Jumping in full throttle- and failing miserably.

Time to vent, I really need to vent. Enjoy reading my struggles and please, learn from them.

I first read about ‘no poo’ almost 1 month ago. My hair was becoming really dry and and damaged and I wasn’t at all too happy with it, so in a desperate attempt to fix it I found myself googling solutions, and no poo came up in the results.

I really didn’t do a lot of research, which ended up being my Achilles heal. I basically just read ‘bicarb and apple cider vinegar’ and I jumped right onto it.

Thus starts my journey of horrible mishaps and indecisiveness.

By then end of week 1 I had read all about the pH and started freaking out. At that point I already had my castile soap coming in the mail and had sworn off bicarb (which I had already used to clean my hair once at that point). The soap took a while to arrive (yes I could have just driven to the shops but who really has time for that when you can wait 10 days for it to arrive at your front door…) Whilst waiting for it to arrive I used bicarb one more time (it was Christmas day, I had to have clean hair on Christmas day!) Not that my hair ended up being clean though. It was dry on the ends and manky at the back, I called this ‘transition’. But, what sort of an idiot decides to transition during Christmas…

Along side this I made my own dry shampoo as many had recommended with cocoa and cornflour. I’d never used dry shampoo ever and I hated it at first, but since then it has grown on me. I have had some desperate pre-work moments where it was my saving grace.

When my castile soap arrived in week 2 of no poo I was so excited. I thought “this is amazing, I’m so awesome, I’m set for life now”. Mainly because I had been given a bunch of free samples in my parcel as well as the bottle I purchased. I had found a recipe for a castile shampoo with coconut milk and oil and decided to try it.  Additionally at this time I decided to conduct a little pH test. My bicarb came back as a 10-11 and the castile was an 8-9, so I already felt better about using it.

Well, bring on the wax.

The experience of washing with castile soap and coconut milk wasn’t awful, but I realised I didn’t really like the smell of my diluted cherry blossom castile soap very much. I don’t believe I have very hard water, and yes I did rinse with apple cider vinegar (ACV). But, my hair was manky, I felt so disgusting. I ran to the dry shampoo the next day but it did nothing. My hair wasn’t greasy, it was waxy.

I ended up just putting up with this mess until over a few days the natural sebum on my scalp eventually ‘ate’ up the wax and replaced it. So, what did I do next? I washed my hair with castile soap again! I was convinced that my dilution had been off or that I hadn’t used enough ACV. So, this time I basically dunked my hair in ACV; twice. My bf noticed it too and wanted to know why I smelled so awful…

The result was … wax central, again. Though, maybe not as bad as the first time, which I attributed to using more vinegar. What did I do? I put up with it, again.

I resolved to not use castile soap again unless cleaning my house.

I left my hair alone for a few days, trying to find some other alternative. This was when I came across raw honey and rye flour pH balanced alternatives.

I was on night shift at work, hoping no one noticed my terrible hair. It was a quiet night so I did a lot of googling. In the morning when I finished work I managed to stagger into the supermarket, having been awake for over 24 hours I wanted to make the trip quick. I had decided to buy rye flour, because it made way more sense to wash my hair with flour than honey… right? Well, the supermarket didn’t have rye flour, so I defaulted to honey. It also didn’t have raw honey. So I just bought regular honey that looked like raw honey (because that makes so much more sense).

I washed my hair with it when I got home and it wasn’t actually terrible. My hair felt a little tangled but I was too tired to care and went to bed with wet hair. Naturally it was still gross and wet when I awoke and I couldn’t tell if the honey had done anything. I ended up blow drying it (another thing I had sworn I’d never do again). It looked a lot less waxy, and my dry shampoo improved my hair to the point it looked normal ‘yay’!

So, that was it, I had found my answer. All I had to do was wash with honey and brush it. I was happy for a few days, in fact, the happiest I had been. My hair was still oily, but I knew if I gave it a few more weeks then I’d be out of transition and loving it.
The next day I went to a health food store and purchased raw honey, along with rye flour (because I was still interested to try it). I also picked up some peppermint essence, because I love it.

So I made a raw honey hair wash with peppermint essence and it was the best thing so far. My hair didn’t tangle like it had with the regular honey, plus the peppermint wafted around my bathroom cleaning my sinuses and making my scalp tingle in the good way. I loved it.

Then, I decided to do a coconut oil hair mask and this is when everything went bad.

My hair wasn’t especially dry, so maybe it didn’t need a coconut oil hair mask, but I did it anyway. I even researched how to get it out. Websites told me to use egg and some had said rye flour would do the trick.

So I did both…

This was yesterday, and it was the worst day of my life (melodramatic me).

The egg wasn’t as bad as I thought, though my room temperature water still cooked the whites (yuck) and then my bathtub smelled like egg (castile soap to the rescue!) I had no idea if it got the oil out. I just went straight onto the rye which was by far the most disgusting thing yet. It looked bad, it smelled bad and it felt bad.

It took forever to wash out of my hair. Afterwards my hair felt and smelled so manky, like mouldy grass, it made me feel ill. A few hours later and my oil slick hair still looked wet.

I dragged myself to the supermarket to buy stuff for dinner hoping everyone would just assume I had wet hair and found myself in the shampoo aisle (no, I hear you shouting).

I thought to myself ‘if they just had a low poo conditioner, maybe it would solve all my life problems.’

I honestly then thought I had found a low poo conditioner, the problem was, I had really forgotten the exact definition of low poo and just jumped in. I picked up ‘Organic Care’ conditioner, the bottle said no sulphates so I thought ‘amazing!’

I ran home, lathered my hair with it (twice) and washed it off. Then I decided to read the bottle, because it makes sense to read the bottle after you’ve used it.

Well, it turns out low poo also means no silicone, which I had forgotten. Not only did the ‘Organic Care’ have silicone in it but it had Dimethicone, which is the one that isn’t water soluble and can only be washed out with shampoo/cleansers. I would have been better of buying the sulphate free shampoo, not the conditioner.

So there I was feeling disgusted with my now silcone laden hair (which wasn’t oily at all anymore, but strangely smooth, tangle free and a bit … limp).

Why did I use coconut oil? Why didn’t I read the bottle? My life is over.

So I decided, clean slate all around.

Today is now my official new day 1 of no poo. I decided to pull out my bicarb and ACV one more time to cleanse my silicone hair this morning. The unnerving thing is, it’s dry now and is still smooth, soft, tangle free and slippery. Is this silicone? Did my bicarb and ACV do anything? Or is this the result of the coconut oil/egg catastrophe. Either way, I don’t really like it… I don’t like this smooth, slippery, tangle free, moisturised hair. Not after having spent almost 1 month with volumonous, easy to style, textured hair (though greasy as it was).

My game plan. Do nothing to my hair all week except water wash and brush. Then honey wash once or twice a week (mostly for the amazing way it makes me feel).

No bicarb, no coconut oil, no castile soap and definitely no rye flour!

I’ll update in a few weeks on my condition.

My advice. Make a proper game plan, stick to it, do it properly. Know what is low poo and be prepared for disasters and ensure you have a contingency plan should you need it.