During my no ‘poo hair experience I’ve learned so much more about my hair, and am enjoying the freedom of no longer using store bought hair products. Although it is quite liberating, my main conflict has been how to avoid unnecessary tangles in my hair when I wash it. Marshmallow root extract has been wonderful for conditioning, moisturizing, and detangling hair, yet I needed a new technique to allow my no ‘poo hair method to actually work well as my hair is constantly getting longer.
I’ve incorporated two simple techniques to my hair regimen that I wasn’t doing before. The first is finger detangling and the second is washing my hair in loose braids. When people ask me about my hair care, the first question they ask is what products I use. I believe products are only part of good hair care. They actually should assist in your hair care technique instead of being the main focus.
Finger detangling is a time consuming process. I honestly don’t know if it gets any faster with practice, yet it takes me two hours to completely finger detangle all of my hair. I’ve learned over the past two years that curly hair and daily combing or brushing don’t mix! It is simply too much hair manipulation causing daily breakage.
I threw out my brush this past winter after realizing that it was breaking my hair with a vengeance. Combing my hair full of conditioner with a seamless wooden comb was gentle enough, yet I no longer use any store bought conditioners. By finger detangling I am able to catch knotted hair and gently remove them versus hearing my comb snap and break a few hairs before it is too late. If needed I use my hair scissors to snip out a knot without breaking healthy hairs. I keep healthy hair intact with a bit more patience.
I finger detangle my hair the night before washing it while relaxing with a good movie. I section off my hair in four of five different sections adding a bit of camellia oil or any other light oil of choice before I start detangling my hair. I always start from the bottom up to gently separate hair strands. Once each section is complete I loosely braid my hair into a total of eight or nine braids.
Washing Hair in Loose Braids
When I first read about washing hair in loose braids I was on the Grow Afro Hair Long website two years ago. My hair was extremely short at the time. I completely forgot about this technique because I could hardly put my hair in any braids. When I wash my hair it is most vunerable to breakage and unneeded damage. By washing my hair in loose braids after it has be finger detangled, my hair is organized and stretched out so that my curls can’t get crazy by wrapping themselves around each other.
I use my DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse with marshmallow root extract to wash my hair. I then allow my hair to almost completely dry before finger detangling each braided section, removing shedded hair, and adding my butter/oil leave-in which is mixed with flaxseed gel. It is with my leave-in that I gently comb my hair with my seamless wooden comb, then twist or braid up my hair. This technique of finger detangling and washing my hair in loose braids really does cut back on fighting tangles.
My No ‘Poo Experience So Far
One of the reasons that I decided to try the no ‘poo hair method was to further simplify my hair regimen. Since I stopped using store bought hair care products my hair is surprisingly softer than it has ever been. I also do not apply anything to my hair that does not penetrate the hair strand which would otherwise cause product buildup.
Recently I’ve been wearing my hair in two strand twists more frequently than setting my curls with braids and wearing my hair loose. I still add camellia oil to my hair daily for shine and conditioning. I’ve decided to use a DIY Greek yogurt/apple cider vinegar conditioner or coconut milk for a deep conditioning treatment on the days I do my monthy henna treatments. Otherwise I’m keeping things as simple as possible and only using two products weekly: my DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse and a butter/oil leave-in mixed with flaxseed gel.
If you are using the no ‘poo hair method, how’s it working for you?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)