My No ‘Poo Experience (7 months and counting..)

shampoos

It’s not for the faint of heart.

Too dramatic, I know. But I have heard both success stories and horror stories of those who tried going off commercial shampoo. Some (like me) have lived to tell the tale (and I’m still experimenting with it). While others, well.. are regretfully living with their gummy hair. You get the picture.

So why even do it? Here’s why.

My background story

If you’ve followed my skin story (or if not, here are the links: here, here and here), you’ve heard me mention about HORMONE DISRUPTORS. These are chemicals that mess with our bodies and produce harmful effects. In my case, it gave me acne. Now, again, it was a complete overhaul for me – from diet, to skin care products used to lifestyle changes. So I can’t say whether it’s one or the other that helped me get rid of acne. It could be one. It could be the other. Or it could be all.

So why get so drastic? Now that I’ve eliminated 90% of my acne (still a few that pop out every now and then, and on my back. Grr..), why still continue it?

The Philosophy

I do this because I believe in it.

These are harmful chemicals that we use on our bodies. Five hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have access to shampoos, conditioners, serums, dyes, leave-in masks and so on. And they did just fine. Call me backwards but the simple life does appeal to me.

But enough about that. Here’s how it went on for me.

The Process

I first read a whole lot about it. Some suggest using baking soda (cleaning) + apple cider vinegar (conditioning). But some suggest against it. I read about the water only method and decided to go that route first.

Transition Phase

This is the scary part. This is the part where your hair will go through an identity crisis, not knowing whether it should continue producing oil or not. When we use traditional shampoo, we strip our hair of its natural oils so it produces even more. So while we wean off using shampoo, it continues to produce the same amount of oils, until it realizes, that hey, I no longer need to put out as much oil!

I slowly weaned off traditional shampoo, only shampooing every other day, then every 2 days until I could go on longer without it. Some days I would only wash with water. My hair was so oily and gummy, and thick and heavy (from all the oils) at this point. I would just tie it up. It just looked wet, which is good. But it didn’t smell good.

After about 2 weeks, I used shampoo bar and bought a boar bristle brush. Here’s what it looked like for me:

Day 1 – Wash with shampoo bar.

Day 2 – If I exercised and my hair’s all sweaty, wash with cold water only. Use boar bristle brush.

Day 3 – Wash with honey. Use boar bristle brush.

Day 4 – Wash with shampoo bar.

The problem was, my hair was still kind of oily on days 2 and 3 when I don’t use the shampoo bar. So I tried not washing it at all even if I get sweaty. And it worked out fine! It doesn’t oil anymore.

The Bad

I miss the shampoo scent! It doesn’t smell bad. It just doesn’t smell like anything at all. It just smells like hair. Also, there are days when my hair still feels gummy, like the residues were not completely washed off. Some days it can also feel flat.

Why it may not work for you

  1. It’s too much work. You don’t have the time or luxury to wait out for your hair to stop being oily.
  2. You can’t afford to be seen out with greasy gummy hair.
  3. You’ll miss working up a nice lather when you wash your hair.
  4. You’ll miss the sweet shampoo smell too much.

Yeah, I miss the scent too. That’s why I’m now trying to wash with castile soap and see if there’s any difference.

From my hair to yours.
From my hair to yours. Day 2 of no wash, using castile soap.

 

The experiment continues. Let me know your experience going no poo.

Jen x

Advertisements

My Journey to Clear Skin (Part 3)

(Photo courtesy of http://belezaesaude.com/demaquilar-lavar-tonificar/)
(Photo courtesy of http://belezaesaude.com/demaquilar-lavar-tonificar/)

I’ve learned throughout this process of clearing my skin that it’s never just about one thing. Like only taking supplements would be enough. Well, it could be. But for me and my body, it’s not. It has to be a holistic approach.

We’ve looked at diet and food supplements – all internal fixes to help improve acne (see Part 1 and Part 2). Finally, what rounded out my journey to clear skin is the external aspect of this condition – the first and obvious layer we try to address – OUR SKIN. 

What goes on underneath all the products we use?

So here’s the thing – we use products to try to clear our skin. But sometimes, chemicals used in these products are actually HORMONE DISRUPTORS. These are toxic, harmful, skin-irritating ingredients that are absorbed by your skin, into your system and causes imbalances in your hormones. These products that promise to rid you of acne may actually be aggravating your already inflamed skin.

So what products should you use?

I want to say none. Go commando – CAVEMAN METHOD. Use only water. Don’t apply anything on your skin – no cleanser, no toner, no moisturizer, no sunscreen, and not even makeup. Let your skin breathe for a change. The idea is, eliminating these products will allow your skin to regain it’s own healing and regenerative properties.

If only I were that brave too.

So at the very least, avoid products that contain these toxic ingredients. 

  1. Parabens
  2. Synthetic colors
  3. Fragrance
  4. Phtalates
  5. Triclosan
  6. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  7. Formaldehyde
  8. Toluene
  9. Propylene glycol
  10. Sunscreen chemicals

(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com – 10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid)

If you’re anything like me, just avoid any ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Always read the ingredients label. Even products that pose as “Organic” or “Natural” may still contain these ingredients (I was surprised that a certain organic/natural “Z” gugo shampoo contained SLES). Another guiding principle is, if you can’t eat it, would you put it on your skin?

Here’s what my skin care beauty regimen looks like these days:

Morning

  • Spray kombucha on face (one part kombucha, one part filtered water). Leave for few minutes then wash with water. OR. Apply raw honey. Leave for few minutes then wash with water.
  • Apply apple cider vinegar toner (one part ACV, three parts filtered water)
  • Apply Be Organic Emu Skin Perfecting Cream
  • If I’m going out, I apply on ONO Sun Blocker 30.

Evening

  • If I used makeup, I first take it off with wet wipes. Wash face with soap. Currently, I use MKay Organics Clear Off Yellow Soap. OR. Once a week, I use Human Nature Detoxifying Mask Scrub.
  • If I didn’t use makeup, I just use my kombucha spray then wash with water.
  • Apply same toner and cream.
  • Apply Katialis spot treatment on “live” acne and blemishes.

And that’s it! Less is more.

It’s been a real roller coaster ride waiting for my skin to clear up. But by addressing my body’s needs inside and out, I know we’re getting there.

Thank you for following my skin journey! Let me know if yours is anything like mine. Here’s to wishing you a happy, clear skin!

 

Cheers!

Jen