It has been nearly 18 months since I went no poo- I promise you this is not a reflection of my gut health thank goodness! but rather how long it has been since I joined the no poo movement and gave up washing my hair with traditional shampoo.
My decision to forgo the vast array of hair care products that promised beautiful swishing locks came about when I decided to try and provide a better healing environment for my body by reducing the amount of synthetic chemicals in my personal care routine. Out went all the lotions and potions with lists of complicated ingredients and in came natural oils, butters and clay, Mother Nature’s beauty.
Traditionally the no poo method involves using baking soda and apple cider vinegar but this is open to interpretation and there are several way in which you achieve clean healthy hair using natural alternatives.
When I tell people that I wash my hair with clay it’s often met with a disbelief that you can achieve clean hair using something that is reminiscent of making childhood mud pies to the rhyme of mud mud glorious mud. I have to point out here that we’re not talking actual mud, I’m not smearing my locks with the contents of my garden after a heavy rainfall, what I’m using is Rhassoul clay. This particular clay is mined from beneath the Atlas mountains in Morocco and has been used for centuries to cleanse the body, face and hair. Packed full of minerals and trace elements it is formed by volcanic activity and geothermal processes and is a totally naturally cleanser. Rhassoul clay is often used as a base in many spa treatments, containing a strong negative charge, the clay is highly detoxifying making it ideal for face masks, hair and body care. When mixed with liquids and massaged in it gently exfoliates, binds to dirt, oils and impurities which are washed away when you rinse.
My experience of using clay as a substitute has been a positive one, to the point that I don’t see myself ever returning to traditional shampooing methods. Over the 18 months I have been using the clay my hair has gone from below shoulder length to its current very short style. When my hair was longer I made a slightly thinner mix massaging it into my scalp before combing it through to the ends with a wide toothed comb, now its short I use a mix a bit like thick milkshake and just massage it in and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. I found that whatever the length of my hair I never had to use a conditioner.
It’s worth noting that it did take me a little while to get to grips with using this method, I experimented with different consistencies and the length of time I left it on my hair before I got it just right for me, too thin and not leaving it on long enough resulted in a slightly greasy feeling and too thick meant it didn’t rinse off as well. I also discovered how messy I was in the shower. The first couple of times it was like a group of hippos had marauded through the bathroom on their way back from their mud hole- less vigorous washing action solved this, gentle massaging is key here folks, tuck those elbows in!
For the record I would also like to state that my hair is in general a very well behaved barnet, totally straight with out so much as a kink , I consider myself very fortunate (thank you ginger genes) not to have to colour it. I’m really trying to boast about my compliant locks I just I feel it would be prudent of me to mention these factors as I have read that Rhassoul clay may lighten coloured hair. I also have no idea what it would be like to use on a curly hair or misbehaving mind of its own type hair – I’m accepting no responsibility for bad hair days guys!
So what did I personally notice when using clay….
- My hair thickened up
- It seemed to enhance my natural hair colour
- My hair was nice and shiny
- My scalp stopped itching
- My hair was soft, no need for conditioner
- No need for any styling products, my hair just sort of stayed where it was meant to.
How to use Rhassoul Clay for hair.
- Use approx 5 -20g of clay depending on length and type of hair.
- Place in a non metallic bowl and gradually add water ( distilled water is ideal). Alternatively place the clay into a small glass bottle add the water and shake vigourously.
- Allow the clay to hydrate and mix with a non metal spoon or spatula adding more water if necessary to form the desired consistency
- Add a couple of drops of essential oils if you like.
- Massage into your wet scalp, for long hair used a wide toothed comb and comb down through to the ends. Leave on hair for a few minutes then rinse thoroughly
- Keep any leftover mix refrigerated for a couple of days, discard after this time.
Benefits of using Rhassoul clay.
- Totally natural, free from synthetic chemicals and preservatives
- Anti- microbial
- Cleans without stripping natural oils, absorbs excess oils helping to rebalance natural oils
- Soothes itchy scalp
- Contains Magnesium and silica to promote healthy hair and scalp.
- Kind to sensitive skin.
I purchase my Rhassoul clay from www.naturalspasupplies.com