Hi guys! and welcome to yet another hair post!
My no-poo hair!!!
I'm still so amazed at how much I care about my hair these days, since going no-poo. I used to not care at all. I washed it every 2 days and used a LOAD of conditioner, so that it was so soft and silky that it didn't need any brushing or caring. Nowadays, I don't use any products which means it's much more natural and healthy but at the same time it means I need to comb it everyday (or as often as I can remember) and tweek my routine every now and then to move with the seasons and what my body naturally lacks or has excesses of at any given time (which will show in my overall health and my hair included - rather than being hidden under a tone of conditioner). I love that I can really be in touch with my body and know what's going on inside and out, as well as letting nature lead me and show me what I need to do next to keep in best shape.
Nature's calling :)
Nature is telling me it's time to leave the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) behind and just wash my hair with water only (I also wash my body with water only). I have a new routine, which I started in January, at the turn of the new year. I think that this will really simplify my over all hair routine (once my hair adjusts) and let me be a little more care-free again in regards to my hair (I'm still care-free actually but maybe I miss being totally careless about my hair... it was easier).
You can follow my 30 day process below, where I have listed a day-by-day recap of what to do based on my own experience, what your hair should look like on certain days etc. (I comb my hair, but if you brush then simply replace combing with brushing anywhere I've mentioned it.)
Every time I washed my hair, I highlighted it in red, so you can easily see what day to wash your hair, if you can't be bothered to read all the details (even though they are very helpful in order to see if your hair is reacting the same as mine did, because if it doesn't then you'll have to adapt the process to your own hair).
day 1: in the morning: the bicarb (baking soda) and lemon wash that I describe in my 1 year update. (The last time I use bicarb hopefully!)
day 2: comb - great hair
day 3: comb - great hair
day 4: comb - great hair
day 5: comb - good but starting to look oily.
day 6: comb (in the evening, the hair is oily and soft, give yourself a dry head massage and really massage that scalp to help the oils detach)
day 7: in the morning: water only wash. Once your hair is dry, it might not look fully clean and feel a little greasy. Your hair is used to getting squeaky clean with the baking soda and even though it's less drastic than coming off shampoo, coming off the bicarbonate (baking soda) is a detox and your hair will take a little while to adjust. If your hair is going through that at this point then add some arrowroot powder to your hair, as a dry shampoo and comb through. Check here to know how to do it properly.
day 8: comb - great hair
day 9: comb - great hair
day 10: comb - great hair
day 11: comb - great hair
day 12: comb - great hair
day 13: comb - great hair
day 14: Hair still looks good but might start to smell. If that's the case then do a Water Only wash. After this wash, as it happened with the first water wash, the hair might feel and look greasy. This time, instead of using the arrow-root dry shampoo, just wait until it fully dries and comb it a lot. It will stay greasy for a a few days but trust me it will eventually be fine! Keep smiling and wear a hat or a bandana.
day 15: hair still feels greasy on top but the rest of the hair feels much less greasy.
day 16: hair is greasy on top, and has formed what feels like a grease patch on the crown of the head. Comb or brush a lot to get it away from the crown. Take a few drops of oil (argan, sunflower or other soft, warm oil) and spread it into the grease patch. It will hep the grease to detach from the hair and scalp. (Oil is the only way to get rid of oil and grease - that's why soap is made of fats and oils) Do not comb or brush your hair or get the oil anywhere else than on the grease patch for the rest of the day.
day 17: hair is a lot less greasy and starting to soften - no more grease patch - now comb!
day 18: no greasy feel. Hair is staring to feel oily instead - this is a good, positive thing. Keep combing or brushing.
day 19: Now that the greasyness has gone, it has left a soft, oily feel. This oil, we can wash off with water. Do a Water Only wash today, then towel dry your hair. Towel dry as much as you can - at the same time, the towel will also 'scrub' away some of the oil - then let air dry naturally, and give it a towel dry again every 10 minutes until the hair is fully dry. Today finally you should start to see some real, positive effects of water only washes. Your hair might still have an oily or maybe even greasy look (the touch of it shouldn't be oily though), but no way near as much as before, and your hair now looks and feels strong and soft.
Now do not brush your hair at all today. I suggest plaiting it or putting it up in a bun and forget about the whole day. Leave it tucked away and don't touch it. In the evening, open up your braid or bun and check your hair. It might have a slight grease to it. "Towel dry" your hair. Even though your hair IS dry, still take a towel and act like you are drying it. This will spread the needed oils over all of your hair as well as soaking up any excess. Now your hair should feel and look better.
I know it's not yet quite perfect, just wait a few more days :)
day 20: Hair is very soft this morning but still looks a little greasy. Finger comb in the morning to get rid of knots but don't brush or comb with hair-utensils or it will spread the grease in undesired places. In the evening, now that the grease or oils have softened even more throughout the day, you can brush or comb your hair to your heart's desire. Hair is really looking up.
day 21: Wake up with "lovely" hair (the most lovely it's been in a while). Brush or comb in the morning and see if your hair is beautiful now. It seems to me, that although my hair feels and looks good, it's already getting oily. The oilyness is what makes it soft, at least it's not grease and waxy.
day 22: Today my hair is still nice - the oil is coming through though. Brush/comb to spread the oil. Massage scalp with fingertips - give yourself a really good, intense head massage and make your roots sizzle, this will get your hair growing and healthy. I want my hair to be more oily before washing. I remember when I was washing with baking soda and lemon, I sometimes tried to do water only washes for a coupe weeks, and the water would wash the oil off better if the hair was purely oily and not greasy or waxy or still clean. So I'm going to wait for my hair to be really soft and oily before washing it.
day 23: Today hair is SO soft... and oily of course. I combed and also 'towel dried' just because I want to wait an extra day before washing, so in order to get rid of excess oil I did the 'towel drying' technique. My roots are too oily for show, so I'm braiding the hair and wearing a bandana to cover the roots. The rest of the hair looks nice.
day 24: Water wash this morning. Make sure, again, to really massage your scalp before washing, while still dry and also while washing under running warm water. Once your roots are well washed, wash the rest of your hair. Towel dry and let out to dry off. Once your hair is completely dry, brush or comb it with a very clean brush/comb. Hair smells so clean and fresh! Feels good. There's no oilyness and no greasiness but a teeny tiny waxy feel. But still, best ever yet since going Water Only. I'm predicting the next wash will be the best. I hope
day 25: lots and lots of brushing/combing. I've been massaging my scalp a lot too, which has turned the teeny waxiness into oil, so I'll wash my hair tomorrow morning.
day 26: morning water wash, towel dry and when completely dry, comb very well with a clean brush/comb. I braided mine, as I often do. My hair looked good all day. In the evening I took out the braids, and combed my hair through again. It feels clean and normal, which awesome actually. I now know that this water only washing is definitely working for me.
day 27: Today my hair looks and feels good. Lots of brushing/combing again. There is a slight waxy undertone at the roots but the rest of the rest is completely fine.
day 28: I wet the top of my hair, because I wanted a little freshener, but it wasn't a necessary move. Comb and comb again today. Hair is really good.
day 29: lots of combing again. today my hair is awesome, I love it. Am I really fully weened off all products? Even baking soda/ bicarb? and even lemon? Can I really go on washing my hair with water only?? well... I'll keep you in the loop!
day 30: hair is so lovely today. so happy! well nothing but water has touched my hair for 30 days now. I hope that no longer will I ever use anything but water on my hair ever again... but I don't know that is going to happen, I can only try my best and pray that nature is on my side this time ;-)
There you have it! 30 days to ween off the no-poo hair 'diet' into Water Only! I pray you also make the move for your sake and for the sake of the Earth! And I pray that the transition is easy for you and that you can take advice or help from my description/experience.