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Image / Editorial

Is ‘No Poo’ for you?


By Bill O'Sullivan
29th Jun 2014
Is ‘No Poo’ for you?

The ?No Poo? movement is not actually as gross as it sounds. As a grass-roots movement, women everywhere are boycotting shampoo and cutting out washing their hair with product from their day-to-day lives. Okay, so it still sounds a little gross, but apparently adopting the ?no poo? method is both healthier and cleaner for your hair, as well as cheaper for your wallet and better for the environement. Here’s how.

Blogger Jacquelyn Baers recently?publicized this method on her blog LittleOwlCrunchyMomma,?when she explained that she hasn’t washed her hair for three years. Her reasons are similar to the majority of the ?No Poo? movement. They believe that generic shampoos contain harmful chemicals (Baers goes by the motto, if you can’t drink it, don’t use it) such as paraben, phthalates, petroleum byproducts and other dangerous toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. It also contains foaming agests like Lodium Lauryl Sulfate that can irritate your scalp, hair and skin. Not only do generic shampoos contain a litany of chemicals that are bad for you hair, your skin and essentially your body, but shampooing your hair actually disrupts the hairs natural self-cleaning cycle, creating a new vicious cycle where the more you clean your hair, the more your hair gets greasy. This is because the hair naturally produces self-cleaning oils such as sebum and when these natural oils are stripped from the hair in shampooing, the hair over-produces excess sebum, naturally overcompensating to replace the oils that have been lost.

Rather, followers of the ?No Poo? movement, quit using shampoo completely, replacing it with natural remedies that don’t disrupt the hair’s natural self-cleaning cycle and as a result, find their hair softer, healthier and cleaner than ever before.

By now you’re probably thinking ‘this sounds wonderful, where can I sign up for this miraculous cheaper, healthier, easier hair?’ Well, there is, of course, a catch. In order to restore your hair to its natural self-cleaning cycle, there is a sacrifice to be made. Your hair will take one to six weeks to fully acclimatize to this ?No Poo? method. In the meantime your hair will have to adapt, over-producing sebum which sadly, means greasy roots for you, typically most greasy for the first week, and balancing out over the following five week period. However, if you bravely manage to stick it out, you could be shampoo-free for the rest of your life. Instead of shampoo washing, ?No Poo? advocates wash their hair around once a week, using a simple mixture of baking soda and water in the place of shampoo, and apple vinegar and water, in place of conditioner. Interestingly this is the same remedy people used before shampoo was invented in the 1930’s and conditioner a few years later, invented in response to people who found shampoo was drying their hair out. As well as swapping shampoo for these traditional remedies, hair products such as mousse or gel are forbidden for the traditional six week period, as they will stop the hair from finding its natural balance of oils.

Bad news aside, followers of the ?No Poo? movement report that once this transitional six week period has passed, their hair is less greasy, needing only a weekly wash with the natural remedies, and are raging about how their hair is healthier, bouncier and cleaner than ever before. All this, not to mention the life-long savings they’re making on shampoo and conditioner, as well as avoiding any potentially harmful chemicals both polluting their own bodies and the environment, all the time saved from shampooing your hair in the mornings, and the agro of dealing with it quickly greasing up again, avoided. So what do you think, dear Image readers? Could you go the six weeks greasy for a grease-free life? Or is it too big a price to pay? Are ?no poo? advocates a bunch of dirty hippies or will you yourself try this new trend in hair-care? For this writer’s sometimes lazy and cheap self, I can’t say I’m not intrigued?

Rachel Lavin @RachelLavin