My Hair Experiments

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Via Pinterest, I recently came upon the idea of using baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead of shampoo and conditioner, respectively. It sounded very simple. First, mix 1 tbsp baking soda with 1 c water, massage into scalp in place of shampoo and follow with a rinse of 1 tbsp ACV in 1 c water in place of conditioner. “Awesome!” I thought. I tend to prefer simple, inexpensive alternatives to everyday commercial products if they are effective.As a scientisty type, I did some internet “research” on the “No-Poo” method. There seemed to be a general consensus among the sorta crunchy-type bloggers that this method worked, although it could take about 2 weeks for your hair to adjust. I figured I would give it a try.I have long red hair that tends to be on the wave/curly side. It’s no corkscrew perm, but left to its own devices would generally look sorta poofy. My current hair routine was generally shampoo and conditioner daily, followed by strong hold gel and drying with a diffuser. After sleeping on the ‘curls’, they usually look like trash, so I have to wash everyday or wear a ponytail on day two.

After Day 1 of No Poo followed by blow drying my hair straight, it felt pretty dry but looked ok. Day 3 I used less baking soda and more ACV and did a curly ‘do with gel. Hair still looks ok, but is feeling dry at the ends, breaking easily and feels weighed down at the roots. This continued until the end of week one. At this point my hair felt so gross that I was actually having fantasies about lathering up in the shower. I figured I must be experiencing withdrawal after being brainwashed by commercials where women have hair-gasms while massaging chemically laden products on their heads.

This is when I decided to try making my own shampoo after finding a recipe on, you guessed it….Pinterest (I am undecided if that site is Evil or Awesome). I mixed it up- 1/3 c castile soap, 1/4 c coconut milk, 1 tsp jojoba oil and 20 drops essential oil (I used orange). The shampoo feels and smells amazing and lathered up really well.

Unfortunately, I used full fat coconut milk from a can, which contains a lot of oil (coconut oil has a higher melting temperature than most oils and is solid at room temperature). After using this shampoo for a few days, my hair was so weighed down with oil I was having the hair washing fantasies again.

So I gave up.

I think if I used non-fat coconut milk, it could be a lot better, but I am no expert in concocting shampoo, nor am I a chemist. After the coconut oil fiasco, I managed to find an all natural shampoo and conditioner (Pink Grapefruit, Kogi) that leaves my hair super soft and awesome and doesn’t leave me feeling deprived of the orgasmic hair lathering shower experience. Unfortunately, I can’t find this Kogi shampoo in Saskatoon (bought it in Edmonton at Rocky Mountain Soap), so when I ran out I decided to try the DevaCurl line (also not cheap!). I’m using the Low-Poo, Conditioner and Gel and it is working really well. The key to no-frizz curls seems to be gently scrunching your hair dry with a microfibre towel and combing in the shower only.  I have a friend with VERY curl hair who has stopped washing (her hair) completely and uses only the DevaCurl conditioner and gel and her hair looks great.

Overall, the hair experiment has been worthwhile; I’m much happier with the current routine and I no longer have to wonder if the extreme No-Poo method works for me.

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