One of the ‘movements’ I have been most interested is the no poo. Now that is not what it sounds like, it means not using shampoo. I also made a YouTube video discussing my journey, if video form is more your style.
As a scuba diving instructor my hair has taken quite the pounding from the sun and sea salt. My friends have recommended various masks and balms and nothing worked. Several of my friends, particularly male friends, have stopped using shampoo and swear by it. I always made excuses that its because their hair was short or something similar, but this time I decided to put it to the test.
What is No Poo?
No poo is meant to allow the hair to get into its natural cycle keeping a balanced amount of oil to allow for shine without greasing up.
Hair follicles contain a natural oil named sebum which is vital to keep the hair healthy. Frequent washing strips away the oil disrupting the natural balance of your hair. A daily shampoo ritual sends a message to the oil glands that the natural conditioning has been lost, causing an overproduction of sebum. This result in combination to the silky feeling directly after shampoo use is what has had us hooked on products for years.
Apparently, at the beginning of the transition to no poo, the oil glands still produce excess sebum which is no longer needed. I wanted to see exactly how long it would take for my hair to transition from a shampoo-addict to water lover.
So welcome to a little journey of my hair from 2012-2017.
As you can see my hair suffered some serious damage over the years. It started breaking and forced me to cut it to shoulder length. I was miserable about the state of my hair and looked for anything that could strengthen it again. I used coconut oil as a mask which somewhat helped to add some moisture, but a continued using shampoo on a by daily basis.
But lets have a look at my hair prior to the no shampoo movement, and now. 2 months later.
Week one of no poo in. My hair felt a little greasy at the back, but considering I was camping all week I did not really notice it.
Two weeks of no poo! The greasiness was at its worst. My hair felt like it was a different colour and I could not stop touching it due to it. I was told I have to persist past this uncomfortable point.
Three weeks of no poo. Hair is beginning to feel more voluminous and less greasy. It feels really good at this point. I make sure to massage my scalp with warm water to ensure proper circulation. I also noticed that when doing more exercise, especially combined with spending time in the sea salt, my hair volume would increase.
Four weeks of no poo. Again, camping so I did not notice the state of my hair. Beginning to be more comfortable with no shampoo.
Five weeks of no poo, feeling the volume had disappeared and dandruff started appearing. What is going on? There are several solutions to dandruff that most people can find in their own kitchen.
- Baking soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fenugreek seeds
- Indian Lilac
- Lemon Juice
- Tea Tree Oil,
- Coconut Oil
- White Vinegar
All the options are possibilities to keep the dandruff under control. Remember! Your scalp has gone through an enormous change from frequent shampooing to nothing at all.
I decided to try and push past and keep my hair free from any product except water. After another five days, it went away. Since then my hair has been feeling fantastic. I wash it every couple of days with warm water and after every ocean dive. I have noticed its strength and shine, and honestly cannot imagine ever going back.
So Why Go No Poo?
There are two main reasons why you should consider being no poo. The health of your hair and the health of our planet.
- Your hair feels pretty great afterwards
- Think of all the plastic bottles you will save!
Every piece of plastic that has ever been made is still on this earth. Going no poo is one additional way to decrease your plastic footprint on this planet. If you are curious to read a bit more about plastic waste management, check it out here.
Every one has completely different hair so it might take a little bit of trial and error to find exactly a routine that works for you. So far, in these two months I have stuck to just water, maybe I will end up switching it up. You can have a read of examples of other routines here.