Ok so I couldn’t resist a silly pun yet again…but what else can you expect from a post about the “no poo” method? No “shampoo” that is (for the record, I didn’t make up that name…everyone that stops using conventional shampoo calls it that).
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the method, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You stop using shampoo to clean your hair, opting for some variation of a baking soda solution with a vinegar rinse. The rationale behind doing this is that shampoo is actually bad for your hair because it strips it and your scalp of natural oils, causing your scalp to over produce oil to compensate. Which is why, if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a greasy mop the day after shampooing forcing you to wash your hair again and essentially perpetuating a vicious cycle. For the longest time I didn’t realize that this was happening. I just thought that I had “oily” hair and was destined to look like Skeet Ulrich the day after washing my hair. Ew.
So as much as I was interested in cutting out yet another chemical-laden toiletry, I’m not going to lie…I wanted to try this method because people talked about how much nicer and healthier their hair looked. And I loved the idea of weaning myself off of needing to shampoo every day or even every second day.
After doing it for 3 months I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I’ve weaned down to washing my hair every three days. Day 3 can sometimes be a little greasy but usually not as greasy as day 2 was when I was using regular shampoo.
Ok so here’s what I do. I mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with warm water in a bottle. This is my new “shampoo”. Then I mix 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. This is my “conditioner”. Technically I make a larger quantity but that’s the basic ratio.
FYI: Your hair will go through a bit of an unpleasant transition phase because your scalp is so used to over-producing oil that it will continue to do this when you first stop using shampoo. However, after your scalp acclimatizes you will find that it produces less oil, hence the fact that I can go three days between washes now. One way to help with the transition phase is to wean yourself off of shampoo before you go cold turkey. So if you’re washing every day, wean down to every two days, minimum.
There are a couple of key tricks that make this method more effective.
1) Apply the baking soda solution to your hair while it’s still dry that way the solution won’t just run off your wet hair. You only really need to focus on the roots.
2) “Condition” your hair twice. After you rinse out the baking soda solution, spray on the vinegar and water, rinse and spray again. (It’s remarkable how soft and untangled your hair feels afterwards. The vinegar really works.)
If you want to try this, keep in mind that you’ll have to give it a chance to work and for you to get used to it. Sometimes I miss the lather of shampoo but that’s about it.
Bottom line: My hair looks better. It’s not as oily and it’s easier to style (I use “style” loosely…anyone that knows me is laughing out loud right now).