In recent years, opting for no shampoo, or the “no poo method” as it’s sometimes called, has gained popularity among women. So what exactly is the no poo method, how does it work, and what are the benefits?
Your scalp secretes an oil, called sebum, that keeps your hair and skin hydrated and healthy. If the word sebum sounds familiar, that’s because it’s what keeps our skin waterproof. Sebum and dead skin cells can also clog hair follicles, leading to acne. Additionally, if your hair looks oily and greasy, it’s probably because your scalp is overproducing sebum.
Which brings us to this conundrum: We use shampoo to clean excess dirt and oils, but at the same time the shampoo can irritate and dry out our scalps. In response, our bodies overcompensate by producing even more oil leading to greasy scalps and more shampoos to fix it. So how do you clean your scalp without harsh shampoos and end the cycle?
No poo method
Enter the no poo method. There are an endless amount of no poo shampoo recipes, but most instructions call for either baking soda (not baking powder) or apple cider vinegar, although, if you really want to simplify your routine you can just use water.
Mixtures and ratios of water and baking soda or water and apple cider vinegar will vary based on each person and his or her hair type. If you have colored hair, baking soda may be too acidic, causing your hair to feel even more brittle. However, many people still swear by it. Apple cider vinegar can revive your hair’s natural shine, wiping out built-up chlorine and mineral deposits, said Keith Shore, a colorist at the Sally Hershberger Salon in New York City. Some people complain about the smell, but it typically washes out or goes away once the hair is dry.
Making the switch from almost-daily shampoos to no shampoo at all might be quick decision, but it may take some time before you see results. During the first couple of days, your hair will be very oily. But one woman who’s now gone three years without shampoo using apple cider vinegar and baking soda had this to say about her hair transformation: “My hair is noticeably softer and fluffier than it used to be.”
And if you do decide to drop your shampoos, you can still do all the things you did before. Even if you sweat, you don’t necessarily have to wash unless you detect an odor. And there’s no hair type that might exclude you from the no poo method. So why not give it a try? It might just change your hair’s life.
How to use dry shampoo
If you’re not ready to give up shampoo but you’re looking for something in between washes to deal with oily roots, dry shampoo might be for you. Here are a few DIY dry shampoo options that will do the trick. Just like the store-bought dry shampoos, these powders quickly absorb excess oil leaving your hair fuller, fluffier and fresher!
- No need to shell out for dry shampoo when you can use baby powder instead. Just shake a small amount onto the top of your head, then massage it into to your scalp and brush through to absorb excess oil. Have dark hair? Try a 2:1 mixture of baby powder and unsweetened cocoa powder to blend in easier with your roots. Bonus: The subtle cocoa scent gives you a mood boost!
- Fill a clean, sprinkle-top spice jar with cornstarch or baby powder (if your hair is light), or cocoa powder (if your hair is dark). After you’ve sprinkled the powder at your roots, lightly massage your scalp and brush out the excess powder with a paddle brush.