What do you mean, Going No-Poo?
Wait...is this another potty training article? Not even close....read on, my lovelies.
For the past year my head has been the bane of my existence. Oily, dandruff (oh, the dandruff) and the itch is unexplainable. It drives me nuts. I think I've used every shampoo on the market from the high end I had to order online to the cheap bottom shelf at Walmart. I've used different conditioners, after conditioners, leave in conditioners, scalp treatment, tea tree, tar shampoo - you name it, I've used it. And nothing works. I've tried washing less often. I've tried washing more often. Still, every time I take the towel off and see the ..gag... stuff left over I want to cry.
I was just about to chalk it up to getting older and, I guess...dryer? Then the itching spread. It went to my hands first. Every time I washed my hair my hands would turn a violent shade of red and itch like I'd rubbed them in poison ivy before juggling fire ants. Then my feet and legs began itching at random times for no reason. I started soaking my swollen red feet in hot water and baking soda - it would instantly calm the hives.
My next conclusion was that it must be a new medication I was taking for my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome - yeah, I'm all kinds of broken since I hit my mid 30's). After talking with the doctor we switched to a new medication and I took an antihistamine several times a day as I waited for the itching to calm.
Let me wrap this up for you: Apparently I've developed an allergic reaction to PG - Plant Glycerin. Yep. It causes everything from the itching and dandruff to sinus congestion. My hands and scalp itched because PG is in 99.9% of retail shampoos and dish washing detergent. Yay. So what's a gal to do if she's suddenly allergic to shampoo?
Going no-poo isn't new (Say that 3 times fast). But, a majority of no-pooers do it because they already lead a chemical free, organic life. Not this chick. I LOVED my shampoo. I loved picking out new bottles. I loved the different scents. I loved the specialty conditioners that do amazing, magical things. But I don't like itching and getting hives on my scalp (which is what was causing the little flakies every time I washed).
But how do you go no-poo? Doesn't your hair get nasty?
Well...sure. But, there are other items you can use to clean your hair. They don't smell like guava and wild orchid and they don't come in a fancy bottle and produce thick, creamy lather.....sigh....but they (are suppose to) work.
The magic formula: Baking soda, Apple Cider Vinegar and Black Tea. That's it. Pretty simple, huh? There are other ideas as well such as beer, eggs, and yogurt....but I'll just stick with the basics instead of putting an entire menu on my head.
According to the no-poo experts, you should scrub first with a diluted baking soda and hot water mixture. Then you rinse your hair and scalp with a pH balancing concoction of apple cider vinegar, black tea and water. You are also suppose to skip a few days in between so that your hair becomes use to the lack of chemicals and your scalp *should* start producing it's own healthy oils again. You can find some excellent directions HERE
Of course...this is going to be hard for a 5-minute-wash type of lady like myself. I'm use to bending over the tub, fully dressed, and washing super quick before I go somewhere. No more. This takes preparation and dedication. I'm still wondering how my hair will SMELL after a week of this. My husband (a self proclaimed bad-smellaphobe) will tell me if it's not working, I'm sure. Did I mention I also have a LOT of hair? It's down my back and as thick as a horse's mane. Lovely....except when it's itchy and flaky and ...it's itching right now as I type this. Yuck. So let's do this. I'm ready.
Oh...and I'll keep you posted.
Have you gone no-poo or know someone who has?
What are your thoughts on it? Does it work or did you just hate it and go back to shampoo?
Any additional tips for first time no-pooers? Lemme hear them!
More info on Glycerin allergy: http://www.ehow.com/facts_6141213_glycerin-allergies.html
Another great article on no-poo @ NatureMoms.com: http://www.naturemoms.com/no-shampoo-alternative.html