Since middle school, I’ve been washing my hair every morning. If I go out for the evening, I wash again as part of my “beauty routine.” In fact, washing my hair is my ONLY beauty routine. If I want to get all dolled up, shampooing is my go-to plan. My hair is as straight and greasy as Danny Zuko, so I have always accepted my shampoo investment, while jealously scowling at my curly-haired friends who can get away with washing once or twice a week.
I’m going shampoo free!
I first heard about the “no poo” movement in college when a friend with similar hair to mine decided to stop shampooing. She lasted a couple weeks, complaining the whole time, and eventually caved and went back to daily pooing. Self-conscious and with the attention span of a flea, I let the idea drop.
Three years ago I started teaching elementary school. As my first summer break was approaching, I knew that because of my fortunate career choice I could have several months dedicated to this mission, without needing to look gross going into work everyday. But, a week before summer break, I got engaged. There went my no poo plans. We planned our wedding for the following summer- WHAM- two summers in a row where I had to look presentable. So here we are…. my third summer break and no excuses.
We are at day three now and things are really looking awful. I have been showering every day, getting my hair wet and pretending like I’m lathering in shampoo (same body and face wash as I’d been using before though). Even with a cloth headband to cover my hair, I feel like the grease is seeping down my face and neck. Summer time can be gross as it is with all the sweat, but I feel like I haven’t showered since I started this.
It seems like there are two main reactions when I tell people about my “no poo” decision. “I’ve tried that, lasted two weeks and it’s awful” or “Why would you want to stop shampooing?” So it leads me to think about that more. Why am I doing this? Because I want to see if I can. Because I wonder if it’s really better for your body and the look of your hair. Because I’m a fan of less chemicals polluting our water and my body.
My husband has decided to no poo with me. He hates all artificial products and unnecessary chemicals coming near his body. On Day 4, he had to go to a business meeting. I was impressed how good his hair looked with just a tiny bit of gel. Turns out, he wasn’t wearing gel and was able to style his hair with grease. I was so grossed out, but it also showed that his hair was looking better than it did the day before…. and way better than mine…..
A week in….
Yesterday I mixed baking soda, a drop of tea tree oil, and a cup of warm water before going into the shower. I worked it through my hair the same way you would shampoo, it just didn’t lather. My hair looked a million times better. I thought it was the magical cure! I even went out to dinner last night without a ponytail or head covering. The fun was short lived, however, because this morning my hair looked back to it’s greasy self.
The idea of the baking soda is to get some of the dead skin cells and other junk out of your hair while not chemically stripping it of its natural oils. I’m disappointed with myself for using the baking soda. I read online that it was the process I needed to take, but I feel like I just delayed the process of my hair naturally recalibrating. While it helped my hair look good for one day, I don’t know if it was worth the setback.
My husband’s hair is still looking great though. Why do men have it so easy in life?
I’ve been reading online that some people use baking soda and apple cider vinegar everyday. Keeping your hair looking good but without the chemicals in shampoo certainly has its appeal.
But the main reason for this experiment is to see if my hair will recalibrate on its own, not with the everyday help of an outside product, even if that product is not bad for your skin or the environment. So I am going to stick with as little outside help as I can get. I have used baking soda just once so far, and I’m going to try and make it to day 13 without using it again.
Today a friend who I hadn’t seen in three days asked me if I gave up “no-pooing.” When I said that I still hadn’t shampooed, she was impressed with the fact that I am now able to wear my hair down without people obviously being able to see the grease. She said it looked better. So, I’ll take that as a mini victory today. Things still feel gross, and if I put my hair in a ponytail, the sides are horrible.