So I’m taking the plunge.
For years, I’ve heard how horrible shampoo is for curly hair. And like most girls with curls, I’ve searched endlessly for the perfect product that will kill the frizz and create perfectly formed curls.
So when the handbook for curly hair went on sale (e-book for under $3), I thought I’d give it a try. I quickly read through the instructions and decided to try out some significant (and some not-so-significant) changes to my routine, at least for a month.
Before photo (what my hair generally looks like — sorry for the terrible photo):
Day 1 (1/8): I stopped using shampoo, and instead relied on good old friction and water. I did use conditioner, and switched to drying my hair with one of my husband’s old undershirts (I will be ordering a microfiber hair towel). I used a combination of products that kind of resembled a gel since I don’t have any gel yet. And I let it mostly air dry before using a diffuser on it before heading out the door to work. The results were okay. Not greasy or anything, just not as full of body and bounce as usual, but the curls might be more defined, which is a good thing.
Day 2 (1/9): Repeated Day 1, except I diffused my hair immediately after putting some product in it (about 75% of the way dry). Not too crazy about my hair today. I think I need to buy some real gel and come up with something to replace my shampoo, I think my hair is going through withdrawl. Unfortunately, since it’s short I can’t just pull it back, and since I work, I can’t just hide until things work themselves out. Oh well. I’m also trying very hard not to touch my hair throughout the day. Hard, but I’m sure this is why my curls lose their definition.
Day 3 (1/10): I’m still concerned about shampoo withdrawl. I brought a hat to work with me today just in case…meanwhile, I ordered the DevaCare No Poo cleanser.
Day 4 (1/11): Scalp a little itchy.
Day 5 (1/12): A comment from someone at church: “Are those your natural curls?!”
Day 6 (1/13): A comment from a coworker: “I love your hair today!”
My curls are definitely more defined and I’m starting to get regular comments on my hair. However, I’m still not entirely satisfied. I haven’t started using the sulfate free cleanser (which should help clean my scalp better than good old friction and water). Also, I confess that I’m not using gel as recommended. I’m using some curl creams that I had just purchased and will continue to do so until I finish them, can’t afford to waste perfectly good product! I’ve been diffusing my hair about 50% dry and letting the heat in my car take care of the rest, then scrunching the curls slightly before heading into work. It seems to be working pretty well, but I’m not sure what I’ll do once winter is over… A coworker mentioned that she just might have to try the no shampoo method after seeing what it’s done for my hair =).
Day 9 (1/17): I used the sulfate-free cleanser on my scalp for the first time. Honestly, I’m not sure it made a difference. I’ll probably continue to use it (just to be sure I don’t get a build up) but since I didn’t notice much of a difference, I’ll likely only use it twice a week or so and make it last a long time. I also used a microfiber hair towel for the first time (this one), I’m astonished at the absorbency (and softness of the towel!). I think I might have actually over-dried my hair with the towel, so this is going to take a bit of practice.
Day 11 (1/19): I used gel for the first time (purchased at a huge discount at a thrift store), I’m not sure it made much of a difference as compared to my regular styling products, so this will require more research.
Day 23 (1/31): I’m experimenting with putting product in my hair while it’s still rather drippy before it has the chance to air dry much. I’ve also begun to experiment with clipping my curls as they dry, not sure I really have the hang of it yet though.
In conclusion: After one month of the no shampoo method, I’m a convert. In part, I’m convinced that my curls are better defined than when I started. Additionally, I’ve at least proven to myself that I don’t need shampoo, and it is one more expense I can remove from my budget. And, it cuts down on my morning shower time, which means an extra 2 minutes under the covers.
I think one of the biggest pieces of this new routine is the idea of just not touching my hair. This makes the most difference. Don’t touch while it’s drying. Scrunch to remove the gel cast. Then don’t touch, all. day. long. It’s still hard =).