You’ve probably landed here out of curiosity, wondering what in the world I’m going to talk about, right? It’s not what you might think. No ‘Poo stands for No Shampoo! Much to my surprise there is a whole community of no ‘poo-ers out there who choose not to use conventional shampoo. Some use nothing at all, while others use natural alternatives. I was first introduced to this concept through Amber Morrisey at Birth Routes. I was intrigued by her decision to stop using shampoo and I was interested in learning more. The concept fit well with my goal to live a more natural lifestyle and lower our exposure to toxins before I become pregnant. I also liked the cost-effective appeal since natural shampoos and conditioners are expensive. I thought I’d give it a go! I had nothing to lose!
I decided to follow Amber’s lead and try the popular combination of using baking soda to ‘wash’ my hair and apple cider vinegar to ‘condition’ it. I wasn’t sure how my hair would respond but I committed to this new routine for a month in order to accurately be able to assess the results. Joanna from Actual Organics talks about a ‘detox phase’ that your hair goes through when you switch to natural shampoo. It’s basically just a transitional period which can last a few days to a few weeks. It shows up as your hair producing excess oil or being dryer than normal. Luckily because I was already using a natural shampoo when I switched to no ‘poo I didn’t experience any detoxing!
It’s been 4 months since I’ve used shampoo and I’m really happy with the results. My hair is clean, smooth and shiny just like before but at a fraction of the cost and without exposing myself to harmful chemicals.
You can learn more about the ingredients of your personal care products through the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database put out by the Environmental Working Group. You can search for your brand of shampoo and conditioner and see how it ranks on the toxicity scale. It’s simple, small steps like replacing your personal care products with more natural alternatives that can really help lower our toxin load which I think is essential during the preconception period and through pregnancy and breastfeeding.
I wash my hair 3-4 times a week because everyday isn’t necessary nor is it recommended with this protocol. While you could rinse and style your hair on alternate days I prefer not to wet my hair at all because it looks as fresh as the day I washed it and I like a low maintenance hair routine 🙂
1. Combine 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water and mix well. Take this into the shower with you. (I’ve tried both and find that 2 tablespoons works better for me.)
2. Pour the mixture onto your head, gently massaging the mixture into your scalp. (I have to emphasis the word gently because vigorous scrubbing might cause the abrasive texture of the soda to break your hair.) This works like a traditional ‘shampoo’ to cleanse your hair. Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse well. (Note: your hair will likely feel like straw at this stage especially at the beginning, that’s normal.)
3. Combine 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water and mix well. (I’ve filled up a large container in advance with these ratios that stays in my shower.)
4. Pour this mixture over your head and gently work through your hair. This will act as a conditioner for your hair, making it soft again. Let sit for a few seconds and then rinse well with cool water.
Your hair might have a slight vinegar scent when it’s wet but as soon as it dries the smell completely disappears (I promise!) Depending on if I am going to let my curly hair dry naturally or blow dry it straight I might add some natural product to style it.
I think I’ve officially entered crunchy granola-ville and I’m okay with that 🙂