A couple of years ago, I tried this “no poo” trend that was gaining a lot of popularity. I researched numerous sites and methods and decided to give the baking soda “wash” and Apple Cidar Vinegar “rinse” a try.
A little about my hair type…..I have very thick, coarse, naturally curly, wavy hair. I have used heat on my hair – for as long as I can remember and I have always hated my curls……so as a result my hair is typically very dry and brittle. I have never had to wash my hair daily – I could typically go 2-3 days between washing – so with this method – I would start by stretching my “washes” and “rinses” out 5-6 days in between…..
After the first wash I was very skeptical – my hair was very dry and felt like straw….it was awful. Took me 30 minutes to get it combed out. Another tip I had learned was that I could add Coconut Oil to the tips to help with tangles and to help add moisture, which I needed cause my hair felt awful.
But the coconut oil weighed my hair down and made it feel very heavy, it was a very strange feeling. I got to the 2nd wash – approximately 5 days later and it was literally like trying to wash hay – I was scared to move or pull my hair much – it was tangling so much. But I had read that the first couple of weeks were the worst – and if you could just work through this – you were golden. So I continued……
At 2 weeks – I quit! I saturated my hair in conditioner and let it sit for hours. I was afraid I had permanently damaged my hair. Luckily after several deep conditioning treatments – my hair was back to it's previous state of dry, unmanageable hair, LOL. But at least I was done with the “no poo” method and had no intention of trying that again. I could officially say I had tried it and had no intention of going through that again!!!
So how does the “no poo” method work?
You “wash” with a combo of baking soda and water and “rinse” with a combo of vinegar and water. Which what I have now learned is really, really bad. Why? Because baking soda has a very high alkalinity (pH) and vinegar has a very low pH. The key to balancing your hair and scalp starts with balancing the ph of the sebum on your scalp.
Human hair and skin have a layer of salt/water/oil that is call the acid mantle. This protective layer thrives at a pH of 4.5 and is easily disrupted and washed away with anything that has a pH over 7.
Also when an inadequate hair product disrupts the natural pH of the hair, your hair cuticle will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you are using pH balanced products (i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of your hair (4.5-5) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result healthy, shiny hair.
Yes, you could change your “no poo” method by leaving off the baking soda, but if you are rinsing with vinegar, be aware that you are rinsing with a very acidic agent that is also disrupting your natural pH.
In conclusion – I will NEVER try this again. Luckily I have found products that are giving me beautiful results. You should look for naturally/botanically based products that have a balanced pH already. Most shampoo/conditioners are already balanced but many are also laced with chemicals. So pay attention to your labels and/or read my other posts on which chemicals need to be avoided.
If you are open to learning more about the products I'm using that are naturally/botanically based and have a balanced pH – contact me on my FB Fan Page. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Have you tried the “no poo” method? I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment below and tell me how your experience with this method was.