Thursday, April 12, 2012

No (sham)Poo Update // Learning to Love Apple Cider Vinegar

Photo Credit

It has been two months since I stopped using conventional shampoo and conditioner. I can’t honestly say I love the results….yet. It seems to be getting much better though.

The last time I posted about this was after one month of using baking soda (BS) and apple cider vinegar (ACV) to clean and condition my hair three times a week.  My hair had adjusted well and it felt clean all the time. I decided to reduce my washes to twice a week and even then my hair was adjusting wonderfully.

Then all of a sudden I noticed a lot of build-up and itchiness and a lot more grease than usual. And I couldn’t make it go away. Gross. I thought I wasn’t cleaning well enough or wasn’t using enough BS so I tried using more…and more often. That only made it worse.

So I hit Google to see if I could find others talking about this problem. Many suggested using ACV rinses (from the root down) to remove build-up and grease. Interesting, especially since I was under the assumption ACV would cause greasiness and therefore should not go on the roots. 

Turns out ACV has an acidity level that balances the pH of the hair and scalp – solving the itchy problem. A cold wash with ACV will also close up the follicles decreasing (or eliminating) the greasy build-up problem.

It works beautifully. 

I’ve reduced my use of BS to once a week. The other days are washes with ACV or water only. I don’t have an established routine yet because I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything.

While my hair is grease-free and incredibly soft (I don’t remember it ever being this soft) and shiny…it’s just not quite there yet. When I run my fingers through my hair, it is clean and feels great. But the strands like to stick together making my hair appear wet at the roots. So then I brush it with a boar’s hair brush and that separates the strands making everything smooth…but also very, very flat.

Really after only two months into the process, it is going pretty well. I know I just need to keep tweaking my method and soon I will figure it out. It may also help to get a haircut. Heavy hair + gravity works against natural volume. (I think I mentioned that in my last post….maybe one day soon I’ll get around to it….)

Is it worth it? Yes, it is still worth it. My hair is healthier than ever and my skin is benefiting as well. I’ve noticed less oil production on my face since switching from shampoo. So I will keep on my journey and enjoy the little victories I stumble upon along the way, each one reminding me that it is totally worth it.