When it comes to beauty products and new treatments, I’m not exactly the kind of person to be the first to know. Although I’m facing many skin problems ever since I hit the puberty, it usually takes time before I take action and I want to have all the facts before I do. Much like my skin, my scalp is also all confused and therefore most products I’ve tried don’t help but rather annoy it even more. It’s been a struggle, but somehow I learned to live with all of it. Most people don’t even notice I still have pimples at 30, I guess I learned how to cover them up and through the years got more comfortable with them. They became a part of me, and same goes for my dry scalp and greasy hair situation.
It’s not a surprise I heard about the ‘No Poo’ method just about a month ago, although it has been around for quite some time now. At first I didn’t even pay so much attention to it, I just thought it’s some hippy-dippy-doodle and I’m really not so much into that kind of stuff. Then I thought it would be a good topic for one of my blog posts, so I did some research and what I’ve found out really struck me. In a good way.
‘No Poo’ means no shampoo and the whole brilliance about it is that you simply don’t wash your hair with synthetic shampoo. Why would you even think of such a crime? Well, the theory is quite simple. Our hair produces oil naturally (it’s called sebum) in order to keep them conditioned and healthy. With the use of chemically fueled shampoos, we strip our hair of these natural oils which makes them produce sebum in excessive amounts in order to restore the balance. The more we use shampoo, the more our hair produces oil and that’s why they get greasy so fast. It’s a vicious cycle. ‘No Poo’ promises to break this cycle and restore your hair to its natural beauty. All you have to do is ditch that shampoo of yours and invest in a fashionable hat.
Since your hair’s damaged from the use of shampoo, it can be either dry, get greasy very fast, cleave, have dandruff or just lack shine and it takes a while before the hair gets back to its beautiful self. Also, with washing your hair solely with water it’s almost impossible to wash off the excess oils, so for the first 2 to 6 weeks you’ll look like Kurt Cobain or worse. That’s why many people give up in the beginning stages of this treatment, because you need to go through hairstyle hell before entering the heavens. You can always sport a nice hat or a fashionable beanie to cover it up, because at the end it’s definitely worth it. Also keep in mind that you need to brush your hair way more often in order to spread out the excess oils. Sounds gross but it actually isn’t that bad. How do I know? Well… I had to try it out!
My scalp is very dry and can easily start to produce dandruff, while my hair gets greasy in a day or two and to top it off my spikes are dry. It’s quite possibly the worst type of hair, despite not using any other products than a shampoo. Yes, you read that right, I don’t even use a conditioner. I never understood what I’m doing wrong until meeting the No Poo method. Of course, if I don’t use anything else, then it has to be the shampoo. Let’s ditch it! It’s been 2 weeks since I last washed my hair with shampoo and I’m already noticing positive results. I used to scratch my head all the time, not because I was so much of a thinker but because it was itchy. In the last few days I noticed it doesn’t itch as much. The obvious downside is that my hair looks greasier than after washing but that was expected.
First time washing it, I only cleaned my hair with warm water, massaged the scalp and hoped for the best. I thought at least some grease would wash off, but no. To me it looked even worse than before the wash. After a good week my hair looked like a shiny disco bowl. Thanks to heavens I had no important meetings or events, I don’t own other cover-ups than a Red Sox baseball cap. Not a very professional look, if I may say. The situation was heading from bad to worse and I have to admit I was already thinking it’s not worth it. I was flirting with my shampoo and almost gave up the hair heaven and then I thought to myself, I’m not such a sissy and if nothing else, then it’s a good social experiment (not that I’m socialising more than usual during this experiment).
I did more research, because honestly I though there must be something more to this, I didn’t believe women would just walk around with greasy hair for 6 weeks, not giving a damn. And there is. The magical cure is called baking soda. Together with apple cider vinegar they create a perfect harmony, the kind that results in shiny hair without using any chemicals. Those who are masters of the kitchen probably already know how useful baking soda is, it’s a natural degreaser and neutralizes all kinds of funky smell. If it’s good enough for your greasy stove then it has to be good for your hair, right?
The recipe says you mix one table spoon of baking soda with 1 glass of warm water, stir and wait for it to settle down a bit. After you get your hair wet you apply the solution on the scalp and massage for about 1 minute and rinse. After baking soda comes the apple cider vinegar solution, the mixture is 1 amount of cider and 1 amount of water. The smell of cider goes away as soon as your hair dries, so don’t worry. The positive effects of baking soda are seen instantly and even during washing you’ll feel like the excess oil is coming off. I dry my hair naturally and I think it needed just a bit longer than usual. The morning after I’m seeing a change in my hair’s texture. Although they feel a bit greasy on touch, they do not look that way at all. I could actually wear my hair down today, after more than a week of sleek ponytails and camouflage buns.
I’ve also noticed a strange curl right at the spot where my forehead and scalp meet. Is that my natural hair? Is it curly? Oh, I wish! My hair is so damn straight that you can’t really do anything else with them than to wear it, well, straight. After 30 years you get pretty bored with that, so having at least some sign of curviness would be a blessing. Other than that, I’m now looking forward to the outcome of this, and according to the mid-results the future (or shall I say hair) looks bright.
I know some won’t be convinced by this experiment, but hey, it’s only the beginning. The No Poo has been going on for centuries before they invented first synthetic shampoo about 200 years ago. Before that people only washed their hair once a month with water, right until the cosmetic industry convinced everyone it’s more cleanly to wash your hair every two weeks and in the modern times, even every day. If you dig through your memory, you probably won’t find a picture where your grandma was rubbing her scalp, because they knew better. For us it became so routine to wash your hair with a shampoo we don’t even realise it’s totally unnecessary. Hair can clean itself and we just need to allow it to. Whether we decide to continue the vicious cycle of chemical wash or trade that for naturally shiny and healthy hair is all up to us.