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What is No Poo?
The No Poo process is where you stop washing your hair with shop bought shampoos and instead use natural alternatives or ideally just water.
No Poo (or no shampoo) is a collective term for methods of washing hair without commercial shampoo – Wikipedia
A Short History of Hair Washing
- Before the 1800’s people were advised to wash their hair only once a month.
- When the first synthetic shampoo was created, people were advised to increase hair washing to every 2 weeks.
- Daily shampooing became the norm in the 1970’s.
Why Go No Poo?
Your hair produces natural oil called sebum, this oil keeps your hair healthy. A combination of washing your hair too frequently and the harsh chemicals in shop bought shampoos strips your hair of this essential oil. Which results in unhappy hair.
The idea behind no poo is to use less harsh products that leave the sebum oil in your hair but also clean it.
‘According to Michelle Hanjani, a dermatologist at Columbia University, a gradual reduction in shampoo use will cause the sebum glands to produce at a slower rate, resulting in less grease in the scalp’ Wikipedia
The funny thing is that the more you wash your hair with shop bought shampoo the more you need to wash your hair. Because the shampoos strip your hair of the oils your hair goes a bit crazy and starts over producing the sebum oil which ultimately results in your hair getting greasy faster.
It’s a never ending cycle and yet another example of companies getting us hooked onto products that we don’t actually need!
Also, a number of contact allergens are used as ingredients in store bought shampoos.
The two main reasons why I want to make no poo work for my hair is to reduce the number of chemicals I put onto my body and to further reduce our bathroom waste.
My Previous No Poo Method
I was using bicarbonate of soda to wash my hair and apple cider vinegar to condition it. Looking back I think perhaps the bicarbonate was too harsh for my hair. The apple cider vinegar worked really well though and I may continue to use that this time round.
My New Plan
After a bit more research I have decided to give it another go but this time I plan to use soapnut shampoo bars. I have never used anything like this before so I really have no idea how it’s going to work with my hair.
I bought them on the Living Naturally website and I opted for their soapnut shampoo sample pack which contains 6 different bars…
- Beer & Bay
- Dead Sea Mud
- Hemp & Patchouli
- Lemon & Avocado
Watch: My latest no poo video
The Adjustment Period
Whenever you switch to natural alternatives you will most likely go through an ‘adjustment period’ which on average can take about 4 weeks but it does depend on your hair type.
During this time your hair becomes uber greasy and is just generally pretty gross. I remember this stage from last time, it wasn’t fun!
It’s all about retraining your hair to produce the right amount of oils and once you get to that point you should notice that your hair is healthier and much happier in the long run.
Apparently, you can speed up the adjustment period with a process called ‘Scritching and Preening’. It’s a method that moves the oil around your hair and can also help with hair growth.
- Scritching is where you gently massage your scalp.
- Preening is the process after scritching where you pull the excess oil down your hair with your fingers to the tips.
I found a video on YouTube that explains the process better than I can.
My Hair Before No Poo
I thought it would be good to take some before shots of my hair so I can look back and compare at a later date.
I’m really hoping that the soapnut shampoo bars work well with my hair. I shall be documenting my progress both on this blog and on my YouTube channel. If you want to be kept up to date with how well it’s going (or not going) then subscribe to my tribe.
If I have sparked your interest for going No Poo then do check out Lucy AitkenRead’s book *Happy Hair – The definitive guide to giving up shampoo: Save money, ditch the toxins and release your hair’s natural beauty with No Poo. Lucy is a no poo expert, she has stopped using ‘normal’ shampoo completely and her hair is amazing!
Her book is packed full of tips and tricks for successfully ditching the shampoo.