How to make your hair smell GOOD! (with Easy DIY Recipes)
One benefit that shampoo actually gave us was a hefty amount of fragrance for nice smelling hair. I remember back to the days when I would frequently browse the shampoo aisles of stores (never satisfied with my current one and hoping to find a shampoo that would deliver on its promises). I remember one of my criterion for purchase-worthy shampoos was its scent. I know some of you are like me: I would browse the aisles and discreetly pop open the lid, only half an inch, just to get a whiff of its fragrance. Sometimes that one whiff smelled so wonderful that it would sell me on it right then and there. I know some of you are like me, and I think it goes to show how important the scent of our hair is to us.
A lot of you who use No Poo hair washes (clays, honey, water-only, herbs, etc.) have commented that you miss your hair smelling like flowers, but now it can again! You can customize your own scent, and you don’t have to subject your body to the irritants or toxins that are associated with commercial fragrances… win-win. Here are a few options you can use to make your hair smell delicious, flowery, or damn good again.
In previous posts, I’ve discussed ways you can help slow down your scalp’s natural oil production, including stretching the time between your hair washes. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, “How can I keep my hair clean between washes if I workout or get sweaty daily?” It’s a good question, and the answer applies to anyone who wants to keep their hair clean between hair washes. This post is all about how to keep your hair and scalp fresh, even after sweating, without doing anything that will interfere with your scalp’s natural oil production.
The best way I can explain this topic is to discuss the benefits you get from washing your hair, and then explain a combination of techniques that simulate washing your hair without requiring a full on hair wash. With these techniques you can still get the benefits of a hair wash (sweat-free/odor-free/clean/healthy scalp), without actually washing your hair or interfering with your scalp’s natural oil production.
How do I protect my hair from heat?
You may find that you don’t have to heat style as often on No Poo mainly because 1) your scalp’s oil production slows down so you don’t have to wash it as often, and therefore don’t have to style it as often, and 2) your hair should no longer be frizzy or dry, so using heat tools to manage unruly hair isn’t as necessary as it used to be. With shampoo, taming my natural waves used to be like taming a lion’s mane after each wash and blow dry, but now I only use a hair dryer occasionally and a flat iron about once per month. (I’d just like to note that this level of low maintenance was completely impossible back when I used shampoo.) Of course, never using heat on your hair is ideal for its health, and I recommend you avoid it if you can, but some of us aren’t willing to give up that much yet. ;) And since I’m not willing to forego ever protecting my hair from heat tools on No Poo, I had to find a silicone-free alternative that works.
I have been using this recipe for a long time, and I cannot stress how MUCH I love it. This recipe seriously makes the most decadent & perfectly fluffy, “primal” banana, chocolate-chip pancakes ever. I routinely get mega cravings for them and HAVE to make them at least every other week. I adapted this recipe from PaleoSpirit.com’s version, whom I recommend you go check out. I find my version to be a bit fluffier and more decadent, so if you’re into that, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Your Guide to The No Poo Method – eBook!
When I created this blog, I promised to only recommend products that I have thoroughly researched, personally tested for an extended period of time, and think you would find notably beneficial. And I intend to stick to that. Any products I affiliate myself with or ones you see recommended in the sidebar follow that same promise and have my “seal of approval” on them. If I would recommend it to a friend, I will recommend it to you. And this is one of those times.
“No Poo” had a spotty beginning…
When the No Poo craze first hit, it was a new concept for most of us, and there really wasn’t a lot of information surrounding it. The craze began with people boasting about using baking soda instead of shampoo, and a lot of the early No-Pooers learned the hard way that baking soda was neither the only alternative hair washing method, nor was it the best one for everyone. From what I’ve seen, the information floating around the net about No Poo has been mostly word-of-mouth, anecdotal, and oftentimes based on raw trial and error… thus, mistakes were made by the unlucky and the uninformed. Fortunately, enough time has passed now that enough people have worked out the kinks of their methods and shared their knowledge with others, and it seems like for the most part, bloggers and the various online No Poo communities have agreed on certain No Poo “laws” about which methods work for which hair types and which methods simply don’t work at all. The only problem we face is that there are very few complete resources where this information is compiled and easy to find.
If there is a lot of no poo information you still aren’t completely clear on– believe me, you’re not alone, and that’s okay– then you’ll be happy to hear that…
The No Poo Method eBook
Ashlee from TheCrunchyMoose.com and TheNoPooMethod.com did a pretty great thing: She compiled a comprehensive No Poo guide and put it into an easy-to-follow eBook, which I’ve already read, and I think can be beneficial to those of you still starting out. The No Poo Method eBook walks you through a lot of what you need to know about starting No Poo, includes a guide for choosing a method based on your hair type, 22 DIY pH-balanced recipes for No Poo shampoos, hair masks, hair spray, etc, and it offers tips for how to get past the dreaded transition phase. It’s a great resource for those of you starting out and still trying to choose the right method for you. The eBook will be available HERE via this link on Tuesday, September 15, but Ashlee is giving us early access to the eBook starting Sunday, September 13 with a 20% discount code. The coupon code “PRIMAL” will be available for 2 days only: Sunday 9/13 and Monday 9/14, so you need to make your purchase before the discount expires. If you got here late and missed the discount– I’m sorry!! You can still use this link to purchase the book!
I wholeheartedly support Ashlee’s efforts for creating an informative resource for people– we need more resources like this– and I believe this is something some of you could benefit from. I hope this eBook is helpful to you, fills in any gaps of info you’ve been seeking, answers your questions, and gives you a good place to start on your No Poo journey. :)
Hi! I’ve received an overwhelming number of comments from so many of you asking questions and sharing your water-only hair washing experiences. It is wonderful to hear such positive feedback about the water-only method from so many of you! I’ve been trying to answer every question that I can in the comments, however I noticed there are a few questions that keep popping up regularly that I haven’t covered in my posts yet, so I will start making posts answering the most frequently asked questions you have to help as many of you as possible. At the time of this post, it has been over 11 months since I switched from low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) to water-only hair care, and I swear it is the best thing that has ever happened to my hair! I still practice water-only hair washing, and I am even more thrilled with the results I get now than when I started. I hope I can help you be as thrilled with your results as I am with mine.
FAQ: “I have been water-only for a while, but my hair still feels oily or waxy!”
This can be frustrating! But there may be a quick and simple fix to what you are experiencing. The issue could be caused by a few different reasons, so let’s figure out where you are experiencing issues in the process.
First off, you should be getting very clean results immediately after water-washing your hair if you have been following all of the tips in my Ultimate Water-Only Hair Washing Routine post. If your hair doesn’t seem to get clean immediately after water-washing it, the issue could stem from either the actual washing process (see this post for tips), or caused by Reason #2 listed below. However, if you are getting clean hair immediately after water-washing it, but your hair becomes excessively oily after a day or two between washes, your hair could still be in the initial oily transition phase, and in that case, I recommend you follow the tips in my How to Transition to No-Poo Without Looking Oily post to get through the transition as quickly as possible. However, if you feel you should be out of the oily transitional phase by now, and you aren’t sure what’s going on, then this post is for you.
I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months since I started “no poo,” and 3.5 months since I went water-only! I am definitely out of the oily transitional phase and still going strong on water-only, so figured it was time to post an update to my Ultimate Water-Only Hair Washing Routine.
These pictures were all taken in the same lighting, room, and with the same camera as they were in the Ultimate Water-Only Hair Washing Routine post for a more accurate assessment of progress.
How often do I wash my hair now? Once every 7-10 days with just water.
How long can I go between water-only hair washes before my hair looks oily now? My hair actually doesn’t get oily anymore, not even after 10 days of not washing it! :D
How long did the oily transitional phase last? / How did I get out of it? It took me approximately 2 weeks to stop looking excessively oily and about 2 months to get completely out of the initial oily phase to the point where my hair just doesn’t get oily anymore. I followed these tips from my other post to get through the oily transition as quickly as possible.
What does it feel like? My hair feels different… definitely healthier, soft and hydrated, slightly heavier, and it’s a little harder to run my fingers through my roots than if I used shampoo. But I really don’t mind the new texture! It gives my hair more body, thickness, and volume at the roots!
Do I still get split ends? I got my hair trimmed right before going no poo (~ 4 months before these pictures). With shampoo, my ends would definitely be split, dry, brittle, rough, scraggly, and in need of another trim at this point, but with water-only, they are just as healthy as the rest of my hair. They are soft, shiny (I’ve never had shiny ends), and I have very few split ends. (Pictured Below)
So you’re convinced you want to stop using shampoo and reap the benefits of natural hair care– great! But maybe you haven’t started yet because you’re dreading the daunting “initial oily transitional phase,” or maybe you’re already there but struggling through it. Maybe you have a day job or classes to look presentable for each day, and the whole point of over-washing your hair in the first place was to avoid looking oily. And maybe having a greasy-looking head for a month or two is out of the question… ain’t nobody got time for that.
Getting your scalp’s oil production under control is crucial for a successful no-poo routine. The benefits are well worth it: your hair will look cleaner for longer so you won’t have to wash it as often, and as a result you’ll spend less time and money on hair care and you won’t have to damage your hair with heat as often (if you use a hair dryer every time it’s wet). I promise you, anyone can do it, including you, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you’d think. I went from needing to wash my hair once per day to only once per week, many others have as well, and you can too!
Below are some tips I highly recommend you follow to get through the oily transitional phase as quickly, seamlessly, and as oil-free as possible– to get you closer to beautiful, truly healthy (and clean!) hair.
I finally got fed up with the damaging effects of shampoos and decided I wanted to take my hair to the next level by going shampoo-free. It was the greatest decision I ever made for my hair! If you’re curious as to why I would make such a crazy decision or if you aren’t familiar with the “no poo” movement, check out my other post about it. In the beginning, I did a lot of research on which “no poo” methods I should use in place of shampoo. I started with honey-washing and conditioner-only washing and had great results. I later transitioned to using the Water-Only hair washing method, where I use only warm water to wash my hair. I’ve been strictly water-only for over a month now and love it!! Update: I’m still going strong with this routine after 13 months!
When I first heard about using only water to wash hair, I assumed it’d be a pretty grungy ordeal, but it’s actually an incredibly effective, simple, and rewarding method if done right. There are a few essential techniques to follow that will help enormously in managing the oils on your head, getting the most out of your hair washes, and keeping your roots looking oil-free & your ends hydrated. Once you get the techniques down, (and your scalp’s oil production calms down), this hair care routine becomes almost effortless. I’ve included some easy & effective techniques below that can help give you the ultimate water-only hair, even if you are still going through the initial oily no poo phase (like I was in the pictures throughout this tutorial)– People didn’t even know I don’t use shampoo! And my hair has rewarded me with the best quality it’s ever been in. :)
BEFORE: This is 1 week of brushing “water-only” hair. Note the sebum buildup.
AFTER: I gave my brush a quick bath, and it’s like new! Follow the steps below to get the same results.
One of the most essential ways to keep your hair healthy is to invest in a boar bristle hair brush, preferably one with 100% boar bristles. You can also use a boar bristle/nylon bristle blend, just note that the higher concentration of boar bristles, the better. You can find affordable brushes for $10 – $30 at Shoppers, Sally’s or other beauty supply stores. Click here for links to brush/comb recommendations from one of our commenters.
What it does: A boar bristle brush (BBB) distributes your hair’s natural oils away from your roots and down to the ends of your hair. It allows you to coat the length of your hair with hydrating & protective oils created naturally by our scalps. We can’t reap the benefits of these naturally-produced oils when we strip them from our hair by washing daily with sulfates and detergents found in most commercial shampoos. A major key to healthy hair is to wash it less often (or eliminate harsh sulfates/detergents all together), and use a BBB between washes/rinses to pull the oils away from the roots & distribute them down to the ends. This process keeps your roots from looking oily, and it adds hydration to the ends of your hair which can otherwise be susceptible to dryness.
If you suffer from an oily scalp, dry ends, and/or frizzy hair, a BBB can be a complete game changer. One of the first times I used one, I had just started no poo and went seven days without washing or rinsing my hair. It was a greasy mess, but I used a BBB to pull the oils down to my ends, put it up in a high bun, and went to bed. When I woke up, I promptly rinsed out my hair, and it was incredibly soft, hydrated, bouncy, and frizz was no where to be found. It’s like using a hair mask, except it’s free and works better than any hair mask I’ve ever used.