What is it about the whole no ‘poo movement that makes people so enthusiastic? It’s a strange concept, I’m the first to admit: Stop using shampoo and instead wash your hair with either baking soda and cider vinegar, or simply use water. For some it’s a hair-raising idea, but for those of you who have heard of the results many no ‘poo people are experiencing, it sounds like one heck of an adventure; one perfect for the New Year, in fact.
That’s where I was a little over 6 months ago. I was skeptical I’ll admit, but hopeful. My hair had reached an impasse. It was flat in some spots, frizzy in others, overworked and filled with static even on the humid days. I’d heard of going no ‘poo, so I gave it a shot. Long story short, I have no desire to ever again crack open a bottle of shampoo! The last time shampoo hit my tresses, it straightened my hair (took it back to the old days in short order, it did) and I was stuck with a mess of tangles and unmanageable static for weeks. Which I realized was exactly how my hair had always been; not because of bad genes, but because of the products I dumped on my head, natural or not, on a daily basis.
Is there a transition when switching to a no ‘poo regimen? You bet! Your hair may go into a bit of a shock. After all, the way your scalp was meant to work has been shut down possibly for decades. The scalp will produce more oil, but it will eventually calm down and produce less than when you shampooed it. The chemicals in shampoos that straighten your hair will go down the drain, and if you’ve been blessed with any curl at all, it will surface. Like me, you may find that hairspray is no longer necessary (not to mention mousse, gels, etc.) If your hair is thick, it’ll feel even thicker but with no tangles and knots. (Since ditching shampoo, I’ve not once needed to comb my wet hair after a shower. Fingers through it are enough!)
Yes, it sounds like I’m selling something, but I’m not. If you use baking soda and cider vinegar, it’s very cheap. And it’s easy. I scrub my scalp under the shower water for a minute or so, then I take a small amount of baking soda (a couple of tablespoons for me, but it’s different for everyone so experiment here). I scrub it into my scalp and don’t bother with scrubbing my hair at all, since it all works through anyway. Then I rinse it out very well. When I’m done with my shower, I dump a mug of water with about 2 tbs. apple cider vinegar in it. I give it a very quick scrub to make sure it gets through my hair, then I squeeze it out. After that, I wrap my head in a towel for awhile. When the weather is conducive, I let it air dry, but otherwise I gently dry it with a hair dryer on a cooler setting. Many days I use a 100% natural, plant-derived leave-in conditioner or a few drops of natural hair oil. For “fancy” days, I may use a few squirts of homemade hairspray, but honestly I don’t really need it anymore. It’s still just an old habit.
I’ll be pulling together a few before-and-after photos soon, although it’ll be hard to make a decent comparison. Before going no ‘poo, I tended to straighten my hair rather than fight the unpredictable waves. I also relied on hairsprays and other products, and so for me some of the greatest differences have been in the actual feel of my hair as well as the ease of styling, two things that don’t translate through photos.
If you choose to go no ‘poo for your New Year’s Resolution, send me an email at themommyspot (at) gmail (dot) com. I’d love to hear your progress! I already hear from so many of you, and it’s been fantastic hearing your success stories with going no ‘poo. Even one mother/daughter team who have decided to go no ‘poo together! The enthusiasm is contagious. So let me know how it’s going for you. Soon I’ll put together a special post that will share your successes with our readers, so get typing! I’d love to hear all about it.