The title of this post is NOT in fact, referring to bodily functions. It has little to do with camping and outdoors (yet in a way, it will be very helpful down the road! I’ll let you in on that later…) and more to do with the health and integrity of…my hair.
Yes, a hair post. I don’t post anything like this here normally so please feel free to pass if you don’t have any interest in it! Apologies!
I have had many people asking me to share the whys and the hows of my personal experience with the “No ‘Poo Method” aka: the practice of not shampooing your hair. It sounds terrifying to most. Some will be absolutely disgusted. Others intrigued. I promise you it’s all of these things and more.
*Disclaimer: This is not for everyone. If you cannot commit, don’t try it. You gotta tough it out! Give it at LEAST 10 days before you throw in the towel. Hats, headbands and dry shampoo will be your friend!
This is MY experience. It may not work for your hair type like it does for mine. Experiment with different methods!
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a licensed hairstylist of 12 years. I’ve seen it all. I’ve done it all. And when I started this experiment I expected to be bored and underwhelmed and try the next big thing. I must say, 5 weeks in and I’m hooked. I am a convert. I will never shampoo my hair again.
Let’s talk hair texture. There are three main textures; fine, normal and coarse. Then there are hair types: straight, wavy and curly.
My hair falls between the lines of normal and coarse, therefore it’s typically pretty dry yet versatile. It has a natural wave. Not like a seductive, effortless beach wave; more like a kinky, awkward frizzy mop. (The very first photo in the photo section below is my hair in it’s natural state.)
Before No ‘Poo, I was an every other day to every 3 days shampooer. With the help of dry shampoo in between, I could easily make it to 4 or 5 days if I was feeling extra confident (lazy).
With No ‘Poo, you still cleanse and “wash” your hair as often as you need or want to – using special products or household kitchen items with little to no chemical makeup to remove excess dirt and oil from the scalp and hair.
Examples of said products:
– Co-wash treatments. A cleansing conditioner product. (Personal favorite at the moment: Avocado Co-wash at Lush!)
– Baking soda and water. I use this paste once every week to remove product buildup (I use hairspray and dry shampoo frequently; the baking soda breaks down any left behind!) This method can cause dryness if used too frequently. Coconut oil combed through the ends only and rinsed after 15 minutes helps greatly!
– Just washing hair with any regular PARABEN FREE conditioners, skipping the first shampoo step all together will also suffice. Parabens leave behind a waxy and shiny coating. #1 culprit brand for parabens is Pantene. Pantene is also a no-no in general for color treated hair!
– Egg rinse. 2 eggs beaten well with water. Apply to scalp and ends. Massage in. Rinse with COOL water or you’ll have cooked egg in your hair!! This method is great for fine textures. It adds natural volume!
All of these I have tried at least once and I am equally happy with each of them. My number one go to product after every “wash”…Argan oil! I use it every day. Apply to the ends of your hair damp or dry to add shine and promote growth.
Why I stopped shampooing.
My hair was constantly breaking. It was dry, brittle looking and I couldn’t even run my hands through it without getting tangled or stuck. It wouldn’t grow past a certain length. It was time to try something new.
Shampooing our hair daily or weekly only became popular in the last 60 or so years. It is actually not beneficial to shampoo our hair so often. Here’s why.
Shampoo (as well as most body washes and soaps) contain sulfates and detergents that pick up and sweep away daily product use and dirt along with our desperately needed natural oil. Shampoo slowly strips away hair color, shine and the real protection our hair needs to stay healthy and strong: oil.
When most people think of oil they get grossed out. Oily skin, oily hair. Sick, right? Wrong! It’s a natural body secretion that is there for a reason! We just don’t allow it to sit on us long enough to do what it’s supposed to do, which in turn increases production. You take it away and your scalp begins to produce extra to keep up. Do you wash your hair every day? I bet you’re oily 12 hours later. Wash your hair every 4 days? It takes a little longer to get heavily oily doesn’t it?
Here’s my #2 (hehe) partner in crime for this experiment. A boar hair bristle brush. You need to brush your hair every single day for this to work the way it’s meant to. Not with a plastic, hair tearing, scalp scratching Goody brush. No, you need the soft, pleasant massage a boar bristle brush can supply. It carries your natural oils from the top of your head to the ends of your hair. The goal here is to evenly distribute the oil from top to bottom so that it naturally conditions your hair. It also promotes hair growth by stimulating your scalp if you brush for 5-10 minutes daily.
Okay. Weeks one and into two are AWFUL. But once your body adjusts and stops over producing oil, you don’t EVER, ever feel greasy or oily. You don’t itch. You don’t experience dry scalp. In 10-14 days you reset everything. It’s AMAZING.
You are essentially training your hair and scalp to adjust to the disruption in oil production that shampooing causes. Once you make it past week 2 you will notice significant and wonderful changes in your skin, scalp and hair texture.
But! The silver lining! 5 weeks in and I have obtained what I thought was impossible for my hair type.
Silky, shiny, longer, voluminous and manageable hair.
I apologize in advance for the selfies, filters and Snapchat filters. Eep! But you get the idea! Look at my hair not my weirdo faces!
August: dry, flyaway, frizzy.
I changed my color in between these photos to a little more blonde. Look how brittle and dry the ends look!
Week 3. Looking really good! Smoother, softer, longer. The ends are fuller and don’t look broken. Washed with baking soda the night before this photo:
Week 3 1/2: This week I mixed coconut oil with some Pravana Vivids Silver to tone down some brassiness. Pravana Vivids are vegan and deposit only; no chemicals. It was a bonus conditioning treatment while turning my brassy ends a pretty pale blonde!
In 5 weeks I have gained an inch in length, and a whole new outlook on what makes hair healthy. Like I said before, it’s not for everyone! What works for me may not work for you. If you cannot fathom not having sudsy shampoo clean your hair, don’t even attempt! This is a no suds zone. It’s absolutely an adjustment.
Yes, I still bathe/shower daily. Just because I don’t wash my hair doesn’t mean I don’t wash myself.
Yes, I still use dry shampoo. Not as frequently or as much. I will forever love No Drought from Lush.
My hair does not smell. It doesn’t absorb smells as bad as before. I’ve sat around 4 bonfires with NO clinging odors. That’s a win.
I always blow dry after I “wash”.
I still use a curling iron, but not every single day.
And on a final (outdoors related!) note, I know my hair will look awesome when I spend a full week outside with little to no showering available at Shenandoah!!
What do you think? Can you see a difference between my photos? Maybe you should give it a shot!!!
Any questions, ask away in comments!