Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do you “No Poo”?

That’s a funny title, huh? Yeah, I thought so too…and the concept behind it is even weirder to me. Amazingly enough this has nothing to do with my 5 month-old who generates a LOT of “poo” around our house…and I know that you’re relieved to hear it!

The “no poo” method refers to a way to deal with naturally curly hair. Which I have. In abundance. Even though I thought that maybe I was losing all of my hair right after Jax was born. I’ve still got it, quite a lot of it, and still look for ways to “tame” and “manage” it.

Now, to be honest, there’s a lot less curl to my hair these days when compared to how it was when I was younger. It’s gone from a tight Shirley Temple-type of curl to a nice wave that frizzles only minimally when left un-moussed. The humidity is bad here in Texas (although not at this time of year) but it’s pretty good here in Austin for my curly hair…no, living somewhere like Houston has never been and will never be a viable option for someone with curls like mine!

Anyway, back to my point. So this theory comes from this book (which I haven’t read) and basically gives you some guidelines and reasons behind why people with naturally curly hair should treat their hair differently than the rest of the hair world. The gist of it is (and please forgive me if I get this a little wrong since I’ve already admitted that I have NOT read the book!) that shampoo contains harsh chemicals in it that strip hair of its natural oils – reacting even worse on curly hair. Left alone, without treatment of shampoo, the hair will balance itself (along with the scalp) out in terms of oil and moisture and your curls will become more manageable and just better all around.

The first time I heard of this theory, I was like – HUH? Go without shampoo…eeewww! Plus, the blog post was recommending substituting a baking soda paste for shampoo and apple cider vinegar in place of conditioner…and it mentioned going days between shampoos…and a detox period of super greasiness as your hair/scalp adjusted…yucky. All of that did NOT sound fun, but I happened to notice that over the past few months when having a newborn in the house does not tend to leave time each and every day to shower and wash hair that my hair responded favorably to not being washed each day. You’re lucky to shower most days with a newborn, right? Right! But I did see a change in my hair…and in my scalp. So I went back and researched a bit more on this “no poo” business right before the holidays started.

Since I was going to be off of work for almost a week and a half, it seemed like the perfect time to try it out and see what happened. The comments that I gathered said that it sometimes takes the hair up to 2-4 weeks to balance out the oils and such…during which time I’m thinking that your hair can look a bit…not so good. Vacation time seems to be the perfect time to try something that might make you look not so good…especially vacation time spent at home, not actually out on vacation.

Here are some guidelines to follow that I gathered:
1. Wash your hair using only conditioner…only on the roots of your hair. (This is easiest if bent over at the waist – sort of upside down in the shower.)

2. When “scrubbing” your scalp with the conditioner, use only your fingertips…no nails.

3. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to all of hair…leaving it on to soak in for several minutes. Wash about 80% of it off in water that is as cold as you can stand it, leaving the remaining 20% in your hair as a leave-in conditioner.

4. When you get out of the shower, do not use your towel on your hair and scrub vigorously. Use a microfiber towel or a t-shirt to gently squeeze the excess water from your hair. Do NOT wring the excess water from your hair. “Scrunch” the hair up from ends to roots in microfiber towel or t-shirt.

5. Do NOT comb/brush your hair. Gently separate or “finger comb” your hair while in the shower – like after applying the conditioner.

6. Apply gel/mousse and scrunch hair again.

7. If possible do NOT dry your hair with a dryer. Let air dry as often as possible and DO NOT touch your hair while it’s drying. (This will help cut down the frizz factor.) If you must dry your hair with a dryer, use a diffuser and only dry hair until it’s about 80% dry then allow hair to air dry the rest of the way.

At least, those are the guidelines that I gathered and am trying to follow. I also bought a trial/travel size collection of some of the DevaCurl products that the author of the “no poo” theory developed. I bought: No Poo Shampoo, One Conditioner, Set it Free Mist (for frizz control), AnGEL hair gel and Mister Right (revitalizing spray for days of no shampooing at all). I generally liked the look/feel/smell of the products, but would be interested in a heavier gel for my hair…something like the ArcAnGEL gel. I didn’t see it in a trial size at my local Ulta store, so I went with what they had.

I’ve still got a few days left of the initial two-week trial period that I was attempting before I share my results. It’s gone good so far, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few things that I’ll share when I’m done.

Do you have naturally curly hair? How do you care for it? Ever tried the “no poo” method? Did you notice that your curls changed after having babies? (That last one’s just for my own curiosity…)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy, I have naturally wavy/curly hair and living in South Texas I know exactly what you're talking about. Because I couldn't ever do anything with it (mostly because I was never educated about how to) the dryer and straightener have been my best friend. I got married in Oct 09 and knew I wanted my hair curly in the wedding, so I tried to learn how to best deal with my hair. I wasn't going to pay hundreds of dollars for professional help and I didn't want my new hubby touching my hair only to have a handful of ick. In this research, I discovered a product that I absolutely love -- Herbal Essences None of Your Frizziness Leave-In Creme. Now, I hate goop in/on my hair. I've tried mousse, gel, leave-in conditioners before and hated them all. I have very fine hair so all of those things just grab on and my hair is a flat icky mess with them. But with this product, I have none of that. I wash my hair in the morning, wring out excess water with my hands, put a little of the leave-in creme in my hands and work it through my hair, wringing out the excess moisture once my hair feels like it is smooth. (I do put a towel on my head as I'm getting dressed to avoid dripping down the back and such but I try not to rub the towel on my head so the product stays on my hair.)
I let it air dry and it's great. I can still shape my hair as it dries (to make sure the part is okay and I don't have weird poofy areas) and run my fingers through it without worrying about it causing my hair to frizz up. I'm fortunate enough to work somewhere that I can go in with wet hair and have done this with long hair (half-way down the back) and short hair, and haven't had to alter how I use the product at all. I have recommended it to two of my friends who also have naturally curly/wavy hair that they have a tough time managing. It's to the individual obviously how they like to do things, but I like it as easy and simple as possible and this is it for me. Wash, put in product, let air dry. And it lasts for a couple of days. I don't always get a shower in two days in a row, or if I do, I don't always wash my hair (like you mentioned, I’ve also read that people with curly/wavy hair shouldn't wash their hair more than twice a week because of the chemicals stripping natural oils and working against the natural curl/wave), and sometimes I like the way it looks more on the second day than the first. Since it is only about $3 at Wal-marts or HEBs I thought I would mention this product to you in case you want to try it.
And just to let you know, I really enjoy reading your blog. Hope you have a great year!