Things I'm Into: Tea in my Hair

About two years ago, I decided to try "no poo".  For those who don't know, no poo refers to discontinuing use of common, chemical loaded shampoo and conditioners.  The usual replacement method is using diluted baking soda as shampoo and diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) as conditioner.  After the 3+ week adjustment period (in my case, probably a few months because I kept getting frustrated and undoing all my work with a dose of regular shampoo), my hair thrived on this method.  It always felt healthy, soft and shiny and I grew to loathe the strange, artificial softness of store bought conditioners.

However, my scalp did not do so well.  I developed a serious case of dry scalp and would often feel massively flaky and itchy, particularly after a few days.  I also noticed, after a wash, my face, shoulders and chest would be itchy and blotchy red.  I attributed this to the ACV as I had previously tried using it as a facial toner for my acne and my skin was just too sensitive for it.  So I started using the BS/ACV method less often and alternated with a cleaner shampoo.  My scalp continued to suffer and my hair needed washing closer to twice a week, rather than the full week I could go previously. Huff.

Eventually, through trial and error, after many different combinations, and even a few times using Mr Not-So-Naturally's dandruff shampoo in search of ANY sort of relief, I realized that, well, I was an idiot.  It wasn't the ACV causing all my irritation and itchiness, but the baking soda.  So, after one or two more painful tests, I gave it up.  No more baking soda on my sensitive scalp.  Now, I had almost two years worth of damaged scalp to heal and a determination not to go back to commercial shampoo.

Getting real up close and personal here, guys.  Be nice.
Enter:  Tea.  That's right.  Tea is an amazing thing.  If you drink a steeped version of various herbs, you can get tons of health benefits, but you can also get those benefits on your skin!  I read that rosemary is amazing for dry scalp and decided to give it a try.  I boil a couple tbsp of dried organic rosemary with dried organic hibiscus (both purchased in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs) and let them steep for... pretty much forever.  The rosemary is for my scalp while the hibiscus just adds some color and helps revitalize my henna hair color.  During my shower, I dump a couple cups on my wet hair, massage the heck out of my scalp and then rinse it out after letting it sit a while.  I still follow with a quick rinse of diluted ACV mixed with lavender and tea tree oils as my scalp needs all the help it can get.  I'm currently doing this twice a week, and every 2 weeks, washing with a clarifying shampoo from Acure organics, mostly because I love that lather feel and I just can't totally give it up. My scalp has a ways to go, I still have a few flakes that appear in my hair daily, but no longer large, dry patches, and my scalp just plain looks and feels healthy, rather than massively itchy!  I call this a success and am so glad I finally found a routine that works for me.  If you're trying/have tried the no poo method and are struggling, I greatly recommend looking up herbal options for your hair type.  There's something for everyone and, you never know, it just might be exactly what you were missing!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story! You and your reader's may not not know of EWG's app that lists thousands of skin care products and rates them, lists ingredients, etc.