Back in 2009, my sister and I attended QVC’s annual Beauty Bash (which sadly seems to have been discontinued). We received samples of Wen cleansing conditioner. The theory behind Wen is that oil is our friend. Sort of. When we shampoo our hair, we strip our scalp of natural protective oils. To compensate, our body starts producing more and more oil which leads to greasy, stringy hair. Which, in turn, leads to more frequent shampooing. See the cycle? Wen is a gentler way of washing your hair that doesn’t strip your scalp and lead to excess oil production.
As usual, I was skeptical. I have very straight, very think hair that is prone to oiliness. The only way I could get away with not washing it every day was by pulling it up in a ponytail. But the product was free to I figured I’d give it a try.
I was pleasantly surprised to find it worked really well. My hair looked and felt incredible, better than it ever had. I also found I only had to cleanse every other day (or less) which was great. The problem was the price tag. That stuff is expensive!
It also isn’t completely chemical free. There were plenty of ingredients I couldn’t identify and that worried me. No, I wasn’t eating the stuff, but our skin absorbs everything we put on it and the scalp is no exception. I was so careful about what went in my mouth, but gave little thought to the products I put on my skin. Once I made the connection, I started looking for more natural alternatives.
Enter the no-poo method.
Can I just say I hate the name “no-poo”? I realize it’s in reference to shampoo but it really just sounds like an anti-diarrhea medication. But for better or worse, that’s what this method has been dubbed.
It’s really very simple. In place of shampoo you use baking soda and in place of conditioner you use ACV. (Told you ACV was a miracle product!) Different websites give different ratios of baking soda and ACV to water so the best thing is simply to experiment and see what works best for you.
I use approximately 1 tablespoon of “product” dissolved or diluted in 1 cup of water. That lasts me a couple showers. I just use old shampoo/conditioner bottles, but spray bottles would be great. I pour the mixture directly onto my hair, massage it in, and rinse. I normally let the ACV sit in my hair for a minute or two before rinsing. Try to keep the ACV off your roots as it can weigh your hair down.
Don’t pass judgment until you’ve dried your hair. Your hair will not feel silky after the ACV rinse like it would with normal conditioner. Mine kind of feels like straw. But once it is dry it feels wonderful! I still only have to wash it every other day which is nice. Also, there’s an adjustment period. It may take a week or two for your head to figure out what on earth is happening, but stick with it!
My mom noticed immediately that I had switched hair care methods. Before I told her I’d adopted the no-poo system, she asked if I had a new product because my hair looked so much healthier and shinier.
For more information on the no-poo method, check out these posts from Crunchy Betty: