For those of you who are new to the term “No Poo” (no shampoo), you will probably start to hear it more as the movement continues to grow. People all over the world are ditching their conventional shampoo and conditioner products for a gentler and more effective method of hair washing. We first heard about No Poo back in 2011, and after about a year of experimenting, we have found a formula that seems to work well with most, if not all hair types. Since our discovery of the No Poo way, The Dawn has been shampoo free since 2012, and we haven’t looked back since.
Hair is your best accessory. It’s also alive. It’s also connected to your scalp, which is skin. A healthy scalp will grow healthy, vivacious hair, and commercial products act as a sort of chokehold on this entire process. Dandruff, itchy scalps, dryness, oiliness, and breakage are all symptoms of damaged hair and skin from commercial products.
Not only are commercial hair products expensive, they do much harm to the scalp and follicles due to their abundant chemical content. Ever wonder why your hair gets so greasy just one day after washing? It’s because of the chemicals in your shampoo, which dry out the hair, causing an overproduction of oils to compensate for the loss of moisture. Not to mention, commercial products wreak havoc to your natural ph levels, further causing dryness and damage. The continued use of these products also leaves a residue along the hair shaft. This residue is caused by chemicals that are used to add shine to your hair. Even so called ‘natural’ ‘plant based’ or ‘organic’ products still have alcohol and foaming agents that disturb the equilibrium of your delicate tresses. The beauty industry wants your hair to stay dependent on their products by keeping you in the cycle of washing your hair too much when the reality is, hair should only be washed a minimum of every three days, preferably once a week.
There’s lots of alternatives out there that work well for certain hair types, but we believe the simpler the better, and we have found a way to wash and condition a broad range of hair types with only three ingredients: baking soda, vinegar, and water. The procedure is quite simple, and you can adjust the ratios according to your hair’s needs. YES, your hair has needs, and if you listen to your hair, it will tell you what it prefers. We like to think of it as a reconnecting. You will get to know your hair like never before. You will know what it likes, how often it wants to be washed, and what kind of care it knows it deserves.
The first week to a couple of months without shampoo may be challenging. The reason why is because your hair will begin purging the chemicals that have been imbedded in the scalp and shaft. This cause a temporary string of ‘bad hair days,’ meaning your hair won’t feel like it used to, it might fall differently, be oily, and it may not be as easy to tame. The severity ranges for each person. Some people have very mild adjustment periods, others have more intense ones. This is normal. Your hair is going through a mini identity crisis and doesn’t know how to act yet. It’s fighting decades of damage. Don’t let this scare you. If you are patient and consistent, you will find that you hair will start to look healthier, softer, and more radiant. Some ways to survive ‘the transition:’
-Brush your hair often. This helps distribute the natural oils in your hair between washes
-Use baby powder or corn starch to soak up oil at the roots between washes
-Moisturize your hair with natural oils (castor, jojoba, or coconut are our favorite).
-Be loving and gentle towards your hair. This is only temporary!
Washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar is really quite easy. These two miracle products are good for so many things, and washing your hair is no exception. The gentle cleansing agents in baking soda retain your body’s natural ph level, and the vinegar acts as a softener, adding shine and moisture to your hair and scalp. Begin by gathering what you need:
-apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
-empty water bottle
Step 1. Take your empty water bottle (we like to use a 1 liter glass bottle, but any bottle with a soft cap will do) and poke some holes in the cap (5-10). Pour some baking soda into the bottle until it’s about 1/2-1 inch thick at the bottom of the bottle. This is a good amount to start, however, in the future you may need more or less depending on your hair. Fill the rest of the bottle with water (filtered is best). Shake the bottle so the baking soda dissolves. Place it to the side.
Step 2. Take your spray bottle and vinegar. We recommend trying apple cider for your first time, but either will work. Some hair takes better to white vinegar, and others prefer apple cider. Try both and see what is best for you. Use a 1:1 ratio (equal parts) for the vinegar and water. Sometimes you can do a quarter vinegar and the rest water–again, this depends on what your hair likes, so don’t be afraid to experiment. For the first time we suggest doing equal parts and adjusting from there.
Step 3. Take your spray bottle and baking soda solution into the shower. Wet hair. Take your baking soda solution and start pouring it onto your hair, while massaging your scalp. It will feel strange as there will be no lather, but try to soak your scalp thoroughly with the solution as you massage your head. You may have a slippery feeling and this is fine, just keep pouring the solution until you feel like you got a good soak. Next, wash your hair thoroughly to remove all the baking soda.
Step 4. To condition your hair, take your spray bottle and start spraying your washed hair with the vinegar and water mixture. It’s important that you saturate your hair with it, especially the ends. Flip your hair over and spray the back as well. Don’t worry about the smell–this will wash out. Once your hair is soaked, take a brush or comb and start combing your hair. If you still have some left over in the bottle keep it and do a final spray down after you have brushed your hair. The vinegar acts as a conditioner and de-tangler, so your hair should be easy to manage. If you still have some spray left, you can either dump the remaining mixture onto your hair or spray some more. Let it sit for about three minutes, then rinse your hair thoroughly. Make sure to rinse your hair until the smell is gone. This is a good indication that your hair is free of any residuals.
And you’re done! Continue on with the rest of your shower. Dry and style as usual. You should not wash or wet your hair again for at least three days. If you can last longer that it’s even better. The longer you train your hair to go without washes, the better it will feel after your next wash.
This is Nedda in the office this morning, sans-shampoo. She has been washing her hair with baking soda, water, and apple cider vinegar about once a week for over a year now. This is day three without washing.
Please don’t hesitate to try new ways or come up with your own natural shampoos and conditioners. Many items in your kitchen can be used as wonderful alternatives. Baking soda and vinegar seems to be the most versatile for all hair types. Again, everyone’s hair is different, so play around with the ratios until you find the best that works for you. Good luck on your journey to fabulous hair!!!