Since last weekend it has been 4 weeks since I have used any product on my hair, using only warm water to clean it.
I have fine curly hair, it’s temperamental, it’s crazy, but I love it. In the past few months I noticed it has been getting progressively thinner, drier and straighter.
For most of my life I did the standard shampoo, conditioner, product, repeat and switched to using a shampoo bar about 3 years ago (plus curling cream) only washing my hair twice a week.
While my hair liked the change to begin with, I firmly believe it has been the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and the like in these bars that have been the cause of my thinning hair. No mouse, gel or cream could give me the thickness I used to have as a child, and on top of it all every hair-wash was agonising; my sensitive eyes used to sting and itch unbearably if I accidentally got the smallest drop of shampoo in them. My discovery of what SLS can do came to me when I went through my daily routine of what chemicals I use, after looking up ingredients I didn’t know or couldn’t pronounce, the cleanse of the hair products came hand in hand with a home-unknown-chemical-detox.
I went ahead and bought sodium bicarbonate and apple-cider vinegar as some of the no-poo (no-shampoo) sites suggested to clean your hair with instead. However, upon further research these harsh substances didn’t appear to be very good for you in the long run either; though they are natural, they are not naturally meant to be on you!
I decided for the safest route of water only but 2-3 weeks in my scalp was excessively greasy where it was compensating for being stripped of oils. The stiffness at the top didn’t make combing easy and I had especially knotty hair for weeks, but what if I could brush the oils down? Maybe this might dissipate the stiffness while moisturising my mid-section and ends.
Though some sites suggest a boar-bristle brush, I chose an eco-and-animal-friendlier option that would be able to get through my now very thick hair; one Eco-Tools hairbrush later and it has made a world of difference. I brush my hair either before or during my daily shower and use a comb to finish. Excess grease and dirt come out in the brush (a lot, so clean your brush daily) and the oils are distributed throughout my hair. When in the water, use your finger pads (not nails!) to gently scratch your scalp to release any more oils and dirt that will be washed down and off. Have you ever seen birds scritch and preen their feathers? This is what you are essentially now doing.
I might also add that 2 weeks in I gave myself a trim, taking off the very dry old and dyed blonde ends and streaks from where I had it highlighted last year. I vow to never dye my hair again, returning to my golden-brown hair which changes colour throughout the seasons anyway is the most natural me. Paying nearly £100 a-pop for a hair appointment will no longer eat into my limited monthly budget, nor will expensive products that don’t deliver and compensate for something I’m doing to myself (replacing moisture lost through shampoo).
After 1 month my hair is curlier, less frizzy and fuller already, bring on month two!
Lesson learned: We are naturally beautiful, with locks that naturally look after themselves.
Some useful starting points:
- Sustainably Vegan blogger, YouTube Haircare routine (if you would like to use home-made shampoo to start with)
- Water Only Blog Post
- The No-Poo Website – detailing different ways to clean your hair naturally, linking to the water only method