Nothing’s more satisfying than stepping into the shower with dirty, greasy strands and stepping out with a fresh, clean, sweet-smelling head of hair. Pretty much everyone agrees that a good lather (especially when you’re a day or two overdue) is one of the best parts of any beauty routine. Or so we thought. The recent phenomenon known as the no-poo method has women proudly ditching their rosemary mint shampoos and lavender hair washes. Before you hop on the bandwagon, let us fill you in on the dirty details.
Keep reading to find out why more and more women are swearing off suds!
The big question here is why. For years we’ve been searching for the perfect set of hair care products to deliver the enviable locks we’re promised in shampoo commercials. Therein lies the answer to our question. Proponents of the shampoo-free lifestyle cite the detergents, sulfates, and harsh chemicals in shampoo as the very reasons we don’t have the hair we want. And because it’s the detergents in shampoo that strip our hair, once you ditch detergent, you’ll find you don’t need the whole slew of other products you have cluttering your bathroom. Devotees to the no-shampoo method claim that going without gives you more manageable, softer, shinier, less frizzy, and less greasy hair.
If you’re someone who pats herself on the back when they make it through day three without washing, you’re probably wondering how this is even possible in real life. Well, there is a small hurdle to overcome before you get to the luscious, flowing locks stage. Hair that gets shampooed frequently starts to overproduce oil. When you stop, your hair rebalances itself, but that takes time. If you have really thick hair, the greasy period could be as short as two weeks. If you have super-fine or particularly damaged hair, it could take four, five or even six weeks for your scalp to recalibrate. If you’re considering giving up shampoo, ease into it. First, stretch the amount of time between shampoos to four or five days. This will make the transition a little smoother. Transition to what, exactly? There are a few options to consider.
One option for ditching shampoo is to stop putting anything on your hair. Just rinse with water every few days. Again, this is something to work up to, but most people can eventually achieve the aforementioned greatness with this method. (Fine-haired ladies, approach this option with caution.)
More often than not, people who have jumped on the no-shampoo bandwagon are substituting shampoo for either baking soda or apple cider vinegar. Baking soda gently cleans, removing dead skin cells and dirt, without chemically stripping your hair’s natural oils. Apple cider vinegar clarifies and softens your hair, serving as a conditioner. The ideal ratio for both is about 1 or 2 tablespoons per 1 cup water. Both concoctions can be used on their own or in succession. Many women choose to use baking soda on their roots and just rinse their ends with an apple cider vinegar mixture. The smell of vinegar rinses out, but if you can’t get over it, add a small drop of your favorite essential oil to counteract the in-shower odor. Over time, you may end up decreasing the concentration you’re using, the frequency you’re using it, or both.
The final option is to trade shampoo for cleansing cream. And no, “cleansing cream” isn’t just a term slapped onto shampoo bottles by marketers. The moment you try one, you’ll understand. There’s no lather, no foaming, and no suds. Instead the formula’s thicker, like conditioner, but even more balm-like. The first time you use one you’ll probably end up adding more product as you massage it in (thinking there’s no way the cleanser could be doing its job). But you really only need the same amount you use with shampoo, maybe even less. Two of the most popular shampoo alternatives are Purely Perfect Cleansing Crème ($40), which was developed by the man who created Bumble and bumble, and DevaCurl No-Poo ($20), which is specifically formulated for curly hair. Not ready to fully convert to cleansing creams? Bioderma Nodé Fluid ($27) and Macadamia Natural Oil Flawless Cleansing Conditioner ($33) are both designed to be used between shampoos.
Shampoo: Friend or foe? Would you give it up for good? Tell us what you think in the comments.