First of all, I just wanted to announce that this is Post Number 99. Seems like it should be the title of a thriller, eh? My next one will be a celebration of 100 posts and one year of blogging. So stay tuned.
Anywho… Let’s get started on Part 1 of a series also one year in the making.
Think “no-poo” is too crunchy? (Scroll down to “What the heck is ‘No-Poo'” at the end if you’ve never heard that term before).
When I decided to minimize my beauty routine and remove as many commercial products from my life as possible early last year, going “no-poo” was one of my first moves. And I’ve been gathering my thoughts ever since so that I could finally share with you.
This series will span a few articles. Over the course of it, you’ll learn what I’ve done that I no longer do. And what I’m experimenting with plus what’s currently working.
However, the series wouldn’t be complete without this foundation post and a little background.
What’s Wrong with Shampoo?
When you research the chemicals in beauty products and which ones to avoid, you will discover that there are almost no commercial shampoos that avoid all the “worst” chemicals.
Even natural brands which make great products for other purposes will swap out the known bad guys with ones lesser-known but just as harmful. Not always with nefarious intentions, I’m sure. If you want to learn more, read my fav book on chemicals used in traditional skincare.
The bottom line: store-bought shampoo just doesn’t seem to work without at least one no-no chemical.
For me, since I was easily removing those ingredients from all the other areas of my life, this was incentive enough to figure out a workable alternative for washing my hair.
Just because you rinse it off doesn’t mean it doesn’t seep into the highly absorbent surface of your skin. Especially in a steamy shower.
Beyond the Bottle
What is the basic need serviced by shampoo?
It is essentially soap. You’re cleaning your hair just like you clean the kitchen sink. And while us eco-conscious ladies and gents don’t smirk at making a quick mix of baking soda and vinegar to do a little bathroom cleaning, we cling to our shampoo bottles and think no-poo is too granola.
At the same time, hair care is such a tricky one to simplify. Until this past year, all my attempts at making my own “shampoo” or showering less always left my hair limp and greasy.
There’s a part of the raw food, natural hygiene movement that advocates never washing your hair. That’s not what I’m saying here.
Instead, how about this more moderate approach:
Save some water and cut your showers to a few times a week rather than every day. If you’re stinky, I give you permission to take a quick 1-minute shower to wash your pits and other delicate areas.
I have naturally oily hair, and I used to shampoo religiously every day. Then my hairdresser told me that every time we wash, we strip the natural oils in our hair. This, in turn, makes our glands produce more oil to make up for it, perpetuating the “oily” hair cycle. She suggested I start shampooing every other day.
I talked about this same concept in my article on moisturizing with just olive oil. The goal is to give your natural oils a chance to balance out.
Since that moment years ago, I stopped washing every day. After the first couple of weeks of oiliness, it worked out its balance. To stretch my shampooing even further, I use this homemade dry shampoo.
So then, if I don’t wash my hair OR avoid the shower, then what do I do?
Next up in this series, I’ll talk about my experience with “no-poo” and why I no longer use baking soda and vinegar or castile soap to wash my hair.
Never heard of going “no-poo”? (Catchy, eh?) In case this concept is new to you, I’m ending this post with a definition.
What the heck is “No-Poo”?
“No-poo” typically refers to “washing” your hair with baking soda and then doing a rinse of diluted vinegar to condition and balance out the hair pH. It’s gotten pretty popular lately, and you can find tons of articles online. But it really is that simple.
Now your turn. Do you still use store-bought shampoo? If you’ve tried ditching it, how did it go?
P.S. See you next week at Post # 100!