In the past year and a half. I have grown my hair from chin-length to the middle of my back. I could never get my hair this long before because I would get tired of the tangles and all the “stuff” I had to buy to take care of it. Today, I think that long hair is easier and more fun, and it takes fewer products.
I haven’t used shampoo regularly the whole time. Originally, I learned on the Long Hair Community forum that I could ditch the shampoo and just wash my hair with conditioner. If I get really dirty, I will use a bit of shampoo, but not too often. I have used this protocol for the majority of my hair-growing days, but lately, as I have become more concerned with wellness, I have learned that even conditioner has ingredients that are not so good for your body (those hormone interrupters again), and not so good for the environment. Of course, if you have the money, you can use natural products which may be less harmful to you and the environment, but I’m broke.
Enter the “no ‘poo” method.
(I didn’t name this. It sounds like an uncomfortable digestive situation to me).
In the no ‘poo method, you clean your hair with my favorite cleaning products: baking soda and vinegar. The way I do it is to use a mixture of baking soda and water the way you would use shampoo, making sure to rinse it all out. It doesn’t bubble like shampoo, but it still gets your hair clean. Then I spray apple cider vinegar (ACV) all over my hair, working it through like conditioner, and rinse it out. Some people don’t rinse after the ACV step, but I don’t want my hair to smell like a salad. I style as usual, which means a gentle brushing, letting it mostly dry naturally, and then braiding, ponytailing, or just another brushing to wear it down.
My hair is long, but I have heard that people with short hair have had success with this method. I have read positive reviews from people with different hair types. I have also read some not so positive reviews of stickiness or greasiness. I have experienced a little greasiness myself, but this is all part of the adjustment period. I went through the same thing when I started conditioner-only washing. My hair looks as shiny as always and is soft and manageable, but feels a little dry. If I find that the dryness continues or worsens, it will be back to the drawing board for me. I wouldn’t want my hair to become brittle and break after I have spent so much time getting it long.
Besides the dry hair, I have noticed that my hair doesn’t smell great anymore. It smells kind of like hair, which I guess I can get used to. There may be some natural oils that I can use to make it smell yummy again like it did when I used fruity scented conditioners, but for now, I am holding off on those.
I also use other unconventional products on my hair. Coconut oil massages have helped it grow. I moisturize the ends with coconut oil as well, just a little bit, so it won’t look too greasy. I use aloe vera gel when I need a little gel-like hold for the little flyaways around my face, and to help the ends stay in my braids. I have heard about hairsprays made from either sugar or lemons, but I haven’t tried any of them yet.
Have any of you tried the no ‘poo method on your hair? Have you tried any other unconventional or homemade preparations? What do you think?