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Before & After: The pantry staples that solved my hair problems

Posted by Melissa Massello  July 30, 2013 01:30 PM

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nopoohair-day1reg.jpg I had a problem. A hair problem. My naturally curly hair has become less so over the past decade, my old routine no longer worked, and I had very little idea on how to make it look presentable. I wasted tons of money on salon, drugstore, and natural products that promised to fix my greasy roots and parched ends. I switched to sulfate-free shampoos, washed less, washed more, treated, trimmed, and tousled, hoping for winning results. I had all but resigned to wear my hair piled in a top knot for the rest of eternity, when a friend with gorgeous, perfect, shiny hair told me she hadn't shampooed in six months. Skeptical, but armed with two ingredients from my kitchen, I went from greasy to glam in just a few short weeks.

I owe my hair transformation to baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I have been "no-poo" (no shampoo, conditioner, or styling product — besides the occasional bit of Moroccan Argan oil for frizz) in practically two months and I couldn't be happier. Each week, my hair looks healthier than the last.

Though I can't guarantee this routine will work for every head, I've loved the results. Here's how I used these pantry basics to fix my frustrating hair:

nopoohair-day7reg.jpg

Step 1: Detox from shampoo.
It gets worse before it gets better. You'll have better immediate results if you can stand to not wash your hair for a few days. Since I was already on a wash less routine, I managed to go a week between my last shampoo and my first baking soda/apple cider vinegar wash. Be strong, better hair awaits.

Step 2: Mix your solutions.
I use 1 Tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of warm water, and 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of warm water. This is a good ratio to start, and on subsequent washes, feel free to adjust for a deeper clean by adding more baking soda.

Step 3: Apply the baking soda solution.
Apply the baking soda and water mixture to your scalp, massaging into your roots. Work around your head for few minutes, and then rinse the solution from your hair.

Step 4: Apply the vinegar solution.
Apply the apple cider vinegar and water mixture onto the ends of your hair, including any length that would be in a ponytail. Let it soak in for a few minutes (finish whatever else in the shower you need to) and then rinse. That's it!

nopoohair-day1np.jpg

Additional tips:
• Ideally, you don't do this no-poo wash routine every day; healthy hair can go 4-7 days in between baking soda & ACV washes. You can, however, rinse with water while showering in the interim.
• The baking soda may make your scalp feel a bit itchy. Feel free to use a weaker baking soda solution if it's uncomfortable.
• For ease of use, store your solutions in squeeze bottles.
• Count the money you'll save from not buying hair care products and rack up the compliments on your gorgeous, naturally fabulous hair.

nopoohair-week6np.jpg

Have you ever tried a natural hair routine? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @DIYBoston!

~Tara

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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