The No 'Poo Movement
On the 26th of February 2015 I, unknowingly, washed my hair with shampoo for the last time.
I have always hated washing my hair, not the clean part but the use of chemicals has always been something I've struggled to wrap my head around. In layman's terms, shampoo uses a variety of powerful chemicals that strip your hair of its natural oils, then reapply more artificial chemicals to 'protect' your hair again. This process causes your scalp to overproduce oil to compensate for the chemical damage - and hence your hair becomes greasy when you don't wash it regularly.
Immediately after hearing about the no 'poo movement I realised I had to give it a try. Initially I was planning on using shampoo once a week, while just rinsing my hair with water every other day, and then after a few months gradually removing the shampoo altogether. Through some proper research I happily discovered that it is easy to cut shampoo out altogether, and rather introduce a substitute shampoo (baking soda) and conditioner (apple cider vinegar) in the intermediate period.
I must add that for the first eight days I only used water, which really allowed my hair to start repair itself from the effect of the chemicals. What happens over time is your hair gradually stops overproducing oils, and reaches a state of equilibrium, where your scalp produces enough oil for moisture and nutrience, but not too much that your hair becomes greasy. Over a few months your hair becomes healthier, less dry and frizzy, and softer.
So here is my weekly account since joining the no 'poo movement ...
Week 1: no shampoo use whatsoever; rinsed hair with water every three days, every day by day seven. Hair had no smell, looked slightly greasy by day seven, but hardly noticeable. Absolutely no knots, and surprisingly easier to brush compared to when I used conditioners in the past.
Week 2: introduced baking soda and apple cider vinegar on day eight. Washed hair every four days with the baking soda (2 tbsp in 750ml of water) and apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp in 750ml of water). Incredible improvement, and hair started to become lighter. Note: apple cider vinegar leaves no smell in hair once rinsed out.
Week 3: reduced number of washes with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and increases number of 'water' washes.
Week 4: used baking soda and apple cider vinegar once a week, and rinsed with water whenever I felt the need. Hair noticeably softer, and healthier.
All in all I have never been happier. It was quite the leap of faith, and during the first few days I received many strange looks when telling people about what I was doing, but now I feel fantastic. I actually enjoy washing my hair knowing I am doing no damage to the environment and to my body through the use of chemicals. If you're willing to face the strange looks, I highly recommend giving this method a try.