So as promised I said I would give an update on how I’ve been rockin’ this amazing no-poo method. I’ve been at this for a little over a year now and while I love how my hair feels, how it looks, I’ve definitely been tweaking and perfecting this method to fit my needs, so I highly encourage you do the same if you attempt to go “no-poo”. It’s also been a struggle at times to keep up with consistent brushing, must be something to do with two kids running around, but I’m not quite sure. So naturally, I’ve adjusted the brushing to fit my needs and time constraints.
During this time that I’ve been tweaking this method I’ve had questions from readers about how this method would work for them based on their specific situations and hair type. I didn’t have all the answers then and I won’t claim to now, but I realized we live in an amazing modern age with all this information lying around for us to take up and learn from. What kind of biologist would I be if I didn’t use it and then share it? I had a chance to geek out a bit too, so I call that a win! So here is a very quick lesson on our hair and Sebum, the oils that we are constantly combating for that perfect look:
Each hair follicle has one or more sebaceous gland around it producing Sebum, an oily, waxy substance. Sebum coats and lubricates both your hair and skin. It also plays an important role in how we regulate our temperatures. When we are in hot temperatures these secretions can help delay dehydration, whereas in cold temperatures the secretions act more as a barrier to rain. Our bodies are so incredibly amazing! Sebum is the oil that you are moving away from your scalp down to the ends of your hair with each brush stroke, coating each strand. Allowing your hair to be naturally frizz free and lubricated in a coating that will be soft, flexible, and shiny.
What does this mean for you?
It boils down to sebaceous glands and how active they are and remain. The idea is that the less frequently you remove the oils, which cues the glands to produce more oils, the less they will actually produce. Over time your glands will adjust to less washings, resulting in a less oily scalp.
Oh, and that battle with Sebum isn’t so much a battle afterall, since as you let the natural oils coat your hair, styles that you do from curling to straightening will stay better! Curious for the full picture? Here’s my source.
So regardless of your hair type you have these glands, and your hair works similarly in that, when you brush the oils away from your scalp, they will be coated and lubricated. I’ve become a big believer that any hair type can use this method as long as steps are taken to move the Sebum away from the scalp to the ends of the hair. If you aren’t certain this is for you, read the 5 considerations I lay out about going “no-poo”. However, in a nutshell, this hopefully helps answer all those reader’s questions about hair type, hair length and so on, but of course feel free to ask more!
What I do currently:
1) I brush my hair 3 times a day for roughly 5- 10 minutes. So once in the morning, around lunch and in the evening. If I have to skip the lunch, I make sure to brush a bit longer at night. Maybe a couple extra minutes.
2) I wash my hair on average every week and a half. I’ve found that the day following a washing, my hair is a bit dryer, and coarse, but maintaining the brushing routine quickly brings back that soft and shiny feel to my hair.
3)Washing consists of vigorous scrubbing of the scalp with finger tips, using a wide-toothed comb to brush through once or twice in the shower and occasionally rinsing hair with a diluted mix of ACV (1 tablespoon acv to a cup of water) you will have to play with the dilution you need based on water hardness.
4) Putting hair up when outside doing work or exercising. Keeps hair cleaner.
I do believe over time my sebaceous glands have adjusted to this routine, producing less oils, making it easier for my to go longer between washing, and to maintain cleanliness by just brushing, most days.
Last but not least, why do I not use Baking soda and ACV mix, or natural shampoos? I’ll address each here:
1) Baking soda and ACV both have the opportunity to change the pH of your hair, and the skin on your scalp if you don’t get the balance just so in relation to the pH of your water as well. I decided it was best to leave that alone as hair, the Sebum actually, is naturally slightly acidic. Couple that along with the fact that the combination was leaving my hair waxy on the scalp and dry on the ends, I was done and so was my poor hair.
2) Natural shampoos are expensive compared to conventional shampoos, usually, unless you like to go big and buy that gold standard conventional shampoo. I don’t tend to go big, and the price tag of natural shampoos gets me just about every time. Why should I pay for something my hair can basically do on it’s own with an added 30 minutes of work a day by me? Most people spend more time styling their hair after a wash than I do washing, bushing and styling. So I’m a hard sell.
Here is a photo I took on April 9th, 2015, things seem to be going quite well: