You may have seen ‘no poo’ while you’re cruising Pinterest or Facebook. More and more people are trying it, and I guess you could say that no poo is having a moment. But what is it, exactly?
It’s not about constipation, it’s about going without shampoo. No shampoo = no poo. Much better than saying no shampers, I think – you might miss out next time the bottle of bubbly is being poured!
So what’s all the fuss about ‘no poo’?
It’s about using less products. Less products means less chemicals, which is better for you and better for the environment. It’s supposed to be better for your hair and scalp, too, leaving you with healthy, shiny, easier to manage hair that doesn’t frizz or fly away.
What’s are the benefits?
Apparently, the benefits of going no poo are myriad. Depending on what you read and what you believe, you’ll achieve anything from healthier hair to saving the world. If we’re going to be sensible about it (I know, boring!), benefits are:
- you’ll save money on hair products
- you’ll avoid unneccessary chemicals
- you’ll cut down on the amount of products you use (which is better for the environment – less transportation, less plastic waste, although arguably worse for the economy)
- you’ll save time in the morning (or whenever you wash your hair)
- your hair will be healthier
- your scalp will be healthier
Now, I’m not sure about the last two. Reading around the web, the arguments seem to be based on the idea that mainstream shampoos contain “synthetic detergents that can irritate sensitive scalps but also strip hair of essential oils and moisture”. And while that may be true for some shampoos, this argument ignores all the wonderful natural and organic shampoos that are gentle on your hair and scalp.
No pooers will tell you that by not washing your hair all the time with shampoo, you don’t get a dry and flaky or sensitive scalp (which I’ll admit that I do, even using a very gentle natural shampoo) and that the oil production on your scalp will settle down so that you don’t end up with greasy hair all the time. The natural oils of your hair are supposed to distribute throughout your hair to that it always looks soft and conditioned.
I’ll admit that the idea of settling down the oil production on your scalp does seem to make sense to me. I used to have to wash my hair everyday, but gradually, through the use of dry shampoo and lots of ponytails on bad hair days, I’ve managed to push my hair washing out to once every fifth day. Instead of greasy hair for five days, I get fluffy hair the first day, great hair for two days, and then I notice that my hair starts to get progressively oilier, until it absolutely has to have a wash.
I managed to do this over the space of about six weeks, by just going one extra day at a time without washing my hair, so resetting the grease factor does seem to make sense.
How do you do no poo?
There’s no shortage of advice about how to go no poo. In fact there’s a whole wiki about it on Reddit.
The basics are that you use only natural products, by which I mean things you’ll find in your kitchen, like water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar, clays, coffee, tea, egg, and various herbs that are beneficial to hair. You can also apparently skip the shampoo and only use conditioner.
All around the web, you’ll hear that there’s a transition period where your hair looks like it’s been Brylcreemed, but that this apparently sorts itself out after a few weeks/months depending on who you read.
Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar
The most popular way to go no poo seems to be the baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV). The advice on ratios vary, from a mix of half baking soda, half water to wash, and then half ACV, half water. This method recommends 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water, and 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.
You could try starting out with some Dr Bronners’s and coconut oil, and rinse with apple cider vinegar, then graduate to baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Apparently you can use an egg wash for your hair. You just beat an egg and apply it from your scalp to the ends of your hair. An important note is to wash it out in cool water only, so that you don’t end up trying to rinse scrambled eggs out of your hair!
Using natural kaolin or rhassoul clay is another popular way of washing your hair without shampoo. Mix up 1-2 tablespoons of clay with enough water to make it thick and gloopy. Wet your hair then wring it out and apply the clay mix all over your hair. Leave it from 2 to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
There are lots of other ways you can wash you hair without shampoo, according to this post from the Hippy Homemaker. She argues that baking soda is too harsh for your hair, and that you’ll end up with brittle hair that breaks easily. I have to admit that this was definitely my experience when I tried the baking soda/ACV combination. The Hippy Homemaker suggests that you can wash hair with honey, herbal teas, apple cider vinegar alone, or aloe vera, and there are lots of recipes for natural hair washes, too.
Have you tried going no poo? Did it work and how did you do it? Share your thoughts below!
Image credit: Candace Nast on Flickr.
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