Roughly 3 years back a lovely blonde friend and I were chatting whilst exercising and the topic of ‘chemicals’ came up. We happened to be rather like minded, which was great because suddenly I wasn’t ‘that weird one’ again, I had a weird buddy! This gorgeous bombshell proceeded to ask me if I had ever heard of ‘NO POO’?
Shock! HORROR! I’ve heard of constipation, I fix constipation, but what is NO POO! See someone, call a naturopath! There must be POO!
Apparently my face gave away more than my linguistic ability at the time and with a chuckle she proceeded to tell me all about a NO SHAMPOO ‘movement’, for lack of a better word. Right there and then, my life and the life of my limp, dull hair was changed! This came at a great time, I had just had our second child. I hadn’t dyed my hair in nearly 4 years (to avoid chemicals while pregnant and breastfeeding), my natural colour seemed a bit drab and I was feeling a teensy bit on the ‘mom-of-two-neglect-yourself’ train. Time for an overhaul! That evening, when the family was fast asleep I settled onto the couch with my tea and my phone, and opened Pinterest. Pinterest knows allllll! Lo and behold! NO POO, no poo everywhere! Articles for days! I started sifting through them. The general consensus was this, after years and years of shampoo, your hair develops build up. Not only does this build up cause your hair to lack ‘oomph’, but shine and growth is hampered. Shampoo can also strip your hair of its natural oils, causing the scalp to over produce oils! Check self in mirror, check and check and check to all the listed ‘symptoms’ of build up. It twas’ not me, twas’ the build up! Rejoice…va va voom hair here we come! Two ingredients and a little bit of patience and I would be on my way to luscious locks.
A minor snag (there must always be at least one on the road to wellness, it must get worse before it gets better), you have to ‘retrain’ your hair not to produce as much oil! Shock! Horror! okay, breathe, headbands and buffs here we come! See, if you are anything like I was I could’t go two days without washing my hair. It was icky! Especially with a workout everyday! So, challenge accepted. I need two ingredients, some patience and an arsenal of up-do’s to hide my potentially oily hair until my scalp learnt to regulate itself again. The trick to successful NO POO (chuckle, it gets me every time) is that you must not wash your hair as often, this allows your hair to use the natural oils to nourish your scalp! Ka-bam! Bet all your read there was ‘must not wash hair as often’! Here are the benefits and potential downside of NO POO, then you can decide for yourself! I have been a NO POO-er for almost 2.5 years and never ever been sorry, thanks girlfriend (you know who you are!)
Benefits of NO POO (the hair version, there are NO, I repeat, NO benefits to the other version)
- You’ll be avoiding harmful chemicals and toxins. The biggest reason I was drawn to NO POO was that most shampoos and conditioners these days contain words no one can pronounce and that sends off warning signals in my head! Here is a list of some of the culprits! And do remember that your scalp is made up of skin, which is your largest organ, so absorption happens there too!
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) found in many cleaning products. …
- Fragrance. Unless lavender or other essential oils, fragrance normally signals bad ingredients that smell pretty!
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine. …
- Triclosan. …
- Polysorbates. …
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) …
- Potassium Sorbate. …
- Paraben! linked to allergic reactions and increased estrogen levels in the body which can increase risk of breast cancer.
- You’ll only have to wash once a week (or every few days, depending on the frequency you choose). By re-training our scalp to produce only as much oil as needed, washing daily or even every two days is a thing of the past. Some people choose to no poo every three days, but most go longer as oil production levels out. Sounds icky, but its honestly as though you washed your hair yesterday! Your scalp is healthier and oil production minimises. Your hair stays fresh and shiny! dry shampoo becomes your friend initially (I will add a recipe below, don’t use baby powder..you inhale that disgusting powder and it isn’t safe!)
- Less frizz more tame. Tons of NO POO-ers notice a reduction in hair frizz.
- Hair definitely grows faster. The fact that the scalps own natural oils are being used, means that your hair is ‘fed’ in a way that it was meant to be from the get-go. Naturally! The hair follicles are stimulated and build up free, making them super enthusiastic to grow grow grow!
- Scalp issues are a thing of the past. Nothing cleans like bicarb!
- It is good for the environment! Bicarb is non toxic, unlike most ingredients in the shampoo so you can wash it down the drain guiltfree and if it happens to run into your garden like ours does..yay for the plants and extra good for folks like us who live out in the sticks and have ‘french drains’ which means no chemicals are allowed!
- SO CHEAP! compared to store bought shampoos and conditioners, you will save a fortune!
- Some NO POO-ers have reported dryness..don’t give up, this can just be related to ratio of bicarb to water (strong strong will cause dryness and itching) as well as washing too often. Remember the goal is to go without washing for as long as possible!
- If you travel often I wouldn’t attempt flying with suspicious white powder in your hand luggage. har-har (and i’m not speaking from experience haha)
- If you mention this to other people, some may think you are nuts! Depends on how ‘thick skinned’ you are. I am like a rhino when it comes to wellness and natural ways.
- You may not have the tenacity to stick it out till the change happens, maybe try over a holiday if you are worried about seeing clients etc?
Here are the basics..you will need, bicarbonate of soda and apple cider vinegar. Ta-da!
Nature’s choice has a lovely option for bicarb! But if your budget is a bit stretched then Robertsons is a good option! I like health connection wholefoods
The general rule of thumb is 1 tbsp bicarb to 1 cup of warm water! This is usually enough for my medium length hair. Basically you should mostly aim for your roots anyway.
For the rinse: a ratio of 1:3 so 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to 3 tbsp water!
for oily hair, less vinegar and more bicarb
for dry hair, more vinegar and less bicarb!
Bentonite clay is also a very good nourishing and conditioning option that many have preferred to use over bicarb because of its PH. It is also easier to apply! you can mix it with raw honey and apple cider vinegar so the PH is lower!
For more moisturising options, these are by far the most widely used natural hair conditioners:
Major moisture boost!
EGG YOLK (THESE ARE USED ALOT!)
Helps reduce breakage and strengthens hair!
To moisturise and attract bees (hhahaah)
To soften and strengthen
To add shine and to soften, rub some on your face and hands while you are at it! Excellent moisturiser!
To add shine, moisture and treat itchy scalp!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
To soften and add shine. I use this the most. It isn’t nice smelling but you won’t walk around wafting ACV
TRY SOME COMBO’S:
I like these three:
HONEY AND COCONUT:
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Blend all together, rub onto dry hair (yes dry) from root to tip. comb through. Tie your hair back and wait! Rinse out with clear water and voila!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, HONEY AND BANANA (Really good for dry hair!)
– 1/2 ripe banana
– 1/2 avocado
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1. blend all ingredients in a blender. Add water if too stodgy
2. apply to hair, wrap your head in clingwrap (make holes for eyes, nose and mouth! hahah kidding, wrap your hair!) and leave on for 15-20 minutes
3. rinse off with water
- mix 1/3 cup warm, distilled water with
- 1/2 teaspoon melted organic unrefined coconut oil.
A LOVELY EASY HAIR MASK! whip 1 large egg yolk into a cup of cool water. use that mix on wet hair from root to tip of hair in the shower. let sit for a few minutes, and rinse out with cool water. voila!
For dry shampoo, for the inbetween days when you aren’t ready for an updo but just want a teensy bit of added freshness, here’s an easy dry shampoo that won’t damage your lungs when you inhale it:
Arrowroot powder (found in health food stores) or Maizena (cornstarch) are useful because they soak up excess oils on your scalp. These powders are white like most dry shampoos, and blend excellently into light hair.
For dark hair, mix together a ratio of 1/2 arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and 1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder. The cocoa powder helps the mixture blend into dark hair much easier and smells amazing.
Just dust on, wait a minute and combo through!
Now that you have all that info, give it a go! I dare ya…hahahah
In all honesty though, I was skeptical at first, the media has programmed us to trust BIG BRANDS! Where have you ever seen an ad for bicarb as shampoo and apple cider as conditioner, or plopping an egg on your noggin. I like to try things out for myself, its the only way I trust things! Do some research of your own and then decide for yourself! p.s if you do decide to try this out, please do keep me updated!