My grandmother has a belief that “old person smell” is because old women don’t wash their hair. I’m not certain if that’s the case, but I don’t wash my hair at all, and I can assure you my hair doesn’t smell. I don’t wash my children’s hair, and they just smell, well, like kids.
No Poo has become the hair stylist’s dirty little secret. What No Poo actually means is to stop using detergent and conditioners on one’s hair. The reason being, commercial shampoos and conditioners are chockablock full of nasty chemicals and frankly aren’t doing any one’s hair or body much good.
The other thing that detergents do, is strip the hair of it’s natural oils. Scalp oil works on a supply and demand basis, so if we’re continually stripping the scalp of oil, we continually have to replace the oil. Stop shampooing for a day – your hair will be a greasey mess (ugh!) Sounds like a commercially viable idea to me – create a product that we all aesthetically depend on.
So, being the type of mother who generally sticks it to convention, nearly two years ago I stopped shampooing my hair.
Before this I was a daily wash woman too
The first six weeks were horrendous – itchy, greasy scalp, flakes, you name it. I lived in a pony-tail and headband. Then something glorious happened. My hair started to regulate it’s oil supply.
What resulted was my lank curls came back, my hair became shiny, manageable and soft – and no, it didn’t smell.
So I stopped washing my boy’s hair. The eldest has a thick mop of blond waves, the middle boy has fine, straight blond hair, the baby has strawberry blond fine, baby hair. They all have beautiful, shiny, soft hair – it’s glorious, and I frequently get comments on how nice it looks.
There are several ways to do no-poo. Most people like to “wash” their hair with at least something. The absolute bare basics I’ve used are Apple Cider Vinegar and hot water. I also give my hair a good scalp massaging brush each night.
No Poo Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
- When you’re showering, combine 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Work it through your hair and give your scalp a good massage
- Rinse it out with warm water.
Don’t worry, you won’t smell of vinegar.
No Poo eek it’s greasy Bicarb Soda Wash
If your hair is looking a little greasy (and I don’t recommend doing this in the first six weeks of No Poo) you can
- Combine 1 teaspoon of Bicarb Soda in 1 cup of water
- Work it through and give your scalp a really good massage
- Rinse well in warm water
Don’t do this more than once a fortnight, you will dry out your hair. I have only used a bicarb rinse once in the 18 months of doing no poo, simply because it is very drying and it does upset the oil distribution process.
Make sure you balance a bicarb wash with a vinegar rinse to restore the pH of your hair!
Some people like to use hair conditioner to wash their hair. It helps the hair to smell like something other than hair, and can help tame fly aways. Personally, I don’t bother.
- Take a penny sized glob of hair conditioner
- Work through hair from the ends to the mid-lengths
- Rinse well
If you feel you need to add a little moisture to your hair, coconut oil and jojoba oil are absolutely fabulous. They make your hair feel really soft and shiny, and don’t weight it down with oil.
So that’s about as simple as no-poo gets. It’s environmentally fantastic, it’s healthy for you, your children and your garden, and it’s cheap!!