If you have been following me on Facebook or YouTube you may have noticed that I have been doing a 30 day challenge where I have not used any products like shampoo or conditioner in my hair. You also refrain from using hairsprays, gels and de-tanglers but I wasn't using these products to begin with, so it was just the shampoo and conditioner I had to do away with. I started this challenge as an experiment to see if shampoo was the cause of my irritated, dry itchy scalp. I can't remember the last time I had a healthy, flake-free scalp for more than a week. (except for when I spent 10 days in Hawaii!)
I exhausted every possible product over the years starting with expensive salon shampoos and gluten-free shampoos, moving to paraben and sulphate-free, then anti-dandruff shampoos like head and shoulders, to organic, then to vegan with no success lasting longer than a week. I was tired of wasting my money on these products and knew there had to be a better way.
I just looked under the sink and counted 11 different shampoo bottles plus their conditioner counterparts.
I was inspired by 40 Below Fruity video on facebook to try this for myself. She hasn't washer her hair in two years and it looks beautiful. I researched other YouTube videos and found that going 'poo-free' is trending and that it is working for people with all different hair types whether you have corkscrew curls or poker-straight hair like me.
Check out the BSV rinse video here -->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6u_KHpGauk
I started by washing my hair with a baking soda solution and rinsed it with apple cider vinegar, as suggested by 40 Below Fruity and other poo-free challenges on YouTube. The first time went over great - I couldn't believe how nice my hair turned out. I left it for five days and tried the BSV rinse again, with less success. My hair was overproducing oils and I had to wear a scarf/headband to hide the slick-ness. I knew this was to be expected as my head was adjusting to being poo-free and it inspired me to try other things like diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide, pureed bananas and avocado! It wasn't always pretty but I am so happy I tried this.
Click here to watch the banana mask demo --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG4ZamUqE1o
Here are the results of my 30-Day No Shampoo Challenge:
My hair is gorgeous. I love the way it feels, the natural shine and the reduced irritation of my scalp.
After 30 days my hair is not overproducing oils like it used to, and the BSV rinse works well every 5 days or as needed. As for my dry scalp, I will continue to use bananas and avocados to moisturize and treat the flakies. I can already see great improvements and feel that if I continue on this path it can only get better.
One downside is that my hair doesn't hold a curl as well as it used to. My hair is poker-straight and had trouble holding a curl before, unless I used a flat iron to curl my hair. Now the ringlets don't last, but I actually like how they fall into loose beachy-looking waves. And I probably shouldn't be using that intensity of heat on my hair anyways if I'm going to all this trouble to restore it's health. I think the curls don't last as a result of my hair being more healthy. I have noticed over the years that the more damaged my hair was the more curl it would hold. It's also slightly heavier, weighing the curls down. Bottom line -I'd rather my hair be healthy than curly so I guess that's a no-brainer.
Got knots? - apple cider vinegar - it's THE best de-tangler for your hair. Even if you don't want to go poo-free I recommend trying the apple cider vinegar for your locks. The vinegar smell goes away quickly and you are left with easy to comb, shiny hair. Apple Cider Vinegar has made my tangled locks the easiest hair to comb in all of Canada! Seriously!
And if the Baking Soda isn't cutting the grease, try a pureed - banana mask - It may leave some sugar flakes but it absorbs the excess oils. Rinse well with water then use the apple cider vinegar solution to de-tangle.
My hair is also not as static-ky, which is nice, I don't enjoy it sticking to the side of my face and getting in my mouth!
List of things I tried in 30 days:
- Baking soda and water solution (2 tbsp mixed with a little water in ketchup-type bottle) with an apple cider vinegar rinse (4 tbsp mixed with 1/2 cup water in the same bottle). This worked great the first time, but lost its power in the 2nd and 3rd week. Now that my hair has adjusted it works well again.
- Epsom Salts - I was inspire to try this as a result of how great my hair feels after I've swam in the ocean. It didn't really do anything that I noticed but I will try this again later on and see.
- Food grade hydrogen peroxide - a small/specific amount diluted in the bath water that really cleaned out the gunk, leaving my hair more bouncy and curly but failed to remove any of the excess oil. ***warning, this can be dangerous if not done properly and extremely harmful if this gets in your eyes.
- Banana hair mask - left on 1 hour -worked great for moisturizing scalp and removed excess oils better than the baking soda solution. I rinsed this with the apple cider vinegar to detangle and remove the sugar. I was left with some sugar flakes and it loosened the natural flakes on my head. I just wore a headband for a few days until I washed again with BSV.
- Avocado mask - left on 30 minutes - moisturizing scalp and roots of hair. Worked best for flakes and itchy-ness.
- Coconut oil in ends of hair - used this to tame any fly-aways from winter static
So now I can toss all those bottles and know that my hair is more beautiful and healthy the Naturally Ashley way using Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar and Bananas! (except the Dr. Bronner's - I use it to clean everything, great for bathtubs, body wash and laundry!)
I challenge you to try 30 days poo-free! The first month is tough but so worth it. I'm looking forward to sticking with this and seeing how it goes.
Thanks for reading!
Lots of sweet, fruity love,