Not everyone gets the whole no-poo movement. (I still giggle when the words "poo" and "movement" are used together. Pardon me while I compose myself. But seriously, I'm talking about the idea of using baking soda and vinegar to wash your hair.) I was pretty confident that it wasn't going to be for me. I have long, dry, thick hair, and the thought of using these ingredients didn't seem like a good idea.
I found out pretty quickly that I was wrong and within a few weeks my hair was soft and beautiful. It was an incredible transformation. I wish I had taken photos of how it used to stand straight out when held in the center. But I'm certainly not going back to recapture the moment...sorry but you'll have to trust me on this one.
After a full year of being happy with my no-poo transition something went wrong. I wondered if my baking soda had gone bad or the vinegar was off. Something had changed and NOT for the better.
My hair became waxy after I cleaned it. It seemed to get worse and worse with each wash. I refused to go back to regular shampoo and conditioner again. I searched the web looking for solutions and tried several alternatives but nothing seemed to be perfect.
I finally realized that as the seasons changed the New Orleans Water Dept adjusted the amount of additives and chlorine they use in the tap water. Hard water seems to be the main problem with no-poo and New Orleans water is definitely hard water. My verbiage may be wrong, but basically the sebum binds with the minerals in the water and forms a goopy, waxy mess! Definitely not the look I'm going for!
Distilled or cheap bottled water
I know, I know, I'm cheap too but bear with me. At first, the idea of buying bottled water seemed to defeat the initial purpose of going no poo in the first place. You can use the cheapest bottled water you can find. I buy a 2.5 gallons of distilled water for $2.00 and it lasts me several months. I have incredibly long, thick hair but you don't need much with each wash. I've heard that you can boil tap water to get the same effect but I'm not organized enough to do it ahead of time so it can cool.
You just need enough water to mix with the baking soda. I use 1T for each cup of water. I have found that I can use less baking soda with the distilled water than the tap water.
Fill up a mason jar with your bottled water and put it in the microwave until it is warm to the touch. Pour about a cup of the warm water into an empty mason jar. Add the baking soda. Use the mixture on your DRY hair and massage. Then use the leftover water to rinse the majority of the baking soda solution out of your hair. Once you get the bulk out then you can use tap water to rinse the rest.
Continue with the vinegar process and use tap water as you normally would. The tap water is only problematic when it is in contact with baking soda, not the apple cider vinegar.
All in all, it was an easy fix to a pretty big problem. Sure it's a headache having to heat the water in the microwave but that really isn't a biggie now. I do get lazy occasionally and just opt to use a J R Liggett shampoo bar instead. But my love with no poo has been reclaimed again.
What's your favorite natural beauty treatment?
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