Tuesday, July 29, 2014

No shampoo, why? (parabens, silicones & sulphates)

Shampoos contain parabens, silicones and sulphates, each which need to be avoided.


Source: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17679.cfmSulphates

Parabens can be absorbed through the skin. They bind to the hormones in your blood, for some people this isn't a big deal, but if you're at a higher risk for certain cancers, parabens can up that risk. One study showed that out of 20 breast tumors that were studied, small amounts of paraben were found in all of them. Methylparabens (there are different kinds of parabens) may react with UVB rays, leading to skin aging. Parabens fall into a grey area, scientists can't prove they are safe, but there's not enough to make them say they aren't safe.

Here's a link for more info.

The problem I see with cleansing conditioners that contain silicones is that most silicones aren't water soluble, if you never remove them through washing with sulfates, they will continue to build up in your hair.  Those not using shampoo, but washing with conditioner only run this risk.

Here's a scary little trick, have you ever seen a lovely named ingredient called Japanese Honeysuckle?  Sounds wonderfully natural and good, right?

"misrepresentation involved in the use of Plantservative, labeled as "Japanese Honeysuckle Extract." It is a highly processed and concentrated paraben extraction that may or may not be contaminated with synthetic parabens where is it manufactured in Singapore. I am particularly distressed by the fact that so many companies are evidently using the latter version of "Japanese Honeysuckle Extract" and simultaneously claiming "NO PARABENS" on their labels."

"Silicones are synthetic oils. They come from "silicon", the naturally occurring element that makes up glass and sand. The first commercially available silicone, dimethicone, has been used in skin creams and lotions since the 1950s, but about 20 years ago, the hair care industry began adding it to shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products. In studies, dimethicone was found to condition the hair and protect it from dehydration better than mineral oil. Companies have continued to create new and better silicones over the years and now there are silicones that can help the hair dry faster (cyclomethicone), target the most damaged areas of the strand to provide deep conditioning (amodimethicone), and even strengthen the hair (aminopropyl phenyl trimethicone). "  Source: http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/05/silicones-and-other-sealants-for.html

There are no natural silicone's. The confusion seems to lie in the fact that they are made up from the naturally occurring element, 'silicon' but it's heated and chemically changed, they are not in any way, shape or form natural.  Source: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/beauty/the-truth-about-silicones

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (one of the common ones used) is one of the sulfate compounds that have the ability to produce a soapy and lathering effect.

Thanks to the heavy advertisement endorsement the consumers were hooked on to the product and the companies were having a time of their life adding this inexpensive material in the product which managed to not only add volume but helped in keeping the prices down as well.
Well then if the added SLS can keep the prices down and produce all that bubbles to cut down the grease then what seems to be the problem? The problem is that the sulfates don’t only cut down on the extra grease they take a lot of the natural and useful moisture from the hair and skin as well.
Did you ever wonder why your hair has gone brittle and dry over the time? Have you been blaming the styling products all this time for your unruly and rough hair? If you have, then the truth of the matter is that its not the heavy styling and heating equipments ALONE that cause damage to your hair and scalp, it is also this chemical which is present in all cosmetic shampoos, soaps and sometimes conditioners as well.  Source:http://www.aboutsulfatefreeshampoo.com

This post will be continually updated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My No/Low Poo Journey

I started my journey with BS - I knew immediately it wasn't for me.  I went 2 weeks until I got my soapnuts order - loved it but needed more hydration.  Got a locally made argan oil infused soap bar, it was devine!  Left my hair sift, moisturized,, shiny, just awesome!  But... Then it got really brittle.  I became very reflective and realized I need sebum.  The sebum I'm brushing through my hair was getting stripped by the soap! So I realized it was just the crown of my hair that needed cleansing, and ever since I only cleanse my crown, its plain water for the rest.  But I still had brittle hair... I read something somewhere and realized I needed a higher ACV to water ratio... I figured go 50/50% and see if it works - it did!  No frizz and shiny and my curls started spiraling despite being brushed so often... Awesome!

Then one day I had to look really good for work and I panicked.  I took out my flat iron, said a prayer to the hair goddesses and bang!  My sebum moved like grease lightening!!!! It went from being stuck at my ears (ponytail brushing against the scalp) to about 2 inches past that.  I was oiling from my end to meet the sebum then brushing for a good long while.

I left it straight for a good two weeks brushing and oiling with jojoba oil and man!! My hair looked awesome!!!!!!

I tried to continue curly after that but Christmas came, I flat ironed and people raved about how great my hair looked.  Then I had an episode with baby puke in my hair and the smell lingering and I used low poo.. Ya.  It wrecked my progress by removing the sebum.

So I struggled to get it brushed back through my hair and flat ironed to help so I could brush and oil daily and I ended yo extending my washing to a 21 day cycle!!

I wash, wear curly for 6 days, flat iron on the 7th day and go straight for 2 weeks.

Now I'm using ahhh... I dunno... Henna, and with all that rinsing, I don't cleanse.  Lol... And I'm experimenting with shikakai for cleansing too.  The reason I can, is because my scalp produces wayyyy less oil that before.  The reason I can't comment much in the shikakai is with a wash, a henna and another wash that's 9 weeks!!! I have to keep a hair journal so I don't forget!!! Lol!

Brushing is the key, and finding the right oil for you.

Take a look at the desktop version of this blog and look on the right column for a table of contents - lots of great info.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How I Plop to Dry

I use a tshirt that is an old maternity triangle shirt with longer tshirt sleeves. You could try a long sleeve shirt too I guess. I don't roll... I fold the neckband in about an inch so it can be smooth against my forehead.

I place it on my counter stretched open, neckline toward me.

Fold neckline away from me about an inch or more.

Flip hair upside down, Center it (wet) over the shirt, and lower my head until it touches the shirt.

Now my hands are free, I take the tshirt sleeves and wrap around my forehead until the sleeves meet at the nape of my neck. Tie once.

Take the bottom edge of the tshirt, lift up so all hair is in, fold/ roll the excess until you can have that edge come up, over and around to cover the tie you made at the nape of your neck - holding those shirt edges, wrap around to the front of your head. Against your forehead tie once. Tuck the tails/excess under the fabric.

Admire your turban or prance around making pancakes with your wrapped bonnet!!! ;)

This is another popular method but I prefer the flat wrap n tie rather than the rolling. Have fun experimenting!!

The T-shirt (mine is thin) avoids frizz if the turban shifts at night.  It also allows for a stretch when tying it which helps it stay in place.  I need it to absorb water, evaporate, and nor move so my curls can dry exactly the way they are when wet.  Without styling products, this is a very important step for my curly hair and allows me to get volume on top.  When I plop, I define my ringlets with my fingers and carefully compress them head down using gravity to plop.  I carefully scoop in the sides too so they set perfectly and with volume.

Generally, even when I towel dry, I use a T-shirt, its absorbent and soft and avoids frizz and tangles.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yogurt Conditioning

I used Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt—with 11 to 15 g of protein per 5.3-oz serving an excellent source of protein, while regular yogurt contains about 5 g of protein per 5.3 oz. Apparently the straining process leaves more of the milk solids, which results in a denser product with a higher protein level than that of regular yogurt.  So it was thick, easy to apply and as I added it to sections (about 6) I twisted my hair and separating the tangled  section to twist is just slipped into two without any tangles!  I had planned to leave the yogurt in for 30 mins but with hubby away, two kids sleeping I started painting... Ya!  So 1.5 he's later the thick 2% yogurt just felt like it wasn't leaving my hair - so I caved and used low poo to ensure I wouldn't be smelling like spoiled milk tomorrow!  Ugh! 
I avoided adding yogurt to my scalp, and avoided low pooing my scalp as well.  I've found with other deep conditioning treatments my scalp hates it and I feel all messed up for like a week!!!!
I must also say I've been ACV ing about every two days wearing NY hair curly and trying a but of WO...  Its not working, my scalp hates getting wet.  Thus my currently dried out hair needed a protein wash, to be followed by my usual straight routine so I can oil and brush my hair back into better shape!

Just woke up and my hair is suuuuper soft!!
... and fly away and although not dry, it's shiny and just not happy.
I'll flat iron it today so I can start brushing and oiling it again.  Too much WO this past two weeks - not happy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dry shampoo

Beginning no poo is hard.  It does get better though.  Its important to wait at least four full days between BS washes though, and remember to always use your vinegar rinse after BS.
Your hair is behaving the way you trained it.  If you were washing more frequently, you trained it to produce sebum more frequently.  If you can get through the oily days you'll train your scalp to realize it doesn't need to produce as much sebum because it isn't being stripped as frequently and the sebum production WILL slow down.
As well, if you're brushing with a BBB or bamboo comb, and scritching, massaging & preening (see files), you'll be moving the sebum from your scalp and down the length of your hair and hydrating your hair with your natural sebum.  This is by far the best way to handle too much sebum.  Using a dry shampoo is great if you have a big event or if you're dying to wash and just want to wait one more day to stretch your washing out past the 4 days, but understand that using a dry shampoo is equivalent to washing because it absorbs sebum (removing it).
Use a dry shampoo with caution at this early stage (in a salt shaker is easiest to apply to the toots) but keep some handy for those special occasions :)
Just like fingerprints, everybody's hair is different.  As women, our hormones fluctuate daily, our food intake and the weather, temperature and humidity all fluctuate hourly - all of this affects your hair.  We have to figure out what our hair likes ON it, when, and how much to make this no poo thing work.  We also need to recognize that our ends may have different needs that our scalp and adjust accordingly.
When you consider that in the 1800s a bath was a luxury.  Brushing ones' hair, keeping it braided, in a bun and most times covered were the norm.  It wasn't until the 1800s that we started getting creative with styling methods and likewise, brainwashed through marketing.
Having said that, what we think feels "dirty" or "looks oily" is really a socially constructed concept of beauty. 

As Queen Elsa says "Let it Go... " The oil never bothered me anyway

I'm kidding about breaking into song, but seriously, the lifestyle choice we make to go no poo comes with the responsibility that we have to pay attention to our hair's needs.  We use hand lotion... Likewise, we need to deep condition our hair - that's the responsibly part - listening to our hair's needs and fulfilling them so our hair can be fantastic and fabulous!
In the meantime, like the chicks in the 1800, brushing is a cleansing practice - no matter what wash method we use, and remember... washing less will train our scalp to produce less oil - a proven fact!