It has been two years and four months since I decided to make the big leap into no-poo territory. And what an experience! After going on a Google frenzy research all kinds of different recipes and methods, I came to my own recipe which can be found here. This was a basic no-poo 101 recipe: baking soda, water and essential oils. I followed this with an apple cider vinegar rinse (which you can view here) and voila, my no-poo journey began!
Over time I adapted my recipe, changing the amount of baking soda, adding in herbal teas, experimenting with lemon and honey…and to be honest I have been quite happy with the results. After reading about lots of scare stories of dandruff, of hair falling out and many other complaints, I felt happy that I was using a toxin-free method to maintain clean and healthy hair. And I felt like one of the lucky few, too!
However, of late since changing the recipe, I realised that my no-poo was becoming a somewhat unsightly issue. Despite never having dandruff in my life before no-pooing, dandruff became a regular addition to my hair. I managed to overlook this, however. Having mousey blonde hair, it’s something that I’m privileged to ignore. That is, until this big dry spell. Staring into the mirror after releasing my hair from a long day in a ponytail, I noticed a large dry area at the front left-hand side of my scalp. I immediately cringed at the thought of anyone seeing this!
Another issue has been the hair loss. While minor at first, lately the once occasional hair loss has been in great quantities and fast between. Through daily complaints from my boyfriend, I have been collecting clumps of hair from the floor, the sink, my hairbrush…I have even been avoiding brushing my hair so as not to watch these chunks fall out. I have felt embarrassed at work or even on the tube, standing there with a hair covered coat I had ‘plucked’ clean mere hours before.
I can’t say this wasn’t to be expected, however. I had read about both apple cider vinegar and baking soda drying out the scalp and hair, but until now I had managed to cope. The use of the apple cider vinegar, it is said, is supposed to neutralise the pH balance of the baking soda. Baking soda is at a pH level of around 9.5, HUGE in comparison to the hair’s natural level of 4.5/5! Meanwhile, an unfiltered, organic Apple Cider Vinegar comes in at around 3-3.5 pH, thus neutralising the baking soda’s effects. Therefore, in order to keep our hair pH balanced, we are looking at a pH level of 4.5-7.
As I explained in my earlier post, everybody’s hair is different. Sometimes, when I felt that my hair was drying out or just wanted a break, I would use Castile Soap. Not, I have now come to learn, the best alternative! Castile Soap has a pH of 9- even more than Baking Soda, making it far too alkaline rich for our precious scalps! I still highly recommend my God-sent product, however, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. Truly the most ingenious product that you want around the house and in the bathroom! Read more about this wonder product here.
Despite my no-pooing taking a frizzy turn, I haven’t given up, so you mustn’t either! I still stand by ACV and Baking Soda as great entry-no-poo levels, particularly to free your hair of its reliance on products and their build up. Just don’t forget that people change, and so does hair!
To read my new and improved pH balanced no-poo, just follow this link!