Right around the same time I decided on a new hair regimen, I was flipping through the channels and found myself watching Dirty Jobs. (Side note: I love Mike Rowe, and I don’t care who knows it. He is my TV boyfriend, second only to Jon Stewart). He was working at a company making hair wash — not shampoo! — out of mud.
I looked up the company, Terressentials, and perused their website. I then turned to various message boards for reviews on this mud wash, as well other no-poo hair wash alternatives. My biggest concern was how to get my hair clean without shampoo. The most popular no-poo methods these days are (in no particular order):
- Baking soda wash with a vinegar or lemon juice rinse
- Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash
- Castile soap
- DevaCurl’s No-Poo cleanser
I ran through this list with my mother, and she recalled her grandmother using the baking soda/vinegar solution. This was back before shampoo as we know it was even invented. I wasn’t keen on putting baking soda on my head, though, especially since some of the message boards and blogs reported itchy scalp and even dandruff as a result.
I had heard good things about the DevaCurl product line, but I didn’t want to start off with products like this. First of all, it’s more than three times the price of my current shampoo; more importantly, it seemed awfully convenient that this book should endorse a haircare regimen and then provide the exact solution to the problems this regimen would cause.
So it was either castile soap (I’m a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and use it daily as a body wash) or the mud wash. I decided to go out on a limb and try the mud. Because I’m crazy like that. Plus, I thought it would be a fun experiment.
I ordered the Terressentials hair wash online, and the bottles were at my doorstep the next day. When I opened up the box, there was a piece of paper with FAQs and instructions on how to go through a hair detox — the week-long period where my hair would adjust to being cleaned with all-natural products instead of synthetic molecules and detergents.
My first impression of the mud hair wash: it’s weird. This stuff really is made of mud — bentonite clay (and other clay minerals, I suppose), which is the same stuff people use to make clay masks. The clay adheres to the dirt and oils and other stuff in your hair; then when you wash the mud out, it takes the bad stuff along with it, down the drain. But you have to put mud in your hair, and that takes some getting used to.
Not only that, but I found that it was very difficult to run my hands through my hair with all that mud in it. That meant my hair got hopelessly tangled that first day, and I ended up combing it all out and putting it into a braid.
The second day, I was somewhat surprised to see my hair looked halfway decent before getting in the shower.
However, after my shower, the result was somewhat worse: the multiple washings with mud just dried out my hair and made everything very tangled and frizzy.
Suffice to say I kept my hair in braids for the entire week of the detox and prayed my hair follicles would start producing those oils that would stop my hair from frizzing.
Some tips and resources for people interested in finding out more about the no-poo movement: