Going shampoo and conditioner free was far easier than I thought it would be! I had read about the "no poo" method many times over the course of three or four years but I just couldn't push through those first few days of greasy hair.
I am SO glad I finally did though! No more wasting money on bottles of shampoo and conditioner. No more contributing my plastic bottles to the environment. No more stripping my hair with chemicals
I'm not going to lie...the first few days are hard. But not child birth hard! We made it through that. Surely we can push through a little grease.
There are definitely some things you can do to make it easier though. I followed these three simple steps during the first three weeks which made it manageable. I was then able to get into a routine that I have been able to maintain with success.
But for now we will just focus on those first three weeks!
Step 1: During the first three weeks comb your hair - A LOT! I recommend getting a boar bristle brush if you don't already own one. It helps to pull the oil from the root of your hair down towards the ends. You'll want your regular brush/comb as well because the boar bristles don't go deep into your hair. Comb your hair throughout the day, comb your hair in the shower, and comb your hair when it feels itchy and yucky!
Step 2: Wash your hair with hot water every day! The hot water will help to loosen up the oil in your hair. While you are in the shower, scrub your hair and scalp with your finger tips. Firstly, it will feel good! And secondly it will also help to loosen up the oil and wash out dirt.
After scrubbing, comb your hair with the boar bristle brush or another brush of your choosing. You will have to divide your hair into sections as you are brushing in order for the boar bristles of the brush to actually get through all the layers of hair. I have thick hair so this was crucial. You can't just brush the top layer.
Step 3: Cleanse your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I waited until my third week of no poo before doing my first cleanse. I wanted to push my body to reduce the amount of oil it was producing and the only way to do that is to stop stripping the oil away.
By week three my hair felt gross, but surprisingly it looked pretty good. As in...no one around me, not even my husband, had questioned what was up with my hair! But the gross feeling had to go so it was time to cleanse.
To cleanse your hair simply put two tablespoons of baking soda into a bottle that can also hold two cups of water. When you are in the shower, fill the bottle up with two cups of hot water and shake it so the baking soda gets mixed.
Slowly pour the mixture onto your head, scrubbing it in as you go. I always flip my hair over so I can pour some underneath my hair, as well as on top. After you've emptied the bottle onto your head, spend some time scrubbing with your finger tips. It actually creates a bit of a shampoo feeling. I recommend combing your hair at this point also. Then rinse.
Next, pour two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the same bottle and fill it with two cups of hot water. Shake it up. Pour it all over your hair, scrub, and rinse. I like to comb my hair again at this point so my hair is tangle free when I get out of the shower.
Styling your hair during the first three weeks might be a little difficult. Ponytails and hats can be your friend. After the hair cleanse though, your hair will feel completely normal again and you will be able to style your hair as you always have.
These three simple steps will take you through the hardest part of transitioning to shampoo and conditioner free living. You'll probably have moments of wanting to run to the shower and scrub your hair with shampoo. Instead, comb your hair. Push through that moment and know that it won't feel like this forever.
Remember, going shampoo and conditioner free is better for your hair, better for the environment, and better for your bank account!
There's never going to be a perfect time for those first three weeks. But in the grand scheme of life, three weeks isn't that long. Why not start today?