No-poo does not refer to a constipation issue. No-poo is the practice of washing your hair without exposing yourself to the toxins present in modern shampoos and conditioners. When you wash your hair with these shampoos and conditioners, you can expose yourself to chemicals such as cocamide DEA, sodium lauryl sulfate, methylisothiazolinone, parabens, and other toxins. These toxins have been shown to cause cancer, birth defects and a host of other problems. When you wash your hair with these substances, they are absorbed through your scalp and can pass through the mucous membranes of your eyes and mouth. Also, these shampoos strip your hair of essential oils, drying your hair out and making it necessary to buy the “specially formulated” conditioners to return your hair to its natural shine. But there is a better way!! (insert cheesy infomercial music here)
No-pooing takes a bit of commitment. It will take about 4-6 weeks for your scalp to adjust to not being completely stripped of all necessary oils. During this time, your hair will be greasy and unmanageable. The good ol ponytail will be your best friend. But if you can manage to stick it out the results will be incredible.
I did this about 2 months ago. I really wish I had taken before and after pictures, the difference was that dramatic. Before, my hair was really dry with dandruff and my scalp always itched. I spent tons of money on special shampoos, moisturizing conditioners and tons of hair products just to make my hair manageable. After about 4 weeks of ponytails and creative use of bandanas, I emerged on the other side with gorgeous, shiny hair and a healthy scalp completely free of itching and dandruff. Plus I have saved an unbelieveable amount of money on hair products. So without further ado, here’s the low down on the no-poo.
Step One: Throw out all your hair products, you don’t need them and getting rid of them will remove the temptation of backsliding.
Step Two: Every day when you take a shower, go ahead and wash your hair with just water. This will remove any dirt in your hair and helps wash out loose hairs.
Step Three: Once a week (or twice a week if you must) you will no-poo. Take about a half cup of baking soda, mix it with water to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to your scalp and gently massage for a few minutes. It will feel weird at first since it does not lather. The baking soda will remove any oil buildup and odors without stripping your hair of its natural oils. After a few minutes of massage, simply wash the baking soda out just as you would normal shampoo.
Step Four (optional): If you want your hair to have a little extra shine, you can rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. This step is completely optional. Honestly, I couldn’t stand the smell of the vinegar. But it does add a nice shine and the smell does not linger on your hair.
Also, while going through this transition, if you have any lingering itchiness on your scalp, a few drops of tea tree oil will take it right away.
One little tip for longer hair: I have noticed that my hair does not have a large amount of volume, but a hair stylist friend of mine taught me a tip. When drying your hair, bend over and let your hair dangle down toward the floor. Aim your blowdryer toward the roots and dry your hair while bending over. This will add volume to your hair.
As a no-poo veteran, I can testify this program works, will be healthier for you and will save you a ton of money. Plus, imagine all the room you will save on the bathroom shelf!