Going No-Poo

Lately, I’ve embarked on a personal hygiene adventure: going “no poo”. This means that I’ve foregone commercial shampoo and decided to take a different route for my hair care needs: baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

The first day, I was impressed after it dried. I didn’t use the recommended amount of baking soda to water ratio (generally it seems to be 1-2 tbsp per cup). It still worked out. The problem was that I apparently didn’t rinse it all out well enough and so I ended up with some strange gunk in my hair. It could be residue from shampoos or it could be left over baking soda. I’m not sure, though because further washes end up with less and less gunk to no gunk at all, my guess is that it was residue clumping in my hair.

My hair seems unable to make up its mind about texture, which I’m very impatient about, but oh well. It’s been 25 years of using different brands of shampoo, so obviously my hair is going to need a period of adjustment.

I was impressed by the fact that it now takes much longer for my hair to become greasy, and now that I don’t have chemical residues in my hair it smells completely different in a good way. It also feels completely different to the touch, in a way that I like very much.

Now, since the entire point of this post was not to ramble about my hair but to give a rundown of tips I’ve learned in the time I’m switching over (while I still have much to learn and adjustments to make), here they are!

1. Make sure you keep your mouth closed while pouring. It’s not like shampoo at all, so it’s going to run down your face and get in your mouth if you let it. Diluted baking soda tastes bad. There’s no way around it, it is not something you want to get on your tongue. If you get it in your eyes, though, it doesn’t hurt. At least it didn’t when I got it into my eyes, and that’s saying something because there have been times I worried I’d go blind from shampoo in my eyes.

2. Wait until it’s dry before you comb or brush it. I know, I know, fellow longhairs – you’re not supposed to do much of anything in the way of combing or brushing wet hair because that’s one surefire way to damage and break hair. I’ve been doing my hair wash before I go to sleep, which leads to a lot of curls (which I’m then upset when I brush out when I wake up) and a lot of volume. I guarantee that your hair needs will differ, but that’s one way I’ve discovered on how to avoid facing the world with a wet mess of hair.

3. Clean/wash/rinse/whatever you want to call it before it gets too greasy. This is common sense, but I let it get too greasy recently and it was “off” and lifelessly limp even after it dried.

Those are all the tips I can think of right now, but given time I’m sure I’ll have more to share. I hope you have a great day or night, whatever you use to care for your hair!

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