It’s been a while since I’ve brought up the whole no shampoo thing (I promised a few friends I’d stop calling it “no ‘poo”, haha). A lot has changed since I made the decision to go without traditional shampoo at the end of January. I updated you in March on what I had tried to make work with hard water (castile soap) and what was currently working for me (baking soda with apple cider vinegar rinse), along with my reasons for switching to no shampoo.
I even went so far as to write a Guide to No Poo for Newbies, based on the (too) many hours of research I had put in online, asking experts and picking over the nitty gritty details. I outlined the process of using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, plus gave you some options for different rinses and conditioners to healthify your hair.
Now, almost 7 months after I began doing no shampoo, things have changed again. While I still stand by my guide to no shampoo as a starting point for newbies, once you’re neck-deep into it as I am, it’s worth it to play around with other options.
Basically, I was finding that baking soda was too drying for my hair. My hair is low porosity (find out your hair’s porosity – this article goes a little more indepth into the descriptions of porosity and treatment). What low porosity means is my hair is slow to absorb moisture, making it dry on the outside, or “products” sitting on the surface. But when it does absorb moisture, it holds on to it! IE when my hair gets greasy looking, it gets REALLY greasy looking. Like you want to wear a bag over your head, greasy looking (and I JUST washed my hair!).
In order to counter the dryness of the baking soda, I had to use a vinegar rinse, and it was WAY over stimulating the grease on my head. My hair was heavy and greasy, and not very fun to work with, though it was already a lot healthier than before.
I started playing around with different rinses to no avail – my head still remained overly greasy. I knew I needed to switch to a method that was not overly drying (something closer to the PH of my hair) and would not require a rinse. I tried rhassoul clay and bentonite clay, both which are supposed to be good for my hair type and fine for hard water. They were “ok”, but I still wasn’t getting to that hair heaven people kept talking about.
That’s when I heard about washing your hair with an egg. Yes, I told you at the beginning of this no shampoo journey that you wouldn’t be sure if you were washing your hair or making a snack ;0) I said washing your hair with an egg. In my case, an egg yolk mixed with a little bit of water.
Folks, it works. Oh my stars I have never had such soft, silky smooth, light weight, CLEAN FEELING hair in my LIFE (at least from what I can recall).
Egg yolk works because it contains proteins and other good things like lecithin (a natural cleanser). PLUS it conditions your hair while it’s cleansing. Bam, no need for a rinse!
Now, some people use the white (and if you do, make sure you use COOL water, or hellooooo scrambled eggs!) and others use the yolks. It just depends on your hair porosity – you’ll have to do the research to figure out which to use. Also, this is a method that is not recommended to be used more than once a month (at the MOST every other week). It all depends on your hair, you’ll have to play around with it. But seriously, I have gone 7-8 DAYS without washing my hair after an egg yolk wash, and it looks pretty normal up to about day 5 or 6.
Since I can’t use an egg yolk wash more than every other week, in between I discovered rye flour.
Rye flour is again very close to the PH of your hair (5.5) and contains pantothenic acid , which increases strength and shine (Pantene Pro-V boasts this same property, except theirs is created in a lab! Check out this article for more on how rye flour works to clean your hair.).
How to Wash Hair With Rye Flour and Coffee
- 3 tbsp rye flour (sifted!)
- 3/4 cup boiled water (still warm is best)
- drop of tea tree oil (optional – if you suffer from dry scalp)
- 1-2 cups cold coffee
Mix together the rye flour and water to about the consistency of a thicker pancake mix. Pour over head in the shower and scrub into your scalp. Rinse out with hot water, then follow with a cold coffee rinse (coffee helps strengthen hair, increase luster, stimulate growth and, if left on long enough, can even dye hair darker).
Rinse with hot water again. Wrap hair in a turkish cotton towel (none of those terry cloth towels or you’ll mess up the shaft of your hair!). When your hair is dry, you may need to brush out some leftover flakes, but you shouldn’t have much if you rinse well and use a wide-tooth comb in the shower.
Summary of my current no-shampoo routine and hair status:
Week 1 – egg wash, coffee rinse (not necessary, but I like it :D)
Week 2 – rye flour wash with coffee rinse; treat hair while wet with organic argan oil to reduce dryness and frizz
Week 3 – egg wash, coffee rinse, repeat cycle
Hair status: Healthy, shiny, strong and long! My hair grows incredibly slooooooooow, even slower when I was using shampoo because it would constantly break. You can tell by the photos that it’s grown and definitely looks much healthier than the start! So while it’s not as fast in growth as I would like, I’m happy because it is strong and healthy :0)
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Have you thought about switching to no shampoo? If you’ve made the switch, how are you finding it? If not, why not?