Wait… didn’t I just write this post two days ago?
No, because this one my friend Axelle is doing. And a few days ago, I started to do it too. No, we’re not constipated. (Although that is the tagline for the No ‘poo forum.) We’re all just attempting to give up shampoo. And conditioner. And most hair products in general.
I’ve written about solid bar shampoos and how they can help us save plastic bottle packaging waste. But giving up shampoo altogether saves not only packaging but excess ingredients and a ton of money. And according to believers, it’s a lot better for our scalps and hair.
Inspired by Life Less Plastic once again, I asked Jeanne to write a few pointers on her experience going shampoo-free. This is what she had to say:
I know you’re probably feeling extremely skeptical right now. I was the same way. When I started my no ‘poo experiment, I kept thinking to myself, How could this possibly work? My hair is going to be so disgusting. I’m going to be hideous.
And to be honest, I was sort of right.
When I initially stopped shampooing, my scalp wasn’t used to my new routine, so my long hair got really oily. It was bad. Real bad. But in about two weeks, my scalp started to figure out that I’d made a change, and it stopped producing so much oil. That’s when things started to get good again.
Of course, that’s also when I started to feel completely deceived. All my life, I’ve thought that I needed to buy expensive shampoos and conditioners that generate mounds of plastic waste to have good hair, and it’s not true. I mean, I don’t even need ANY shampoo or conditioner. All I need to do is use a little baking soda and a vinegar solution now and again. Insane!
(My routine, by the way, is to shower as usual, and rub about a teaspoon or two of baking soda into my hair on Wednesdays and Sundays. You can also pre-mix a baking soda and water mixture, but I’m to lazy. Then I do a vinegar solution rinse on Sundays to condition.)
Anyways, now it’s been over a month since I stopped ‘pooing and my hair is pretty much back to the way it used to be. Sure, it feels a little greasy now and again, but in general it’s healthy, happy, and pretty nice-looking.
I can’t guarantee it, but I suspect you’ll have the same experience. If you thinking about ending your ‘poo days, please do! It’s worth it!
My routine so far (if you can call it that because I just started this experiment this past Sunday) is to use a premixed solution of baking soda and water (2 Tbsp baking soda mixed with 2 cups water in a sports bottle) and a premixed solution of apple cider vinegar and water (same proportions as the baking soda solution.) It’s a good use for the unused plastic sports bottles we had stashed in the cupboard once we switched to stainless steel Klean Kanteens for drinking. (Jeanne uses a glass pitcher, but we tend to be a little too spazzy to keep glass in the bathroom.)
[09/26/2012 Update: We still use this method and love it. I now add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to the apple cider vinegar rinse because it smells good and is supposed to be good for the scalp. Here's a list of other essential oils used in hair care.]
I found organic apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle at Trader Joe’s, during the same shopping trip when I broke down and bought toothpaste. So while I may have given up the baking soda as toothpaste this week, I found another use for it in my personal care regimen.
The results so far are fine. Not brilliant or amazing. But I will say that for the first time, I have been able to style my hair without any holding product and have it keep it’s shape for the whole day. I have no idea why that should be, but it makes me happy. We’ll see what happens as I continue this process. I’m hoping to get to a point where I only have to wash my hair once or twice a week, like Jeanne does, and use the vinegar rinse once or twice a week as well.
Here is a post with much more detailed instructions for going “no ‘poo.” And once again, here’s the forum where participants discuss all the finer points and nuances of the practice.
Have you tried this method yet? If so, what’s been your experience with it? What kind of hair do you have? Jeanne’s a long-haired white girl. I’m a shorter-haired, white chick going gray on the sides (Yeah, I know, I didn’t add the gray bits to my little cartoon avatar. Sue me.) which is starting to add a bit of sexy older woman wiriness. No Impact Man’s a short-haired white dude. So I’d like to hear from folks of different ethnicities with different lengths and textures of hair. How can we all take care of our scalps and hair with as little environmental impact as possible. And still look hot? (Cuz you know that’s what’s really important.)