The no poo movement

The no poo movement is not what it sounds, it’s in reference to ditching the suds in shampoo during your bathing routine. While this still sounds pretty disgusting, it’s really not. The shampoo industry wants you to believe that your hair will not be clean or manageable unless you lather up with their product. What shampoo actually does is strip your scalp of your natural oils called sebum – a natural conditioner; your scalp then goes into over drive to produce more oil, thus making you want to wash your hair more – the vicious cycle. It’s the foaming agent in shampoo that does the most harm, the chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate which is a toxic detergent that irritates the skin causing dandruff and itching. Heck, the stuff even stays detectable in your body for 5 days after use! So the movement began to ditch the poo (or we’re just getting back to our roots /pun).

There are various benefits to no poo including no dandruff, beautiful healthy hair, lustrous shine (read: not greasy), more body, more manageability, holds a style, less fly-aways, seriously – the list goes on! There are many ways to get to this goal and it all depends on hair type really. Some just use water to wash their hair, others add in a weekly or 2x a week baking soda scrub (equal parts baking soda and water) and apple cider vinegar conditioner (equal parts ACV and water) and brushing your hair before showers to loosen the oil. Hair type will also factor in ease and time it will take to get these gorgeous results. At minimum, expect a few weeks of ick for your scalp to get back to normal (before you started abusing it every day with abrasives). The followers are largely women with thick wavy or curly hair, but I decided give it a go regardless of my limp baby fine thin hair.

Well before I started this, I was washing my hair every other day for 2 years beforehand. I still got greasy on that day that I shampooed! Now I ‘wash’ with water every day, taking the time to massage my scalp as if I were shampooing. Here’s my experience:

Day 1: I started after a no-wash day so my hair had a definite grease factor to it. I keep my hair in a ponytail most of the day anyway

Day 2: I noticed that my hair tends to stick together in the shower like one big long clump, and when I wake in the morning it is a bit crunchy (I shower before bed)

Day 3: Holy dandruff! I brushed before my shower to get everything loose and even then my nails collected some scalp cheese during my wash

Day 4: Dandruff is gone, grease is there about 2″ down the hair follicle. ponytail it is

Day 5-7: No change. Unless my hair is down, you can’t really tell that it’s greasy

Day 8-16: Still 2-3″ of grease factor but you can’t tell when it’s up. There is no smell. I do notice a bit of wave coming to my otherwise straight as a board hair. And I’m getting more volume further down the follicle. Hadn’t had a need for conditioner which is surprising

Day 16-33: Every now and again I’ll get an itchy scalp with a very little dandruff. I’m still on water only and still have a grease factor. I noticed my white pillow case was getting a little yellow so I washed the sheets and then washed my hair with half baking soda and half water. It came out like I washed it, and the next day was not greasy. May be worth it to do every other week.

Month 2: I’m using baking soda and water once a week, I’m still a little greasy the couple days leading up to the baking soda wash. I use coconut oil the day before a wash to condition my hair ends. I have some frizziness that will hopefully resolve.

Month 3: Switched to every other week on baking soda, grease has gone down finally. Debating on dying my hair but I’m not too comfortable with adding chemicals. Arrgh.

Month 4: Ended up dyeing my hair and guess what? The color came out just as fast as shampooing. I found out the baking soda essentially strips the color. Oh well. I cut out the baking soda almost completely (except after I came in contact with a possible tb patient at work and felt like I needed to extract any yuckies). After doing baking soda I notice that my hair spends a few days being greasy shortly after a day of wonderful fluff.

Month 5-7: I’ve been experimenting, mostly just washing my hair with water only and using coconut oil to condition. Today I found this article and am baffled! I noticed the ends of my hair was starting to go dry versus the lustrous shine I read about, getting breakage and some dander which was promised to disappear. Now I’m on to finding a baking soda alternate, though it’s doing wonders for my face washing with it. This article might be worth a shot.

Month 8: I tried egg and that is full of trial and error so far. I read that you use with cool water so the egg whites do not “cook” and stick in your hair. I took a hot shower first and saved the hair for last, maybe the room was too steamy or I thought the water was cooler than it was but I still ended up with a few bits of white. Also, the process of getting the egg in my hair was full of fail – I cracked it in a cup after shaking it to scramble (thanks pinterest), then shook the cup to actually scramble it and started to pour on top of my head which promptly went right down to the floor. I have a game plan for next time as this shouldn’t be done more than once every 2 weeks.

Month 9: I have added in rye flour once a week, my hair still would like to be washed with at least water every day, but I’ve been washing with water every other day. The days of no water are still greasy.

1 year update: I still haven’t found the happy medium for my hair but I do have a routine down now. I alternate between 1 day of sulfate free shampoo a week and the next week do 1 day of rye flour. I love the rye because it works and leave my hair silky but it’s a mess and sometimes makes my scalp itchy if I don’t get it all out.


One thought on “The no poo movement

  1. LaurM says:

    Aww, thanks for linking to my article! I hope you try it, I’ve had the best success with the egg wash, if it wasn’t for our hard water I would still be using the rye flour as well :0)

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