Hi I’m Natasha and I haven’t shampooed my hair in a little over a year.
Yes. It’s true. I occasionally have yearnings to try shampoos with exotic ingredients that promise to make my hair silky, soft and totally frizz-free… then I look at my hair: curly, shiny, and healthy, and I step away from the shampoo aisle and start looking at conditioners.
My hair doing what it does naturally.
I am not a total naturalista. But I do like to use fewer sulfates, parabens, and other nasty chemicals. And, I just got tired of fighting my hair to make it smooth and silky because it never worked and by the end of the day it was fuzzy, frazzled and frizzy, worse than when I started.
Then I started researching hair types and decided to try to see what my curls could do if I encouraged them instead of trying to control them. I found the naturallycurly.com website and located a hairstylist who specialized in curly hair not far from my home! I booked an appointment pronto!
Candy is a DevaCurl trained stylist with a minimal approach to curly hair. She gently cleansed my hair with DevaCurl’s No-Poo, then slathered in DevaCurl’s OneCondition and left some in without rinsing for added moisture. After layering with MY curl pattern for maximum definition, she added a healthy dose of DevaCurl’s Light Defining gel and left me to air-dry.
Candy educated me about the benefits of ditching the shampoo habit… or rather, the highly-sulfated, big suds, oil-stripping detergent-based shampoo habit. DevaCurl’s No-Poo has no sulfates and no lather, but still manages to cleanse the hair. And even more endearing, although she used all DevaCurl products in the salon, she applied no pressure for me to buy said products, but told me to read ingredient labels and come to my own conclusions. Wise woman.
When my hair dried, it was curly and gorgeous — and heavy. I was used to light, fluffy hair, not moisturized curls. It took some getting used to — and a lot of experimentation with products to find the routine that was the right balance of moisture and soft.
I did more reading. I learned about the no-poo method, or co-washing as it is sometimes called. I did 2 things: 1)I started using conditioner instead of shampoo and 2) I stopped washing my hair every day and only co-washed twice a week. Within 2 weeks, a miracle happened. My hair was curlier AND less frizzy. Wow! I went out and bought that DevaCurl Light Defining Gel and started using it after washing — just a dollop worked all through the hair, scrunched and then left to dry.
I started getting compliments on my hair.
I read Diane Kidman‘s Hair Gone Wild and tried the baking soda method. Other bloggers raved about the baking soda method, but I found it too drying.
The baking soda method is: 1 tsp baking soda to 1 quart of water, mixed thoroughly and massaged through your wet hair in the shower. This is usually followed by a vinegar rinse (1 tbl vinegar to 1 quart of water).
It does indeed cut the grease… but I discovered that the more I used high quality, non-silicone conditioners on my hair, the less greasy it actually felt… I don’t NEED to degrease my hair anymore!
But I did like the vinegar rinse, and now I have a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar in the shower so I can add vinegar to my final rinse for a little extra shine.
Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner…it’s only $3! And it has only good stuff in it!
So my current regimen is: conditioner massaged in and rinsed out, vinegar rinse, followed by leave-in conditioner.
Beautiful Curls Leave-in Conditioner is wonderful stuff!
The final piece of the pie is: the very old t-shirt. I don’t towel-dry my hair anymore. I wrap it in an old t-shirt (which is super-absorbant) and squeeze most of the moisture out. Another tip from the wise and amazing hairstylist, Candy.
Then I massage in a dollop of gel, scrunch and I’m good to go.
Every now and then I like to do a deep moisture mask, especially in the summer when I’m working outdoors most days of the week and everything gets dried out and frazzled.
SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque — I found it at Target! Love this stuff!
And I sometimes use the DevaCurl No-Poo, OneCondition regimen. I got a travel set just before we went to China this summer, and was very happy that even with the crazy Beijing heat and humidity, my hair behaved beautifully.
Oh yes, I also use a next-day curl activator based on a couple of recipes in Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey and Michelle Bender.
1 16 oz spray bottle
12oz distilled water
3.5oz organic aloe vera juice, unsweeted and unflavored
smidge vegetable glycerin
7 drops lavender essential oil
Shake before using and spray all over hair to rehydrate and revive sleep-smushed curls. Also good at the end of a long day to refresh your hair. It’s nice to spritz on the face as well. In the summer I like to keep this in the fridge so I can spray it all over my face and hair when I get home from a crazy hot day of slamming henna and facepaint at the park. Ahhh!
What are your thoughts on going poo-less. Have you tried it?
I still haven’t told my mother… but now the whole world knows!