August 25, 2011

Week 6: Still here!

Lately I've hardly had any time at all to update my blog, but the good news is it's now been almost 6 full weeks of the no-shampoo thing and it's mainly positive results!

I've had people comment on how much more natural and bouncy my hair looks, like beach waves or windswept. I also finally got the nerve to visit a hairdresser.... thinking she would freak out. Not the case though! She didn't say anything till I mentioned it. She's not a fan of this method, but she said that my hair's clean and healthy so keep doing what I'm doing :)

There's been the odd urge to wash my hair just once with shampoo and conditioner fully, but I've resisted based on the fact that I've made it 6 weeks, with the only cheating being conditioner on the ends of my hair. 

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I'm busy, but this is a word for those considering the idea. Do it, stick with it because if you can make it to 6 weeks like I have, you'll reap the benefits and enjoy it. Trust me :)

August 12, 2011

Week 4: Goodbye hairdryer...

I've been so busy that the last thing I could think about was reporting on the state of my hair... but I'm approaching the one month mark and today happens to be a great one for an update!

I'm realising that not only is a change of product really helping my hair, but so is reducing the amount of blowdrying and straightening.

Last night, only due to a lack of time, I let it air dry. It must be the combination of this and the natural products I'm using because today I have nice, wavy hair! It's something to get used to, having straightened it for almost 7 years... I've always felt that shiny, straight hair always looks the nicest, neatest etc. But I'm told otherwise, especially by men. The more natural, the better it seems.

I'm not doing this to please anyone's tastes, this whole experiment/change of lifestyle was originally motivated by a need to fix my badly damaged hair. Obviously, it's nice to know that eventually I might be able to spend less time maintaining it, apparently resulting in an improved appearance.


- Using a very minimal amount (pinch) of baking soda in a small bottle of water and poured over the trouble areas: front hairline and crown
- Diluted ACV on the bottom half of my hair only
- Diluted lemon juice poured over my entire head concentrating on reaching the scalp
- Thoroughly rinsed
- On occasion I'm indulging in a small amount of Herbal Essences conditioner on the ends, purely for how amazing it smells and just moisturises the ends a little.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I figure that conditioning the ends is not going to affect the roots. My scalp and the new hair follicles are what need to get used to the all-natural products, and anyway, I'm getting a hair cut so the current ends will be gone soon anyway! :)

August 5, 2011

Day Eighteen: Back and forth

I'm almost three weeks into this all-natural hair routine now, and I've still got little to complain about really. My hair is of course still adjusting, and it doesn't have the silky smooth feeling I used to get after conditioning. But that also presented problems which I now don't have to worry about. I can actually pin my hair up without it just sliding straight back out because its too smooth. It's got some nice body to it and definitely looks more natural. I like that it doesn't have to be perfectly straight to look nice anymore.

I went back to ACV last night for the rinse, as I wondered whether the lemon juice in water was doing much different. I think either are fine really, and even though they haven't solved the crown problem I mentioned yesterday, my hair isn't looking or feeling dirty at all.

I'm looking forward to the day where I can wash it in water-only, but I'm not there yet. I may start alternating between a natural wash one day, and water the next. Hopefully after a while I can gradually reverse the routine so that I'm only washing with ingredients once or twice a week.

And also looking forward to the weekend! Might go lazy and give my hair an unwashed break again...

August 4, 2011

Day Seventeen: Sunlight

I've had a busy few days, although always managed to keep up with this hair care routine. I was finding that the crown section was still not feeling clean enough, with a gunky feel to it. Not very nice...

So I tried another approach after my Mum suggested using Sunlight soap. I Google everything before I try it, so I read a little and heard that there are women who've sworn by Sunlight soap for body and hair care their whole lives.

One supermarket trip later and I was back at home, in the shower and testing out the Sunlight method. It certainly does give that squeaky clean feeling, and it doesn't really clog up the hair very much like I'd expected. Maybe it helped also that I did the lemon rinse afterwards too.

The only problem is the crown again. Sunlight soap is probably best not worked into the scalp like I did. I've since learnt to return to baking soda for my scalp, wash the rest of the hair in Sunlight, then rinse it all in lemon water.

Today it's feeling ok, but the crown... not sure I'm ever going to get this fixed. But it is after all the roots of my hair, and if this is the adjustment period, I'm doing pretty well. It does look and feel slightly greasy at that part of the hair, but the rest looks really clean and healthy so it's not too noticeable.

August 1, 2011

Sidenote: Baking Soda face wash

Although this blog is about my hair experiment, I've read about the many uses of baking soda (way more than I ever thought there could be!). One of them is to use it as a facial wash. I have complicated skin... it can get dry, but the T-zone is also prone to slight oilyness. Pretty sure this means I have combination skin (?). So since I'm on this baking soda thing anyway, I decided to try it out as my new face wash. I have to say, a few days in and I am pretty pleased with how it feels. I don't get any irritation, but probably because I followed instruction and make sure I moisturise straight away (maximum 10 minutes later). It doesn't sting, leave blotchiness or anything, I just need to be careful not to get it in my eyes.

I would definitely recommend it as a cleanser though, it even removes my eye make up! I'll keep an eye on what it does to my skin and blog again in a couple of weeks, and hopefully with more positive things to say.

Day Fourteen: 2 weeks later...

It's now been two whole weeks since I've been shampoo-free, and I'm already at a point where I'm quite happy with these results! The only downsides are slight itching which, when I was a little stressed, caused me to scratch and I've realised I need to be careful. My scalp is adjusting and is a bit tender so I have to refrain from touching it.

But generally, I think I've found a good routine for myself and my hair is looking surprisingly healthy right now. I've definitely converted to the lemon juice wash, rather than apple cider vinegar. It may work for some people, but I found that it just dried out and left my hair feeling strange. The lemon water makes it a lot softer and works well after the baking soda wash. I've kept indulging in the Herbal Essences to condition the ends only.

The only problem area for me is still that crown section, the top/back of the hair. It's the only area that still gets kinda oily, but is easily fixed with a bit of talcum powder brushed through, or a spray of my Batiste dry shampoo.

The best part of this is still that my need to straighten has all but disappeared. I have thick hair, so when I used to shampoo, condition, blow dry (or leave to air dry), I was left with a big frizzy mess. Since switching to natural ingredients that has really changed, and I think there will be a significant improvement now that I'm not straightening.

I'm going to post again today because I've discovered a second use for baking soda that's now incorporated into my daily grooming routine!