Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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…)