday 24th January: washed my hair using 'normal' shampoo and conditioner.

Day 1, Saturday 25th January: Hair is normal, looking lovely ;-)

Day 2, Sunday 26th January: I would be washing my hair today because I used to wash it every 2 days. (On an average day i do my ritual ablutions before each prayer, which involves wetting the front of the hair, and therefore it gets greasy every other day. This week I am menstruating which means my rituals are different and do not involve this hair-wetting business... conclusion: my hair isn't greasy yet) So I wake up Sunday with hair still looking good.

Day 3, Monday 27th January: I wake up and think "Gosh I can't believe my hair STILL isn't greasy" well it wasn't looking lovely anymore but it was O.K... A few hours later and my hair is getting greasier and greasier... Monday late afternoon = Hair unbearably greasy! But I think to myself "I don't want to do the soda wash yet, I want to leave it as long as possible..." So I decided to rinse it thoroughly with water. I massaged my scalp thoroughly and rinsed all my hair. It was so greasy by now that it felt waterproof!! Afterwards I towel-dried it A LOT. I was basically trying to scrape the rest of the grease off with the towel! haha... it kind of worked. But a few hours later the greasy feeling was just not nice, so I prepared the recommended baking soda wash (called bicarbonate of soda here in England by the way) to wash my hair with. I mixed 1 tablespoon of baking powder (because it's all I had at home) in a glass of warm water, poured it gently over my head, massaged my scalp, poured some more... did the same again until the glass was empty and then rubbed it down my hair, rinsed very, very well... lightly towel dried and then let it dry naturally (my hair is thick anyway so I can never fully dry it just with the towel, I always let it dry naturally). So then? Well the grease was gone, and I felt good again! Thank God! - It wasn't as nice as it would be with shampoo and conditioner but it certainly was better than having it all greasy... I went to sleep with my hair still slightly wet.

Day 4, Tuesday 28th January: Woke up with CRAZY hair! So thick, fluffy and BIG! A teeny bit waxy but mostly just massive and all over the place! So I combed it and made a quick hairstyle with clips in the front and the rest of the hair down. I could have done anything I wanted with it; it was very flexible and would stay in any shape I wanted it to. Now I’m thinking “Ok what a difference! Not sure yet how, but this is already a big change!” In my “olden days” I would be washing it tomorrow… let’s see how long it’ll be before I need to use the soda again. Then I read online that if you use too much baking soda, your hair can get BIG, so next time I think I’ll use less. Also I used baking powder instead of baking soda… So as the day goes on I notice that my hair is getting more and more waxy, but I want to wait at least until tomorrow before deciding what the next move will be. It didn't look bad though. Hubby and I were washing up and he stopped, looked at me, touched my hair, smiled, and said “this is cool, we’re doing the right thing here.” (Yes he is also doing this and washed his hair with baking powder today for the first time. His hair was really greasy but he waited till today, and it took all the grease out.)

Day 5, Wednesday 29th January: First thing I do when I wake up is touch my hair, expecting it to feel REALLY waxy! But guess what? It feels normal! I touch it up all over and notice it is a teeny, weeny bit waxy but mostly feels like normal clean hair. When I looked at it, it looked very normal, I tied it up and went on with my day. I brushed it a couple times during the day with a normal hair brush, to get the grease off my scalp and onto my hair. Today we bought bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) so that we can do the “real thing”. So now it’s Wednesday night, about to go to bed and I’m out babysitting almost all day tomorrow (I wear a headscarf, therefore I’m not afraid of people seeing my hair if it’s greasy…) I don’t know yet if I’ll need to wash it with soda or if my adapting period is already over. I heard it can take up to 6 weeks, and it’s been just 6 days… we’ll see. Either way, I will at least wait till tomorrow night. Good night...

Day 6, Thursday 30th January: Ok so today is the day I was expecting to definitely soda my hair... But I tied my hair up this morning, wrapped it up and went out. When I came home and took a look, I decided I would wait some more because it's not very greasy yet. So I brushed it and tied it back up again. I don't think it'll be long before my hair has adapted because at this rate I'll probably be soda washing once a week maximum, then slowly hoping to make it once every two weeks... and then eventually not using the soda anymore?

Day 7, Friday 31st January: So it's been a week! This morning my hair looked greasy and felt it too, so I had a soda wash (1 tablespoon of real baking soda, diluted in a bit more than 2 cups of water and a few drops of patchouli essential oil.) My hair was still slightly waxy but the grease was gone, and I guess I don't want all the grease to be stripped anyway, so it was fine, plus it smelled lovely ('cos of the patchouli). I was outdoors all day though, so I had it tied up. When I came home and had my shower I also wet my hair and massaged it with hot water, then I prepared a lime and water mix in a spray bottle (a tiny bit of lime with about a cup of water, there was enough lime to taste though) after the water massage, I sprayed my hair and brushed it through, then washed it out, then sprayed all over and massaged, then washed it out again and then just washed it through with hot water for ages and then brushed it loads too. I towel dried it, it dries so much faster than it used too, but had to let it air dry for a while anyway. I heard online that if your hairbrush has white residue on it it's because your hair still hasn't got rid of all the old 'gunk' from shampoo habit, and I have a lot of that in my hair brush so I think the reason why my hair is a bit waxy is just because it still has a lot of old shampoo residue. But my hair looks lovely and is only waxy to touch. I'm happy with how it's all going, praise God =)

Day 8, Saturday 1st February: My hair looks very nice but still feels waxy. This evening I'm going swimming which means chlorine. I looked online and my conclusion is that it's not too bad... I will rinse my hair thoroughly over and over again until I'm convinced that I've gotten rid of (most of) the chlorine. Chlorine is alkaline like baking soda, so I will skip that bit and spray my lime and water spray all over my hair (which is acidic, and should therefore restore the PH balance.) On a side note, I'm hoping that the chlorine will rid all the waxiness off my hair. I will also brush my hair a lot. I hope my hair will be fine. Chlorine isn't dirty it's just strong.

Back from swimming. I did what I said I would do. My hair is less waxy but still is a bit. In the past, I dyed my hair a lot and I used to wash every 2 days so there's a lot of gunk to get rid of, but surprisingly there isn't actually that much left, thank God. This waxiness feels almost like a natural protective layer, and my hair dries so much quicker... but maybe I'm overly positive about it and it's just old product residue =) overall I'm happy about my hair because the reason I was doing it was for the environment and a little bit for my health but also simply trying to be more natural... but on top of that my hair looks really good :-) and although it feels a bit waxy, it's not visible; It just looks clean.

Day 9, Sunday 2nd February: Hello. My hair is much less waxy than the previous days. I can tell that it's revealing some dry hair. I don't want to put any oil on just yet because of the wax remains. What I'm planning is: the day after tomorrow I will do a bicarbonate of soda wash and lemon-water spray, and when the waxy feel is fully gone I will spray some oil on my hair to avoid it getting to dry. I've put some nice oil into a little spray bottle to make it easier to aim and to make sure I'm not soaking my hair in oil but only lightly spraying it. The oil I'll be using is an Argan and Rose oil mix. Well we'll see what I end up doing but that's my plan for now.

Day 10, Monday 3rd February: Aloha! 10 days, wow! So... Yesterday and today I haven't done anything to or with my hair. Last time I touched my hair was after swimming on Saturday. So from Saturday night to tomorrow: Tuesday, I'm not doing anything except form brushing a couple times a day. Today my hair is even less waxy so I think that stage will be over soon but as I mentioned before, it's revealing dry hair... I'll get back to you tomorrow night with info on what I decided to do.

Day 11, Tuesday 4th February: Hallo! Around noon today I wet my hair and massaged my scalp, and brushed and brushed... After my shower I sprayed my hair in oil (argan and rose) it wasn't drenched but the oil was all over, I rubbed it into my hair for a while. 5 hours later, I went into the shower and did a whole treatment. I first rinsed the oil out with hot water (as hot as I could take it) and brushed it. Then I poured the soda mix on my hair (2 heaped teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and 1 and a half cups of water) I left it in for 5 to 10 minutes and brushed it, then rinsed, and brushed. Then I sprayed my hair with my lemon and water mix, brushed and left it in for 5 to 10 minutes too, then rinsed with cold-ish water (as cool as I could take it) to close the follicles, then brushed and brushed.

So I don't know if the oil was magic or if it was just the right time or if everything just synched... but Praise the Lord! My hair is so 'normal' now (how it used to be after shampoo and conditioner); no grease (I can smell the wonderful oil but there is zero oily-ness), no 'gunk' (my hair has zero waxy feel!! finally! =) ) and neither is it dry!!

I'm so happy because I was getting quite obsessed with my hair for the first time in my life and I was not enjoying all this material attachment! haha, so I'm glad that's over and God willing I can just go back to no hassle hair by maybe giving it a good wash like today once a week, until I can go without all together! Amen to that! <3

Day 12, Wednesday 5th February: Hey there. 2nd day hair, the way it would be with shampoo and conditioner so it's lovely. I always like 2nd day hair, it looks good and it feels light... maybe I should stop touching and stroking it all day... it might get greasy quick errr.

Day 13, Thursday 6th February: This morning my hair was still looking and feeling good. I went out all day babysitting and when I came home my hair looked quite flat and a bit oily on the top. I'm back on my ritual prayers which involve wetting the front of the hair 3 times a day so this might have added to it. I don't want to wash my hair yet but tomorrow morning I shall probably do a water wash.

Day 14, Friday 7th February: This morning my hair looked oily on the top but my whole hair was still soft and lovely to touch that I decided to wait it out a bit longer. So I brushed it throughout the day to get the oil down my the hair. I can tell the difference with how my hair used to be before shamphree because it's oily now, not greasy (just natural oil, instead of oil + gunk) by the evening it looked very oily so I decided to wash it through with water. Scalp massage and brushing under hot, running water. Then lemon spray, scalp massage and brush. Left it in for 5 minutes. Sprayed more lemon mix then brushed and rinsed thoroughly under hot, running water. Ended with a cold-ish rinse to close the follicles. And more brushing... This got rid of the oily look without stripping it =D

Day 15, Saturday 8th February: Hair is still clean, looking normal. Brushed it a few times but that's all for today.
By the way, my husband went back to using shampoo a few days ago, (but the one we had at home was with no silicone and no perfume), also I bought him a Dead Sea Black Mud shampoo today. He used it and his hair looks really good. This should help with washing less often and maybe he'll try no-poo again later on.

Day 16, Sunday 9th February: This morning my hair was a bit oily, it wasn't oily enough to force me to do something to it, but I felt like having clean hair so I did. I washed it through with hot water during my shower, massaged my scalp and brushed it; to detach the oil from my roots and spread it all over my hair.

I wondered if my lemon and water spray might be a placebo (maybe I expected it to have a cleaning or conditioning effect and therefore I saw it happening on my hair when maybe my hair would be the same without it) so! I diluted it even more (I could still taste the lemon because it's strong but i added a lot of water) So I sprayed my hair with it, brushed, left it in for a bit... then brushed some more under hot water and massaged my scalp... and rinsed it out. Now I want to wait and see if my hair is as nice as when I used the stronger lemon spray (it removed the excess oil whilst leaving my hair naturally conditioned.)

-> Ok so now is the end of the day and my hair is oily... might not be enough evidence just yet but it seems like the lemon juice does have a real effect on washing the hair and removing excess oil. I guess I'll do it again tomorrow but with the original lemon mix (1 tablespoon of fresh lemon/lime juice and 1 cup of water, in a spray bottle)

Day 17, Monday 10th February: I re-made the original lemon spray and sprayed my hair in the usual way (including water wash, brushing, and massaging...) Although less oily, it is still very oily so I don't think the lemon has anything to do with it. I think it's just time to do another soda wash (it's been 6 days now). I can't see it but hubby says I have a bit of dandruff. So before I wash it next I will spray my hair with oil (Argan and Rose) and leave it in all day, then wash it with baking soda, followed by lemon spray. It should bring it back to normal God willing.

It's interesting to see that I first washed my hair with soda 3 days after washing it with shampoo, then 4 days after that, then again 4 days after that and tomorrow will make a huge 7 day gap since the last time I washed my hair with soda. I'm glad to see the progress =)

Day 18; Tuesday 11th February: Well I had planned to spray my hair in oil this morning (because under the apparent natural oil I detected dryness), go out all day with my hair covered and soda wash it when I got home. BUT when I got up this morning my hair was a bit less oily than last night (is my hair taking the sebum back in or something? to wash and condition it naturally?) so I went out without oiling it (just brushed it). When I got home my hair was still the same. My aim is to not have to wash it with anything but water eventually, so if it's going to wash itself naturally then good :-) I don't want to interfere... I can still detect a slight dryness so I'll see how it is tomorrow.
All I did today was brush it this morning and this afternoon, nothing else.

Day 19; Wednesday 12th February: Last soda wash was 8 days ago. My hair is getting less oily by itself. Today all I've done is brush it (but my brush is starting to get some white residue again, so I guess my hair hasn't fully got rid of all the 'gunk')

Day 20; Thursday 13th February: Wow 20 days - cool. This morning my hair looked and felt the same as last night= oily on top, soft in the middle and dry underneath... weird? It's ok, my hair is allowed to take it's time to settle. It's been 9 days since the last wash so I can't expect it to be beautiful right now! I bought some bentonite clay which I will use tomorrow morning. According to my research, it can dry out the hair a bit too much so in order for my hair not to be dry, I've sprayed it up with my Argan and Rose oil mix, rubbed it and brushed it into my hair. I'm keeping it in over night with a bandana ontop and in the morning I'll do a clay wash.

Day 21; Friday 14th February: 3 weeks now, since I last used shampoo, and 10th day since last wash.
I woke up with my oily hair (Argan and Rose from last night) And went to wash it.
I mixed 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of bentonite clay with water to make an 'egg yoke' consistency. I soaked my hair in hot water, massaged and brushed. Then I dipped the ends in my bowl of clay and rubbed it into my hair, then I put the rest on the top of my head and rubbed it in all over. Once that was done I left it in for just over 5 minutes and rinsed. Brushed. Sprayed with lemon water, left in for 5 minutes, brushed and rinsed out. I ended with a cold-ish water rinse, and brushed. Towel dried just a bit then let it air dry. My hair is now clean, smells good (of the oil) and just looks and feels normal :) there's just a small patch on the right side of my head that is still a bit oily, I guess I missed it... But everywhere else looks great. I just clipped my front hair to the side (on the right) and there you go, nothing to see but clean, beautiful hair! =D

[my dad said my hair was really soft - so I told him I hadn't used shampoo in 3 weeks and he was quite surprised! he knows friends who've been no-poo for decades so I didn't have to explain too much, thank God. But at least it's not a delusion; my hair IS soft and pretty]

Day 22; Saturday 15th February: Hair was soft and lovely all day. Brushed before sleep.

Day 23; Sunday 16th February: Hair is soft, still looking nice. Brushed a few times today.

Day 24; Monday 17th February: Hair was really soft all day but looking oily. Tonight I washed it with the clay, this time leaving it in for almost 10 minutes and then sprayed it with the lemon mix and left it in for a couple minutes. I brushed my hair through a lot as well. One thing: I started by rinsing my hair under hot water and my hair felt clean when I did that, as if my natural oils mixing with hot water did the same effect as shampoo and conditioner. I'm going away for 10 days but when I return I want to try to wash my hair just with water... God willing =)

Day 25; Tuesday 18th February: Today I brushed my hair a few times.

Saw my sister, asked her to inspect my hair and tell me anything, she said it was really soft and kept touching it, so then I told her what I've been doing, and she had never heard of that! So she was very surprised that it's possible! But hey, luckily I waited until almost a month (if she'd seen the waxyness at the begining, she might not have said the same!) So yes, I think if you're gonna tell anyone then wait for your hair to be ready! Until 4 days ago, only my husband knew.

Day 26; Wednesday 19th February: Today my hair is still so soft, all I did was brush it a few times.

Day 27; Thursday 20th February: Hair is still really soft, wonderful to touch but started looking oily in the afternoon and VERY oily in the evening.

Day 28; Friday 21st February: Hair was oily at waking (but less than last night) so I decided to wash it but I forgot to mix my clay before my shower, so I ended up using just water. I used hot water, under which I massaged my scalp very well and for a long time to break down all the oil, then brushed it under the water. A few minutes later I repeated the process under cold-ish water to close the follicles, then brushed again. My hair was much less oily but not stripped. My hair is not as soft and lovely as when I used the clay, it feels just slightly waxy, so I think I'll wash it with clay soon enough, but it's nice to know that with a water cleansing my hair can last a few more days without washing.

Day 29; Saturday 22nd February: 4 weeks and my hair is almost there. I noticed some white build-up in my hair brush which tells me I still have some gunk; hence yesterday's waxyness after the water wash. Today my hair was less waxy than yesterday. I brushed it a lot throughout the day and that's when I saw the gunk build-up. Tonight I had another hot water wash but it didn't do much so I need to do another gunk-absorbing clay wash. The bentonite clay is known for absorbing all the dirt it comes into contact with, plus it leaves the hair soft and beautiful. It's very good when you need to get rid of hair gunk -> I might need to do it a few more times... My research did state up to 6 weeks for hair to become accustomed to no-poo. So for the next couple weeks I need to focus my hair routine on gunk-removal.

Day 30; Sunday 23rd February: Ok so a month has gone by. My hair today was getting less waxy. Brushed it a few times, that's all.

Day 31; Monday 24th February: Today my hair was much less waxy and some oil was starting to appear on the top. It seems that the oil gets rid of the waxyness: nice! I wanted to wait longer to see if the oil would wash my hair but I was having guests over... so I washed it with the clay mix then the lemon-water mix... but my hair seems still slightly waxy... (I didn't have a lot of time so I think I didn't leave it in long enough and maybe didn't use enough either).

Day 32; Tuesday 25th February: Today I brushed my hair several times. It is loosing a bit of that waxyness from yesterday. There wasn't too much waxyness and today it's barely. I had my hair down all day and no-one mentioned anything until my brother came over - he never notices hair, make up and what not - and he actually said "Nice hairstyle!" - all I did was wear my hair normally, down, with absolutly nothing done to it except brushed! My hair has a pretty and natural look to it, I think that's just it. This no-poo has landed me compliments that I never got before! So ye! I'm glad =) Praise Almighty <3

Day 33; Wednesday 26th February: Hair is loosing it's waxyness and starting to feel a bit oily again with some undercover dryness. But still not too noticeable apart by myself.

Day 34; Thursday 27th February: Hair was soft today, getting oily on top. Took a shower= drenched hair in hot water, massaged scalp, brushed. Powerfully lemonised hair, massage, left for 10 Minutes them re-lemonised and left for another 5-10 minutes. Then brushed and rinsed thoroughly under warm water. Brushed. Towel dried. After this my hair looks clean but still feels a bit waxy and oily. Either transition period isn't over yet or it's just normal, my hair will still get dirty; the aim is to wash it with just water, I'm not assuming my hair will just never get dirty, waxy or oily ever again. Not sure yet what I'll do next.

Day 35; Friday 28th February: Hair is soft but doesn't look good enough to wear down, not sure if its waxy or a bit oily... Solution: half or full ponytail. Brushed a few times today.

Day 36; Saturday 1st March: Hair is very soft and starting to get oily. I massaged my scalp whilst dry a lot today, and rubbed the natural oils down my hair, also brushed it several times. As I noticed before, the oils get rid of the waxy feel.

Day 37; Sunday 2nd March: Hair is oily, soft, silky and smooth. No waxyness at all; the oil has removed it. It is too oily to wear down for this society but personally I would consider my hair to look good as it is. Today I brushed it and rubbed it downwards and tried - and achieved - to spread as much oil as I could down and through my hair. I will continue this tomorrow if I have time. It is not an uncomfortable oilyness but I imagine that it might become soon.

Next step is too wait and see: 1) if it gets more oily over the next few days then I will do a water rinse and massage, which I'm hoping - with the water and oil mix - will "wash" my hair, or 2) maybe the oil will lessen over the next few days, and wash my hair naturally that way.

Day 38; Monday 3rd March: Hair very soft and oily. Feels less oily than yesterday. Brushed a few times, mainly kept it up.

Day 39; Tuesday 4th March: Well for the past week I've been massaging my scalp up-side-down to get rid of any dust and dirt that could be in my hair and brushing it a lot to keep it all alive and healthy. I haven't wet my hair in 5 days and haven't washed it for 8 days (and even then it wasn't a wash that left my hair feeling washed like it had before) Since I washed it, it went through being waxy, then oily (which removed the waxyness), and now the oil is also going away. My hair is looking and feeling less oily as the days go by. So I'm still waiting before doing anything else than the brushing and dry scalp'n'hand treatment. I want to see if the natural oils will go away by themselves eventually leaving my hair naturally clean (?) In 3 days it will be the end of the first 6 weeks... Will my hair be ready for only water washes or not?

And by the way if you're wondering: my hair doesn't smell of anything. Hair just smells of hair. I haven't come across natural hair that smells bad. I think it can only smell bad if we use products that have stinky chemicals or that have gone off. So that can't happen when we don't use any!

Day 40; Wednesday 5th March: Well I went against my word, and wet my hair today. I just wanted to feel the warm water on my head again... Desires always get in the way. I'm hoping it was a good idea though! All I did was refresh my hair and scalp under the warm water. Scrubbed and rubbed but no brushing or clay or lemon... just a scrub under warm water. I then towel dried as much as I could and now I'm letting it air dry.

Ok so my hair dried and looked good... Until I combed it! Then it became a bit waxy. I decided to cane-row it which involves a lot of hair-touching, it became quite greasy at the roots whilst I was doing that. But now that it's all finished, it looks great and doesn't feel waxy or greasy. If I can keep these plaits in for a few days, I'm hoping it will prolong the time before my next wash.

First water-wash of the many to come, I think it's a good idea to not brush when hair is wet and to wait until it's fully dry to brush or comb.

Day 41; Thursday 6th March: Did nothing to my hair, still got cane-rows.

Day 42; Friday 7th March: 6 weeks now! Love the no-poo! Not sure if my hair is fully over the transition but I love being natural and free from the addiction of washing hair! hehehe

Still got cane-rows, did nothing extra.


Check out my 3 months update! or 1 whole year later!


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