About two years ago, I was introduced to the idea of going “no poo,” or shampoo free. I was interested, but very hesitant to try it. Then, we moved across the country, my hair went a little crazy (and started falling out), and I figured I’d give it a try. I fell in love within a few weeks, and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I’ve just never been brave enough to come out and admit it until now. However, I want to take the opportunity to educate others about the benefits of going shampoo free, and erase the idea of dirty, greasy hair from your mind, so here I am, going public for the greater good. You’re welcome.
Why You Should Stop Using Shampoo
It’s simple, really. Commercial shampoos are full of scary chemicals. Even if you are eating local, grass fed meats and organic veggies, it basically makes no difference if you are pumping chemicals onto your skin through your soaps and shampoos. Remember, your skin is the largest organ on your body, so anything you put on it, gets absorbed into your body and carried to your blood stream and other organs. A simple rule of thumb to live by: If it’s too toxic to put in your body, it’s too toxic to put on your body.
But, Not Washing Your Hair is Gross!
I know what you’re thinking. Not using shampoo will leave your hair greasy, smelly, and unmanageable, right? It’s what I thought at first, too. You know what, though? That’s just not true. In fact, it’s totally the opposite. The thing is, your body creates oils based on supply and demand, so if you use shampoo to strip the oils in your hair every day, your body will create more oils. Once you stop using harsh chemicals, the supply and demand will balance out and your body will create only what you need. Yes, there is an adjustment period when you eliminate the chemicals cold turkey. It varies by person, but it can last anywhere from two weeks to two months. Hang in there. I promise you, once you get past this point, it’s easy, peasy. If it gets too oily, just try gradually increasing the number of days between washing your hair. Start out every other day and go from there.
How to No Poo
Now that I’ve talked you into it, you’re probably wondering how to go no-poo. I mean, you can’t truly never wash your hair. See, that’s when your hair will get stinky and greasy. So, you still wash your hair, but you do it without the harmful chemicals.
The most basic way to wash your hair without shampoo is by using a mixture of baking soda and water. You simply take approximately 1T of baking soda and mix it with just enough water to make a paste. Then you massage it gently into your scalp by working in a circle around your crown. After you let this sit and tingle for a minute, you rinse it out and then use a mixture of about 2T of apple cider vinegar and water over your whole head and rinse it out. This will leave your hair soft, smooth, and clean. And, don’t worry. The vinegar smell will go away completely by the time your hair dries.
If you’re not brave enough to go with just baking soda and water, or you want to incorporate some smells into your shampoo regiment, there are some other alternatives. Some people like to pre-make their own shampoo concoctions by mixing the baking soda, water, and essential oils into a squirt bottle. Another alternative is to find someone that makes natural shampoo bars. These are bars of shampoo that look just like a bar of soap, but they are amazing for your hair. These are my personal preference. It’s something I don’t have to worry about making myself (and since I already make all of my cleaners, detergents, and meals from scratch, it’s nice to get a break), it has nourishing butters and oils which are great for my dry scalp, it has a nice smell, and it lasts forever. My favorite is a shampoo bar by Brandi from PuurBody on Etsy. It’s the first one I tried and it works great. I’ve tried a few since, but hers is still my favorite. Still, everyone has different scalp-care needs, so find a no-poo method that works for you.
With the shampoo bar, I still use an ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse when I’m done shampooing. It’s the best of both worlds, really. I steer clear of the harsh chemicals, and I still get to enjoy a nice smelling shampoo that’s pre-made.
It took a lot for me to finally decide that I wanted to eliminate shampoo and all of the chemicals from my body care regimen. I just wish I had tried it before, because I will seriously never go back. If you’re on the fence about trying out the no-poo method, I urge you to give it a try. It’ll take just a few short weeks to decide if it is right for you, and the cost is so minimal, it’s almost silly not to try it!