No Poo… What is it? How does it work?
This post is to free all those wanderers, who are tired of worrying about their shampoo, conditioner and various hair taming products wherever they go.
But especially this is for our dear friend Kelly, who I promised I would write this for….
a while ago.
There has been a lot of talk online about No Poo in the last few years or so, (maybe one of your Facebook friends has tried it) but many people still don’t know much about this amazingly simple and travel-friendly process. And how smooth and beautiful it makes your locks look.
Let’s get some things out of the way… ‘No Poo’ is not about your bowel movements. [As important as it is to have a healthy colon and poop regularly, that is a conversation for another day] “No Poo” is a natural way of cleaning your hair that is low maintenance and makes keeping up with your hair while traveling, a breeze.
How many times a week do you wash your hair? Every day? Every other day?
Most people can’t go more that 2 days before it gets too greasy. With “No Poo” we’re (Adam and I) able to go at least a week before washing our hair. We also don’t have to worry about packing shampoo and conditioner on any of our trips whether they’re for a week or 6 months. “No Poo” is all about ditching your shampoo and conditioner for more natural, healthier, and cheaper cleaning products… baking soda and apple cider vinegar. (There are other methods to No Poo or Low Poo if your scalp can’t handle the baking soda or vinegar. Some people even reach a point where they use only water to wash their hair!!)
Our hair after 7 days without washing, from the back. Only a bit dull!
Before I get into the process let’s discuss why “No Poo” is even a thing and why it’s healthier and more convenient than your current hair care regimen. Shampoo is a synthetic hair cleanser filled with all sorts of chemicals that strip your hair of its natural oils called sebum. When these oils are stripped, your body tells your scalp to over produce them to make up for the oils it has lost. Every day you don’t wash your hair with shampoo it continues to build up which causes super oily hair. Making a switch to baking soda allows you to remove the dirt from your scalp and roots without stripping your oils. The apple cider vinegar acts as a conditioner as you only apply it to the length of your hair. Instead of using store-bought conditioner which coats your hair in silicone, and restricts your hair follicles from ‘breathing’. To read more about No Poo science, history, and the theories behind the process check out nopoomethod.com
Now for the process, and some helpful starter tips.
Before you even jump on the No Poo bandwagon (seriously this is worth it) you should know…. there is a transition period. It took my hair a good couple of months to really get used to the washing process. But now over a year later, my hair is beautiful and basically stress free.
So, before your first baking soda and apple cider vinegar (ACV) wash, get some clarifying shampoo and do a wash with that. DO NOT use your conditioner! You can use 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar mixed into 1 cup water to condition after using the clarifying shampoo. TIP: [Still feeling dry and difficult to comb out after the shower? Add about a dime size amount of virgin coconut oil to your palms, and apply it into the length of your hair] Try and hold out for 7 days before you wash your hair again, or until it’s too much for you to deal with(the longer the better). Get yourself a squeeze bottle TIP: [I use a condiment bottle and I keep my ACV in a sports water bottle]. Then when you’re ready to wash add 1 Tbsp. baking soda (BS) to your squeeze bottle, fill it with 1 cup of water and shake. Your mixture should be diluted, NOT a paste (too much baking soda will dry out your scalp). It will feel slippery in your hands and hair. TIP: [Add the water once you’re in the shower so you don’t end up with cold water on your head, trust me on this one.] Squeeze the BS mixture onto your scalp and massage your scalp to help remove dirt, oil, and silicone build up. Rinse out the BS mix from your scalp and length of hair. Your hair will feel strange, as if all the follicles are open and sticking together (because that’s actually what’s happening).
Next, Mix 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 cup water, in your bottle and shake. Apply this mixture to the length of your hair. This mixture acts as the conditioner. [I leave it in while I wash my body and then rinse it out after.] Rinse out the vinegar thoroughly. Your hair will smell like vinegar while it’s still wet. As it dries the smell should go away. (If it really bothers you, I know some people add essential oils to their vinegar mix, like lavender or peppermint, but just a drop or two!) Try to hold out for 1 week before you wash again, this will help in the transition.
Things you should be aware of:
– The first few times you wash your hair you may see some flakes, this is typically the sulfate and silicone build up slowly flaking its way out of your scalp. If it continues a while, you may want to consider diluting your mixtures a bit more or switching to low poo.
– The transition period is real! Your scalp will be greasy and your hair will be dry to start off. I had a difficult 2- 3months before my hair leveled out. I recommend a lemon juice (from a bottle) dilution <use the same 1 tbsp to 1 cup water> for your scalp and coconut oil on the length of your hair. I ♥ COCONUT OIL! <I use it for everything> I even did an egg or Mayonnaise hair mask. [Just make sure you use cooler water when rinsing these out or you’ll end up with some cooked egg into your hair. I know this from experience!] Also when your scalp gets greasy, CORN STARCH is your best friend! It works as a wonderful dry shampoo, and it’s cheap too!
– Once the transition is over your hair will be amazing! I do not regret switching over one bit. My hair is shiny and soft for 7 days, I don’t use any products in it, and combing it out has never been easier!
– You’re going to SAVE A LOT! You’ll save on money, not having to worry about constantly buying expensive shampoo and conditioner. You’ll save loads of time; think about how short your everyday showers will be because you won’t have to wash your hair, but once a week! You’ll save on space in your suitcase when you travel, and be able to pack more clothes! 😉 You’ll save on weight in your luggage; you won’t have to carry weeks of products with you to that foreign country or island destination! (If you are flying or crossing borders we suggest trying to find baking soda and apple cider vinegar when you get there. Most places should have it and you’ll avoid being asked about a bag of white powder in your luggage. If you know you won’t be able to find it. We suggest traveling with the original baking soda packaging.
A Note on No Poo from our highly esteemed friend, Kathy:
When [Gabby and Adam] told me about the method I couldn’t believe it, so I [did some of my own research before] starting. I quickly came to love this new way of cleansing my scalp and conditioning my hair. My hair was soft and shiny, and I just loved the natural clean smell of my hair after it dried. Not only is it cheaper than buying shampoo and conditioner in the stores, but you will quickly see how nourished and healthy feeling your hair is. I was already in the habit of only washing my hair about 2-3 times per week. I experienced almost none of the “awkward phase” you hear and read about, but I believe everyone will have a different experience with this, and as long as you stick with it, you will absolutely make it through. Now I wash my hair a maximum of 1 time per week, and even still I sometimes just wash it because I think I need to, not because my hair actually needs it. I have now been using the no poo method for about a year and a half, and I can’t imagine ever going back.
If you’re serious about making the transition check out the links below that helped me through the process and answered all of my questions.
- Finally check out the tons of online journals of people’s experiences with no poo
If you want to ask me questions about my experience or other travel beauty tips leave me a comment below or send me a message through any of our social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
Has No Poo changed your life? Share your experience below in a comment!