WHY OTHER PEOPLE GO 'POO-FREE':
This site has tons of information, so instead of rehashing it all, there's a link, and here's a summary:
There are a shload of chemicals and detergents in shampoo that are designed to strip your hair of its natural oils, plus it's cheaper and greener to use natural cleaners.
WHY I WENT POO-FREE:
My motivation had less to do with cost (how much of an expense is shampoo, really?) and helping Mother Nature and more to do with my own vanity. My hair was sick. It was limp, it was greasy within minutes of a blow-dry, it was unstylable. I started looking into how to breathe a little life into it, and that's when I came across this idea of ditching shampoo. The major selling point is that people who go poo-free are able to get two, three, four days out of a single wash, which would be the best thing to ever happen to me. In addition, people who don't use shampoo claim that their hair is fuller, shinier, healthier, and easier to style than it was before. This is the day I officially decided to go for it:
First thing in the morning at work - about an hour after blowing it dry. Flaccid, greasy, awful.
HOW YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT:
Mix a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda for shampoo. Apply to roots, scrub and rinse. (It's super weird to wash your hair with what just feels like plain water. No lather, no squeaky clean feeling - which supposedly is the result of crap in the shampoo, not really the feeling of super clean hair.) Use the same ratio of water to apple cider vinegar for conditioner and apply to the ends of your hair.
HOW I DO IT:
It became clear, even after the transition period (more on that in a sec), that a tablespoon of baking soda was not going to cut it for my buttery mop. I doubled it and that did the trick. The apple cider vinegar was wayyyy too moisturizing, so after a little research I switched to white vinegar instead.
A WORD ON THAT "TRANSITION PERIOD":
You guys, it was horrible. Once you cut out that waxy stuff in shampoo, your scalp freaks the H out and reacts by overproducing oil. I read that transition periods can last anywhere from a of couple weeks to a couple of months, and if mine had lasted any more than 2 weeks, I would have given up. Have you ever petted a lab? THAT WAS MY HAIR. This is no exaggeration: touching my hair during those first two weeks left a coating on my finger tips that I could scrape off. I got through it only by way of slicking my wet hair into a low bun for work every single day.
BUT THEN, THE TRANSITION PERIOD WAS OVER:
And I could finally see how this was changing my hair. I haven't quite gotten to the three-and-four-days-from-a-single-wash point, but with the use of a little dry shampoo and ponytails, I can go two. My hair has ridiculous volume:
Right after blowing it dry
and I can put it in all sorts of updos, including a puffy-top polygamist braid if I wanted (I NEVER thought I could achieve the volume for THAT). But this, unfortunately, leads to me to
While I love what the baking soda does to my roots and scalp, I hate how the rest of my hair feels. I even introduced conditioner back in, because like I said, this had less to do with saving the earth and more to do with fixing my nasty hair. That didn't help. I can't even really describe the texture...my hair went from sleek and silky (albeit greasy) to coarse and tangly. I can't run my fingers through it; somewhere partway down, they just stop. And while I can do great things putting my hair up, I've still been unable to wear my hair down a single day since I began. I tried on Friday and it was a staticy nightmare.
Static. The bane of my existence, and the final nail in the coffin of my poo-free experiment. I've always been prone to it, but something to do with the baking soda has multiplied the static by a thousand. A little research told me that that's not uncommon - information that would have been useful to me three weeks ago.
All of this combined is why, after giving it a fair shot, today is my last day of the experiment. The pros do not outweigh the cons.
I need to figure something else out - no-poo isn't my answer. BLARG!