The first two weeks of The big hair washing test has passed, and it’s time for me to pass judgment on the first method tested: The shampoo free, or No ‘poo method. It’s a bit confusing, since many of these methods are shampoo free, but this one is officially called “the shampoo free method”, and the other methods have different names.
When doing a no ‘poo wash you need two ingredients – baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Here is a great article about the shampoo free method, and there’s not really much for me to add. This is what she has to say about how the baking soda and apple cider vinegar work:
Apple cider vinegar is a mild acidic made from fermenting apples [...] When used on your scalp, it helps promote circulation, acts as a natural antiseptic, and dissolves excessive fatty deposits and reduces scaling or peeling of the skin. As for use on hair, it helps to clarify, detangle, balances hair’s pH level and seals the cuticles.
Baking soda is the weakest alkali of sodium compounds, it would take using a lot to do damage to your skin or hair. It has a lot of useful properties like deodorizing, leavening (for baking), whitening, polishing and clarifying. [...] Plain water can remove almost all the dirt you can get in your hair, but a little baking soda can not only remove the rest, but take care of the build-up from hair products, shampoos and anything else you might pick up.
You will need about one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup (about 2.3 dl) of warm water. Make sure you get baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and not baking powder, they are two different things.
Pour it into an old shampoo bottle or any kind of bottle, and squirt the mixture over your head and massage it into your scalp. Apparently, you don’t need to get the mixture over your lengths, but since I have such short hair all of my hair got sodaed anyway so I can’t tell the difference.
Then rinse with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, about the same measurements, or slightly more vinegar (2 tablespoons per 3 dl). You will not need to do the vinegar rinse every time, about every other or third time is enough. For the most effect, rinse with cold water after.
DAY BY DAY.
We started off by washing our hairs on Monday morning. It was a bit hard to tell if the mixture went all over my hair, but the areas that had baking soda in them got a bit “rougher” so after a while I got the hang of it. I had prepared two 300 ml bottles with, one with 1tbs baking soda + warm water, and one with 1tbs ACV + lukewarm/almost cold water. This was quite enough for both L and me – we both have quite short hair.
I was a bit worried that the hair would get as rough as it felt when washing, but after having rinsed out the baking soda and doing the ACV rinse it felt quite nice. My hair looked really nice and clean.
On Tuesday my hair looked all right, but not as nice as the first day. By Wednesday morning, L:s and my hair were looking quite dirty and it was time to wash again.
Over Easter, we went to my parents house. I decided that I needed to dye my hair, and was a bit worried that the henna would be difficult to wash out when using only the baking soda and ACV. It’s hard enough to do with shampoo or conditioner. But actually it worked surprisingly well, with no much trouble at all.
(Yes, I did cut my hair)
During the second week, I encountered another problem – static hair. I don’t know why this was, but I guess that the shampoo free method must have had something to do with it. you can even see it on the first picture above.
I had heard that when doing a no ‘poo, washing your hair once or twice a week would be sufficient. I did not have this impression, I felt that I needed to wash my hair every other day. Normally I don’t need to wash my hair more than about twice a week.It might be something that takes a while for the hair to get used to, as well. But I did feel that my hair was clean after washing, also easily manageable and looked good.
Cost: Very cheap, depending on hair length and frequency of washing around 2€ per month
Difficulty: Takes a slight bit of preparation, washing the hair is really easy.
Cleanness: Looks really clean and nice after washing, but gets dirty quite quickly.
Manageability: Quite soft and manageable, but too fluffy for my taste (which many would probably like). Problems with static hair.
Overall: The average of the above would be 3.75, but I was thinking of giving it a slightly lower rating, since the high ratings are for cost and difficulty. However, I have a feeling that it’s mainly my own hair type that has a problem with this method. It suited L:s hair a lot better, for instance. So I think 3.75 is quite accurate. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but still definitely worth a try.
Next up is the Conditioner only method. Check back in two weeks time to see how we liked it!