Hi, yes I’m still alive, and yes I’m bringing this blog back! My posts have become quite sporadic, and after reflecting as to why, I’ve realized part of that is due to me wanting to cram a plethora of knowledge into every post to make them as helpful as possible. But when I sit down to write, I feel like I’m about to climb a mountain in order to get the end result I want. It’s daunting. And so I procrastinate, or I take days to finish one post, and that’s not sustainable. I think the only way for me to overcome this is to create shorter posts that I can publish more frequently. I also think it’s important to share other topics that I’m interested in to keep the creative juices flowing between No Poo hair posts. I hope that’s okay with you. ♥
Quick Trick To Getting Cleaner Water Only Washes
Today I just want to share a very simple but SERIOUSLY effective trick I’ve found to getting cleaner Water Only hair washes. I think this tip can help those having issues with oily residue or buildup that can be caused by the minerals in hard water or just oil buildup over time. You can use this trick sparingly or every time you water wash your hair… whatever works for you and your hair/scalp. So here goes:
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 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.
No More Shampoo??
Tonight I tweeted that I stopped using shampoo on my hair. It’s been 4 weeks, and I’m having the greatest experience with it so far. I’d like to discuss this in more than 140 characters since I got many replies and questions about it, and maybe someone else out there can benefit from hearing my experience.
To be honest, hearing someone say they stopped using shampoo sounds really gross. It sounds like bad hygiene.
And you may be wondering, “Isn’t your hair oily, gross, and smelly?!”
Nope. In fact, it’s the opposite. (I’m shocked, too.)
I heard about the no-shampoo movement from others online. There are a bunch of YouTube videos, beauty blogs, and online communities full of people dedicated to stop using commercial shampoos. Many people go “no poo” for various reasons: they are vegan, they want to train their hair to stop producing as many oils, they want to cure a scalp condition, they want to limit the amount of harsh chemicals going down the drain and into the earth, or they want to avoid harsh chemicals affecting their bodies in unintentional, negative ways. These are all valid reasons, and I respect all of them. However, none of these reasons are why I decided to stop using shampoo.
I decided to stop using shampoo because I wanted truly healthy hair. All of the commercial products that promised they would give me healthy, hydrated, luscious hair just didn’t work, and I learned why: Shampoo is completely unnecessary and ultimately hinders the health of our hair. So I was willing to put down my expensive hair products and try something a little different to reach my healthy hair goal.
At the time of this post, it’s been 4 weeks since I stopped using shampoo, and to my surprise, I have CLEAN, nice smelling, completely low-maintenance, truly healthy hair for the first time in my life. And I’ll never go back. Here’s why: