Submitted Date 06/28/2020

The 'No Poo' method is something I tried eight years ago. It's the perfect thing to try right now while quarantining or working from home. However, I know some people might cringe at the idea of trying this out – in the long run, in my opinion, and most other people who have done this, it's worth it. No Poo basically means no shampoo. Some people might think of that as actually impossible. As someone who previously had oily hair, I know what it is like to feel like you must wash your hair every single day. The No Poo method actually is supposed to help this never happen again.

The reason why some people have to wash their hair every day due to oil has a lot to do with using shampoos, conditioners, and hair products with toxic ingredients that strip your hair of it's natural oils. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a big culprit, and it's in a ton of shampoos – even some high-end salon quality ones. Washing your hair with a shampoo which harsh ingredients might make your hair feel clean afterwards, but they're harsh on your hair and scalp and your scalp quickly starts to produce more sebum because the moisture and oils are gone. Not only this, but shampoos/conditioners that have a ton of toxic chemicals do more than just strip your scalp, they can cause allergic reactions/eczema or psoriasis outbreaks on the scalp. Some unnatural brands will claim to add shine to the hair, when really it's just another toxic chemical coating your hair strands, it might look shiny, but it's definitely not good for your hair and leaves a waxy residue. Years and years of using toxic shampoo/conditioner lead to build up. Now…I found out about this method years ago, and I have some thoughts about it and input on what I would have done instead back in the day, but I will go ahead and explain what it is before that.

This method is supposed to be done for a few weeks, I've heard no more than a month, but it can be shorter depending on your hair. Basically you switch out your shampoo and conditioner with two ingredients (not counting good ol' h2o): baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Yup! You'll be putting this on your hair to shampoo and conditioner instead, and you won't be using it every day. The baking soda is mixed in a squeeze bottle full of water. There's a ton of resources online for good rations for the two of these, but I really believe it depends on your hair type. I would start off slowly, like eight ounces of water with one or two teaspoons of baking soda, and then work your way up if you still feel kind of grimy. Believe it or not, this stuff actually does clean really well, you just have to work it in a bit and massage your scalp. With apple cider vinegar, use a little mixed with water, such as a tablespoon or less. It seems like a small amount, but it packs a punch. This gets dumped on your hair from the scalp to the ends. It detangles and conditions and I promise your hair won't smell like vinegar after, just make sure to not use too much vinegar and rinse afterwards.

So while you do this, yes, your hair will be oily, and you might be a bit uncomfortable. You won't be using these concoctions every day either, I would say maybe start off with every other day to two or three times a week. When you don't use these, you don't have to not wash your hair, by the way. You can rinse it with water, too. I know this probably sounds horrible to some people! I understand! But hey, they're ingredients most people have in their pantries and if you've been fed up about oily hair or spending money on toxic shampoo/conditioner and your hair feels sad and unhealthy, why not, right?

If while doing this method your hair feels worse, such as dry, or your scalp is irritated, then no worries, there's something else you can do.

It's usually recommended to do this method for a month or so and then transition to natural shampoo such as shampoo bars without ingredients like sulfates. (So, yes, I'm sorry, but that means no to Lush shampoo bars until they come out with one without sulfates). Also, please do your research on ingredients. Eight years ago Lush had no shampoo bar that was without sulfates, last year I remember checking back in with the brand where I was told some bars had 'less' sulfates, or coco sulfate. This doesn't necessarily mean it's better, and I would really try to stick to 100% natural ingredients. Chagrin Valley is my favorite company that sells shampoo bars. You can get sample ones on their website (they are VERY generous in their sample sizes) and find the perfect one for you. Shampoo bars are also eco-friendly, plastic free, and they last such a long time!

After transitioning to a natural shampoo, you'll find that you don't really need conditioner, and I actually don't recommend it, which I can dive deeper into later as well, but if you really want volume in your hair, conditioner tends to weigh it down. The apple cider vinegar rinses also are hydrating. Once your hair is used to this transition, you most likely won't need to use the rinse more than twice a month or at least only once a week.

Transitioning is hard, I know, but I'm so glad I did it. I put my hair in brands most of the time which helped a lot, and I refrained from putting natural oils in my hair as a hair mask such as jojoba for a bit. If you're irritated from the no poo method (which is probably from baking soda) either decrease the amount of baking soda, the amount that you wash it with these items, or try to switch to a natural shampoo instead. The baking soda is very clarifying, so it helps get rid of build up in the hair from chemicals but switching to a natural shampoo bar can also work. You will still go through a transition phase of having oily hair, though, and should still try washing less while in this transition period.

I'll discuss my hair type a bit more and what I personally went through, as well as shampoo bars and recommendations next.

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