So you are considering joining the no-poo movement and tossing your shampoo and its’ pal conditioner out once and for all. Well here is a little background first:
The most common method of “no-poo” or no shampoo is to use a mixture (tweaked to your specific needs and water quality) of baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV). This is the method that pops up most frequently on Google as you do a search, a natural reaction all of us have when we hear about something new; Google it! With so much misinformation out there, it can be hard to get a straight answer or understanding of how effective this no-poo method can be for hair care. There are many on the internet who said it worked for them but then I never heard an update – here’s mine. What happened a year down the road? Did their hair still look gorgeous? Mine sure as heck didn’t with the baking soda/ACV mix! I stopped this method because of the sticky and unmanageable mess that my hair became. I then half stumbled, half discovered another no-poo method that is not only effective but avoids all the excess tweaking. In short, I use only water to wash my hair, scrubbing my scalp vigorously with my finger tips in the shower, and then following up with diligent brushing with a boar-bristle brush.
Now, down to the nitty-gritty of what you should consider before making the switch:
1) Are you willing to go through a transition period? If you take the time to read some stories of those who go through “no-poo” transitions, you will read about a detox period. I prefer to call it an adjustment period, as your body is adjusting the amount of oils, sebum, it is making on your scalp now that you are no longer stripping them on a regular basis. This period of adjustment is different for everyone, so be prepared to take your time, and be patient.
2) Will you be diligent in brushing your hair daily? I ask only because modern shampoo and conditioner has allowed us to no longer need to brush our hair. As a curly haired gal, I can tell you I maybe combed my hair once a week at the most! Going back to a natural state means that there will be oil, sebum, on your head, and it needs to be moved away from the roots and to the tips of your hair to ensure adequate conditioning of the entire hair strand. I made this mistake and the ends of my hair for a time looks really, very sad. So make the time, roughly 20 minutes at night at least, and maybe 5-10 minutes in the morning. Got 30 minutes to spare?
3) This is not fail-proof method. Shocking I know, but as with just about anything in life, you often have to try out many things before you find the right one for you. No doubt you did this with shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, blow dyers, etc. The same is true for my method of no-poo. You will most likely have to tweak it a bit, not as much as measuring out baking soda and vinegar but you will have to decide how often you need to brush, wash and anything else you may think your hair needs.
4) If you feel uneasy about the transition period, consider a low-poo method first. This is a great stepping stone for those who feel really uncertain about going straight no-poo, or don’t feel confident of having a hair-care routine down just yet. Not only that but you might even experience less of an adjustment period, due to less frequent stripping from daily shampoo.
5) Can you handle the awesomeness that is naturally cared for hair? I have been using my no-poo method for a little over a year now, and haven’t regretted it once. Ok, maybe once, or twice during our renovations, but beyond that, not once! My hair has never been so silky smooth, not frizzy even on humid days and shiny! It is so shiny! I hope you’ll consider the no-poo but if not again, low-poo is a great alternative until you’re ready for the next step.