I have had so many comments, emails and questions about my No 'Poo post a few weeks ago, I thought it might be easier to just do a followup post. And I have tweaked my routine a little, and thought I should tell you about it.
First, some FAQs:
Does it smell?
No. I mean, it totally stinks in the shower, but once its dried, the smell completely disappears.
Is it safe for color treated hair?
Honestly, I don't know. I have highlighted blond hair, and it hasn't altered the color, but I do think that the highlighted hair can't handle the baking soda. (More on that in a minute.)
Can you still use hairspray and other products?
I do. I use hairspray on my bangs (I haaaaate flyaways in my face), and I use the spray shampoo on my in between washes days. I think the hard-core No Poo people, are also no products, no heat styling, but I'm a little too high maintenance for that.
What does your hair smell like?
Nothing really. On the first day, if I sniff it really hard I can kinda smell the ACV, but its super faint. After like 6 days, it kinda smells scalp-y (is that a word?), and needs a wash. But for the most part, it doesn't have a smell. Sometimes I spritz perfume in it if I want it to smell yummy.
So I've learned there are a few other things you need if you decide to go No 'Poo:
Coconut Oil - You will need to deep condition regularly, and coconut oil is awesome for that. You can do a mask like here, or you can just rub a pinky-nail sized piece of it in your hands and run it through the length of your hair (maybe the night before you wash it).
100% Boar bristle brush - There might be something to brushing your hair 50 strokes a day, like your grandma used to! Boar bristle brushes will help draw the oil from your roots down the shaft of your hair. The goal is to get your nautal oils to eventually completely coat and protect the length of your hair. I don't really brush my hair a lot during the week, so I just save this step for the night before I wash. And you'll want to do it in sections, because the bristles are kinda weak and won't reach through a ton of hair.
Now for what I've tweaked:
Like I posted last time, No Poo is not for everyone, and not everyone's hair will respond to it the same way. I'm beginning to think that the diluted BS/ACV (baking soda/apple cider vinegar) might only work really well on unprocessed hair. After a couple weeks of it, I could tell that the dark un-highlighted hair underneath was awesome, but the highlighted blond sections of my hair were getting really brittle. I was having a lot of breakage when I combed through it after washing it. I tried a coconut oil mask, but I could tell the BS was just too harsh. I think if all my hair was un-treated it would be totally fine, but it was too hard to baby the blondes, and still take care of the oil. I think the pH difference between the two types of hair was just too great. If it was all untreated, I think it would have been awesome.
So, confesstion... I went back to my organic shampoo. BUT I am sticking with the ACV instead of conditioner. Because I love it. I did a little more research and found out all the benefits of ACV on hair. Apparently it helps to close the cuticle of your hair, so it helps seal in moisture, and that's why it helps so much with my tangles. Now, I have also read that some people think that ACV is too heavy, so it may not be great for fine/thin hair. It doesn't weigh down my hair, but I would say that it smooths it down. You'll have to try it and see.
Standard Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (in lieu of conditioner)
4 oz water
4 oz Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine in squirt bottle and shake to mix. After shampooing, squirt on hair, concentrating on length and roots of hair, but using a little on roots as well. Let sit as long as desired, rinse well.
Here are some options for organic, "low 'poo" shampoos. Basically, you want to use a shampoo that won't strip your hair, or coat it with and 'cones (silicone, diamethicone, etc.), and is paraben and sulfate free. Try to find one with as few weird ingredients as possible, ideally you should be able to recognize all of the ingredients. Here are a few ideas:
Shea Moisture ORGANIC Coconut & Hibicus Curl & Shine Shampoo
Aubrey Organics - Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo - 11 oz.
Paradise Island Shampoo 16 oz., Sulfate Free, High Lathering, No Parabens, Phthalates, Dyes, Endocrine Disruptors, SLS Free, Vegan, Natural (Tropical Paradise 16 oz)
I also found a girl at Empowered Sustenance who uses a "raw honey rinse" instead of baking soda, so you could try that as well.
Hair types and hair health vary so much, its hard to say what would work best for you. But I'm so happy with my ACV rinse instead of conditioner that I had to share. My husband, however has insisted that I wait until after he's left for work to wash my hair, because he cannot stand the smell of the vinegar. Maybe it is a phase, but I love how soft it makes my hair. So I'm sticking with it for now. But I will update you again if that changes.
Any other questions? I'd be happy to answer them if I can, or research it for you!