No 'Poo Method for Frizzy Dry Hair: My two-year update
Since July 2017 I have been washing my hair with apple cider vinegar. Happy two years without shampoo to me! I first wrote about my low waste routine in November of that year. Since that update 20 months ago, I haven’t used any product in my hair besides the vinegar.
For the past 13 of those 20 months, I’ve been using very different water to the filtered shower heads of Australia, as I now live in the Federated States of Micronesia. But despite being untreated and unsafe to drink, the water is mainly soft tank water and therefore doable for no poo.
My hair routine has had to change a few times because of my access to running water and ACV (I did five months without running water, during which time I needed to use a hairdryer to restore volume to my hair because without water pressure I just looked so manky). So there has been a lot of experimentation and I’ve made minor tweaks to my routine.
After a long time using vinegar, what I predicted finally happened. My hair started to actually get greasy for the first time in my life! After putting a vinegar rinse through the lengths of my hair, my ends would look like I’d forgotten to wash the conditioner out. If you’re worried about this happening, I found it took a year. But when the chemistry of your hair changes, you just change the way you take care of it.
I no longer use the vinegar on the lengths of my hair, unless I have some pretty nasty knots to detangle or it’s particularly dried out from salt water. I wash my hair about three times a month and I just cover my scalp, give it a good scrub, and afterwards work any natural oils through to my ends with a bamboo comb with regular brushing. I feel that if I didn’t have a dry scalp like I do, I otherwise would have transitioned to water-only by now. But because I’m so prone to dandruff, especially around my period when the skin over my entire body becomes drier, the vinegar is a useful tool for me.
My routine is just a quick rinse in the shower, a brush with a bamboo comb after washing and every few days between washes, and a snip of split ends whenever I see them. I do not use heating tools on my hair anymore, despite bringing a straightener to Micronesia that I have not used in years.
My partner has also been no poo this whole time with his lob-length but oilier hair, so his routine is a little different because over time he decided the ACV was too much to use regularly. He now still uses water only to rinse, followed by an Ethique conditioner bar*. When his hair has been particularly filthy with paint, oil or coal (tradie life), he’s used Dr Bronner’s baby soap to scrub the dirt out before the conditioner.
All the products I use on my hair are:
Everything is cruelty-free, toxin-free and made from low impact materials with the only plastic being the vinegar’s label, lid and protection seal. Plus, everything linked is available from Flora & Fauna.