I'm going no 'poo.
What is "no 'poo"?
It's the funny little abbreviation for not using shampoo and conditioner. The term "no 'poo" most specifically refers to replacing your shampoo with a baking soda and water solution and replacing your conditioner with a vinegar and water rinse.
Why am I doing this?
Actually there are multiple reasons.
- Originally, I was inspired by this post about the "Curly Girl" method. I made the switch about a year ago to a sulfate free shampoo because it is not only better for everyone's hair (sulfates strip the natural oils from your hair), but specifically better for curly and wavy hair types. It was pretty much a choice inspired by vanity; I wanted my curls to look better.
- More recently, my desire to get away from shampoo altogether is prompted by my hormonal issues and PCOS. Different chemicals can further mess with the delicate balance of hormones and removing these chemicals can help to restore that balance.
- It's cheaper. Baking soda and vinegar cost pennies compared to the L'Oreal Everpure (a readily available sulfate free shampoo) I was using.
- Ultimately, going no 'poo will restore your bodies natural balance of hormones giving you healthier hair, a healthier scalp (I have problems with mine), and allowing you to wash your hair less often. Because regular shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, your hair overcompensates giving you oily hair and causing you to need to shampoo more often. The idea of being caught in this vicious cycle irritates me.
How do you do it?
I googled no' poo recipes and came up with a variety of options. The most basic are the baking soda and vinegar solutions, but there is no exact science to those. The amount and frequency of baking soda and vinegar are dependent on how your hair responds to it. Below are links to some of my sources.
Misty Moncur: No 'Poo recipes (this one has the most variety)
Keep in mind...
- There is a transition period as your hair adjusts. Most people say up to two weeks, but I've also heard up to a month. I'm hoping that because I've already been using a sulfate free shampoo, my transition time won't be as long. So far (see below) it's been manageable.
- It's not going to feel like using shampoo. There is no lather. No foamy scrubbing. This is actually better for curls specifically because you're not damaging your hair with that rough rubbing.
- There are alternative ways to go no 'poo or low 'poo including specialty shampoos and natural shampoos. In fact, the creator of the Curly Girl method mentioned above helped to create something call Deva Curl which is a hair care system designed around curly hair. Wen is also a low 'poo alternative. As cost was one of my motives, I didn't spend much time looking into these.
How's it going so far?
Below is my no 'poo journal. I plan to try to update as I continue on.
Day 1: Used a baking soda and water solution, squirted on hair, rubbed it in a little bit, and rinsed it out. Let hair dry naturally. Curls were bouncy and full. Hair did not feel greasy.
Day 2: Used the same baking soda and water solution. This time I let it sit in my hair for a few minutes. I also made a vinegar and water solution (I used red wine vinegar because I was out of apple cider vinegar) and poured that on my hair then rinsed it out. Hair felt clean coming out of the shower. I decided to blow dry and straighten and it felt and looked a little greasy. I tried sprinkling some dry baking soda in it and running my fingers through it. That not only got rid of the greasy look, but also the greasy feel. Hair had great body.
Day 3: Used the baking soda and water solution. I didn't like the way my hair felt after I rinsed it out. It was difficult to run my fingers through it, and I really wanted conditioner. I think the vinegar rinse might have helped with that, but I didn't have time to make up a cup because I was running late. I let my hair air dry and it didn't feel as nice or curl as nicely as it did on day 1.
How about you? Have any of you tried this? If so, how was your experience?