Say No to Shampoo

by Rachel Long

by Rachel Long
assistant opinions editor

Guess how long it’s been since I shampooed my hair?

Four months.

Backtrack; that’s not as gross as it sounds. Over the summer I was bored and surrounded by small, occasionally aggravating children. This led me to stay on my laptop a lot of the time with no real idea of what I was supposed to be doing online. So I invented things to do. It’s all lost in a haze of castile soap and essential oils now, but somehow I ended up on a website that was telling me my hair was unmanageable because of my shampoo. I got lost in a maze of Internet searches about shampoo and, don’t ask me how, but I ended up on crunchybetty.com, where I discovered the No ’Poo movement. Leslie who runs Crunchy Betty) is certainly not the inventor of this practice, but she did willingly become a guinea pig for her readers, and so I decided to do the same.

The thing you should know about your shampoo is that it could be your problem. If you have beautiful, soft, manageable hair and no complaints, then this article probably isn’t for you. But if you’re like me, your hair might be one out of those three things on a good day. Many shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can exacerbate the problem they’re supposed to fix. They can also cause your hair to become dependent on those chemicals so that it needs to be washed more often, which strips your hair of healthy, natural oils. However, since I stopped using shampoo, my hair is mega soft, healthier, thicker and shinier. Bonus: this will also help you stop losing so much hair in the shower.

If you’re going no ’poo, though, you need to be dedicated. Some people who switch to this method (especially people who typically use a lot of product) go through an adjustment period of about two to three weeks. In this period, your hair might not feel or look clean, but I promise it is! Your hair is just not used to having a wash that’s free of damaging chemicals. It’s like breaking in really good jeans; uncomfortable at first, but worth the end product.

I didn’t have the adjustment period, but I also didn’t straighten, curl, blow dry, or use product in my hair before I went shampoo-free, so hair that is used to a little more work than mine may respond differently.

Hopefully no one stopped reading before this point and has decided to stop washing their hair. No ’poo is not ‘no wash.’ It’s just an easy, inexpensive and healthy alternative to shampoo. The tools you’ll need:

·         Baking soda

·         Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

·         A tablespoon measuring spoon

·         2 squirt bottles

·         Water

Combine well 1 Tbsp. baking soda with a cup of water in one of your bottles. Keep this ratio, but if you have shorter hair you won’t need this much. In your other bottle, combine 1 Tbsp. ACV and one cup of water; again, keep this ratio, but use less if you need less. And that’s it! If you don’t have a quirt bottle, mix this up in a cup or bowl (a bottle is just more convenient).

Tada! You just made shampoo and conditioner. In the shower, use the baking soda mixture the same way you would use shampoo. Apply, scrub, rinse well. Though it sounds contrary, the ACV mixture acts as conditioner. Saturate the ends of your hair with this mixture and either leave it on or rinse it out, it’s up to you. If you never have trouble with an oily scalp or if your hair starts to feel dry, you can also apply some of the mixture on your scalp.

I know ACV smells like the death of all things good in this world, but the smell doesnot stay in your hair. I repeat: you will not smell like vinegar after your hair dries. The ACV smell was what most concerned me about this experiment, and I know from experience that the smell disappears as soon as your hair is dry.

This is really one of the easiest rituals to keep. The hardest part is not having a scent to your hair, but that can be solved with hair teas and rinses. That, however, is an article for another day. Be satisfied with your gorgeous new healthy hair, and spread the no ’poo word.

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