I shocked the world when one year ago I announced on this blog that I’ve been No Poo for one year! I know, I know, the human body is unbelievable.
You can read about my one year and ‘coming out’ first No Poo-iversary here. (site no longer active)
In that post, I explain and highlight some of the details of being No Poo. It took a lot of courage to say that I was No Poo, but now it’s second nature. I literally know tens of people who are now No Poo!
In short, I don’t wash my hair in a conventional manner.
Why? Well, your hair produces oil naturally, and shampoo strips your hair of these oils. No big deal, except the oil on your scalp, is a supply and demand thing. When you wash your hair, you remove the oils, and therefore your body begins to compensate by producing oils again. That’s why the next day your hair is greasy again. I only ‘wash’ my hair via the No Poo method about once a week, and it really doesn’t get that greasy.
You can drastically slow this process, save money on hair products, avoid toxic products in hair products, avoid plastic waste, save time and still have clean hair.
Since posting that, I get asked questions via e-mail, groups I’m in, Facebook messages and in person. That post on No Poo is one of my most read posts, and many people find my blog through Google searches like ‘no poo beginners’ or ‘how to go No Poo’. I have many friends who have secretly gone No Poo (don’t worry, your secret is safe with me) and it’s fun to see this method gaining in popularity.
I’ve decided to answer some of the most common questions I get about starting No Poo. Again, not an expert, just my experience over two years of being No Poo.
1. What do you do when you get your hair cut and/or colored and the stylist wants to wash it?
I just let them wash it. If I’ve gotten highlights or color it needs to come out and I’m not about to ask for some baking soda. My hair does end up a little greasier and going through a transition stage that lasts for a couple of weeks, but it’s nothing like the initial transition stage two years ago.
2. Will the vinegars affect my hair color?
I have not noticed any effect on the color of my hair by either the baking soda or the vinegar.
3. I want to do a deep condition. What should I do?
Many people use coconut oil, but don’t expect that to come out easily. Some also use raw honey and of course, the old egg yolk method. I haven’t felt any need to deep condition my hair at all though.
4. How often should I wash my hair?
If you are first starting, try to go four days. The longer you go, the quicker your transition stage will go. I washed too much in the beginning and was really self-conscious, but it only delayed the transition phase. Now, I wash about once a week, give or take. While I’m showering, I may do a water only wash, but most of the time, I just wash my body.
5. How can I extend the time between washing?
I have two tricks – a boars hair brush and water only rinses. The boars hair brush is probably the most useful. It not only collects dust and dirt, but it helps remove some of the oil near your scalp and spread it to the ends of your hair, moisturizing the ends of your hair! If you are a No Poo’er, I highly recommend this!
6. What additional products can/should I use?
That’s up to you. I use some product for special occasions, but I’m pretty minimal maintenance with my hair in general. Many people ask how I get my hair to do what it does, and to that I say, I shower, maybe will pick through it, then let it dry. That’s it. Since going No Poo my natural curls have been enhanced!
7. I want to start No Poo. What do I do?
You can go cold turkey, which will be a little traumatic, but is the fast track to No Poo. Or you can transition slowly by diluting your shampoo, alternate every few days with shampoo or No Poo, or do a No Poo wash every few days.
8. But you don’t understand, I have SUPER greasy hair, so it won’t work for me, will it?
This is probably the number one comment that I get. While my hair is completely different than yours or the next person, I do know that with the majority of people that I have known that have tried No Poo, have way less oily hair than ever before. Your transition stage may be more difficult, I don’t know for sure, but I can guarantee that you will wash less. Maybe not every seven days or so, but maybe every 5. The point is, you won’t know until you try it!
9. What age can you start No Poo?
My daughter 11-month old India has never had a drop of soap anywhere on her body besides tiny bits of diluted Dr. Bronner’s
According to a 2007 study, the average child is exposed to 61 different chemicals daily. It’s a long known fact that most of the children’s products that you buy at your local store, like Johnson & Johnson and even Aveeno products, have high toxicity ratings. You can check the toxicity rating for any personal care item on the Cosmetic Database. It’s sad when even our children’s items are full of sulfates, carcinogens, and parabens. Not good stuff. There are great products out there for cheap, like Dr. Bronner’s [pepermint], so I’m sure I’ll be using that as India gets more mobile and dirty. A friend of mine has three boys who love to get dirty when they go out to play. They are all No Poo and have been for years, and they’re all doing just fine!
10. Will you ever use shampoo again?
I might, but I might not. I figure that I’ve got a great thing going now, I think it’ll be really hard to transition back to washing and drying my long hair every other day. I like the time I have!
This blog post was originally titled: “2 years of No Poo: Questions & Pictures,” and was originally written by one of our writers, Genevieve, on June 23, 2011, for her personal blog at Uniquely Normal Mom. She has graciously submitted it to us to be featured for today’s Off-Topic Tuesday.