The last time I washed my hair with regular shampoo and conditioner was December 30. I did so with great reluctance, relishing what I thought would be the last sensation of clean hair for a long time. Then, thanks to my editors at TreeHugger, I embarked on a shampoo-free experiment, known popularly as the “No ‘Poo Method.”
I never would have done it on my own. Despite being on a constant quest to ‘green’ my life and reduce waste and my carbon footprint, I’m still the kind of person who enjoys the presence of beauty products in my life — always chemical-free, of course. I like shampoo, which is why I was never interested in giving it up, even after receiving glowing reports from staunch no-poo believers. But when a post I wrote for TreeHugger called “Would you ever stop using shampoo?” generated a lot of interest, my editors asked if I’d try it and write about it further in February. Since then, much to my delight, a number of friends and one editor have joined the challenge.
It’s going far better than I ever dreamed. So far, there’s been almost no adjustment period. I’d expected a very greasy month, but that’s not the case. I continue to wash on my regular schedule (every four days) with a baking soda rinse (2 tbsp dissolved in a 500 mL jar of warm water) , followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse (2 tbsp in 500 mL water). The baking soda does an incredible job at cleaning the hair, which feels light, minus the frizz. The vinegar is a conditioner, and leaves my hair even softer than regular conditioner would. Then I soften a bit of coconut oil in my hands and apply it to the ends of my hair.
When I used to wash with shampoo, I never liked how my hair felt immediately after; it was always very dry and frizzy. By the second day, it was more manageable and could be styled, probably because some of my head’s natural oil had returned. With the no ‘poo method, my hair immediately feels like it did on that second day after washing. The oil hasn’t been stripped, just cleaned.
I’m interested to hear from some of you other guinea pigs about how the experiment is going. My hair is very thick and wavy, so I’m sure everyone has different experiences based on hair type and the kind of water you’ve got. If you have any questions, a friend found this excellent and helpful source at East Central Love, a.k.a. No Poo Gal.