I said “goodbye” to my shampoo and conditioner two weeks ago, and if things continue as they are now, this may be a permanent separation. Yes, you read that right. I’ve stopped shampooing my hair.
Think I’m crazy? So do I! For as long as I can remember, I’ve had to wash my hair every single day because it would get so greasy and yucky after only 24 hours. I have dim memories of older women telling me that way back when, people didn’t wash their hair more than once a week–and they didn’t need to. They said that washing hair more frequently causes it to need more washing.
I was unimpressed by this theory.
I knew what my hair looked like if I went 48 hours between shampooing, thank you very much. My fine hair simply doesn’t stand up well to any amount of oil. It looks gross and feels gross. Go two days between washing my hair? No ma’am!
So how did I get into the no ‘poo movement? I first heard of it about a year ago in a class on 18th century British literature. One of the most horrifying aspects of life in the 1700s is the skincare and haircare products the women used. Their makeup was made of ground up lead and bismuth buried in horse manure to ripen. (Really.) Anyway, one of my classmates mentioned that when she was researching 18th century haircare, she stumbled across websites where modern people wrote about their great results after tossing out their shampoo. We were all skeptical, of course, but this student was adamant that somebody, somewhere was not washing her hair and having the smoothest, softest hair she’d ever had.
This time, I felt some stirrings of curiosity, but I promptly forgot all about it.
Last month, however, I happened upon a blog post at Keeper of the Home on this very subject. After doing her research, this blogger decided to forgo shampoo herself. After a couple of weeks thinking over the logic of it all, I jumped on board too. I am a total convert now!
Lest you think I never wash my hair at all, let me clarify. I use a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water for cleansing. After thoroughly wetting my hair, I pour this mixture over my head in batches, working it in thoroughly with my fingertips, massaging the scalp as I go. After letting the mixture sit in my hair for a minute or so, I rinse it out. Next, I drizzle on a mixture of 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water. I massage that in a bit, then rinse thoroughly. (Don’t worry. The smell disappears.)
Although I’ve tried following this protocol every other day, I’m still finding that I need to wash my hair daily. This could have something to do with the humid climate where I live, or it may be that my scalp needs some more adjusting time. Gradually, I’d like to work my way down to washing every other day or every third day. We’ll just have to see how it goes. For now, though, I’m absolutely thrilled! My hair has lots of body and texture, and it feels great, smells great, and looks great.
There is more than one way to go no ‘poo. Some people, especially those with very dry or curly hair, find that they don’t need these rinses at all. They can stop washing their hair permanently by simply rinsing their hair in warm water and drawing a wet washcloth from roots to tips to distribute their scalp’s natural oils. Others use the baking soda mixture only once a week but apply the apple cider vinegar rinse 2 or 3 times per week. Others make a paste of the baking soda and water and massage it only into their roots. Still other people add honey or herbs to their routine.
In every case, however, not only are these men and women saving huge money on their hair care, they are eliminating one of the most obvious sources of daily chemical exposure. We all know that purchasing safe personal care products is much more costly than buying VO5. What if you could wash your hair more safely than you could with those expensive nontoxic products, while paying less than you would for a bottle of Suave? It might be worth a try. Personally, I’m tickled pink!
To read more about going no ‘poo, check out these resources:
Going No ‘Poo? The blog post that caused me to seriously consider this.
Info: Shampoo Free A very thorough post on the reasons for going shampoo free, how to do it, various tips, and even troubleshooting. A must read!
The No-’Poo Do Testimony of one dry and curly-haired gal who loves her new ‘poo free life.
Why You Should Go No ‘Poo Reasons to consider ditching shampoo for good and how to do it.