Until recently, I’d never heard of the “No ‘Poo” method for washing hair. I had no idea that giving up shampoo altogether was even an option. Surely hair would turn into a huge greasy mess! But then a friend showed up one day with her thick, silky, shiny hair looking fabulous, and announced that she’d ditched the shampoo months ago. I was stunned. I found out that two more friends had gone the no ‘poo route, too. One had great success with her long, curly hair; the other, who has thinner hair, had to switch back to natural shampoo because her adjustment period lasted too long. It seems there’s a new natural beauty trend underfoot, and I wanted to find out a bit more.
According to The Skintervention Guide: Purely Paleo Skincare, written by Liz Wolfe, the No ‘Poo method allows the scalp to rebalance itself. If you stop stripping the hair and scalp of its natural, protective oils with the many chemicals that exist in conventional shampoo, then the scalp won’t need to compensate by producing excessive amounts of oil. Issues such as itchiness, dryness, and greasiness will clear up, as long as you can get through the initial adjustment period, which, according to Wolfe, shouldn’t take more than two weeks. During that time, hair “may feel waxy, frizzy, or ‘off’,” but eventually it will become silky and soft.
How does it work? Here’s the No ‘Poo Method, in a nutshell, though I recommend reading The Skintervention Guide (available for purchase online) for more detailed instructions and alternative options:
Depending on the length of your hair, combine 1-2 tbsp. baking soda with 1-2 cups warm water in a glass jar and pour over wet hair in the shower, gently massaging to distribute the baking soda evenly. Rinse both hair and jar thoroughly. Next, combine 1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar with 1-2 cups warm water in the glass jar and pour over your head. Rinse immediately.
This method brings back memories of high school chemistry class: the baking soda is alkaline, which requires the acidity of apple cider vinegar to neutralize it and balance the pH on your hair and scalp. Some people use regular vinegar mixed with a few drops of essential oil. The vinegar rinse is a necessary ‘conditioner’ to get soft, shiny, and manageable hair.
Personally, I was glad to hear that there’s at least some kind of washing process involved with the No ‘Poo method, because it would feel weird not to do anything at all. Admittedly, I haven’t tried the method yet, since I’ve been happy with the results and length of time I can go between washings with natural shampoo, but my curiosity is piqued. Traci Hukill writes about her success with No 'Poo for our sister site. I sense a No ‘Poo experiment in the early New Year…
Have you gone the “No ‘Poo” route? What has your experience been?