Day 1 after washing, air-dried, un-brushed. First picture taken against the sunlight - most realistic depiction of hair color
I started no-poo two and a half years ago with one baking soda wash to remove all styling products and to make the change easier. Since then, I wash water only, once a week. The biggest difference between shampoo and water only was, and still is, that my hair is more voluminous, thicker, and stronger. I think it's because of the sebum left over when you wash water only. I don't have to worry about my hair. I wash it, and if the ends are dry, I use a bit of oil- that's it. I noticed the first results after one or two weeks, but I've often read it can take 6-8 weeks.
Before, with “normal” shampoo, I had to wash my hair every other day. Despite frequent washing, the skin and roots were oily, my hair looked straggly, and the lengths and ends were too dry. I lost lots of hair (saw it in my brush) and it seemed to not grow at all. My hair looked dead regardless of which shampoo I tried, and I didn’t like this look. Years before no-poo, I gave up shower gel because of my dry skin, with good results. So I thought water only would be worth a shot.
Before no-poo, I used normal drugstore shampoo. At first, I bought conventional ones; later greenwashed or natural ones, but the results were always the same. I used a wooden hairbrush with boar bristles (still use it), and sometimes hair spray. I hardly ever applied conditioner because it made my hair silky but totally lifeless. I never could tolerate the noise of the hairdryer (same with the vacuum), nor its heat in my face, so I almost never used it. Then, I used baking soda to start no-poo to remove all leftover styling products, especially silicone. I think if I were to use hair spray for a special occasion today, I would remove it with baking soda again.
After one or two weeks of no poo, my skin and roots were no longer that oily. My hair became shinier and silkier, stronger and more voluminous. It also became heavier and took longer to air-dry. One thing that didn’t change or improve after several months are broken hairs. They still break, unless I constantly pin up my hair with a hair stick, which helps a bit. Since I prefer my hair loose, I obviously have to accept it.
Wooden boar bristle brush
Wooden hair stick
There wasn’t really a transition period, probably because I started with baking soda, which cleans more than everything else I tried. The only issue that occurred was some flaking I discovered after a few weeks. It wasn't so bad that I could see it on dark clothes, and they disappeared after a few weeks.
People in my life know about my no poo routine because I told them- otherwise nobody notices- and they don’t care. Some wonder how my hair doesn't stink and can become clean with water only. Then they say they can't imagine this could work for them too, and that is why they don’t try it. Sounds like a circular argument. Only my mom tried it once or twice- she didn’t like the remaining sebum in her hair. She felt it wasn't clean enough, so she went back to “normal” shampoo, although I told her that she didn't try it long enough. Still, she couldn’t tolerate the “messy feeling.”
Thank you Audley!
Thank you Audley!