I went to the beach with a group of friends this weekend. We are a varied group of women, and our conversations are just as varied. We worked our way around to natural products: natural cleaners, natural toothpaste, and no poo.
No poo, or shampoo-free, is a movement in the (dare I say hippie) community where instead of washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner, you use only a rinse of baking soda followed by a rinse of apple cider vinegar. I’ve been interested in this for a while, but was frankly too chicken to try it. So when my friend K mentioned she would like to try it too, a deal was struck. Encouraged, and I think egged on a bit by the others, a wager was made. The first to “break” or use shampoo would buy the other a bottle of shampoo of her choice. And if we both make it through the greasy stage (I can’t believe I’m even typing this) we will treat ourselves to highlights and happy hour.
So here I am, Sunday night, day one. I took a shower when I got home – the beach is dirty, even in the winter. Instead of shampooing I used my baking soda rinse. So far, so good. Though I did instinctively reach for my shampoo. Habits are hard to break. My hair didn’t feel terrible. Just wet.
For my vinegar rinse, I actually simmered a concoction of chamomile tea with mint and just a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. I really hate the way vinegar smells, and didn’t want to smell like pickles. Or sauerkraut.
It still stunk.
But the smell rinsed away. What didn’t rinse away was a really gummy feeling to my hair. Yuck. I stood there for a good 5 minutes, rinsing and rinsing, and really debating the wise-ness of my choice. Finally stubbornness got me out of the shower. I wasn’t going to lose a bet on the first night.
So I ran a comb through my hair and got my first surprise: no tangles. Not a one. And I have really fine hair that loves to tangle. Even with the best conditioner I get tangles. Then I blew dry and assessed. I don’t look greasy. In fact, my hair looks pretty much like it always does. The biggest difference is the smell. It doesn’t smell bad. But it doesn’t smell like shampoo. Which is a big change. I guess it just smells like hair.
J has a role in all this. If at any point I get that dirty hippie look or smell all bets are off. Not that there’s anything wrong with dirty hippies, I know some perfectly lovely ones. I’m just not that kind of girl.
And what’s the point of no poo? I’m glad you asked. There’s a perfectly lovely article here summing it all up. In short, health reasons (the chemicals in shampoo are just not good for you), environmental reasons (they aren’t good for the planet either), and the fact that in 30+ years I’ve never found a shampoo I love.
So I’ll now find out if I love no poo. And if you’re interested, I’ll keep you posted along the way.