So having already gone vegan almost a year ago now, I got thinking about other ways to look like more of a hippy than I already am to my family and friends. The answer? Going no ‘poo.
Joking aside there are actually some very good reasons for doing this. When you shampoo your hair, you do a very thorough job of stripping all the natural oils (sebum) from your hair. This leads your scalp to go into overdrive mode to replace those oils and you get locked into a vicious cycle, meaning that your hair will start to look greasy only a few days after washing it.
Having only a short crop of hair myself, I’ve always thought it a bit of overkill to use shampoo followed by conditioner every 3 or 4 days. So after reading an article on going no ‘poo, I was intrigued and decided to give the no poo method a try. To clarify: I would still be washing my hair, only without the use of any product. Here’s my summary of going no ‘poo:
The first week:
The first week was definitely the hardest. Only after a few days I could feel the sebum pouring out of my scalp and making it oh so very itchy. To help with this I tried putting some coconut oil in my hair throughout the day and then washing it out in the shower. I also rinsed my hair in the shower between wash days (I still stuck to washing my hair every 3-4 days) to help get rid of excess oils.
The second week:
The second week was still bad, but the itching had finally died down. This was quickly replaced by the constant feeling like an unwashed hippy. To try and help the process go faster, I massaged my scalp a lot in the shower using my finger tips to try and help pull the oils from the scalp and along the hair.
The third week:
By the third week I no longer felt any itchiness whatsoever, and the oily feeling had almost completely disppeared! I also noticed that my face had got a lot clearer, but as this was no clinical trial I’ll just put this down to coincidence.
The fourth week:
By now my hair was fine! It now constantly felt like I had just washed it using shampoo, and looked very healthy. Mission successful!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not saying there is anything wrong with using shampoo and conditioner at all. However for me I just don’t see the sense in using shampoo if you can achieve the same results using water! Not only does it make practical sense (showering is so much simpler when all you need is some elbow grease!), but, as a poor undergraduate, it makes perfect financial sense. It also means that your hair always looks great and you don’t have to go through that greasy period just before you clean your hair.
After seeing the results of going no ‘poo, I was also inspired to use no soap. I have no idea what the science is on just using water, but it just works! Going no soap was even easier, because I din’t even feel a ‘transition period’. For this I just rub myself down with a flannel under the shower, dry off, and then use a stick of salt on my pits, which does a good job of killing all those nasty smells.
(I’m also thinking about starting my own bartering based community where we all all walk around barefoot and only wear hemp clothing.)
The only downside to going no ‘poo is a two to three week period of uncomfortably oily hair you have to go through to get there. However going no soap saw no downsides whatsoever for me. I understand that this change won’t be for everyone, but I’d say that the results I’ve seen are definitely worth it!