Go no poo

 The last time I used shampoo for washing my hair was about 2,5 months ago, or to be exact, in June 18, 2009.

My hair was not the best hair in the world. I’ve abused it in many ways, colouring it, spraying it with curling spray to keep the shape, and rubbing it with shine serum to make it shine. Actually they looked kinda alright, but then I noticed that without all those styling stuffs, my hair would look dull and lifeless.

Then I read this article about ‘no poo’. Here’s a woman who has stopped shampooing at all and has nice healthy hair instead. All she did was washing her hair with water and brushing the wet hair with a washcloth 100 strokes each side to spread the oils from the scalp evenly across the hair. And within two weeks, her frizzy ends became less flyaway and the hair began to shine. No kidding?

Quoted from her article:
“In fact, shampoos aren’t designed with your hair in mind. Instead, they’re meant to satisfy your fingers and eyes. Marketers know you don’t believe you’re cleaning unless there’s a thick lather, the kind you get when washing the dishes and scrubbing the floor. But your hair is more delicate than pans, and the chemical that produces lather, sodium lauryl sulfate, is too harsh for hair. Over time, it strips away sebum, leaving hair frizzy and dull. You get split ends and breakage. You begin to look like Ronald McDonald. And so you reach for conditioner.

Conditioners, which began to be sold commercially a few decades after shampoo had created the need, coat your hair with artificial esters and gives it back some shine. Of course, the stuff builds up after a while (along with the natural sebum your poor follicles are still desperately overproducing) and the combination makes your hair lie flat as a wet blanket.

Okay, time to shampoo. Vicious cycle.”

I’m sold! I did a little research and found some people are washing their hair with baking soda and rinsing it with vinegar solution, so I did it on my first day. Afterwards, my hair felt a bit frizzy. But I’ve also read that because the hair has been used to the shampoo for years, it will need some adjustments to the ‘no poo’ treatment, from about two weeks to two months depending on the person.

On the next day, I found some split ends. And then, more split ends! Oh no! I cut them vigorously. Then I tried using some brown sugar scalp scrub (brown sugar+shea butter, followed by applying olive oil on hair and wrapping it in towel for an hour) in order to stimulate more oils from my scalp.

The hair then became oily, and then oilier. And more. That was disgusting. I’ve heard about using corn flour as dry shampoo, so I tried. Oiliness subsided but hair felt heavier. I wasn’t happy.

After about 4 days, my hair was dead. Or seemed like it. They were limp, oily, heavy, and lifeless. I felt a bit hopeless. I washed it again with water and put very little regular conditioner before rinsing it. No baking soda, no vinegar, no brown sugar thingies. And suddenly it came back to life! The soft curls were back, it bounced nicely, and it felt wonderful.

I continued the treatment from then on. Once a week, I massaged my scalp while washing the hair with water, a little conditioner before rinsing and then I’m done. Once a day, I brushed my hair with a soft hairbrush to stimulate the scalp. This week I’ve stopped the conditioner and only used water and it still felt good! No smell, no split ends, no oiliness. My hair is still not the best hair in the world, but at least I don’t need to use any styling products anymore, the hair hangs nicely by itself without any help.

I applied this treatment to Sidra too, and his hair reacted very nicely with no transitional period at all. Now he washed his hair himself with water at least once a week. His hair used to be a bit smelly after 20 minutes walk from school in a hot day. But after he stopped using shampoo, there was no smell at all. I mean, at all. Even when the scalp is wet with perspiration. I guess that’s the joy of having child’s hair, Sidra can wake up in the morning with messy hair and he still looks nice.

My husband was a bit skeptical about this whole ‘no poo’ thing at first, but after witnessing the result on me and Sidra, he was inspired to try. His hair reacted very nicely too with no transitional period. Maybe it’s because he and Sidra almost never used any styling products on their hair. My husband used to complain that his hair would look limp after a hot day, but now the problem’s gone. Before ‘no poo’, he had a bit of dandruff problem with his hair and used dandruff shampoo when needed. But after he stopped using any shampoo, the dandruff was amazingly gone!

Now I can erase shampoo and conditoner off our shopping list. Very happy! I’ve also stopped buying plastic liner for the sink, paper towels (use fabric rags instead), and stopped buying bottled water. We only drink tap water now. I turned an old pillowcase to a shopping bag to use when shopping and bring a reusable water bottle when we go out. Okay, sometimes I forget, but I’m trying.

Why did I do all these things? Actually, I’m not pretty sure. But the thought of me shedding so many waste terrifies me. I know what I’ve done is probably nothing, I know some people who are far more dedicated and focused than me. But at least. At least I make myself happy. Not buying shampoo and conditioner every month, not having a heap of plastic shopping bags at home, not throwing away a dozen big PET plastic bottles every week, not shedding several disposable pads every month (use cloth pads instead). If not doing things can make me happy, then yeah, I’m not doing it. More if I can.


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