I have a confession to make….
I haven’t ‘pooed in a week. No, I am not constipated. In fact, I feel quite wonderful. Last week I decided to join a growing underground movement dubbed “no-pooing” that supports shampoo free living. This sounds strange in a culture that gets squirmy just thinking about going 48 hours without a good shampoo. But the more I read about it, the more it made sense.
Think about it: just like there used to be a world without plastic, there was once a world without liquid shampoo. Therefore, it is totally possible to live without it. Then comes the question: “Well, do I want to live without it. There was a world without penicillin too, but you don’t see me writing that off”. Point taken, I am not saying we should live like cavemen. But I do want to decide for myself what is good for my hair and body, rather than listening to advertisements and commercials that pay millions to get me to buy their product. A good advertisement does not mean I need to buy into it.
Modern shampoo emerged in the 1930s. Back then, it was a weekly ordeal. It was not until the 70s or so that shampooing became a daily norm. So I went back and looked at old pictures of my grandmother, to guage whether she looked like a smelly grease ball in the 50s. Quite contrarily, I thought her hair looked voluminous, shiny, and strong!
So, why do we feel so greasy and gross after a day without shampoo? Turns out, those powerful bubbles strip our scalp and hair of its natural oils. Wait a minute, isn’t de-oiling the goal here? What’s the problem? Our hair needs oil to keep that healthy strength and shine, so our scalp compensates after a good ‘poo, overproducing oil to make up for what it lost. So the shampoo makes us dependent on it to keep the grease at bay. Can I break this vicious cycle?
It’s worth a try.
So here are my 5 reasons to stop ‘pooing:
1. It is WAY less expensive. A bottle of shampoo can cost you anywhere from $5 to over $20. You can buy a pound of baking soda for a couple dollars. Our 32oz bottle of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar was about $5. Strapped for cash?? Stop ‘pooing so much!
2. It is better for your body. My last post talked about chemicals in liquid soap. Shampoo often contains the same suspects. Using some shampoos can expose your scalp and eyes to irritants, carcinogens, and allergens. Why do we need to wash our hair with a concoction of chemicals cooked up in a lab?
3. It is better for the environment. All those chemicals wash down the drain…. where do they do? Our bodies aren’t the only thing dealing with the onslaught of plastic-era chemicals, the environment around us is too.
4. You gain power by not giving in to powerful advertisements. Consumer power is one of our greatest weapons against corporate greed, yet many of us don’t realize it! If we refuse to buy these chemical/petroleum laden products, powerful companies like Dupont will realize they need to provide healthier products. Also, by opening our minds to personal care product alternatives, we have the opportunity to support small businesses rather than giant corporations, and help those businesses gain traction in today’s tough economy.
5. You can inspire your family and friends to ask questions about the ingredients in their personal care products. Sure, you could keep your no-pooing a secret. It’s weird, I know. But by letting your friends and family in on your ‘poolessness you can start great conversations about everything from plastic waste to chemical toxins. You can inspire people to think for themselves, rather than letting companies like Coka Cola and Dupont do the thinking for us.
How to No-poo
There are many ideas out there, so I encourage you to research your options! The more hard-core no-pooers use nothing but water. Not quite ready to take that plunge I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
1. Mix 1 T baking soda in 1-1.5 cups of water. You can play with the amount to see what works best for you. In the shower simply lather the mixture into your scalp and hair then rinse out. Don’t expect it to lather, but never fear, its cleaning!
2. Also have a mix of 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1-1.5 cups of water (again, play with the concentration if you like). I also add a couple drops of lavender essential oil so I smell all pretty. Once the baking soda is rinsed out pour the ACV mix over your wet hair. I try to avoid getting too much on my scalp. Rise aaaand, voila! Clean hair!
3. Once a week I plan on using a conditioner to make sure my hair doesn’t get too dry. Because of the money I am saving on shampoo, I decided to get the best conditioner for my hair. I landed on this one from Nurture my Body. My standards for “best” are high: No parabens, no phthalates, do DEAs, MEAs, or TEAs, no colorants or dyes, no petroleum products, no 1-4 dioxane, no SLS, and what really sold me on this stuff was no plastic bottle!!!
Many no-pooers warn of an awkward adjustment period that can last for weeks or even months! I honestly noticed an immediate improvement, and have felt less greasy since day one. Perhaps I can owe my lack of adjustment period to the fact that I was using a super natural shampoo before the switch. A switch from Herbal Essences to baking soda would probably prove more difficult. My hair is not curly or dyed, so I cannot say how well this would work for other hair types. For me, it’s been a week and at this point, I can honestly say I have no desire to ‘poo again.