Recently I was reading up on DIY household items and came across an article on Bonzai Aphrodite about going “no-poo”. No, this isn’t about limiting time on the toilet, but instead about giving up harmful, chemical-laden shampoo for something more natural, not as damaging and less expensive.
The “no-poo” method relies on simple baking soda (a natural cleanser) to clean your scalp and hair and apple cider vinegar (a natural softener) to condition it. The rational for this is that store-bought shampoos strip your hair of its natural oils and actually cause many scalp and hair problems (i.e. build-up, dryness, oiliness, limpness, etc.) and our hair would be better off if we didn't use shampoo and conditioner. Also, lots of store-bought shampoos/conditioners contain harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, carcinogens and nasty animal-derived products (read about these chemicals in cosmetics on Bonzai Aphrodite's article) that you definitely don't want to use on your body or add to the environment!
Using the "no-poo" method will eventually allow your hair to self-regulate meaning you will only need to use baking soda/vinegar about once a week. The rest of the time water will be the only thing needed to cleanse your hair! Sounds pretty cool, huh?!
The advantages of the no-poo method include: softer, more manageable hair, no harsh chemicals stripping your hair or going down the drain to harm the environment and huge savings as you won't be spending your moola on shampoos and conditioners anymore (I've been known to spend $60 on "luxury" shampoo!).
The disadvantages are that it will take a while (at least a week or two and up to a few months) for your hair to adjust to the "no-poo" method. During this time it may be a bit oilier than usual...but I hear you just need to tough this period out to get to the good results!
I'm taking on the "no-poo" challenge (though I am a bit late - the original post over at Bonzai Aphrodite was done 3 years ago!) and will be no-poo'ing for the month of May!
Anyone care to join me? If so, the directions are below (reposted from Bonzai Aphrodite's post):
In the shower, mix 1 tbsp baking soda into ~1/2 cup water to form a thin paste. Apply to hair at the roots, massaging thoroughly into the scalp. Remember that this will not foam up (no poo!) but that doesn’t mean it’s not cleaning. Rinse. Follow with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar diluted in ~1 cup water. Massage into roots and shafts, and then rinse.I'm super-stoked to try this and will give you updates as I go!
UPDATE 5/7/12: Ugh, sorry fiends, but I've thrown in the towel on this challenge! My hair did not take too kindly to this experiment and I had so much build-up from not shampooing that I couldn't take it anymore!
While my hair never got too greasy and the baking soda/vinegar left my hair pretty clean and manageable, it was the itchiness and build-up on my scalp that I just couldn't deal with. I'm bummed cuz I was so ready to go no-poo! I guess I'll either have to try again or just stick to my regular vegan shampoos!
Did you try this challenge? If so, what were your results?