I’ve joined the No ‘Poo movement. Not that kind of no poo movement. That’s called constipation, friends. Right now, I’m talking about The No Shampoo Movement. Why would one quit shampoo? Um, the bigger question is why WOULDN’T one quit shampoo? If you find yourself often saying or thinking any of the following statements, then you’ll have convinced me that no ‘poo = no you.
1. “I wouldn’t be even slightly ruffled if Jon Hamm inspected my hair greasiness 24-48 hours after washing it.”
2. “I would be dismayed if my hair were as shiny as puppies’ eyes bedazzled with sequins and polished silver.”
3. “The more shampoo and conditioner bottles I put into landfills, the more my level of contentment in life increases.”
4. “I love my hair to be so unhealthy and over-washed that it breaks off so that I can leave pieces of myself everywhere I go. It’s like Hansel and Gretel… except with hair.”
5. “I find the act of absorbing anti-freeze (isopropyl alcohol), detergent (SLS), petroleum (propylene), coal tar (FD&C color pigments), and carcinogenic toxins (too many to count) through my scalp truly pleasurable.”
As I said, if any of these statements is a daily affirmation for you, then I suggest you remain committed to your relationship with that bottle that currently inhabits your shower. That sounded potentially bad… Like I’m encouraging addictive behaviors for people who happen to store some type of alcoholic beverage in their place of bathing. My bad. Don’t do that.
Are you wondering whose golden locks are plastered all over this post? They’re mine… And although they’re an obvious example of bed-head, they’re also an example of no ‘poo hair SEVEN DAYS after washing. Seven. I wanted to show how my hair looks these days at its dirtiest and messiest when I’ve done nothing to it. It wasn’t always this way. How did achieve it? I’ll share with you the wisdom of my people. When I say “my people,” I mean fellow dirty hippies who, ironically, are not so dirty after all.
Step One: Stop using shampoo. Use baking soda and vinegar instead. For your new shampoo, add water to baking soda until it’s a thick goo. Exact measurements aren’t really important, but it’s better to have not enough water than too much. For your new conditioner, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar only (no other type of vinegar) to 1 cup of water. This time, it’s better to have not enough vinegar than too much. Store your new hair beautifiers in your shower.
- Wet your hair and focus on massaging your new shampoo into your roots. Let it sit for one minute. Rinse. Pour conditioner onto your ends rather than the roots and rub in. Rinse.
- Practice your new hair care method for at least two weeks.
Step Two: Stop using baking soda and vinegar. Use only water instead. You can do this cold turkey or wean yourself off. It’s choose your own adventure here. Just massage your scalp well when you’re in the shower. That’s it. This is the critical phase where your body pushes the reset button and finds balance for your hair. Shampoo strips our hair of its natural oils, so over time your hair becomes accustomed to over-producing sebum.
- Don’t use any styling products or ANYTHING on your hair. This is important so that your hair can find balance again.
- This phase lasts 4 to 6 weeks. Your hair will be greasier than usual. I probably reached peak greasiness at the end of the first week. I wore it up all the time. No one really noticed. My hair looked dirty but nothing more than that. I stuck it out for the full 6 weeks because I knew my sebum production was pretty off the charts – my hair would be greasy again after 24 hours. I wanted to go the extra mile to ensure that my body would recalibrate properly. Trust me: you may feel a bit yucky during this time, but push through it and you’ll be rewarded.
- Brush your hair as often as possible – at least once a day. I would brush my hair really thoroughly before my shower each day. This helps move the sebum down the shaft of the hair to protect it as it is designed to do. Brushing helps keep your hair clean. This is why Jane Austen’s heroines would brush their hair 100 strokes a day in a time when frequent bathing wasn’t exactly popular. Just be sure that you clean your brush a few times per week!
Step Three: Add the baking soda and vinegar back in once per week. You’ve made it through the toughest part and now your hair is soft and lovely. Depending on your hair, you can adjust this weekly use to twice weekly or every ten days if you’d like to instead.
Step Four: Flip your gorgeous locks around like a Victoria’s Secret model and wax poetic about what a total ninja you are by saving money, the environment, and your youthful glow. This applies to men, too. Do it, please.
- Hair getting too frizzy? Use less baking soda or don’t leave it on as long.
- Hair getting too greasy? Use less vinegar or switch to lemon/lime juice.
- Hair getting too dry? Try smoothing a bit of coconut oil or olive oil on your ends.
- Are you dying during the 4-6 week waiting period? Sprinkle a bit of baking soda along your part and comb it through. It will absorb some of the greasiness.
- Still need to use hair styling products after this whole ordeal is over? I suggest looking into the most organic and natural products out there. The fewer the ingredients, the better. The more ingredients you recognize, the better. The best option of all would be to google homemade styling product recipes and do it yourself!