Taking care of my hair has always been a struggle (see this). I’ve tried a myriad of shampoos and conditioners that promise to tame my mess of hair in just a couple of months! But of course, they don’t. I still end up with dried ends, an itchy, flaky, dandruff-ridden scalp, and so much frizz. To combat the dandruff and the gross smell that comes with being in the humid Philippine weather, I shampooed my hair everyday. But nope, dandruff is still there and I never did feel like it was really clean. I also suffer from a lot of hair fall due to breakage, I swear I feel like a cat shedding mounds of fur everyday. But I guess that is expected when you get your hair wet every single day (wet hair tends to break more). To combat the dry, frizzy feel, I slap on tons of conditioner.
Then I come across this slew of articles stressing the negative effects of shampoo (most of its ingredients) on hair: that sulfates (the stuff that makes shampoo lather like a dream) dry out hair, that shampooing everyday strips the scalp and hair of natural oils which in turn freaks the scalp out and it churns out more oil than necessary which in turn causes gross, greasy hair (and I’m guessing also that weird smell my scalp gets with that buildup of grease).
Natural (sulfate-free) shampoos tend to make my hair feel stiff, and still doesn’t help with my hair fall or my dandruff issue (which I thought it would). And I found that washing with natural shampoos didn’t really thoroughly clean my scalp.
I will update this post regularly on how my hair/scalp is doing as this adventure goes on. May include photos of my hair for comparison once I get someone to take a photo of the back of my head for me.
These are the only things I need to wash my hair (and water, obvs, won’t be dumping pure vinegar on my hair any time soon).
- I washed my hair (for the last time, hopefully) with sulfate clarifying shampoo the day before to remove any buildup. I’ve read this helps with detoxing a little bit.
- Measured out my baking soda mixture, for now (I still have to observe what mixture is best with my hair), I went with 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water. 4 scoops of baking soda with that little pink thing was enough to cover my scalp. Only the scalp if you don’t have very greasy hair. I scooped up with my fingers the pasty mixture that settled at the bottom of the container and massaged that baby into my scalp for a minute. Be careful with massaging, be very gentle because the baking soda is gritty. I massaged a little too hard and my scalp stung just a little bit after. Left the mixture on for three minutes more.
- Rinsed it out good.
- Measured out my apple cider vinegar rinse, for now, I went with 1 part ACV and 4 parts water. I did 10 scoops of ACV. Essential oils could be added to this mixture, but I didn’t bother because: 1) I don’t have any, and 2) I don’t really mind the smell of vinegar. Soaked the entire length of my hair (from scalp to ends) with the mixture. I included my scalp because I’ve read it helps with dandruff. If you don’t have that problem, just stick with the hair shafts (???) and the ends.
- Put my hair up with a clamp for a bit while I washed the rest of my body.
- Rinsed the ACV mixture out with cold water to seal in the moisture.
I will try to refrain from washing my hair (even with just water) for as long as I can stand it and rinse it out again every six or seven days. Fingers crossed!
Day 1 (16 July 2013) – Heyyy the ACV rinse left my hair reallyyyyy soft! Softer than what I got with store-bought conditioners. It doesn’t feel dry. And it feels thicker, like the way it felt when I was younger. Compared to what it felt like lately, which was limp and lifeless and ughhh. My scalp also feels very clean, it’s actually refreshing.
Behold my frizzy mane! Air-dried and still smells a bit like vinegar. My boyfriend told me my hair does look a bit better. And I just started out.
My haircut looks weird, the guy who cut my hair seemed bored and uninterested in his job when I went in for a cut. Never going back there again.
Day 2 – No noticeable change from yesterday. But if I was still using shampoo, a day’s break from the thing would immediately cause my scalp to develop gross flakes and clumps of dandruff stuck to my head and it would itch like crazy.
Day 3 – Left side of my scalp is starting to get a bit greasy, small flakes of dandruff, but no clumps and itchiness! It also looks better when I have my hair in a low ponytail, the tail part doesn’t go all crazy poof-y all over the place, and the tiny baby hairs around my temples are held down by the oils.
Day 4- Started to feel some dandruff build up near my ears, and my hair is greasy, but still less greasy (and itchy) than two days without washing with normal shampoo.
Day 5 – Still haven’t washed my hair, even with water. There’s dandruff around the lower perimeter (? is that right? Around the edges of my scalp?) I’m guessing it’s just from the soap I use on my body when I shower. My scalp doesn’t smell funky despite the grease. My hair doesn’t feel dry, even the tips, so maybe I got the formula right?
I’m thanking all of heaven that it’s No Poo day tomorrow because it’s starting to itch because of the dandruff.
Day 6 – Yay for wash day! Same formula as the last wash, though I might tone down the baking soda on my next wash (in another six days) because I found my scalp, by the base, on top of the back of my neck, was stinging. But after the whole thing, the sting went away and my hair felt clean.
I might write a separate blog entry when I finish the “breaking-in” period of this adventure, while my hair and scalp adjust to the whole thing so hit subscribe if you want to know the results! (◕‿◕✿)