“I don’t wash my hair! No poo,” she told me and the first time I heard this term I thought she was swearing at me in the sweetest way. Really what she was talking about was a movement from commercial shampoos. While a lot of people use a combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash their hair, there are a lot of different ways to wash your hair naturally without commercial shampoos. That was a few years ago and I haven’t been able to consider making the leap to no poo until now.
Why go no poo? There are many chemical reasons to ditch your traditional shampoos. I made the swap from a salon shampoo a few years ago. I thought for sure my popular shampoo was fine but after doing some research and checking out apps like Think Dirty and EWG’s Skin Deep, I found out my shampoo isn’t as clean as I thought it was.
Most Shampoo is Dirty
The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every day and for many women that starts with their shampoo. There are tons of different toxic chemicals that are found in shampoos. While your body is made to detox it can only handle so many. Is it worth it to add to the toxic load with your shampoo? The common ones include parabens, sodium laurel sulfates, quaternary ammonium compounds, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and other chemicals. To learn more about shampoos, and some swaps, check out our Cleaner Hair Products article.
With all the chemical reasons to ditch shampoo, it might just be easier to ditch the shampoo and go no poo. There are numerous ladies at The Wellness Way that have ditched the shampoo and I’ve always been a bit jealous of those who were able to make the switch. Their hair looks amazing, it’s more efficient and they have more time on their hands because they aren’t spending as much time washing and styling.
So why didn’t I make the jump to no poo right away? My fine hair looks like an oil slick after just one day. My crunchy scale just couldn’t make it to the no poo side. It was just too slippery for me. There was a transition period even when I switched from the chemical laden shampoo. Regular shampoos, along with washing too much, strips your hair and scalp of natural oils. Your scalp will compensate for this by producing more sebum. So, then you wash your hair more and try to replace the moisture with conditioner which has even more- you guessed it- chemicals! It’s a never ending cycle!
Now that I have been experimenting with no poo there are a few things to know when you try this no poo thing.
It Takes Time to Go No Poo
Most of us have been washing our hair with toxic chemicals for years. That means our bodies have adapted and we have years of chemical build up. Your scalp needs a detox like your armpits needed a detox when you swapped for toxin-free deodorant. No poo won’t be easy at first. I started with going a few days and stretched it out further and further. With a day of just rinsing and then “washing” my hair with ACV. There is a need for hats, scarves, buns and braids during the transition period. It gets easier as time goes on, but it does take up to 3 months. Some say it is better to just to go the full week right off the bat. Those are braver souls than me. Let me know how it works!
Everybody is Different
Your no poo style might be different from your friends. There are so many things that impact each of our no poo experiences. That includes hair type, diet, hormones, hard water vs. soft water and willingness to be a little oily.
In these experiments, I always learn something about myself. Like when I learned about my cervix in the cup test for the menstrual cup article. This time I learned I have low porous hair. I had no idea. Do you know how porous your hair is? You can test it by putting a couple clean strands of hair in water for a few minutes. If your hair floats it is low porosity which means it doesn’t retain a lot of moisture. If it sinks fast than it is high porous, and it absorbs a lot. If it slowly sinks than you have normal hair and this test probably isn’t as shocking to you. The porosity of your hair along with a number of other factors will play into your no poo journey.
So, play and experiment with frequency and different ways of washing your hair. Don’t expect your experience to be just like anyone else’s. Take note that gut health and hormones play a big role in your hair. What’s going on inside is reflected on the outside. If you have a lot of scalp and dandruff issues get tested by a proficient provider to find out what’s going on.
It’s easy! No Poo!
The great thing about going no poo is that it’s easy and cheap. There are some people who will make or buy their own no poo shampoo bars, but you can just as easily start out using an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (yes, we use ACV for everything! There are so many benefits of apple cider vinegar). Some people also use baking soda, but others question the harshness of baking soda. Save time and money by doing just a rinse and see how easy no poo can be. Still need a shampoo once in awhile? Try one of the recommendations from The Wellness Way crew.
No matter where you start on your no poo journey, you’re on your way to healthier hair.