no-poo motivation – taylor’s story

hey crunchies! today taylor is here to share her no-poo story to help others gather up more motivation to either take the plunge or stick to it!

she’s incredible and incredibly open! 😀

be sure to leave her some love and check out her blog!

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Hey y’all! I’m Taylor, a small town girl born and bred in Oklahoma! I don’t know about you, but I loved gettin down and dirty in the mud (mostly by playing sports) and to compensate, used a TON of “science” to keep myself clean. I had never really thought much about what I was putting into my body(I’m a horrible eater, but I’m trying to fix that) much less what I was putting ON it! Did you know that it takes an average of 27 seconds for a ____________ (fill in the blank here) to enter your bloodstream once it has hit your skin? That’s not even what enters your body through your mouth!

A few quick facts:

  • I’m a 20 year old with normal skin.
  • My cheeks are way too rosy for my liking, but since following Alex’s blog it’s gotten A LOT better!
  • I currently do the BS/ACV rinse for my hair and looooove it!
  • I live in Boise, ID and the hard water is BAAAAAD. (NO CASTILE SOAP!)
  • My eating habits are awful so I’m working from the outside-in
  • If it’s on Alex’s blog, I have or will try it! (No exaggeration, and she didn’t pay me to say that! 😉 )

SO. How did I find out about no ‘poo and how awful factory–made, chemical-laden shampoo and conditioners are? Through Almost Exactly and its amazing author, Alex Raye, of course! The real journey didn’t start out that way though… In June 2013, I made the courageous decision to get a Pixie cut. My hair was long enough to donate to Locks of Love at that point (unfortunately, I couldn’t donate it because it had been un-virginized [is that a thing, un-virginized? Haha!] by the hair salon); however, I had taken the plunge into Emma Watson world and LOVED it! The dead and damaged hair of before was gone and my thirsty hair could start over fresh!

Fast forward a few months… I was sick of the Pixie. I loved it in the summer, but how I missed long flowing locks of hazelnut colored hair. (When I cut my hair, I was living in the mountains of Virginia and it was HOT.) And now I live in Idaho and it’s winter. And FREEZING. Did I say freezing?

Disclaimer: I am HORRIBLE at writing concise anything, so I apologize!

before
This is me as a blonde.. DAMAGED HAIR(but so gorgeous with all of those nasty chemicals in it…)

I found Alex’s “Grow it Long, Grow it Strong” post on Pinterest and had to click on it (Have you seen her hair? It’s GORGEOUS!). Thus begins my journey into no ‘poo… My roommate decided to try it with me but ditched a few weeks in. We have really bad hard water here in Boise and I forgot that castile soap and hard water don’t mix. Since I forgot about it, I didn’t tell her, aaaaanddddd yeah. Not pretty!

HOWEVER! I chose to stick with the BS/ACV route and didn’t have a problem! I started October 19, 2013 and my hair has never felt better! Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a journal as suggested but it’s really easy to figure out what your hair needs. Like waaaay easy! My dad (who is a doctor) loves to tell me, “Your body is the best doctor you will ever have. LISTEN TO IT!” So I applied that to my hair. J

A few tips…

  • If you use a coconut oil hair mask and you are on the BS/ACV route: You HAVE to use a low poo! I didn’t even try to take it out with BS/ACV, but here is what I DID do.
    • I used the Shea Moisture shampoo. For me personally(I have slightly fine hair. Not fine, but not quite as thick as most people’s), I should have diluted it. It took entirely too long for my hair to even itself out after using the Shea Moisture shampoo and it was irritating.
    • BE PATIENT. Pleasepleaseplease be patient and don’t give up! It is so so so worth it!
    • Find unique ways to style your hair during the transition period. My solution with my growing out pixie was bobby pinning the ends up. The front just suffered and shone in all of its grease ball glory. Luckily, I don’t work a normal job and don’t have a dress code. Well, I have to be modest, but otherwise I can wear sweats to work. J
    • People will probably judge you, but that’s okay. They can be jealous of your gorgeous hair that you only have to wash once a week!
after with flash
This is my hair now! (WITH flash)
after without flash
This is my hair now! (WITHOUT flash!)

Here is what else I have added to my arsenal of crunchiness:

  • Homemade lotion – I need to perfect it, it’s a little too greasy for me! It works wonderfully though – once the coconut oil soaks in.
  • Dry shampoo – Found here on AE! I use it on the 5th or 6th day and I can go a couple more days without washing it! And my bathroom smells like chocolate when I rinse it out! Yummy!
  • Dr. Bronner’s lip balm – I use the peppermint. I am OBSESSED with peppermint EO! If you don’t want to purchase it online(DB’s has a $20 minimum) you can find it at Natural Grocer’s if you have one in your area!
  • All – natural household cleaners – found on FrugalFaye.com! It’s AWESOME!
  • Eating more fruits and veggies. Down South we LOVE ribs and pretty much any red meat so I’m working on reducing my intake of it.
  • I bought stuff for homemade deodorant but haven’t made it yet.
  • Water-only-washing – I know, I know, it’s sounds disgusting, but people have actually told me that I smell really good since doing it(I just don’t tell them. It’s my dirty little secret – pun oh so definitely intended. 😉 )
  • I’ve also decided to try Cowgirl Dirt makeup – I think it’s extremely appropriate for this Okie girl! They also sell samples which is a MAJOR bonus for a budget conscious gal like me!
  • Ladies… This may be weird/awkward for some… BUT. Our feminine hygiene products are also laden with chemicals! Not to mention the risk of TSS (that’s another topic entirely) so that’s another area of my life that has changed and I will never go back to store bought pads and tampons again!
  • Totally not a crunchy thing, but I’m also on a Spending Fast where I only buy things that are absolutely necessary so I can get out of debt! It’s only student loans, but the faster I get it paid off the better! 🙂 This month (since it’s almost Christmas) kinda turned into a Spending Diet so I could buy Christmas presents.

I’m not grossed out by much so trying all of this “hippie” stuff didn’t bother me AT ALL. I wasn’t really even concerned about the water only washing. Our bodies are made to cleanse themselves without a ton of chemicals!

taylor

This is me with no makeup on and (almost) all natural hair! I put the red in it about 2 weeks before I found Almost Exactly! 

I also have a blog! It’s mostly about my day-to-day life at work, but please feel free to stop by! I need to post more often though. 🙂

tayloralexandrahale.wordpress.com

I know that was insanely long, but thank you guys for reading! 🙂

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THANKS, taylor!! your hair is just as fantastic as you are 😉 lol

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no-poo motivation series – laura’s story – “how no-poo changed my life”

hey crunchies! here’s our second installment of our no-poo motivation series!

this post comes from Laura of Ten Healthy Fingers. check her out and spread the crunchy love!

not gonna lie, i cried the first time i read this…

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LifeChange

My name is Laura and first of all, I want to say that it’s a huge honor to write a guest post in this amazing blog.

I have not used any regular shampoo for seven weeks now. I got this amazing idea to go no’-poo from Almost Exactly and I am so grateful to Alex. So grateful that she has helped me to leave my awful hair in the past.

How and WHY did I decide to go no-‘poo?

So back to the start. I have had crazy-awful hair for I-don’t-even-remember-how-long. As a teenager I used regular shampoos from any other supermarket, then I went to salon products and then to pharmaceutical products. All this time I had a huge problem with oily skin on my face and †awfully greasy hair. I needed to wash every day to keep my hair clean. And I was a very outgoing person, going to music school, regular school, friends etc. That meant literally washing every day. Annoying, huh?

A few years back, the problem went even worse. Now it got to the point where I had to wash in the mornings, because washing in the evening was pointless.

I really needed help from a professional, I was unhappy.

Feelings

The doctors blamed hormones and †wanted to prescribe hormonal contraceptives against it, I declined.†It got really bad – I didn’t even get my hair truly clean anymore so I went to a professional, specializing on hair, to take a closer look at my scalp. She looked it with a magnifying camera (200x) and recommended special deep cleanser, special shampoo and of course, special conditioner. To be precise – I only bought these three (each cost about 17-20 euros, in dollars 22-26 USD). She prescribed more things and all together, there were 7 items.

Those actually cleaned my hair and in the beginning I was able to wash every second day if I really-really wanted and stayed home the second day. At some point I felt they are still not good enough and after quitting those products, it got worse again, I think even worse than before. You know the desperation if you constantly need to worry how your hair looks, does everyone see how greasy they are, not to mention that hair held more close to scalp. I was literally unhappy with my hair and with myself and you know what it can do to a girls’ self-esteem.

Soda-ACV1The beginning of no-‘poo process

Then I found this blog and I am forever grateful! I did everything just as Alex has written. I did the clarifying and I started washing my hair once a week. Gross? Yep, it was. The first two weeks were awful for me, but then again – I had the worse possible hair before. In between I rinsed my hair with warm water. There were moments when I wanted to go back to a regular shampoo, just to feel my scalp a little bit more clean. I stayed strong and looked at Alex’s hair for motivation. After all – I had nothing to lose, it couldn’t go any worse than before, just had to tolerate it for a bit longer.

Daily, I used my fingernails to massage my scalp and then brush for 10 minutes. It made me feel a bit better and it felt like my scalp can breathe more.

I didn’t feel particularly good, but I had my goal and in bigger plan – it’s just few weeks of tolerating and rest of the life of happiness.

Two weeks

At the end of the second week I was not quite sure, but I THOUGHT I felt a little different. I noticed that my outgrown fringe started to became rather clean. That was the moment I knew that Alex was really right and that I’m not going to quit!

There is one thing I wish I would have payed more attention to – Alex strongly advised to deep condition often. I underestimated this a little, because it didn’t feel that necessary. Believe me – it is! Even if you feel in the beginning that it’s cool without deep conditioning – don’t trust yourself. It was the biggest mistake, because I think now I have to cut my hair more than I should have if I deep moisturized more.

Three weeks

I felt better than ever. I knew that it’ll probably take a little more time, but I was sure that there is a moment when this routine will make my hair completely clean. They appeared quite okay by the end of the third week, but I still felt they’re rather dirty, especially in the back.

Five weeks

On the 36th day ( I suddenly saw that my transition period is over! BC/ACV routine really cleaned my scalp, even the back of my hair were now clean. An on top of it – they stayed completely clean for TWO DAYS! It was a miracle, I don’t even remember when was the last time I didn’t feel this need to wash my hair every day.

And if you read from her posts that in a little time you begin to see what your hair wants -I thought that it’s insane, how on earth am I going to get my hairs’ needs?! But she was totally right, you are going to see what your hair need. At first I did everything just like she said, I think I did it for 5 weeks and then I started to “listen to my hair” and experiment a little with my routine. It’s not as messy and inconvenient as you would think. It takes about 10 seconds to make these mixtures even if I make them right before washes.

How am I doing now?

At this very moment, seven weeks of no’-poo, I feel amazing. After five weeks I started to wash a bit more often, because I am renovating my home, so my hair just got more dust in them. I can now wash every third day. It does get greasy at the end of the second day, but nothing compared to what was before. I think it’s even so little that other people can not really see it, I’m just understandably more sensitive and paying more attention to the appearance of my hair.

Can you go no-‘poo?

Absolutely. If I did it with my most-oil-producing-gross-greasy-hair, you can absolutely do it! If I went through a 5-week transition period with my hair, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU can, too! Almost Exactly is the best help you can ever get for the transition period and after that. Everything is written down, there is information about literally any situation that may appear and Alex is so helpful when it comes to a new person going no-‘poo.

I love my hair now, I am genuinely happier. THANK YOU, ALEX! You changed my life!

-Laura

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thank YOU, laura!!!

leave her some love! and questions!!

don’t forget to check her blog out, too!

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no-poo motivation series – nina’s story

hey crunchies! tonight is very, very special, as it is our first no-poo motivation series guest post! it’s from the lovely nina ❤
she’s kept in touch her whole journey and i was so so so excited that she was willing to share her story with all of us!

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Hi guys! My name is Nina and I’m here to share my story with no-‘poo.  This is gonna be a wordy post, but I hope you get use from it.

When my friend Bella first told me about no-poo, I thought it was weird and impossible, and I was happy with my Herbal Essences and a-pound-of-mousse-day routine.  But with research on this awesome blog, I found that I needed to switch; so I did. I have thick, dark, frizzy and curly hair, (I’m Italian, if you haven’t guessed. :)) I chose to do lemon juice and vitamin e oil for my routine… diluted of course. 🙂  Here’s my hair uncut and not clarified:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.38.31 PM

I clarified (with castile soap and acv) as soon as school went out and went for a haircut the next day.  But, my hairdresser was very rotten about no-‘poo, and she washed my hair with the products after I ask her not to. L  So I clarified again and within a week, a washed my hair with lemon juice and vitamin e oil.  I was very surprised when my hair didn’t get oily, AT ALL. I thought that maybe I didn’t do it right, or maybe I was a lucky one.

I started to stretch out the days, and it was very easy for me.  I went from every other day (and sometimes every 3 days) to every week in one month.  The only time I ever had to wash often was when my hair got oily (only 2 times); I would go in the shower and do a plain diluted lemon juice, no conditioner, and it worked like a charm.  I think the reason I got oily hair both times was because I put the conditioner on my scalp.  Here’s my hair after my first wash and cut:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.38.52 PM

I have a confession to make for the crunchy community: I only deep conditioned once. (the week after I washed)  Bless me crunchy community for I have sinned. I know, I know, I need to deep condition.  But my hair never felt desperate for it, and to be honest, I’m a very lazy person. (yes, Bella, you heard me 🙂 )  But, when I did deep condition, I used an accommodated (I didn’t have all the ingredients Alex’s recipe called for) version of the dry hair conditioner.  It made my hair soft, but I had so much build-up. And I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I had a huge build-up problem before no-poo, but no-poo helped clear it away.  So I washed with lemon juice and vitamin e oil, and it got out some of it; but my hair was back to normal. This is my hair deep  conditioning process…

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.39.18 PM

I have an above ground pool, that is part chlorine and part salt.  Every time I got out of the pool, I use the acv conditioner mix and it worked very well.  traveling with no-poo has been very easy; half of the time, I only need to bring some natural bar soap or castile soap and an extra 3oz bottle and I’m set!  This is my hair after about a month of no-‘poo… it grew 4  inches in 2 months!

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.10 PM

I just switched over to Shea Moisture shampoo (with the vitamin e oil conditioner still) coconut & hibiscus for thick & curly hair.  I also use the matching spray for frizz control.  They work really well; I dilute the shampoo a little less than 1 part shampoo to 5 parts water.  I was my hair a little more often (every 3 days or so) just because I love the smell so much and it leaves my hair so soft and nourished. 🙂  Here’s my hair after my first Shea Moisture wash:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.19 PM

Okay, so here are some products I recommend/my beauty and hair line-up:

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 6.40.29 PM

  • Affilia African Black Soap-$6-16oz-Whole Foods: gentle cleanser for my face, hands and body (diluted).  I got a citrus scented one and it smells delicious!
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap-$10-16oz-Whole Foods or really anywhere: duh. if you buy one thing, buy this. I do full strength to clean my retainer.  I use it with my hands, face and body diluted with coconut oil every once in a while.  My favorite scents are rose, almond, and lavender.
  • Shea Budda (Butter, but I like saying it that way.)-about $1/oz-Whole Foods: I whip it up with so coconut oil and essential oil for a moisturizing body butter/lotion.  It has a very strong earthy scent that I don’t really prefer, but I still like it.
  • Essential oil-depends on the flavor-Whole Foods is a gold mine for EO’s!: I only have one right now, Mandarin.  I want lavender and peppermint next.  These thing are just awesome; remember that a little goes a looooooong way.
  • Tea tree oil-$7-1oz-Trader Joes or Whole Foods: I make my own hand sanitizer with this, rubbing alcohol, and vitamin e oil. I also make my own lip balm, and sometimes I’ll add this and peppermint extract for a mint-eos-feel.
  •  Beeswax-$12-1lb-Whole Foods: I melted the 1lb block and put it into an ice cube tray.  one cube=6 lip balms. seriously. just melt it with some shea, coconut oil, vanilla, almond, or peppermint extract(and tea tree oil), and some honey and SCOOP (scoop it with a spoon into the containers for better texture and accessibility than pouring it in hot) it once it’s a little cool into 50 cent lip balm jars from Walmart in the travel section.
  • Lavender Salt Scrub-$5-10. I forget.-20 oz- Trader Joe’s: great scent and moisturizer with some awesome ingredients.  I use it for shaving—but rinse before shaving—it hurts when it gets stuck in the raser!
  • Biggs and Featherbelle Momma Bar-around $4-regular sized bar-Whole Foods: They have a little display there with all sorts of B&F bars; this one it lavender scented.  I use it for the face and body.
  • Trader Joe’s No-Flouride Fennel Toothpaste-$2-Trader Joe’s. duh.: I actually like the taste and its feel, even though I’m not a fennel person.  the only thing is, it has carrageenan. I think I’m gonna start making my own.
  • Tom’s of Maine Lavender Deodorant-$4-anywhere: this doesn’t work for very long, but has a nice scent at first.  I’m gonna start making my own.
  • Cute Mini Spice Jars-my mom forgot where she got them and how much they were. ugh.  but maybe Whole Foods? or Home Goods? anyway, great for hold deo, toothpowder/paste, lotion, etc.

Okay, so this is the end of my post.  Please comment questions and I’ll answer them.  It’s such an honor to post on this blog; I love this blog and Alex!  If there’s anything else I have to share about my no-poo journey, maybe I’ll update it.  I would like to say thanks to Bella for introducing this routine to me! Bye crunchy community!

-Nina ❤

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isn’t nina the greatest?
leave her some love… and questions!

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