Making The Most of Your ‘Poo!

When I started my hair journey, I hated shampoo because it made my hair feel like a scouring sponge. I discovered alternative no-poo methods which were great and have written about before.

Now, 1 year and 7 months later, I can say that Shampoo in the bottle as you know it, is not the enemy. I love to Poo after my hair has been in a protective style for weeks and just to be on the safe side, when my hair is out, every four weeks or so to keep Product Build-up away.

Yes, most shampoos are harsh on hair because they contain detergents/surfactants called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals cleanse deep, and for this reason, your hair may be left very brittle and dry.

Sulfate-free shampoos contain milder surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine in place of SLS/SLES. I’d especially recommend them to people who need to wash their hair often, like swimmers.

You don’t need to shampoo every three days or every other week, but no matter your preference, these pointers will help you make the most of ‘Poo days- with or without sulfates. 🙂

How cute

Source: Pinterest

Dilute It!

You can reduce the harsh effects of your shampoo by diluting it with water. Get an applicator bottle or even a regular bowl. Put in a little amount of shampoo and add water (not too much!) and shake the bottle or shake up with your hands (if you’re using a bowl)- and you’re ready to wash!

Gently focus on your scalp

Have you ever heard- Shampoo is for scalp and Conditioner is for hair?

When you’re shampooing, the focus should be on your scalp. If you focus your application on the scalp, it will be well cleansed and the shampoo will still get to your hair strands. You don’t need to scrub your hair as it lathers and you definitely don’t need to scratch your scalp in the process.

Pre-Poo

This is simply the act of applying oils or conditioners to your hair before shampooing to prepare it for the harsh manipulation to follow. I vouch for plain oil pre-poos.

Science says coconut oil is the best for pre-pooing because of its ability to be absorbed into the hair shaft. 8 hours is also said to be the optimum time for your coconut pre-poo. I use coconut oil when I have it, and when I don’t- olive oil. And except I’m pre-pooing overnight, 3-4 hours is just good for me.

Add Oil

If you haven’t got the time to pre-poo, just add oil to the amount of shampoo you’re ready to use. You don’t have to dilute it with water. My favourite oils for this are Castor and Olive.

Make sure you Deep Condition!!

This is a MUST! The cleansing process strips your hair of its moisture and natural oils. Some people prefer to Deep Condition their hair before shampooing, to add a little more moisture so that the hair feels less stripped afterwards. Others prefer to DC on clean hair after a wash, to replenish lost moisture. Either way, both methods work. So choose what you like, and make sure you do!

So guys. How do you make shampooing worthwhile? What works for you and what doesn’t? Feel free to have your say in the comments!

You know you could always email: thekinkandi@gmail.com

Till next post,

Love,

AB

xx

P.S. The focus of this article is really on the regular SLS/SLES Shampoos. If you find that your sulfate-free shampoo or even conditioner strips your hair, you could follow the pointers too. But if they work fine, doing their jobs without stripping your hair down, you’re fine using them alone.

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WASHDAY!: Mud wash

Yep. I said Mud. I washed my hair with clay. Mud. Now isn’t that… Counter-intuitive? That’s the word you’re looking for. I knowww. But it was amazing. Let me tell you alllllllll about it! 😀

Last Sunday was Washday. True to my word, I took down my twists when I got home as soon as I’d rolled my luggage to a corner. I had a little help from my little cousins who were visiting, and eventually, my baby brother.

My hair is naturally very dry, so I do not care for Shampoo at all. It leaves my hair all dry and rough and tangled. I do not own a bottle of Shampoo. Since my Big Chop, I don’t think I’ve shampoo’d more than 5 times. What do I do instead? I clarify my hair with no-Poo methods like this one, or I simply wash my hair with Black soap. And when I do shampoo, I pre-poo by saturating my hair with oil first.

So Sunday, as a no-poo clarifying alternative to Shampoo, I did a mud wash. I was very pleased with the results and I’ll definitely be doing this again!

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WHAT I USED

Bentonite Clay (About 4 spoons)

Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)

Carrier Oils: Castor, Olive

A few drops of Tea-Tree Essential Oil

Honey

Plastic bowl, plastic disposable spoon

(please, feel free to use the oils you want to. I used what I had. Though, Castor & Olive are good oils for conditioning)

I got my Bentonite Clay and AVJ from Ahia Natural Nigerian (through Natmane in Abuja) but I’m pretty sure you could find Aloe Vera Juice at any decent health shop or pharmacy.

WHAT I DID

1. I really didn’t do much measuring. My hair is short and I figured 4 spoons of the clay would be okay. I added enough AVJ to mix the clay to the consistency I wanted. Let’s say I added two spoons of honey & one spoon of Castor and Olive oil each (I just poured straight from the bottles), and 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil.

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2. I mixed all the ingredients in the plastic bowl, with the plastic spoon. They say you shouldn’t use metal utensils, I’m not really sure why. I’d love to find a small wooden spoon. My mother would not take kindly to me using her wooden spoons to mix my concoctions lol. I ended up using 2 plastic spoons. They were really flimsy disposable spoons so one broke half way. I didn’t have the patience to mix it to a perfectly smooth consistency but it didn’t matter in the end.

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3. Satisfied with the mix, I spritzed my hair with water for it to be a little damp, and then got the gunk all over it.

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4. I wore a plastic bag (again, life is too short to be washing shower caps) and wrapped my plastic-wearing head round with a warm towel. I’d put the towel in to microwave for about 30 seconds, and let my body heat do the rest.

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5. 30 minutes after, I was ready to wash but decided to give it another 30 minutes just because I felt like it.

6. I washed my hair over the sink. I prefer this to washing in the shower because it’s just easier for me to gather my shed/broken strands from the sink drain than the shower. By wash, I mean I rinsed the clay out of my hair with clean water, just a little warm, that’s how I like it. All done!

RESULTS, RESULTS!

My hair felt great yo. So clean. It didn’t feel dry or stripped! Detangling was a breeze. Here’s what I lost in the process of finger-detangling x twisting.

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Now, my hair was still all clumped together because I hadn’t combed it out. Look at the coil definition! Coils be poppin’! Haha. I attempted to capture it on camera, I hope you can see what I see!

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Then, what I did next? I towel-dried my hair, yep, with an actual towel I designated for the purpose. Frizz is SO not my problem at this stage in my hair journey so, I’m just happy with gentle towel-drying with my towel. My hair towel is nowhere as thick as my body towel. It’s one of those ones that come in a tiny compact package that you have to put in water to release it for the first time.

Then I moisturised with a leave-in, sealed with olive oil, put my hair in chunky twists and left my hair alone. I’ve been indoors since then, so my hair is still in the twists.

Time saver tip (something I realised): it is easier and faster to moisturise the entire fro first and then section & twist after, than to moisturise & seal each section. If you do the first method, you can pay more attention to sealing the ends when you’re done.

Another great thing about this method, it is an absolute time saver for Washday when you’re very busy. Why? Because, your mud wash = Clarifier + Conditioner + Deep-Conditioner rolled into one! True story!

Maybe, just maybe, Washday can come earlier to this girl’s fro. Rather than every 4 weeks, I could do this every 2 weeks, alternate with my regular deep-conditioning routine on weekends. We’ll see!

So, my loves. Have you tried a Mud wash before? What were your results? Will you be trying one out soon?

Love,

AB

xx

WASH DAY: NO POO

Last Wash day, I tried another ‘No Poo’ method.

What’s that?

A No-Poo method is a way of washing hair without shampoo as you know it.

I haven’t used actual shampoo in a bottle since my Big Chop. Most shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (SLS) and this chemical is really harsh on Natural hair. There are Sulfate-free shampoos but I haven’t tried any. Before last Wash day, I’d used only Dudu Osun (African black soap) and Natural Nigerian‘s Aloe + Coconut Clay Bar to ‘poo’ when I had to.

I don’t shampoo/clarify often but when I do, I often feel like my hair is really stripped. It’s so squeaky clean, and it feels like all my moisture’s gone. I’d been reading that baking soda is gentler than most shampoos, so I decided to try it.

So what did you do?

I did something really simple. Instead of the native soap/shampoo bar, I used Baking Soda and instead of conditioner, Apple Cider Vinegar.

WORD ON THE STREET ABOUT BAKING SODA & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

In addition to being good for baking, making pancakes, and as a cleaning agent, this simple powder is also useful in the hair department. It opens the cuticles, it makes hair appear thicker and it cleanses the hair, lifting accumulated product build-up from your hair shaft.

People of all hair types Natural and relaxed have used baking soda on their hair and they love it, but some people feel it should have no business on your head. There are arguments for and against- but going as far as Google page 2 when you search ‘Baking soda for hair’, you will see that there are more people for it than are against it.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Many naturals have testified to the goodness of this slappy sour juice derived from fermented apples. It can be used to clean your fridge, or make a tonic or a quick salad dressing, it is also a cuticle sealer. When used as a hair rinse, it seals cuticles shut and it adds sheen to your hair.

Why ACV and not white vinegar? They say: ACV is less acidic than white vinegar. You could use white vinegar, but in much more diluted form. They also say: white vinegar can dry your scalp over time.

To understand why you would want to open or close your hair cuticles, you could read this post.

Washday!

Wash day!

ROAD TO WASH DAY

1. The night before: I intended to do an overnight pre-poo with coconut oil after I removed my kinky twists, but the hair for the most part was well moisturised and even a little oily (I had moisturised just the day before while it was in twists with this method) so I only put castor oil on my ends before I went to bed.

Pre-pooing is the act of applying oils and/or conditioners on your hair before shampooing, to protect your hair from being stripped of it’s moisture and oils.

SO, WASHDAY

2. First, a little deep conditioning which also doubled as a pre-poo. I mixed a bit of the Suave Naturals Conditioner with Olive oil and put it on my hair.

Pre-poo/ DC. Conditioner + olive oil on my hair.

Pre-poo/ DC. Conditioner + olive oil on my hair.

I wanted it to sit for like an hour- but I also wanted warm water to wash, and PHCN didn’t give us power till evening. So after about three hours of waiting for them, I proceeded to the next step.

3. Clarifying: Baking Soda Wash.

You can do this by

i. sprinkling baking soda on your wet hair or sprinkling on dry hair and adding water

ii. mixing baking soda in water and using the mixture to wash.

Well, I did a bit of both. I put two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of water (Sorry, I don’t really measure one part this, one part that) and it didn’t dissolve properly. So I washed with the mixture and had to take out the baking soda that had sunk to the bottom of the bowl after, and put it directly on my hair- which was now wet.

I was pretty surprised to see it lather. It lathered like any shampoo. My hair wasn’t smelly or anything after I took out my twists and it did not look dirty at all but ah, the initial baking soda lather wasn’t white. It was more in the cream/beige category. I was happy anyway, I felt like my hair was getting a thorough cleanse. The lathering wasn’t supposed to happen though. So I really don’t know- maybe it’s the way it combined with my conditioner and pre-poo oil, idk idk.

I massaged my scalp gently (don’t scratch!) as I would with a regular shampoo and then I rinsed my hair with plain water.

4. Conditioning: Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.

I mixed some Apple Cider Vinegar with water. They say you can mix as you like; 1 part ACV to2 or 3 parts water. I think I mixed in the 1:3 ratio. I used the mixture to rinse my hair. Be careful, it stings when it gets into your eyes. You’re done, do not rinse with plain water. This is the conditioning step yes, but do not comb your hair at this point- as you would with a regular conditioner. Just leave it and moisturise/comb after.

So now. RESULTS

  1. Well, my hair was really clean, dark and shiny.
  2. I plucked a strand in a fine area and it appeared thicker (thanks to the baking soda). Evidence that my cuticles were penetrated?
  3. My hair did not feel stripped at all. For this, I think baking soda has to share the credit with the pre-poo/ deep-conditioning conditioner + olive oil treatment.
  4. I didn’t use a towel on my hair and for the first time, I realised how long it takes to dry. I think it’s a long time for a twa.
  5. After a long air dry, I did a quick moisturise & seal with my leave-in and some coconut oil.

I’m going to keep this up, try it a few more times and see if over time it’s something that really works for me. I made a silly mistake with my post-wash moisturise & seal and I really believe it set my hair back a bit after the good gentle treatment. I didn’t need to comb my hair until after my wash. I’ll tell you about my mistake soon.

P.S.

Don’t be worried about the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar. It’ll be gone by the time your hair is done drying.

Remember- Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic. Too much use and it could dry out your hair. You can’t do an ACV rinse every day. Maybe once a week? I think I’m going to do ACV rinses only on days I clarify. I clarify once a month.

You can get baking soda at any shop that sells ingredients for baking- any store really. I got a small cup for 85 Naira only at SPAR.

Apple Cider Vinegar isn’t hard to find either- check the next supermarket. The 32 OZ/946ml bottle is available at Garki Supermarket for 830 Naira. The manufacturers also make a small bottle I’ve seen for about half the price.

Has anyone else tried this No-Poo method? What’s your Washday routine like?

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