A ‘no-poo’ update

Hair that has not been washed with shampoo in seven years. Sorry for poor lighting; forgot to take last no-poo pictures in daylight :( I modelled this photo after the four year update picture, as I am amused at the fact that I am wearing yet another stripey cotton knit. Some things don’t change.

I bought a bottle of shampoo today.

This is kind of a big deal actually, as I have been ‘no-poo’ for SEVEN years now. Honestly, I was a bit shocked when I saw the dates myself. SEVEN. YEARS. For seven years I have been washing my hair using just water, and have trialled all kinds of teas and other slightly odd ‘natural’ hair masks as treatments/other forms of cleaning (I still don’t like using the term ‘natural beauty’ as I’ve mentioned before.) However for the past year, I’ve become increasingly unhappy with it. A year ago I said I would not start using shampoo again and my stubborn self really wants to keep clinging to that, to try and force this thing to work.

But. My hair doesn’t feel as clean as I want it to. It doesn’t look as clean as I want it to. It looks dull. I don’t like going to work with it looking like this. When no-poo works it’s great, but I feel you need a lot better water quality (read: soft water) than I have, and although I have a water filter, I just don’t think it does enough and for money and living-in-a-rental reasons I feel reluctant to buy a new one of those (I have been changing the filter medium every few months as required, so that’s not the problem I don’t think.) I also think its water pressure? I have found a higher water pressure helps with no poo, but my shower isn’t so strong and obviously I can’t change that. I could try the usual teas and hair masks but I want something more convenient. And this is weird, but I miss the smell of shampoo. Whenever my sister comes over the bathroom smells so nice after she has showered. I miss those delicious chemical scents. D: I feel like over the past few years that sulfate free shampoos have become much more mainstream and easier to get hold of than they were back when I first went no-poo – and that there’s a lot more of them. I bought one of those and am planning to use it. I’m super nervous about it! (I can’t believe I’m so nervous about something like washing my hair. but – seven years!) I hope it doesn’t irritate my eczema. No-poo has been amazing for my eczema – it sadly never cured it, but it did make it a lot more manageable. It also made my hair curlier, and at one point it was thicker and more voluminous too, although sadly that did pass (the volume, but I still have some waves that I like and I am worried will disappear when I start up shampoo again. T_T) (I would not mind the texture, look or feel of my hair right now, if not for the extra grease and dullness.)

I don’t regret going no-poo, and I’m glad for how it introduced me to ‘natural’ beauty products and then to more sustainable life style choices in general. I like how convenient it was and how cheap and easy. I like that it made me think about what I use and whether it’s all actually necessary, or if it’s actually just marketing/society/pressure to conform. But I want to try something new now. I just hope that using shampoo doesn’t go completely wrong, as trying to transition back to no poo will be awful, basically, especially when working.

So that’s another thing I’m giving up. 2017 and 2018 are the year where I abandon things, it seems. I feel like I’m giving up so much lately, that lately so much is just not working or has just changed for me. I’ve changed? My sister gave me a “Let the quarter life crisis begin!” card for my 25th birthday last year. Maybe there’s a hint of truth in it? As I shed the student life and enter the professional world, my world has become a little topsy turvy. I’m trying to adjust. And maybe I’m taking it out on my hobbies and my old routines – which, I suppose, is actually kind of natural. Maybe. :/

Unexpected no-poo success: powdered seaweed

I’d never heard of using seaweed for the skin before, but my sister and I were at a food fair when we stumbled upon a small store selling powdered seaweed. I asked about using it for a dry scalp/eczema and the woman gave us an amazing sales talk, and let us try some on our hands. My sister and I were quite surprised with how nice it felt and how smooth it left our hands. Still, usually I would not be so easily led to purchase, what with no prior research and one sales talk, but as anyone who has eczema knows, desperation for a cure/for relief makes you an easy sell. I purchased the smallest tub, and then set it aside for a while, before eventually deciding to try it out. I was a bit nervous about using it, as I’m always nervous for trying new things – I don’t want to make my eczema worse, or mess up my no-poo routine after all!

I mixed it up with a little warm water to make a soft, spreadable paste and smothered my scalp in it, before shoving my hair in a disposable shower cap (collected from hotels by me and my sister for this purpose!) Then I had some left over, so I put it on my face down to my décolletage. Then I left it be for a bit. It stank. It was messy (both to apply and when rinsing.) It was ugly – if you live with anyone, prior warning would be needed before turning yourself into a green skinned monster. It didn’t feel that amazing on my skin. However, once I had rinsed it away I was amazed by the results.

So I’ll get it out the way, this is yet another product that I bought for the intention of healing my eczema which did not do that and yet did other great things which means I still like it. phew. I’ve taken to using it every couple of months now. I use it the same way- smothering my scalp in it, shoving my hair in a cap, using the leftovers on my face, neck and back. Leaving it for 10+ minutes to do its thing. It rinses out really easily, although clumps of it do somehow end up everywhere so you have to give the shower a good rinse as well after. It leaves my hair glossy and with a lot more body to it. It’s noticeably nice, for lack of better terms. My sister even complimented my hair after using it, saying that it was looking good. (My sister does not approve of my no-poo routine, so this is unusual.) It does not really have any cleaning properties, but it does not make my hair any greasier. It does not soothe the scalp really, but it does help cleanse flakes. As for my skin, it leaves my face feeling smooth and clarified. It’s really great for when skin is a little bit red and unhappy, a little sensitive, usually because of stress in my case. It calms the skin. It also makes my body skin soft. It doesn’t cause any irritations anywhere.

I think I’m even getting used to the smell now. Because it’s worth it. I’m really loving this stuff and am quite pleasantly surprised by the results. I use the Aalgo brand, and I’ve got tonnes left (this stuff lasts forever) but if I was running out I would repurchase.

*This is not sponsored. Purchased it myself with my own money, and all opinions are my own.

I wanted to post when I reached one yeas of no poo, but seems I missed it. It’s now been one year, and around one month since I last used shampoo! Here, have a picture of my hair. Just cropped, no effects. It’s kind of making me nervous posting a picture, because I have no idea how if it looks like it’s supposed to. If it looks you know, clean. I have even been trying to wear my hair down more, which also makes me nervous for the same reasons. I asked my best friend if it looked ok and she said it did, so hopefully the slight waxy-ness from bad water quality isn’t noticeable! Yes, it is a crappy photo. But I am a bad photographer and its pretty difficult taking a picture of the back of your own head. It took a lot of self timer abuse to get this :|

Anyway. Everything is ok with this no poo thing. Its very much so become a habit and I couldn’t imagine moving away from it. I do sometimes, when I’m reading other peoples stories, wonder why no poo couldn’t be my “miracle” re: my eczema. I read so many stories where problems like dandruff and itchy scalps were cured by taking away shampoo. But my scalp is still itchy and dry and I admit I started this thing with the hope that it would heal by stopping using shampoo, and I do feel disappointed that it hasn’t. But its not like my scalp has gotten worse. So I am OK. I know I was foolish to expect any kind of miracle cure. I’ve been dealing with eczema and other skin problems my whole life and I know that it doesn’t work that way. It’s not that easy. And really, I think my hair looks OK. And it’s in good condition. And it’s growing nicely, as I want it to. Currently I wash it with water, and use filtered water as a cold rinse after. Sometimes I use tea, or herbs, or lemon juice to get rid of waxy build-up- but not too often as my hair does not really like those things.

What I am going to be doing soon is to cut back how often I wash my hair. I’ve noticed my hair getting quite dry at the roots and I can’t help but wonder if I’m over washing it. Water can be quite drying. And I also want to cut it down to save time. So over the Easter break when I don’t have to go out too much I’m gonna see if I can transition to just once a week. I’m also thinking about using henna to dye my hair, well just to give it a bit of a gloss, perhaps lighten it a tiny bit or give it a nice red sheen I don’t know exactly how it works, but from the little I’ve read it seems quite messy and expensive and I’m not sure how my scalp will react. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair so yeah, I’ll see.

I’m not sure I’ll be posting about this thing again anytime soon. It’s been one year after all, and there’s really not much to say about it anymore.


Remember that social thing I really didn’t want to go to? Well, I got out of it. How? I lied. The guy asked me if I was still going and the words came easily. “Sorry, something came up.” Of course he had to ask why. Again, the lie slipped off my tongue just like I’d rehearsed in my head many times “I’m seeing my sister.” I had hoped I wouldn’t have to provide an excuse, that “I’m busy” would do. Alas, I had to provide some reason. Immediately I felt relieved, knowing I didn’t have to go, but also guilty and panicked. I don’t like lying. Sometimes, you have to lie. Sometimes- like this time- I wonder if it would have been best if I’d been honest. But then I may have hurt his feelings or pissed him off. I don’t want to do that. Thankfully come Monday, and even now no one has further questioned anything. Good.  Though I felt quite guilty and still do. I wonder too what would have happened if I went, although I know it made no difference that I was not there. I don’t have any friends in my class. I am still struggling with this whole being surrounded by strangers thing, even well into Semester 2 of university where I generally get on with the people in my class (though, still don’t really know the names of some of the people I talk to daily. Also awkward situation today- a guy sat down next to me in the library and said hello and I managed to mutter a hello back, but I have no idea who he was even if I think he is in my class? Thankfully he didn’t make further conversation. I’m not sure I could handle talking to someone when I don’t know who they are. D:) I feel nervous every day, trying to keep up when they talk to me and trying to think of the right thing to say, the best thing to say. Its not like they are horrible, I am just awkward. I don’t mind, although it makes me miss my sister and my best friend aka the people I can relax around. Also- the guys in my class talk about football. A lot. All the time. Constantly. Is this a guy thing or just because I go to university in Liverpool?

In other news I am still doing that no-poo thing. I can’t believe its only been two weeks since I stopped this shampoo thing. Sometimes I think about how great it would be to use shampoo, and other times I am all excited about this all over again. My hair is a mess, to put it bluntly. When I brush it there is this weird whitish scum that coats the brush. I think that it grease, though I don’t want to think about it too hard. It is that gross. Tomorrow I wash it, and it should be fine for a couple of days before it begins to to get greasier…and greasier…until it becomes as gross as it is now.  Though it never really becomes clean even when I wash it, not like shampoo made it. My hair feels thick and heavy all the time. My fringe especially is a problem, though I thankfully have the time on Monday to give my fringe a quick rinse even if I don’t have the time to properly wash my hair in the mornings (note: I wash my hair Wednesday and Saturday mornings usually). The boar bristle brush helps, but nothing too amazing. I find as long as I keep my fringe clean and tie my hair back I can just about get away with it. In just a week I use shampoo, then I go another month with WO. I am still using my Nuance Airy Hair mask on the ends of my hair every time I wash it (I love that stuff too much). I am still experimenting with essential oils. I tried chamomile tea+lavender oil+ylang ylang on Saturday and liked it. I think this week I am just sticking to WO followed by conditioning my ends.

Lastly- Super Junior M’s new song? Completely awesome. And the fact they have a song composed by Jay Chou on their mini album also helps to make me quite excited for its release.