I have a love hate relationship with my hair. My hair is long… like long long. And its super thick and kind of wavy….ish? I get many compliments on my hair but I think that when your hair is long and thick people are willing to look past a lot.

Long wavy hair that is dry and damaged
My hair in 2015

My hair tends to be super dry, totally broken and frizzy, and I actually have to put a lot of work in to actually leave the house. And since I don’t really have the time and can’t be arsed to make my tired self look like a pageant queen, that means I am rocking a messy bun (but not one of the cute ones; I’m talking one that’s like super nasty and totally unbrushed) most of the time.

I have tried almost everything through the years to get my hair to be more manageable and soft and nice, as well as looked for things that would define my waves so they just weren’t a fluffy mess. I have spent way too much money on products that end up untouched because they were no match for my hair.

So, with my recent foray into natural living, I decided to give going “no poo” a go.

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What is No Poo?

No poo is a method of washing your hair that doesn’t use traditional shampoo products. No poo doesn’t mean that you wash it less often (although I have heard that some people do end up needing to wash it less often once your hair stabilizes) or that you don’t wash it at all. It simply means that you are using alternative methods for washing your hair.

There are many reasons why going no poo is appealing to some people. These reasons might include:

  • Limiting exposure to chemicals
  • It is a cruelty free option
  • It’s frugal and simple
  • Your hair care routine produces less plastic waste
  • Some people swear by it’s effect on producing soft hair and manageable curls

These probably aren’t all of the reasons to go no poo, however these all were very appealing to me.

What happened when I went no poo for a month! #hippyshitClick To Tweet

Which No Poo Method to Use?

When I first went no poo, I read a lot of stuff about baking soda and it’s effect on the hair and some of it was pretty negative (keep reading to the bottom of the post for more on this!). Additionally, most no poo methods use Apple Cider Vinegar, and I couldn’t wrap my head around this because my hair is so dry. I was terrified to even try it.

So when I started, I decided to try a method I saw that used aloe vera gel and coconut milk.

For the first week and a half I washed my hair every second day with this mixture. It did NOT agree with my hair! My roots and scalp were a hot mess and almost…. sludgey. It was true dirty hippy city. GROSS!

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and switched to a baking soda and water mixture, followed by an apple cider vinegar and water mixture that I saw on Mind Body Green. The instructions can be found here.

I followed the directions exactly as they appeared on the link I posted, down to the time spent prior to rinsing.

I use a squeeze bottle in order to distribute it evenly though my hair, and am taking care to really scrub it into the roots as well.

My Experience with the No Poo Method

Long dry hair after a month of using the no poo method
After a few weeks of no poo

After just over month of doing this, my hair is way softer than it was before- I find this counter-intuitive because of the harshness of vinegar, but hey, I never claimed to be a scientist!

I have never been so happy with my hair. I haven’t seen much in the way of definition for my waves, but that is ok. My hair is still fluffy/frizzy-ish, but it seems to be a bit better than before. I think I might need to add a leave in tangling solution to this routine. At the moment, I am only misting with water and Tea Tree Oil.

Another added bonus is that my psoriasis (which has been terrible lately- DO NOT sleep with wet hair frequently!) seems to be getting better.

However, I am strongly considering finding another method that does not use as much baking soda. Here’s why.

Is the No Poo Method Right For You?

As you can see, my experience has been pretty great. That being said, I have heard VASTLY mixed reviews on how it has worked for other people. Some people have a terrible experience with it and some people have a great experience with it, and many end up needing to try something else later.

All I can say is that for me, this has been a hairsaver (at least for now) that has saved me a ton of time with managing my hair day to say, and soothes my frugal soul.

Long dry hair after a month of using the noo poo method
After about a month of no poo

But… because I believe that no one thing works for everyone, I wanted to also save you some time visiting Doctor Google and drop you a link about how this method might not be a good one to use, especially long term. My intention with this post is not to persuade; but to share my own unique experience. Whether or not you choose to try this method is up to you- however I think it is important in any endeavor to see multiple sides and outcomes!

With that in mind, here is an article about why this method might have nasty consequences for your hair, which also outlines some scientific reasons that using this approach might not be good for your hair. Since reading this, I am considering looking for an alternative method going forward that will use baking soda less often. Still on the hunt!

Although truth be told my hair is looking so nice that I might be dragging my feet to find another method.

What REALLY happened when I went #nopoo for a month. And whether I will keep it up #naturalliving #nopoomethod #noshampoo #curlygirl #chemicalfree

What does your hair care routine look like? Would you ever go no poo?

 

7 Comments

  1. Monica Sayad November 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am no poo too. My hair stopped falling out!
    Thanks for writing about it, we are totally normal.

    Reply
  2. thelumberjackandthegypsy December 12, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I must really be out of the hair-care loop as I thought this was going to be how you went a month without having a bowel movement!!!! I tell ya, I am relieved that it was about your hair! Which is gorgeous, by the way. I am always doing something to my hair and as of today it is an aqua-teal blue faux hawk with geometric shapes cut into the rest and colored different colors. It is my most unusual hair-do to date and I have my hubs to thank for it as he did the shapes with my hair clippers and did the shape colorings. He is not at all artsy-fartsy nor is he hip. He is a 57 year old conservative guy but he knows if he doesn’t help me with my hair, Lord only knows what I will do. I am turning 63 this month so you can imagine the stares I get…..life is too short to have boring hair!!!!
    Love your writing.

    Reply
    1. MandiEm December 12, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Hahaha I love this so much! Wish there was a no poo movement like you thought this was. Like “hey were over BMs ok, no one has time for it! Let’s just scrap em” 😁 your hair sounds so cool! For many years I had multicolored hair and loved it! Your husband is a dear to help you style it. And that is great life advice you wrote- life IS too short for boring hair! Thanks for reading!!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth December 15, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Nice post. I wonder if you have any tips for African hair. My daughters hair is eroded at the edges and I will like something that will help it grow.

    Reply
    1. MandiEm December 15, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Thank you! Unfortunately I dont have any tips for African hair, but one thing I have found personally that helped my hair grow is what I ate. Sounds weird but I really tried to grow my hair for years and years with no luck. I think whatever I did when I started eating different made it so I was getting more of something (or maybe less of something?) and now it grows like mad and is almost down to my butt. Also putting straight full fat coconut milk on it made the breakage on mine less noticeable, but it is so messy that I kind of stopped because it’s hard to chase little kids when you are all slippery with coconut milk haha! Hope that helps a little ❀

      Reply
  4. Leo December 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful hair! My wife has long thick hair as well. It’s a tough task dealing with it, but it looks lovely on you.

    Reply
    1. MandiEm December 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks! It’s a pain that’s for sure haha

      Reply

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