Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday Tips- No Pooing

This Thursday Tip was sparked by a question I repeatedly get. How do you make your own shampoo? My answer is I don't, I No Poo.

No Pooing is a hair care method that seems to have gained a lot of momentum in the last few years from promotion through word of mouth on the internet. From looking into it I found that the concept of No Poo began several years ago in responce to the fact that common shampoos pretty much destroy thick, curly or wavy hair. Shampoo has not been around very long and while a wonderful concept, really is not ideal for using on a routine basis for any hair type, because it disrupts the scalps ability to regulate oil. The concept of No Poo I'm talking about today is baking soda and vinegar and effectivly returns scalp oil production to normal over time.

Please note that almost EVERYONE goes through a stage of extreme oiliness when starting no poo. The worse yours is the more you know you need to get away from shampoo. Unfortunately most with the worst cases just give up and say No Pooing isn't for them. The more off kilter your oil production is the longer it's going to take for your body to readjust and stop overcompensating for the expected use of overdying shampoo.

One tip I can give you to help with this is many moms have found using a mix of natural shampoo bars and no pooing can really help with the oily stage. I personally had mostly used homemade shampoo bars for months prior to switching to No Poo and had a very minimal oily stage upon switching.

The first think I'm going to mention is using coconut oil with no pooing. This is mainly for if you are finding your hair is too dry or still frizzy. Which is you have curly or thick hair is usually just a fact of life.

A TINY bit of coconut oil goes a long way. I use just enough to coat the top of my palms with coconut oil, tiny tiny bit. Then I start at the ends and work the oil up bit by bit, never taking it to the roots though. Another way a mom I know does it is just sticking her finger tips in the coconut oil and letting a bit melt onto them, then just using that amount. That how teeny tiny of an amount you need to use. If you use more you are just going to compound the oily issue with your hair. A little coconut oil goes a very very long way in this situation.

The main ingredients the No Pooing method I'm talking about is baking soda. I just keep baking soda in the bathroom in a small tubbaware type container. We use it for multiple things so this wasn't something I started with No Pooing, but is still effective for storing it for No Pooing :)

The purpose of baking soda is the gently remove excess oil from the hair. If you are finding baking soda to not be effective doing so and have hard water trying adding some salt to your baking soda mixture to help this. Some individuals with very soft water don't use baking soda at all, instead do a hot water rinse and then go straight to the vinegar rinse. Just experiment and figure out what works with your hair and water.

There are many ways to use baking soda. I personally just put some baking soda in my hand, wet it and start working it through my hair from the roots up in the shower. This works well for me but I have long thick curly hair, and I'm sure that effects things. Many individuals will disolve a certain amount of bakings soda in a certain amount of water and use that as a kind of rinse. Most start out with one tablespoon for one cup of water and experiment from there.

As for what vinegar you use I have heard many reasons to use one over the other and why and that one is better for certain hair types and ect. I'm going to say right off the bat that I personally don't think there is any difference in use from one vinegar to the next, just smell and personal preference. Any kind you want to use will work. The three main kinds used for No Pooing are white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar. It's really just preference.

I kept being told that since I had curly hair I would get the best results with apple cider vinegar. A friend kept being told that since she was blonde she would get great results with white vinegar. We have both used both, in long periods of time using only one kind to see if there was any effective change and neither found there was. I have heard the reason beind it is that white vinegar is 'harsher' on the hair, and apple cider vinegar can leave it oilier. Honestly again I'm going to say that I have not personally experienced this difference nor has anyone I've talked to personally that has used them both trying to see if there's a difference.

I have to wonder if part of the reason this belief is so strong is because an individual would be going through a stage while their oil production was evening out one way or another and be trying to find a solution to quicken it along and be told to use a different vinegar to help based on "what everyone says". Inevitably shortly after bringing the new vinegar into the routine the hair would start to do better, just as it would have with the old vinegar as things evened themselves out naturally. However the change was attributed to the new vinegar instead of the natural process finally paying off. Without a thourough study though we probably will never know for sure if there is a true difference between the kinds of vinegar and use in No Pooing. I personally am hoping someone does one soon. I want to see the results :)

I want to stress that there is no right or wrong way to no poo. Just whatever works for you.

About Me

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I'm a semi crunchy stay at home wife and mama of two boys. Extend Breastfeed, Cloth diaper, Cosleep, Babywear, Homeschool, Homebirth. My sons and I have some serious health concerns (allergies, growth hormone, kidney, lung, spine, etc...). We didn't realize they were genetic (or I had) until after Trace's birth. Tristian had some big medical and possibly/probably autism related delays in early childhood but also taught himself to read at 2yrs and started on math equations at 4yrs. Trace is bit delayed across the board by about 6 months, but as he's 1yr+ behind in height... it's not very noticable ;-) Trace is very musical and hands on. With plenty of common sense, love, good doctors and faith we are doing wonderfully!

This wonderful chapter in my life of discovering the green subculture has (mostly) ended. Living green on a budget has changed from the thrill of discovery to habit. This blog remains in rememberance- with occasionally crossover posting. I hope you join me- the same green mama on a budget, in a new blog celebrating life's daily experiences- LIFE O'KAY Still lots of crafts & crunchiness- with even more sweet family moments.

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