22 April 2012

Step Down Sunday - 'No Poo' Goes Wrong!

Step Down SundayYesterday I went to BlogCamp to meet loads of fabulous bloggers, so wouldn’t you know this was the week I’d really have a problem with my hair! I’ve now been using the ‘No Poo’ method for 4 weeks without much trouble so I was baffled as to why it was suddenly acting up.

As far as looks go, it's pretty normal - a bit less shiny and more limp than I’d like, but not greasy. It has felt a bit odd though and taking a pair of straighteners to it was a terrifying experience! My fringe has been in desperate need of a trim and was curling uncontrollably, but every time I pull the straighteners through a section it looks like it’s been gelled into a sheet! Luckily it combs out, but it had me worried. I wondered if it was coated in a thin layer of grease, maybe I was finally in the greasy transition period? Though three weeks in seems awful late for it to be starting.

Wednesday I popped into Manchester to get my fringe trimmed, and while there I figured I’d swallow the embarrassment and ask the hair stylist for an opinion. She thought the hair felt coated in something, maybe a product or something that hadn’t washed out properly.

With this in mind I started googling for ‘No Poo + coated’ and found myself in another science lesson. It looks like the problem may be our hard water! Apparently the bicarb combines with your hair to make soap – and hard water can’t seem to wash this away. The result is your hair gets coated in a sort of waxy soap scum. (Isn’t that a pleasant image!) The suggested solution is to boil your water before mixing it with your bicarb & vinegar. I was slightly dubious of this, as one cup of soft water isn’t going to compare to all the hard water in your shower or bath...but I’ll give anything a try. (If it didn’t work I could always resort to shampoo to make me presentable for BlogCamp.)

Boiling the water did help remove the waxy coating, but my hair still felt rough. Now I’m a rubbish girl – I can’t just look at my hair and work out what it needs. I debated for a while whether I needed to use an extra conditioner, or maybe the problem was using apple cider vinegar instead of the white? I eventually found a site suggesting you could spray your hair with the vinegar mix if it was dry and frizzy. This seemed a simple and quick thing to try, and it made such a difference! It’s not perfect yet, but it is smooth and soft. As one site described it the bicarbonate of soda lifts all the scales on each individual hair so it can be cleaned, then the vinegar smooths these scales down again. I wonder if in future I should use more vinegar in my recipe to counteract the hard water.

Despite the drama I think I made it through BlogCamp without my hair embarrassing me too much (certainly no more than normal)

To Read More:
Step Down Sunday - No Poo: Week One
Step Down Sunday - No Poo: Week Two
Step Down Sunday - Save Pennies & Planet
Step Down Sunday - 'No Poo' Goes Horribly Wrong!

Step Down Sunday Have you made any Steps Down this week?

If you'd like the code for the Step Down Sunday badge or to learn more about it, go to the Step Down Sunday page.