I’ve been wanting to go No Poo for ages. I know I’ve got sensitive skin and my hair gets dry and crackly after washing, if I wash daily, even if I condition. And I’ve tried even heavy conditioners and hair masks from expensive salon brands. Nothing and I mean nothing I’ve tried, has worked on my hair to make it soft and manageable. That’s a sign to me that maybe I should really hold back on the shampooing. But my hair is quite greasy.
A long time ago, I tried just shampooing every other day. Well I know I could go a bit longer and tolerate the horrendous feeling of gross hair, but I prefer to take things in small steps. I was not ready to start wearing caps for a whole month while I waited for my hair to start acclimatising to lesser hairwashing. Well even when I was trying to only wash my hair every other day, believe it or not – my hair got oily and stunk by that 2nd day. But I persevered and started trying to stretch it out to washing it every 2 days. It got really gross by the 3rd day.
Once I heard 2 girls in a public toilet talking about hair washing durations and stuff only after I walked past them and went into the cubicle to do a number 1, I had a sneaking feeling their convo might have been triggered off by my hair smell and they weren’t being mean, but I knew how gross my hair was at that time and I had been trying for months to get my hair used to not shampooing daily, but it was not letting up in the grease department.
Of course it could have been due to living in a hot country too. But I was hiding out in air-conditioned places and working 8 hours a day in a clerical job in air-conditioned offices.
Years passed. I ended up living in a country with 4 seasons. I had given up trying not to have to wash my hair daily by then. But as I aged, my hair texture became more coarse and I was starting to really feel the bad effects of washing daily. I started getting this Jekyll-and-Hyde hair – extremely dry and full of flyaways after hairwashing and conditioning, yet limp, lank and oily a day after.
I fell quite ill with some kind of flu-like bug one weekend and that lasted for about 7 days, during which I had fever and headaches and… It had a rather good side effect in that I hardly noticed any discomfort in my hair getting greasy. So I didn’t wash my hair for all of 7 days, and it didn’t bother me that much to be fair. I was more focused on resting, eating well and getting better. When I finally washed my hair as I was feeling better, I noticed my hair felt soft as silk after it had dried. It was a contrast from the usual dry and flyaway hair I had straight after my hair has dried after hair washing.
That was my first inkling that No Poo, even if just for a week, was good for my hair. I then learnt about something called a dry shampoo. There are lots of homemade dry shampoo recipes online from the No Poo brigade too, to help with the greasy hair transitioning period from shampooing daily to No Poo for days. But I just could not get my head around sprinkling cornstarch on my hair… So I decided to try a commercial dry shampoo first. To see if it works at all. I was skeptical. And I wasn’t willing to go DIYing my own dry shampoo if it wasn’t going to work.
Did a lot of review-reading and settled for Batiste Dry Shampoo, which seemed to be one of the most popular and well-known brands. I ordered the cheapest one from Amazon, and it was in Cherry.
At first, I tried spraying it before going out shopping. I sprayed it right down my hair’s centre-parting. I was shocked to find it made my hair very noticeably white, with a layer of white powder. Plus I could not brush it out completely. I panicked as I had no time to wash my hair and dry it before going out, so I tried wetting the white powder with water. That did get rid of the whiteness but I wasn’t pleased with the product, needless to say. Plus the Cherry smell was revolting and overpowering and made me gag. It didn’t smell like a fresh Cherry scent. It was a very artificial musk-like Cherry smell and I already don’t like the smell of musk that much! The cannister of dry shampoo said the Cherry smell was “refreshing”. Hmmm I didn’t think so. That made me distrust any dry shampoo claims that their smells were ” refreshing “.
I left the cannister of dry shampoo alone for well over half a year before deciding to give it a go again. Well this time, it was because I don’t really care that much about my hairstyle as it had grown long. I had moved cities and I still cannot bring myself to go looking for a new hairdresser to replace the one I left behind. She was the best and she could do amazing things with my hair AND she knew just how to deal with me and instinctively understood what styles I liked. And anyone who knows me knows how attached I get to my hairdressers once I’ve found the right one. Like finding a husband, this is not something I take lightly!
I had a bad experience with a local hairdresser. Didn’t even have to step into their salon to have that bad experience. Basically they lied to me. I wanted them to organise a transfer of my hair dye colour details from my old hairdresser’s salon to their branch. They are both Toni & Guy salons you see. They said they would call my old salon to do this. But when I asked, my old salon confirmed the new salon never did so. I couldn’t have that. They could be the most amazing hairdressers but if they lied then that trust has been broken irrevocably. I am not paying over £100 per trip to a hairdresser’s whom I am not completely happy with.
So I let my hair grow long and now it’s just… Long. Easy to maintain I guess. I do miss my short tailored haircut with professionally-dyed hair, but I won’t even consider it now. Well, saves a bit of money too. Now I have an extra hundred quid in the bank each month.
Good thing is now I can experiment with that dry shampoo again. My hair is naturally salt and pepper anyway since I was in my late teens. With me not setting foot in a salon for about 8 months now, my hair has not been coloured for ages and my natural hair colour has grown all out. So I look “old” anyway. Who cares if I have white powder dry shampo residue on that hair colour? In fact, it blends right in and looks quite natural. Does make me look older but well, with a baby face that does look a bit odd… Like I’m not fooling anyone. Face looks 25 with grey hair. Who cares? Did I tell you I am now going through my Zen phase? Lol
So out comes the cannister of Cherry-scented Batiste Dry Shampoo. That was about 2 months ago since I started using it proper. At first, yeah it was quite difficult. White patches, hair seemingly not reducing in greasiness even after spraying a tonne of the stuff.
Over time though, I think I’ve learnt how to use this product. I was determined to not shampoo daily as it was making my hair really dry and I liked having the freedom not to have to wash my long hair so often, which could be very time-consuming.
I started spraying this on my roots after sectioning my hair. I’d section my hair by parting it with fingers, then spray aiming at the areas which exposed the scalp. I’d manage about 13 or 14 sections around my whole head. Immediately after spraying, I’d rub the product into the surrounding hair roots where I’d sprayed. It’s also important to control the sprays so not too much comes out but enough to make a very fine layer of dust on hair. If hair looks white, then I know I’ve oversprayed. But still, the product can be rubbed into hair roots or brushed out to make it disappear or less obvious. And of course time will also get rid of the white powder. But I only spray it when my hair starts getting/feeling lanky.
At the beginning, my hair started feeling lanky abouta day after washing. That’s because I used to wash daily, so my scalp was producing a lot of oil. I didn’t wait for it to get disgusting before spraying, because experience taught me that would be a little too late. So by doing it like this, I found that my hair did look less oily and by the 3rd day, was not disgusting or smelly at all. Just gets a bit itchy which is usual for me whenever I haven’t washed my hair daily. The itch is not because of the spray. I just needed to ride it out.
At first, I needed to wash every other day, as that was how long it took for the feeling of hair grease + dry shampoo buildup to become unbearable. Then after about 2 weeks, I found my hair naturally became less oily, and I could go 2 days without washing before it felt gross.
After another 3 weeks of doing this, I could go 3 days without hairwashing before my hair started feeling gross. Plus my hair has become such that it only starts feeling lanky only after the 2nd day of not washing. So I only feel the need to start spraying 2 days after washing. That’s quite an achievement considering it used to be lanky the day after washing.
I’m sure if I persevere with this, I’ll be able to prolong the number of days I go without shampooing even more. I have to say this stuff has helped me a lot in my aim to prolong the number of days in between washes. It may have a lot more chemicals than if I made my own dry shampoo from cornstarch – that’s what the no-poo people use to help them overcome the feeling of greasy hair in the transitioning period from daily shampoos to not having to shampoo for many days. But I do really prefer the scent of this as I like having clean-smelling hair – i.e. hair that smells like it’s washed daily.
I might try making my own homemade dry shampoo one day, when I grow dissatisfied with this product or if money was really tight – and money would have to be reaaally tight for me not to have enough to buy this. At about £2 a can lasting for 2 months, this is pretty good value compared to hair washing when I factor in the cost of everything involved in hairwashing :
– water bills
– electricity (because we have an electric shower and I cannot not use a shower to wash my hair… It’s the only way to get it feeling cleanest… I’ve tried washing hair in a basin of water like my late grandma did and trust me… It just does not feel properly washed like that, plus it made my scalp itchy)
– cost of buying shampoo and conditioner (I can’t just get the cheapest shit… I can’t risk my hair falling out)…
– electric bills again, if I have to use the blowdryer on my hair if, say I washed my hair late at night or just before going out
A good side effect of not washing my hair often and using dry shampoo is that my hair is now more manageable, slightly more voluminous, smoother and softer than ever before. And it is soft and smooth even after I’d just washed it, compared to the very dry flyaway hair I used to get after hairwashing when I used to wash hair daily.
I’ll definitely continue with this. Oh and have tried another scent from the Batiste dry shampoo range – Cool and Refreshing. Now this is the better than the Cherry as the smell is more pleasant to me, although I do feel it is quite a strong smell and even more noticeable than the Cherry. But at least it is not a gaggy artifical smell of “fruit”. It just smells like shampoo or soap. That’s the whole point of a dry shampoo to me – to freshen up hair.
My aim now is to try and get to a 7 day-interval comfortably before I feel the need to shampoo my hair again. I hope I succeed!