I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner (or body wash, for that matter) since mid-February and I have not had one regret.
I first heard of the “no poo” method of washing your hair from this article in Elle and I was mind blown. Okay, maybe I wasn’t that extremely blown away but the idea that you could clean your hair without shampoo/conditioner was pretty intriguing so I decided to go for it. I’ve always had oily hair and I used to wash my hair almost every day to get rid of the grease (all the while kind of knowing that it was so oily because I washed my hair so frequently).
Basically, from what I could gather, shampoo/conditioner are not good for your hair because it messes with your natural oils that help keep your head clean. The chemicals/detergents in the shampoo coat your hair, making it difficult for your oils to do their jobs resulting in your scalp producing more oil, which makes you use more shampoo/conditioner, all of which pulls you into a cycle of dependence on shampoo/conditioners.
I mean.. Just look at the difference in ingredients (R = Dr. Bronner’s, L = Herbal Essences). I remember hearing once on some food show that when you’re grocery shopping, stay away from products that contain ingredients you can’t pronounce. I say the same applies when choosing hair products!
I followed the Elle article and got myself some Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (which is seriously MAGIC) to replace my shampoo, and apple cider vinegar – poured into a spray bottle – to replace my conditioner and went to town (on my hair, lol). It’s a little off putting at first because you don’t get that instant silky soft feeling from the soap or the vinegar as you do with conditioner, but I promise it’s worth it. It’s also worth noting that you won’t get results after your first wash. In fact, your hair might go a bit wonky (might alternated between being dry and really oily) for the first few washes, but that’s because your hair is putting your natural oils back to work and it takes some time for the oils and your scalp to sort itself out.
Three months after breaking up with shampoo/conditioner, though, my hair is completely changed! It doesn’t begin to look too oily until around the 2nd non-wash day. I should say, though, that I’ve got two types of hair: the bottom half is pretty dry/damaged from years of dying and styling, while the top half is untouched by any dyes, etc and I do notice a difference in the halves. The top half is responding much better to the change (i.e. it’s much much softer) while the bottom half is still quite dry so this leads me to think that the “no poo” method works better on untreated hair.
All in all, though, I’m so pleased with the results. I’ve gotten compliments on how shiny and healthy my hair looks and I’ve cut down considerably on the amount of products I use (just a little argan oil or coconut oil on my tips for some more moisture, and dry shampoo on non-shower days). Oh, and a little blast from my ionic hair dryer (not enough to dry my whole head) really helps boost the softness.
I really wish I had taken a before/after picture but the results, at least to me, occurred in the “feel” of my hair rather than the “look” of it.. If that made any sense.
Anyway, that’s my shampoo/conditioner break up story. I really wanted to gush more about Dr. Bronner’s soap but I’ve decided to save that for a whole other post (because just a paragraph cannot possibly justify my love affair with it). Have you been using the “no poo” method? Let me know how it’s been going for you/if you want to try it out!