Yay! I did it, I finally did it. I cracked the no-poo code. For me at least.
In case you don't already know, no-poo means going without shampoo. You still wash your hair, just without using shampoo.
Here's the theory behind it:
Your scalp produces oils that keep your skin and hair moisturized, healthy and shiny. When you shampoo to remove dirt and grime that gets into it, you are also removing these healthy oils. Your scalp is now very dry so it overproduces oil, which makes your hair oily. So you wash it to remove the oiliness, so now your scalp is very dry and it overproduces oil. So you wash it..... Get the picture?
I've been kicking around the no-poo idea for some time, but I haven't quite been able to make the leap. The 2 biggest reasons are that shampoo and conditioner are just so easy to buy. And, hey, it works. The other big one is most no-poo methods have a transition period. Your scalp is still overproducing oils until it gets adjusted to the oils not being stripped out every day. My hair tends to be greasy anyway. And I have to go to work at my day job. I can't deal with 1-2 weeks of greasy oily hair.
I tried the baking soda/apple cider vinegar thing for a bit. Doing the measuring and adjusting was a lot of work to cram into my already busy life when the shampoo bottle was sitting right there on the edge of the tub. Also, the water in the bottle was so COLD! I hated pouring that cold baking soda water all over my head in the morning. Plus there was the oily in-transition hair. That just didn't work for me. Since then I've read some things about how putting your hair through the ph change from the soda to the vinegar can actually be damaging to your hair.
I considered some handmade ideas - still am considering them. But until I get that worked out, I've discovered a winner! CONDITIONER!
Seriously, conditioner. No shampooing, just conditioner.
There's 2 tricks to this method.
1, you have to get a sulfate-free conditioner. Mostly these are advertised as sulfate-free. If you check the ingredient list, you're looking for sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. There are many kinds available. I'm using Suave Naturals. Readily available, and cost-effective.
2, you have to leave it on for at least 10 minutes. This is a big one. The first 2 days I did conditioner only, I just put it on like shampoo and rinsed it out. My hair was like a oil-slick. Sooooo bad. The 2nd day, my boss actually said something to me about it. Ugh. I knew I had to either get a way around it, or give up. So I consulted the all-knowing google and I read that you should leave it in before rinsing. So I "lather" (it doesn't actually lather, but it's the same idea) it into my hair, leave it while I do the rest of my showering, and rinse it out last thing. Sometimes I do an extra "normal" conditioning with it on the ends. And it's PERFECT! No adjustment, no oil. Just clean, good-smelling, manageable hair.
I still do it everyday, but I plan to start going to every other day soon. Baby steps, you know?