I don’t wash my hair. Say what?? Well, I don’t wash my hair with shampoo or conditioner. And I haven’t for 2 months now. It’s quick, it’s effective, it’s super easy, and holy bajolies it is CHEAP. I love it. (Don’t forget to check out the UPDATE at the bottom of the page.)
There may be many of you that have heard of the “No Poo” shampooing. It’s a natural beauty trend that’s been sweeping the blogosphere. It’s for those of us who are trying to get away from chemicals BUT only if the alternatives actually work. And I’m here to tell you, this works better than conventional shampoo and conditioner.
The basic science: shampoo and conditioners are full of chemicals. To “clean” your hair, they strip it of all the natural oils that keep your hair healthy. As you grow up stripping your hair like this, your scalp learns to produce extra oil to keep it from breaking into lots of tiny pieces.
The No Poo Method: First thing’s first, “no poo” is short for “no SHAMpoo.” I was really confused and kind of disgusted before someone explained that to me. But basically it means that you “wash” your hair with a homemade mixture that cleans the dirt, grease, and grime out without stripping it of natural oil. Then you use a natural detangler instead of conditioner that weighs your hair down with a whole bunch of crap. You use baking soda and water for the shampoo and apple cider vinegar and water for conditioner.
The break-in period: This method is not for the weak hearted. Depending on how chemically treated your hair is, you could be donning a ball of grease on your head for several weeks. When you stop stripping the natural oils, it takes your scalp time to react and stop over producing. The longest break-in period I read about was 5 weeks. However, it’s pretty cool how your hair starts to adapt.
^ This was my hair this morning when I got out of bed. Please excuse the blindingly white skin. It looks pretty healthy right? Yep 🙂
The benefits: After my 3-week break-in period, my hair is stronger and I’ve discovered it actually grows faster. Heck yes! Another great benefit: it’s pliable. When I fix my hair into a style, it stays like that all day. Obviously, I have a pixie cut, but I have heard the same review from others with very long hair. And it’s cheap! So cheap. I actually still haven’t bought any ingredients because I’m still using the baking soda and vinegar I had stocked in my cabinet.
- Mix 2 Tbsp baking soda with 1 cup water and store it in a bottle that will help you reach your roots.
- Every 4 or 5 days apply the liquid to your scalp and roots. Play with the time between washes to see what works best for you. Also, beware that there’s no lather with this. You’ll feel like you’re doing nothing but you are, I promise!
- After application, rinse and proceed with No Poo conditioner.
- Mix 1 Tbsp apple cider or distilled white vinegar with 1 cup water. Store it in a spray bottle.
- After washing with the baking soda rinse, spray your ends with this mixture.
- Leave it on while you do the rest of your shower. Rinse at the end.
- Caution: this stuff smells like vinegar. It’s not all that pleasant. BUT the smell goes away as soon as your out of the water and it doesn’t come back.
UPDATE: Since moving to California, my hair seems to get greasy more easily. I had to refigure out the best wash balance. Now I wash with the No Poo ingredients every day for 3 days then throw in a shampoo with Dr. Bronners on the 4th day. My hair is still thick and maleable and not at all greasy. Just remember you have to work with your own chemistry!
Should you try it? Don’t just listen to me, there are tons of other people doing this themselves, with their kids, and with significant others. Here are a few links in case you need more proof:
- Fulfilled Homemaking – did it with her son
- Pistachio Project – FAQ
- Becoming Peculiar – the nitty gritty details
I hope you all have fantastic weekends! Love and a big smile – Ash