DIY Hair: No Shampoo for Six Months
It's officially been six months since I stopped poo-ing. Sham-poo-ing. I'm super into my hair, and I love dying it and cutting it. About two years ago, I dyed it blue and it was excellent . . . But it left my hair super dried out and dead.
I began searching for ways to re-hydrate it and bring it back to life, which started with chopping all of it off. But that alone wasn't enough, so I decided to try something I didn't honestly have much faith in—ditching shampoo altogether. Join me on my no-poo journey.
Truly Hippie Beginning
If you know me (and chances are you don't), you know I'm not really a fan of the dirty hippie. It's just not my thing. However, my no-poo adventure happened to begin before my first Bonnaroo music festival this past June . . . And both of these things are incredibly hippie.
The reason why I stopped using shampoo is simple though—I was tired of damaging my hair. In the previous year, I had bleached it, dyed it, and chopped it off. I was searching for healthy ways to grow my hair back out as fast as possible.
I came across an article about shampoo, and how it actually screws up your hair. Say WHAT? Upon further research, I learned about the sulfates that can be damaging to your strands. The alternative? Baking soda and apple cider vinegar. So I called up my friend Brittany and we decided to get dirty!
The process of how to de-poo can be found here, along with my experiences starting off. I won't go into detail about the process in this article, but basically it's broken into two steps: quitting your shampoo cold turkey and then re-incorporating a wash of baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner.
I'll admit, it was definitely weird to only rinse my hair for a month. Your hair can get pretty greasy when you quit doing the one thing you've consistently done since you were covered in your mom's uterus juice. Your hair gets so greasy so fast because shampoo strips your hair of its wonderful oils, so it overcompensates and gives you a greasy, professional-wrestler-status 'do.
While my hair was undeniably dirtier than normal at first, my solution was to rinse every other day with super hot water and try to rub as much of the hair gunk out as possible. After the first baking soda wash, my hair was amazing. Soft, flowy, smooth, voluminous . . . It was like something out of an '80s music video.
Pros and Cons of Not Shampooing Your Hair
There were some highs and lows of this experience, so here's our time to be brutally honest about it all. I'll start with the bad stuff, which is really just one thing—it smells funny.
Okay. That's a terrible way to put it. Obviously, without the perfume from shampoo, your hair will start to smell different. Baking soda doesn't have a smell, and the vinegar smell is gone once your hair dries. So it really just smells like your head. It's not necessarily bad, just not really good.
Now let's get to the pros—you can combat the weird hair smell by using essential oils. Peppermint, coconut, and tea tree are my favorites!
Another pro—I swear my hair has been growing faster. I cut my hair up to my chin six months before quitting poo, and in that time it grew maybe an inch and a half. Since I quit shampoo, my hair has grown at least three more inches (also in a six-month period)!!! This is one of the huge benefits.
I've also noticed that I haven't been getting many split ends. This may be related to not pooing, or it could be due to other healthy hair habits I've developed. Let's call it a combination.
One of the biggest benefits has been that I don't need to wash my hair every other day. This is awesome. I can do baking soda washes once a week, and rinse with water every few days. And you know what? I look NORMAL! No more not being able to go somewhere because I haven't washed my hair . . . No more constantly blow-drying wet locks . . . Not to mention, awesome hairstyles last longer since you don't have to wash them out.
The Best Part? Nobody Notices.
It's true. You can be a dirty hippie without anyone actually knowing you are. Never once has someone told me my hair was looking really funky, and that I ought to try washing it.
In fact, I've been complimented a million times more on my hair since quitting. So maybe they do notice, but in a good way.
It's great, because it's so much healthier and really not that gross. Really, it's not gross at all! And I've got the hair to prove it.
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.
© 2014 Alex Rose