Even when diluted.
The title has a point, I promise, though it functions as an effective PSA to avoid eye contact with apple cider vinegar (hint: it burns). I’m gearing up for my next haircut appointment with a new stylist and, since they aren’t familiar with me, and I’m not familiar with them, I’m going to have to tell my stylist I didn’t want her to wash my hair.
I know, I kind of hate myself for having thought it (let alone said it), too. My favorite part of getting a haircut was the scalp massaging wash they started it off with. But from here on out there won’t be any pre-washing of my hair. At least, not in the traditional sense. Why? Because I haven’t washed* my hair since February 2015.
*Alright, not the whole truth. I don’t wash my hair with shampoo or conditioner, but I do wash it, in a sense. More to come on that.
Whenever I mention that I haven’t washed my hair with shampoo or conditioner since February 2015 (otherwise known as the “No-Poo Movement”), I get a lot of questions and a lot of interest from friends wondering what it’s like, and if they’d be able to do the same. Since I’m sure there’s a lot of curiosity out there about going chemical-free, I figured a blog post would help to, 1. get the word out there, and 2. help someone take the leap.
But first, what does it mean to join the “No-Poo Movement” (a term I’m not thrilled to be using myself, because it definitely sounds like a fad). Essentially, as the name says, it’s no longer washing your hair with fancy and fragrant shampoos/conditioners. After doing my own research, I learned shampoo acts as a detergent for your hair, stripping it of all the good, and requiring additives (such as conditioner) to replace what’s being taken away. But conditioner is a chemical, too. My first red flag was the need of a second product (conditioner) to fix what the first product (shampoo) did. It seems counter-intuitive . . . because it is. Our hair has so much natural conditioning agents we don’t need to strip and then fix it afterwards, we can just let it do it’s own, natural thing.
So, essentially, I have used up all my bottles of shampoo and conditioner in favor of baking soda (the shampoo equivalent) and apple cider vinegar (the conditioner equivalent). Though there is a convenience factor to bottled shampoo/conditioner (with my new set-up I usually have to mix my concoctions just before I take a shower), I have really enjoyed the outcome. That is, after the awkward, oily period.
True Talk: It sucks. For at least a month, many times longer, you go through the awful period of always greasy hair. Why? Because your hair naturally produces more oil when you use shampoo because it’s constantly being stripped of those natural oils. So when you stop using shampoo it takes just a little bit for your hair to realize, “HEY! I don’t need to kick it into oily overdrive anymore!” (And yes, in this instance, my hair had a consciousness and spoke telepathically to me.)
Some reasons why you might want to make the switch:
1 // Environmental Footprint
- One of the reasons shampoo/conditioner aren’t healthy for your hair is because they’re made of chemicals. And when you wash it out of your hair it runs down the drain, into the sewer, and contaminating our environment. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t do nearly as much as I could to be kind to our environment (and I really should make more of a point to be environmentally conscious), and I know it seems like the times you use shampoo/conditioner wouldn’t contribute to the pollution of our surroundings, but if you can avoid doing it regardless, why wouldn’t you? I’m not going to lie, my main reason to jumping to the No-Poo movement is my following point, but the fact that I might be taking a step in the right direction as far as my environmental footprint, then I’m proud to be doing something.
2 // Financial Gain
- Shampoo and conditioner is expensive! At a minimum of $3.00 a bottle (if you get the cheap stuff) that can really add up over the course of a year, or years. At average, a box of baking soda is $0.70 (I get mine at Aldi for only $0.43, and I keep it in my kitchen so I can use it for baking needs, too!), and a bottle of apple cider vinegar is around $3.00 (“But, Ashley!” you say. “That’s the same price as a bottle of shampoo or conditioner.” You’re right, it is, but you dilute it when used, so you don’t run through it nearly as quickly as you would shampoo/conditioner). The numbers don’t lie, you save a lot when going No-Poo.
3 // Someone Double-Dog Dared You
- I think we can agree this one is fairly self explanatory 😉
4 // Any other reason! You don’t need to justify it.
- Just do it . . . if you want!
Now, you’re probably wondering how you can take the leap and try to No-Poo Movement for yourself. While I could list specifics here, there are many other sites online that explain it better than I could, especially since I’ve always sort of just eyeballed quantities. Check these blogs out: The Hair Pin, The Crunchy Moose and Nature Moms.
So, what do you think? Have I piqued your interest? It’s definitely a commitment, but one that pays off in the end.