I’ve been meaning to blog about my adventures into the No Poo Method since I first started my alternative hair care routine about a year ago, but I was still in the discovery process, and just never got around to blogging about my bumbling journey!
But now that I have settled into a solid No Poo routine, (with amazing results!) I figured I would share one of my newest No Poo shampoo rinse recipes with you guys!
Why I Went No Poo
I had thoroughly wrecked my hair with dyes and bleaches and all kinds of craziness in my various cosplay pursuits over the years (I have since fallen in love with the effortless perfection of wigs – a lesson I learned far too late to the detriment of my natural hair) and as a result I had dry, frizzy, broken hair that poofed up like some kind of cartoon caricature of a frazzled mad scientist.
Literally NO amount of deep conditioning with commercial cleaners was doing the trick. And the worst part was, the top of my hair where all the new growth was looked like an oil slick.. I’d over-condition to the point of being a grease ball on my scalp and yet my hair would STILL be frizzy and dry and covered in comically crinkly flyaways!
So I was just desperate enough to try this crazy No Poo Method all the crunchy moms were raving about. And you know what? IT WORKED!
I mean, I still had to cut off the REALLY bad portions towards the ends of my hair (I’m told I *could* have saved it, but I found it easier to just lop the ickiness off and focus on the less damaged portions.. trust me, the “best” portions of my hair were still a disaster), but after about a year of experimenting with the No Poo Method, my hair is the strongest, healthiest and softest it’s been since I was a teenager!
So What Is the No Poo Method?
The No Poo Method is essentially throwing out all commercial shampoos and conditioners and simply washing your hair with baking soda and water, generally followed by a rinse with vinegar and water.
The baking soda helps to clean up dirt and grease, while the vinegar brings hair back to a healthy and natural pH. Since hair contains natural oil (called sebum) in its follicles, it has the capacity to keep itself conditioned and healthy without the use of commercial products.
What people don’t realize, is that the frequent washing – combined with some of the harsh chemicals in shampoo – strips away all those natural oils, leaving your hair in bad shape. The hair’s sebaceous oil glands are triggered to release extra sebum when they sense the hair drying out. So by over-washing, you remove your hair’s natural conditioning and send the oil glands into a frenzy to replenish what was lost. This often causes an overproduction of sebum, giving hair that “grease ball” look when you go one day without shampooing, which in turn makes you want to shampoo all over again and creates a vicious cycle.
So by ditching the shampoo for gentler alternatives, such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar, you’ll achieve clean hair without the damage or dependency of daily shampooing.
Why Red Clover Shampoo
This Red Clover Shampoo recipe is essentially the baking soda and water No Poo rinse, but instead of using just plain ol’ water to dissolve the baking soda in, I’m using an herbal red clover tea.
Soooo, yeah. This “shampoo” is essentially just an old fashioned herbal hair rinse! Easy peasy!
Natural herbal hair rinses are gentle and nourishing for the scalp, relying upon the beneficial qualities of botanicals to promote healthy hair and a healthy scalp. Herbal infusions have been used for centuries long before the advent of over the counter shampoos, and have been the go-to method since the dawn of time to naturally soften hair, increase manageability, and restore luster, body and bounce.
Benefits of Red Clover for Hair
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a wild, leguminous, perennial herb that is native to the meadows of Europe, Western Asia and Africa, and has now been naturalized here in the US of A. The entire plant, from the sweet tasting, tiny pink flowers to the leafy greens are edible and can be used to make sweet herbal tea for therapeutic purposes.
Red Clover is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has been used for centuries to help with many types of skin problems. It is a storehouse of many vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, such as calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.
When steeped to make a tea or herbal infusion, Red Clover is rich in isoflavones. Red Clover is considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens (known collectively as phytoestrogens). These isoflavones work to make hair strong and help prevent dandruff and scalp irritations.
Red Clover also effectively softens the hair, adds volume and luster, makes hair more manageable… and it just smells GREAT!