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Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Poo

Aside from the icky mental images that comes from that phrase, rest assured that I am NOT talking about my bathroom habits, lol! Well, at least not those. Nope, I'm talking about shampoo, or my lack thereof.

Recently in the news, mainstream sources have covered the trend of going no poo (not using shampoo on one's hair). The clip I watched made me want to smack the two women discussing it because they came from a very closed frame of mind. They made fun of the trend, despite CLEARLY not understanding what they were talking about. I'm not really surprised because - after all - most of their sponsors are companies that sell products, such as shampoo. It's in the mainstream news' best interest to keep their viewers addicted to products. Expensive ones at that!

So, I thought that I would open up about my no poo experience. Most of the people that talk about their no poo experience are newbies asking for tips, help, and advice. It's somewhat rare to find a veteran. I think that's because we veterans have gotten tired of being made fun of, so we mostly just keep our mouths shut.

So, with that in mind, here's my no poo story. I first heard about no poo when my younger son - now 7 - was just born. I totally fell in love with the idea right away :-) Before going no poo, I had seriously frizzy hair full of split ends. It was also greasy. My mom would constantly be telling me to go take a shower and wash my hair because - even though I had just taken a shower a few hours before - my hair looked greasy and unwashed. Smelled like shampoo but looked like crap.

And then I learned about no poo. Basically, rather than using shampoo that strips the oils from my hair (which is basically ALL shampoos, even organic ones), I use a solution of baking soda. Baking Soda simply removes the oil and dirt from the surface of each hair shaft. It doesn't penetrate into the shaft to strip the oil from inside it. Then - as an alternative to conditioner, which is just as bad for my hair - I use apple cider vinegar. I have in the past also used homemade kombucha vinegar and am currently using homemade apple cider vinegar.

The homemade ACV was an accident, I was going for hard cider, but I digress, lol!

For the clarity of my blog, I went into my old pictures to look for examples of my hair from BEFORE no poo. Just so you know, I have never liked how I looked on camera. Never. I am so not photogenic, therefore, posting these pics of me is taking me every bit of gumption I have, so be nice damnit! I don't need haters!

This is me in 10th grade. As you can see, my hair is positively puffy and fly away from split ends, and I had JUST had my hair cut and colored like a week or two before the picture in an attempt to look okay.
This is my 11th grade pic. I had given up on coloring my hair and just let it grow out. You can still see how my hair looks greasy and puffy from splits ends. Believe me, I tried my best to look good on picture day, so this is literally just HOURS after I'd washed my hair. Doesn't really look it, huh? Greasy roots, sigh. Other than that, I love this pic :-)
This is between my 10th and 11th grade pictures, right around when I first met my husband. I cut my face out of the picture for various reasons - Ahem, Elly :-D - but I wanted this pic most of all because it clearly shows how unhealthy my hair was, and no, it's NOT because I had colored my hair. You can see by my roots that I had stopped coloring it not too long after I started, I didn't really like me with blonde hair. Dead ends and greasy roots, and yes, I had washed it before going over to hubby's - then boyfriend's - house because I wanted him to like me.
And I threw this pic of me and my Hubby in just because I look so cute and happy in his arms :-D This was very shortly after we'd met.
 Okay, so now that you have seen my old pics and how my hair was unhealthy and just bad looking all around, you probably want to see current pics for comparison, right? No problem, I can do that :-)

This is a pic I had posted recently on my facebook. I did so on a day when I had washed my hair the night before and wanted to actually show my first thing in the morning bedhead, lol! You see, my current and only complaint about my hair these days is that I just don't have much. I never did. Even in the pics above where it LOOKED like I had a lot of hair, it was all just my hair putting on a puffed up act. I could ALWAYS take my hair and twist it up into a bun the size of a quarter squared. I never thought to get a pic of that though, so you'll just have to take my word for it. ANYWAY, after taking a pic of my bedhead, I combed it out and took this pic, which shows how - even the next morning, many hours later - my hair looks clean. It's thin, so I always get a static halo, but there are almost NO split ends. I can actually prove that :-D

See, this is a pretty close up view of the ends. They are straight and healthy. It's been almost a year since I last had a hair cut, and I'm thinking about getting another one soon, but it's not a priority. Still not convinced???

I tried really hard to get a picture as up close and zoomed in as possible on my hair while still getting to see detail. You can definitely see individual strands, but you can't see splits because there really aren't any. I dare you to find some. You might possibly be able to find one or two, but you'd really have to hunt for them, lol!

Tired of having the exact same blahbity blah blah hair for like 10 years (And here I am referring to color), I decided to get some organic henna and dye my hair red. Understand, I had not stuck any chemicals in my hair at all since I went no poo in 2006, and it had been since - Oh I don't know, '98? - since I had last died my hair. I was SOOOO ready for a change! Even better, henna is all natural and NOT a chemical :-D

Sigh, you all MIGHT see something pretty-ish when you look at this pic, but I just see plain old me, sigh. I told you, I'm not photogenic. Not even with pretty red hair, lol!

Even so, I like the way the color turned out... at first. In this pic, taken the next day, my hair looks great! However, henna has a 3 day darkening period, so this is not the final color. I REALLY wish it was, lol!

Here's day two. Note, I have not washed my hair since I died it. SPECIFICALLY because I wanted to show how this is TWO days after I last washed my hair and it just now is starting to look greasy at my roots. You can also see that the color has darkened a bit. Don't get me wrong, still love it, I just wish it was the original color, lol. Next time I buy henna, it will be the lighter shade :-)

Here is day three, and you can tell that it's morning because the lighting is WAY better than the day before, lol. You can also see that my hair looks like it might need washing OR it might not. There is clearly grease there, but not so much that I would be ashamed to be seen in public. You can also see the final color my henna turned, lol!

Sorry that the last two are selfies, but I didn't have anyone to take the pics, and really, I just wanted to get a good close up of my hair, so my face was not required :-) I actually like these pics. I did wash my hair later on that day, then waited a few days to wash it again because... Well... Because I can, lol! I LOVE having hair that is so healthy that I don't have to wash it every. single. day. if I don't want to. I am actually really proud of my hair right now. Proud enough that I don't mind posting pics of it online for everyone to see.

And so, if you are considering going no poo, here's what I have to say on it: TOTALLY TRY IT!!! I have been no poo since my son was born in 2006 - so 7 years - and I do not regret a single day of it. Besides, we buy 13 POUNDS of baking soda at Sam's Club for like 8 dollars (we use it to wash our clothes too, lol) and even when I buy organic raw apple cider vinegar, I only pay 4 dollars or so for enough to last almost 2 months. But, as I have said, I've accidentally made more than one type of vinegar over the years that I then used on my hair and actually have not had to pay for vinegar either in SO long.

That means that over the last 7 years, I would be surprised if I had spent more than 20 dollars on my hair. Wait, you mean to tell me that it's insanely cheap AND so much better for your hair??? Yep, I sure do :-D

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