DIY Hair: My Experience With the No-Poo Movement
We're caught in a conspiracy! So apparently shampoo is bad for you. Who knew, right?
Well, the chemicals in it strip your own hair of its natural oils, which cause it to be dry after washing. Your head gets confused, and starts over-producing oils - which is why your hair will get super greasy after a few days. What the government DIDN'T tell you is that these oils are actually good for you, in moderation. To moderate them, you gotta quit the poo!
DISCLAIMER: I put in some tape-in extensions during my de-pooing process (which you can learn about here), so don't be alarmed by my magical growing and shrinking hair. Also, this isn't actually a disclaimer.
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar
2. Water ONLY
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar, Weekly
amount of time
amount of beauty
average and lame
Step 1: Ease In
So here's what you have to do: get rid of your shampoo and conditioner, and instead substitute baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Seems weird, right? Well, the baking soda will absorb the grease, and apple cider vinegar smooths and shines. It smells funny, but the smell doesn't carry once your hair is dried.
You can use the baking soda as a powder, or mix it with a bit of water to form a paste. This will act as your shampoo. You should mix equal parts of vinegar and water, and use this as your conditioner.
Once you've got the magical hair ingredients, you've got some decisions to make. You could start washing your hair with water immediately and have super greasy hair for a month, or ease into it by using the baking soda and vinegar and then just water. I'm not a fan of the dirty hippie look, so I opted for the second choice.
To ease in, start off by using your baking soda/apple cider vinegar concoctions when you shower. You'll do this for about two weeks.
My Experience with Step 1:
I started this endeavor right before I went to Bonnaroo - which I figured was appropriate, because those hippies don't shower anyway. My friend Brittany and I decided to try it together. She has really big, fluffy, curly, and generally untameable hair. My hair is just thick and straight, so I'm mostly doing it because I'm a bum.
Like I said, we opted to ease into the no-poo process. We started with baking soda and vinegar, using it 3 or 4 times in the first two weeks.
After our first baking soda wash, Brittany's hair was absolutely ridiculous. I think this is probably because she used too much vinegar, and chose to brush her hair post-shower. I actually liked the way my hair came out - it had much more body, though it did feel a tad dry.
The next time around, Brittany used a little bit of coconut oil in her hair, and she was looking like a sexy beast. At Bonnaroo, which we both attended, we didn't wash our hair for FIVE DAYS. And it was still sexy as hell. We were amazed.
Step 2: Use Only Water
This step is necessary for the whole balancing of pH and restoration of natural oils bit. And since you're trying to get your hair back to its natural state, that means no hair products. For some of you, this may seem like a nightmare. But, have I got several tips for you!
- If you have super duper fluffy hair, use a bit of coconut oil post-shower as a hair-tamer. Take a small amount on your fingertips and work it through your hair.
- If your hair is unbearably greasy, rinse it more often, or sprinkle a bit of baking soda on your roots to help absorb the nasty.
After about a month of pure water, you'll notice your hair becoming fabulous. It'll become greasy at a much slower rate - I'm talking around 5 or 6 days between washes. It'll have more body, and be much softer.
My Experience with Step 2:
After our two-week-baking-soda period, we both started the water washes. Brittany has reported only having to wash her hair every 5 days, and I could go about the same time. As mentioned above, after this stage my hair became much softer and bodacious.
Most surprisingly, I actually received complements from people during this stage... People who DIDN'T KNOW I wasn't actually washing my hair. I had several people telling me how good my hair looked, to which I could only respond, "I haven't used shampoo in over a month."
Obviously they were surprised, seeing as how my hair didn't even look greasy. This was the prime time for recruiting more no-pooers!
Step 3: Re-introduce Fake Poo
After your hair is fairly stable, you can go back to using your baking soda/vinegar combo once a week. And there it is - a cheaper, more healthy alternative to awesome hair!
Now, I'm back to using baking soda and vinegar once a week. Honestly, I don't miss shampoo - except for the way my hair smells after using it. Now, my hair just smells like nothing... But this can be remedied by using essential oils. Other than that, my hair is softer, shinier, and healthier. Will I go back to shampoo? Probably not.
Would you ever go poo-free?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.