(If you’re reading this on the blog, you’ll notice that this is the same photo as my new profile picture. Sorry if that looks weird. I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself.)
Exactly a year ago, I shared my experiences and suggestions for going shampoo-free (or “no-poo,” as it’s often called on the Interwebz). I explained how I go about washing my hair (with a baking soda rinse, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse), and how you might have better luck if you slowly wean yourself off of shampoo rather than make the switch cold-turkey.
That post has continued to be my most-read post of all time. (To be honest, that surprises me, because a lot of other people with way more successful blogs have already written about it, too.) I still even get regular comments on that post. It’s been pinned almost a thousand times. Turns out, there are a lot of people out there interested in ditching shampoo! To which I say: Woohoo! EAT IT, Proctor and Gamble! We don’t need your lousy products!!
Anyway, I am happy to report that a year later, I love the no-poo method more than ever! It just keeps getting better and better. No joke! I’m comfortable enough with it that I’m able to whip up my rinses without thinking about it, and I never have those weird off-days anymore (where my hair would randomly get waxy and limp for no apparent reason).
I love that I never have to buy shampoo (So frugal! So simple!). Instead, I buy one big jug of vinegar and a couple of boxes of baking soda (totalling about $5), and this will last me more than 6 months for my whole family.
Over this past year, I’ve discovered two new great things about going no-poo:
- In the winter, I no longer have issues with static. I can’t explain this. But all my life, the dry air of winter has meant my pin-straight hair clinging to my face and driving me crazy unless I tie it up. The more I would touch it, the more electrical and crazy-making it would get. No longer. I don’t know why this is true, but I am loving this new quality.
- In the summer, I no longer have issues with frizz. Although my hair is straight, I’ve always had to blow-dry my locks during the summer to prevent my flyaways from frizzing up and giving me a hair halo. Throughout my teen and early adult years, I would always follow my blow-dry with a flat-iron run-through as well, to keep everything smooth.
(This photo of me is like a decade old but it’s the best example I have of what I’m talking about).
Again: this problem is no more. I can let my hair air-dry after a shower — even in hot, humid weather — and it sits perfectly tame and docile. (It’s not the prettiest if I do it this way, but it’s fine for at home and running errands. If I want it to look extra-nice for a date or something, I just blow-dry it.)
In the photo at the top of this post, all I’ve done is dry my hair with a hair-dryer (after washing with my usual baking soda and apple cider vinegar). No products, no flat-iron, no nothing.
And since I’ve eliminated everything with synthetic perfumes and fragrances from our home, I’ve discovered another interesting change: my sense of smell is enhanced a hundredfold.
Okay, so maybe not that much (a dozenfold?), but I have been downright astonished at the difference. I can perceive smells I would have never noticed at any point in my earlier life.
I’ve never had a particularly acute sense of smell, but that’s all different now. For example, I can identify my mom’s cooking by the smell of her dish soap on the food. From touching plates and utensils washed (and then rinsed) in her kitchen. It’s only the faintest smell, and not strong enough to be at all off-putting, but I can always notice, Ah — this came from my mom’s house.
I once walked into a friend’s house and asked, “Do you have a flowering plant in here?” They didn’t think so. It only took me a moment to sniff out a blossom on their little citrus tree that they didn’t know was there.
I could give you lots more examples but you get my point.
It might not be the most useful sense enhancement, but what alarms me is that I was robbed of this sense for all the years prior. Because we wanted our clothes and our bed linens and our bathrooms to smell pretty. It blows my mind that surrounding myself with artificial fragrances dulled my senses so dramatically for all those years. Now, I smell the way I was meant to smell. (Wait, that could be taken wrong . . . )
Anyhow. I just wanted to say that I’m still delighted with the no-poo method, and I hope you consider giving it a try if you haven’t already.
*If you have any specific questions about going no-poo, consider reading the comments from my original post. Lots of good ideas there!*
Have you tried going no-poo? How did you like it? And am I the only one who has noticed sense-of-smell-enhancement since ditching fragrances??