In my defence, your Honour, the packaging was just so beautiful!

I felt I needed a follow on post from the last one about my “no poo” method of hair washing.

For the last week or so my scalp had been writing me rather mean letters. I couldn’t understand why it had turned against me and was throwing an itching fit. My first worry was that my daughter had brought some unwanted critters home in her head from school and we were all infested – just the thought makes you itch and feel your skin crawl. But she seemed perfectly fine and her scalp was sending her love notes not hate mail so it must be something else. Off I went to my shower and had a peek at my newly bought and expensive purchase from Korres. It seems dear reader that I had fallen foul to everything I had been preaching to you all about. The beautiful packaging and snazzy words had made me believe this was an all natural product free from all the nasties I so hate – for some reason I had been taken over by the old Mollie and not looked at the ingredient list. There in black and white (actually I think it was a lovely taupe colour) was the dreaded Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, number 2 on the list. On further inspection there was fragrance and alcohol! How I held my head low in shame. Straight in the bin went the shampoo with its lovely smelling conditioner too. I sat down and spoke lovingly to my hair and scalp and apologised for not being more careful – promised it wouldn’t happen again and that I now understood its rebellion.

To get everything back to a happy situation I brought out the bicarbonate of soda and went to work. Immediately my scalp started singing my praises – bur unfortunately my hair wasn’t quite so easily placated. It has been a while since I had done the “no poo” method at my home in England. I had forgotten that bicarbonate of soda and hard water are not friends. There is a way around this though. Firstly use much less powder, no more than 2 teaspoons with water – rather than a heaped tablespoon that I usually use. Make sure it is thoroughly washed out. Then follow with conditioner on the ends and dry parts of your hair. Natural conditioner please – Neal’s Yard does some good ones.(I promise to cover natural shampoos and conditioners soon.) Wash or leave in the conditioner as the directions tell you.

Bicarbonate of soda and soft water though love each other dearly. When I was in Maine, for a month over the summer, I only used bicarbonate of soda to wash my hair and my apple cider vinegar spray – my hair was lovely, soft and healthy.

I do hope this got to you all before any of you had tried the method in a hard water place. If you did, please try again. Trust me it does work.


4 thoughts on “In my defence, your Honour, the packaging was just so beautiful!

  1. Hello, thanks for your blog post! I was wondering your opinion on this topic. I live in the states (Seattle, Washington) and am allergic to most all shampoo and conditioners. I react to coconut, palm, soy, wheat protein and a few others. Most every shampoo I know contains coconut in some form as sodium laurel sulfate, glycerine, and laurel or coco-anything is derived from it. I have just been using an olive oil bar soap in the states with a rinse of filtered water, a bit of baking soda, a bit of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice and it works great! I’m moving to England soon and when I am there my hair is a disaster! I’ve tried using my US method, also just trying a baking soda & lemon juice paste or a baking soda and lemon juice diluted rinse and it doesn’t seem to work. I think I may have just tried lemon juice diluted in water at one point but I’m not sure if that did anything. I omit the olive oil soap as it sticks to my hair and won’t come out in the UK because of the water. I’m thinking it’s the minerals or hard water like you say.

    Do you have any helpful suggestions for what works for you? Some things I was thinking of trying is buying a water filter to attach to the shower nozzle. I do this in the US and it is helpful. I’m not sure if people do this in the UK. Also I thought of using distilled water I could buy from the store to wash my hair (although this would be a pain to apply.) I’ve actually thought about cutting my hair short or wearing a wig. I know this sounds drastic but I literally have found nothing that works out there aside from using traditional shampoo that gives me swelling and skin reactions. My “no poo” method turns my hair into a dry, greasy, matted mess where all the olive oil soap or baking soda rinse clings to my hair until I get home to the US & do 3 washes in a row : )

    Any thoughts for how you work around it? Your opinion is greatly appreciated!!!

    • Hi Ashley
      Thank you for your comments and questions. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this issue. That must be very distressing for you. I am not sure if I can be a great deal of help but I’ll try. The water can be different over here from America, but it depends where you are going. Some areas have hard water – some soft. What I would say is use less Bicarb than you would usually and make sure you really rinse your hair afterwards. Don’t try the olive oil soap or anything except the Bicarb. You need to give you hair at least a week, probably 2 weeks to get used to being somewhere new. I found it took me that long before the Bicarb worked. I nearly gave up as my hair looked so terrible. I didn’t though, I pushed through that stage and came out the other side. I would def recommend using the vinegar rinse afterwards but when you get out of the shower, towel dry then spray it on and leave it there. Mix up a mix of 1:5 ration vinegar to witch hazel (no alcohol witch hazel) and then comb through. I wouldn’t think you would need to get an attachment or buy any other type of water (Too much trouble and money). I am sure your hair will get used to the different water we have here and it will be fine. I do hope this helps you feel a bit more confident about coming over here. I wish you lots of luck and much happiness in the UK. Let me know how you get on.

      • Thank you so much Mollie for your feedback! No shampoo methods of washing hair are definitely not mainstream so I really appreciate your experience and recommendations! : ) I’ll give this a try next time I’m out this summer (we live in Essex currently) and see if it works (fingers crossed!) thank you thank you for the lovely reply!! It’s really appreciated!!

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