Shampoo and conditioner are the last bath items that I have that contain chemicals. I think part of it is the complete lack of totally natural shampoo and conditioner, you can't find it anywhere (at least I haven't been able to anyway). Everything contains either SLS (sodium laureth sulfate), alcohol, parabens, or other ingredients that I don't know how to pronounce.
I have always been under the assumption that I need to wash my hair every day, or at least every other day, and that if I don't use conditioner then I will never be able to brush my hair because it's so thin and knots easily. I was a little skeptical of no-poo when I first read about it, I was sure that there was no way I'd be able to brush my hair and it would be a greasy mess. Apparently most other Americans think like this too! According to Procter & Gamble, the average American washes their hair 4.59 a week, twice as much as Italians and Spaniards.
It wasn't always this way, people used to wash their hair about once a month, until this article came out in the New York Times in May of 1908, telling women they could wash their hair every 2 weeks. Finally, in the 70's, advertising campaigns made daily hair washing the norm, and here we are today.
I wanted to try no-poo for a few reasons. I don't want chemicals on my body, that's a big reason, but I have also been noticing just how much plastic we have in our house lately and I am trying to cut out as many plastic items as possible. I counted 80 (yes, EIGHTY) plastic items in the bathroom alone!
What is no-poo?
It's exactly what you'd think it is, no shampoo! Instead of shampoo I am using two ingredients: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. The baking soda is for washing my hair and the apple cider vinegar is a "conditioner". For $2.50 I can get a huge box of baking soda that will last quite a while (and has other uses too like using in the laundry, deodorant, and brushing your teeth), so I'm also saving money.
My wash routine
I am still in the experimenting stage so my routine might change a bit, but so far I have been putting 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in a tin cup and bringing it in the shower with me. Once I am in the shower I add some water to make a paste and then I massage my scalp and roots with the paste. Once I am finished I rinse it out.
To condition I put 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass spray bottle and filled the rest up with water. After I rinse the baking soda out I spray the ends of my hair with the vinegar generously. I let it sit for a bit then rinse out.
So, you know how I said I thought I wouldn't be able to brush my hair? It's the opposite. In fact, I think it's easier to brush my hair using this method than chemical filled, store bought conditioner.
My hair has not been greasy at all and it feels healthy and soft. I did read that your hair goes through transition periods, so I am prepared for a little greasiness at some point, but it eventually goes away. I can happily say that I am loving no-poo so far. Here's a (scary) photo of me on day 3 of this adventure!
I'm really excited about continuing this experiment and I am planning on blogging about it as I go! Stay tuned for more photos and my experiences!