Sounds gross, I know. But for those of you who have never heard of this movement, it basically means ditching your shampoo and only washing your hair with baking soda and water. If you think it can’t be done, think again.
Previously, I talked about the harsh chemicals in shampoos, the environmental impact of shampooing, and the fact that we have been groomed (pun intended) by the beauty industry to overwash our hair. If you are interested in breaking this cycle, I’ll be offering tips, recipes, and resources this week to help you do so. To begin, I thought I’d start with perhaps the most extreme method (for some), which is also, incidentally, the easiest.
The no-poo method typically requires 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with water. Some people prefer to make a paste out of these ingredients, while others use a cup of warm water and let the baking soda dissolve. Either way, both mixtures can be worked into the hair during your shower. Let it sit while you soap up your body, then rinse. Viola. Clean hair.
It can be an adjustment for many, as there is no lather. Lather doesn’t equal cleanliness, but we have been conditioned to associate the two. However, try this method just once, and you will see how deeply cleansing it really is.
Many people worry about getting really oily hair after transitioning to no-poo. I won’t sugar coat it for you – this may happen. Typically, it only lasts for a few days up to two weeks. Take the opportunity to wear hats and scarves. Your hair WILL balance out again. That I can assure you. You just have to hang on long enough.
This method isn’t for everyone. Some people develop scalp irritation from the strong alkaline properties of baking soda. This can mostly be avoided by using a vinegar rinse on the hair after you rinse out the baking soda. (I will post on that tomorrow.) If you do try this method, and find your scalp irritated despite the vinegar rinse, I’ll also be posting on homemade shampoo in a couple days. If nothing else, this is a fabulous method for a “clarifying” shampoo once a week or once a month. It gets rid of all the buildup from shampoos, dirt, oil, etc.
As for me, I am not a “no-pooer.” (Yeah, I know – could that name get any sillier?) I call the method I use “so-so-no-poo.” I primarily use a homemade shampoo. Every fourth or fifth shampoo, I use baking soda. This has worked extremely well for me.
You can read more about no-poo by Googling it – there is a huge “underground” movement of no-pooers who will be able to offer you tons of resources. If you are really interested in going no-poo, remember that you can change it to make it work for you. Change the ratio of baking soda to water, change how often you wash your hair. Going off commercial shampoo is always an experimental process, and I promise, a rewarding one.
Give it a try this week, just once, as a clarifying treatment. It’s a good way to open your eyes to the world of alternative, eco-friendly hair care.
Stay tuned for the vinegar rinse. And if you aren’t ready to ditch shampoo entirely, don’t worry – you’ll love the upcoming DIY shampoo.
Happy hair washing!