Monday, October 10, 2011
Hold on to your hats, because I'm going to tell you something shocking: I've gone "No-Poo!" That's right, I've not used shampoo on my hair for ten days. No-Poo is short for No Shampoo. It is a movement of people who want to cut down on the amount of harmful chemicals they use daily on their hair, all the while increasing their hair's overall health. I stumbled upon the concept while researching the homemade dry shampoo recipe I published recently, and was intrigued enough to give it a try. As I was contemplating trying it, a few of my friends told me they'd been doing it for a while. You would NEVER guess they'd been doing it! My one friend had discovered that her heretofore straight hair actually had a pretty natural wave and curl to it! You need to understand that while I normally don't fret too much about my appearance, my hair is my one thing that I fuss over. I am fairly vain about keeping it nice, keeping it healthy because I have such a nice natural shade of blonde. I won't just go out with bad hair. So whatever I do with it, it must make my hair look GOOD. What exactly is no-poo? Let me start by explaining that although I'm not using a commercial shampoo, I am still washing my hair! I wash my hair with a homemade solution, and follow a few steps of rinsing it, and brushing it, to keep it clean and healthy. I use a baking soda based hair wash on some days, while others I only use water to rinse my hair. I follow the baking soda wash with a rinse made from lemon juice and water to balance the ph of my hair. I still wash my hair, I just don't do it nearly as often, and I don't use traditional shampoo. Why would someone go no-poo?
- The most common reason is because there are a lot of harmful chemicals in most shampoos. Sulfates, for one. Over time they can be harmful not only for humans, but for the environment as well.
- Did you know that your shampoo--even many pricey ones--have the same ingredients in them that are in your favorite dish soaps and laundry detergents? I don't want to wash my hair with my dish soap!
- The second most common reason is for financial health. We spend a lot of money every year on shampoo and conditioner, when we don't really need to. My current no-poo hair wash and rinse costs me less than $1 a month.
- A lot of people find their hair gets healthier after eliminating shampoo from their beauty regimen. I've definitely found that to be true, and I'm only ten days into the process.
- Many people find that they only have to wash their hair once every two weeks or so, once they've gotten through the first phase of the process. Water rinsing alone is enough to keep their hair clean and shiny in between washes.
As I was researching the no-poo movement, I discovered that shampoo as we know it and shampooing daily wasn't really a common practice until the 1970's. There was no real hygeine reason for us beginning to shampoo more than 1-2 times a week. It was often done to get hair like the Breck girls, a famous commercial in the 70's of women with long, bouncy hair full of body and life. Only what happened was that as shampoo developed into a daily habit, we began stripping our hair of their natural oils and protective coating, meaning that we now had to buy special conditioners as well. Then we had to use special products for our hair to get it to cooperate with us. Think about it--did the women of the 1940's and 1950's really have worse hair than we do now? Not really. They had healthy hair, and a much simpler hair care process. Many stylists that I've gone to over the years have told me that for maximum hair health, I really should only be washing my hair two to three times a week, max.
The theory with no-poo goes like this: each time we shampoo our hair we strip the oil from it. Our scalps in return produce more oil to protect itself. We in turn then have to wash it more often, to remove those oils, and it becomes a vicious cycle. According to no-poo enthusiasts, if you stop washing with shampoo, after a few weeks your scalp will stop producing all of those extra oils and level out, leaving your hair healthier than ever before.
Two of my favorite bloggers, Tsh from SimpleMom.com, and CrunchyBetty, have explained No-Poo way better than I can. If you'd like more information on no-poo and how you can take the no-poo challenge, check out these two posts:
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 2 tablespoons dried lemon peel
Mix together and store in an air-tight container. I scoop one tablespoon into a plastic cup before stepping into the shower, then add a cup or so of hot water to it when I'm ready to wash.What have my results been? My hair is softer than it has ever been, even with a counter full of top-line Aveda products. style. I put all of those away last night. Won't be needing them!) The last week has been a real lesson in how my hair cares for itself. I tried a few things that didn't work. (Friday was not the best day ever for my hair. It was...waxy. Odd.) I found a few things that did work. In the end my hair is clean, it is softer than ever, it has more shine than ever, and it takes zero products to style. Zip. Nada. I blow dry it with a brush and go. That's it. It's shocking how simple my hair care process is now! But don't just take my word for it. Here's a photo of my hair taken on day eight: It's even shinier and softer now after I washed it this morning (day ten.) My hair apparently doesn't miss the shampoo. Who knew? So, I know I can't be the only one in town who's tried this. Are you no-poo? Have you tried this? I've started a thread in the message board for comments and questions. I'd really like to meet others who do this too!