I have moved!

I had been meaning to make a fresh start, but it never seemed like the right time. It took quite a while to get our lives back in order after transitioning out of the military.

Please visit my new blog

I plan to continue in a similar direction. Products, No Poo, etc. But I also plan to be talking more about other projects and endeavours of mine. I’ve been doing a lot more crafting, and am also on a weight loss journey with plans to start a family after I’m in more of a healthy place.

I’ve done a little house keeping, but I plan on leaving it here for the time being and will likely continue to link back to this one where relevant as I don’t plan to merge blogs.

No Poo Heaven

My latest No Poo update, so wonderful!

Even though using boiled water didn’t help during my No Poo Disaster, I decided to give it a try from the get go when I started fresh. Such a world of difference!

Using boiled water (after it has cooled) is something recommended for those with hard water.   You boil the water, and add some BS, which will fizz up like you just dropped some seltzer in it.   I didn’t really measure how much water, somewhere between 3-4 quarts, and I added 1/3 of a cup of BS.  When the water was cool it was slick.  It might seem weird that I’m describing water as slick, because all water could technically be called slick. However if you try this, or have done it, you’ll see the difference.

I keep it in a gallon jug (which is now clearly marked that it’s not for drinking or to be given to the cats, haha!) So I made enough to last a while. When I was using filtered water in the beginning, I figured out fast that pouring ice-cold water on your head is not fun. A “duh” moment really, I was just so focused on all the No Poo details when I was doing it for the first time that the fact water from the fridge was going be very cold never even crossed my mind. After the first time I started filling up a jug to leave sit so I’d always have room temp water.

Because some sort of chemical reaction happened when I added the BS to the boiling water, I still add about the same of BS as I had been to the water before I wash my hair.  You want the BS to react with your hair, and I think it’s safe to assume that the BS added to the boiling water was good for the water, but no longer any use to my hair. I haven’t experienced any dryness or itchy scalp, so it seems that using the same amount is a good call.

I also changed up how I was doing the actual washing.  It’s essential to really scrub up, like the kind of scrubbing you get from a salon. I thought I had been doing it adequately, but I’m hesitant to blame all the build up on the water. Best to make sure that I’m really scrubbing up well enough, and rinsing thoroughly.

There’s no limpness, my hair is not heavy.  Interestingly, during my week of shampoo, I only washed my hair 3 times. The day I washed it to battle the build up, I washed it again the next day because it was still a little sticky.  It was perfectly clean after that, and I went 3+ days before excess oil became a problem.  And it was 3+ days before it needed another wash, which is when I switched back to BS/ACV.  Now I think using the L’Oreal Evercreme  Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner really did jump-start the process and make for an easy transition. So I think my previous need to wash at least every other day was more of a water/washing issue, rather than still transitioning.  3+ days is good enough for me, I’m okay with washing my hair twice a week.

Photo updates to come soon! Crossing my fingers that I’ve got it figured out this time.  I like my hair better when it’s amazing and fluffy rather than frumpy dumpy.  Who doesn’t?

To brush wet hair, or not to brush wet hair?

“Don’t brush your hair when it’s wet!”

That’s something I’ve heard for a long time.  Since I was a little kid and my older sister tried to explain to me why she didn’t brush her hair when it was wet, because it snapped like rubber bands.

I’ve never had that problem, and do always brush my hair when it’s wet.

It seems like something out of a “Long Hair Bible.”  It’s one of the big “do nots” of long hair.

So I wanted to get to the bottom of this.

The fact is, Yes, your hair is weaker when it’s wet. How much damage that happens to your hair if your brush it wet seems to depend.

If your hair snaps like a rubber band when you brush it wet, then by all means, don’t do that, haha!

You also shouldn’t rip through your hair at anytime when you brush it.  Learn to be nice to your hair.

Brush, brush, brush.  Do not #2 usually seems to be to use a comb and not a brush.  This is something I still don’t understand.  If we’re talking about a comb vs a bristle brush, then of course a comb is going to be far less potentially damaging.  But I don’t see much difference between a comb, and whatever you call the kind of brush with the plastic teeth covered in plastic nubbies.

Everyone’s hair is different. Before you adhere to the Do’s and Don’ts of what is or isn’t good for your hair, pay attention to your hair first.  Evaluate if what you’re doing is actually damaging your hair or not. If you’re not sure, or can’t tell, go ahead and give something new a try. Don’t be afraid to go back to what you’re used to if you don’t see results.  Remember, when it comes to results it could also take a while to see them, especially if you’re trying to discern whether or not your hair is being damaged less.

My hair is thick, I’m tender headed and I don’t like combs. I always brush my hair very carefully because I don’t enjoy torturing myself.  I’ve never personally experienced the rubber band snapping thing. My hair is damaged for sure, but I’d blame it more on the past 2 (ish) years of putting junk in my hair, trying to curl it, straighten it, get more waves, and so on.  Not to mention not taking well enough care of my self in general. Frump girl had frump hair, haha!

That’s my  take on the hair brushing when wet issue.  My hair is not exceptionally long at the moment, and I want to keep it this length until next summer, but I do intend to grow it out again eventually.  I prefer longer hair, but I think it will be easiest to keep track  of any changes that occur due to No Poo if I keep it at the same length for a while.

My No Poo adventure will begin again either tomorrow or Friday.  Depends on when my hair needs a wash.  I’ll be glad for it though, I’ve been finding the strong smell of shampoo/conditioner a little repugnant.

My No Poo Disaster

(for starters, wheeeeee new theme.  I’ll probably switch it again soon, but I just could not look at the freshy theme one moment longer! This is something with a bit more pop while I look for something I feel is more in tune with myself)

It’s been a few weeks since my last No Poo update. I wish I could say it was because things had been going well!

My last mention of No Poo I had said I would update in a few days to see how I tolerated going more than 48 hours without washing.  However I washed my hair again the day after because of some weird oily spot that was only in one spot. I had thought that perhaps I had not been thorough enough in the previous wash.  It was only a little improved.

(more inconsistent lighting, I really need put day light bulbs in my bathroom!) 

On 07/07 is when I said I’d wait a few days before washing. I washed the next day instead, and there is still some weird oily heaviness at the back of my head, despite making the extra effort to be thorough. You can see in the bottom left area especially, the stringy parting just under the top layer.

Despite the problem area, the rest of my scalp and hair is in excellent shape on 07/08, I had even started seeing more waves.

Before a wash on 07/11 my scaalp and roots are oily all over. Although not as bad as the first time I went 3+ days.

Also 07/11 pre wash. Hair is noticeably weighed down.  You can see the weirdness going on at the back of my head still. 

Despite another wash on 07/13, the area on the back of my head gets larger and worse, spreading down the length of my hair (and apparently not washing out) while the rest of my hair isn’t much affected.

 

on 07/20, it’s not the best photo ever, but even the top layer of hair is oily now. And tacky, sticky. Even just after a wash, it would not go away. 

At its worst on 07/24. My hair is dry here. It is stringy everywhere. Tacky everywhere. Heavy, limp, gross 😦

 

On 07/27 I decided to use actually shampoo to fix my hair. I had read a bit about using natural bristle brushes to ensure that you’re removing all the buildup from your hair. I don’t have such a thing (yet) so I found my husbands smallest toothed comb and had at it. That white stuff was coated in my hair! and when I actually looked at my regular hair brush, the tacky substance was also all up in that as well. Super gross! 😦

 

Now I did try to trouble shoot through out these weeks.  More BS, Less BS, More ACV, Less ACV. Lime juice, lemon juice, boiled water, spending longer to make absolutely sure I was thoroughly washing AND rinsing, ACV, Lime juice, Lemon juice rinses only. You name it, and I tried it.  I never washed my hair more than once a day during this process, and a lot of the time I still went every other day, which is why it got so bad before I finally bit the bullet and used shampoo.  No matter what I did it still steadily got worse and worse.

After double checking my Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner I used prior going No Poo to make sure it didn’t have any ‘cones (silicone, dimethicone, etc) I washed my hair with it.  There was so much build up in my hair that while it improved greatly, there was still a lot of stickiness at the scalp and roots.  I washed it again the next day, and there’s a lot less stickiness, but it’s still there.   I’m not sure whether or not this shampoo/conditioner has any silica based ingredients, I don’t know much about those yet.  I’ll continue to use it for at least a week probably though.

I think at least part of the problem was that I wasn’t adequately removing the buildup, but it was getting on my brush and I was also slowly spreading it all around. Why I was having problems with that one random area on the back of my head being especially oily I don’t know.  I threw away the brush.  I tried to clean it.  I pulled all the hair out (which I am admittedly lazy about doing in general) it was all coated in the white tacky waxy sticky stuff.  I washed it with hot soapy water.  I soaked it in straight ACV overnight.  I coated it with BS and sprayed with ACV.  Scrubbed it dry in between each attempt and there was still gunk on it.  It is forever cursed as far as I’m concerned!

So far I have read things like not washing  the BS out entirely will cause stickiness.  But then it comes down to the question of how could I not rinse it out well in just one small spot? (compared the rest of my head)  It started at the rear of the crown of my head. (is there a special word for that?)  Just that spot, below it on down to the hair-line was fine when  this started, but slowly spread down, and then started moving down the length of my hair and so on.  I still don’t have a definitive “I did ____ wrong, so in the future I’ll do _______.”  I don’t believe it was a “transition” problem either, mostly because of its localized nature.  And because just prior to this fiasco starting, my hair had gotten perfect.

I plan on ordering a sample or two of Chagrin Valley Shampoo Bars.  After I’ve used the Sulfate Free shampoo for about a week, (to make sure there’s absolutely no tacky residue left) I’ll go back to BS/ACV.  At the first sign of trouble I may see what a shampoo bar can do for me.  (trouble similar to what just happened, not any adjustment that may happen from having used shampoo/conditioner a few times, which I sort of doubt there will be) Otherwise I’ll continue the BS/ACV routine to see if it if this problem pops up again.  I’m also giving thought to investing in a natural bristled brush.  I need to read up on how you’d clean one first.  It seems like in the event of similar build up, it would be harder to clean even if I cleaned it more regularly.

I’m not concerned about the price of Shampoo Bars if I do switch.  At 7-8 dollars for a full bar should last several months,  possibly up to 6. As opposed to $12+ each for shampoo/conditioner at least once a month, usually the conditioner more often.  A box of Baking soda is $3 max, but I’m not sure how much I’d spend on it in the long run since I haven’t had the chance to use it consistently for a longer period of time, I think I would probably have to replace it sooner than 6 months for sure, unless I could settle into only washing my hair once a week.

Phew! Big update.

Small note on the Boscia BB Cream. I couldn’t use it, period.  I had to return it, that story is for a future update though!

Sulfate free does not mean Surfactant free

I recently went through a No Poo disaster. I kept up with taking the photos for the most part, up until this past week because there was a lot of traveling going on, on top of my hair not really changing.  Update coming on that soon.  I also need to do a little more research to try to figure out precisely why it happened in the first place.

I had been reading a little on shampoo bars and other No Poo methods beyond BS/ACV.  So I started looking around at the ingredients on certain products.

Lush shampoo bars ALL have SLS, for example.  Other things I looked at had ingredients that seemed very similar to SLS, like Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, and Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate.  Both are Surfactants, but are considered more gentle than Sulfates.

What does that mean? Well it depends on what you’re after. If you want to avoid detergents in your shampoo, something labeled “Sulfate free” likely isn’t going to cut it.  Sulfate free it will be, but it will probably have a less harsh detergent instead.  If you just want something more gentle, but not as “extreme” as going totally No Poo, then a Sulfate free shampoo is probably for you.

Of course there are Shampoo bars that are more natural, Chagrin Valley is one I’ve read a lot about. I may give them a try. Depends on what I find from trying to figure out my No Poo fiasco, if it was some sort of error on my part or just this method not turning out to be so ideal for me in the long-term.

Time for more research!  I love research if you hadn’t noticed, haha! I am not discouraged. There are many No Poo methods, what works for some, won’t work for others.  I don’t view having to possibly switch methods as a set back.

🙂

No Poo: Tweaking

Today’s Photos.  A few hours after a BS/ACV wash.

There is a small section that seems more oily than the rest, I’m thinking I may have just accidentally passed over that section, as it’s not an issue I’ve ever had so far.  We will see I guess! I’m not sure if it counts as “cheating”  but if I head out for any special reason this weekend I will likely just apply a little setting powder to the top later so that it doesn’t look so out-of-place (it’s a trick I learned from having bangs that would get stringy/oily faster than the rest of my hair)

Oh, and that Olive Oil nonsense, took 3 more washes to get it out.  Clearly I must have been doing something wrong, haha!

I switched to Apple Cider Vinegar a little sooner than I wanted to.  It seems fairly common for some people to have to tweak their process a bit, but I wanted to give it closer to 3 weeks before I made any big changes.  Unfortunately I ran out of white vinegar, and I just decided that it would be better if I just bought a giant jug of ACV rather than buying more white and having to buy more sooner.  I’m weird like that, disliking multiple shopping trips and things of that nature.

I initially wanted to wait until I was sure  my adjustment period was over, even though it’s not been very bad for me, so that I better knew what effects were being caused by my changes, rather than my hair still adjusting.

My hair wasn’t dry before I started, and hasn’t really been all that dry after I started, it’s definitely a tad more dry now.

I think that means I need to start dialing back on the Baking Soda.   I’ll give it a try next time and see what happens.  I have also been sticking to an every other day washing since my post about the greasy 3rd day, but I think it’s time to see what happens over a longer period of time again.

The heavy feelings is gone though, and I’m pretty sure now that it’s just gone, and not that I just got used to it. More reading also has me thinking that the “heaviness” I have been using to describe my hair might have actually been what other people are calling waxy.  Not sure really. My hair has never been in a state that I would describe as waxy, but it could just be that it was waxy and I just didn’t know that’s what was going on.

More reading, yes! I suspect that I will keep reading about No Poo, BS/ACV, and all sorts of various methods, various do’s and dont’s, researching, testing, etc.

Another update in a few days pre BS/ACV wash!

No Poo Update

One day shy of a week.  I’d say that it’s going pretty well.

I had been washing every other day.  Tonight it had been closer to 3 days.

First two photos are of my hair shortly after it’s finished drying (as opposed to a day or more after washing).  The next 3 are from today, just before I washed it again.  I apologize for the inconsistent lighting, as the 3 day photos were taken in my bathroom because I just barely remembered to document the status of my hair before washing again.

Also, this is my first time fiddling with the gallery.  I’m not sure I like it, we’ll see if I change my mind.

For 3 days, it did not seem very far off from I’m used to.  Either the heaviness is easing, or I’m just getting used to it, hard to say!

I have also continued on with some research.  I had all the how’s and some of the why’s . (I will not be citing sources here, I encourage you take anything about my No Poo endeavour as merely an anecdotal experience, and the facts as I currently understand them.  So I also encourage you to do your own research)

So, Why do I need to use vinegar?  Why do some people use apple cider vinegar?  Why is it permissible to use lime or lemon juice?  Why do many sources say that the vinegar is for counteracting the baking soda?

A lot of it has to do with the pH.  On the pH scale most people’s hair is in the middle..ish.  Baking soda is a base, vinegar or lime/lemon juice are acids.  While baking soda will raise the pH, the vinegar will lower it again.  Now I knew all that already except for the bit about my hair having a pH balance, and that balance being fairly important.  Apple cider vinegar is more acidic than white vinegar.  Lime and lemon juice are also more acidic (I believe).  So what I originally thought was largely due to preference, is a little more technical than that.  It probably still has a bit to do with preference, but more so the preference of how it affects the pH of your hair.

There are other reasons to use an acid after baking soda, I’m still a little confused on that topic though, so I will save that for another update.

I’m also experimenting with using olive oil for a moisturizer boost.  My hair is not overly dry from going No Poo, it’s just something I wanted to try out.  I tried it once before I started No Poo, and with shampoo I had no problem getting the oil out of my hair.  With BS/WV….not so much.  I think I will have to wash it again to get it out.  I know that this is something plenty of No Poo veterans do, but it seems I’m missing a step or something.

More No Poo updates to come!