Monday, January 20, 2014

The No-Poo Shampoo Method & A Guest Blogger!

no poo

Shew- That was a long break from the blog!

These last few months have been CRAZY! (More to come on that later)

There are lots of you out there that are in the honeymoon stages of your new year resolutions... or still trying to think of one. Lots of people will want to lose weight or begin a healthy lifestyle.

What is my advice to those of you who want to make LASTING changes this year?
I could tell you all to go vegan tomorrow, or start running and working out everyday, but how many of you would do that and STICK TO IT? Maybe 1% or less, right?

I think the best way to begin positive changes in our health is not by what we put in our body.
THAT'S RIGHT! I said it!

I think your intention and thought processes must change first.

There are many ways to do this- meditation, self-improvement books, prayer, etc. But I am going to give you a short cut. Are you ready?

Don't worry about what you're putting in your body (just yet), but worry about what you are putting on and around it!

This means pay attention to your:
soap, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, household cleaning products, etc.

All of those things have terrible chemicals in them that do have a direct affect on your health and wellness. They disrupt your hormones, trigger allergies, promote inflammation, and have a whole other slew of negative effects. Gradually changing all of those things out will really give you an awareness of your health. You will begin to read and enjoy reading labels, and become empowered over your own choices. Trust me, this has amazing results! I think part of the reason for the success with this is that your taste buds go un-affected. A big contributing reason for failure of success on diets is the food doesn't "taste good". But swap out that shampoo, and trust me, your hair will still be clean.

One of my lovely friends has been doing the "No Poo Method" of washing her hair for almost a year!!!! That's right! She hasn't used shampoo in almost- one. whole. year!

I thought you guys would LOVE to read what she has to say about it.....
and also I want a detailed explanation for my own personal use as well! :-P

So, without further adieu, I will hand over the keyboard to one of my best friends and one of the coolest, smartest, wisest and most beautiful people I know...

- and someone who shares my name-
Meghan D!

Me and Meghan at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae, SouthKorea
Meghan has been featured on the blog blow drying her hair while exercising- HERE!
She's pretty cool like that.

Hello all! What a lovely introduction from such a lovely person herself! Thanks, Meg! I think I speak for us all when I say that reading your blog has brought so much joy and empowerment into my life! I am honored to have a chance to be a part of it!

Ok, where do I begin?

As Meg said, this is the time of year where we are all making promises to ourselves and hopefully changing our lives for the better. One way to begin the journey towards a better you is to start by looking at what we put on our bodies. For me, this journey started at the top: my head!

My Hairstory

I have really thin hair, and anyone with thin hair can most likely understand where I’m coming from when I say that I have a problem with oily hair. Ever since I can remember, I have always had to wash my hair every morning. It seemed that my hair started to get oily already that same night! I cannot even begin to name all of the numerous, expensive products I have tried throughout the years that all promised to treat oily hair. It never occurred to me that the chemicals in my hair products could have been causing my hair such distress. After a little research, I was surprised to discover that typical shampoos actually strip our hair of its natural and essential oils. Shampooing our hair makes it dry out, and naturally our bodies try to make up for the loss of oil. Our scalps end up overcompensating, and the result is that we end up with oily hair. Consequently, we wash our hair because it’s oily. Are you seeing this vicious cycle?! We also have to consider the harmful chemicals that we are putting ON OUR HEAD.

Personally, I never thought twice about what sort of chemicals were in my hair products. For me, it was all about smell and getting rid of my oily hair. I never imagined that healthy and clean hair could be attainable without the use of regular shampoos and conditioners.

I never thought I would say this, but it has been 10 months since I have used regular shampoo and conditioner! 

How have I been keeping my hair clean? 

The answer: baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV).  Typically known as the “no poo” method, this combination of baking soda and ACV can have incredible and lasting results on your hair. Now, I can proudly say that I can go a few days without having to wash my hair!

For me, this is a monumental achievement. I am sure your first reaction might be that this sounds dirty. After discovering the stress that we put our scalps and bodies through with harmful chemicals in regular shampoos, we should hopefully see the benefits of minimal hair washes. I was also surprised to discover that after weaning our hair off of regular shampoo, our hair has a way of self-cleaning. Sometimes I only “wash” my hair with water!

How Does It Work?

Baking soda acts as our “shampoo” and has a way of naturally removing grease and residue from your hair. ACV is used as our “conditioner” and will further remove residue as well as revitalize our hair. It also acts as a “detangler” and will give your hair a healthy shine, not a heavy “oily” shine. By switching to natural hair products, you allow your hair to self-clean and better regulate the amount of natural oil on our scalps.   

My hair feels so much fuller and healthier after making the change to no poo. Additionally, I have saved SO much money since I no longer use expensive hair products. It is important to note that the transition from regular shampoo to the “no poo” method is not an easy one. It can take several weeks for your hair to completely adjust to this change. However, do not be discouraged. The final result is absolutely worth it! Plus, you are no longer using harmful chemicals on your body. If you truly care about your body and even the environment, you will be able to find the power to stick with the no poo method until your scalp adjusts.

What I Use

In terms of products, I use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s important to buy raw apply cider vinegar “with the mother” because it is the most pure form of apple cider vinegar. I use baking soda as toothpaste and I also clean practically everything in my house with it, so I usually buy the biggest bag I can find! I also use ACV as a facial cleanser and toner, so I also buy it in big quantities. I recommend doing a little research on ACV. It has an endless amount of uses, including acne treatment!

How To No-Poo

We all have different hair types. Since everyone is different, that means that everyone will require a different variation of baking soda and APV mix. For me, I use 10 ml of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water. For the “conditioner”, I use 10 ml of ACV and ¾ cup of water. Put the baking soda/water in its own container and put the ACV/water in its own container. Before you use it, make sure to shake up the containers in order to thoroughly mix the ingredients (especially the baking soda and water). In the picture, my baking soda mix is in the clear container and my ACV mix is in the yellow container.

When washing your hair, use the baking soda first like a shampoo. Make sure to only wash your roots and scalp with the baking soda mix. It will dry out your hair a bit, so it is not needed on the ends of your hair. The containers I use allow me to easily apply the mix directly to my roots.

Once you have evenly distributed your baking soda mix throughout your roots, gently massage the mix into your hair and scalp for about 2 minutes. After giving your scalp a nice, invigorating massage, you can rinse all of the mix out of your hair. Make sure you get it ALL out of your hair. You don’t want to get out of the shower and realize you still have baking soda in your hair! The next step is to use your “conditioner”. You only need to apply the ACV mix to the mid and lower sections of your hair. I usually keep the ACV mix in my hair for a couple of minutes as I wash the rest of my body. Once finished, you can rinse the mix out of your hair. And don’t worry. Your hair will NOT smell like vinegar!

After my shower, I dry my hair and style it as I always have. Only now my hair has more body and natural shine than its ever had before! I have also found that my natural hair color has really come out after using the no poo method. Basically, my hair looks and feels healthier. One common complaint is that this no poo method means that you will no longer get the “flower” or “fruit” smells that you got with your old shampoo. I do in fact miss the smell of my old shampoo from time to time. However, you can mix various essential oils with water and spray that on your hair after your shower. I don’t use anything in my hair, and my husband says my hair just smells “clean”. There really isn’t any smell to my hair now, which is a good thing! That means there are no more harmful chemicals in my hair!

As I already mentioned, we all have different hair types. If you find that your hair is too dry, try using less baking soda and more ACV. If your hair appears to be too oily, try using less ACV and more baking soda. It may take a while before you find the best mix for your hair. While frustrating at times, it is all worth it in the end. I am so happy with my hair now! I am much more comfortable and confident with my natural, “no poo” hair. I know you will feel the same once your hair adjusts! Here is my hair 3 days after the last “no poo” wash. I haven’t cut or dyed my hair in 10 months.

Whoa- gorgeous!
- Note From Meg NOT Meghan D. hehe-

Making the Transition to No-Poo 

This all depends on you! For me, I went “cold turkey” - I stopped using all of my regular hair products at once and immediately jumped into the no poo method.  Some people prefer to do a slower weaning process by using less and less shampoo until eventually making the switch to no poo. A slower weaning process will obviously result in a longer transition. 
When you stop using regular shampoos, your scalp will sort of go into overdrive as it tries to adjust to this sudden flow of natural oils (remember that regular shampoo strips your hair of these oils). Unfortunately, you might find that your hair will become quite greasy looking. For me, the first no poo day was incredible. I was sold on the idea after day one. After several days, it seemed my new “miracle” hair treatment had failed me.  Extensive research about no poo had warned me of this oily phase. 

There are several ways you can mask this problem. For me, my hair is naturally a bit curly (although I straighten it most of the time…). I feel that with curly hair, I was able to style it in a way that didn’t look as oily. You can also wear a headband or get creative with various types of braids. Some people might be able to wear a hat as well. Either way, this phase is not permanent, and your hair WILL adjust eventually. As I said before, if you truly care about your body and what you put into and on it, you will be able to get through this oily phase. I have heard that some people don’t even go through the oily phase! I think that because my hair is so thin, I was doomed no matter what. Remember though, now I can go several days without having to wash my hair at all! Totally worth it!

A Lasting Change

Experiencing the positive changes from ditching the shampoo has made me realize how much better my life could be if I eliminated more chemicals from my daily routines.

I don’t use any make up or cleaning products on my face other than ACV as a toner and cocoa butter oil as a moisturizer. I do still use eyeliner and mascara, but that’s it! I hope this encourages you to really start thinking about what we are putting on our bodies. Another way to a better you is to consider what we put into our bodies as well. Chemicals are not only found in our cleaning products, but also in our food products!

Protect your body both inside and out.

I encourage everyone to do thorough research before making the transition to no poo. There is so much information out there and wonderful tips and guides for other DIY hair products.

Thank you, Meg, for allowing me the opportunity to share my experience with the no poo method!

Happy 2014 everyone!

Meghan D.


Thank you so much, Meghan for your hair wisdom!!! I'm definitely going to start "no-pooing" as soon as my shampoo and conditioner run out!

What do you guys think:

Have you heard of "No-Poo"? Have you ever tried it?

Please share your experiences with us and if you have a question for Meghan, leave it in the comments below!

Making changes from the top down-
Another way to live life...

The Empowered Way!


Another Empowered article on hair can be found HERE. You won't want to miss pics of me in high school! Wowzah- that hair!!