Natural Haircare Experiment: Weeks 3&4

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So weeks 2-3 were not good for the hair. My hair was unbelievably frizzy, and my scalp felt gross and my hair smelled yucky.

I really didn’t like the conditioner I was using, and I think it was the problem. I noticed when checking out this ‘WikiHow’ on how to determine if a product is ‘Curly Girl’ approved that my conditioner that I didn’t like had Mineral Oil in it. And I think that’s perhaps why the products felt like they were building in my hair between washes. Particularly as often after sleeping or being outside with scarves or a winter jacket on, my hair was so tangled I had to soak it, put conditioner in it, then gel spray to get the waves back.

So last week while hunting down black clothing for my work uniform I went to the big Boots chemist store equipped with my list of ‘no poo’ requirements for conditioner and finally found something that seems to meet the requirements. Botanical oils near the top of the ingredients list? Check. No silicones? Check. No drying alcohols? Check.

To try and deal with the frizz and the itchy scalp I decided to take a brave step for a wavy curly lass! No shampoo. Not even baking soda. I bought a bag of quinoa fairly cheaply at the supermarket and decided to use an exfoliating recipe from Lorraine Massey’s handbook which is basically 1 part quinoa to 3 parts conditioner.

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Not only does this conditioner smell soooo much nicer than the L’Oreal one, I even conditioned my ends after doing the exfoliating and rinsing all the quinoa and conditioner out of my hair. I worried that maybe my hair would be greasy.

It wasn’t.

I put gel in my hair while wet, partly dried my hair with a diffuser, partly left it to air dry…and for the first time it was not super frizzy. In fact it’s the least frizzy it had been since winter coat weather came on the scene!

I’ve also now invested in some scrunchies which are gentler on my hair for times when I’m tying it up in a bun to keep my hair out the way (like doing the dishes, studying, in the shower…)

I think my next challenge is going to be hairdressing…how to explain to a hairdresser that you don’t want them to use shampoo and trying to get a cut I’m happy with without them blow drying and straightening my hair into submission!

Any advice?

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Natural Haircare Experiment: Week 2

So it’s been two weeks that I’ve been on the ‘NoPoo’ method. I found that after four days of no washing my hair went crazy frizzy one day, so ended up sticking a headband on and piling my hair into a bun before I headed to a Girlguiding unit meeting last week. On our way back from the Remembrance services one of our Young Leaders asked how the hair experiment was going…

Well…

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My hair is getting curlier. But in strange ways! This was yesterday (three days after a wash). My hair wasn’t greasy but I seem to be growing a short curl in the middle of my forehead, which likes to stick up like a horn (?!)  and random curls sticking out my head. There’s a layer of my hair that remains straight underneath, and often gets tangly if it has any contact with fabric of any kind.

The baking soda washes definitely work, and before I washed my hair last week I did a recipe from the Curly Girl Handbook which involved putting on oil mixed with a few drops of lavender on my hair for 30 minutes, then rinsing my hair with their “Lemon-Aid” recipe (basically lemon juice and conditioner).

I tend to find that the first day after a wash my hair is a bit mental, but about two or three days after it is calmer and curlier. In the mornings between hair wash days, I will wet my hair over the sink with my hands and scrunch it or spray my hair with the lavender spray. Then I’ll scrunch in a little bit of gel spray.

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This is the conditioner I’ve been using which you can get in chemists and supermarkets. I’m not a fan of this conditioner, but it’s the best I’ve been able to find so far. I’ve noticed some conditioners in the health food shop I often go to and I might try with that. This week I tried using Rainforest Moisture hair butter from the Body Shop (which has more natural ingredients) as I had some leftover but it did not help get the tangles out of my hair.  It’s a real shame, The Body Shop used to do a  hair mask which was amazing on my hair (like a friend noticed the difference the day after I first used it without may saying a word about it) and they discontinued it when they brought out the Rainforest haircare range.

Do you notice that they are advertising the conditioner as ‘No Sulphates’? I’ve never actually had a conditioner that had sulfates in it. You want your conditioner to be silicone free.

You also want any styling products (like gels and sprays) to be free of alcohol, silicones, parabens and phthalates. The Keracare is the only hairgel product I was able to find that met these requirments. I would love to try Lorraine Massey’s suggestion of using aloe vera gel, but trying to get a hold of some that is ‘edible’ (as she recommends) is proving difficult!

If anyone has any natural products they’ve found that help with frizz, please share your recommendations in the comments! 🙂