No ‘Poo 2.0 – Week 2

Monday, 13-10-2014

Last night I mixed up two mixtures: 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water. I’ll be trying out both quantities to test if my hair will feel less gritty, but still will get clean. I also prepared some herbal tea to mix in with my cassia treatment. For the herbal tea I simply added boiling water to 2 bags of nettle tea and 1 bag of mint tea, left to steep overnight.

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Supplies used for the herbal tea: rosemary, mint tea and nettle tea

This morning I mixed up my cassia treatment, using 100 grams of cassia, mixed with approximately 1 cup of the herbal tea, 1 tbsp aloe vera gel, 3 tbsp of honey and 1 whole egg + 1 egg white. I applied it to my hair, covered it with a plastic bag and left it in for three hours (you don’t need to leave it in for that long, but I was just at home, so I left it in for longer). Then I hopped into the shower and first spend a good amount of time rinsing all the cassia out of my hair. My hair somehow got a bit tangly, so I carefully combed it through.

After all the cassia washed out and my hair was tangle free, it was time to wash my hair. I went with the 2 tbsp to 1 cup of water mixture. I felt it was hard to rinse all the baking soda out, and my hair didn’t feel completely clean. Somehow none of these mixtures gave that little bit of squeaky clean feeling right at the start of rinsing as I did the first two washes last week. So maybe I should go back to that mixture (2 1/2 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water), but there’s a but. I didn’t experience it to be hard to rinse the baking soda out the first to washes, but I do now, so I kind of don’t want to add more baking soda. However, because my hair wasn’t feeling clean after rinsing it today, I also applied the 1 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water mixture. Maybe that made things worse, I don’t know. My hair did feel cleaner than after the previous wash, so that’s a plus! But here’s my plan de campagne: I think I’ll be washing my hair two more times this week, so one time I’ll be using the 2:1 ratio and the other time the 1:1 ratio. I also plan on doing another hair mask before one of these washes, so I think I’ll combine that with the 2:1 ratio, to increase the chance of me washing out the hair mask completely. After the baking soda, I poured some of the acv+honey mixture over the length of my hair, ignoring the top area. I combed it through, carefully (you really want to handle your hair with care when it’s wet, because then it’s at its most fragile), and rinsed. I had some of the herbal tea left, so I poured that over my entire head of hair, let it sit while I continued my shower routine, rinsed it, finished with cold water, and I was all done!

When I got out of the shower, I combed my hair through and applied two drops of jojoba oil, after which I rubbed a small amount of aloe vera gel in between my hand and scrunched it in the length of my hair to enhance my waves. I let my hair air dry, and after it dried the top of my hair felt a bit gritty, just like last time, but definitely not as bad! It looked really clean, definitely cleaner than last time, and the length looked great! Very soft and wavy, also thanks to the cassia I guess. I was very pleased with the way my hair looked today, very voluminous as well!

For anyone who’s wondering, my hair type is 1c/2a-M-ii. For those of you who are not familiar with hair typing, it’s a technique used to describe the kind of hair you have. Your hair type consists of three things: the amount of curl, diameter of individual strands and ponytail circumference.

  • 1c/2a means my hair is straight, but with a body wave throughout, but also with strands that have a long, loose S-wave.
  • M means ‘medium’, and indicates that a single strand of hair feels like a piece of thread when rolled between two fingers, and also that the strand is visible on a contrasting background.
  • ii means that my ponytail circumference is between 5cm (2”) and 10cm (4”), which is considered to be average. My exact circumference is 6,3cm (2.5”) To measure your ponytail circumference, simply gather all your hair in a ponytail and measure, as close to the scalp as possible, the circumference (I like to put my hair in a ponytail using a hair elastic and then tie a piece of thread around the base of my ponytail, tie a double knot in it, slide both the elastic and the thread out of my hair, cut the thread at the knot using scissors and then use a tape measure to measure the thread to get an accurate circumference measurement).

Tuesday, 14-10-2014

I truly had the most amazing hair day I have had in ages! My hair looked great yesterday, after the cassia treatment, but when I woke up this morning and took a quick glance in the bathroom mirror, I had to look again, because there was something surprising going on. My hair looked amazing! The waves, the shine, no frizz… I haven’t had such a good hair day in a long, long time. It was fun while it lasted, because on my way back home on my bike, it started to rain.

Okay, it’s not like I believe my hair magically transformed from a dry, but also greasy, frizzy, dull looking, limp mess to amazing looking, shiny hair in a week time. Tomorrow, when my hair might start to get greasy again, things might not look as bright as they do now. My ends were still feeling a bit crunchy, and after the rain my hair lost a bit of its waves (although it still looks really nice, with nice, soft waves, just a bit less defined), but today, even after the rain, my hair still looked better than it did in ages. I’m pretty sure the cassia treatment has something to do with this great hair day, so maybe the effect will wear off after I washed my hair again. But maybe I’ll be able to retain some of this awesomeness after washing it, because this method is working for me. I surely hope it is.

My hair still felt a bit grainy this morning, but after brushing that almost completely disappeared, and after the rain it was all gone. the ends feel a bit crunchy, but there’s almost no frizz going on (a little bit on the length).

Wednesday, 15-10-2014

Too bad amazing hair days never last… Today my hair’s a bit frizzy, both on the length and top, and it’s also starting to get greasy again, causing it to just hang limp around my face. I’ve applied the DIY dry shampoo tonight, because I have to be somewhere early tomorrow morning and I want to wait another day before washing it again.

Thursday, 16-10-2014

Bad hair day. Bad, bad hair day… That amazing hair day from earlier this week is really coming back to bite me. It’s not so much the state of my hair that’s getting me down, it’s more my thoughts about it. Last night I decided to braid my hair into two rope braids before going to bed and the braids just looked pathetic. Really thin and just not pretty at all. When I took them out this morning I was ready to be disappointed, because I rarely like braid waves on my hair, and disappointment is exactly what I got. My hair looked stringy, thin and limp. It started to look a bit better once the braid waves started to “fade” a bit and my hair looked decent enough throughout the day. But I just couldn’t shake the thought of those pathetic looking braids, it just makes me sad (first world problems, I know). I really don’t like the fact that I don’t have thick hair and that every attempt on whatever kind of braid just looks horrible on my hair.

The roots of my hair looked a tad bit greasy, but not overly noticeable as long as my hair was down (also thanks to the dry shampoo I applied last night). I did have quite a lot of frizz going on today, a bit at the top, but mainly on the length, which was also feeling and looking quite dry.

My original plan was to wash my hair two more times this week: one time using the 2:1 ratio and the other time the 1:1 ratio. But since I really want to stretch my washes, I’m going with a water only wash tomorrow, followed by a herbal rinse (I steeped 1 tbsp dried rosemary and 1 teabag of nettle tea in 2 cups of boiling water, let it sit for a few hours and then strained the dried rosemary out).

I also came across another blogpost on the no ‘poo method today, talking about that ‘slippery’ feeling you should get from the baking soda in your hair, after you leave it in for a while. So maybe I should just leave it in for a bit longer. It’s worth the try.

Friday, 17-10-2014

Well, that was a ‘tried and failed’! As mentioned yesterday, I want to stretch my washes, so I decided not to wash my hair today using baking soda, but just rinse my hair using water, massaging my scalp, carefully combing my scalp to loosen the sebum and finish using the herbal rinse I made yesterday (about half of it I guess, so 1 cup). While still in the shower, I could already feel my hair wasn’t clean, and when I combed it through after I got out of the shower, I noticed it didn’t feel the same as usual. But as it is hard to see if your hair is clean while it’s still wet, I decided to continue my usual routine, applied about a pinky size of coconut oil and scrunched in some aloe vera gel and let my hair air dry. Horrible, that’s how it looked! One big, horrible looking grease ball is the best way to describe it. The length looked okayish, quite frizzy, but it had a nice wave going on and it was soft, but the roots… Greasy, limp, flat, just overall horrible looking. So no, this was not a big success.

Saturday, 18-10-2014

My hair looked slightly less greasy after I woke up this morning, but definitely not good enough for me to feel comfortable to go out with in public (something I was planning on doing today). So I decided to wash it today, using baking soda.

I first applied a quick hair mask, whisking together 1 egg white, 1 tbsp greek yoghurt and 1 tbsp honey (quick tip: if you don’t want it to turn into a liquid, mix it by hand instead of being lazy like I was and putting it in a blender), leaving it in for 30 minutes. While the mask was in my hair, I decided to do some more research on the whole ‘baking soda having to turn slippery’ thing, I stumbled upon earlier this week. Turns out, if you leave the baking soda in your hair for a while after you applied it, it dissolves, turning slippery, as in that it won’t feel gritty anymore, meaning that it did a successful job at breaking down any nastiness going on in your hair.

First thing I did in the shower was rinsing the hair mask out of my hair. Then I wanted to apply my pre-made baking soda mixture, which was already sitting in my bottle in the shower. I was shaking it up, because the baking soda settled on the bottom, but somehow it got rock solid and I was unable to get it to re-dissolve. So I had to wing it. Luckily I keep a spoon and cup in the shower (in case you’re wondering: for scooping out baking soda to make a face scrub with), so emptied my bottle, put 1 cup of hot shower water in it, 2 tbsp of baking soda, mixed it up and applied it to the top part of my hair. I massaged it very well and then let it sit for a few minutes. And to my surprise, when I rinsed my hair, the baking soda was feeling quite slippery and my hair made that squeaky clean sound! I’m pleased, very pleased!

After that, I simply applied the acv+honey mixture to the length of my hair and carefully combed it through, because there was some tangling going on (something I’m not used to, but then again, I always used huge amounts of conditioner). Rinsed it all thoroughly and finished it of with some of the left over herbal tea rinse, which I simply poured over my head and didn’t rinse out (I did squeeze the excess out before wrapping my hair in a microfiber turbie towel).

After I took my hair out of the towel, I carefully combed it through, applied about a pinky size amount of coconut oil, squeezed in some aloe vera gel to enhance the waves and let it air dry. The end result is soft hair with some very nice wave and only a bit of frizz on the top. I’m very pleased.

Sunday, 19-10-2014

I tossed and turned a lot last night and my hair seemed to have had lost a lot of its wave when I woke up this morning. I don’t know if the tossing and turning is to blame for that though, it’s just something I’d noticed. Other than that, my hair looked okay today. A bit limp, but not greasy and quite shiny. Some frizz at the top and a little bit of dry ends, but that’s about it. It’s quite windy outside, so I braided my hair back, just took a few pieces out to frame my face and let it be.

Something I did notice is that I keep getting split ends. I remember from ‘No ‘Poo 1.0’ that I used to wear a satin bonnet to bed to cover my hair to protect it. I didn’t like that thing, because I don’t like sleeping with anything on my head all that much. So instead, I ordered a satin pillow case online today, so I’m hoping that will come in the mail at the beginning of next week.

I’ve been reading a bit about the Inversion Method and I think I’ll give it a go this upcoming week, but without the oils (because that seems like a pain to wash out, using the no ‘poo method).

Not sure yet when I’ll wash my hair again. It’s not greasy yet, but I’m pretty sure it will start to get to by tomorrow night and I need to go somewhere on Tuesday, but I might be able to stretch that wash by using dry shampoo and braiding my hair back.

A quick recap on this second week of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’:

Monday: Did a cassia treatment and washed my hair afterwards. Had a bit of a hard time getting all the baking soda out and getting that squeaky clean feeling. Hair looked great though.

Tuesday: Had the most amazing hair day! My hair looked shiny, no frizz, beautiful waves, just great! It still was a bit grainy, but that disappeared after brushing it and gotten rained on.

Wednesday: Hair’s a bit frizzy, both on the length and top, starting to get greasy and hanging limp around my face. Applied DIY dry shampoo.

Thursday: Had a really bad hair day, mainly because of my state of mind. Was feeling down because my hair is not quite as think as I would like it to be. Hair looked a tad bit greasy at the roots and quite a lot of frizz. Prepared a herbal rinse for a water only wash tomorrow.

Friday: Because I want to stretch my washes, I did a water only wash today, which was an epic failure. My hair looked like a big grease ball.

Saturday: Because I had places to go today, I decided to wash my hair using baking soda, but first I applied a hair mask and did some more research on that slippery feeling thing about the baking soda I had been reading about lately. Massages the baking soda very well, let it sit for a couple of minutes and to my surprise, my hair made that squeaky clean sound! Hair looked pretty good today.

Sunday: Hair looked a bit limp and lost quite a lot of its wave, but it was still shiny, not greasy and just a little bit of frizz at the top. Braided it to keep it safe from the wind outside.

No ‘Poo 2.0 – Week 1

I’m back to ‘no poo! Back in 2012 (on the 23rd of April to be exact) I went no ‘poo for the first time and it did wonders for my hair (No ‘Poo 1.0). Back then I was used to washing my hair every single day, as well as blowdrying and straightening it with the same frequency. Going no ‘poo really made my hair look more healthy, shiny, full and wavy, not to mention how it helped me to stretch my washes, got rid of my overly greasy hair and helped me become more self assured about my appearance. But somehow (well, not really somehow, I just got lazy), during summer, I fell prey to regular shampoos and conditioners again, causing me to ditch the no ‘poo method, because I thought those regular products could bring me the same results.

But lately, my hair has been driving me insane! Nothing has been able to make it behave; it has been limp, dull, greasy and thin. I have been trying everything! I bought all these new products to do my hair with: shampoos, hair masks, conditioners, styling products, I even started blowdrying my hair again. My hair would look okay for a few hours or so, but after that it would be dry at the ends, greasy at the roots, overall limp, thinner than ever, dull, frizzy, full of split ends, I was losing hair like crazy and my hair had no nice waves anymore like it used to when I first went no ‘poo. So back to the drawing board and out of the window with all the hair products we go!

This time around I did a lot of online research on the ratios of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (acv) one should use, but there are just too many variables out there. The one most used seems to be 1 tablespoon of baking soda/acv to 1 cup of water, but 1 tablespoon of baking soda seems just not enough for my very greasy hair. So I decided to wing it and went with my gut feeling, which means I might adjust the quantities as I go along. Another thing that might seem out of the ordinary is the fact that I added honey to the acv. The first time around when I tried ‘no poo, this wasn’t something I did and the only reason I’m doing it now is simply because I wanted to try it.

Some things are different from back when I first went no ‘poo. First of all, back then, I was using the wrong kind of “baking soda”. Turned out, it wasn’t baking soda at all, but washing soda. Yeah, let’s just pretend that never happened. Second of all, back then, my hair was short (I would say neck length). Right now my hair is around armpit length.

I’ll be keeping a hair journal on here, both for you if you want to read about my experiences with the no ‘poo method, as well as for myself to read back on how things went.

Monday, 06-10-1014

On this first day of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’ I dived right in and mixed up a little over 2 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water in an old water bottle and shook it very well until the baking soda was dissolved. In another old bottle I mixed 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 cup of warm water and shook until dissolved. I went into the shower, got my hair soaking wet and poured the “shampoo”, the baking soda mixture over the top of my hair. Something I remember from my previous no ‘poo experience is that it’s important you give yourself a nice head massage to really get your hair all clean, so work the baking soda mixture around your skull and rinse thoroughly. My hair felt clean, although not squeaky clean, after rinsing. There’s really no need to apply the baking soda to the length of your hair, because that’s usually the part of your hair that’s already more dry and less greasy.

For the length of my hair, in comes the “conditioner”, the apple cider vinegar (and in my case, + honey) mixture. First, I squeezed the excess water out of my hair. Then I poured the apple cider vinegar mixture over the length of my hair (I also like to pour just a little tiny bit over the top of my head, just to help tame the frizz). Some say to rinse it out immediately, I just let it sit for awhile, while I continue with the rest of my shower routine. Rinse thoroughly and you’re done! My hair didn’t feel as soft as it would feel when using regular shampoo, it was actually feeling a bit straw like. I used half of the baking soda mixture and about 1/3rd of the acv mixture.

After I got out of the shower, I put two drops of argan oil in my hands, rubbed them together and put the oil on the length of my hair. What was left on my hands, I put on the top part of my hair. After that I carefully combed through my hair using a wooden wide toothed comb, starting at the bottom of my hair, working my way to the top. This was really easy to do, there were no tangles and the straw like feeling was gone. I let my hair air dry and when it was completely dry, I only straightened the two pieces framing my face. My hair was not feeling as squeaky clean as I’m used to after I washed it with regular shampoo, but it wasn’t greasy either. It was feeling quite soft at the top, but a bit dry at the ends.

Tuesday, 07-10-2014

My hair was still looking decent, not overly greasy or anything, good enough to go out in public without doing anything with it, so that’s what I did. Right before I went to bed I looked in the mirror and I saw that my hair was starting to get a bit greasy, and since I knew that the next day I had to go somewhere, I decided to apply some dry shampoo. One tiny little problem though… I really don’t like store bought dry shampoo. Luckily for me, I remember making my own dry shampoo back in the day when I went no ‘poo the first time around. The DIY I used back then used multiple ingredients, and although it worked, I remember it being a pain to brush out, so I decided to just go with the most basic DIY dry shampoo I could find: cornstarch (and because I like to experiment, I also added a bit of cinnamon). I have strawberry blonde hair, so the white colour of the cornstarch is no issue. The original “recipe” I found online called for 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, but since I like to try my DIY’s first before I make a big batch of them, I just mixed 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a sprinkle of cinnamon, dusted my hair with it by just using my fingers, left it in overnight, brushed it out in the morning*, and it worked like a charm!

*This is just a little life hack I learned somewhere a few years back: apply your dry shampoo at night, right before you go to sleep, and then brush it out in the morning. For me, it seems to work so much better than the regular way of applying it and brushing it out right away. If I still have any greasy spots in the morning after brushing it out, I simply apply just a little bit more dry shampoo, let it sit for a minute or so and then brush it out.

Wednesday, 08-10-2014

Today I woke up with grease-free hair, thanks to the DIY dry shampoo I applied last night. I simply brushed it out in the morning and my hair looked just fine. The end were a bit dry though, but my roots were not greasy, which usually is my biggest problem. I went about my day and my hair kept grease-free pretty well! I think I could have stretched washing it another day, but I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet. I might have done it, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to be somewhere tomorrow. Before washing my hair I made a hair mask using half an avocado, half a banana and 1 tablespoon of honey and applied that to my hair for about 30 minutes.

In the shower I first thoroughly rinsed out the hair mask, making sure to massage my scalp to remove any oiliness from it, as well as any remaining dry shampoo. After that, I shook up the baking soda mixture that was still left from my previous wash from Monday, washed my hair the same way and continued with the acv+honey mixture.

When I got out of the shower, I applied 2 drops of argan oil to my hair, carefully combed it through with a wooden wide tooth comb and let it air dry. My hair was feeling soft at the top, but just a tad bit stiff at the ends. I decided not to straighten the front two sections that frame my face, just to see how they would look after sleeping.

Thursday, 09-10-2014

Woke up with really soft hair, with only a little bit of frizz at the top. The ends are a little bit crispy, but really just a little bit, certainly not more crispy than after washing my hair with regular shampoo and conditioner and using hair serums and what not. Throughout the day I did notice my hair getting a bit more greasy. Despite knowing I had to go somewhere the next day, I decided not to put dry shampoo in my hair overnight, just to see how my hair would look the next morning without me doing anything about the upcoming greasiness.

Friday, 10-10-2014

When I looked in the mirror this morning, my hair looked a bit limp, but not really all that greasy when down. When up in a ponytail or anything, you can clearly see it’s becoming quite greasy though. Despite the fact that I need to go out today, I decided to go another day without dry shampoo and just letting my hair down to cover up the grease. I also need to go somewhere tomorrow, and my plan is to apply dry shampoo tonight so I can go another day without washing my hair tomorrow.

I got some new bottles to put my mixtures in today, just to make things a little bit easier (and because it looks pretty in the bathroom). Because I ran out of “shampoo”, I decided to mix up a new batch, following a tip I got online, which was to increase the amount of baking soda when you suffer from oily hair. So this time around I mixed 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water. It also stated that you should decrease the amount of acv if you have greasy hair, but since my ends are a bit dry, I won’t be doing that. I did put less honey in the mixture this time around, 1/2 a tablespoon per 1 cup of water (so 1 tablespoon of acv, 1/2 a tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of water). I will be stopping putting that tiny little bit of acv mixture on the top of my head like I used to, to see if that helps with keeping the greasiness at bay for a longer period of time.

3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 cup of water really seems like an awful lot, compared to the wildly used ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 cup. I think that, after my hair and scalp is getting used to the no ‘poo method again and the greasiness is under control, I’ll slowly be cutting down on the amount of baking soda.

By the end of the day my hair was a mess. The bottom was still reasonable, but the front sections, the temples and the nape were stringy because they were so greasy. I applied a ton of the DIY dry shampoo right before I went to bed, hoping that will make my hair look good enough to last another day without having to wash it tomorrow.

Saturday, 11-10-2014

Although the dry shampoo did a decent job on covering up the greasiness at the roots, the length of my hair was looking quite stringy and limp and I just wasn’t feeling secure enough about myself to go out with my hair looking like that, so I decided to wash it. I got these new bottles the other day in which I put my “shampoo” and “conditioner” mixtures and I was excited to try them out. Something I noticed after rinsing the baking soda mixture out of my hair, was that my hair wasn’t feeling as clean as it did with previous washes. I decided to let it be and moved on to the acv mixture. I noticed right away that not as much of the mixture was coming out when squeezing the bottle (something I couldn’t see when applying the baking soda), explaining why my hair wasn’t feeling as clean after the baking soda application. This is something I definitely will take into account the next time I’ll be washing my hair, that I need to squeeze the bottle more to get more of the mixture out. I decided to let it be to see if my hair would look clean after it dried. Another thing I did differently from the previous washes is that I didn’t apply the acv mixture to the root area, to see if it helps preventing my hair getting greasy so quickly.

After I got out of the shower, I decided to trim my ends, to provide my hair with a clean slate to grow longer from there. I cut off 1 centimetre (0.4”), using Feye’s Self-trim Instructions (I like using the one for getting a U-shape). My hair is now 61 centimetres (24”) long (measures from my forehead, so where my hairline starts, all the way to the back). Fun fact: when I visited my parents later that day, my mother commented on how long my hair was getting. Umh, mum, I just cut it and my hair barely grew any this year. But thanks anyway. After that I decided to squeeze in two drops of jojoba oil in my hair, because my hair wasn’t feeling as clean as usual, so argan oil seemed a bit too heavy. I squeezed the oil in to enhance my natural wavy texture.

As I already mentioned, my hair wasn’t feeling all to clean after washing it, but I decided to wait to give a final verdict until my hair completely dried. Well, the verdict is in: I don’t think it’s clean. My hair, mainly the top parts, feels waxy and gritty, like 1. I didn’t wash it properly enough and 2. I didn’t rinse out all the baking soda. The first one is easy to pinpoint: I simply didn’t apply enough “shampoo”. The second one could be due to one or both reasons: either I should rinse better or I should try using less baking soda in my baking soda to water ratio (as I increased it when making this new batch). I turned to my trusty friend Google and searched for ‘no ‘poo troubleshooting’ and actually came along someone stating that if the baking soda felt gritty, you’re probably using too much, since it should completely dissolve in water (then I really should use way less, because even with my previous quantity, the baking soda would sink to the bottom of the bottle when left in the shower after use). Another tip was to keep the baking soda mixture in your hair until it gets sort of slippery, for about two minutes, and then thoroughly rinse it out. So my hair, mainly the top part, the roots, feels nasty ad grainy, and there’s some more frizz than after previous washes going on. The length looks fine though.

Another thing that crossed my mind while in the shower (isn’t the shower just the most wonderful place for getting ideas?) was that I would really like to be able to stretch my washes a bit more. I was reading my old no ‘poo journal the other day, from my ‘No ‘Poo 1.0’ adventure, and back then I did ‘water only’ washes in between two regular washes. That’s definitely something I want to look into. However, while I was googling for ‘no ‘poo troubleshooting’ I came across someone stating that one should try to avoid washing one’s hair in between no ‘pooing, because the more your hair becomes wet, the more brittle it can become. Another interesting thing I found while googling was that by leaving in the acv in for too long, you could get an oily/waxy feeling, because you’re over-correcting the pH levels of your hair and scalp. I don’t experience that, but it’s something to remember for when it might happen in the future.

Sunday, 12-10-2014

Today was a lazy Sunday. All I did to my hair was brushing it and that’s it. My hair still felt a bit dusty at the top and there was quite some frizz going on, but it didn’t look greasy, even though it didn’t feel clean, because of the overuse and/or not properly rinsing out of the baking soda of yesterday’s washing. I did love how my length, especially the ends of my hair looked today, no frizz, shiny, wavy and even some ringlets!

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing a cassia treatment to my hair, after which I’ll wash my hair using a different ratio of baking soda to water (either 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water or 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of water. I’ll be mixing both quantities to try out).

A quick recap on this first week of ‘No ‘Poo 2.0’:

Monday: First day. I used 2 1/2 tbsp baking soda to 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp honey+1 tbsp acv to 1 cup of water. After washing my hair felt clean, although not squeaky clean, soft at the top, a bit dry at the ends.

Tuesday: Hair still looked decent enough to go out in public with, not overly greasy. At the end of the day, my hair started to get a bit greasy, so I applied some DIY dry shampoo before going to bed.

Wednesday: Hair was grease-free, thanks to the dry shampoo, but the ends were a bit dry. Applied an avocado/honey/banana hair mask and washed my hair, using the same mixture as on Monday. Hair came out soft, but the ends were a tad bit stiff.

Thursday: Hair was soft, with only a little bit of frizz at the top and just a little bit crunchy ends. Throughout the day, hair was getting a bit greasy, but decided not to apply dry shampoo to see what hair would look like the next morning.

Friday: Hair looked limp, but not overly greasy when down. By the end of the day, the bottom still looked reasonable, but the front sections, temples and nape were stringy and greasy. Applied a ton of dry shampoo before I went to bed, try to go another day without washing it.

Saturday: The dry shampoo did a decent job, but I wasn’t feeling secure enough to go out with my hair looking the way it did, so I washed it using a new mixture (3 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp acv+1/2 a tbsp honey to 1 cup of water). Baking soda mixture was not a success: hair felt not clean and gritty after washing it.

Sunday: Hair still felt dusty, because of yesterday’s washing, but the length looked really nice.

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My hair products: in the back my bottles of baking soda and acv+honey mixtures. In the middle, from left to right: aloe vera gel, argan oil, coconut oil, DIY dry shampoo, jojoba oil. Up front: Tangle Teezer, wooden comb

Herbal rinses: What are they and how to use them

As many of you might already know; herbs can have many beneficial when it comes to healthcare. But what some of you might not know, is that herbs also can have a great effect when it comes to hair and skin care.

In yesterday’s post I already briefly mentioned herbal rinses, so today I’ll be telling you about how I use them to take better care of my hair.

So, about my hair: My hair is kind of a strawberry blonde and I really like that color. I don’t have much of a hair problem, besides some dryness at the tips of my hair and a bit of a lack of shine. It also has the tendency to go greasy very fast, although that’s already reduced a lot since I don’t wash my hair everyday anymore.

My herbal rinses usually contain these ingredients:

  • Birch leafs (for strengthening and against hair loss)
  • Catnip (to help with preventing split ends and to making the hair thicker)
  • Camomile (to help me keep the blonde tones in my hair and against oily hair)
  • Dandelion leafs (against hair loss)
  • Hibiscus (to bring out the red tones in my hair)
  • Nettle (to help strengthen my hair and to stimulate hair growth)
  • Peppermint (to stimulate the scalp)
  • Red clover (to help with thickening the hair and to help it grow)
  • Rosemary (for great shine, against oily hair, to prevent hair loss and to stimulate hair growth)

Overview herbs copy

These are the herbs I use for my herbal rinse

Those are just herbs that I have on hand and that I like to use. You can of course make the rinse entirely to your own liking.

What you need

What you need to make your herbal rinse, besides the herbs

So, how do I make a rinse out of these herbs and how do I use the rinse?

  • First, collect your herbs in a jar with a lit on it (I use an old Nutella jar). You need the lit to seal the jar, so the warmth of the water you’ll be adding will extract all the goodness out of the herbs.
  • Boil some water and pour over the herbs.

Before and after

  • Seal the jar with the lit and let the herbs stand there for at least 1 hour.
  • Make sure that before you use the rinse the water has been cooled off!
  • When you’re ready to use the extract, use a sieve to separate the water (which you’ll be using) and the herbs. Poor the water in another container (I use a measuring cup).
  • Go into the shower and just wash your hair like you would normally do. If you use conditioner, just go ahead.
  • When you’re all done, take the herbal rinse and pour it over your wet hair (I like to do that while I’m still in the shower, so I won’t make a mess). Squeeze the excess of water out of your hair and style like you normally would (for me that would be wrapping my hair in a towel for a while, take it off, model my hair with my hands and just let it air dry).

End result

The end result

When my hair is dry I always have a nice shine to it and I’ve noticed that after a few times of doing an herbal rinse, my hair starts to look and feel better.

So here’s a short overview of hair problems and which herbs you might want to use to help you to solve them:

  • Normal hair: Basil, Calendula, Chamomile, Horsetail, Lavender, Linden flowers, Nettle, Parsley leaf, Rosemary, Sage, Watercress
  • Dry hair and scalp: Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey leaf, Elder flowers, Horsetail, Lavender, Marshmallow root, Nettle, Parsley leaf, Sage.
  • Oily hair and scalp: Bay leaf, Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Horsetail, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Lemon peel, Lemongrass, Nettle, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Witch Hazel bark, Yarrow leaf and flower.
  • Scalp conditions (dandruff, sensitive skin, inflammation, itchiness, dermatitis): Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey leaf, Eucalyptus, Horsetail, Lavender, Marshmallow root, Nettle, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
  • Hair loss/thinning: Basil, Nettle, Rosemary, Sage.
  • Golden highlights: Calendula, Chamomile, Lemon, Sunflower petals.
  • Dark highlights: Black Tea, Black Walnut hulls (crushed or chopped), Comfrey root, Nettle, Rosemary, Sage.
  • Red highlights: Calendula, Henna, Hibiscus flowers, Red Clover flowers, Rose hips, Red Rose petals.

Source: http://www.herbfest.net/cosmetic-herbs/277-how-to-use-herbs-for-your-hair-color-and-conditon

If you would like to know why you should use certain herbs; here’s a short list of herbs and what benefits they might have for your hair:

  • Aloe vera: Hydrating, soft hair, brings shine, works as a natural gel
  • Amla: Conditioner, darkens, helps with cleaning the hair, anti-dandruff, stimulates hair growth, hair strengthener, brings shine
  • Basil: Improves general condition of the hair, helps with dandruff
  • Birch leaf: Darkens the hair, against hair loss, strengthens hair
  • Catnip:  Reduces split ends, increased hair thickness, increased hair quantity and helps against irritation of the scalp
  • Cedar: Stimulates hair growth
  • Chamomile: Against oily hair, dandruff, strengthens hair, makes color lighter
  • Cornflower: Helps with gray hair
  • Dandelion: Anti-dandruff, hair loss
  • Elderflower: Makes color lighter, soothes irritated skin, against scalp problems
  • Fenugreek: Conditioner, binder for henna, stimulates hair growth, stimulates scalp, against dandruff, strengthens natural hair
  • Hibiscus: Makes hair more reddish
  • Lavender: Soft hair, brings shine, against scalp problems
  • Marigold: Makes color blond/reddish
  • Marshmallow: Nourishing, hydration, binder for henna
  • Nettle: Strengthens hair, brings luster, stimulates hair growth, helps with dandruff and itching, stimulates scalp
  • Peppermint: Stimulates the scalp by allowing increased blood flow to the hair follicles
  • Red clover: Hair thickening, growth stimulating
  • Rosemary: Darkens the hair, brings shine, very good for oily hair, hair loss, dandruff and itching, stimulates hair growth
  • Sage: Darkens the hair, strengthens hair, brings shine, anti-dandruff, helps with scalp problems

If you already have some herbs lying around but don’t know what they can do for your hair, or if you want to know more about herbs, I recommend going online to search for information specified to your needs.

I bought my herbs at an online healthcare store, but you can also buy a lot of herbs at your local healthcare store and even find them in the nature surrounding you (make sure you know what you’re doing though! Never use something you picked out of the wild without being 100% sure what it is!).

Scalp treatments: Why you should start using them

Ever since I jumped on the natural haircare bandwagon I’ve been trying out a lot of things to replace “normal” (well yeah, define normal…) haircare products. Changed from normal shampoo to no shampoo to homemade black soap shampoo. Instead of using store bought hair mask, I now make my own. I also discovered a few new things and made those part of my haircare routine, like a herbal rinse after washing my hair. And a few days ago I ran in to another, for me, new thing; scalp treatments.

Ever since I’ve been hanging around on hair fora I learned a lot about hair and how to take care of it, so I knew that it’s important to take care of your scalp as well. I only didn’t really knew why and how. The only thing I could think of was to massage my scalp when applying my hair mask, shampoo of conditioner (the one thing I have not yet found an alternative for that I like. I tried ACV, but it doesn’t really work for me). But luckely, their is the almighty Google, which led me to a whole bunch of information

So, why should you do scalp treatments?

  • The most important thing: It removes product build up. Build up not only comes from stuff like hairsprays, gels, mousses etcetera, but also from shampoos and conditioners. Build up can cause a lot of scalp related problems, because it clogs up the hair follicles and.
  • It relieves dry, flaky, tight skin. Your scalp can get dry from using heat appliences such as blowdryers, washing your hair with water that’s too hot, but alsp from the cold during the winter.
  • If you suffer from dandruff, scalp treatments might work wonders for you.
  • By cleaning and massaging the scalp, you stimulate it to grow your hair a bit faster.
  • It can help reduce the amount of hair loss you have.

Seems legit to me, so I gave one of the recipes I found online a try. I tweaked it a bit to my own liking:

Mix together the following:

  • 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a grapefruit

Put in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the coconut oil is melted. After the coconut oil was melted I added some more ingredients:

  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • A few drops of keratin

Of course you can make the treatment to your own liking.

You just apply this mixture to dry hair. It doesn’t matter if it’s clean or not. I had a brush to apply dye with lying around and used that to put the mixture on to my entire scalp. What was left of the mixture I applied all over the rest of my hair. My scalp and hair were smelling like a tropical paradise, yummy! When I was done applying, I massaged my scalp for a few minutes, put my hair in a bun and covered it all with a shower cap. I just left it on while cooking and eating dinner (so for 1 hour I guess), but you can leave it on as long as you like, as long as it’s no less than 20 minutes. I went into the shower, rinsed my hair a bit with water, applied a lot of conditioner to make it easier to remove the oil and rinsed the whole thing out. Washed my hair, used conditioner again, finished with a herbal rinse. And much to my surprise, I actually saw some results! My scalp really looks cleaner, my hair feels softer at the roots and has less of those fine little baby hairs showing. Even the beloved boyfriend noticed the difference!

I think I’ll be using this treatment once a month, because I don’t want to strip my hair and scalp from its natural sebum and oils.

So, what do you all use for a scalp treatment? Or if you just discovered the concept, like me, will you be trying it out?

Lunar hair cutting

Recently I found out about cutting your hair according to the phases of the moon. It’s supposed to help you healthier, longer and thicker hair. There’s a lot of information online, but because that might be a bit overwhelming, I made a little fact sheet with just some basic information. I must say that some things are not that clear to me. Sometimes one source says it’s a good time to cut your hair, while the other source is saying it’s not. So I try to stick with the basic facts.

For a lunar calendar about beauty treatments (you can change your location at the top of the page):
Lunar calendar 2012 health and beauty – live in the rhythm of nature

For a lunar calendar (you can change your location at the top of the page):
Lunarium: Universal Lunar Calendar

Basic facts:

  • It usually is better to try and cut in earth signs instead of water signs.
  • Always cut between new moon and full moon
  • Try, if possible, to cut as close as possible near to full moon
  • Always cut when the moon is growing

The Moon in Aries Fire sign

Yes:
Deep moisturizing
Deep conditioning
No:
Coloring hair
Coloring/chemically treating hair (will cause slow growth and dryer hair)

The Moon in Taurus Earth sign

Yes:
Cutting hair (for faster growing and thicker hair)
Coloring/chemically treating hair (earthy tones, especially ash blondes and browns)

The Moon in Gemini Air sign

Yes:
Deep conditioning
Temporary coloring
No:
Permanent coloring
Cutting hair

The Moon in Cancer Water sign

Yes:
Cutting hair (for growth and thickness)
Coloring/chemically treating hair or highlighting hair (especially golden blonde)
No:
Radical styling moves

The Moon in Leo Fire sign

Yes:
Deep conditioning
Cutting hair (for thickness)
Temporary coloring (especially gold or copper tones)
No:
Coloring/chemically treating hair

The Moon in Virgo Earth sign

Yes:
Coloring/chemically treating hair (especially earthy tones, especially chestnut)
Remove build-up
No:
Cutting hair
Radical changes

The Moon in Libra Air sign

Yes:
Coloring/chemically treating hair
Cutting hair
No:
Radical changes

The Moon in Scorpio Water sign

Yes:
Cutting hair (for quick hair growth)
Coloring/chemically treating hair (also radial changes and dark brown or black)

The Moon in Sagittarius Fire sign

Yes:
Deep conditioning
No:
Coloring/chemically treating hair
Cutting hair (while slow growth)

The Moon in Capricorn Earth sign

Yes:
Cutting hair (for faster growth and maintenance only)
Coloring/chemically treating hair (only conservative colors)
Highlights (only ash blinde or brown)
No:
Radical changes
Highlights (brassy reds or golds)

The Moon in Aquarius Air sign

Yes:
Cutting hair in a trendy cut (be aware of the fact that your hair will grow slower after)
No:
Cutting hair (slows growth and thickness)
Coloring/chemically treating hair (will dry your hair)

The Moon in Pisces Water sign

Yes:
Cutting hair (for growth and thickness)
Coloring/chemically treating hair (especially deep auburn and chestnut colors)

Source: http://www.hairbrained.me/profiles/blogs/hairstrology-harnessing-the