We love challenges…
…30-day abs, couch to 5K, ice buckets – count us in. But giving up our shampoo? That took quite a bit of convincing.
The practice is called “no poo” by proponents, which is a collective term for methods of washing your hair without the use of commercial shampoo. The name alone frightened us, but after plenty of “it’s SHAMpoo” reassurance and a bit of research, we were ready.
Commercial hair soaps can strip your hair of sebum – the natural oils produced in hair follicles which keep hair from drying out. Your scalp in response produces more sebum to replace what was stripped away causing it to look greasy or weighed down which then makes us shampoo more often. The theory behind no-poo is that you can achieve clean hair by using gentle, natural alternatives, without chemical additives, without harming the environment and without breaking the bank.
There are hundreds of different methods of going no-poo, but keep in mind hair care is personal, there is no one size fits all. Also, it’s important to remember that your hair may go through a brief transitional period as it balances itself out, which for us was the biggest challenge.
Here are a few of the methods that we’ve tried:
Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar
Of all the methods out there, this seems to be the most popular. It’s not as economical as water only, however for those of us who prefer the act of doing something other than just water rinsing our hair in the shower, this was a great alternative.
Make a paste from 1 tablespoon of baking soda and an equal amount of water. Massage it into the roots of your hair. Massaging your scalp will help stimulate blood flow and help clean your follicles of grease and grime. Make sure to rinse it well, because the next step will be to rinse your hair with Apple Cider Vinegar – a natural moisturizer which makes your hair shine.
Mix one part ACV to 3 parts water, letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Make sure to avoid your eyes! The scent will evaporate when your hair dries. This method works best when used every 4-5 days.
This is by far the most economical, but also requires the most commitment. Massage your hair and scalp with warm water. That’s it. Your hair will have to go through a transitional period while your scalp adjusts to just producing the right amount of oils, so if you aren’t a fan of hats or ponytails, this may get hard to stick with. The process can range from a few weeks to a few months.
Honey washing is easy, fast and thankfully not as sticky as we thought it might be. Honey won’t strip the hair of its natural oils, and it has basically the same pH as the scalp.
Mix 1 Tbsp of raw honey, 3 Tbsp of water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Our favorites for this were lavender and peppermint, but we also loved but tea tree, clary sage, carrot seed and lemon oils. Wet the hair then massage a few drops of your honey mixture on your scalp, then rinse well. A little goes a long way – and its best to make up small batches as you need it.
Have you ever considered cutting back (or cutting out) your shampoo? Let us know what works best for you!