One of the most popular faces on the natural beauty scene is the “No Poo Method.” The name is a little surprising at first. Are these people not “poo”-ing? Is that healthy?
Once you realize that this has nothing to do with, ahem, bowels, it makes way more sense.
So what is this No Poo thing?
Basically, it means no shampoo (ah, there’s the “poo!”). Instead of using the dangerous chemicals and often banned products that are in our common shower bottles, No Poo followers opt for completely natural ingredients to clean their locks.
What do you use instead of shampoo?
The most common No Poo substitutions consist of baking soda and vinegar. Really. First, you incorporate a baking soda rinse, massage it into your hair and scalp, then follow with a vinegar wash.
This smells stinky. Is it?
Not really. At first, there is a vinegar smell, but that evaporates once you hair dries. If you add essential oils into the wash, it becomes a very fragrant experience!
Why are you doing this?
Well, I have scalp issues. Ever since I was little, I had an itchy scalp. It’s not dandruff, it’s not eczema, it’s not who-knows-what. Doctors have prescribed me weird, burnt plastic-scented shampoos, and I’ve tried all kinds of funky remedies that didn’t work. The only thing that does is vinegar.
In the past, I would simmer apple cider vinegar with water and herbs (often calendula, neem, rosemary, and lavender as recommended by my local herb store). Then, I’d store it in glass jars in my shower, and rinse each time I bathed. This resulted in very cold showers and lots of crunchy stuff in my hair because I never strained it. The rinse helped a lot, but wasn’t a perfect match for me.
I’ve also tried colloidal oatmeal masks, dousing my scalp with cocon
ut and olive oils, and countless shampoo bars. They help some, but never get to the root of the problem on a long-term basis.
So, I decided to stop pooing (*snicker*).
Last week was my very first week on the system, and I did plenty
of research ahead of time. Many people said to expect super greasy hair the first week as part of the breaking in process. In fact, I was warned that the greasy hair experience could last for many weeks before the scalp learned to adjust to this new environment.
So how did it go? Was your hair greasy?
Actually, it went really well! I washed my hair twice (I’m kind of an infrequent bather…), and was really blown away by the outcome. For the first shower, my hair ended up smooth, silky, and really clean feeling. I was hooked, and had some of the prettiest locks ever to grace this dear head of mine.
For shower two, I wanted to adjust the proportions to see what would happen. This was when I had a somewhat greasy scalp. It wasn’t bad (not like what you get after coating your entire head in oil), but wasn’t totally favorable. I KNOW this was because I reduced the quantity of baking soda. After the first shower for week two, I know that this was the case because I went back to a heartier dose of soda and the gorgeous locks are back. SUHWEET!
Walk me through the process. What do I do exactly?
No Poo Shower Regimen
- 1 box of baking soda
- 1 bottle of vinegar (I’m using white for the time being)
- 2 containers (only 1 required)
- essential oils (optional)
Take about 1 tbs of baking soda, and mix it into a glass of warm water (I use a pint glass). Mix it thoroughly with your finger if need be. Set that in the shower and don’t drop it! If you’re clumsy, use plastic please.
Take the other container (I use a large Mason jar), and fill it 1/3 of the way with vinegar. Then, top it off with warm water. If you’d like, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I use Meditation Synergy from Plant Therapy because it smells freakin’ awesome).
Get in the shower. Rinse your scalp and hair thoroughly with warm water. Squeeze out any excess water. Pour the entire glass of baking soda onto your head. I start from the front and pour about a third of the glass at a time for a totally even coating. Set down the glass, and massage your scalp and hair.
After a thorough rub in, you should notice a gentle softness in your hair and hands. That’s from the baking soda. Rinse away the entire mixture with water from the shower. Just a few quick dips under the shower head should suffice.
Then, shake up the vinegar bottle, and carefully pour 1/3 of the container over your scalp (slowly and a bit at a time to ensure total coverage). Set down the container, and massage it in a bit.
Again, squeeze excess water from your hair (I do this by coiling and twisting by hair into a bun so it releases the extra water). I do this twice.
I don’t wash out the vinegar. Instead, I dry my hair, and get out of the shower.
This can’t really work. Does it?
As noted above, yes, it really does! At first, start without about a tablespoon of baking soda in the water. This helps strip the oil from your hair and scalp, and should act more like your normal shampoo. In the future, you’ll be able to get away with less baking soda but at first, start with a larger quantity.
Is this safe for everyday washing?
Yes! Although I don’t bathe everyday, this combination is totally natural and body safe. You might want to mess with the proportions since a tablespoon of baking soda could be a little strong for daily washing, but you’ll get the hang of it.
How’s the itching?
Really, the itching has decreased greatly! Except for the slightly greasy days when I used less baking soda, the itching subsided. I also recommend massaging coconut oil onto your scalp and letting it sit for an hour or two. Seriously. It takes quite a few washes to get the greasy feeling out of your scalp, but extra baking soda will do that for you. It REALLY helps me, and that’s an enormous relief.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. This regimen may not work for you, and is not to be used instead of medical advice. If you experience problems with this process, please stop immediately. Since baking soda and vinegar are totally natural products, you should not have any adverse reactions, but only your body can know for sure. Please proceed with caution.
Do you “poo” or are you a crunchy beauty, too?
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