Have you heard about no poo? In spite of the slightly unfortunate-sounding name, it has nothing to do with your bathroom habits. It’s short for ‘no SHAMpoo’, and it’s about ditching traditional hair cleaning products in favour of more natural choices. No poo’s following is growing, and people choose it for a variety of reasons.
Some people don’t like the idea of using chemical-laden personal care products. Modern shampoos typically contain artificial colours and fragrances, and a variety of ingredients that haven’t been specifically tested for long-term toxicity or carcinogenic effects. Shampoo and conditioner usually come in plastic bottles, and there are problems with recycling plastic. And some people find that their hair is healthier and more manageable when they go no poo.
I decided to try going shampoo-free myself. I attempted it once before, but I didn’t really commit and I didn’t really follow the recommended procedure. After a few days I gave up. This time I committed to two weeks of no poo, and I tracked down the suggested apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle. I like the idea of reducing my plastic consumption, as well as my exposure to chemicals. I was also hoping that ditching shampoo would somehow net me miraculous hair results.
I am washing my hair using baking soda, and rinsing it in an apple cider vinegar solution. What I do is wet my hair, and then mix 1-2 tsp baking soda with a little water to make a paste. I spread it through my hair, starting at my scalp, and then rinse. I have re-purposed an old 8-ounce shampoo bottle for the apple cider vinegar. I put in about 2-3 tablespoons of the vinegar, filled the rest of the bottle with water, and added a few drops of essential oils to make it smell not so vinegar-y. I squirt a few tablespoons of this solution on my hair and then rinse it out.
It’s been two weeks now, what’s the verdict? I would say my feelings are mixed. My hair feels very much like it did when I was a kid – it’s softer than it was, but also very thin and fine. And I have not achieved the results that some people report, where they can go days without washing their hair. I have tried skipping a day, and I end up having to keep my hair in a ponytail when I do that, because it gets greasy. I have oily hair in the first place, and going no poo hasn’t eliminated that.
Having said that, the results aren’t awful. I asked my husband if my hair looked different and he appeared befuddled and confused. No one else has said anything, either. My feeling is that for the most part, any differences I’m seeing are undetectable to others. I think that I will keep up the shampoo-free experiment for now, and since I am showering every day anyway, if I have to wash my hair it’s not exactly a huge inconvenience.
What about you? Have you tried no poo? Any tips, tricks or disaster stories? Please share!