Going “no ‘poo.”

Not shampooing one’s hair sounds like it would be really disgusting. And for the average person it probably would be, at least temporarily. Shampoo contains chemicals which strip the scalp’s natural oils, so the scalp overcompensates by producing more oils, the hair becomes greasy if it’s unwashed, and it becomes an endless cycle that results in being stuck purchasing tons of hair products. Which is precisely why I decided to ditch the ‘poo (and conditioner and everything else).

As an aside, many cosmetics/hair product companies test on animals and I’m trying to reduce my consumption of those products to zero. As I mention in my vegan/vegetarian purchasing guide, there are a decent amount of companies out there who don’t test on animals, but I figured if there’s a completely natural alternative, why not try it?

I don’t mean that I literally don’t wash my hair. Instead of nasty chemicals I use baking soda with a rinse of vinegar. The baking soda absorbs oils and such and the vinegar acts as a conditioner making my hair smooth and shiny.

A reprise of my pink hair photo on the main page.

Hair normally undergoes a transition period of about two or so weeks where it’s super greasy from being unwashed, but the situation normally corrects itself. Frequent washings with baking soda can aid the transition period before gradually tapering off to one or two baking soda washes per week. Thankfully my hair only took about a week to adjust and I normally wear it in a pony tail anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.

An even closer look.

A closer look.

I’m now about a month and a half into this experiment. Ultimately I feel like my hair has become healthier. Less hair falls out when I rinse and comb it out (which I do every night). It feels clean and has the same amount of volume as it always did (I think my length has started to weigh it down). I recently did a henna rinse which made it feel even nicer and look more vibrant. As you can see, I’m growing my hair as long as possible and I don’t want a head full of super long, damaged hair.

Overall I’m satisfied and my total cost for hair care has been reduced to an average of around $5/mo taking the cost of the henna into account.

 

 

Here are some resources for those who are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_poo

http://no-poo.livejournal.com/

http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/

Google comes up with a bunch more.

Most of these resources discuss measuring amounts of baking soda and vinegar and coming up with the correct ratio of water/baking soda or water/vinegar for your hair. I’m far too lazy for all that, so I just eyeball a half cup of baking soda and mix it with water. The vinegar I just put straight on and rinse out. That probably won’t work for everyone though. I should also note that I apparently also have the ideal hair type for this kind of thing (thick and wavy). It can be harder to find the right balance with other hair types, but as humans managed without detergent-like shampoo for thousands of years, it should be do-able for everyone.

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3 thoughts on “Going “no ‘poo.”

  1. Your hair looks so shiny and clean. My no-poo experiment didn’t work out, but I’m not giving up 100%. I’ll just have to try something else…are you still doing it?
    Thanks for the inspiration! Jennifer

  2. Pingback: My disaster with “no poo” | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

  3. Thank you! I am still doing “no-poo,” my biggest problem though is with dandruff. I use tea tree oil in my baking soda and water mix to help with that, but every once in a while I wash my hair with a mostly natural shea butter shampoo I found at Target (my primary concern is that the products/cosmetics I use do not contain animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals- this shampoo does not/has not been). Maybe you have to find the right balance of baking soda and water? It’s not for everyone though, there are plenty of natural and animal friendly shampoos out there.

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