My No ‘Poo Adventure: Week 1

Going shampoo free is hard. I knew it would be considering all the research I did to prepare myself. What I wasn’t prepared for was the possibility of the DIY Honey Shampoo not working. I mean during my research phase I read a lot of testimonials that loved the Honey Shampoo and their hair felt amazing after just one wash!

It sounds like an informercial, but I believe people when they say they had great results because everyone’s body, hair, and reactions are different. Just because it worked for so many other people doesn’t mean that it would necessarily work for me, but I wouldn’t know until I tried it. I gathered a lot of inspiration from Brigette at the Free People blog, who documented her month-long journey with no commercial shampoo or conditioners, starting with honey shampoo.

So, how did week one go?

If you haven’t already, check out my intro post on going no ‘poo, where you can also find the recipe for the DIY Honey Shampoo if you would like to try it.

Day 1 – Saturday

Overall, my first experience using the honey shampoo wasn’t a bad one. I’ve read many bloggers talk about how it’s weird or almost disconcerting using a shampoo, homemade or otherwise, that doesn’t lather. We’ve been told that the lather means it’s cleaning, if it doesn’t lather, it isn’t cleaning your hair. It definitely made me nervous considering my thick, wavy hair, but I continued. I mostly just applied to my roots, massaged well, and rinsed.

When I was out of the shower, I “plopped” my hair while I dried my body. When I let my hair down, I combed it and then used my fingers to slightly break my hair back up so my hair would dry as way/curly as possible. One of the first things I noticed was that my scalp did feel slightly different, a little more ‘fresh’ than it usually does compared to when I’ve used my old shampoo and conditioner. I also immediately noticed that my hair was significantly less dry and frizzy.

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I wished I remembered to take a before photo, but just imagine many more flyaway and my front strands being drier (if you can tell from the above picture; please excuse my non-professional iPhone photography skills). What I loved best about this first wash was the fact that all of my hair ended up in waves in the same way (I softly combed it later after the picture). I always knew that curly type hair is usually unpredictable, my hair included, but since my hair has calmed down somewhat in recent years, I all I wanted was to be able to just wash my hair, let it air dry, and leave it at that. That’s me, low-maintenance or is it slightly lazy?

However, the one thing that I couldn’t tell, with a certainty, was if my hair was actually clean.

Day 2 – Sunday

I’m not used to washing my hair in consecutive days, so it weird for me to wash it again. Thinking back on it, that could have been a mistake, considering my hair is already used to being washed every 2-3 days. I didn’t take a shower until the afternoon and when I woke up and as the day progressed, I started to get discouraged about this process once I realized my hair was, particularly the back, felt waxy, clumpy, as if I used too much gel. My mom thought it was greasy, but it didn’t feel like my usual greasy hair.

The upside was that my hair looked great, it just didn’t feel great. :/

Day 3 – Monday

Although my hair wasn’t feeling all that clean, I decided that maybe this was a part of my transition period and I just needed to continue using the honey shampoo. So that’s what I did. Unfortunately, there was no change after this third wash. The waxy/ clumpy feeling may have gotten worse.

Day 4 -6 – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

So, taking a decision from Brigette on the Free People blog, I decided to forgo washing my hair on Tuesday, hoping that the waxiness would go away while combing my hair, thinking that maybe my scalp/ hair just needed a little time. Nope, and same for days 5 & 6.

Day 7 – Friday

So I gave in. I had plane to go out and didn’t exactly want my hair to be up. So I grabbed the baking soda. I did so, because I discovered Alex Raye’s great trouble shooting post on her blog Almost Exactly, where she pointed out that sometimes you have to clarify your hair first. So I made the baking soda and water solution, which I think I did a 3/4 cup of baking soda in 3 cups of warm water (you want the baking soda dissolved). However, I decided to go the route that Dana, from Feng Shui Dana, and follow the baking soda with the honey & water solution. However, I used my honey recipe, not hers, which is probably why I still felt some waxiness when I woke up the next day. I did love the way it dried though :)

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Day 8 – Saturday

After finishing my usual run, I was at a loss as what to do about my hair. At this point, I knew I couldn’t go back to a commercial shampoo and conditioner. I was going to attempt to make and use a coconut milk shampoo that I found a few people loved as an alternative to the baking soda routine, but I didn’t have time to find a recipe, go buy the ingredients, and then make it.

So, what did I use?

I decided to try the low ‘poo path. Low ‘poo essentially means using a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate, silicone, paraben, and fragrance free (Alex Raye from Almost Exactly outlines it well in another post). You still have to buy products, but they’re ones that don’t have any harmful chemicals. I decided to try this out for the above reason and because there was a low ‘poo option in the house already: Honest Shampoo & Body Wash from the Honest Company.

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My hair finally felt clean!! No more waxiness :) I just hope that as my hair continues to re-adjust and become healthier, my hair will gain the wave I love so much.

I do think that a possible reason why it didn’t wave/curl like usual is because I didn’t use the Honest Conditioner (there wasn’t any in the house). Instead I used a finger sized scoop of coconut oil. After shampooing, I used the coconut oil to coat the ends of my hair, let it sit for about a minute and then rinsed. I added a pinky sized amount to the ends of my dry hair too, but I’ll have to wait and see if that’s something to continue doing. The next time I wash my hair, I am definitely going to try a deep conditioner hair mask :)

For this second week, I’m going to see how long I can go before I absolutely have to wash my hair again, so watch out for that post that no doubt will be interesting ;)

Keep your eye for my next post that will all be about something yummy, hint: it has mixed berries in it.

TTFN <3 Nicole

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