Shampoo, that is. I know it sounds crazy, and believe me, I was skeptical, too. But I was becoming more and more frustrated with the money I was spending on hair products. I came across the no poo method when searching for yet another solution to my hair issues and decided to give it a try.
My hair is thin and fine to begin with. It is easily damaged, which is one reason why I stopped coloring and perming. However, graying hair can quickly turn yellow because of certain chemicals in the residue of shampoo, among other reasons. I began a frustrating cycle of purchasing one product to undo the damage of another.
The quest for poo-free hair
Internet searches told me that I needed to use a purple shampoo to keep my silver hair bright. Purple shampoo used too often can turn hair blue, which I did not want. The instructions told me that I should use the purple shampoo only once a week. So I also had to buy a special clarifying shampoo to use on the other days. Now I had two different shampoos and a special conditioner in the shower, not to mention a cabinet full of half-used bottles of shampoos that didn’t work for me. I had been sucked into the hair care industry’s web.
The average American women spends $55,000 on her hair during her lifetime. About $9,000 of that is on shampoos and conditioners. Using the no poo method, I spend pennies a day, sometimes nothing, and my hair is the healthiest it has ever been.
What is the no poo method?
No poo means just that. You do not use any shampoo on your hair. Just like anything, my hair results may be different from yours. However, on most days I wash my hair vigorously with clean water and the tips of my fingers. Several days a week, I dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in some water, massage that into my scalp, and rinse very thoroughly. Then I pour a solution of apple cider vinegar and water on my hair, let it sit a few minutes, and rinse it. That’s it.
The baking soda cleans my hair and scalp and keeps my grays bright. The ACV softens, moisturizes, and adds shine. And, no, I don’t smell like vinegar all day. I know you don’t believe me, but you might if you try it.
Cautions when starting out
Your hair and scalp are addicted to the products you are using. The hair care industry knows that its products keep your head’s pH off balance. That way, you have to buy more of their products. So when you stop using commercial shampoos, your head will go through a kind of withdrawal, a rebalancing of its oils. This may last for a few days, but if you can stick it out, you will start to see results.
Also, you may want to adjust the amounts of baking soda and ACV you use, or just go completely no poo and use only water. I did that for a while, and I never had a day when my hair looked dirty or oily. It saved me time in the morning, and it definitely saved me money.
Consider the benefits
Aside from saving hundreds a month on hair products, you will no longer be rubbing toxic sodium laurel sulfate, breast-cancer-causing parabens, and hormone-disrupting fragrance chemicals into your scalp. These chemicals will no longer be going down your drain and into the ecosystem. You will not be sending those dozens of shampoo bottles to the landfill. And your hair may just look better than you ever imagined.
You may also enjoy the look of shock on your stylist’s face when you explain why you are not interested in buying the products she tries to sell you.