Trying to get your hair to grow? Think your shampoo/conditioner is damaging your hair? Then you’ve probably heard of No Poo. This method has been sensationalized all over social media (especially Pinterest) with countless testimonials about how great this method is for your hair and why everyone should stop what they’re doing and try it. Right. This. Second.
What it is:
No Poo is a process that uses baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean your hair with natural ingredients to avoid the harsh chemicals included in the ingredients of shampoo and conditioner. I know what you’re thinking, vinegar and baking soda don’t go together, right? You don’t use them at the same time because baking soda acts as your shampoo while the apple cider vinegar acts as your conditioner. Many people advise to use one tablespoon of baking soda per one cup of water, ideally, you’re supposed to focus the mixture towards the roots and scalp and then gradually distribute it throughout the ends. Unlike shampoo, this mixture won’t lather, but once you distribute it evenly throughout your hair you can then wash it out, just like shampoo. After this you apply the apple cider vinegar. The recipe for the apple cider vinegar mixture is the same as the baking soda, one tablespoon of the vinegar to one cup of water. After you distribute this throughout your hair and rinse it out, you’re done! You’re supposed to only practice this method once a week, or every four days, and as you continue to use no poo, your hair will naturally respond by producing less oil, which allows you a lot more time between washes.
Sounds simple right? Everyone who’s tried it raves about how beautiful, shiny, and healthy their hair has become since beginning this process, so I wondered, how is this different from regular shampoo and conditioner?
Shampoo acts as a detergent to your hair, stripping it of all the natural oils your hair produces and causes your hair to overcompensate for the oils it’s being stripped of. Unfortunately, shampoo does its job a little too well when sulfates and other chemicals are added in the ingredients. Your hair needs some of these natural oils to grow and remain healthy, so by washing your hair every day you’re making your hair dry, brittle and especially susceptible to split ends. (This means regular hair cuts ladies!). Conditioner, then, attempts to replace the nutrients stripped by the shampoo but the truth is the conditioner acts as a coat or a filler that makes it seem like your hair is shiny and healthy, but in reality it’s not.
Surprisingly, in the same way that shampoo strips your hair, baking soda can actually do the same thing. The ph balance in baking soda has damaging effects on the hair if used too often. Like I said before, no poo is supposed to be used once every four days at the most, if used more often the baking soda will damage your hair and could even put it in worse shape than before.
If you’re planning on trying out this new method, I recommend doing some of your own research! Remember that no poo is not for everyone, and there are lots of other ways to keep your hair healthy. All hair types are different and you could probably find another natural remedy that is much better for your hair. If you want to stick with regular shampoo and conditioner, try not to wash your hair every day! I use Dove Dry Shampoo if my hair gets a little gross between washes, but any dry shampoo or even baby powder will work. Don’t forget to try to use the organic brands when buying your shampoo and conditioner, and make sure there aren’t any sulfates or other nasty chemicals in the ingredients.