Natural Hair Care

Lemon & Cucumber shampoothie & a leave-in cucumber aloe conditioner recipe

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I threw two cucumbers and three lemons, skin and all, into my food processor and made mush.  I should have peeled.  There are tiny chunks that take a bit of effort to rinse out.  That said, I can’t say it’s bad, but I’ve only tried it twice, once after I used a castile soap & coconut milk shampoo because I had way too many oils that wouldn’t come off my hair in any other way, and once today when my hair was already kinda fine.

It seemed dry on the ends though so I dipped the ends of my hair into a homemade conditioner recipe (acv & water, and a mix of hair-healthy oils) but kept that oily stuff away from anything above my neck, and then rinsed with acv and water, and followed up with a leave in conditioner recipe.

So IMPORTANT NO POO REVELATION #1 — do not put yummy oils like (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc ….) in your hair unless they are in a very very tiny amount, like a teaspoon into a half liter concoction.  Homemade shampoo just can’t deal with removing the excess and you’ll have weighed down heavy, oily looking hair.  Well, near my roots it looked bad, the processed ends drank it up.  So it’s important to find conditioning treatments that have NO OIL involved.  Or, ok, just a tiny bit.

So, without fun and super hydrating oils to lean on, how do you give your parched hair a drink?  Or, at least the length of it that may need it more than the new growth near your crown…. ?

I blended a peeled cucumber, a half liter of strong chamomile tea, and several tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel, a few drops of peppermint essential oils, and a tablespoon each of argan and jojoba oils.  I filled a spray bottle and went to town after my shower.  It almost tried to clog the nozzle with the chunky aloe & cucumber mush but it basically sprayed alright.

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No ‘Poo ?? No bleach either??

Shampoo Free for one week!  No, this ain’t an April Fools joke!!

Here is the current situation today, a bit heavy on top with some organic oils that haven’t completely washed out, but otherwise quite pretty, although the roots are getting a bit mis-matched with the blonde ends….is that Ombre hair trend still in?  Can I pull this off?   Here’s me, 1 week in to the chemical-free lifestyle, holding a baby of course:

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So anyway, what is No Poo?  Going shampoo free?!  No Shampoo?!!?  Do I dare?  I have (naturally dark ash blonde, a lovely shade resembling dirty dishwater or asphalt or something equally bright and inspiring) hair reaching down to my waist and the longest parts have been through several rounds of chemical foil highlights through the years (hate my natural color, miss the golden tresses of my youth, so I get chemical foil highlights every 3-5 months–usually I DIY ’em or ask a friend to do it since I’m never satisfied with the technique and attention to detail of salon colorists), so they are pretty dry and damaged and feel brittle and hay-like without regular conditioning treatments.  The thing is, the silicone in the traditional products *work* to make my hair, even the ancient, processed ends dangling around my waist, feel *nice*.  It’s going to take some troubleshooting to go without silicone products.  And the oils that work on the ends of my hair are too heavy at the crown, near the roots, and sodium lauryl sulfate shampoos are the quick fix to de-oil my head.  But if I’m going without all commercial hair products, I’ve gotta find a solution to let the upper half of my hair clean and non-oily and the lower half of old hair be soft and smooth and nourished and not feeling like brittle hay.  It has now been a week since I’ve ditched commercial hair products and this is what I’ve tried.

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Luckily I only wash my hair once or twice a week (about every 5 days) because I’m lazy and it’s so thick it takes forever to dry and I don’t blow dry (even that takes forever and I’m, like I said, lazy).  So my scalp isn’t crazy on the sebum production, I usually wash when my scalp feels itchy and dry, rather than when I see greasy roots.

–first I did a pre-poo treatment of coconut oil liberally applied the night before, then the next evening I tried to wash with bentonite clay (I heard it was a good detox for the start of a no poo journey) mixed with apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel, a dash of avocado and jojoba oils and a couple drops each of peppermint/tea tree/grapeseed/lavender essential oils.  It felt awesome on my scalp and I was all fresh and tingly for a day or two after, but those oils from my pre-poo (and maybe the oils in the poo recipe also)  just did not leave my hair, it was a lank, heavy, oily situation *except* right at the roots (benny clay did clean my scalp and roots up).  My scalp wasn’t producing it, it came from the non-poo stuff I was putting in.

–I waited a couple days for the oils to absorb but when they didn’t I tried rye flour mixed with coconut milk and aloe vera gel…  still oily everywhere but right at the roots/scalp.  I even tried dry shampoo liberally applied and brushed, and it did NOTHING but make my hair feel disgusting.

–next day I tried to go super-clarifying (and perhaps get rid of any lingering silicone buildup) with baking soda and water with a drop of dish soap, and rinsed with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (with a few drops of nice oils in there).  When it was still damp it felt so dry I felt compelled to put a bit of jojoba oil on the ends.  But when it dried, the upper half was still oily……   However, I did start to notice highlights coming out from my roots.  I can’t know whether these products were subtly highlighting my un-colored roots (about two to three inches of new hair growth since my last highlights) or whether the appearance of the sun since spring suddenly arrived just made the naturally occurring highlights in my hair visible in the mirror, but I definitely noticed some ever-so-slight color change effect.

—the following day I decided to go egg yolks and honey and yogurt.  I rinsed with lemon juice and water (I used my food processor to pulverize the whole lemon, skin and all, and then ran the mush through a sieve to get the juices out).  Finally when it dried it was CLEAN!  Like I had shampooed!

I didn’t touch it for 2-3 days, just elated at the situation with nice fresh looking, clean hair.

 

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Then…. I started to think about natural highlighting and ditching the chemicals to really find out what kind of hair I could grow without putting any chemicals of any kind on my head, and I started research natural highlighting recipes.  I am dubious, but I am willing to try throwing out my routine of chemical foil highlighting every 3-5 months and see these next couple of years what kind of hair I could have without it, and if it’s good I could enjoy that for at least a few years before I need to start thinking about gray hair coverage and get more agressive again with my color (I’m 34 so I’m anticipating at least a few stray gray hairs will start showing up around age 40, right?).

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I didn’t know CINNAMON could lighten your hair!  So I added what we had in the cinnamon department in the kitchen (a couple of teaspoons) to a whole bunch of honey, strong chamomile tea, a tablespoon of olive oil and a processed & strained lemon, (who knew the natural peroxide in honey gets ‘activated’ by olive oil and cinnamon??!)  to make a concoction that I left on my head for almost ten hours.  Last night I needed to rinse all that lemon out, which is drying, so I used my homemade conditioning rinse which is mostly apple cider vinegar and water, but with some flat beer mixed in for shine and body, and a bit of healthy organic oils.  I then rinsed again with strong chamomile tea.

 

The result?  I can’t really tell because the oils I put in my hair again are not rinsing out so I have oily hair at the moment which is definitely hiding any lightening effects.  Ok, I can see if I peer up close that there is definitely still that bit of highlights happening that I noticed several days ago, and the treatment I did yesterday really made my hair smooth and shiny.  But it’s soft, slick, and oily so I really don’t know if the effect on color happened yet.  I’m going to wait and see if the oil absorbs and then try it again, because I guess you need to do it twice a week for a couple of weeks before you can really notice the results.  I’m so impatient!!!!!!

 

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Tried my first princess braided updo!

 

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I haven’t cut my hair in a year and it’s now at my waist!  Well that was true until yesterday,, I trimmed the heck (an inch or so) out of the ends of my hair and tried to hit the layers too, by using the How To Hair Girl’s DIY haircut tips that I stumbled across a few days ago (and obsessively watched every single video of).

This is the first time I’ve ever done anything other than a standard french braid.  I dutch braided (french-braiding-reverse-style which makes the braid look like it’s laying on your head) and did it from front and around and back to the front.  I also used a How To Hair Girl tutorial for that.

What do you think?  I’m not sure which updo to try next, but I think I’m going to go nuts with the DIYs now that I have so much long, long hair to play with!  Yay for pregnancy making it grow like mad!

 

Also……  I’m a week into my attempt to be chemical free when it comes to my hair and skin care.  No sulfates, no silicones, shampoo free and chemical hair color free.  I’m a bit scared and shivery just typing that but that’s my goal!  So far after trying 4 different at home hair shampoo recipes using edible ingredients, I found only one that really made my hair feel shampooed (after I clarified a couple of times with plain baking soda and water, a bentonite clay mask, and even a baking soda and water mixed with one drop of dish soap!).

My shampoo recipe that seems to work even on my long, processed hair:

Egg yolks + yogurt + honey.  Lemon juice rinse.  *LOVE*