I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat of a hippy. I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism, I try to buy only 100% recycled paper products, and if it’s possible to make it yourself, I do (hand soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent). So when I heard about ditching shampoo and conditioner, I was intrigued. I started Googling to find out everything I could before starting. What I found was pretty interesting.
This blog post sums it up pretty nicely http://interrobangsanon.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/going-no-poo/. Basically, shampoo didn’t even become popular until the 1900s. So if people lived without it for centuries, why all of a sudden is it something we are expected to do? How did people keep their hair soft, shiny, and grease-free?
By letting our bodies do what they know how to do. Our scalps know how much oil to produce and when. The chemicals in shampoo strip those oils away, and so our scalps are left thinking they need to produce more oil to make up for it. So we end up spending money to pour chemicals on our scalp that in turn make our hair greasy and hurt the environment. Everybody loses.
I know it can be hard to part with something that most of us have grown up doing. We are so used to using shampoo and conditioner that a lot of people are scared to ditch it. But I think it’s the best thing you can do for your hair and your wallet. It’s not even hard, either, look:
Apple Cider Vinegar (like a true hippy, I use Bragg’s)
Optional: Honey, tea tree oil, any essential oil of your choice.
To No-Poo wash your hair, combine about 1-2 tbsp of baking soda with warm water (I mix mine in a red solo cup) and pour over your hair, working it into your scalp. Rinse thoroughly. To condition, mix 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (ACV) with warm water (again in a solo cup, or whatever container of your choice), and pour over your hair. You can include honey or any oil in this last step, maybe a drop of oil each or 1 tbsp of honey. Make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly. Then just style as you normally would. Don’t worry about smelling like vinegar, when your hair dries it will just smell like hair if you rinsed it properly.
Once you start no-pooing, you should try to extend the amount of time between each no-poo wash until eventually you don’t even need to do it anymore. That’s right. At the end of this, you won’t need to put anything in your hair except water. You won’t be force-feeding chemicals to your scalp anymore, so it will begin to work how it is supposed to, naturally regulating the amount of oil it produces.
I am on day 16 and go about three to four days between no-poo washes with one water rinse in between. Since everyone has a different hair-type, the timing will vary.
Still not convinced that you can kick your chemicals without walking around with a perpetually oily scalp? Look at this:
This was taken three days after I stopped using shampoo and conditioner:
This was taken the next day, I still hadn’t done a no-poo wash since Tuesday:
And this is what my hair looked like today, day 16 of absolutely no shampoo or conditioner, doing a no-poo wash every 3 to 4 days:
See any grease? Me either.
You have nothing to lose! My husband (the most un-hippy person I know) has even said that my hair is so much softer now.
I don’t ever see myself going back to using shampoo and conditioner, and I hope others will give it a try, too.
You can contact her for questions or updates using this e-mail address!